Letter from Big Warrior to Benjamin Hawkins

[August 6, 1814]

               Yesterday my friend gave in a speech, and now I am going to give an answer. When I asked the U.S. for help, it was agreeable to the treaty of New York. We wanted to save that, and for that we asked the U.S. for assistance to save us. The friendly chiefs adhered to the treaty with the U.S.--There was a convention of the four nations at the Ocheubofau council House Governor [Vicente] Folks son was present. The plan was to have, from his council House four roads--and all promised if any thing happened amiss to try in time to prevent it, and if broken to repair it. The shedding of blood was the cause of war. The spilling blood of white people, and giving satisfaction for it, was the cause of war amongst us and nothing else. This divided us, and the opposition was for breaking the chain of friendship. I called on the Cherokees Chickasaws and Choctaws, and then the fourth brother the white people to give us help. A few of us, only were sensible to those treaties which were made by our old chiefs. We were weak and they were strong who understood not the form of treaties and we asked the government for help to overpower them.
             They had no great chief or speaker over them, when they began to spill blood--They seemed to be of one mind, and helped each other. When I applied to your government for help we were weak and they were strong. Great spirits came to our assistance to help us wind up our entangled affairs. When it was over we expected to settle with them, and wind it up. When I asked your government for help, a part of the nation, the principle speakers, the first of the nation--were together, when they found distresses coming on them--we thought to destroy those red sticks and save their lands It was the land I wanted to save--You say you fought for it, I wanted to save that land--Friends and brothers, White Brothers--you have fought for us--our warriors were with you, you fought and spilled your blood together--It is not yet settled and you asked for the land--You seem to impose upon us the war is not yet settled--Before we asked for help we settled how we would fulfill our promises--You talk the expence is heavy on the U.S. government we have caused expences. The expences was caused by the red sticks--Part are destroyed and the rest are on the east side of us towards Pensacola. When we have conquered these people it will be time enough to talk about settling the expence to the U.S. I did not expect you would call on us for a settlement. You have called on me before the Alabama red sticks were overpowered. Brothers, when two nations ask each other fore help, in cases of difficulty like overpowering a country, when they help each other, The one that asks for help will give this thanks--and ask if it is satisfactory for payment--When I have settled once with you, we both are satisfied. I look on the land as the property of the nation, and thought to pay the expence out of it. This land I asked you to fight for. Before we are done fighting you ask for a part which is like imposing upon us: it is too rash. We have our senses yet. The red sticks had none. Our government when we overpower the red sticks will hold a council. Then we will ask the government of the U.S. what expence we have been to them, when they give us an accurate account of the actual expences we are able to fulfill our payment. I will now state all I know concerning the treaties from time to time. The President tells us to be honest, to settle on good terms, not to be too rash, that he wishes to see Justice done to both their settlement. This way presented to us gives us alarm. I hope and beg the U.S. to settle on easy terms. This war I made for my nation on account of the treaty with old Washington called Washingtons Treaty--He advised us for our conduct in the line of that treaty--To that arm of friendship I hold fast, which is the cause of wars made in the nation--If I had wished to break the chain of friendship I would have listened to the hostiles--and all would have broken the treaty. It belonged to the nation and we fought for it--The President Washington Father to all us old Children Muscoga. He advised us to stand to the U.S. by the treaty he made for us. He was not only a Father to Muskoga, he was father to all the children under the Sun--His talk I have in my hand. Here is a man sits along side me--Colo Hawkins was [sent] out as his agent, he has lived among us many years, he acted in his agency and never has broke the treaty, he has seen among us children born who now have children--By his direction cloth was wove clothes made and spred over the country and then the red sticks came and destroyed all, and we have none now--you ought to consider our situation. I state what all the nation knows. I will not keep any thing secret. There is the little warrior known to colo Hawkins, when we were giving satisfaction for murders he went to the lakes to the British, he was a mischief maker, Brought a packet to the edge of the frontier. part of that increased the murders--When the British found that lying and mischief brought these people to suffer. acquainted with this they are encouraging it on the sea near to Pensacola. The red sticks have no sense they will believe it, and be encouraged as long as they can see their faces. But we a rational people are not going to Join in it, like those hostile people, who have no sense--You must no think our old Chiefs have lost all their sensens--In the war of the revolution the British encouraged our old Chiefs to Join in the war, and our old Chiefs {were lost} had no sense in those days. When we were young we were driven to fight the U S the promises the British made our [old Chie]fs were [lost,] they did not Join it, they kept us in the Island with the  U S--now the British cannot persuade us to their purposes, they have deceived us once, and cannot deceive us again. You are two great Powers if you get to fighting we will have no concern in it--Thus considering we will not concern ourselves with it we are not able to fight any nation of people, we wish to be at peace will, all nations--If they offer me arms to fight--I shall tell them they put me in danger to fight my own people born in one land.
           They will force me into danger. You will never see the chiefs and warriors are boys of this council who will be forced to do things--I give this answer knowing our Father advised me not to interfere in wars, those in peace are the happiest people. He told me if any enemy attacked me on this side, he had men enough and did not want the red children to interfere. The U.S. officers would not be pleased when they heard our old friends the British advised us to take arms from them. The hostiles who have got away from us are the only army to be apprehended--If the British advise us to anything I will communicate, and not hide it from you--If they say we must fight I will tell them no.
          Colonel Hawkins, I will now give you the close of my reply. I inform you that there is a part of the settlers of Tallesachee who are not here--We are apprehensive the British may persuade them to acts of mischief, at such time we will put our heads together, we will convince them we have now two brothers cherokees and creeks--when we get--Choctaws, and Chickasaws the four nations will try to settle this line for the expences incurred by the U.S. You hurry me, and I am sorry I cannot fulfil your expectations. I beg our friend and Brother, will consider us and not scold us & be vexed. We state to you the result of our councils--we of the four nations will put our heads together to settle our difficulties, and call on the officers of the U.S. to settle with us our entangled affairs I hope you will think for your red friends--This is my answer to your speech friend & Brother.

                                                                                                             Big Warrior

No comments:

Post a Comment