8.07.2014

Letter to Big Warrior from Andrew Jackson

[August 7, 1814]


Friends & Brothers.

        I was not here yesterday--I did not expect you would have answered my talk without notifying me. My Friend Col: Hawkins, who is also your Friend, heard your reply to me--and knowing my mind, gave you my answer. He has told you my words--he has told you the truth. I have only a few words more to say to you. I am charged by your Father, the President of the United States to tell you the truth--to deal candidly with you--I do not speak with a forked tongue.
        Friends and Brothers, You say the shedding of blood was the cause of this war--the spilling blood of the white people and giving satisfaction for it was the cause of the war, and nothing else. This you say divided you--and the opposition was for breaking the chain of Friendship.
        F. & B. I answer--The cause of the war was shedding the blood of the white people; but if that was all the cause, what did Tecumseh here? and when he was here, why did not the United States receive information of it from the creek chiefs, according to treaties? The United States would have been justified by the Great Spirit, had they taken all the lands of the nation merely for keeping it a secret, that her enemies were in the Nation. Listen--The truth is, the great body of the creek chiefs & warriors did not respect the power of the United States--they thought we were an insignificant Nation--that we would be overpowered by the British. If they had not thought so, Tecumseh would have had no influence--he would have been sent back to the British, or delivered to the United States as a prisoner, or shot. If my enemy goes into the house of my friend, and tells my friend he means to kill me--my friend becomes my enemy, if he does not at least tell me I am to be killed.
       Brothers, You say, a few of you only were sensible of those treaties which were made by your old chiefs--that you were weak, and those who understood them were not strong--and you asked the United States for help to overpower them.
       I answer--at the time you asked for help, the red clubs had done mischief enough to force the United States to destroy them. They had committed a great many murders, beside those at Fort Mimms--They had no doubt agreed with Tecumseh. The British and them and the Spaniards understood each other. They received ammunition from Pensacola, and advice from the British. They were fat with eating beef--listen, they wanted floging--they had no idea they could be so easily destroyed. They were mad--they had a fever--we bleed our enemy in such cases to give them their senses.
      Brothers--You say, that when they are all conquered, we will settle--that the war is not over.
      I answer--we know the war is not over--and that is one reason why we will run a line between our friends and our enemies. We wish to save our friends, protect them, and support them--we will do all these things. We will destroy our enemies because we love our friends & ourselves. The safety of the United States and your nation requires, that enemies must be separated from Friends--we wish to know them from each other--we wish to be able to say to our soldiers--here is one--there is the other. Brothers listen, when our armies came here--you were conquered--they had our friends in forts--they had overrun the country--We, We with a few friends Such as Mackintosh Shalockta & Chinabee and their chiefs & warriors, retook your country and their own from them. We give you yours--you would have had none but for us--we take theirs, we take it to protect & support our friends--and to destroy and entirely overcome our enemies. We are not afraid, that when the war is over you will not settle with us, no--but we know that if the United States is not between her friends and her enemies--she will have to lose more blood than is necessary. Therefore we will run the line--our friends will sign the treaty--they will be in their own territory, they will be fed, and no enemy of theirs or the United States shall trouble them. Our enemies must depart, they shall have provisions to carry them away. We do not want them. We wish them to join their friends that all may be destroyed together. Brothers, listen, here is the paper. The signatures to this, will shew your father the President of the United States his friends--our soldiers will know them & their towns by this paper. Consult--and this evening let me see & know who will sign it and who will not. I do not wish to force any of you--act as you think proper. Those who do not sign it shall have provisions to go to Pensacola.
      Brothers, listen--Some of you have have [cla]ims on the United States. We do not [want to take] away your demands on the United [States. After this] paper is signed, make out your accou[nts against the] United States. Hand the[m to me,] or int[rust them to Colo. Hawkins. I will send them to your] father the President of the United States.[He will do you jus]tice. You will be paid hono[rably ever]y thing you [ought] to have; but we must f[irst] know our friends from our enemies. You who have fought against  the red clubs with your brothers the americans ought to be paid. I have directed Col: Hawkins to make out a roster, and send it to the President of the United States. I have no doubt he will direct that you be paid. Those who have corn growing on the land on the right of the line, and sign this agreement will not be removed until you have until you have gathered your corn. Those who have no corn growing will be sent to where they can most easily & plentifully be fed. I have written to the President of the United States that you are naked--that you must be clothed or you will suffer. Your Father, the President of the United States has never let any of children suffer--after their wants were made known to him.

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