8.05.2014

Message to the Cherokee and Creek Indians

[August 5, 1814]


         chiefs and warriors of the Cherokee Nation, and the friendly Creeks.
Friends and Brothers,
         You have fought, with the armies of the united States, against the hostile creeks; many of you have fought by my side. I am happy to meet and shake you by the hand, and rejoice with you in the pleasing prospects of returning peace. You have shewn yourselves worthy the friendship of your father the President of the United States--in battle you have been brave--in friendship stedfast. You have given proofs, that you cannot be led astray by the deceptions of bad men and lying Prophets, sent among you by the agents of all our enemies the British. I am charged by your father the President of the United States, to say to you chiefs and warriors, that your conduct has met with his entire approbation.
           Chiefs and warriors of the creek nation who have been at war with your own nation and the United States; I am happy to meet you once more at peace with the United States and your own nation; and to call you friends and Brothers--War is a dreadful calamity--it has reduced your whole nation to misery and ruin.
          Your father, the President of the United States, is rejoiced that you are again his friends; that you have found out the truth; that you have found your Prophets to be impostures--but, he laments that such bad men, with vagabonds employed by his enemies to deceive you, have ever had influence over your councils to reduce a nation like yours to such distress.
          Brothers, The President of  the United States, for your own good, advises you always hereafter to hear the counsel of your wise chiefs and good men; to listen to the words of your chiefs and warriors who have always held him by the hand. Had you listened to them, you would yet have been a rich, powerful and happy people. Your woods would yet have been filled with flocks, and herds of cattle--your fields with corn. Your towns and villages would not have been burned, nor your women and children wandering in the woods, exposed to starvation and cold. But you listened to Prophets and bad men; your warriors have been slain, your nation is defenceless--you are reduced to such want as to receive food from your father the President of the United States.
        Friends and Brothers, You have followed the counsel of bad men, and made war on a part of your own nation and the United States. This war has cost the United States a large sum. You must yield as much of your land as will pay this sum. But it must be taken from your whole nation, in such a manner as to destroy the communication with our enemies every where. Your brothers the friendly creeks will agree to it; for wherever we take any of their land to cut off all communication with foreign powers, we will give them land of yours to which we are intitled by conquest in the place of it.
        Friends and Brothers of the whole Creek Nation, The united States will again send into your country, goods and necessaries to supply your wants; but you must keep bad men out of your nation. Have no intercourse with these enemies; they are yours. Give to the United States, the right to open roads through your country--to build store houses--and you will be able by your industry to procure supplies of every thing you want and give to us scites for fortifications, and you will be defended from your own enemies and ours.
        Brothers, Your game is destroyed; you must become farmers like your brothers the americans. Your warriors must raise cattle and corn for their families--your women must raise cotton--spin, weave, and clothe their husbands and children. You will then become a happy people & not before.
        Brothers, The terms of peace I hold in my hand. They will ensure a lasting peace between all the red nations, and between the red nations and the United States. As soon as they shall be signed, all former enmities must cease and be forgotten. That part of your Nation which has been at war and has submitted must have the forgiveness of and friendship of those who have always been at peace with us, and no person must be punished, but by the United States or the grand council of your Nation. The Prophets and bad men of your nation, and the Vagabonds from our foreign enemies must be given up to the United States, or you must destroy them yourselves. As long as they live, your councils will be corrupted by their words--they will try again to bring you into war, and destroy the remnant of your people.
       The terms of Peace will be read to you.

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