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Treaty of Greeneville Cannot Be Amended; Regarding Gifts & White Presences on Indian Land

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Source Name Image(s)
CollectionClements Library: Jonathan Cass Papers view image
Document Information
Date December 8, 1796
Author Name James McHenry (primary) Location: War Office
Recipient Name Northwestern Indian Chiefs (primary)
Summary Addressed to the Wyandots, Delawares, Shawanees, Ottawas, Chippewas, Poutawatomies, Miamis, Eel River, Weas, Kickapoos, Piankashaws and Kaskaskias. Transmits the president's response to some Indians' request that slightly different land concessions and boundaries be agreed upon, to the effect that the conditions of the Treaty of Greeneville cannot be changed now that it has been ratified by the Senate. Sends gifts and testimonials of friendship from the president. Discusses what is to be done about a white man living on Indian land, and affirms the U.S. desire to raise the Indians' level of civilization by teaching them husbandry.
Document Format Document Signed
Document Notes [not available]
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups James McHenry; Wyandot; Delaware; Shawanoes; Shawnee; Ottawa; Chippewa; Poutawatomie; Pottawatomie; Miami; Eel River; Weas; Kickapoo; Piankashaws; Kaskaskias; President of the United States; George Washington; Senate; Chiefs; Muccatewasaw; Black Chief; Silver Smith; William Wells; ;
Related Places War Office; village; Wabash; Philadelphia; ;
Keywords treaty; land; boundary line; presents; testimonial; husbandry; stock; journey; ;
Key Phrases [not available]

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To the chiefs and warriors representatives of the Wyandots, Delawares, Shawanese, Ottawas, Chipewas, Putawatimes, Miamis, Eel River, Weeas, Kickapoos, Piankashaws, and Kaskaskias

The President has considered the request which has been made to him for the relinquishment of a cer-tain part of the land granted by the treaty and for the establish-ment of a new boundary line and now inform you, that the treaty having been ratified by the senate of the United States cannot be altered or changed by him.

It does not prejudice the Treaty that some Individuals of any of the Nations comprehended in it, were not present at itís formation.

Were this to be the case, things meant forever remain in the State of compassion, and treaties be rendered of no effect, as often as any Individual of any Nation should say that he had not consented thereto.

To avoid therefore such consequences, thoí a Treaty may not be entirely pleasing in all its parts to every individual of the Nation, it is necessary notwith-standing for the preservation of the general peace that the engagements entered into should be preserved inviolate.

For these reasons the president has no doubt that the nations who are party to the treaty will see the property and necessity of its being faithfully

observed; more especially, as the observance is essential to maintain the present friendship and good understanding which happily exists between the United States and those Nations.

The President, desirous of giving to those of his Children who have come to see him a proof off his personal regard, has requested his beloved Secretary of War, to have them furnish-ed with such presents as they have pointed out, as well for them-selves as for some of their friends, who have remained at home. He has also signed, for each of the Chiefs now present, a Testimo-nial of his affection, which by entitling them to the protection of his Warriors, he hopes will draw the bands of friendship closer between them.

The President informs Muc-ca-te-waraw on the Blacke Chief that as the Silver Smith mentioned by him to have settled near his Village may be useful to the Inhabi-tants he has no objections to his remaining there with his - family on the land which may have been assigned to him. But the Black Chief must not consider this as an authority to sell the land to the Silver Smith, but only for him to remain on if so long as he may be useful to the Village. Should the whites know that any land had been sold by the Red Peo-ple they would pour in upon them, under pretext of buying in such numbers, as would soon fill their Country. The President will keep in mind the request made in favour of William Wells, to reside on the Wabash and for persons to teach you hubandry. He has already told you that when you shall show a sincere desire to raise Stock, and to improve in husbandry, that the

United States will assist you, in the mean while he has no objections to M.r Wells residing on the Wabash.

He now wishes you a good journey and a safe Arrival in your respective Nations. --

Given at the War Office in Philadel-phia this Eighth day of December 1796, and in the twenty first year of the Inde-pendence of the United States.

By command of the President,
James McHenry