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Treaty at French Lick with the Chickasaw

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionState Historical Society of Wisconsin: Draper MSS-David Shepherd Papers view image
Document Information
Date November 6, 1783
Author Name Treaty (primary)
Recipient Name Unknown Recipient (primary)
Summary Account of the Virginia-Chickasaw Treaty of 1783 held at French Lick
Document Format Contemporary Printed Copy of Letter/Document (other than PL/PD)
Document Notes [not available]
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Chickasaw; Delawares; Indians; Governor of Virginia; Colonel Martin; Mr. Burney; Colonel John Donelson; Red King; Mountain Leader; white people; the English; ;
Related Places duck river; Kentucky; Tennessee; Virginia; Cumberland; French Lick;
Keywords whiskey; the great spirit; blood; beads; trade; lands; hunting; peace;
Key Phrases the influence of the Great Spirit Above who sits on the clouds judging of our sincerity, as to matters relative to our present intentions and with whiskey, we shall speake of [?] more at [leasure] and first of your [friend] Mr. Burney and some of your people who came to [Kentucky] with your talks of peace which gave us much pleasure in which we lost no time to [councill] [the] [terms] to the Governor of Virginia;

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At a treaty began and held at the French Creek on Cumberland received the 5th day of November 1783 with the Cickasaw Nation of Indians; the Red King of that Nation and such of their Chiefs as were appointed that business being present.
After the [?] forms of smoking and [?] over Colonel Martin read to them the speech or talk sent to the Red King and Chiefs of the Chickasaws Nation by his Excellency the Governor of Virginia which the King and his chiefs received with great attention.
Colonel Donelson spoke as follows:
Brothers after many disappointments and delays I am so happy as to meet you in treaty, which gives us the opportunity of taking you by the hand in friendship, agreeable to the commands of the governor of Virginia and his great councill; we receive the command with joy; Wishing to be instruments to bring about so happy and desirable an event, as that of peace between the white people and the Red King and the people of his nation, and thereby to put a stop to the [affusion] of human blood, and bring us together as friends and brothers; and that we may in fact be friends and brothers, and that your children and those of the white people may look upon themselves as the same people, and make each others interest the same and [?] and smoke together as friends and brothers; this is the commands we have received from the Governor of Virginia and our great men which we gladly pronounce to the Red King and his chiefs, most solomly declaring that, we are and wish to be [?] [?] the influence of the Great Spirit Above who sits on the clouds judging of our sincerity, as to matters relative to our present intentions and with whiskey, we shall speake of [?] more at [leasure] and first of your [friend] Mr. Burney and some of your people who came to [Kentucky] with your talks of peace which gave us much pleasure in which we lost no time to [councill] [the] [terms] to the Governor of Virginia; it was them purposes by you that our people might carry goods and trade with your Nation, which we much approve of, and strongly recommend it to our [?] [?] [?] assuredly strengthen tht chain of friendship which we have no doubted will be most happily formed at this treaty, and which we wish may be lasting, as we would wish that every appearance of discord might be removed in time, therefore we have [?] you that a tribe of Indians are [?] on the south side of [Tennessee] called Wopomochees or Dellawares who have been invited by [?] [?] our messenger, to meet and join with your in this treaty, but as they refuse or neglect to come in we think it your duty to drive them out of your country as they are no more than a trangent people and have done much damage to our people, and if they are permitted to stay on your lands their [?] perhaps maybe changed to the chickasaws and thereby may cause the chain of friendship forming between us to rust and corrupt, which we want to keepe bright and cleane
The Red King speakes as follows:
Friends and brothers I speake to my people, the white people, and the commissioners, I came here for the good of all men women and children, I go not to [?] [?] I consent with it, my talke is about peace, that they and the white people were never at war before, and hope they never might be again I never was our desire to spill blood much [?] that of Virginia what we have done was in consequence of the advice of the English like tow puppies thrown together and provoked to fight; but now allies over and done away, seek talks as those are pleasing to me I have whate talkes, I have opened the road between us and made it plain, these talkes were prepared by the Mountain Leader and the [?] of them; and I only came to conclude a firm and lasting peace and that [?] together [?] interpreted
This string of beads is a token of a confirmation of a clear path between us that our woman and children may live and grow up in peace agreeable to the [?] [?] my designs are nothing but peace
A. String
The white people have got a very bad trick that when they go a hunting, as there are many that follow it for a [squirel hood], and find a good piece of grouse and they make a station camp at it and the next thing they go to building houses, which I hope will not be allowed of, my reasons for talking so is that these are many nations of Indians seeking blood, and probably such people may fall into their hands, and the Chickasaws blamed, and that the white people are travilling among them without any [?] I wish it to be prevented, traders excepted
Colonel Martin speakes:
[?] I have paid the strictest attention to what you [?] [?] and will answer you tomorrow
Now met in treaty according to [adjournment]
Brothers and Friends we yesterday spoke to you on this grand business of peace and this day we hope to finish it, anyone justly observed yesterday in your talkes that a short treaty was [?] that when a great deale is said we cannot remember all, I think as you do, and will be as short as possible.
I paid great attention to what you said yesterday and was glad to hear you speake to [?] people passing through [?] [?] [?] I am directed by your elder brother, the Governor of Virginia to request of you not to suffer any such people to remain among you on any pretences as no treaty can be [just] while such peple are in your country I must request likewise that you will not suffer the Dillawares or [?} indians to remain on any part of your lands, as they have never come in to treaty with us, but are duely committing outrages on your brothers the white people at [Kentucky] and Cumberland.
I have in my hand a string of white [beads] which I will deliver you in the name of your elder brother the Governor of Virginia and all his Grand Councill which will open the path from his Great Seal iin Virginia to your beloved seal in your nation, and will unite the Virginians and Chickasaw as one people, there is to be no more talk of war between us. But all our talkes are peace, and as an everlasting pledge of friendship between the Virginians and Chickasaw I deliver you this string.
A String-
Brothers I have but littlemore to say on the subject of peace as we have exchanged pledges of friendship, and and burried the hatchet so deep that it never [?] is to arise, [?] [?] now think of returning to your elder brother, the Governor of Virginia and give him a just account of all [?] talkes, which he will from the goodness of his heart be glad to receive - I expected we should have parted this evening, but their is behind a [?] presents from your elder brother to you as a mark of his friendship, which I expect [?] this [?] and shall with pleasure deliver yours in his name [?] [?] [?] it being a very different matter to get goods to this [camp] the distance being great and the road dark and bloody, I hope you will be satisfied with what [?] there is.
Brothers -
and give you a [faithe] [?] there will nether thing to be spoken about respecting our claims of lands, we hold lands from the mouth of duck river [to the] mouth of the Tinnisee and to the [divideing] ridge between the Tinnisee and [Cumberland] as high as to duck river, this we claim and hold it as our hunting grounds for the support of our women and children as that is the only means by which we can support them.
Colonel Martin speakes as follows:
[Brother] everything [?] [?] you is very just we came here to settle the terms of peace every word we have said will be [strictly] observed.
Mountain Leader speaks as follows:
Peace is now settled, I was the first that proposed it, as to the differences that are settled, upon over lands I am very ready to remove them, and am in hope no more blood shed by either party which will give general satisfaction to my people and I hope to the Governors, I have no more to say only wish the land to be observed, that was spoken of and claimed by the King.
The Red King speaks as follows:
I have received the talkes from my elder brother the Governor and after death these beads shall fall from my hand and not before
[...ngoamah] the Red King
Tushatokoa The Mountain Leader

Jos. Martin
J. Donelson

[interpretor] Denford a half breed
[interpretor] Brown