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Letter from the Reverend Samuel Kirkland to Secretary of War Henry Knox on prospects for war with Western Tribes; the just designs of Congress regarding the Indians; a proposal to send delegation led by Captain Henrick and a Stockbridge Chief

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionBuffalo and Erie County Historical Society: Samuel Kirkland Papers view image
CollectionBuffalo and Erie County Historical Society: Samuel Kirkland Papers view image
CollectionBuffalo and Erie County Historical Society: Samuel Kirkland Papers (no image)
Document Information
Date April 22, 1791
Author Name Reverend Samuel Kirkland (primary) Location: Oneida
Recipient Name Henry Knox (primary)
Summary Kirkland recounts his visit to Philadelphia and his discussions with Knox on reaching an accommodation with the Western Indians; he ascribes part of the problem to unprincipled traders and ignorance regarding congress' intent to do justice to the Indians. Discusses idea of Indian leaders visiting Congress, an idea generated by Cornplanter, who believed that the voice of congress would never effectively reach the Western Indians. Kirkland discusses his correspondence with Captain Joseph Brant and Kirkland's discouragements that attended attempts to introduce the arts of civilization. Kirkland told Brant that the warlike spirit would terminate in ruin for the Indians. Asks that Captain Hendrick and a chief of the Stockbridge tribe be sent west. These men have more influence with the Miami, Shawnee, Delaware and Chippewa tribes than all the Five Nations. Hendrick believes he could convince the western tribes of the justice of Congress and to lay down their arms. Alludes to foreign encroachment; discusses British influence on the frontier. Kirkland speaks highly of Hendricks as one who is almost at the same level as Cornplanter. Kirkland goes on to discuss compensation for this mission. Letter, discusses Capt. Hendrick's embassy to Western Indians; discusses Indian hostilities; discusses Hostile Western Indians; discusses frontier influence of Congress; discusses Indians & Indian warfare; discusses attempts to civilize Indians;
Document Format Letterbook Copy
Document Notes Enclosed in Knox to Pickering, 05/18/1791, on page 8. Cited in Knox to Kirkland, 05/11/1791.
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Henry Knox; Samuel Kirkland; Capt. Hendricks; Captain Hendrick; Capt. Brant; Capt. Obeil, alias Cornplanter; Congress; Western Indians; Stockbridge Indians; Miami; Shawnee; Delaware; Chippewa; Five Nations; British; Shawanese; ;
Related Places Oneida; Buffaloe Creek; Miami River; Philadelphia; New York; Britain; Canada; Ontario; Upper Canada; ;
Keywords [not available]
Key Phrases private council of the Oneida chiefs; convince them of the gesture & goodness of Congress; lay down the hatchet; furnished for the journey; met with some of his own nation; chief of the Stockbridge tribe; influence with the Miamies, Shawanese & Delawares & Chippewas; Six Nations; acquainted with their customs and manners; invitations from these western tribes to make them a visit; direct violation of the laws of the federal government; chief design was to obtain his sentiments feelings towards the hostile indians in the vicinity of the Miami; rec'd his answer by two runners; transmit you a copy of his letter; observe that many tracts of it bear strong traits of British influence & interference; wrote him upon the state of Indians at large; discouragements that attended their every attempt to introduce the arts of civilized life among them; expressed my fears that their love of war would finally issue in their ruin; alias; Congress could never reach these western tribes of Indians; intercepted by the voice of the birds alluding to the influence of evil; friendly to the states; fixed determination of Congress to do strict justice to the Indians; remove their prejudices and mistaken apprehensions; number of their chiefs should be brot down to Congress that both might have a fair hearing; complaints which at length broke out into hostilities; personal interview with you; winter; character & present situ[ation] of the Indians were a subject of much conversation; propriety & practicability of an accommodation with the Indians in the vicinity of the Miami;

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