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Brotherton & Weekping Indian Communities of NJ

1819 Letter to the President
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Below is a transcription of an 1819 document from the NJ Indians living with the Stockbridge Mohicans while at New Stockbridge, NY. 

 

Delaware Indians at New-Stockbridge, NY to the US President

November 25, 1819

 

To the great Chief of the seventeen fires, & all his wise Counsellors, now convened at their great council fire.

 

Father, We the undersigned being a part of the Delaware Tribe, sensible of your wisdom, & considering you just & good, do therefore with full confidence, put up our cries to your ears, fully believing that you will open your ears to the cries of all your red children, resident within the boundaries of your said seventeen fires.

 

Father, We are a part of the Delaware tribe, who removed about seventeen years since from New Jersey, in order to reside for a while, with our grandchildren the Muhhekunnuks in New Stock-Bridge, & then to move with them to White River, to enjoy the good land given & confirmed to our Tribe with them, by our grandchildren the Miamies.

 

Father, We wish to inform you, that a number of years past, our western brethren, have separately urged us, to come on & enjoy our said lands.  In answer to which, we have informed them, we will start as soon as our grandchildren, the Muhhekunnuks are ready.

 

Father, We entreat you to look on all sides, & we think you will believe with us, that justice has not been done in the late treaty, for we never were consulted in the sale of this country.  We would likewise inform you, that many hundreds of our tribe in upper Canada & other parts, had no knowledge of the sale of this country, therein we judge, it could not be a lawful purchase.

 

Father, We have long considered this country on the White River as our own, & have for many years had a full expectation, at some proper time, to have collected all the remnants of our tribe, & settle then & be happy as our ancestors were.

 

Father, We do therefore humbly beg you to pitty us & at best, restore to our grandchildren the Muhhekunnuks their full proposition of that country, that we may have some hopes left still to unite all our tribe in one place, & become a good & civilized people like our white brethren, in that we fully believe the good Spirit will bless us as he does the whites, & we shall increase like them & fill the country & be a happy people:  who knows but the day is dawning, the illuminating rays whereof may so enlighten our illiterate sinking tribes, as to rise to that degree of wisdom, as to enable them to meet with yours, when convened at your great council fire, for the deliberating the best good of the almost innumerable inhabitants of this vast continent.

 

Father, This being all we have to say, we conclude by wishing that the great & allwise Spirit may continue to lead you along the path of wisdom.

 

New Stockbridge

November 25th 1819.

 

Benjm. Nicholas

Barthw. Calvin

Isaac Skickit

Jeremiah Johnston

Jonathan Johnston

Thomas Hickman

_______________

 

In behalf of the whole

 

From O’Reilly’s Western Momentos, Vol. 14, p. 55

N-Y HS

 

Transcribed by Rich Walling, January 4, 2008

American Indian Research
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