Page images

at that place. Since their death, your Excellency's petitioner, Loran Tarbell, the surviving trustee, taking to his private council Peter Tarbell and Jacob Francis, old chiefs, in which the tribe have full faith, has continued to act as for the whole, and has the satisfaction of assuring your Excellency, that the trust reposed in him has been discharged conscientiously and with full regard to justice.

Now, your Excellency's petitioner growing old, and desirous to be relieved in part from the responsibility which he has felt in the discharge of his duties, humbly prays your Excellency will be pleased to get a law passed, appointing the aforementioned Peter Tarbell and Jacob Francis, as trustees to his aid, and to fill the vacancies occasioned by the death of the former trustees, and confirming all acts of your petitioner, done in conjunction with the latter, since the death of the former trustees: And your petitioner will, as in duty bound, ever pray.

LORAN TORBELL. William L. Gray, interpreter.

February 17. To the Assembly: Transmitting the annual report of the commissary general of ordnance and military stores.

February 18. To the Assembly:

"Gentlemen.—In communicating to you the annual report of the superintendents of the New Stockbridge and Brothertown Indians, I take the liberty of requesting your particular attention to that part which relates to intrusions on the lands of those Indians.


Albany, 18th February, 1818.

The following is the part of the report relating to intrusions:"And we would generally report, that difficulties are continually increasing among the Indians, in consequence of white people settling on their lands, particularly among the New Stockbridge Indians, who are every day leasing their lands to the poorest class of community, both the appropriated and unappropriated, and that as the law now is, it is almost impossible to remove them, as the sheriff and other officers are unwilling to proceed without the responsibility of the attorney, and that the annuity of the New Stockbridge Indians would not defray the expense, and the persons on the land are generally so poor, that they cannot pay the judgment against them or proper fees of removal. We therefore would wish that some more summary method might be had."

February 19. To the Assembly: Transmitting a communication relative to certain lands confiscated in Putnam county. The message was in response to an assembly resolution requesting information on this subject.28

February 19. To the Assembly:

'' Gentlemen.—By the second section of the 'act respecting the settlement of the demands of this state against the United States, and for other purposes,* I am authorized to institute a negotiation with the national governernment, for the sale of the fortifications, buildings and lands at the Narrows. If a sale should be made, the heavy ordnance at that place will be entirely useless to the state, and as no power is granted by the bill, to include them in the arrangement, I take the liberty of soliciting your attention to this omission24

as The preamble to chap. 100, passed April 10, recited that John Jacob Astor claimed title to certain lands in Putnam county which had been sold by the State under the attainder of Roger Morris and Mary, his wif*. uA the Governor was directed to appoint two commissioners, who, with the Attorney-General, were required to investigate the Astor claim, and report their opinion to the Governor, who was directed to communicate the same to the legislature at its next session. See special message of Februii? IHltt.

De WITT CLINTON." Albany, 19th February, 1818.

February 23. To the Senate: Transmitting a resolution adopted by the Legislature of New Jersey relative to the boundary line between that state and New York.

February 24. To the Senate:

"Gentlemen.—I now lay before you a copy of an agreement with the St. Regis Indians for the purchase of land, with a view that legislative provision may be made, if necessary, to carry its requirements into effect.

I also transmit a memorial of John Hunsdon, which is in some measure connected with this subject, and which I recommend to your favorable notice.

I also avail myself of this opportunity to communicate an address from the principal chiefs of the Seneca Indians. This pathetic representation of the injuries which they too often experience, is entitled to your serious consideration.

De WITT CLINTON." Albany, 23d February, 1818.

The Senate journal contains the treaty, and also the Hunsdon memorial. The following is the address from the Seneca chiefs:—

"To His Excellency De Witt Clinton, Esq. Governor of the State of New York.

February 14, 1818.

Father.—We learn from your talk delivered at the great council fire in Albany, your opinion of the condition and prospects of your red children.

,m By chap. 48, passed March 19, amending the act relating to settlement of demands against the United States, the Governor was authorized to negotiate for the sale to tne general government of the ordnance and other apparatus connected with the fortification* on Staten Island.

Father.—We feel that the hand of our God has long been heavy on his red children. For our sins he has brought us low, and caused us to melt away before our white brothers, as snow before the fire. His ways are perfect; he regardeth not the complexion of man. God is terrible in judgment. All men ought to fear before him. He putteth down and buildeth up, and none can resist him.

Father.—The Lord of the whole earth is strong; this is our confidence. He hath power to build up as well as to pull down. Will he keep his anger forever? Will he pursue to destruction the workmanship of his own hand, and strike off a race of men from the earth, whom his care hath so long preserved through so many perils?

Father.—We thank you that you feel anxious to do all you can to the perishing ruins of your red children. We hope, Father, you will make a fence strong and high around us, that wicked white men may not devour us at once, but let us live as long as we can. We are persuaded you will do this for us, because our field is laid waste and trodden down by every beast; we are feeble and cannot resist them.

Father.—We are persuaded you will do this for the sake of our white brothers, lest God, who has appeared so strong in building up white men, and pulling down Indians, should turn his hand and visit our white brothers for their sins, and call them to an account for all the wrongs they have done them, and all the wrongs they have not prevented that was in their power to prevent, to their poor red brothers who have no helper.

Father.—Would you be the father of your people, and make them good and blessed of God and happy, let not the cries of your injured red children ascend into his ears against you.

Fathee.— We desire to let you know that wrong information hath reached your ears. Our western brothers have given us no land. You will learn all our mind on this subject, by a talk which we sent our great Father, the President of the United States. We send it to you, that you may see it and learn our mind.

RED JACKET, his X mark, YOUNG KING, his X mark, CAPTAIN BILLEY, his X mark, CAPTAIN POLLARD, his X mark, TWENTY CANOES, his X mark, JAMES STEPHENSON, his X mark, CHIEF WARRIOR, his X mark, JOHN SNOW, his X mark, STRIDE TOWN, his X mark, WHEEL BARROW, his X mark, CAPTAIN COLE, his X mark, BIG KETTLE, his X mark. Done at the great council fire, Seneca Village, near Buffalo, 14th Feb. 1818.

Harry York, Interpreter, his X mark.

P. S.— The above Chiefs request your Excellency to publish, or cause to be published, that article of the treaty between the state of New York and the Indians, that relates to their fishing and hunting privileges, which their white brethren seem to have forgotten."

February 24. To the Assembly: Transmitting papers in a habeas corpus proceeding, the Governor said:

"Gentlemen.— My object in communicating to you the papers accompanying this message, is to request your attention to a radical defect in the habeas corpus act; an act which is justly considered one of the great bulwarks of freedom. If the injunction of a writ of habeas corpus is not abused, no coercive power can be applied in the vacation of the supreme court; and the consequence is, that the most flagrant violations of personal liberty may be perpetrated without the means of immediate and adequate T.p

« PreviousContinue »