Oneidas: Between A Rock & A Hard Place


The Rock: Caught in an English Web...

BROTHERS : It is now about four years ago since the Bostonians began to rise, and rebel against their Father, the King of England, since which time you have taken a different part from the rest of the Five Nations, your confederates, and have likewise deserted the King's cause, through the deceitful machinations and snares of the rebels, who intimidated you with their numerous armies, by which means you became bewildered, and forgot all of your engagements with, and former care, and favor from the Great King of England, your Father. You also soon forgot the frequent bad usage, and continual encroachments of the Americans upon the Indian lands throughout the Continent. I say, therefore, that at the breaking out of these troubles you firmly declared to observe a strict neutrality in the dispute… In consequence of this your daring and insolent behavior, I must insist upon, by this belt of wampum, that you declare yourselves immediately on the receipt of this my speech and message, whether you mean to persist in this your daring and insulting course, and still intend to act as you have hitherto done, treacherously under the cloak of neutrality, or whether you will accept of this my last offer of reuniting, and reconciling yourselves with your own tribes, the Five Nations...

General Frederick Haldimand
English Governor of Canada
Letter to Oneida Chiefs
June 1779

See below for: The Hard Place: Caught in a Yankee Web...

The Hard Place: Caught in a Yankee Web...

BRETHREN : Our present expedition is intended to chastise those nations who have broken their faith with us, and joined our enemies. The force we have is quite sufficient for that purpose. Our route is planned in the great council of this country. It is not my desire that the whole of your warriors should leave their castles. I have given a general invitation to our Brethren the Oneidas, the Tuscaroras, and such Onondagas as may have entered into friendship with us. In order to give all our Indian friends an equal chance of evidencing their spirit and determination to partake of our fortune, I am entirely satisfied that such only should join me as think proper. It is not for want of warriors that I have given you this invitation, but that every warrior who is a friend to these United States may have an equal opportunity of punishing the enemies of our country.

General James Clinton
Reply to the Oneida Chiefs
Ft. Schuyler, New York
June 1779

Posted by sullivan at May 8, 2004 09:57 AM
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