George Washington's 1754 Journal ... Wampum Excerpts

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Posted by Elaine on July 30, 1999 at 22:46:33:

Published in The Maryland Gazette/March 21 and March 28 ....

Major GEORGE WASHINGTON's Journal to the River
OHIO, etc

Wednesday, October 31, 1753

I was commissioned and appointed by the Honourable Robert Dinwiddie,
Esq, Governor, Etc. of Virginia, to visit and deliver a Letter to the
Commandant of the French Forces on the Ohio, and set out on the
intended Journey the same Day ...

About two Miles from this, on the South East Side of the River, at the
Place where the Obis Company intended to erect a Fort, lives Shingiss,
King of the Delawares; we call'd upon him, to invite him to Council at the Loggs Town...

As soon as I came into Town, I went to Monacatoocha (as the Half King
was out at his hunting Cabbin on little Beaver Creek, about 15 miles off)
who inform'd him by John Davison my Indian Interpreter, that I was sent a
Messenger to the French General; and was ordered to call upon the
Sachems of the Six Nations, to acquaint them with it.--- I gave him a String
of Wampum, and a Twill of Tobacco, and desired him to send for the Half
King; which he promised to do by a Runner in the Morning, and for other
Sachems ...

About 3 o'Clock this evening the Half King came to Town;

Now, my Child, I have heard your Speech, you spoke first, but it is my
Time to speak now. Where is my Wampum that you took away, with the
Marks of Towns in it? This Wampum I do not know, which you have
discharged me off the Land with; but you need not put yourself to the
Trouble of Speaking, for I will not hear you; I am not afraid of Flies, or
Mosquitos, for Indians are such as those ...

Therefore, here is your Wampum,
I fling it at you. Child, you talk foolish; you say this Land belongs to you,
but there is not the Back of my Nail yours; I saw that Land sooner than you
did, before the Shannoahs and you were at War ...

To confirm what I have said, I give you this string of
wampum ...

'Brother, as you have asked my advice, I hope you will be ruled by it, and
stay until I can provide a company to go with you. The French speech-belt
is not here; I have to go for it to my Hunting-Cabin ...

for now I intend to deliver up the French Speech-Belt, and
make the Shannoahs and Delawares do the same: And accordingly he gave
Orders to King Shingiss, who was present, to attend on Wednesday Night
with the Wampum ...

I gave them back a String of Wampum that I met with at Frazier's, which
they had sent with a Speech to his Honour the Governour, to inform him,
that three Nations of French Indians , viz. Chippeways, Ottoways, and
Orundacks, had taken up the Hatchet against the English, and desired
them to repeat it over again, which they postponed doing till they met in full Council with the Shannoahs and Delaware Chiefs ...

27th, Runners were dispatched very early for the Shannoah Chiefs, the
Half King set out himself to fetch the French Speech-Belt from his
Hunting-Cabbin ...

the Shannoah Chiefs had not brought the Wampum they
ordered, but would certainly be in Tonight; if not, they would delay me no
longer, but would send it after us as soon as soon as they arrived; When I
found them so pressing in their Request, and knew that returning of
Wampum was the abolishing of Agreements; and giving this up, was
shaking off all Dependence upon the French ...

the Wampum of that Nation was lodged with Custaloga, one of their Chiefs at Venango ...

He also delivered a string of Wampum to this Chief, which was sent by
King Shingiss, to be given to Casalega, with Orders to repair to the French,
and deliver up the Wampum.

He likewise gave a very large String of black and white Wampum, which
was to be sent up immediately to the Six Nations, if the French refused to quit the Land at this Warning; which was the third and last Time, and was the Right of this Jeskakuke to deliver.

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