Letter Transcription

To the Legislature of the State
of New York

 

Brothers,

We have had several talks with your

Commissioners about our Title and Claims to a great

tract of land in this state. They cannot show any Title

to the lands from any Indian Nation and yet they

ask us to show our Title which we think very unrea

=sonable and unfair you keep records in writing

of your transactions - Our traditions are our records

we are the remnant of those nations whom you

admit to have been once the owners of all this part of

the county – We ought then to be presumed to be

still the owners unless you [can have] that we or our an

-cestors have sold it - which you cannot.

 

Brothers we wish to live with you in peace and love

and therefore, seeing we cannot agree we will

at present drop this in matter – we wish to imitate

your ways of life- but is not in our power

to do the suddenly – We have not learned these

things when we were young and now that we are

grown up we cannot at once adopt them - If our

children could be educated in your ways – if they

could be taught to read and to write the Principles

of religion and Morality the Mechanic Arts and your

skill of Agriculture - We might hope to adopt your

mode of life – But we are poor and have not the means

of giving to our Children these advantages- and you

refuse to furnish them to us – Why are we called your

brothers if you refuse to give us that Assistance which

one brother has a right to expect from another accor

-ing to the laws even of Indian hospitality – and

according to the dictates of the religion which is you

teach us. 

 

Brothers why of all the Indian Nations within your

limits are we the only one who do not partake of your

bounty – Were we less or were we not more your

friend when you fought with your enemies from

beyond the great water- Is it because we are

 

poor – before we knew you we were rich for we

had all we wanted is it that we are feeble – When

you as a little shrub – we were as a mighty

tree – you may see also feeble and solicit in

vain form some mighty Nation the pittance

which you now deny to us.

 

Brothers you exhort to us to abandon our

savage life and to adopt your manners

We desire to attempt it for we see how great

advantage it gives you over us - You exhort

us- but you refuse the means

 

Listen to us and the great good spirt will

reward your goodness – If you should fina

-ly shut your ears may that great spirt

forgive you

This is all I have to say 

Hendrick Aupaumut

Sachem and Agent

The Mahheconnak

Stockbridge Tribe in

Behalf of the Nation

 

Letter Transcription