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Red Jacket and the Wyandot Claim to Supremacy

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At a great council of the western tribes, assembled near Detroit, prior to the late war, the celebrated Seneca orator, Red Jacket, was present, when the question of the right of the Wyandots to light the council fire, was brought up. This claim he strenuously resisted, and administered a rebuke to this nation in the following terms:

“Have the Quatoghies forgotten themselves? Or do they suppose we have forgotten them? Who gave you the right in the west or east, to light the general council fire? You must have fallen asleep, and dreamt that the Six Nations were dead! Who permitted you to escape from the lower country? Had you any heart left to speak a word for yourselves? Remember how you hung on by the bushes. You had not even a place to land on. You have not yet done p___g for fear of the Konoshioni. High claim, indeed, for a tribe who had to run away from the Kadarakwa.1

“As for you, my nephews,” he continued, turning to the Lenapees, or Delawares,” it is fit you should let another light your fire. Before Miqùon came, we had put out your fire and poured water on it; it would not burn. Could you hunt or plant without our leave? Could you sell a foot of land? Did not the voice of the Long House cry, go, and you went? Had you any power at all? Fit act indeed for you to give in to our wandering brothers you, from whom we took the war-club and put on petticoats.”2


Footnotes

  1. Hon. Albert H. Tracy. 

  2. For similar language to this, addressed to the Delawares, sec Colden’s Five Nations, for a speech of an Iroquois chief, in council, at Lancaster. 


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