Lenape Memorial to George Washington and Congress, 10 May 1779.

Lenape Memorial to George Washington and
Congress, 10 May 1779.
The Delaware Nation by their Chief Men, chosen for that purpose, beg leave to
represent to the United States of America in Congress assembled, & to his Excellency
General Washington as follows 1th That at their several Treaties with the Commissioners of Congress & with Agent for
the United States held at Pittsburgh in the years 1775, 1776, & 1777, the said Nation
was solicited, and they agreed to renew and strengthen their Friendship with the
Inhabitants of the said States under their present Revolution and the Government. This
Friendship the said Nation have preserved inviolate; observing a strict Neutrality
between the United States and Britain, agreeable to the repeated Recommendation of
Congress through their Commissioners and Agent as aforesaid notwithstanding the
unprovoked Injuries they have repeatedly received, which they have been willing to
attribute to ill designing ignorant Men & not to any evil Intentions of the United States or
any of them, or their Officers.
2d That when Congress and the Delaware Nation renewed their Friendship, as above
mentioned, the former promised, & engaged to supply the latter, in Exchange for their
Peltries, with Cloathing and other Goods; which from Custom have become absolutely
necessary for the Subsistance of their Women and Children. This Engagement has
been renewed on the part of Congress at four different Treaties successively, without
ever having been complied with in any degree, whereby the said Delaware Nation have
become poor & naked and are now reduced to such extremity as to induce them to
send the undermentioned Chiefs, & Councellors of their Nation to represent in person
their Situasion to Congress & to his Excellency General Washington that they may
receive a certainty whether or not their Necessities can be relieved & their several
Requests complied with, or whether they must look to the English alone for the supplies
of all their Wants.
3d That the Delaware Nation have ever been, dureing the present War between Brittain
and the United States, & still are of opinion, that it is their Interest & the Interest of the
United States that the said Nation should observe the strictest Neutrality; which
Neutrality they are determined to maintain, so long as in their Power, agreeable to the
wise recommendation of Congress; & they hope and expect that Congress & his
Excellency General Washington will give such orders as will prevent any further
Infringment on the Friendship & Alliance subsisting between the Delaware Nation and
the United States of America, [a]greeable to the Treaties at Fort Pitt before mentioned.
4th That the said Delaware Nation have on the Invita[t]ion of Congress by their
Commissioners & Agent, sent down three Children of their principal Chiefs to be placed
at School by Congress. These Children if they live, and imp[r]ove the Advantages offerd
to them will naturally have great Interest & Influence in the Councils of the said Nation. .
. . And should it be agreeabl[e] to Congress, we are ready to increase the number in
order that our Nation may the sooner and more efectually be brought to embrace
civilized Life, & become one Peopl[e] with our Brethren of the United States. The
Delaware Nation think they cannot give more ample Testimony than this, of their firm
Resolution to continue an inviolate Friendship with the United States of America to the
end of time; and for this desirable purpose the said Delaware Nation repeatedly applyed
to Congress through their Commissioners & Agent, for School Masters and Mistresses
to be sent among them, & for useful Tradesmen and Husbandmen to instruct the Youth
of their Nation in useful Arts: These, tho expensive at present, may in time be fully
repaid to the United States in many respects.
5th That the said Delaware Nation have established a Town where numbers of them
have embraced Christianity under the Instruction of the Reverend and worthy Mr David
Ziesberger whose honest zealous Labours & good Examples have Induced many of
them to listen to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which has been a means of introducing
considerable order, Regularity and love of Peace into the Minds of the whole
Nation—the[y] therefore hope Congress will countenance & promote the Mission of this
Gentleman, so far away as they may deem expedient; and they may rely that the
Delaware Nation will afford every encouragement thereto in their power. . . .
7th That as a free and Independant People (which the Delaware Nation have ever
Declared them selves to be) they claime as their sole Property all the Lands they have
long Inhabited and Hunted on. . . . These Boundaries contain the Cessions of Lands
made to the Delaware Nation by the Wyondots and other Nations, in the Country we
have seated our Grand Children the Shawnese upon in our Laps. And we promise to
give to the United States of America, such a part of the above described Country, as will
be convenient to them and Us, that they may have room for their Childrens Children to
sit down upon.
We pray that God may put Wisdom and Virtue into the Minds & Hearts of the
Representatives of the United States of America & the Commander in Chief of their
Forces & instruct them to give such an Answer to the Delaware Nation as may cement
& make an everlasting Union between their respective Nations so that they may be
considered as one People.
Sign'd at Princeton New Jersey at the house of Colonel George Morgan Agent for the
United States of America & in his presence and in Presence of Us Lewis Morris
John Dodge
Daniel Sullivan
The Mark of Cay,ley,la,mont or John Kilbuck 1t Chief
The Mark of Weylapachecon call'd Israel or Capt Johhny—2d Chief
The Mark of Peykeeling—Counsellor.
The Mark of Teytopacheecon—Counsellor.
The Mark of Coolpeeconain or John Thompson—a Witness.
The Mark of Wey, ley, pa, land—Witness.
The Mark of Quesacothey.
The Mark of Meymaoconon—Witness.
A true Copy, certified by me Geo. Morgan Agent for the United States of America
This is to be kept to the end of time by the Delaware Nation
Source: Louise Phelps Kellogg, ed. Frontier Advance on the Upper Ohio, 1778-1779,
Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin 23 (Madison, 1916), 317-21.