PICKERING, Timothy (1745-1829), Document signed ("Timothy Pickering"), with three-word autograph addition in the text, comprising AN ADDRESS OF MOHAWK CHIEF HENRY YOUNG BRANT, with Pickering's reply, Canandaigua [near present-day Rochester, New York], 13 November 1794. 3 pages, folio, in a neat secretarial hand, slight fold separations, otherwise in fine condition.
THE ADDRESS OF HENRY YOUNG BRANT TO PRESIDENT WASHINGTON, AT THE SIGNING OF THE CANANDAIGUA TREATY. A full transcript of an important exchange between Pickering, Mohawk chief Henry Young Brant (son of Joseph Brant (1742-1807) and the Seneca chief Cornplanter (1752-1836). Pickering reports that "At the close of the Treaty held at Kon-ondaigua, Henry Young Brant came to my quarters with the Cornplanter and delivered the following speech...." Brant addressed Pickering as "brother," and said that he has "attended a number of past treaties," so, "this day I come forward to reveal my mind to you. As I have seen the close of this treaty and it appears to be a lasting peace. I came forward in behalf of the Mohawks--to see--but not to speak...The Mohawks have not for a number of years come forward to the different treaties...and our voices have not been heard by General Washington." Now, following 15 days of consultations, Brant formally notifies Pickering, as the representive of "General Washington and the fifteen fires [states]," that the Mohawks "have some Lands left within the State of New York." These were, he reports, acknowledged by Governor Clinton "at the Treaty held ten years ago at Fort Stanwix," and again, four years ago in another treaty. They also retain lands "at Sau-kun-tauga," others at "Us-keet-kau," leased "in Sir William Johnson's day," and yet another tract "reserved by Sir William Johnson for my father [Joseph Brant]...above Albany on Hudson's River." Brant concludes: "What I have said I wish to have forwarded to the President and from the President to the Governor of New York; and that as soon as the Governor receives it he would write to the Superintendent...that we may know what to expect."
The transcript notes that the meeting concluded with the presentation of "six strings of Wampum, chiefly white." In his brief answer, appended to the transcript, Pickering tells Brant and Cornplanter that "I will present [the address] to the President of the United States who I doubt not will with pleasure forward it to the Governor of New York and I trust the Legislature will do what is right in regard to any just claims of the Mohawk Nation to land within that state...."
The Canandaigua (or Pickering) Treaty was signed on the same day as this address by Pickering and 59 Chiefs of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy (including Red Jacket, Cornplanter, Handsome Lake, Half Town and Brant). Its six articles confirmed Iroquois possession of specific lands in New York state (returning to the Seneca over a million acres that had been annexed at the second Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1784), defined these boundaries, provided for the payment of annual annuities to the tribes, stipulated that unlawful acts against either party will be duly punished by law, rather than retaliation, and affirmed mutual trust and friendship (full text available on request).