Miantinomo of the Narraganset People Speaks:
Brothers, we must be one as the English are, or we shall soon all be destroyed.
You know our fathers had plenty of deer and skins, and our plains were full of deer and of turkeys, and our coves and rivers
were full of fish. But, brothers, since these English have seized upon our country, they cut down the grass with scythes,
and the trees with axes. Their cows and horses eat up the grass, and their hogs spoil our beds of clams; and finally we shall
starve to death! Therefore, stand not in your own light, i beseech you, but resolve with us to act like men. All the sachems
both to the east and to the west [to the north and to the south] have joined with us, and we are all resolve to fall upon
them, at a day appointed, and therefore I have come secretly to you, because you can persuade the [warriors] to do what you
will. Brothers, i will send over fifty [Narraganset]
warriors to manisse, and thirty to you from thence, and take a hundred
of your own here. And, when you see the three fires that will be made at the end of forty days hence, in a clear night, then
as we act, and the next day fall on and kill [every single white] men, women, and children, but no cows; they must not be
killed as we need them for provisions, till deer comes again.
Miantinomo of the Narraganset
people c. 1642-1643
Acuera of the Timucua People Speaks:
Others of your accursed race have, in years past, poisoned our peaceful
shores. They have taught me what you are. What is your employment? To wander about like vagabonds from land to land, to rob
the poor, to betray the confiding, to murder in cold blood the defenseless. No! With such a people i want no peace--no friendship.
War, never ending War, exterminating War, is all the
boon I ask.
You boast yourself valiant, and so you may
be; but my faithful warriors are not less brave, and this too you shall one day prove; for i have sworn to maintain an upsparing
conflict while one white man remains in my borders--not only in battle, though even thus we fear not to meet you, but by strategem,
ambush, and midnight surprisal.
I am lord in my own land, and will never become a slave of a mortal like myself. Vile
and coward is he who will submit to the yoke of another when he may be free. As for me and my people, we
a hundred deaths--before the loss of our liberty and the subjegation of our country.
Keep on, robbers and traitors:
in Acuera and Apalachee we will treat you as you deserve. Every captive will we quarter and hang up to the highest tree along
Acuera of the Timucua people c. 1540
Tecumseh of the Shawnee People Speaks:
In view of questions of vast
importance, have we met together in solemn council to-night. Nor should we here debate whether we have been wronged and injured,
but by what measures we should avenge ourselves; for our merciless oppressors, having long since planned out their proceedings,
are not about to make, but have and are still making attacks upon those of our race who have as yet come to no resolution.
Nor are we ignorant by what steps, and by what gradual advances, the whites break in upon our neighbors. Imagining themselves
the less audacious because you are insensible. The whites are already nearly a match for us all united, and too strong for
any one tribe alone to resist; so that unless every tribe unanimously combines to give a check to the ambition and avarice
of the whites, they will soon conquer us apart and dis-unite us, and we will be driven away from our native country and scattered
as autumnal leaves before the wind.
But have we not courage enough remaining to defend our country and maintain our
ancient indepedence? Will we calmly suffer the white intruders and tyrants to enslave us? shall it be
said of our race
that we knew not how to extricate oursleves from the three most to be dreaded calamities--folly, inactivity and cowardice?
But what need is there to speak of the past? it speaks
for itself and asks, "where today is the Pequot? where the Narragansetts,
the Mohawk, Pocanokets, and many other once powerful tribes of our race?" They have vanished before the avarice and oppression
of the white men, as snow before a summer sun. In the vain hope of alone defending their ancient possessions, they have fallen
in the wars with the white men. Look abroad aver their once beautiful country, and what you see now? Naught but ravages of
the pale-face destroyers meet your eyes. So it will be with you Chocktaws and Chickasawa! soon your mighty forest trees, under
the shade of whose wide spreading branches you have played in infancy, sported in boyhood, and now rest your wearied limbs
after the fatigue of the chase, will be cut down to fence in the land which the white intruders dare to call it their own.
Soon their broad roads will pass over the graves of your fathers, and the place of their rest will be blotted out forever.
The annihilation of our race is at hand unless we unite in common cause against one common foe. Think not, brave Chocktaws
and Chickasaws, that you can remain passive and indifferent to the common danger, and thus escape the common fate. Your
people too will soon be as falling leaves scattering clouds before their blighting breath. You too will be driven away from
your native land and ancient domain as leaves are driven before the wintry storms.
Sleep no longer, O Chacktaws and
Chickasaws, in false security and delusive hopes. Our broad domains are fast escaping from our grasp. Every year the white
intruders become more greedy,
exacting, oppressive and overbearing. Every year contentious spring up between them and our
people and when blood is shed we had to make atonement whether right or wrong, at the cost of the lives of our greatest chiefs,
and the yielding up of large tracts of our lands. Before the pale-faces came omong us, we enjoyed the happiness of unbounded
freedom, and were acqauinted with neither riches, wants, nor oppression. How is it now? Wants and oppressions are our lot;
are we not in controlled in everything, and dare we move without asking, by your leave? Are we not being stripped day by day
of the little that remains of our ancient liberty? Do they not even now kick and strike us as they do their black faces? How
long will it be before they will tie us to a post and whip us, and make us work for them in their corn fields as they do with
the black faces? Shall we wait for that moment or shall we die fighting before submitting to
we not for years had before our eyes a sample of their designs, and are they not sufficient harbingers of their future determinations?
Will we not soon be driven from our respective countries and the graves of our ancestors? Will not the bones of our dead be
plowed up, and their graves be turned into fields? Shall we calmly wait until they become so numerous that we will no longer
be able to resist oppression? Will we wait to be destroyed in our turn, without making an effort worthy of our race? Shall
we give up our homes, our country, bequeathed to us by the Great Spirit, the graves of our dead, and every thing that is dear
and sacred to us, without a struggle? I know you will cry with me: NEVER!! NEVER!! Then let us by unity of action destroy
them all, which we now can do, or drive them back whence they came. War or Extermination is now our only choice. Which do
you choose? I know your answer. Therefore, I now call on you brave Choctaws and Chickasaws, to assist in the just cause
of liberating our race from the grasp of our faithless invaders and heartless oppressors. The white usurpation in our common
country must be stopped, or we, its rightful owners, be forever destroyed and wiped out as a race of people. I am now at the
head of many warriors backed by the strong arm of the English soldiers. Choctaws and Chickasaws, you have too long borne with
grievious usurpation inflicted by the arrogant Americans. Be no longer their dupes. If their be one here tonight who believes
that his rights will not sooner or later be taken from him by the avaricious American pale-faces, his ignorance ought to excite
pity, for he knows little of the character of our common foe. And if there be one omong you mad enough to undervalue the growing
power of the white race among us, let him tremble in considering the fearful woes he will bring down upon our entire race,
if by his criminal indifference he assists the designs of our common enemy against our common country. Then listen to the
voice of duty, of honor, of nature and of your endengared country. LET US FORM ONE BODY, ONE HEART, AND DEFEND TO THE LAST
WARRIOR OUR COUNTRY, OUR HOMES, OUR LIBERTY, AND THE GRAVES OF OUR FATHERS . . .
of the Shawnee people (September 1811)