Lenape Chief Buckongahelas

Address to Christian Native Americans at Gnadenhutten

delivered in 1781, Gnadenhutten, OH




[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio.]

Friends, listen to what I have to say to you:

You see a great and powerful nation divided. You see the father fighting against the son, the son against the father. The father has called on his Indian children to assist him in punishing his children, the Americans, who have become refractory.

I took time to consider what I should do -- whether or not I should receive the hatchet of the father to assist him. At first, I looked upon it as a family quarrel in which I was not interested. At length, it appeared to me that the father was right -- that his children deserved to be punished a little.

That this must be the case I concluded from the many cruel acts his offspring have committed from time to time against his Indian children, by encroaching on their lands, stealing their property, shooting at and even murdering without cause men, women, and children. Yes, even murdering those who at all times had been friendly to them.

Look back at the murders committed by the long knives on many of our relations who lived peaceably as neighbors to them on the Ohio. Did not they kill them  without the least provocation? Are they now, do you think, better men than they were?

Audio Source: Deloria Jr., Vine and Junaluska, Arthur (Speakers). (1976). Great American Indian Speeches, Vol. 1 (Phonographic Disc). New York: Caedmon.

Transcription Note: Text version above transcribed from the audio performance by Junaluska.

Further Info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckongahelas

Page Updated: 8/19/17

U.S. Copyright Status: Text, Audio = Uncertain.

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