« PreviousContinue »
tive article of revenue from this nefarious system; and even this miserable pittance of one farthing per acre, they connive at their agents in embezzling.
“ Fourth, The American government have established what they call trading posts, in the Indian territory, under the pretence of sup. plying them with necessaries, instead of money, for their lands, at which posts the must scandalous frauds are practised.
“ Fifth, These posts are turned into military stations, at the pleasure of the American government, to the immediate annoyance of the Indians, and to their ultimate subjugation.
“ Siath, Obstructions and embarrassments of various kinds had been long thrown in the way of British traders coming to them with supplies; and finally, those traders were altogether prohibited from bringing their supplies, by laws (namely, the non-importation, nonintercourse, &c.) to which the Indians were no parties ; notwithstanding they were, by treaties made by them as independent nations (and solemnly sanctioned by America), maintained in their right of intercourse with the British traders.
“ Seventh, That neither the feelings, interests, or rights of Indians, are at all considered by the Americans ; but, on the contrary, are studiously outraged and violated on all occasions, which reduces the natives to despair.
“ It is needless to go further into enumeration of the wrongs systematically practised against the Indians by America ; but, it is a curious fact, and worthy of serious consideration, that these sturdy advocates (the Americans) for neutral rights against belligerents, were not ashamed to illustrate their theory by a most shameless practical invasion of the rights of Indians, who are independent nations, and completely neutral in the contest between Great Britain and France; and this at a time when America, still pretending to maintain neutrality, and to act as a von-belligerent, was, by one of those very acts, invading neutral Indian rights, in defiance of their own principles, and of positive stipulation. . “Let it be observed, that in speaking herein of the Americans, I mean the democrats of the United States, who compose a great majority of their population. That country unquestionably contains a great number of able and honorable men; but the idea of a British party there is absurd. The Federalists, no doubt, wish Great Britain to prevail over France in the present contest; but they are our friends in so far only as will promote their party views, which once obtained, they would not scruple to endeavour to humble their mother country; witness their joining in exultation about the taking of some of our frigutes.
“ I fear that I am becoming tiresome, and must conclude, but not before submitting to you these questions, after a perusal of the foregoing observations.
“Can there be a doubt about the practical as well as abstract right of employing the Indians in our and their defence; and is there not now an imperious necessity for manifesting to America, by every practicable means, our power of compelling her to do them and us justice ?
“ Can there be a Briton now so lost to all feeling and sense of national honor, as not to be roused to indignation, when the motive, the time, and all the circumstances of the American declaration of war, as also their practice under it, are taken into consideration ?
“ Can America, as a nation, be at present considered in any other light than a parricide, deliberately aiming at the life of her parent; and that, to promote the triumph of the MERCILESS USURPER who is desolating continental Europe ? Surely Heaven will punish, even in this world, a conduct so superlatively unnatural. For the facts within stated I pledge my veracity, and leave you to make such use of them as you shall judge most conducive to the cause of truth, and of Our COMMON COUNTRY, at the present alarming crisis !”
I Have the honor to address this letter to your lordship, in reply to that which I received from you, respecting the petition with which you are charged. This form of communication I consider as most satisfactory to your lordship. It is also best calculated to do justice to the sentiments of some of the most distinguished advocates of your cause, in concurrence with whom my decision has been taken. .
I must, in the first place, assure your lordship, that my opinion remains unchanged as to the object of your petition. It would, I think, be an act of undeniable wisdom and justice to communicate to our fellow-subjects professing the Roman Catholic religion, the full enjoyment of our civil constitution. Such a measure, accompanied by suitable arrangements maturely prepared, and deliberately adopted, would, I am confident, above all others, give strength and unity to the empire, and increased security to its religious