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Grant soldiers of the Buffalo Hunt (4)
Friends,- The four Yanktons did not belong to us: but they are dead also.
Friends,- Tell us if we are to be friends or enemies? Is it to be peace or war? Till now our hands have always been white, and our hearts good.
Friends,- We are not frightened we are yet many and strong. Our bows are good; but we love peace: we are fond of our families.
Friends,- Our hearts were not glad when we left you last; our shot pouches were light, our pipes cold but we love peace. Let your answer make our wives happy, and our children smile.
Friends,- Send Lange` with your message, his ears are open; he is wise.
Friends,- We smoke the pipe of peace, and send our hearts to you.
Friends,- Tell Lange` to run, he will eat and rest here. he will be safe, and we will not send him off hungry or bare footed.
Signed by the chiefs.
Wa Nen De Ne Ko Ton Money X La Terre qui Brule
In Yag Money X The Thunder that Rings
Etai Wak Yon X The Black Bull
Pin E Hon Tane X The Sun.
Grant replied refusing compensation, but offering peace in the following letter.
Grantown, 8th. December, 1844.
Friends,-The messenger which you sent to us, found us all sad as yourselves, and from a similar cause: a cause which may give a momentary interruption to the pipe of peace; but should not, we hope, wholly extinguish it.
Friends,- you know that for half a century or more, you and we have smoked the pipe of peace together; that during all that time, no individual in your nation could say, that the half-breeds of Red River lifted up their hands in anger against him, until the late fatal occurrence compelled them in self-defense to do so; although you well know, that year after year , your young men have killed, and what we regard worse than death, scalped many belonging to us. Not that we were afraid to retaliate; but because we are Christians, and never indulge in revenge. And this declaration, which may not be denied, brings us more immediately to notice and to answer the several points in your message to us.
Friends,- You say your people have been killed: we believe what you say, and sincerely regret it; but at the same time, you forget to express your regret that our people were killed also: the one fact is known to you as the other; and they were killed first. You forget to notice, that whilst La Terre qui Brule and party were in the midst of our friendly camp, smoking the calumet of peace in all confidence and security, your people at that moment were treacherously murdering our friends within sight of that very camp! You forget to mention that our dead were brought into the camp, the bodies yet warm, and laid before your eyes ! Till then, never did it enter in the head or the heart of a Red River half-breed to seek in revenge the blood of a Sioux.
Friends,- You state that our people have often been in your power : we acknowledge that, your people have often been in our power as well and we sent them off with glad hearts also. Even on the late fatal occurrence, when our dead were before your eyes, and when a hundred guns pointed with deadly aim threatened La Terre qui Brule and the party with instant death, yet more were for you than against you so La Terre qui Brule and party were safe in the camp of the half-breeds. The brave are always generous.
Friends,- You state that when you last left us, "your shot pouches were light and your pipes cold. "There is a time for everything; was it a time to show you special kindness when murdering our relation? You demand from us four loaded carts for the four Sistons: we never refuse to paying a debt, never consent to pay an unjust one. Let us see how far we are liable.
In the first place, then, you know your people were the first aggressors. You La Terre qui Brule , saw with your own eyes our dead, and you knew that none of your people were then killed, and we gave up all thoughts of retaliation, still clinging with fond hopes to that peace and friendship which had so long shared our intercourse together; but the very next day after you left our camp, a party of your people were discovered rushing upon one of our hunters who happened to be a little on one side and alone; the alarm was given, when the first at hand scampered off at full speed to the rescue of their brother, and in the onset your people were killed. Four , you say, were Yanktons.
The demands you make we cannot comply with, for Sisitons or Yanktons, be the consequences what they may; because we consider it unjust. We may give a pipe of tobacco, or load a ammunition voluntarily; but we will submit to no unjust demand.
Friends, - You put the question , "Shall we be friends or enemies, or shall there be peace or war?" We leave yourselves to answer the question. They who would have friends must show themselves friendly. We have violated no faith, we have broken no peace. We will break none. We will not go to find you to do you harm. We will always respect the laws of humanity. But we will never forget the first law of nature; we will defend ourselves , should you be numerous as the stars, and powerful as the sun. You say you are not frightened; we know you are brave and generous people; but there are bad people among you.
Friends,-We are fond of you, because you have often showed yourselves generous and kind to the whites; we are fond of you from a long and friendly intercourse, and from habits of intimacy. To sum up all in few words, we are for peace, peace is our motto; but on the contrary , if you are for war, and you raise the tomahawk in anger, we warn you not to approach our camp either by day or night, or you will be answerable for the consequences.
Friends,- You have now our answer; we hope you will take the same view of things, and come to the same conclusion we have.. Lange will lay this before the great chiefs;' may your answer be the sacred pipe of peace. Put your decision on white man's paper. And may that peace and friendship , which has so long knit our hearts together heretofore, still continue to do so hereafter,
(Signed) Cuthbert Grant
Chief of the half-breeds,
and Warden of the Plains.
To Wa Nen De Ne Ko Ton Money
In Yag Money
Etai Wake Yon
Pin E Hon Tane.
The chiefs replied as follows'
To Cuthbert Grant, Chief of all the half-breeds, and Warden of the Plains.
White Bear's Lodge, 12th Feb. 1845
Friends.- Lange is here, and your message is now spread before us in council. Ne-tai-ope called for the pipe ; but Wa-nen de-ne-ko-ton-money said no: all the men were then silent; but the women set up a noisy howl out-doors. Nothing was done till they got quiet. The council then broke up. Next day it was the same. The third day the council received your message as one of peace. We now send you are answer. Lange promises to run.
Friends,-I the afflicted father of one of the young men killed by you, wish that he who killed my son should be my son in his stead. He had two feathers in his head.
Ne tai Ope.
Friends ,-Among the young men killed you , I had a nephew . He who killed him I wish to be my nephew. He was the smallest of all the unfortunate.
Friends,-You killed my son, he was brave, San-be-ge-ai-too-tan. He who pointed the gun at him, I wish to be my son. He had a feathered wand in his hand. I send it by Lange to my adopted son.
Tah Wah Chan Can.
Friends,-I wish the brave who killed my brother, should be my brother. He had a gun and many feathers in his head. He was young.
Hai To Ke Yan.
Friends, -I am old and bowed down with sorrow. You killed my brother-in-law. He was braver than the bear. Had three wounds, and a scar on the face. Whoever killed him, I wish him to be my brother-in-law for ever. He was bareheaded. Hair painted red. Many bells and beads on his leggings. He was tall and strong.
Tah Tan Yon Wah Ma De Yon
Friends, -My cousin never returned. He is dead . Whoever deprived me of his friendship, I wish him to be my friend and cousin. He had been wounded before, and had a crooked hand. His feathers were red. He had garnished shoes.
Wah Ma De Oke Yon
Friends,- You killed my father last summer. I wish him who made me fatherless, should be my father. He was a chief , a Sisiton warrior, had a gun and a bow, had been scalped young.
His feathers , reached the ground. Whoever will wear those feathers, I will give him a horse. I will be proud of him.
Friends,-You killed my uncle, Thon-gam-en-de-na-ge. I am sad. The man who was so brave, I wish to be my uncle. He was a Yankton. My face is always painted black. He had on cloth and leather leggings, and one feather.
Kan Tan Kee
Signed by the chiefs.
Wa Nen De Ne Ko Ton Money X La Terre qui Brule
In Yag Money X The Thunder that Rings.
Etai Wake Yon X The Black Bull.
Pin E Hon Tane X The Sun.
This terminated the negotiations in what was considered a peace.
The hunt went out in 1845, and a Sioux party visited Fort Garry. Once more the enmity of the Saulteaux led to violence. A Sioux and a Saulteaux were killed by a Saulteaux. The slayer was, however convicted and hanged, and the peace Grant had made was maintained for the next few years.
Since it is no longer possible to separate Grant's career from the various aspects of the community with which he had become so completely identified, it is desirable to look once again at life in Grantown itself. Grant's own affairs were still in good order. His house was the center of the village, the ever open source of hospitality where every neighbor was welcome and every traveler called. His family continued to grow. To Sophie Caroline, born in 1839, was added Julie Rose born in 1841 And the same year saw his oldest daughter Eliza married to Henry Page` of Grantown. Next, in 1843 his son Charles married Euphrosme, Gladu, also of Grantown. Grant was in the process of becoming a patriarch in fact, as well as in role. The census of 1843 showed that he still cultivated 50 acres of land, a very large area for Red
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