We Love the Land That Covers the Bones of Our Fathers

The speech of the principle chiefs and warriors of the Wyandots, delivered on the 30th day of September, 1809.

To his Excellency Governor Hull:

Father listen to your children the Wyandots, delivered by their Chiefs and Warriors, in which they let you know these sentiments.

Father listen, for we speak to you to let you know the sentiments of our minds. We thought the land we resided upon was our own, formerly, our Old Chiefs, who are now dead and gone, made a great promise to the Great Spirit above, that they never would move from the land we, their children, now live upon and occupy.

Father listen, you informed us that the land we occupy belongs to you; at the Treaty of Greenville, made with our father General Wayne, he promised to us, the land on which we live; and for that reason, we never will consent to give up talking upon this subject.

Father listen, you will remember that some of the principle Chiefs went last fall to visit our Great father, the President of the United States. Our chiefs were very sorry that they could not get the opportunity to talk with Our Great father, the President of the United States, personally.

Father listen, when you arrived at this place among your children, you always give your children good advice to cultivate the land. Your children of the Wyandot tribe of Indians, have followed your advice, to their benefit and satisfaction, Father we were astonished when you told us there was a small tract of land at Brownstown and Maguawgo, for our use for fifty years—and a vacancy in the middle between the two villages.

Father listen to what your children the Wyandots say, this small tract of land is entirely too small for us, what will become of our children that are growing up.

Father listen, you have cut off from us the best part of our land. Your children, the principle chiefs, the old warriors, head warriors, with some sensible men of the Wyandot Nation, request you to grant them the following favor: That the boundary of our land should commence at a small run about half a mile from Walk-in-the-Waters dwelling House, on the north-east side; the run from thence along the Detroit river until it crosses the River Huron, for one mile, that is, the River Huron beyond Brownstown, to the south west, thence to extend back to the extent of the United States’ purchase, or a line established by the Treaty of Detroit, beyond which the rocky river, we will forever abandon further claims.

Father you know there is a bed of land between the two Villages, the Chiefs of the Wyandots and sensible young men of our nation, wish you to let them have that bed of land, which lies between the two villages. Father, the reason why your children like this bed of land so well, they have made valuable improvements thereon, which have cost them both labor and expenses; And what is still more sensible to our feelings we love the land that covers the bones of our fathers.

Father listen, those lands are our sole dependence for cultivation and hunting.

Father listen, again you inform us concerning, our land that we are only to enjoy for fifty years Your children are very uneasy at this information, they say let us enjoy have our land forever.

Father listen, your children say, let your children the Wyandots have their land for one hundred years. The reason why we say one hundred years is this, if your children, the principle old chiefs of the Wyandot Tribe of Indians, live so long in peace and quietness, when that day comes at the end of one hundred years, father we will again talk on the same subject.

Father listen, It surprises us, your children, that our Great Father the President United States should take as much upon himself as the Great Spirit above; As he wants all the land on this island. Father we think he takes the word out of mouth of the Great Spirit; he does not consider that He is master. Father he does not think of the Great Spirit that He is omnipotent and master of us all and everything in this world.

Father listen to the request of all your Wyandot Children, grant us, we supplicate you, our land, in the quantity we have requested in this speech, then father we will thank the voice of the Great Spirit above, and thank our Father, the President of the United States, in granting this.

Father listen, you requested your children, last spring, to take into consideration this subject, concerning our land; we have complied with your request and now give this answer.

Father listen, we hope you will not think that it is for want of respect to you, that we make known our sentiments on paper, by our friend Jacob Visger, Father as you repeatedly promised your children that you would assist them, we will never forget paternal care of us, if you will assist us at this present time in forwarding these, our wishes and sentiments, to our Father, the President of the United States.


MAE’RA, or WALK-in-the-WATER, his X mark

SIN-DAE-WE-NO, his X mark

TE-YIJCH-QUANT, his X mark

HAN-NAC-SAW or Split-log, his X mark

HA-YANE-ME-DAC, or Isadore, his X mark

YUCH-SHA-WAW-NO, his X mark

RONE-YAC-TA, or Sky-light, his X mark

TA-HAN-NONE-KA, his X mark