History of the Butterfly, Part 44: Himself writes about Scott

“Himself” writes in his memoirs:

Conferences were held with the Menominees and Sioux, and treaties signed with—first the Winnebagoes, and next with the confederate Sacs and Foxes, in separate general councils.  There was a second commissioner, united with Scott, in these negotiations—Governor Reynolds.  But the wearer of the sword, before Indians, is the effective orator. 

The spirit of forbearance and liberality, on the part of the United States, were prominent features in those settlements.  Scott opened each council with stern reproach—reminding the confederate tribes that, by their failure to restrain one of their chiefs, Black Hawk, from making an unjust war upon the unoffending white settlers, near them, the whole confederacy had forfeited as much of their territory as the conquerors might choose to claim as an indemnity; and their secret encouragement and preparations to join in highly criminal hostilities, made them liable to like punishment.

These emphatic denunciations being made perfectly clear, through excellent interpreters, and their justice shown to be indisputable, Scott, on each occasion, proceeded:  “Such is justice, between nation and nation, against which none can rightfully complain; but as God in his dealings with human creatures tempers justice with mercy—or else the whole race of man would soon have perished—so shall we, commissioners, in humble imitation of divine example, now treat you, my red brethren!  Who have offended both against God and your great human father, at Washington.”  He then, in each case, demanded a portion of their superfluous territory—from the confederates, that next to the Mississippi, now the best part of Iowa; and from the Winnebagoes the northern part of Illinois—paying liberally for the cessions, and stipulation for the support at the cost of the United States, of schools and workshops, to teach reading, writing, arithmetic, and the more necessary mechanical arts.

Grateful replies were returned in each council.  That of Keokuk, on the part of the Sacs and Foxes, was full of sound sentiment, power, and pathos.


About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
This entry was posted in American Indians, Black Hawk, Fox tribe, Iowa History, Meskwaki, Mesquaki, Powasheek, Powasheek, Poweshiek, The History of the Butterfly and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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