The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

April 24, 2014

Armistice reached?

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The Daily Star

---- — From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, April 23, 1814

Compiled, with comments

by HUGH C. MacDOUGALL

PEACE RUMORS

As we understand, a proposition has been received from Sir George Prevost, governor of Lower Canada, by our government, for a suspension of hostilities between the forces of the United States and those of Great Britain under his command in the two Canadas, during we presume the pending negociations between the two governments.

To this proposition our executive, after a consultation of his cabinet, has acceded.... That a negociation for an armistice, is proceeding, we presume there is no doubt.... – The New-York Columbian.

COMMENT: A recent war history states that Prevost wrote to his army and naval subordinates that “the Americans had forwarded a...notice to Prevost’s attention...proposing a mutual cessation of hostilities and the holding of meetings to conclude an armistice until the results of the [peace] negotiations [in Europe] were known.” Though Prevost liked the idea, his military and naval commanders strongly objected, on the ground that the American proposal was only a trick. In any case, nothing came of it.

Marriage Notices

MARRIED—In this village, on Tuesday last, by the Rev. John Smith, Mr. ELIAS ROOT, of this town, to Miss NANCY SABIN, of Colchester, Ct.

COMMENT: Elias Root (1784-1859), originally from Stockbridge, MA, later moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he was a Jail Keeper in 1850 and a Land Agent in 1860. His wife Nancy Sabin (1783-1874) accompanied him. They had seven children. Rev. John Smith was the Cooperstown Presbyterian Minister from 1811-1833, when the Congregation split for a time.

MARRIED—At Cherry Valley, on Thursday last, by the Rev. Mr. Cooley, Mr. NATHANIEL R. PACKARD, Merchant, to Miss ELIZABETH CLERY, all of that village.

COMMENT: Nathaniel Rawson Packard (1784-1847) came from Petersham, MA. His bride, Elizabeth Clary (1795-1863) was a native of Cherry Valley. They had nine children.

Obituary

DIED—At Owego, on Saturday last, STEPHEN MACK, Esq. Editor of the “American Farmer”, after a short illness.

COMMENT: The “American Farmer and Owego Advertiser” was a weekly newspaper published in Owego, Broome County, from 1803 until Mack’s death in 1814. It was continued by a partner, as the “Owego Gazette”, until after 1820.

Indian Appeal to British

.From a speech of the Indian Chiefs to [Canadian] Governor [Sir George] Prevost, at the late Council at Quebec.

“Father, listen—You have told us by the talk of your warriors...that we were to fight on the flanks and in the rear of your warriors; but we have always gone in front, father; and it is in this way that we have lost so many of our young warriors, our women and children.

“Father, listen—Your red children have suffered a great deal; they are sad, indeed they are pitiful.... They want arms for their warriors, and clothes for their women and children....

“Father, listen—At the beginning of the war you promised us, when the Americans put their hand forward you would draw yours back. Now, father, we request when the Americans put their hand out, (as we hear they mean to do) knock it away, father; and the second time when they put out their hand, draw your sword....

“Father, listen—The Americans are taking our lands from us every day. They have no hearts, father. They have no pity for us. They want to drive us beyond the setting sun. But, father, we hope, although we are few, and are here as it were upon a little island, our great and mighty father, who lives beyond the great lake, will not forsake us in our distress, but will continue to remember his faithful red children.”

The Governor’s Reply

“My children—I thank the Great Spirit that I see you in my own dwelling, and converse with you face to face.... We must continue to fight together—for the king our great father considers you as his children, and will not forget you or your interests at a peace.... I rely on your undaunted courage, with the assistance of my chiefs and warriors, to drive the big knives from all our lands the ensuing summer.

“My children—Our Great Father will give us more warriors from the other side of the great water, who will join with you in attacking the enemy, and will open the great road to your country....

“Tell your brother warriors...that these are my words, and that although they are to destroy their enemies in battle, they must spare, and show mercy to women, children, and all prisoners....”

COMMENT: This mode of expressing contacts with Native Americans (at least as translated by interpreters) was very common. Unfortunately for the Indians allied with the British, they were completely forgotten in the ultimate peace negotiations and their dream of an independent Indian nation in the Ohio valley was not even mentioned.

With few exceptions, Native Americans sided with the British during the War of 1812 because they realized that the Americans (whom Indians called “the long knives”) were determined to take their lands from them. Canadians, much fewer in numbers and still involved in the fur trade with Native Americans, were much more friendly.

On one point Governor Prevost was quite correct. With the abdication of Napoleon, Britain was now free to send tens of thousands of troops to America, and one result would be the British capture of Washington.