Letter from John Ross

Letter from John Ross, Principal Chief

After a long absence on the business of the Nation, I was unavoidably prevented, by a tedious journey, from returning home previous to the meeting of the present session of the National Council; and I now appear before you amid the sorrows which fill the hearts of all, on account of the trials and afflictions with which our land has been visited, by sickness and death. By these deep calamities our people have sustained a loss, in the death of public men, unparalleled, for any one given year, in the annals of our country, alike as to number, integrity of character and usefulness. While we bow in submission to this most signal dispensation of Providence, we should always bear in mind that our career in life will soon end – when we all must follow the departed. We cannot, therefore, be too strongly impressed with the importance of so discharging our respective duties, as food and faithful servants, that our individual and National prosperity may be promoted and our future happiness secured.

In referring to the documents containing the correspondence of the Delegation with the Secretary of War, you will perceive that our [?] unsettled affairs with the United Sates Government, remain still open and unadjusted. As this correspondence will be fully read for your information, I deem in unneccesary to comment upon the policy which seemed to have dictated the course, pursued by Secretary Wilkins towards the Delegation, in conducting the desired negotiations as it will appear evident that is was adopted merely to evade the fulfillment of President Tyler’s written pledge of the 20th of September, 1841, for a new Treaty of indemnification, etc. The righteous demands of our people upon the United States Government for justice, and the deep wrongs requiring it, with the reasonable assurance; already given, that they shall be redressed, leave us only, to hope on, and to prosecute them with prudence and perserverance, until they shall be finally settled.

Without touching upon such other topics as may require your attention during the present session, I close these very brief remarks by introducing the correspondence of the Delegation with the Secretary of War: -- leaving other subjects for a future communication, should circumstances make one necessary.

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