The Great Peace of 1701

Conference between Chevalier de Callières and the lroquois at Montreal, 18th July, 1700.

Two Onnondagas named Haratsions 8hensi8an with four Seneca chiefs, Tonareng8enion, Tonatak8t, arrived at Montreal on the 18th of July, and spoke to Chevalier de Callières, Governor and Lieutenant-General for the King in Canada, as follows:

Father Onontio. The Onondaga, my oldest brother, who has more sense than 1, hath repaired hither to speak to you in our name, and as he informed us that you were desirous of seeing your son, the Seneca, we have come to tell you that Corlard (their name for the Governor of New England) has told us that the two great Onontios of France and England have concluded a peace in Europe, and that they wish it to be so in this country; that they, had ordered the Indians, who have been up to the present time at war, to cease hostilities, and with this view Corlard hath forbidden us to strike either the French or the Indians their allies, and told us that the two governors of Canada and New England had orders to unite in chastising those who will not obey. In that assurance we went to hunt, and whilst so occupied 55 of our people have been killed as well by the Outta8es towards Detroit, the Ilinois [on the river Oyoque, the Miamis] in the river Choueguen. The hatchet is still hanging over our heads; we come to learn from our Father whether he will withdraw it or have it taken away from his allies.

2nd BELT.

I speak in the name of the 4 Iroquois Nations, Onondagas, Senecas, Cayugas and Oneidas, the late Count de Frontenac having stated that we could transact business independent of the Mohawks. Since that time I obeyed your order not to go to war. But the Outta8es, Miamis, Ilinois and others, your allies of the Upper Country, have not acted in the same manner. Therefore, I request you, Father, to take the hatchet out of their hands so that they may strike no more; if I do not defend myself, it is not for want of courage, but because I wish to obey you.

3rd BELT.

As we understand that you have a War Kettle constantly suspended, we present you this Belt on the part of the 4 Nations to upset it.

4th BELT.

The sun is witness of my words, and that I desire Peace of which and of War he is the Master. He will punish those who will violate the Peace. I ask of Onontio to let the Black Gown (that is, the Rev. Father Bruyas,) Sieur de Maricourt my son and Joncaire come along. On seeing them, the Iroquois will have no doubt of a sincere peace; they will bring back all the prisoners both French and Indian allies who remain among us, without leaving one behind.

5th BELT.

We have been given to understand that one of our people is a prisoner among the Algonquins; we request our Father Onontio to open his prison. This affair presses, because they are going to a distance from this place, and we would not obtain him for a long time.

6th BELT.

I ratify by this Belt all that I said in the name of the 4 Nations. I plant the Tree of Peace in order that all the world, on seeing it, may know that I come to demand peace of my Father, who, I hope, will grant it to me.

7th BELT.

I have planted the Tree of Peace, and by this Belt demand that all the rivers in which there are a great many stones, may be cleared in order that the way be free to come and to go.

8th BELT.

When we sent back our son Joncaire, we wished that he should come and go in order to communicate Onontio's opinions to us, and convey ours to him; and we appoint him Plenipotentiary of the affairs of our Seneca village, as Mr. de Maricourt is of that belonging to the Onondagas.


In consequence of the death of Joncaire's father, who managed affairs well, and was in favor of peace, We inform Onontio, by these strings of Wampum, that we have selected Tonatakout, the nearest blood relation, to act as his father instead, as he resembles [him] in his disposition of a kind parent.

 Be not surprised, Father Onontio, if only two villages of us have come. Peter Schuyler, Mr. de Bellomont's messenger, having learned that we were about to start on our visit to you pursuant to the promise we gave you, came to our place to prevent us coming down; but we did not fail to set out notwithstanding, in order to solicit peace from you in the name of the 4 Upper Nations whilst we sent our children the Cayugas and the Oneidas to ascertain why he so long opposed our coming to our father Onontio to conclude business completely.

We are so pleased at Onontio having granted us all we ask of him--permission for Father Bruyas, and Sieurs de Maricourt and Joncaire to come to our country for the prisoners--that we willingly consent that four of our people remain at Montreal until we return.

Answer of Chevalier de Callières to the Six Deputies who spoke to him at Montreal on the 18th of July:


Mr. de Bellomont has told you nothing respecting what took place between the Great Onontio and him of England, but what you ought to have already learned from 8hensi8an and the others whom you sent to me last fall, and to whom I stated the same things you mention to me, and that the two Kings have agreed that you, as well as all the other Indians with whom you have been at war, should participate in the Peace they have concluded. This is the reason I told the Onondagas, who came to see me, that it was necessary that some Deputies from each of your Nations should come here that I may learn their sentiments and adopt measures to bring about a settlement between you and all the Nations. Nevertheless, I do not see any Oneidas or Cayugas, and you tell me, after your Belts, that they were prevented accompanying you by the English who visited Onondaga; and add, that whilst you were coming down here on behalf of your Villages, you have sent them to Mr. De Bellomont to ascertain his reasons for so long opposing your coming all together to confer with me.

2nd BELT.

Although my request has not been complied with in this instance, I will believe, seeing you are all Onondaga and Seneca chiefs, that you address me in the name of the two other Iroquois Nations. Whilst awaiting your arrival, according to your oft repeated promises I have already adopted measures for taking the hatchet out of the hands of all the Indians, agreeably to the order of the Great Onnontio; but your long delay, joined to the blow you struck against the Miamis a year ago, when you wounded one of their Indians and killed a Frenchman, has been, no doubt, the cause of those blows which you inform me have been struck against you by the Upper Nations, and which I regret. As some Deputies from those Nations must come here that I may speak to them, it will be necessary for some Chiefs from your Villages also to attend in 30 days, which is the time I ordered them, by a Canoe that left for Michlimakinak in the Spring, to come down here to terminate finally all business in my presence.

3rd BELT.

When we shall fasten all together the great Tree of Peace the planting of which you will witness, and when all the rivers shall be cleared so that you may come and go in safety, then shall all the War Kettles be overturned.

4th BELT.

For the promotion of a matter of that moment, I shall with pleasure permit the Rev. Father Bruyas, Sieur de Maricourt and Joncaire to accompany you in order to look up our prisoners, both French and allied Indians, and to bring them back with the Deputies of the Four Nations that I demand of you, on condition that some among you will remain here until they return; the good treatment they shall receive from me will not allow them to be lonesome.

5th BELT.

When you return I shall cause to be released all the prisoners, in our, and our Indians' hands, whose names you will furnish me. However, I begin by restoring to you the man who is among the Algonquins in order to give you an instance of the sincerity with which I deal with you as well as with them. But do not fail to send me back their two little girls whom I have already demanded, and a Mohegan (Loup) who, I am informed, is at the village of the Cayugas.

6th BELT.

I am sorry for the death of Joncaire's father, knowing that he had an upright heart, and I am glad you have appointed Tonatak8t to act in his stead since you inform me he resembles him in his good intentions. Here is a Belt that I present to you in token of my sharing your sentiments; and I consent that Sieur Joncaire act as envoy to convey my word to you and to bring me back yours.

Speeches of the Iroquois who came from their country to Montreal with the Reverend Father Bruyas and Sieurs de Maricourt and de Joncaire, and brought some Deputies of their Nations, to the number of nineteen, for the purpose of concluding Peace; with Governor de Callièresí Answer thereunto. 3d September, 1700.
They spoke to Chevr de Callières Governor, &c. as follows:


Father Onontio. You see before you, on this occasion all these Iroquois Nations; 'tis true you do not see the face of the Oneida here, because he who was a delegate has fallen sick; we are not masters of sickness or death; but he has assisted at all the councils which have been held, and we express his word as if he were here.

1st BELT.

We already stated, when last here, that the Far Nations had struck us; that we did not wish to defend ourselves, because you and the English Governor had told us that it was a General Peace. If we did not defend ourselves it was not because we were afraid; on our return to our villages, there were two hundred men ready to set out to avenge us, but when they saw the Rev. Father Bruyas and Sieurs de Maricourt and de Joncaire they stopped. We now tell you that there is not any one on the war path, nor desirous to go on it, and we have laid all the hatchets aside.

2nd BELT.

When we came here last, we planted the tree of Peace; now we give it roots to reach the Far Nations, in order that it may be strengthened; we add leaves also to it, so that good business may be transacted under its shade. Possibly the Far Nations will be able to cut some roots from this Great Tree, but we will not be responsible for that nor its consequences.

3rd BELT.

The best proof of Peace is the surrender of Prisoners; we afford such proof to you in bringing you back thirteen whom we present you, though we have experienced considerable pain in witnessing their separation from us, having long since adopted them as our nephews. We also ask you to restore to us, as you promised, all the prisoners that are among the Far Nations and neighboring tribes here. It will afford great joy to all our Villages.


You and the Onontio of Orange have made Peace; you have told us that we should all oppose him who would violate it. Corlard, notwithstanding, seems desirous of creating disturbance.

Answer of the Chevalier de Callières, Knight of the Order of St. Louis, Governor and Lieutenant-general for the King throughout all Northern France, to the Message the Iroquois Deputies brought him.

I am very glad, my Iroquois children, to see you returned with the Rev: Father Bruyas and Sieurs de Maricourt and de Joncaire, and that you have kept the promise you gave me long ago, by bringing me some Deputies from your villages. As your good treatment of the Rev. Father and of Sieurs de Maricourt and de Joncaire affords me evidence of the sincerity with which you acted, I am happy to open my arms to you in order to receive you as a good father, who is always disposed to forget the past in regard to his Children, and to employ himself in making a general peace between all my allies and you.

1st BELT

Tis true, you told me of the blows which the Nations inflicted on you since the Great Onontios of France and of England made peace, which they wished you to enjoy as well as the other Nations, my allies, with whom you were at war; whereunto I answered you as I again do, that your long delay in coming to see me with Deputies from each Village, in conjunction with the blow you struck on the Miamis a year ago, has been the cause of what you experienced, which I regret, as I would rather have wished entirely to terminate the war which must not be thought of any more, forgetting on both sides what has occurred whilst it continued. You have done well in stopping all the parties who were prepared to march, and in having laid the hatchets aside.

2nd BELT

I bewail the Dead whom you have lost in these last rencontres, whilst we were engaged in negotiations of peace, and clean the ground that has been reddened by blood.

3rd BELT

I seize your hatchets and those of my allies to place them with my own and all other weapons of war, in a trench that I dig deep, whereupon I lay a large rock and turn a river over that, in order that people may not find those arms again to use them against each other.

4th BELT.

I make firm, like you, the Great Tree of Peace, which you have planted, with all its leaves, and you need not entertain any apprehension that any of the roots will be cut off by the Far Nations, my allies. Here are some of their Chiefs: The Rat, Kinonchè, 8ta8liboy, Kele8iskingie and others whom I invited early in the Spring; they assure me that the Peace I now conclude with you for all my allies, shall be punctually respected by them, which I shall cause all my Frenchmen, and Indian allies, domiciled among us also to do; some of their Chiefs are here from the Sault and the Mountain, and my Kereadout, Onnag8zny, Nètaminet and other of the principal Abenakis of Acadia, who have come expressly to execute my word.

5th BELT.

You afforded me pleasure in bringing back the thirteen French prisoners whom I see here; but I again ask you to bring me back the remainder and, generally, all those of my allies whom you have in your country, by the beginning of the next August which in the time I fix for all the nations to bring back also to you all your people whom they retain, so that a mutual exchange may take place in my presence, and in order that every thing be replaced in the same condition it was in before the War; and in regard to your prisoners among the Indians domiciled in this neighborhood, you can speak to them and open the door to them by the Peace I conclude, to return home if they think proper.

6th BELT.

In order that this Peace which I grant you in the King's name, may be stable, should any difference occur, or any blow be struck on one side or the other, he who may feel aggrieved shall not seek vengeance either by himself or his nation; but he shall come to me that I may have satisfaction done him; and in case the aggressor refuse to give the satisfaction I may have decreed, I shall oblige him to it by uniting myself to those who will have been insulted, and I shall ask the Governor of the English to join me in like manner to chastise the rebels, pursuant to the order we have--he and I--from our two Great Onontios of France and England, and there remains no other agreement to be made between me and Corlard on that point than to execute the orders of the Kings, our masters, for the maintenance of the peace.


I willingly accept the recommendation you give the Intendant and me to take care of the young man whom you have given Sieur Joncaire, and we will furnish him every thing he shall require to qualify him for filling some day said Sieur Joncaire's place.

7th BELT.

For the purpose of encouraging Peace, I shall ask his Majesty's permission to grant your request as regards Fort Frontenac, and whilst awaiting his orders will immediately have a Smith sent up thither, together with some goods for your most urgent necessities, which will be furnished you at the lowest rates possible, but I recommend you to prevent your young men touching either the Cattle or any other things belonging to the Fort.

8th BELT.

If I have recalled the Commandant who was at Fort Froutenac, and had him shut up in a house, it was because he disobeyed me, and this should not render you uneasy, as I will send another whom I shall recommend to afford you satisfaction.


I shall give the Algonkins the Belt you have left with me for them, and explain to them its contents; but I again recommend you not to omit bringing me their little girl that is still alive in your Country, at the time I indicated for your bringing me the other prisoners.

After the Iroquois had heard these answers, they spoke as follows:

We thank you, Onontio, for the treatment we have received from you. You must have examined all the old affairs to speak as you have done. Such is the way to act when there is a sincere desire to bring matters to a happy termination. For ourselves, we promise to obey your voice, and so much the worse for those who will not do likewise.

The Rat, the Chief of the Hurons, spoke by a Belt, which he addressed to Chevalier de Callières:

I have always obeyed Onontio; he takes the hatchets out of the hands of all the nations; for me I cast mine at his feet. Who will be so bold as to oppose his Will, who is here our Father; I have no doubt but the Upper Nations will abide his pleasure. It is for you, Iroquois Nations to do the same.

8ta8tiboy, chief of the 8ta8nës also spoke by a Belt which lie presented to Mr. de Callières:

I speak in the name of the Four 8ta8ais Nations to wit: the 8ta8nës of the Sable, the 8ta8aës Sinago, the Kiskakons and the people of The Fork who have sent me expressly here, to listen to the voice of our Father Onnontio. He takes the hatchets to throw them to the end of the earth; I place mine at his root, never to take it up again except when it shall be his pleasure. I exhort you also, you Iroquois Nations, to form but one body with us; I shall carry Onnontio's word up yonder.

The Abenakis also spoke in like manner by a Belt addressed to Mr. de Callières:

I have nothing else to say than to add that I have no other hatchet than Onnontio's, and as he has thrown his to the end of the earth, Mine has followed it, and as I have no other will than his, I shall exactly execute all he will require.

The Chief of the Mountain spoke by a Belt addressed, like all the others, to Chevalier de Callières:

I of the Mountain am the last to speak, being the smallest nation. I also lay my axe at the feet of Onnontio.

Chevalier de Callières addressed the Iroquois in these terms:

I place in your hands the Belts of the Hurons, the 8ta8aës, Abenakis, and of the Chief of the Mountain, in order that you recall to mind their contents.

8tonniot, Chief of the Sault, said to the Iroquois by a Belt:

We of the Sault have just heard our Father, who told you that whosoever in future would attack any other Nations should be chastised, and that he will even unite with the Governor of the English for that purpose. I give you this Belt to confirm his words.

The Iroquois spoke by two Belts which they addressed to Mr. de Callières:

I thank the Huron and Outa8aës who stated that it was Onnontio who had given them the hatchet and that they laid it down again at his feet. We hope they will never take it again from the place where it has just been laid.

Chevalier de Callières spoke to the Hurons and 8ta8aës:

As I have given the Iroquois the Belts you gave me, I also hand you those whereby they answer me, in order that you may remember what they have said to me.

All the preceding Articles having been accepted by the Iroquois Deputies and by those of the Nations who had come down by order of Chevalier de Callières, he caused them to sign the same with him and the Intendant, each making the mark of his Nation, in presence of the entire assembly, at Montreal the 8th of September 1700.

Thus signed in the Original:

Le Chevr de Callières, Hortrait-Champigny, Vaudreuil, de Raniezay, Fran: Dollier P: C: Lacolombière, F. Guillaume Warden of the Recolets, Pierre Lesholenec, Superior of the house belonging to the Society of Jesus at Montreal.

The nations made each their ordinary mark. After which signed, Sieurs Francois Debelmont Priest, Missionary of the Mountain, Jacques Bruyas, Missionary of the Sault St. Louis, Antoine Gaulin, Missionary of the Abenakis of Acadia, Jean Enjalran, missionary of the 8ta8aës Nations, Maricour, de Joncaire.

 Ratification of the Peace concluded in the month of September last between the Colony of Canda, its Indian allies and the Iroquois, in a General Meeting of the chiefs of each of these Nations convoked by Chevalier de Callières Governor and Lieutenant-General for the King in New France. At Montreal the fourth of August One thousand seven hundred and One.

As there were only some Huron and Outawas Deputies here last year when I concluded peace with the Iroquois for myself and all my allies, I deemed it necessary to send Sieur de Courtemanche and the Reverend Father Anjelran to all the other nations, my allies, then absent, to inform them of what occurred, and to invite them to send down some Chiefs from each, with the Iroquois prisoners they held, in order that they may hear my word altogether.

I am exceedingly rejoiced to see all my Children assembled here at present; You, Hurons, Outawas, of the Sable, Kiskakons, Outawas Sinago, the Nation of the Fork, Sauteurs, Poutouatamis, Sacs, Puants, Wild Rice, Foxes, Maskoutens, Miamis, Illinois, Amikois, Nepissings, Algonkins, Temiscamings, Cristinaux, Inland Nations (Gens des Terres), Kikapous, People of the Sault and of the Mountain, Abenakis, and you Iroquois Nations; and as you have, both the one and the other, deposited your interests in my hands, that I can cause you all to live in quietness. I this day, then, ratify the Peace we concluded in the month of August last, wishing that no further mention be made of the several blows struck during the War, and I lay hold anew of all your hatchets and other warlike weapons and put them, together with my own, in so deep a trench that no one can take them up again to disturb the peace I reëstablish among my children and you; recommending you, whenever you meet each other, to act as brothers and to agree together as regards hunting, so that no disturbance may occur, and this peace may not be troubled:

I repeat what I already stated in the Treaty we have concluded; should it happen that some of my Children strike another of them, he who will have been struck shall not take vengeance either by himself or by others in his behalf, but shall come and see me in order that I may have justice done him, declaring to you that if the offender refuse to give reasonable satisfaction, I, with my other allies, shall unite with the injured person to constrain him so to do. I do not expect such an occurrence, owing to the obedience due to me from my Children who will remember what we now conclude together; and in order that they may not forget it, I attach my words to the Belts that I am about to give to each of your Nations, so that the Chiefs may cause their young men to respect them.

I invite you all to smoke the Calumet of Peace, which I begin first to do, and to eat some meat and drink some broth that I cause to be prepared for you, so that I, like a good Father, may have the satisfaction to see all my Children united together.

I shall preserve this Calumet which has been presented me by the Miamis, so that I may have it in my power to make you smoke whenever you will come to see me.

 All the above mentioned Nations having heard what Chevalier de Callières said to them, answered as follows:

The Chief of the KISKAKONS:

Father, having learned that you demanded the Iroquois prisoners, I would not fail to bring them to you; Here are four whom I present to you, to do by them as you please. With this Wampum I released them and here is a Calumet that I give the Iroquois to smoke together when we shall meet. I rejoice that you have united the earth that was upset, and willingly subscribe to every thing you have done.


Father. Here we are assembled agreeably to your wishes; you planted, last year, a Tree of peace, and added to it roots and leaves to shelter us. We now hope that all hear your word; that no one will touch that tree. For ourselves, we assure you by these 4 Belts, that we will attend to all you say. We present you some prisoners here present, and shall surrender the others in our hands. We also hope, now the doors are open for peace, that the remainder of our people will be restored.


Here we are as you requested; we present you twelve prisoners, five of whom desire to return with us. You will do as you please with the other seven. We thank you for the peace you have procured for us, and joyfully ratify it.

JON LE BLANC, an Outawas of the Sable:

Father, I've obeyed you as soon as you asked me, by bringing to you two prisoners of whom you are master; when you commanded me to go to war I did so, and now that you forbid me, I obey. I ask of you, Father, by this Belt that the Iroquois untie and restore to me my body which is in their country; that is to say--the people of his Nation.

JANGOUESSY, an Outawas Sinago:

I did not wish to disregard your orders, Father, though I had no prisoners. Nevertheless, here is a woman I redeemed; do with her as you like; and here is a Calumet that I present to the Iroquois to smoke like brothers when we shall meet.

CHICHICATATO, Chief of the Miamis:

Father, I have obeyed you by bringing you back eight Iroquois prisoners to do with them as you please; had I some canoes, I would have brought you more; although I do not see here any of mine that are in the hands of the Iroquois, I will bring you those that remain if you wish it, or I shall open the door to them that they may return.

ONANGUISSET, for the Sacs:

Father. I form but one body with you. Here's an Iroquois prisoner whom I took in war; in presenting him to you, permit me to give him a Calumet to carry to the Iroquois and to smoke whenever we meet. I thank you for giving light to the Sun which has been obscured since the War.

  ONANGUISSET Chief of the Poutouatamis:

Father. I shall not make you a long speech. I have only two prisoners whom I place beside you to do with them as you think proper. Here's a Calumet which I present you either to retain or give it to these two prisoners in order that they smoke out of it in their country. I am always ready to obey you even unto the death.

MISKOUENSA, Chief of the Outagamis:

I have no prisoners to surrender to you, Father, but I thank you for the clear sky you give the whole world by the Peace. For myself I will never lose this light.


I do not bring you any Iroquois prisoners because I have not been out against them for some time, having amused myself in making war on other nations; but I am come in obedience to your call, and thank you for the Peace you have procured us.


Father, I come merely out of obedience to you, and to take advantage of the Peace you have concluded between the Iroquois and us.


Father. I would have brought you some Iroquois prisoners had I had any, as I am desirous to obey you in whatever you order. I thank you for the light you have given as, and I wish that it may be lasting.


I would not fail in coming here like the others, to listen to your voice. I had an Iroquois prisoner last year whom I surrendered to you; here's a Calumet which I present to you for the Iroquois if you please, in order that we may smoke together whenever we meet.


Father. I have no prisoners to surrender to you, The Algonkin is one of your Children, who has always been yours and will so continue as long as he shall live. I pray the Master of Life that your acts to-day may long endure.


Having no will but yours, I agree to what you have just done.


Father. Although I am the last to speak, I am not the less yours; You know I have been always attached to you I have no longer a hatchet; You buried it in a trench last year, and I will not resume it until you order me.

Those of the SAULT:

You, Iroquois, are not ignorant that we are attached to our Father; we who dwell with him and live in his bosom. You sent us a Belt three years ago inviting us to procure peace for you; we sent you another in return; we again give you this one to let you know that we have labored for that object. We ask nothing more than that it should be lasting. Do, also, on your part, what is necessary thereunto.

 Those of the MOUNTAIN:

Father. You have caused all the Nations to be assembled here, to make a pile of hatchets and to bury them with your own in the ground. I rejoice at what you have done this day, and I invite the Iroquois to regard us as their brothers.

Lower down. Thirty-eight Chiefs of the different Nations have signed as usual with figures of Animals.

Source:  History of King William's War, and the consequent negotiations between the French and Indians, in America