Page:Brock centenary 2nd ed. 1913.djvu/107
look with reminiscent glance over the marvellous progress of a hundred glorious years, let us deter- mine that we shall do our part to make the coming century more fruitful than the past.
CHIEF A. G. SMITH
Six Nation Indians, Grand River Reserve
If a Mohawk Chief had in his make-up a particle of timidity I fear that your cheering would have frightened or disconcerted me.
Now, contrary to the usual preface to speeches on occasions of this nature, let me instead say that my pleasure in addressing you this afternoon is not altogether unalloyed, as I look back to the remote past, when my ancestors could make or unmake nations on this continent ; their favour was then courted by the different European nations, until finally they entered into an alliance or treaty with the military authorities of the British nation, and which the Six Nations has ever held inviolate.
They, however, in my humble opinion, made a serious mistake in taking sides in the War of American Independence, as their treaty obliga- tions only required them to assist the British when attacked by a foreign power and not in a case of family quarrel, so they could have consistently taken a neutral ground. It is not, however, so surprising that they took the step they did when we consider the influences that were brought to bear on them and the inducements that were held out to them. Consider the influence of Tha-yen-da- ne-gea — Brant, their war chief — and their own love of war. War with them was as religion. Add to these the influence of Sir William Johnson and others.
And there was the very strong inducement that they would be guaranteed a perpetual independ-