The Mohicans of Stockbridge

By Patrick Frazier | Go to book overview

12
THE DOMESTIC WAR

Another war had started about the same time as the one with the French. It was a class war and a border war of sorts, and the Stockbridge Indians were in the thick of this one, too. At the Albany Congress in 1754 they discussed not only military conflicts, but land conflicts as well:

When the white people purchased from time to time of us, they said they only wanted to purchase the low lands, they told us the hilly land was good for nothing, and that it was full of wood and stones. But now we see people living all about the hills and woods, although they have not purchased the lands.

When we enquire of the people who live on the lands what right they have to them, they reply to us that we are not to be regarded, and that these lands belong to the king; but we were the first possessors of them, and when the King has paid us for them, then they may say they are his. Hunting now is grown very scarce, and we are not like to get our livings that way; therefore we hope our Fathers will take care that we are paid for our lands, that we may live.

The New York governor, displeased that he had to entertain the Stockbridges in the first place, halfheartedly promised to look into the affair, but warned that "most of these lands . . . were patented when you were children, some before any of you were born."1

-146-

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