Journey Of Hope - Gathering
To Ratify the Treaty of 1725 at Annapolis Royal

Treaty of 1725 Ratified
June 4, 1726

The text of the articles to be ratified:

"Articles of submission and agreement, made at Boston, in New England by Loran Arexus, Francois Xavier and Meganumbe, Delegates from Penobscott, Naridgwack, Maliseet, Mi'kmaq and other Nations inhabiting within His Majesty's Territories of Nova Scotia and New England.

'Whereas, His Majesty King George, by concession of the Most Christian King, made at the Treaty of Utrecht, is become the rightful possessor of the Province of Nova Scotia or Acadia ... do, in the name and behalf of the Nations we represent, acknowledge His said Majesty King George's jurisdiction and dominion over the territories of the said Province of Nova Scotia or Acadia, and make our submission to His said Majesty in as ample manner as we have formerly done to the King of France.

"And, we further promise, on behalf of the Nations we represent, that the Indians shall not molest any of His Majesty's Subjects or their dependents in their Settlements already made or lawfully to be made, or in their carrying on their traffic and other affairs within the said Provinces.

"That, if there happens any robbery or outrage committed by any of the Indians, the Tribe or Tribes they belong to shall cause satisfaction and restitution to be made to the Parties injured.

"That the Indians shall not help to escape any Soldiers belonging to His Majesty's forts, but on the contrary shall bring back any Soldier they shall find endeavoring to run away.

"That, in case of any misunderstanding, quarrel or injury between the English and the Indians, no private revenge shall be taken, but application shall be made for redress, according to His Majesty's Laws.

"That, if the Indians have made any Prisoners belonging to the Government of Nova Scotia or Acadia during the course of the War, they shall be released at, or before, the ratification of this Treaty.

"That this Treaty shall be ratified at Annapolis Royal. "
Dated at the Council Chamber in Boston, in New England, December 15, 1725."

Instead of providing an honourable peace for the Eastern Nations, these documents contained all the elements needed to humiliate them further. One does not make a lasting peace by debasing and humiliating one's former enemies. Doing so only lays a foundation of resentment and hate that will eventually erupt into hostilities.

Prior to its official ratification of the treaty on June 4, 1726, the Governor's Council at Annapolis took some pains to let the Mi'kmaq know of its terms. At a Council held on March 21, 1726, Lt.-Governor John Doucett told the Council that he had received from Major Paul Mascarene attested copies of the agreement. The Council resolved to order the Acadian Deputies who lived along the Annapolis River area to be at the fort the following Wednesday to be acquainted with the terms of the treaty, and to bring the leaders of the Indians who also resided in the area around the river with them.

The Council reconvened on Saturday March 26, 1726, to meet with the Acadian Deputies to whom the terms of the agreement were read. It was resolved that circular letters would be sent to the Mi'kmaq, via the Deputies, to inform them of the peace and ask them to assemble at the fort on May 4th to ratify the treaty. The date was later changed to June 4th.

At a meeting on April 20, 1726, Lt.-Governor John Doucett informed the Council that he had received a letter from the Deputies of Cobaquit, informing him that they had explained the letter to the Indians present at their settlement, "and that they had used all possible means to communicate the same to those who were absent, in order that they may be here at the time appointed, and that they, the deputies, would come to the fort with them for the treaty signing ceremony."

At a Council meeting held at Annapolis on May 31, 1726, the Lt.-Governor informed the Council that the Chief of the Cape Sable Mi'kmaq, and other Chiefs of the province were coming to ratify the treaty on June 4th. He asked the Board whether the signing ceremony should go ahead in the absence of the Governor of the province, Lawrence Armstrong, who had not returned from Canso. The Council deemed that the Chiefs might not ratify the articles if the signing did not proceed on June 4th, and that it would not be in the province's best interest to hinder the negotiations of the government of New England. They decided that Lt.-Governor Doucett would sign the treaty on the Governor's behalf.

At a Council meeting held on the 4th of June 1726:

"The Lt. Governor acquainted the Board that the Indians, with the Deputies of the Inhabitants of this River, were here to confirm and ratify the Articles ratified and agreed upon by their Delegates at Boston. He wanted to know if, because they had come to ratify the treaty as agreed, he should release the Indian Prisoners.

"The opinion of the Board is, that as those in prison are not worthy to be kept as hostages, they being but of little esteem, some old and decrepit, and that whereas they have already been a very great expense to His Majesty, that they should be released in order to show the Indians sincerity of friendship and that it may persuade them to support His Majesty's interest.

"Then the Board moved, that it was customary on such occasions to give them some entertainments and presents as tokens of friendship. To which, the Honourable Lt. Governor, answered that he had no presents. It was again moved, that His Majesty had some years ago sent presents for distribution to the Indians and that it would be less expensive at this juncture to distribute some of these amongst them....

"The opinion of the Board is that it is very necessary to give them tokens of friendship. Therefore, the Lt. Governor of Annapolis Royal, in the absence of Lawrence Armstrong, the Lt. Governor of the Province, should acquire proper presents for distribution to the Indians, in order to maintain the honour of this, His Majesty's Province.

"Then, His Honour, acquainted the Board, that he had as per the Articles agreed upon by Major Paul Mascarene and the Indian Delegates, prepared documents for him and the Indians to sign and thus ratify, which he laid before the Board.

"Which being read and compared with those stipulated at Boston, were approved. And then it was Judged proper to adjourn to the Flag Bastion, to have them ratified, in as public and solemn a manner as possible.

"Where the Indians being present, the said Articles were again read before all the Officers, Soldiers, and the Deputies, first in English. Then the Lt. Governor, having administered an Oath to Abram Bourg, a Deputy, and to Prudane Robichau Senior, had them translate the articles into French. Then the terms of the treaty were again distinctly read in French, paragraph by paragraph, to the Indians.

"The Indians then gave their assent, and signed, sealed and delivered the same to his Honour, the Lt. Governor of Annapolis Royal.

"Then the Lt. Governor, in absence of the Honourable Governor of the Province, signed, sealed and, for and in His Majesty's name, delivered those, in behalf of this Government, to the Chief of said Indians. And they having moreover swore fidelity, the [Lt.] Governor gave then orders that the Indian prisoners should be released. And gave them an entertainment, and several presents as tokens of His Majesty's protection."

The statement concerning the worth of the hostages lays bare English ignorance of the customs of the people they were dealing with. The individuals they were holding were said to be "old and decrepit" and therefore "not worthy" as hostages. If the English had taken the time to find out something about Mi'kmaq culture, they would have known that no others in the Nation were more venerated and valued than Elders.


Colonial English Treachery - Devoid of Honour

I've often stated that the contents of the Treaty of 1725, because it was written in English, a language that the First Nation delegates had very little expertise in, was deliberately misinterpreted to them by English officials. The following is proof of the gross deception.

Interpretation of Legal English to Indians

"God hath willed that I have no King, and that I be master of my lands in common." Penobscot Chief Laurence (Loron) Sagouarram, August, 1727

At the signing of the Treaty of Peace in Casco Bay, Maine in August 1727 between the English and the Panaouamsqué [Penobscots], Becancour, Norridgewock, and St. Francis Indians [part of the Wabanaki Confederacy], the Penobscot Chief Laurence Sagouarram addressed a large gathering of these Indian nations. He told of his earlier meeting and negotiations in Boston with the English Governor. He wanted to make clear to them "in his own tongue" how he felt, since the legal wording in the treaty document was not his words, but those of British lawyers, and had been interpreted to him. His address to them was translated and written by a Jesuit. He was questioning the interpretation he was given of the English document. This was a ratification of the same treaty signed earlier in 1725 by representatives of four Wabanaki Indian nations, Sagouarram being one of them, and also the St. John River Indians, represented by Francis Xavier. These were the people of the "waban" (light) "aki"( land), the land of the dawn, often referred to as the Eastern Indians by the English.

Below is Sagouarram's famous address:

"I Panaouamskeyen [Penobscot], do inform ye - ye who are scattered all over the earth take notice - of what has passed between me and the English in negotiating the peace that I have just concluded with them. It is from the bottom of my heart that I inform you; and, as a proof that I tell you nothing but the truth, I wish to speak to you in my own tongue.

"My reason for informing you, myself, is the diversity and contrariety of the interpretations I receive of the English writing in which the articles of peace are drawn up that we have just mutually agreed to. These writings appear to contain things that are not, so that the Englishman himself disavows them in my presence, when he reads and interprets them to me himself. I begin then by informing you; and shall speak to you only of the principal and most important matter.

"First, that I did not commence the negotiation for a peace, or settlement, but he [the Governor], it was, who first spoke to me on the subject, and I did not give him any answer until he addressed me a third time. I first went to Fort St. George to hear his propositions, and afterwards to Boston, whither he invited me on the same business.

"We were two that went Boston: I, Laurance Sagourrab, and John Ehennekouit. On arriving there I did indeed salute him [the Governor] in the usual mode at the first interview, but I was not the first to speak to him. I only answered what he said to me, and such was the course I observed throughout the whole of our interview.

"He began by asking me, what brought me hither? I did not give him for answer - I am come to ask your pardon; nor, I come to acknowledge you as my conqueror; nor, I come to make my submission to you; nor, I come to receive your commands. All the answer I made was that I was come on his invitation to me to hear the propositions for a settlement that he wished to submit to me.

"Wherefore do we kill one another? he again asked me. 'Tis true that, in reply, I said to him-You are right. But I did not say to him, I acknowledge myself the cause of it, nor I condemn myself for having made war on him.

"He next said to me - Propose what must be done to make us friends. 'Tis true that thereupon I answered him - It is rather for you to do that. And my reason for giving him that answer is, that having himself spoken to me of an arrangement, I did not doubt but he would make me some advantageous proposals. But I did not tell him that I would submit in every respect to his orders.

"Thereupon, he said to me - Let us observe the treaties concluded by our Fathers, and renew the ancient friendship which existed between us. I made him no answer thereunto. Much less, I repeat, did I, become his subject, or give him my land, or acknowledge his King as my King. This I never did, and he never proposed it to me. I say, he never said to me - Give thyself and thy land to me, nor acknowledge my King for thy King, as thy ancestors formerly did.

"He again said to me - But do you not recognize the King of England as King over all his states? To which I answered - Yes, I recognize him King of all his lands; but I rejoined, do not hence infer that I acknowledge thy King as my King, and King of my lands. Here lies my distinction - my Indian distinction. God hath willed that I have no King, and that I be master of my lands in common.

"He again asked me - Do you not admit that I am at least master of the lands I have purchased? I answered him thereupon, that I admit nothing, and that I knew not what he had reference to.

"He again said to me - If, hereafter, any one desire to disturb the negotiation of the peace we are at present engaged about, we will join together to arrest him. I again consented to that. But I did not say to him, and do not understand that he said to me, that we should go in company to attack such person, or that we should form a joint league, offensive and defensive, or that I should unite my brethren to his. I said to him only, and I understand him to say to me, that if any one wished to disturb our negotiation of peace, we would both endeavor to pacify him by fair words, and to that end would direct all our efforts.

"He again said to me - In order that the peace we would negotiate be permanent, should any private quarrel arise hereafter between Indians and Englishmen, they must not take justice into their own hands, nor do any thing, the one to the other. It shall be the business of us chiefs to decide. I again agreed with him on that article, but I did not understand that he alone should be judge. I understood only that he should judge his people, and that I would judge mine. Finally he said to me - There's our peace concluded; we have regulated every thing.

"I replied that nothing had been yet concluded, and that it was necessary that our acts should be approved in a general assembly. For the present, an armistice is sufficient. I again said to him - I now go to inform all my relatives of what has passed between us, and will afterwards come and report to you what they'll say to me. Then he agreed in opinion with me.

"Such was my negotiation on my first visit to Boston.

"As for any act of grace, or amnesty, accorded to me by the Englishman, on the part of his King, it is what I have no knowledge of, and what the Englishman never spoke to me about, and what I never asked him for.

"On my second visit to Boston we were four: I, Laurence Sagourrab, Alexis, Francois Xavier, and Migounambe. I went there merely to tell the English that all my nation approved the cessation of hostilities, and the negotiation of peace, and even then we agreed on the time and place of meeting to discuss it. That place was Caskebay, and the time after Corpus Christi.

"Two conferences were held at Caskebay. Nothing was done at these two conferences except to read the articles above reported. Every thing I agreed to was approved and ratified, and on these conditions was the peace concluded.

"One point only did I regulate at Caskebay. This was to permit the Englishman to keep a store at St. Georges; but a store only, and not to build any other house, nor erect a fort there, and I did not give him the land.

"These are the principal matters that I wished to communicate to you who are spread all over the earth. What I tell you now is the truth. If, then, any one should produce any writing that makes me speak otherwise, pay no attention to it, for I know not what I am made to say in another language, but I know well what I say in my own. And in testimony that I say things as they are, I have signed the present minute which I wish to be authentic and to remain for ever."

Source: Documents Relative to the Colonial History of New York, by John Romeyn Brodhead, edited by E.B. O'Callaghan. Vol. IX. Albany, 1855

Please Click to read the Treaty of 1725: http://www.danielnpaul.com/TreatyOf1725.html

To read about the horrible consequences American Indians endured because of the European invasion of the Americas click American Indian Genocide