Benjamin Franklin
1706 - 1790

Franklin wrote the following after a large group of innocent Indians were massacred because of the actions of others from another Tribe:

"If an Indian injures me, does it follow that I may revenge that Injury on all Indians?

"It is well known that Indians are of different Tribes, Nations and Languages, as well as the White People.

"In Europe, if the French, who are White People, should injure the Dutch, are they to revenge it on the English, because they too are White People?

"The only Crime of these poor Wretches seems to have been, that they had a reddish brown Skin, and black Hair; and some People of that Sort, it seems, had murdered some of our Relations.

"If it be right to kill Men for such a Reason, then, should any Man, with a freckled Face and red Hair, kill a Wife or Child of mine, it would be right for me to revenge it, by killing all the freckled red-haired Men, Women and Children, I could afterwards any where meet with."

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7
Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 |Chapter 14 
Chapter 9

We Were Not the Savages - Burying of the Hatchet Ceremony of 1761 and the Royal Proclamation 1763

On October 19, 1760, Governor Charles Lawrence died. As the second most senior official in the province Justice Jonathan Belcher became acting governor. On November 21, 1761, Belcher was sworn in as lieutenant governor. He was previously appointed, in 1754, Chief Justice of the new Nova Scotia Supreme Court. His most infamous deed while filling this position occurred in 1755; he provided Governor Lawrence with a legal opinion supporting the deportation of the Acadiens.

During the early 1760s, destitute and abandoned by their allies, the Mi’kmaq accepted that the departure of the French from the province was permanent. After accepting this, at the urging of their priest Antoine-Simon Maillard, they also faced reality and concluded that their war with the British was hopeless. Thus, they opted to lay down their arms permanently and seek peace.

At this time of agony for their Nation, Father Maillard provided muchneeded moral and spiritual assistance. He was one of the few Caucasians left in the province who actually cared about them and their future. Praying that his efforts would help them salvage something from the ruins of their civilization, he helped the Mi’kmaq negotiate the peace of 1761. Father Maillard, known by all as the “Apostle to the Micmac,” died in Halifax on August 12, 1762. The Mi’kmaq Nation owes him a great debt. Without his efforts, all of our ancestors may well have perished.

Burying of the Hatchet Ceremony of 1761

On June 25, 1761, a “Burying of the Hatchet Ceremony” was held at the Governor’s farm in Halifax. During the ceremony, treaties of peace and friendship were signed between Governor Jonathan Belcher, President of His Majesty’s Council and Commander-in-Chief of the province, and the Chiefs from the Mi’kmaq Nations called “Merimichi,” “Jediack,” “Pogmouch,” and Cape Breton, on behalf of themselves and their people:

The Governor, assisted by His Majesty’s Council, also Major General Bastide, the Right Honourable, the Lord Colvill, and Colonel Forester, Commanding Officer of His Majesty’s Forces, and the other Officers and Principal Inhabitants of Halifax, proceed to the Governor’s Farm where proper tents were erected, and the Chiefs of the Indians being called

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