Although Freedom’s Journal lived a relatively short life, it is important in that it was the first American newspaper written by blacks for blacks. From the beginning the editors felt, “…that a paper devoted to the dissemination of useful knowledge among our brethren, and to their moral and religious improvement, must meet with the cordial approbation of every friend to humanity…“.
Freedom’s Journal often included reprints from other newspapers like the one shown here.
The Winnebagoes at the Capital
The interview between the Winnebagoes and President John Quincy Adams is described very handsomely by a correspondent of the National Intelligencer. The address of the old Chief to the President is highly poetical. We copy as much of the article as our columns will admit.
An old chief stepped forth into the centre of the room, with a long uncouth pipe in his hand, which after a brief ceremonial not precisely intelligible, he brought near the President and waved over his head. It was the calumet of peace. Holding it then before him, and pointing to it, he began an harangue in low guttural tones, accompanied with much earnest gesture. He spoke in short paragraphs an Indian half blood reporting them in French, and a second interpreter conveying them in English.
“Father, I am glad to see you. I hold out the pipe, and I take your hand in friendship.
“Father, a cloud has been between us. It was thick and black. I thought once it would never be removed. But now I see your face. It looks upon me pleasantly.
“Father, a long way stretched between us. – There were these who told me it was blocked up. – They said the Red Men could not pass it. I attempted it. It is like the plain path which conducts to the Great Spirit.
“Father, when I came in sight of your home, it looked white and beautiful. My heart rejoiced. – I thought now I should talk with you.
“Father, the Great Spirit gave to his children, the Winnebagoes, a pleasant plant. It is good to smoke. I have it here,” – touching with his finger the bowl of the pipe – ‘I give it you in peace.’
“Father I am as old as you. My heart is true. They told me your heart was black. It is not so. We salute in friendship.
“Father, I say no more. My talk is little. I am a chief among my people. But one is here who will speak to you soon, and tell you better our thoughts.”