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To the American People

Richard Calmit Adams 1864 (Delaware) – 1921 (Delaware)

With your kind permission, your attention I will claim,
I am only just an Indian, it matters not my name,
But I represent my people, their cause and interest, too;
And in their name and honor, I present myself to you.
They have your sacred promise, your pledge of friendship warm,
That you would always aid them and protect them from all harm,
And in my humble efforts, as I briefly state their case,
Will you pardon my shortcomings, and my errors all erase?

I do not come with grandeur, or boast of any fame,
Rank in politics, society, or wealth I cannot claim,
I never went to college, have no title of LL. D.,
As the Great Spirit made me, is all that you may see.
With the forces that oppose me, I certainly should pause,
If I were not depending on the justice of my cause.
I am only just an Indian, who here represents his band;
With this simple introduction, I extend to you my hand.
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Submitted by naama on July 13, 2020

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Richard Calmit Adams

Richard Calmit Adams (1864-1921), was a member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians. As a Lenape poet and writer he wrote five books of Delaware stories, history, religion, and traditions. He acted as their legal representative in Washington D. C., in the legal battle with the Cherokee Nation over land rights during the era of the Dawes Commission. He also advocated for the rights of individual Indian land holders against large oil companies seeking blanket leases on Indian lands, and was the founder of the Brotherhood of North American Indians.  more…

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    "To the American People" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 22 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/54082/to-the-american-people>.

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