Minute Book 3: 1727-May: The Haudenosaunee Agree to Let the English Build at Oswego; Sixty Soldiers Are Sent Up; the French Invite the Six Nations to Montreal

In May the Commissioners of Indian Affairs heard that Captain Evert Bancker had managed to pursuade the Six Nations to allow the English to build a trading house at Oswego. Bancker consulted with the sachims in laying out the ground, including Teganissorens, referred to by the commissioners here as “the Kanssore.”  Bancker said the sachims left the exact location for the building up to him.  He still needed to find a source for limestone.

The French immediately invited Haudenosaunee leaders to Montreal, presumably to try to change their minds.  In the meantime, sixty British soldiers set out for Oswego in eleven boats, likely embarking at Schenectady, although this is not spelled out clearly. The commissioners oversaw the details, ordering wagons from Schenectady to transport stores and provisions there, making additional “batoes,” and providing everything required for the military detachment to reach Oswego as quickly as possible. With troops in place, it would be harder for the French to interfere with construction.  The commissioners knew that the French would hear about the soldiers’ departure before they reached Oswego, but as long as the Six Nations supported the building they did not think the French could stop it. However they did realize that they might need a French translator just in case. They informed the governor that some of the traders at Oswego could fill this role, but said that if he wanted them to hire someone else for the purpose they would. Laurence Claessen was told to stay at Oswego until the building was complete and to interpret for the “King’s Officer” in charge of the soldiers as well as for Captain Bancker. This detail suggests that even though Evert Bancker was in charge of trading operations, Governor Burnet was not putting him in charge of the military, creating the potential for confusion or even conflict.  Moreover, neither Claessen nor Bancker appear to have spoken English very well, and there is no mention of who would translate between the King’s Officer and Claessen or Bancker, should the need arise.

The commissioners began to arrange for provisions to be delivered to Oswego for the future from whoever could supply them at the lowest cost. This required taking them past the Wood Creek “Carrying Place” from the Mohawk River to Oneida Lake. Some Palatines had already made offers for this work. It is noteworthy that the commissioners don’t mention looking to the Oneidas or other members of the Six Nations, either in buying provisions or as sources of labor of any kind.  The profits from supplying the new fort would enrich Palatine and Anglo-Dutch New Yorkers, but not the Haudenosaunee, another possible source of conflict. And the commissioners’ correspondence with Governor Burnet contains one other ominous detail: Major Lancaster Symes had a “fitt of Sickness” that made him unable to travel. 1727-5-9He was probably not the only one who was already affected by illness, which would soon become a serious problem throughout the area.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the first entry for May 1727 starts here on p. 183. The transcription is below.

[0369] 183

([21

Albany 2 May 1727

May it please yr. Exc.l

Inclosed your Ex.cy has a letter from

Capt. Banker of the 24th April with the Acceptable

News that the Six Nations have given Consent for

building of the house at Osweege we are much Rejoyced

with it while we think it will be pleasing to yr. Ex.cy Save

the Publick Great Expences and as much trouble we hope

Your Excellencys will be perswaded that we act with

As much for the best of the Caution according to our

Ability as we are Capable of.

We hear from the Messengers who brought us

Capt. Bankers letter that french have Desird the

Sachims of ye. Six Nations to Come to Montreal we

Suppose they may Easy Stopd to go thither,

 

[0370] 183a

22)

Albany 2d. May 1727

Capt. Banker

VE ons seer aengenaeme van den 24 april

hebbe Wy met veel blyt Schap ontfangen & hoope dat

alles nu well gaen Sall dat het huys sonder [& blyden – crossed out]

& hindering Sall voltoyt werden D’Sackaemakers die

ghy by geoall [gevall?] Sall ontmoeten gelieft haer van Onsent

weegen te bedanken day sy haar belofte aen Syn Eecl.

Volbrengen dat hy de vener vall uns Een Goede plaets

Can Setten hy Sall het Seer weel Neemen & haer in

Zyn Gunst wegens dese Sack Sterker Continuere dat

de wilden Cruyt Loot & andere Goederen begeeren

geenrum is voor haer best het Can Alles op deie

tydt niet ter right gestelt worden maer als het huys

gemacht is Sall het Cruyt will bewaert kunnen

worden gelieft devoir te doen om D’ Sackemakers te Stuyren om [illeg.]

Canedae te gaen wy hebben gehort sy Syn genodight om

daer te Comen wy leaeste volkoomen aen ue om

Lourence by Us te geven So lang als ghy noodigh Denck

Indien UE Enigh nieus Cruygh geliest het ons te laeten weeten

wy hopen dat ghy So veelwerk volk Imployeert als ghy noodigh

denk dat het op bowen vant huys Spoedigh magh voort gaen en

met UE wynigh Costen als Mogelyck is, man heartlyck groteniss &.

[0371] 184

(23

Att a meeting of the Com.es of ye Indian

Affairs In Albany ye. 4th of may 1727

Present

Phil: Livingston

Langester Symes

Hend.k Renselaer

Reyer Gerritse

St: Groesbeeck

Being honoured this day with a

letter from his Excel.cy of ye 24 Ultimo whereby his Ex.cy

has pleased to direct a Capt. a Lieut. 2 Sargts. 2 Cor: 2 Drum[mers]

& Sixty Men of Greater Troops fourthwith to Osweege

in 11 Batoes to help fourthwith the work there and

to defend it ag.t any attack yt. Might be Made yt. We

Shall fourthwith Send for Waggons from Schinechtady

that all the Stores & provisions may be Sent away

as fast as Can be & that we Shall provide with all

Necessaries that may be yet requird to dispatch the Sd.

Men for their further provisions if it be wanted wh.

his Ex.cy Ingages to pay,

Orderd a letter to be write to Schinechta=

=dy to Capt. Collins to Send fourthwith 26 Waggons

to Carry up ye. batoes Stores & provisions sent up [to – crossed out]

by his Excellency for this Service and that all

Necessaries be provided with all Speed that may be

Requird for the Service.

[0372] 184a

24)

Att a Meeting of the Com.rs of Indian

affairs in Albany ye 5 of may 1727

Present

Philip Livingston

[REMAINDER OF PAGE IS BLANK]

[0373] 185

(25

[Another copy on p. 242a / 0489]

Albany 9 May 1727

May it please your Ex.cy

Your Excellencies most Esteemed favours

of the 24 Ultimo we Rec.d and have Added 4 batoes to the

8 Sent hither, and one more is made at Schinechtady those

Made at New york are much Inferiour & Shilter made

then those here we have provided all the Necessaries yt. have

been requird from us with dispatch to put forw.d the work

that nothing is wanting for the Detachmt. to proceed to

Osweege So that we Expect to hear yt. they put out this day

from Schinechtady hopeing yt. Every thing may Succeed

According to Expectation we Suppose yt. the workmen

Are now beginning to provide Materialls for ye house Capt.

Banker haveing Obtaind Consent from the Sachims of the

6 Nations to Errect ye. house he has the Kanssore & Other

Sachims with him at Osweege to Lay out ye Ground for the

Sd. building the Inclosed is from him [illeg. -crossed out] of the 29th April

wherein he Makes mentions ye. Sachims have Entirely

left it to him build where he pleases he thinks the

Only thing yt. will be Wanting is lime Stone the Stores

were Sent fourthwith to Schinechtady and what we

have provided here & there at the request of the Officers is

Containd in the Inclosed note ym. yt. they Should tell

us what Other Necessaries they wanted for this Expedi=

=tion and we would timely Apply that nothing might

pvent their Going forw.d major Symes has Already fitt of

Sickness wh. has brought him So low yt. we Suppose he’ll

not be able to undergo the feataque of Such teadious

voyage & Journey all persons are very well Satisfyd to

furnish what they have and do what work they Can on

Credit on ye. Encl. Letter

We Suppose yt. ye. Means of this detachmt.

will be

 

[0374] 185a

26)

at Canada much sooner then they Can be at Osweege,

tho. we think the french dare not Oppose this work

while the Indians are for it,

We Shall agree with those yt. Evill Supply the

men with further provisions Cheapest to be Delivered

beyound ye. Carrying place if men want it Some

palatines have Already Offord to do it,

There are Severall Young men at Osswegee who Can In=

+terpret french make no doubt but thy will do it when it

may be Requird, but if Your Ex.cy in your next Shall di=

=rect us to Agree with Some persons to do yt. Service we

Shall do it,

We have write to Lourence Clase to Stay

With Capt. Banker till ye. house be finishd & to

Interpret as well for the kings Officer as for Capt. Bank.r

as your Ex.cy has directed,

We return your Ex.cy our most

harty thanks ye. ho.r & liberty given us to

Consult about the best measures to be taken by us without

wait.g for y.r Excy.s Orders & Execute in without delay

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About hopefulwanderer

Writer, researcher, archivist, etc. @ahhunter
This entry was posted in 1727, Dutch documents and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Minute Book 3: 1727-May: The Haudenosaunee Agree to Let the English Build at Oswego; Sixty Soldiers Are Sent Up; the French Invite the Six Nations to Montreal

  1. George Hamell says:

    Dear Ann Hunter,
    I am looking forward to your presentation at the upcoming Iroquois Conference. In 1987 while working for the New York State Museum I had the opportunity of reading through O’Callaghan’s Calendar of English Manuscripts now in the State Archives. I had transcribed any entry of [my] interest and when I had the opportunity attempted to locate the originals. One of the products that resulted was a list of individuals who applied to go into Indian country on assignment, to trade, to serve as blacksmiths and armorers, etc. Would you like a copy. I recognize many of the same names as appear in the minutes.

    George Hamell
    grhamell@gmail.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you. Yes, I would like a copy of the list and I look forward to meeting you at the conference.
    Ann

    Like

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