Minute Book 3: 1728

Like 1727, 1728 is significantly out of order and includes duplicates. In many cases the duplicates both appear to be copies rather than originals. My guess is that someone, possibly Governor Montgomery, had copyists make sets of documents for multiple people. They then returned the copies but not the originals.  Many of these copies contain obvious errors such as omitted words and they vary widely in terms of how they use abbreviations and superscripts. I have chosen the best copy of each entry and put them in chronological order.  The result is a reasonably coherent picture of the year. You can access it above in the menu at the top of the page, or download it as a PDF here: AIC_RecordBooks-V1-1728only.

 

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Minute Book 3: 1728-February: Families from Kahnawake Still Plan to Settle at “Saratoque;” Glen and Claessen’s Report; Kahnawake Hunters Are Missing in New England

Plans Continue for a New Mohawk Settlement on the Upper Hudson

On February 6th, Sconondo (here spelled “Schonondo) asked the Commissioners of Indian Affairs for supplies for the new community he was starting near what the commissioners called “Saragtoque,” as he had proposed a few months earlier.  He planned to settle there (the commissioners use the word “settle”) with his family and 60 people including women and children. The commissioners said they would have land suitable for planting somewhere between “still water & Saragtoque” and that they would provide pork and Indian corn when the group arrived.  They gave Sconondo gifts including powder, shot, rum, corn and clothing for him and his son.

“Saragtoque” was the name used at this time for what is now called Schuylerville on the west side of the Hudson, as well as the name of a large tract on both sides patented by a group of Albany traders in 1685. The land between Schuylerville and Stillwater is rich, flat, and very suitable for planting. It is also strategically located in terms of trade and defense across from the Battenkill and Hoosick Rivers which flow into the Hudson from the east and which lead to the Connecticut Valley. The area is also on the route from Albany to Montreal by way of Lake Champlain.

IMG_0084

Lock 4 Canal Park near Stillwater NY in August 2015.

Laurence Claessen and Jacob Glen Encounter a Stalemate at Onondaga

Claessen and Glen travelled to Onondaga between January third and February second. They submitted a journal in Dutch describing their trip. The commissioners summarized it in a letter to the governor. Despite their promises the previous summer, the Onondagas were reluctant to openly oppose the “French Indians” over Oswego. The commissioners’ letter reveals that the Palatine settlers were attempting to raise food for the garrison at Oswego, but that the governor was still supplying additional provisions directly as needed. They asked him to send some pork for the garrison “by the Return of our first Sloops.” The letter also says that Captain Holland planned to write to Captain Nicolls at Oswego, telling Nicolls to order Printhop, the smith stationed at Oswego, to go to Onondaga.  The commissioners planned to send steel to the Palatine Country from whence the Indians would take it to Onondaga.

Is New England Safe for Kahnawake Hunters?

Leaders at Kahnawake sent two messengers to Albany named Catistagie and Cahowage to ask the commissioners for help.  Several months earlier four Indians were hunting near Northfield. Three of them, a man named Sanagarissa and his two sons, went to buy powder from the English and did not come back. Their companion returned to Kahnawake afraid that Sanagarissa and his sons had come to some harm.  By a string of wampum the messengers asked the commissioners to find out whathappened. Other hunters at Kahnawake were waiting for the news before going out to hunt.

The commissioners told Catistagie and Cahowage that they had heard nothing about the missing hunters. They promised to send someone to New England to look into the matter. They tried to reassure them that “our brethren in New England” would not have hurt the missing hunters. At the messengers’ request, they reimbursed the men who had brought them in a sled.

[There are no entries for January 1728.]  In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the first entry for February starts here on p. 211.

 Att a Meeting of the Com.es of the

Indian Affairs in Albany ye. 6 february

1727/8

Present

Phil: Livingston

Joh.s Cuyler

John Collins

Rutger Bleecker          }

Ryer Gerritse

Nicolaes Bleecker

Philip Livingston

Schonondo the Indian who formerly livd at Cachnawage

in Canada wh. place he has deserted with his famyly purposes to Setle

with a number of 60 Indian Squaes & Children on our fronteers

desires yt. they may be Supplyed with provisions till they can furnish

ym.Selves with Sufficient Sustenance & desires now some powder & lead & Indian corn

The Com.es told yt. he & those who are to Come with him Shall

have a fitt peice of land Given them to Setle and plant on

between still water & Saragtoque when they Come pork & Indian

Corn shall be given them & Now he is to receive a blanket

4 lb. powder 20 lbs Shot & lead a keg rum & a Schple Indian Corn

a Coat & Shirt for Coating him & a Son

[0502] 249

[January 3-February 2 1728 Journal of Laurence Claessen’s trip to Onondaga.]

Memorandum van onse Ryse

Van it Jaar 1727/8 January Den Driede Zyn wy van Scho=

=neghtadie gedaen in wy Zyn den vierdie en de aifde door het

maquas Lanot Gegaen waer Wy Geen Wilde tuis Vonde om

Me te Spreken of me op te neme D.o den tiende in onneijde

Gearreveert in vonde daar alle de wilde Complet in hebben

haar anstons de injout van onse instructions bekent gemakt,

D.o den Elfde gaven Gy haar antwoort an ons in

Seyde Openlick dat Zy daar niet verder in konde acte in

die dingen Nog geen van die andere naties niemant als

de onnondagens die by in besluyt geordeneert ware by die

Viff naties te gaen no de franse wilde volgens he Versoek

van Capt. Ph: Schuyler verlede Seiner in Syden dat wy die

onnondagens Soude ordenere om te Gaen du het aan gen=

=men hebbe to Spreken tegen de franse Wilde volgens den

in hout van de Propesece die gy tegen doet

D.o den veertunde gearreveert in ondagen in den 15de

de propesiece aan haar Gedaen D.o den 22ste hebbe wy

weer antwoort van haar ontfangen in Syde dat Zy moeste bekonnse

De vole waarhut te Syn der inhout van u propesicie in wy

Zyn ten volle geo[r]denert by order van de andre [illeg.]

 

[0503] 249a

Naties in hebben daer op Ontfangen van yder natie Een bai

Ses want Om Mete Spreken tegen de franse Wilde dog wy

Sinne Verhyndert gewest door Sickte Maar niet te min wy.

hebbe Seven hant Se want Gesturt Verlede herrest na de

franse Wilde in hebbe haar daar Mi Late Nete als dat wy

int voar Jaer Krog Sulle komen om met haar te Spreken

by order van de 6 naties daar om broeder yt seght dat daar

Motte anstons gesante gaen gy Segt dat het godte Soa Zyn

dat uyt yder natie Een ging of Sulke bequame parsone

als wy goet Soude denken kier kan niet verder in ge act

werden van de andere viff naties want sy hebben het ten

Volle ugt haar hande gegeven dat wy de franse wilde

Soude gaen Spreken in die Sinnik na de verre wilde

broder wy kenne niet geloven dat de france het huys

op Osweege durven Mullistere want Wy verlede herrist doe

daer all Snuis ly gehort van die franse wilde by het

huys op Sweege dat de govennur van Kaneda en prope=

=siece gedaen hadt aan Zyn wilde dat hy van voornemen gewest

was het huys op Sweege of te breken maar dat hy hein nou

bedogdt hadt dat het on georloft Soude wese dat hy hem niet

well bedoght had sulke ding te beginne ter wile he vrede

is tusse de twe Krone in Syde dat de Ses Naties op zyn

Seggen Konde deppendere maar Syde dal dat de franse

in Syn Wilde Sullen in Expiediese in het voorlaer & de vos=

=sen in Soude de andere Sy van het Lak pasere Den Self=

=de dagh doen Zy ons antwort Gaven Sonde wy twe gesante

na het huys Op Sweege om dat de wilde Syde

dat daar Viff van de Konings Saldate dodt waare in en

Grote Sicten onder haar was om de waarheyt daar van te

ondersokken

D.o den 29 Zyn de gesante weer van Sweege gearvert

met Eenige Brieve

February 2 den derde Zyn de gesante weer van het Sinkes

Lant Gearvert

 

[0427] 211a [See p. 257a for another copy.]

 

Att a Meeting of the Com.es of the Indian

Affairs in Albany ye. 14th february 1727/8

Present

Philip Livingston

Henry Holland

Evert Banker

John Cuyler

Rut: Bleecker

Lacester Symes

Harmanus Wendle

Ryer Gerritse

Nicolaes Blecker

Phil: Schuyler                         Mr. Lourence Claese Retnd from his Jour=

=ney to onnondage where he [was] Sent by order of the Com.es on

  1. — Janu.y last as follows,

Journall of Lourence Claese the Interpreter to the 6

Nations in Company with Mr. Jacob Glen

That pursuant to his Instructions from this board da=

=ted ye [blank in original] I Sett out from Schinektady on the 3. Instant &

Arrived on the 4th D.o at fort hunter ye. 5th at Canajohery but

found no Indians at home to treat with nor go with us to

Onnondage

[See above for the Dutch version of the journal.]

 

Albany the 14th february 1727/8

May it please your Excel.cy

Your Excel.cys favours of the 26th January are Rec.d

and are goad yt. your Excel.cy is pleased to approve of our Sending

the Interpreteer to press the Indians to perform their promise

made last Summer to Capt. [Banker – crossed out] Ph: Schuyler inclosed is the

Interpreters Journ.l thither whereby it appears yt. the Onnonda=

=ges are backward in their promise it Seems they dare not–

Openly appear in the Affair of Osweege ag.t the french

Indians at least they Seem not to be herty at it–

We shall Send word to the palatines yt. Your Excel.cy will

Stand Engaged for three months provisions more to be Sent

up In the Spring if they have no pork nor beef we dont

doubt but they will get ready wheat meal & pease by

the time it Can be fitched by the men at Osweege we

Shall Send Notice by the first Oppertunity to Capt. Nicols

that pease will be ready wh. he Can Send for it

Inclosed—-

[0428] 212

Inclosed is a letter to Capt. Holland from Capt. Nicolls

for your Excel.cy better Information.

As the Onnondages are Desireous to have a Smith this

Winter, we Cant Send one from hence, Capt. Holland pro=

=mises to write to Capt. Nicolls to order printhop the Smith

Now at Osweege to go thither to work for the Indians–

Steal will be Sent up as far ye palatines from hence ye. Indi=

=ans are to fitch it.

We hope yt. your Excel.y will be pleased to Send up good por[k]

by the Return of our first Sloops for the use of the Garryson

at Osweege —

 

Att a meeting of the Com.es of Indian

Affairs in albany ye 24 feb 1727/8

Present

Philip Livingston

Henry Holland

Mynd. Schuyler

Joh.s Cuyler

Peter V. Brugh

Evert Banker

Rutger Bleecker

Langester Symes

Nicolaes Bleecker                   Two Indians from Cachnawage in Canada named

Catistagie & Cahowage messengers from ye. Sachims

of the place arrived here this day Inform the board

that about 80 days ago four Indians were hunting

near new England ab.t 12 mile from a Setlemt. by what

we Can learn it must be Northfield three of ym.

Named Sanagarissa & his two Sons went with a Small parcell of

bever to buy powder from their brethren ye. english who were to

return in a few Days with three Indians had been 50 days

from their wigwom & were not Returnd wh. made the Indian

who [were-crossed out] Stayd there out of fear make the best of his way

home to Cachnawage on which the Said Sachims Sent the Sd.

two [Sachims the – crossed out] Indians hither to Enquire what we might have

heard from them while their brethren of New England when

last at Canada desird the Indians if any thing of Consequence

or Misfortune might happen they Should inquire into the

truth of the matter gave a Small String of wampum the

Said Sachims Expect an answer by their return home in ten

days that all the Indians were at home waiting for their

Answer before they go hunting,

The

[0429] 212a

The Com.es told them that we have heard nothing

of the Sd. three Indians but Concernd that they are missing

wherefore resolve directly to Send an Express to N: England

to Enquire into this affair an[d] on his return hither Send

an Express to the Sachims of Cachnawage which we Ex=

=pect may be Sent from hence 3 weeks time that we

Can have no room to think yt. Our brethren of N: England

Should have in ways molested them,

The indians desird that the men who brought

them hither in a Sled may be paid he demands 18/. which

the Com.es order accordingly–

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Another Excellent Conference on Iroquois Research

The October 2018 Conference on Iroquois Research was held last weekend at Ganondagan, near Victor N.Y.  Ganondagan is the site of a Seneca town that was attacked by the French in 1687.  The Seneca community fled, burning their buildings down before the French reached them.  They rebuilt nearby.  The site is now home to a bark longhouse and a beautiful museum, as well as interpretive trails, all curated to present Seneca history and culture in a way that is dynamic, respectful, and transformative.  Visiting Ganondagan is inspirational in and of itself.

The conference was a chance to see old friends and make new ones and to hear presentations about a wide variety of topics in Iroquois studies, from the distant past through the present.  When you are working on topics in which most people have only a limited interest, it is energizing to connect with others whose eyes light up instead of glazing over when you  start to ramble on.

I had a chance to share what I have been doing with this website and get encouragement, feedback, and new ideas. You can access my slides as a powerpoint presentation here: Hunter_CommIndAff-2018 or as a PDF here:Hunter_CommIndAff-2018.

I also recommend the new issue of the C.I.R. journal, hopefully available soon at Iroquoia. And while we’re at it, the C.I.R. Facebook page has developed into a significant source for connecting with colleagues and learning about recent developments.

The Seneca people call themselves Onöndowa’ga., meaning “people of the big hill.” I am embarrassed to say that only after this last visit to Ganondagan have I faced up to that word and gotten it more or less into my ears and mind.  In the process of learning it I have also discovered how to enter special characters in WordPress.  Once again I realize how much I still have to learn.

 

 

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Minute Book 3: 1727-December: Schawenadie Heeds the French Call to Attack Oswego; Laurence Claessen Returns to Onondaga

The last entry for the year describes a meeting on December 27th with an Oneida leader named Canachquanie.  He had been sent to bring some alarming news that the Oneidas had heard from Seneca and Cayouga Indians about events in Canada. An officer at the French fort at Cataraqui (Fort Frontenac, located at present day Kingston Ontario) had recently told Haudenosaunee people there to return to the Six Nations quickly before the commander of the fort arrived from Montreal in order to avoid any “unhappy accident.” Moreover “the Indians of Schowinnade & about the number of 700 made frequently their dances of war According to their Custum to go to war in the Spring” to destroy the new house at Oswego. Everyone knew about it and children “sung these Songs of war in the Streets.” The French at Montreal had confirmed this news.

Canachquanie told the commissioners that the Onondaga messengers who had agreed with Philip and Peter Schuyler to visit Canada and persuade Indians there not to attack Oswego had only gone one day’s journey before they returned, saying they were sick. As described in the record, this was a “feigned excuse,” but considering how many people had been sick the previous summer at Albany and Oswego, it is easy to believe that the messengers were telling the truth. On the other hand perhaps they heard about the war dances and decided not to proceed.

Canachquanie said that the Oneidas promised to send messengers themselves “on pretence of trade to prevent the Said french Indians to joyn with ye french & also to discover what is hatching in Canada [against] the house at Osweege.”The commissioners thanked Canachquanie for his service and gave him gifts.

The commissioners immediately resolved to send Laurence Claessen back to Onondaga accompanied by Canachquanie and an assistant, Jacob Glen Junior. The commissioners agreed to pay Claessen and Glen for this trip themselves if the government did not do so. Clearly they thought it essential to counteract the French threats.1727-12-27

Claessen’s instructions lay out the arguments to use to convince the Six Nations to send delegates to Canada in order to prevent Indians there from listening to the French. The Six Nations should make clear to Indians in Canada that the Six Nations had consented to the English building at Oswego and agreed to defend it against attack by other Indians. To keep “a good correspondence” with the Six Nations, they must stay neutral and not harken to French proposals.

[There are no entries for November 1727.] In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the entry for December 27 starts here on p. 208a.

[0421] 208a

At A Meeting of the Com.s of the

Indian affairs in Albany ye. 27th Dec.r

1727

[Another copy can be found on p. 256a.]

Present

Philip Livingston

Henry Holland

John Cuyler

Myndert Schuyler

Evert Banker

Peter Vn. Brugh

John Collins

Rutger Bleeker

Harmanus Wendle

Nicolaes Blecker

An Oneyde Sachim Named Canachquanie arri=

=ved here with a message from the rest of the Sachims

of that Castle that pursuant to the ancient Covenant

between you & ym. & the other nations that when

any news of moment Should Come to Either of them

it Should be communicated without loss of time they have

Received advice from Cadrachqui by a Sinneke & a Ca=

=youge Indians yt. an officer of that place had Advi=

=sed the Indians who were Inclind to go to Canda Shoud

fourthwith depart and those who Intended to Re=

=turn to the Six Nations Should go with all Speed

before the Commander of yt. fort Should arrive from

Montreal that no unhappy accident men befall ym.

the Sinneke Indian who lately Came from Cana=

=da Affirms that the Indians of Schowinnade & about

the number of 700 made frequently their dances of war

According to their [Ansunt – crossed out] Custum to go to war in the

Spring to Cutt off & destroy the house at Osweege this

was no Secret there while the Children sung these

Songs of war in the Streets that the Indians were Im=

=ployd in makeing padles for the french but what num

=ber of french would go on this Expedition with the

Said indians the Sinneke doth not know, but had

heard from the french at montreal that they Inten=

=ded to go on this Expedition against the house at

Osweego the next Spring

The Sachims of Onneyde to acquaint this road

that the Onnondage messengers who had promist Cap.

Phil: Schuyler & Capt. Peter Schuyler last Summer to go

to the Canada indians not to molest or disturb us the

quit Setlemt. At Osweege yt. if they Should Commit

any acts of hostillities their ye. Six Nations Should Defend

against them & the English agt. ye. french are retur=

=nd back haveing been only one days Journey & have

not

[0422] 209

Not deliverd their Message according to ther promise &

Consent from home of the Six Nations as directed by ym. mak=

=ing fained Excuse that they were Sick,

Since the Said messengers have faild to perform this

Message the Sd. onneyde Sachims promise yt. this board

Should Send Indians to Canada on pretence of trade

to prevent the Said french Indians to joyn with ye.

french & also to discover what is hatching in Canada

agt. ye. house at Osweege yt. all ye. indians of ye. 6 nations are at

& [Near] home,

the Com.es Answerd the Sd. Messenger yt. they re=

=turn thanks to the Onnagdage Sachims for their Care

In Sending to acqt. us with the Neglect of the Onnon=

=dage Sachims in performing their promise & Engagements

made to Capt. Schuyler to let their Messengers proceed to

the Canada Indians yt. ye. Six nations had Resolved to

defend the Sd. house at Osweege against them & ye. En=

=glish against the french that the board are unthank=

=full to him bringing this Message hither & Rely on him

while they are Sinciable of this former faithfull Servi=

=ces to this Governmt. & as a reward give him a psent

of a blanket a pair of Stockings a lap of Stroads a Shirt

& a looking Glass,

Resolved that Lourence the Interpreter go to onnonda=

=ge with a men for his Assistant in Company with the Sd.

Onneyde messenger to Endeavour the Six Nations Send one

of Each nation to pform ye. Message to the Canada indi=

=an they had formerly promisd to Mr. Schuyler for wh. purpose

its tought fitt to give him the following Instructions,

By the Com.s of the Indian Affairs

at Albany

Instructions for Lourence Claese the Interpreter to

  1. 6 Nations whereas we are Informd by a message recd. this

Day from the Onneyde Sachims yt. ye. Onnondages have not

Sent Messengers to the Cannada indians as they had

promissd

 

[0423] 209a

promisd last Summer to Messrs. Schuylers yt. they Should

not Molest us in the quit Setlemt. by ye. house at Osweege

that ye Six Nations are Resolved to defend ye Sd. building

agt. ym. & yt. ye English will maintain & defend ye. Same

agt. ye. french and being Informd that the indians at Canada

are designed to ioyne with the french of Canada to Mo=

=lest us at Oswege wh. is Contrary to the treaties of peace

that we Should be Attackd on the land belonging

to the Six Nations [under the Six Nations – crossed out] under the Sub=

=jection & protection of his present Majesty King George ye.

Second, our Sovereign & their King & indulgent [& King-crossed out] father

& whereas Such attempts to be made by the french

or Indians agt. Oswege will be Violation of ye. peace &

frindship wh. Sub[ject – crossed out]sity between the two Crowns of

great britain & yt. of france & may be of dangerous

Consequence to this his Majesties province in par=

=ticular & to all his Majesties Governmts. on ye. Contenant

in generall the prevention wherefore will be of

great Servise to his Majes.s province & his loyal Subjects

in these parts,

Wherefore you are Required & Commanded to go

with all Speed accompanyd with Jacob Glen Jn.r to

the Six Nations acq.t ym. yt. we have Rec.d Intillegence

  1. ye. messengers wh. the onnondages Sachims had promisd to

Send to the Canada Indians last Summer have not pro=

=ceeded in their Journey by reason of Sickness yt. that mes=

=sage Should be Accomplishd & that by one Deligate from

Each of the Six Nations to tell the Indians dwelling

or rendeing, or Such fett persons as they Shall think

proper, near Canada in their names only they are In=

=formd that the french excite [the french – crossed out] & Stir them

up to Assist them in disturbing their brethren the English

in their quit Setlemt. Enjoyne of the Sd. house at Oswege

  1. had been Errected by their provious Consent & good like=

=ing and for their own Securety, wherefore you are to prevail

on ye Sd. Sachims to Said Delegates a aforesd. yt. they are

Sent to forwd. & ye Sd. Sachims not to Assis [the fre]=

=nch in this lawfull undertakeing but if they [should (ink spill?)]

[be]

 

[0424] 210

but if they Should be So Stuped & Senceless to be

prevaild on the french in this Expedition yt. the ye. 6

Nations have resolved in their Generall meeting

to defend ye. Sd. house agt. ym. ye. Sd [illeg. – crossed out] Indians

& ye. English are determd to do like agt. the french

that a good amicable Carespondance between yt. ye. [like – crossed out]

Six Nations cant be maintaind unless they will keep

ym.selves neuter & not to herken to any proposalls to be

made by the french on yt. Subject nor to be assistant in this matter

Given under our hands in albany ye. 27 Day of De.c

in the first year of his Maj.ys Reign anno [illeg.] D.o 1727

Resolved ye. Interpreter have a Copy of the English Transla=

=tions in Dutch of ye. Sd. Instructions for his better Information

It is agreed by the Com.s with Lourence

Clase & Jacob Glen that if they be not paid by the

publick for their journey [to – crossed out] & Service now to the Six

Nations, that the Commis. will pay them out of their

Allowlence.

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Minute Book 3: 1727-October: Oswego Accounts; Arossaguntigook Traders; Laurence Claessen’s Journal

The Commissioners of Indian Affairs spent a lot of money in 1727 on building boats, renting wagons, and hiring workers to build the fort at Oswego and supply the garrison and workers there with provisions.  They wrote Governor Burnet on October 5th to say they were in the process of getting final accounts from the “Country people” and would submit it all. They also informed him that a detachment of soldiers had finally left Schenectady for Oswego along with five civilians who would stay until April.

Arossagunticook Hunters Come To Trade

Diplomacy from earlier in the year continued to pay off. A group of people from Asigantskook (probably Arossagunticook) sent messengers to verify that the road to Albany was still open.  They said their people were hunting near Wood Creek on Lake Champlain and would like to come to Albany to trade, but it was difficult to transport deer skins at this season (probably because of the low water) and they had many elders with them who would not be able to make the trip. They asked to be supplied with necessaries at Saratoga as cheaply as they would be at Albany and offered to bring their furs and deerskins to Albany in the Spring, when travel was easier.  The commissioners welcomed them and invited them to trade but said they could not provide goods as cheaply at Saratoga as at Albany because they would have to pay to transport them there. They suggested that the hunting party send their young men to bring the skins down or hire horses to transport them.  It would all be affordable because “goods are much Cheaper then Ever they had been” at Albany.

1727-10-12Laurence Claessen’s Journal

At the end of October the commissioners gave the governor an English version of Laurence Claessen’s journal of his trip to the Six Nations in September to tell them.  The record includes a full copy. Claessen visited the Mohawks, Oneidas, and Tuscaroras and acquainted each nation with the news that King George II had succeeded George I as king of Great Britain.  Proceeding to the Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas, he did the same thing, but here he found that warriors were preparing to go out to fight at the request of the new Governor of Canada (the Marquis de Beauharnois). Claessen did not say who they were proposing to fight, but it was probably one or more of various nations to the south who were known as Flatheads. On behalf of New York’s Governor William Burnet, Claessen gave them gifts and urged them not to listen to the French or leave their homes to fight.  He managed to persuade most of them not to go on the grounds that the French were just looking for a chance to take possession of the new building at Oswego. Moreover when he returned to Onondaga, the sachims there who had agreed with the Schuyler brothers to ask other nations in Canada not to help the French were keeping their word and setting out on a trip to convey the message.

When Claessen arrived in the Seneca capital Canosedeken, which here is spelled “Canosade,” the diplomat and interpreter “Jean Coeur” had been there just two days earlier promoting the French trade goods now available at the new building at Fort Niagara, including inexpensive blankets, guns, fine shirts, stockings, and brandy. There was also a French smith living in Seneca country with his wife, children, and servant, who was trading for furs. And Claessen learned that there was a French settlement on the Susquehanna River “a little abovre Casatoqu” whose inhabitants stayed in touch with Canada by way of a small river that flowed into Lake Ontario above Niagara Falls.

The enlarged French fort at Niagara and the new English fort at Oswego had expanded the European presence in Iroquoia along with the potential for violent conflict. The Six Nations had said all along that this was a problem. It was one of the reasons that they objected to the location of Fort Oswego when Governor Burnet first proposed it in September 1724. In Seneca Country Claessen was told that the Seneca leaders who had recently gone to Canada to condole the death of Governor Vaudreuil and confirm Beauharnois as the new governor had urged the French not to create a disturbance or shed blood, even though the English and the French were “very Jealous of one another about their buildings at Osweege & Jagara.” Instead, if they wanted to fight each other, they should “decide it at Sea.” Beauharnois asked them to tell the English to move the new building at Oswego further up the river from Lake Ontario to leave a clear passage on the lake for French traders. Their response is not recorded.

One more interesting detail from this journal is that the French were trying to persuade the Schawenos (Shawnee) living at Niagara to leave; it is not clear why.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the first entry for October 1727 starts here on p. 204a. The transcription is below.

[0412] 204a

Albany 5th October 1727

May it please yr. Excel.cy

We have been very pressing to gett in the acct.

of the Expences this year for building batoes ye. house at Oswe=

=ge provisions waggon hire peoples wages &c. in transporting

the provisions thither & Indicent a mounting in all as may

Appear [by] the Said accts. & list herewith to £ [blank space] we

Suppose there more to Come in which we Shall Send his Exc.y

As soon as may be Some of the accts. of ye. Country people are

not Certyfied tho Suppose they are Just

The Detachment sett out from Schinnechtady yester=

=day with five of our Country people who are to Stay at Oswege

till april next as also 6 more are hird to help up the batoes

at £5÷÷ Each for the Trip the Charges runs high which

Could not be prevented for the Securety of the house

and Garryson while we think it of the Greatest Consequence

Every thing may Succeed according to Expectation

with Great Esteem & Respect

Philip Livingston

Henry Holland

Johannes Cuyler

Stephanus Groesbeeck

Harmanus Wendle

Nicolaes Bleecker

 

[0414] 205

At A meeting of the Com.es of the Indian

Affairs in Albany ye. 6 October 1727

[illeg.]

[Not in Wraxall]

Present

Philip Living.n

Henry Holland

J: Cuyler

Myn: Schuyler

Peter Vn. Brugh

Lancester Symes

Harmanus Wendle

Reyer Gerritse

Nicolaes Bleecker

An Indian Messenger from ye. Asikants=

=kook Indians came to this City who Says yt. it is the goodness

of god that we meet together in good Health

That he is Sent from the Sachims of the Said Indians who

are now on their hunting with a number of their purpose about the

End of the wood Creek & to the eastwd. of the Drowned land that

what he is in behalf of & in name of the Said all the Indians

who are now about the Said places on their hunting that they

have Sent him to See if the path to this place is free & open for

them to Come to trade hither if it be Acceptable to the bretheren

the Commissioners to give them liberty to Come gave a String

of Wampum

Brethren

We have been here last Summer and you gave us then

Liberty to Come to trade hither but as we have a great num=

=ber of ancient men among us who Can [give – crossed out] hardly undergo the

fetaque to come down to this place wherefore we desire that

we may be furnishd & Supplyd with Necessaries at Saragtoque

as Cheap as there are to [Come down to this place where=

=fore we desire yt. we may be furnishd & Supplyd with

Necessaries at Saragtoe – all crossed out] to be had here while it is very

Difficult at this season to draw & Carry down ye. Deer

Skins but in the Spring w.[?] we Can Come down in

Canoes wee

[0415] 205a

Canoes we Shall Come hitherr with a great number of our

people and abundance of beaver and peltry and then

our Sachims Shall also Come, Gave a String of Wampum,

Answer

We are very glad that it has pleased Almighty god to

preserve your Sachims and people in good health & yt. they

have Sent them to Come hither to trade, we do assure you

and promise that ye. Same Shall be kept open & free for

all your nation to come thither to trade as Long as they

demean themselves well [J – crossed out] and peacable as we Sent you

word Last Summer by the messengers they sent us at ye. time

As to what you desire that Some persons may Suppose [sic]

you with Necessaries at Saraghtoga as Cheap as they are here

because you all Alleadge yt. it is Difficult for the old men

to bring down their Skins hither wh. is a thing yt. we Can

not promise you neither Can any person afford ym So Cheap

as they are to be had here for ye. must Consider yt. they must

be paid for bringing up the the [sic] goods thither and if your young

men do bring down the Skins belonging to the old men or hire Steads

to ride them Down wh. will be but a trifle Considering

how much Cheaper goods are here yn. at Saragtoque

therefore we recommend you to tell your Sachims we de=

=sire that they and all their young men do Come hither

to trade while, goods are much Cheaper then Ever they

had been

 

[0416] 206

Albany 30th October 1727

May it please your Excel.cy

It would be very acceptable to us to hear

of your Excel.cys health and prosperity Inclosed your Ex.cy

has the Journall of Mr. Lourence Claese the Interpre=

=ter to the Six Nations by relation it appears that the

Indians are well Affected to the british Interest but in one

Opinion what has been [brought – crossed out] begun to Secure them ought

to be permd. for they begin now to See of what Consequence

of building at Osweego will be [at – crossed out] to them for they perceive

that we Can defend and Secure them against the attempt of

the french of Canada which we humbly hope that our Assem=

=bly will Conceive that the Support of the Six Nations &

Securety of our trade is of the Greater Consequence to this

province and that they will raise a Sufficient Supply to

discharge the expence already layd out and what may be

wanting to lay out for the next year,

The Interpreter Informs us that the french Smith free=

=ly trades among the Sinnekes which we wish Could be preven=

=ted it Seems a great hardship to us that the french may trade

there and our people be prevented to do the like by a law wh.

we beg your Excel.cy may be repeald by a Cause in any bill

that may pass this Sessions, wh. will be very acceptable to

who are with great Esteem and Respect

Phil: Livingston

Henry Holland

Hend.k Vn. Renselaer

Stephanus Groesbeek

Harmanus Wendle

Nicolaes Bleecker

 

[0417] 206a [Out of order chronologically because sent with previous letter.]

12 Octob 1727

Journall of Mr. Lourence Claese the

Interpreter of his Journey to the Six

Nations being Translated into English

is as follows

In pursuance of my Instructions from the Com.es

of indian affairs at Albany dated the ninth Sept. I went

to the Mohoggs Country acquainted the Sachims there of the

decease of his late Majesty King George of Glorious memory

and [that his son prince george – crossed out] of the Accession of his pre=

=sent Majesty King George the second to the Imperi=

=all Crowns of Great britain france and Ireland, from

thence I went to Oneyde and Tuskerores and Acquainted

those Sachims with the Same,

On the 25th of Sept. I Arrivd at Onnondage

where I found 160 men ready to go a fighting by order

of the Governour of Canada of wh. 48 of ym. went out

the Same day I came there, whereupon I calld the

Sachims and warriou[r]s to Come together, I Acquainted

them also of the Decease of his late Majesty King

George & of the acceptation of his present Majesty

King George ye. Second to the Imperiall Crowns of

Great britain &c. and Spoake to ym. in name of

his Excel.cy William Burnet Esq.r &c our Governour

  1. he was very much Surprizd that they Sufferd that they

Sufferd [sic] themselves to be Commanded by the Governour of

Canada who has been always their Ancestors Enemy and

is So Still Who, by Shew of frindship Seeks to deprive ym

of their land and priviledges where our Governour gives

Sufficient Instancs of his Sincere affection & frindship

towards the well being of the Six Nations which he Endeavors

to Accomplish and Intends to preserve in it —

The King of France himself owns that the

Six Nations belong only to the Crown of Great Britain

Therefore brethren I Desire you in his Excel.cys Name

that you do no go fighting on ye. Comand from ye. Gov.r

of

 

[0418] 207

of Canada but that you Stay at home & go hunting for

the Sustenance of your wives and Children, and not to Untertake

nor do any thing without advice from brother

Corlaer and to fitch those Indians back who are gone

out fighting whereon I gave ym two blankets Strouds Desire=

=ing ym. to give me an Answer at my return from the Sinne=

=kes Country

On the 27th D.o I Came at Cayouge I acquainted

the Sachims also as before of the Decease of his late

Majesty & of ye. Accession of his present majesty King

George ye. Second to ye. Imperiall Crowns of great britain

&c. I found at Cayouge 140 Men ready to go out fighting

to prevent wh. I made ye speech to ym. as I had done

above to the Onnondages and gave ym. a blanket Strouds

they promist directly to Stay at home & go on their hunting,

On ye 29th D.o I arrivd at the Sinnekes Country where I found

the Sachims & warriou[r]s people at home, who I Acquainted with ye.

foregoing they promist me that none of their people Should go fighting in

a years time because they Saw yt. ye. french were Crafty & deceitfull where=

by they think to gett possession of the house at Osweege, they hold

firm to the Covenant which our and their fathers have made

I found a french Smith in the Sinneke Castle with

his wife Children, and Servant who Sold goods there to your Indi=

=ans for Skins & peltry, your Indians Inquired of me if the Smith

from hence Should brings there to Supply there necessity, if he

Did not they would be Dispatchd about it,

The Sachims of the Sinnekes answerd me to what I

had told ym. in name of the Six Nations yt. they were much

Concernd to her the Maloncholy news of his late Majesty

they Rejoyed again to hear yt. his Son King George the

Second Sitts on the throne & hoped yt. his present Majesty

Might follow this fathers Steps for the welfare of the kingdoms

of great britain yt. the Might be as a tree which Reaches

to the heaven, & his branches may Spread over ye. whole Earth

that they might rest under the Shadow of those leaves, wh. they

hope my [render -crossed out] never fade or whether & yt. ye Roots there of

may go through ye. Earth, that no Storm or Tempest may

[Danmify]

 

[0419] 207a

Damnify the Same, & Expected in the Spring to Speak the

Gov.r touching this affair

The Sinneke Sachims Informd me

that the french of Canada keep a Continuall Correspondance

with Some people who live on the [french – crossed out] Susquahana river

a little above Casastoqu a french Interpreter from montreal

had been there last year by the way of a Small River wh.

vents into the Cadaraghqus Lake above the falls of Jagara &

the head of that river by a Carrying place till thay meet

with water Carryage & So Down the Szxquehanna River to

the Setlement where some french live who are much Disaf=

=fected to ye. British Interest

That the Said french Interpre=

=ter has Usd his Endevours with the Schawenos Indians

to have them Removed if they love their loves a from ye. place

Near Niagara

That Jean Coeur the french Interpreter had

been gone from the Sinneke Castle Called two days before I came to

Canosade ye. Chapitall of ye Sinnekes he Informd ye. Indians yt. he had a

Great Store of goods in the house at Jagara & Invited ym. to trade with ym

there he had formerly given Strouds at 8 bever Skins a blanket but

none he would Sell it at three a Choice french blanket at

the Same price a fine french gune at £7÷÷ Ketles &

powder their wt. in bever a fine men Shirt as appear fine

Ratine Stockings At 1 1/4 bever, 4 french potts pure brandy

at 1 bever he had Sent for a Cooper to make keggs who Exp.d daly,

The Sinneke Sachims who have made lately in Canada to

Condoke [Condole] ye Death of Mons.r V: Veaudreul where returnd home

who had told the Gov.r of Canada yt. they English & french were

very Jealous of one another about their buildings at Osweege

& Jagara they desird him yt. there might be no Disturbance

in the Country nor blood Shed about it for if they Say it

Might Resence if but if these places Credits any disturbance

they might decide it at Sea whereon this gave a belt of Wampum

 

[0420] 208

The Gov.r of Canada took up Sd. belt and again De=

=sireing ye. Said Indians to tell ye. Govern.r of New York to

remove yt. ye. house [abt.?] Osweege further up the River from

the lake wh. has been for many years past ye. passage for

his trade is to ye. far Indians

On the Second October I went from ye Sinnekes Country

& Arrivd on Onnondage on the 4th. D.o who gave me an An=

=swer to my former Speech & told me they were Convined of

his Excel.cy Good Intention for their welfare yt. they would

all Stay at home & go hunting those who were gone fighting

where home but Desird to have a Smith them as soon as

May be, further I found all the ye. [sic] Indians of the Six

Nations at home none were gone fighting, most of ym. are

on their hunting

That the Deputed Sachims of Onnondage were

Sett out on ye 3d. Instant to Canada with a message to ye.

Indians liveing there to that they do not at any time

Assist the french to Attack the house at Osweege

Posted in 1727, Travel Journals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Minute Book 3: 1727-September: The Six Nations Will Defend Oswego From Attacks by Native Nations; Problems Continue At the New Fort

The Schuyler brothers (Peter and Philip) returned from Onondaga with Laurence Claessen on September 2d and reported on the meeting there. The Commissioners of Indian Affairs enclosed the report in a letter to Governor Burnet in which they said the trip had met with success, but there is no copy of the report itself in the records.  The commissioners immediately sent Laurence back to tell the Six Nations that George II had succeeded George I as King of Great Britain.  He was also instructed to prevent the Onondagas from going to war against the Flatheads by telling them that the French were encouraging it in order to get them out of the way and then destroy them. Claessen was also told to encourage the Onondagas to defend Fort Oswego if anyone attacked it and to learn what messages the French had been sending the Six Nations.  Guysbert Van Brakel Junior went with Laurence at the commissioners’ expence.

On September 13th, the commissioners met with the Onondaga sachim Teganissorens (written here as D’ Kannasorie) and a Cayuga sachim named Ondariagen, who brought information backed by seven bands of wampum that “a nation Called the Jenontadies who live at le detroit,” (the Tionontaties or Petun) had concluded a peace with the “Waganhoes,” the Iroquois term for Anishinaabeg peoples. The Waganhoes promised to maintain the alliance they had made with New York and the Six Nations and turn down any requests by the Governor of Canada to take up the hatchet against them.

The record of this meeting reveals what happened when the Schuyler brothers went to Onondaga. The Six Nations agreed to send messengers to “the Indians liveing at & near Canada” to tell them that the Six Nations had decided to defend Fort Oswego if any Indian nation attacked it, but the English and the French would have to fight it out on their own if a conflict broke out between them.  Teganissorens said that the messengers were about to set out when he left home. The commissioners told them about the death of King George I and the succession of King George II, Laurence’s mission to stop the excursion against the Flatheads, and recent letters exchanged between the governors of Canada and New York.

The commissioners posted three Indians (not named) to Lake St. Sacrement (Champlain) to find out what the news was from Canada. As they wrote to the governor, it made them uneasy that no Indians from Canada had been to Albany, suggesting that the French order not to come there was effective and the French might be planning some mischief.

Fort Oswego continued to have problems. The river was still low. It was expensive to transport provisions and some soldiers had deserted and were in custody.  The commissioners thanked Governor Burnet for his support in maintaining the garrison, to which he had sent bedding and provisions. They kept him informed him about the situation and promised to send him an accounting of expenses as soon as possible.  At the request of the Palatines who had the contract for delivering provisions to Oswego, Johan Jurch Kast and Johan Joost Petri, the commissioners sent six men to repair the road at the Oneida Carrying Place.  Captain Holland went to Schenectady to see the soldiers when they finally embarked in ten batoes along with five men assigned to stay at Oswego, where they would  be employed to transport provisions.

Oswego2_DeleryExc

Detail from De Lery map of 1727 showing boats and canoes as well as the new building at the mouth of the Oswego River.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the first entry for September 1727 starts here on p. 202. The transcription is below.

[0407] 202

(57

Albany the 5th Septemb. 1727

May it please your Excel.cy

This comes to Acquaint your Excellency that Captain

Philip Schuyler & his brother Peter Schuyler with Lauren[ce]

Returd here [illeg.] on the Second Instant from Onnongo their p[r]=

=oceedings And good Sucess will appear to your Excel.cy by the inclo=

=sed proopositions which we Dout not but will be pleasing to your Ex.cy

we have thought it Nesesary according to the old Custum to acq.t

the Six Nations of Indians with the Decease of his Late Majesty

King George of blessed memory and the Succession of his pre=

=sent Majesty our Sovereign Lord King George the Second on

ye throne in Order to which we Shall Dispatch Lourence

up to the Six Nations & also give him Directions to Endea=

=vor to Stop ye. Onnondages from their resolution wh. they have

taken by the nistigation of the french to go to war against

the flattheads wh. we Conceive is the polacy of the french

to gett ym. from home & out of the way but we hope we

may Defeat their Designs they maght undertake against the

building at Osweego, & we have good bacon [sic] to believe Such

Since the Indians have taken Such prime & loyall Resolution to

our intrest as appears by the Inclosed proposition,

We Shall not be wanting in Sending up the provisions

& to [illeg.] you Ex.cys orders & Directions & Milarge by our

Next we remain with Due respect

 

[0408] 202a

58)

By the Commiss.es of Indian Affairs

at Albany 9 Septemb. 1727

[See Wraxall p. 171]

Instructions for Mr. Lourence Claese the Interpreter

You are hereby Directed to go fourthwith to the sachims of

the Six nations to acquaint them at their Severall Castles

of the Decease of his late Majesty King george of glorious

Memory, & that his son the high & Mighty Prince George of

Wales Is now his Successor to the Imperiall Crowns of great

Britain France & Ireland to whom they are to pay all Sub=

=mission & Alligance,

You are to Endeavour to Stop ye. Onnondages from

their Resolution wh. (we hear) they have taken by the Instiga=

=tion of the french to go to war ag.t the flatt heads, which you

Must tell them the french do with an Intent to get ym

from home out of the way or by these means to destroy and

Deminish ym. If possible,

You are to Incourage ym. to presist in their good resolu=

=tion wh. they have taken to Defend the house at Osweege If

any french or Indians might Attack it,

You must Enquire what french massages have

lately been sent among the Six Nations & what the purport

of ym. Are, whether at ye. Sinnekes Country are any of the

other Castles & if any thing might happen whilst you are a=

=mong the Indians wh. we Cant foresee at psent you are to

Act in it as you Judge will be most [humble – crossed out] for his majes=

=ty intrest given under our hands in albany ye. 9th. September 1727

Philip Livingston

Myndert Schuyler

Pieter Van Brugh

Harmanus Wendell

Reyer Gerritse

Rutger Bleecker

 

[0409] 203

(59

Resolved that three Indians be Sent to the lake

St. Sacrement to See whether there be any Indians by

Whom they may learn what news there be at Canada we

[hope – crossed out] not hveing had Intelligence from thence this long

time, & yt. yt. Charges thereof be pd. by the Com.es Agreed with

Guysbert Vn. Brakel Ju.r to go with Lourence Claese to the 6

Nations for three pound twelve Shillings p.r Month

lb.

28        Bread               2 ps. Tapes

[illeg.] bacon                25 shirts

Keg rum                      12 ails

2 Doz Knives

 

Att A Meeting of the Com.es of the Indian

affairs In Albany the 13th. Day of Sep.b 1727

[Not in Wraxall]

Present

Philp Livingston

Myndert Schuyler

Peter Vn. Brugh

Rutger Bleecker

Stephanus Groesbeeck

Harmanus Wendell

Nicolaes Bleecker

D’ Kannasorie a Sachim of onnondage & Ondariagen a

Sachim of Cayouge being Arrivd at place Say by 7 bands of wampum

That the Sachims from a Nation Called the Jenontadies who

live at le detroit yt. we Sent Messengers to ye Waganhoes [&?]

far Nations to make peace are Safely returnd home yt. they

had Concluded a peace but the term were not yet Known

That the nations of Waganhoes Say yt. they will firm=

=ly keep to all Alligance they have made with this Govermt. as

the brethren of the 6 Nations do & will refuse the hatchet of

war if the Governt. of Canada offer & Desire ym. to take

it up Agt. ye. English or Six Nations

 

[0410] 203a

60)

That what ye Sachims had promisd Capt. Philip

Schuyler when he was at Onnondage yt. one of Each nation

should be Sent with a Message to the Indians liveing at & near

Canada that the Six Nations have resolved to Defend the

house at Oswege against them if they Should offer to molest

it, but that the English & french might oppose one another

  1. messengers D. Kanasorie says were ready to go when he

Came from home,

They Say they have no other news of moment to acqut. the brethren

with & desire ye. Com.s to acqt. ym. what news ye. Com.es acq.ted ym ye Decese

of his late majesty king George of Glorious memory & yt. his

Son prince George of wales is proclaimd King of Great britain

&c. yt. his present majesty is very well belovd of all his Subjects,

That Lourence Claese ye. Interpreter is Sent to ye 6 na=

=tions to Acqt. ym. of ye. decease of his late Maj.ty & yt. he is

to Endeavour to Stop the Onnondages who we are Informd &

prepared to go out a fighting by ye. Influence of ye. Gov.r of Canada

We Acquainted Sd. two Sachims with ye. Contents a let=

=ter to Gov.r of Canada write to his Ex.cy our Gov.r & his answer

Johan Jurch Kast & Johan Jost Petri Inform this

board yt. the Road from the maquse River to ye. Sd. wood creek

On ye. Onneyde Carrying place is very much out of repair and

Impractable to ride over a load provisions, or a batoe if it be

not repaird with all Speed they Cant perform their agreemt.

to deliver ye. provisions at ye. wood Creek for the Detatchmt at Oswego.

Resolved yt. 6 men be had to repair ye. Sd. [wood – crossed out] road

As soon as may be on acct. of the publick yt. ye. provisions &c. may

be Transported to Osweego if it be not paid soon yt. the Com.s

of Indian Affairs Ingage for ye. paymt. of the Same —

 

[0411] 204

(61

Albany 13.th Sep.t 1727

[Not in Wraxall]

May it please your Excel.cy

We have been honourd with your Excel.cys acceptable

Letters of ye. 22th & 24th of august ye. bedding & provisions were

Sent up Directly to Schinnechtady pease wheat meal & what

Other Necessaries yt. may be wanting for ye. Detachmt. at

Oswego shall be Supployd & provided by us we hear yt. the

Soldiers and men we hird to go up thither with ye. provisions

have had a fetaque in Getting forwd. Reason of ye. low water

in the wood Creek we Expect to get four batoes ready

before ye. men can Come back with ye. Other, its a great

pleasure for us to See yt. Your Excel.cy is So hearty to main=

=tain and keep the Garryson at Osweege we Shall not be

wanting in any thing for promoting so good a work the

batoes wh. remain at the house will be better for putting in

pease & meal, where yt. Capt. Banker has gott the pork bar=

=rel Cleand & filld with water its no Diffecult matter

for the men there to make a good port Cully to fall down

upon Occasion within ye. door we Shall give Directions about it

Capt. Nicolls has Sent us a Memorandum for Severall

Necessaries wanting at Oswege wh. we Shall provide & Send p the

first batoes that Shall go up thither

We hear no manner of Intelligence from Canada wh. makes

us Uneasy what is hatching there the french must Certainly have

a great Command and Influence over their Indians yt. they Can

Keep ym So Close yt. not one Single one Should Come hither

we have orderd three Indians from Schinechtady to Lake St.

Sacremt. to See us if no Canada Indians are hunting there & if

they find none they are to go forwd. to Canada & ye. other is to come back

The road & bridges on the Carrying place are So bad yt its

Impractable to ride Over ye. provisions & batoes, we have desird

  1. Justices among ye. palatines to hire men to go & repair ye.

Same

[0413] 204b

Albany 28 Sept 1727

May it please your Ex.cy

We are honoured with your Ex.cys favours of ye 23th Instant

p Capt. Ingoldsby. the deserters are Securd in ye fort here. Capt. holland is gone

to Schinechtady to see ye Detachmt. Imbark in 10 batoes from [hence] . 5 men who are to             Stay [illeg.] at

Osweege are to go with the [detachmt – crossed out] and more [will = crossed out] Shall    be hird if

they be wanting to bring up Provisions. we cant Suppose yt. ye Assembly

[sh]all suffer to let any thing fall on y.r Ex.cy. the accounts Shall be

[?]bus as soon as they can be gott in. if no more come wel Send those

[have gott in – crossed out] have by us. we cant gett them all while there is

[da]yly some Expenecs. we Shall Eniarge in current mean while

[we] Remain with Great Esteem & Respect

P L St. Gr

N B RG PL

 

 

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Minute Book 3: 1727-August: Diplomacy North, East, and West; Tensions at Oswego

In August the Commissioners for Indian Affairs held three significant meetings with delegates from Kahnawake to the north, “Asskantekook” to the northeast, (probably Arossagunticook on the Androscoggin River in present day Maine), and the Seneca town Onnahee to the west. The Seneca representatives reported on negotiations with nations even farther west. The commissioners also continued attempted to maintain and protect Fort Oswego, where bad weather, illness, and shortages of food continued to be serious problems along with threats from French Canada.

Some Kahnawake Residents Want to Move to Saratoga

The commissioners reported to Governor Burnet on August 3rd that two canoes of “Cachnowage Indians” had arrived in Albany. A man from this group provided detailed information about the efforts of the French Governor to engage both the Six Nations and Kahnawake to attack the English.  The governor used a “great belt of wampum” to tell people at Kahnawake not to go to Albany any more, saying they had no business there. The Indians pointed out that goods were cheap at Albany, but the governor went on to complain about the new house at Oswego and ask for their help in destroying it. After bragging about the “grandeur of the french and their war Like Actions” the governor and the priest together urged them to kill “only one man Either at New England oswego or Albany.” The wording of the report is a little confused, but it appears that some people at Kahnawake agreed to help destroy Oswego, although one person told the priest that if he wanted them to kill people he should do so himself.

The French Governor also addressed some Onondaga (written as “Onnondade) sachims and told them that France had a just claim to their castles because it had cut them all off, presumably referring to the wars of the 17th century. However the French were kind and would allow them to enjoy their country without building among them. He contrasted this to the English who began with a small wooden house, but then built the stone house at Oswego, demonstrating that they planned to cut the Six Nations off.  The French governor went on to say that the King of Great Britain had asked the King of France to join him in cutting off the Six Nations, but France had refused.  He urged the Onondagas not to agree to the house at Oswego, pointing out that the English had built in the Mohawks Country “above Saraghtoge” and all the Mohawk land was gone.  The English intended to deprive them of all their lands, which would leave them in a miserable condition.

The Indian who provided the information said that if he could be given land somewhere at Saratoga, he would leave Canada and move there with eight men and their families.  Moreover, “a great many Indians would Come to Live there if there be land & a Minister comes.” He asked the commissioners to convey this request to Governor Burnet. In their letter describing this meeting, the commissioners told Burnet that there might be some suitable land “within the bounds of Saragtoge,” a large area at the time. They believed that if this plan could be put in effect, it would enhance the security of the province.

The spokesman at this meeting was probably the Kahnawake leader Sconondo, who led previous delegations from Kahnawake and who would move to Saratoga from Kahnawage in February 1728. While it may have been because he supported the Englisb more than the French, it could also have been to protect Mohawk interests in Saratoga in response to a growing English presence there.

Negotiations Between Albany, Boston, and the Eastern Indians of Assekantekook

In early August some sachims from Assekantikook (probably meaning Arossagunticook) appeared in response to a secret (“under the ground”) invitation that the commissioners had sent east in January, which reached them on March 1st. The meeting is recorded in Dutch with an English translation.  Speaking on behalf of three “castles,” they affirmed their friendship with Albany and agreed to keep the path open between them.  They said that they had sent two delegates to Boston to discuss peace with New England to put an end to Dummer’s War. The commissioners welcomed them, thanked them, and assured them that the path would be kept open between them.  They hoped that peace would be concluded with New England as well.  The commissioners also said that as they knew, the French were objecting to the new building at Oswego. They asked that Assekantikook stay out of this affair and refuse to let the French persuade them to attack the new house; otherwise the path that had now been cleared might become stopped up again. They encouraged them to come and trade at Albany.

Negotiations between the Senecas, Albany, Tionondadie, and Four Nations of Far Indians

Two Seneca sachims from Onnahee also arrived early in August and reported on another group of negotiations.  The Jonondadees (also spelled Jenundadys, probably meaning the Jenondadies or Tionondadies) from onnessagronde (possibly Tuchsagronde, that is the vicinity of Detroit) sent four strings of wampum to the Six Nations and the commissioners and the Six Nations. They told them that they had gone to the Flatheads to make peace and were returning three Flathead prisoners.  They also told them that they had met with the four nations called Medewandany, Nichheyako, Wissesake, and Jonondadeke to become friends and enter into good relations with New York, or as the commissioners put it “to persuade them into the interest of this gvernment.”  The Onnahee sachims asked their rich and well-stocked brothers of Albany for additional goods to use in negotiating similar agreements with other nations. Finally they asked to be supplied with a smith and stock maker, specifically requesting a man from Schenectady named Joost Van Sysen.

The commissioners welcomed them on behalf of Governor Burnet and thanked them for the work they had done to bring new nations into an alliance that was equally beneficial to New York and the Six Nations. They also brought up the new house at Oswego, pointing out that it would protect the Six Nations from potential French attacks.  They asked them to protect the new building if the French or their allies attacked it.  They also promised to provide a smith.

Illness and Shortages at Oswego

Governor Burnet continued to work to ensure that the fort at Oswego was a success, sending provisions himself when the Palatines ran short.  By now there seems to have been a drought in New York and water was low in the rivers, making it hard to transport boats, and even in mill streams, making it hard to grind corn. Captain Collins, Major Symes, Col. Groesbeeck, and Captain Nicolls, all worked to keep provisions flowing to the troops at the new fort. They hired carpenters to make more “batoes,” rented canoes, and hired men to help the soldiers transport goods to Schenectady and from there to Oswego. The commissioners also sent more ammunition and presents for the Indians. But on August 10th, Captain Evert Bancker came back to Albany, too ill to return to Oswego. Twelve men in Captain Nicolls’ New York detachment were also sick and the rest refused to go to Oswego. At Schenectady Major Symes informed the commissioners that out of two companies he could only find twelve men to help transport supplies, so the commissioners hired additional people at Albany. They informed the governor about all of this and told him that they sent twelve soldiers and eight inhabitants with provisions from Schenectady, but they turned back.  They planned to set out again with additional men. The commissioners urged Governor Burnet to post six New Yorkers and six “trusty Indians” to “lay at Oswego.”

The French and English Make Proposals to the Six Nations

Upon hearing that the Six Nations was about to meet at Onondaga to consider proposals from the Governor of Canada, the commissioners sent Captain Philip Schuyler and his brother Peter Schuyler to Onondaga with Laurence Claessen. They travelled “a horse back” in order to get there quickly.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the first entry for August 1727 starts here on p. 195. The transcription is below.

[0393] 195

[See Wraxall p. 170]                                       Albany ye 3th August 1727

May it please your Excel.cy

Since we had ye. honour to write

your Excel.cy on ye. 27th of July two Canoes Cachnowage

Indians arrivd here about two Days ago one of which

Indians hath given us the Inclosed Information that the

french Governour by a great belt of wampum told the

Cachnawage Indians not to go to Albany as they use to do

and that he had Stopt the path by a great Stone in the

ground planting that they Can not Clime over & told the

Sd. Indians that they had no business here at Albany the

indians answerd him that the Governour would Engage

them & Shew them a haride in Canada were they Could

have goods as Cheap as in Albany from days after the

Said Governour told them they Should not go that his

belly was full to his [breath] about our building the house

at Aswege & desird ym. to Assist him in takeing & destroy=

=ing the Sd. house & braged very much in ye. [Governour – crossed out] gran=

=duer of the french & their war Like Actions & by what

we can Apprehend they have Consented to that Request

that the Gov.r & the priest had Desird & Entituled ym.

to go a fighting and to Kill only one man Either at

New England oswego or Albany whereupon one of the Indi=

=ans answerd the priest he Might go himself to do

yt himself If he would

That the Governour of Canada in his propositions

to the Onnondade Sachims told ym. that the french had

Cutt of all their Castles and thereby had a just Claim to

the Same butt nevertheless the french were So Kind

as to lett the five nations quietly Enjoy their Nati[on]

Country and have not presumd to make any building

amongst them, But [nevertheless – crossed out] yt. on ye. Contrary ye. Gov.

of new york haveing first desird Liberty for a Sm[all] woo=

=den house at ye. falls hath now built a great Stone

house at

[0394] 195a

house at Osweege that they thereby might plainly See

the intention [& yn. – crossed out] of the English to Creap in amongst

them & yn. Cut them of yt. the King of great Britain had

now for three year Solisted to the king of france to join

with him to do the Same But the King of france will

not Agree to it & yt. ye. building of the house at Osweego is a

plain prove of what he has Informed ym. & told them to destroy

of the Sd. house, & to bring an answer to the Governour at

Canada upon the matter and if it was not done yt. he

would use means to do it without Delay

And on ye Departure ye Sd. Sachims of Onnondage

Came to ye. Cachnawage Castle, were the Cachnawage Sach=

=ims Spoake to ym. by a great belt of wampun & Desird

ye Onnondages not to Consent to ye. building of ye. house at Oswe=

=go yt. the buildings were of Ill Consequence yt. the English

had built in the Moaks Country above Saraghtoge, and that all

the land in the Moaks Country was gone & that the Intention

of the English was to Deprive ym. of all [Such – crossed out] their Lands

& that they Should Consider in what a Miserable Codition they

May be brought to

And the Said Indian who hath given this Information

Says yt. he is Inclind to Leave Canada & Come to live amongt

us Some were at [Schinechtady – crossed out] Saragtoge with Eight men

with their famylys if he Can be Imployd with lands & Desired us to

Acquaint his Excellency with the Same & yt. he may have

answer upon ye. Matter in a Months time & give great Incourage=

=ment that a great many Indians would Come to Live there if

there be land & a [Multitude – crossed out] Minister ye Com.es Are of Opinion

yt [if – crossed out?] there may be had Some lands within the bounds of Sarag=

=toge ) & yt. if that matter Can be brought to Effect it would be

a great Securety to this province ) wh. we tought our duty to

transmit to y.r Excel.cy we Remain with Due Respect

Y.r Excel.cys most humble & obed=

=ent Servants

 

[0395] 196

(46

[See Wraxall p. 171 for brief summary. See p. 251a / 0507 et seq. for English version, which is dated August 6.]

Albany ye. 4 August 1727

D’ Sackemakers van Asskantekook syn op Dese dagh

verschone voor D.’ Commissioners om antwort te brenge

aegaende de proposes en onderhandeling met haer gehord

=de op de Eerste dagh van mert 1726/7

Mons:rs          En Seghe dat het geen Sey doe maels hadde aengenome

hebbe als onder de gront deur gedaen aen d.’ drie Castiels &

its middle in Asskantekook uyt D’ Grout gekoomen

want VE heb ons belast dat D’ bootschap niet seughbaer

Soude gemaekt werden also aen D.’ wilde natie,

Mons.rs & Ouste Broeders    Ick Seghe nue tot UE So als UE de wegh

geopend hebbe UE Seyde So Comme wy new & make d.’ wegh

ock open van Onse Seyde & het pat dat wy nu open

make, Comt middle in d.’ Stat van Albany uyt & as wy

neu vrinde Syn & Moeten Malkander op het voor Schreven

pat so Sullen wy malkander als vrinden ontfangen & behan=

=delen, So dat in toekomende als wy malkander moetten So

Sall Lyn in vrede & in vryenschap waer op Ty gaven 4

kettinties wit Sewant Syn het Selfde dat Sichtock van hier

heeft mede genome om het pat te openen

Mons.rs & Broeders   VE hebt ons versoght datz van onse Sackem.[rs]

soude hier in Albany koomen & op D.’ Selftde tyt ons aen

Gedient dat twe Sackemakers van boston alhier Soude Syn

om onse Sackmat.ks te moetten & Als D. Sackemakers van

Boston & van asskantekook malkander alhier moetten in

Albany dan Sullen wy volkomen met haer Spreken wy hadd[e]

D.’ Mons.rs belooft om opt Spondighste alhier weder te

komen maer hebbe niet Eerder kunnen komen als nu D.

vreeden dat wy miet Eerder Zyn gekoomen is om dat D: Sack.rs

van onse Castelen waren geroppen naer D.’ Oft in N: England wan

op Syn Eer bant Gegeven hebbe Zyn de Eenbant die de vorlede=

=yaer aen haer was Gefonden

 

[0396] 196a

46)

Broeders

VE hebt geseyghtge west menigh yaer om

D.’ wegh, te Openen & wy komen nu Eens om D.’soegh

te Open & bebant te houden met Een volkomen besluyt

D.’ Mons.r hebbe de wegh open gemacht & wy

komen nu om het open te housen & All Zyet ons nu

hier persoonlyck om met UE te Spreken & wy Sullen d:

wegh goet & Open houden Tot Alen Tyden waer

op wy geven Drie bevers

Bro.ers & Vrinden,      wy Syn verheught en het is ons Seer [leet – crossed out] aengenaam

van UE Comst alhier Valgens belofte den imaert 1726/7

Broders & Vrinden, het is ock Seer Aengenaem dat VE van weegen de

drie Castelen van UE natie ons versekeringh doet dat het

paol tussen ons Een UE nu goet en open is en also altoos

gehouden Sall werden twelk wy van onse Zyde UE nu

weeder Versekeren wy ZynSeer verblyt uyt UE D.ns mout

te verstaeb dat UE Sackemakers na Nu Engeland waren

wy willen hoopen dat de Vrede tusschen onse

broeders van new England en UL.de magh voltrecken Zyn

dat one Seer [leet – crossed out] aengenaem Sall Zyn ons te hooren

Vrinden & Broders      UE hebt Ongetroyfelt well verstaen dat D: franse

tegen haer Zin is dat wy Een huys op Osweege hebben

Getimmert welk hays onse Governeur hebbe Getimmert

met Consent Van de 6 Naties wy versoecken dat UE met

die Saak niet will Bemoeyen maar UE Still houden en

UE pyp te Smooke en niet te hooren Luypteren als D: france,

UE op Sellen om het gemlde huys in te neemen of te

demolieren op dat het patt nu Schoon & goet is niet vyl magh

Werden want dat verschil moet By D. Groote Koningen van

Groot britainien & van Waneluyck geslist werden,

hier

[0397] 197

(47

Hier meede wenchen wy D.’ Broeders Een Behoude

vys dat IA Met Gesontheyt by UE vrowen Kinderen

En vrinden magh komen en haer vertellen datt het

patt nu Aen alle Zyde Schoon en goet is en dat UE

— nu Can Comen om hier in dese Statt te handelen

En handelen als vrinden en goederen die UE dienstigh

Zyn hebben wy over vloedigh en So als onse mont Spreakt

So is ons hart

 

[0507] 251a

A[t] a Meeting of the Commis.rs of ye. Indian

Affairs in Albany ye. 6 August 1727

[This entry is included here following the Dutch version from p. 196 [0395] which is dated August 4 rather than August 6.]

Present

Peter V. Brugh

Lancaster Symes

Rutger Bleeker

Hend.k Renselaer

Ryer Gerritse

Harm. Wendell

Stepha.s Groesbeek

Nicolaes Bleecker

The Sachims of Assekantekook appeard this day before

this board in Orderd to bring an answer upon ye. proposition & treaty made

between ym. & this board ye. first Day of March 1726/7

Mes.rs & Eldest Brethren

The Message we had undertaken have performed and is gone

As if under ye. Ground to ye. three Castles & Came out of the Ground in the

midle of Assentekook for you told us yt. yt. Message was not to be devolged

but to ye. Indian Nations,

Mes.rs & Eldest Brethren

I now acquaint you yt. as you have hoped ye. way of yr Side

we Come now to make ye. path also open of our Side & y.e Same Comes

out in ye Midle of Albany and whereas we are now become frinds &

Shall happen to meat one another on the Same path we shall receive

and treat one another as frinds So yt. our meeting for ye. future Shall

be in peace & frindship,

M.s & Eldest Brethren

You have Desird us yt. 2 of our Sachims Should Come

here in Albany & yt. at ye. Same time 2 Sachims of boston Should meat our

Sachims here wn. ye. Sachims of boston & of Assentekook meat here in

Albany y.n we will fully Speek with ym. We had promised you Gentle=

=men too be here again with all Expedition but Could not Come till

now thee reason yt. we did not Come Sooner was because yt. ye. Sachims

of our Castle where Called to ye. East in N: England,

Ms.r & E Bre.r

You have been Indeavoring for many years to open ye. path

we are Come now to keep ye. path open & Clear with a firm Resolution

& Concluge

M.rs & E B

You have opened ye. path & we Come now to keep it

open & you See us now in person to Speak with you & we Shall

always & at Abte time keep ye. Same good & open

[0508] 252

Answer of the Commissioners to the Said Sachims

Brothers & frinds

We are very much pleased with your Comeing here according to y.r

promise made to us y.e first of March 1726/7

B & frinds

It is also very acceptable & pleasing to us yt. you in behalf

of y.e three Castles of your Nation give assurance yt. ye. path between

us & you now is good & open & always & at all times Shall be kept So

of wh. of our Side will now give Assurance

Brother & Frinds

We are Very much Rejoyced to understand out of ye.

mouth yt. Your Sachims were gone to N: E: wee hope yt. a good

peace between our Bro.th of N:E: & you may be Concluded wh.

Shall always be very pleasing to us

B: & frinds, you have undoubtedly heard yt. ye french are

agt. bulding ye. house at Osweege by [illeg.] wh. house our Gov.r has build

ye Consent of the 6 Nations

We desire yt. you do not Intermidle wt. this affair &

keep your Self Nature & Smook your pipe & not to hearken to ye. fren[ch]

if they would Lett you on to attack ye. Said house So yt. ye. path wh. is

now Clears good might not there by become foul & Stopt up for that

Difference is to be Disided by ye. Great King of Great Britain & france

B’s frinds

here wt. we wish ye Bro.ts a happy Journey yt. you

may meat your wives Children & frinds in good helath & acquaint

ym yt. ye. path on all Sides is good & Clear & yt. your people now

Can Come here in this City to trade as frinds & goods wh. are

Sutable to you are plenty here & as we Speak to you So is our

hearts

 

[0397] 197 [Item 2]

Albany the 5.th aug.st 1727

May it please yr. Excellency

We find our Selves honoured y.r Excel.cy

favourable of ye. 31 July by ye Express & have fourthwith Sent

a man with the Letters to Capt. banker & Capt. Nicolls

and Shall Send the Value of the Sixty pounds in goods

and the provisions as Sone as ye. Same Comes & wither

Observe your Excel.cys directions we remain with due

Respect

 

[0398] 197a

48)

[See Wraxall summary p. 171. Another copy can be found on p. 246a [0497]]

Att a Meeting of ye. Com.rs of ye.

Indian Affairs in Albany ye. 5th

of august 1727

Two of ye. Chief sachims of Onahe being Sinnekes

Sheweth unto ye. Com.es 4 Strings of wampum whereby they

Say yt. ye. Same was Sent by ye. Jenundadeys from onnes=

=sagronde unto ye Six Nations & to ye. Com.es to make

known yt. 7 of ye. Jonondadees with 3 men formerly

taken prisoners from ye. flatt heads were gon to the flatt

heads to make a peace with ym. but not Yet returnd

2dly.    Brotheren. I make known to you yt. I have been with 4

nations of ye. far Indians Medewandany nichheyako,

wissesake & Jonondadeke, & have taken much trou=

=ble & pains to perswade ym. into ye. Intrest of this

Govermt. to wh. they have hearkened & are now

become our frinds, butt there are Still more

farr nations if any of ym. Should happen to Come

& give oppertunity to us of makeing any propositions they

Say yt. they have nothing in hand to Speake & Invite ym.

to ye. Intrist of this province therefore they resolved to Come

here to their brethren in Albany wh. are rich & well Stokt

with goods, & therefore desire to be Supplyd with goods on

yt purpose as being for ye. Intrest of this Governmt.

3dly. Brethren we Desire yt. we may be supplyd with ye. Smith &

Stock maker Liveing at Schinechtady Called Joost Van

Sysen

 

[0399] 198

(49

at a Meeting of ye. Com.es of ye. Indian

Affairs at Albany this 7th August

1727

Lancester Symes

Peter Van Brugh

Rutger bleecker

Ryer Gerritsen

Harmanus Wendell

Nicolaes Bleecker

Answer to ye propositions of ye. Sinneke Sachims

Brethren we do in behalf of his Excellency Salute you &

assure you yt. we are very glad to See you here in health

Brethren it will be a great Satisfaction to his Excel.cy

as it is to us of your Endeavour yt. you, bave taken so

much pains in bringing ye. far nations of Indians into

our [nations – crossed out] Intrest wh. we take to be an Equal Benefitt

for us & our brotheren ye Six Nations we Shall acquaint

his Ex.cy with our proceedings in yt. Affair

Brethren you know yt. we have built a house at Oswego,

by Consent of the Brethren ye. Six Nations we perceive yt. ye.

french at Canada are much against it pretending that they have

a right to yt. place Brotheren that house is not only a

Securety for our traders but also a great Secureity for our

brethren the five nations were by the french will be

prevented to attack our brethren we know very well yt.

  1. french By false instigations Shall Endeavour to insimate

our brethren to resent yt. good work but wee know very well,

  1. our brethren are wise & prudent & Shall never hearken to ye.

false Storys & Instigations of ye. french who always Endeavour

to break ye Covenant Chain & desire you will do your utmost

Endeavour with ye. rest of our brethren to Secure ye. Sd. house

when ever ye. french or their Indians Should attempt to dispose

us of ye. Same. as for ye. Smith we Shall Acqt. ye. Govern.r with y.e

Same, you may be Sure of being Supplyd with one

 

 

[0400]198a

50)

[Not in Wraxall]

Att a Meeting of the Com.es the 7th

August 1727

Present

Philip Livingston

Myndert Schuyler

Evert Banker

Lancester Seyms

Peter Vn. Brugh

Rutger Bleecker

Reyer Gerritse

Harmanus Wendell

Nicolaes Bleecker

This Day ye. Com.es write a letter to

Capt. Collins to procure Carpenters & workmen to build

4 Large Batoes at Schinnechtady for Carrying up

the Provisions Lately Sent up by his Excellency

for ye. Garrison at Osweege,

That Lourence be Sent for to Come

hither to receive Instructions to go to ye. five nations

to acquaint them with the decease of his late Majesty

King George and that the Prince of Wales

is Proclaimd King of Great Britain france and Ireland

 

[0401] 199

(51

Albany ye. 9th August 1727

[Not in Wraxall]

May it please your Excellency

We had ye. honour to write your Ex.cy on ye. 5th.

Instant Since we Rec.d your Exc.ys favour of ye 3 D.o pr

Mr. Winnen and upon due Consideration of the matter

wee are humbly of opinion that the psents for the Indians

provisions and amunition Should be Sent up with all

Expedition have therefore hired the men to Assist the

Soldjers in bringing up ye Same in three large wooden

Canoes hired at Schinectady and two batoes being one which

last at Schinechtady and one which the Cerpenters

brought down wee have gott about 1000 [lb] of Biskett bread

and twenty bushel of pease from hence and will order to

gett Soon more pease and wheat meal palatines if possabil

there is wheat Anough by ye. palatines but the Season being So

very dry as is reported that the mill was no water to

Grind and the river verry Shallow So that it will be hard

to bring up the loaden Canoes and batoes but we use the

best means we Can and hope for Some wett whether

the goods en provisions are most gone up to Schinechtady

and we hope the batoes and Canoes will Sett out from

thence a fryday morning being the 11th. Instant major

Symes and Coll. Groesbeeck are going up to Schinectady

to dispatch thine, may it please your Excel.cy we

have Considered that if the batoes Should go further

part of the provisions and Come down again for the

rest would take up a Verry long time and detain Capt.

Nicolls to gett at Osweege and the Soner he be there

wee think the better, in this untrese of time,

The Cerpenters did arrive here on ye. 5th. Instant

in the

 

[0402] 199a

52)

in the Evening and Say yt. Capt. Nicolls & Capt. Ban=

=ker were resolved to Sett out from Osweege the next

day after them it is Generally reported that the house at

Osweege is a very fine and Strong building and the

workmen have Labourd very hard at it

Inclosed we send your Ex.cy Copys of the

propositions of the Asskatekook indians and of two of

our Sinios Sachims we do all for the best & hope it

may all turn to good Effect wee remain with due respect

Your Excel.cys

Most humble and Obedient Servants

 

Albany 10th. August 1727

Capt. Banker

In gevolge van Syn Excel.cys order So Sende wy

hier Nestens D: Goederen Volgens inleggende memorandum

tot pSenten voor de Sess Naties hier nestens ook Een op=

=Stelling vant geen wy Oordeele om benestens het geen

syn Excel.cy geordineert heeft aen de Sess naties voor=

=Hellen om watt UE oordeelt na De Gelgentheyt van

Zaaken noodigh daer by te Voegen

Het weider om gaen van UE parsoon nae Osweego om

met de wilden te Spreken Sall UE watt Swaar Schynen

hebbende alreede so veel groote en Moylycke Zaaken

uyt Gericht doch terwyl het veryst voort best vant

landt So twyfelen wy niet of UE Sult met Een niewe

noet Aengedaen Zyn En hoope dat d heer die Alles

Regeert UE Sall versterken en de Zaak voorspoedigh maaken

Wy twyfellen niet of UE Sult met Lourence Claes in

Alles Een goet Verstant & vrintschap houden wy groeten

UE van herten en & blyve met veel respect

Myn heer

UE Seer genege vrinden & Drs

 

[0403] 200

(53

Albany the 10th August 1727

[See Wraxall p. 171.]

May it please your Excellency

We had the honour to write your Excellency

yesterday this comes to Inform your Excel.cy that Captain

Banker is Come to this place this Morning Seekly & week

and Lourence Clase is Come with him,

And Since Capt. Banker is not able by Reason of his

Seekness to go back to Oswegee & Considering yt. your Excel.ys

Good Intention ought not to Stop in a matter of great Consequence

we are Resolved to Send Capt. Philip Schuyler & his brother

Pieter Schuyler to go up with Lourence Claese to meet the

Chief Indians upon Subject & make propositions to them

according to your Excel.cys Distructions we hope your Exc.cy

may be pleased to approve of this our proceedings & as we are

Informd by Capt. Banker & Lourence yt. the indians are now to

have a Meeting at Onnondage which as wee Conjecture may

be upon the propositions mad by the governour of Canada

to the Sachims of Onnondage lately Returd from Canada we

Are humbly of Opinion not to Delay butt hasten those

Gentlemen to go up with all Expedition who have

Undertaken to go for ye. Service of the king & Country

Upon the Credit of the Goverment Wee believe they

will Sett out from hence to Morrow we are with

due Respect,

Your Excellency

Most humble & Obedient Servants

 

P.S. we are very much in

want of belts of wampun

[0404] 200a [Another copy can be found on p. 247.]

54)

Albany ye. 11th Aug.st 1727

Major Symes

In

The inclosed letter was deliverd to us opened wee

have taken a Copy of the Same in Order to Send to his Excel.cy

we desire you send us a line or two by the bearer hereof forth=

=with & thereby Acquit us If you have or Can procure men

enough to Carry up the stores & provisions to Osweego & to Sup=

=ply the Garrison with men at Osweego in Order yt. wee may

be able acquit his Excel.cy with the Circumstancis of matters

Since Capt. Nicolls is Comeing down to Albany According

his letter whether it be the best to take all batoes for Carry=

=ing up the provisions Since Capt. [Banker -crossed out] Nicolls is

belonging down with Eight [Right?] batoes or whether to Succeed

with ye 3 wooden Canoes & two batoes as it was first designed we

leave to your Self Coll. Groesbeck & Capt. Collins we are

Sir

Your most humble Servants

Communicate this

fourthwith to Capt. Collins

& Coll. Groesbeck

 

We are Of opinion yt. Since Capt. Nicolls is Comeing own

to Send all Stores & provisions wt. all the men at

Once together

Was Signd

Peter Vn. Brugh

Hend.k van Renselaer

Rutger Bleecker

Ryer Gerritse

Harmanus Wendell

 

[0405] 201

(55

[Another copy can be found on p. 251.]

Albany ye 12th aug.th 1727

May it please your Excel.cy

we have Acquainted your Ex.cy by our last

of the 10th Instant that Capt. Was Returnd home Seek

& Week by the Inclosed Coppy of Capt. Nicolls letter & ma=

=jor Symes letter your Excel.cy will See that Capt. Nicols

Is Comeing Down with the men wh. Makes Some alterati[on]

about the matters in hand and are Aforead Matters will not

go So Expeditions as We hoped & Expected in respect of getting

Up ye. Stores & provisions our Express met Capt. Nicolls a

Little on this Side of ye. Great Carrying place we believe

it will take a long time before ye. men gett up with the

Stores & provisions to Oswego Capt. [illeg.] Schuyler & his

brother peter with lourens believe will Sett out this

Day from Schinechtady Capt. Schuyler & Lourence go a horse

back to make all the hast the Can to gett up to onnondage

 

[0406] 201a

56)       [Another copy can be found on p. 251.]

 

Att A Meeting of the Com.es of Indian

Affairs ye 15th Aug.st 1727

[Wraxall brief summary p. 171.]

Present

Philip Livingston

Myndert Schuyler

Peter Vn Brugh

Hend. Vn. Renselaer

Rutger Bleeker

Ryer Gerritse

Nicolaes Bleecker

 

May it please yr. Excel.y

Our last was on ye. 12 Instant whereto take leave

to refer Since Capt. Nicolls is Arrivd with ye. N: york

Detachmt. under his Command at Schinechtady, we are

Informd yt. 12 Men thereof are Sick & ye. rest Major Seymes

tells us will not go back to Oswego, So yt thereby your Ex.cys

good Intention is partly vaquated we have Applyd to ma=

=jor Seyms for men to bring up provisions for ye. Detachmt.

posted at oswege all he Can Comand (as he tell us for this

Service are only 12 men out of both Companies who alone

are not Able to bring up the provisions to Supply wh.

Depot we have Judgd it Necessary (tho at a great

Expence to hire men out of our neighbourhood to bring up ye.

[Stores – crossed out] provisions for yt. is chefest article they want at psent,

We had Dispatchd 12 Soldiers & 8 Inhibitants with

provisions from Schinechtady but they turnd back when they

met Capt. Nicols near ye place who are to Sett out again

to morrow with 6 Inhibitants more we hope your Ex.cy

Will be assurd we have Done hitherto our utmost

Endeavours for promoting this work while it is of the greatest

Consequence to this province for ye future Shall be at all times

ready to do, Whatsover is in our power,

We think it would be very Necessary for ye. Service

  1. 6 of our Inhibitants & 6 trusty Indians be Imployd to

lay at Osweego

 

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Minute Book 3: 1727-July: Oswego Needs Food and Trade; Murder at Schoharie; French Governor Visits Albany

On July 5th the Commissioners of Indian Affairs informed Governor Burnet that the building at Oswego would be finished by the first of August according to Captain Evert Bancker. Supplies of food were running low there because the Palatines who had engaged to provide it had only limited amounts and supplying Oswego directly from Albany was prohibitively expensive.  The commissioners tried to reassure the governor that with the bacon they had sent up the previous month and the “wheat meal” provided by the Palatines, matters were not as bad as Captain Nicolls at Oswego suggested. They agreed with him, however, that Oswego very much needed a good Indian Interpreter.

Trade at Oswego was poor and some traders would likely have to bring their goods back. No nations from the vicinity of Tuchsagrondie (present day Detroit) had been there and few from the east. The only trade was coming from closer by, on the north side of Lake Ontario (Cadaraghi) or from those the commissioners described as “our own Indians.” Trade was further complicated by recent changes in the laws that ended the prohibition on trading Indian goods to the French in Canada but still required traders to pay additional duties on them. Governor Burnet accused the commissioners of failing to enforce the new version, but they insisted that they had issued summonses against traders who were out of compliance.

Can a British Governor Punish Indian Murderers at Schoharie?

The commissioners attempted to explain to Governor Burnet the complexities involved in punishing the death of the Palatine settler at Schoharie who had been killed in a quarrel with some Indians after accusing them of stealing a hog. They admitted that an Indian had been hanged in New Jersey for killing an Englishman, but insisted Schoharie was “different Scituated.”  The Six Nations were more numerous and of a “different temper” from the native people living in New Jersey. Moreover the Six Nations were aware that Europeans had killed people from the Six Nations and escaped execution even following a trial and judgement.  The commissioners told the governor they did not know how to apprehend the murderers in the Schoharie case.

French Threats and Diplomacy

The commissioners learned from John Tippets, a New England man who went to Canada to redeem his captive children, that 400 Frenchmen and 600 Indians were ready to attack Oswego, destroy the new building, kill the English living there, and seize their goods.  They also had “private intelligence” that an unidentified individual in Canada had undertaken to surprise and capture Fort Oswego in exchange for 50 pounds. They conveyed this information to Captain Nicolls at Oswego and advised him to be on guard.

Fortunately for the English, Jean Bouillet de La Chassaigne, the governor of Trois Rivieres, arrived in Albany on July 24th with an entourage of his officers and sent a message to Governor Burnet that he wanted to negotiate.  The commissioners paid four pounds and ten shillings to Jacob Visger to convey the party to New York in Jacob Visger’s sloop.

By now the French knew the details of the building at Oswego.  Gaspard-Joseph Chaussegros de Lery, the engineer for the French fort at Niagara as well as many other buildings in French Canada, drew a plan of the new fort as it existed in 1727. It probably seemed primitive to him compared to his grander vision for Niagara and the other public works that he designed. Below is a copy:

Oswego_nypl.digitalcollections.0c5097c0-1484-0134-524f-00505686a51c.001.g

Chaussegros de Léry, Gaspard-Joseph, 1682-1756,”Plan of Oswego, 1727.”  Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library. New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed October 3, 2018.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the first substantive entry for July 1727 starts here on p. 191a. The transcription is below.

[0385] 191

(37

Att A Meeting of ye. Com.es of ye. Indian

Affairs in Albany ye. 1 of July 1727

[REMAINDER OF PAGE IS BLANK]

[0386] 191a

38)

Att a Meeting of ye Com.es of Indian

Affairs in Albany ye. 5.th of July 1727

We had ye. hon.r to write your Ex.cy on ye. 28.th past

Since wh. have Rec.d nothing of Moment from ye. west=

=ward only this inclosed we had to day from Capt. Banker

of the 25th whereby it is to Seem how the building goes

forwd. at Osweege by the Information we have from ye.

head Carpenter it will be finishd by ye. first of ag.t next

the men Capt. Nicolls Sent with a batoe to ye. palatines

for provisions have only 30 Bushels wheat meal from them

So yt. the bacon we Sent Will Come in good time. we

Intend to Send more in a Short time yt. it may Serve

ye. Detachmt. till ye. palatines Can provide with beef & por[k]

[0378] 187a

[Other copies on p. 191a [0386] and p. 243a [0491]]

Albany ye. 14 July 1727

May it please your Ex.cy

We had the hon.r to write to your Ex.cy

p Oothout Since wh. have none of your Ex.cys favours,

the inclosed is from Capt. Nicolls to Capt. Holland

whereby your Ex.cy has an Acct how it goes on with the

building at Osweege, how the Detachmt. are provided

with provisions and what trade is Carryed on there, it

is Supposed yt. Some traders will not have yt Success

as ws Suspected and will Come back with part of

their Goods, for want of Vent, the Detachmt. may

want some provisions but not So much as Nicolls Seen

to Mention ye Men he Sent with a batoe for provisions

to ye palatines had 130 bushel wheat Meal & we Sent

Near 500 lb bacon as we write in our last wh. Arrivd

Soon After he writ last we Calculate yt. Capt. Banks

will have 2 Months provisions for his Detachmt.

Expected pease wh. we do not know how to Supply now,

it may be time Enough to Send ym. further provisions

wn. we Shall have ye hon.r to receive Your Excel.cy answer

how to proceed ye palatines Cant Supply ym. till

Sept. Unless with wheat Meal & Indian Corn, on your

Commands to us of ye 12th April & 19th June relating our

proceeding to ye Acts of Assembly agt. those who have not

Come in & taken ye Advantage of the last Act, made

in their favours we had Sundry Meetings & persu=

=all of the Act passd ye 17th June 1726. we find yt

Every Article Clause or things in ye former Acts are

Inforced, so yt. we humbly conceive yt. wt. Sumonces

have been Issued by the Com.rs are Still in force &

Since no further Complaints are made to ue agt. any

person we Can not proceed we take leave to Subscribe

our Selves yt. we are with Esteem

 

[0387] 192 [Item 2 on page]

(39

Albany 17.th July 1727

Your Ex.cys favours of ye. 15 Instant we Rec.d & observe

ye Contents our last was ye. 14.th Instant. whereto we take

leave to refer, the agreemt. with the palatines we Could

not make more favourable to Send it from hence would

Cost much More while its a great distance thither

they think they have a hard bargain to furnish ye. provi.s as we agreed

We have been Informd yt. an Indian was hangd for killing

an English-Men in N:yerseys yt. place is place is [sic] different

Scituated in respect to our five nations numerous are of a

different temper & More they those who live in ye. Jerseys

& on an other hand their have Indians been killd by our

people who have not been Executed for it but made

their

[0388] 192a

40)

their Escape after tryall & Judgemt. wh. they allways abridge [upbraid?]

us with how to Apprehend ye. Murderers now yt. killd ye.

Palatine at Skohere we cant tell we gave your Ex.cy

timely notice of this fact,

We Cant hear yt. there has been in a Manner any

Trade at Oswegee from Tuchsaghrondie Indians all yt.

has been there this year is from our own Indians

& those Living on ye. North Side Cadaraghqus lake & few

living to ye. Eastward of it its Supposed many of our traders

will be obliged to Com Back with their goods its Said yt.

Clear rum has already been Sold there at 3/ p gallon

by one trader to Another,

We are at a Stand what to Conjecture yt. ye french are

doing at Canada haveing had no manner of Intillegence

from there since April,

We are of Opinion with Mr. Nicolls yt. an able

Indian Interpreter will be much wanting at Osweege

 

Albany ye. 25 July 1727

[See Wraxall p. 170 for brief mention.]

Present

Philip Livingston

Myndert Schuyler

Peter Vn. Brugh

Henry Renselaer

Lancester Symes

Ryer Gerritse

Stephanus Groesbeeck

Harmanus Wendell

Nicolaes Bleecker

May it please your Ex.cy

We take this oppertunity to Inform your

Ex.cy yt. Yesterday arrivd here Mon.s Lasasangie Gov.r

of trois riviere accopanyd with Some Officers message is to

your Ex.cy & Intends to Sett out from hence in a 3 days

by what we hear is ye. Subject of his Errant is ab.t our

building at Oshweege M.r John Tippets from N: England

who has been to Canada to redeem his Captive Children

Inform us yt. 400 french & 800 Indians have been ready

to March directly to Oshweege to Destroy ye. building kill

& take our people & their goods, but has been happyly by

the advice

[0389] 193

(41

the advice Mons.r Lasasangie who has Offerd his Service to

Undergo ye. fetague of this Journey to Mediate this Affair

with your Ex.cy Mean time an Officer is Sent to Oshweege

with orders to desire our people their to desist from building

till they have ye. resolt of this message their forces are to be

kept ready at an hours warning ye. Indians of Cachnawage

have firmly promisd ye. Gov.r of Canada not to have any

Communication with this place. Sd. Tippits is going to New

york who Can give your Excy. a particular Acct. how Affairs

are at Canada

Inclosed is a letter from Capt. Banker wherein is

no better Intelligence yt. we have from Montreal.

The Com.es agreed with Mr. Jacob Visger to Carry Mon.s

Lasasanie Gov.r of trois rivier now in town with people

in his Company in his Sloop to N: York for Seaven pounds

ten Shillings for ye. trip down & for four pound ten Shil=

=lings up hither again & to lye 8 a 9 days at N: York

[“Mons. Lasasangie” refers to Jean Bouillet de La Chassaigne (1654-1733) who became governor of Trois-Rivieres in 1726. He traveled to New York to urge Governor Burnet to remove Fort Oswego according to his entry in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.]

[0390] 193a

42)

Att a meeting of ye Com.es of Indian

Affairs ye. 26 July 1727

Capt. Nicolls

We had ye. perusall of yours to Capt. Holland

wherein you very Justly Imagine yt. ye french are

hatching some mischief ag.t us we have ye Same

Intilligences from Canada as you intimate & ye. Gov.r

of trois rivere is here & going to his Ex.cy our Gover.r with

a message abt. our building at Oshweege, we have

private Intilligence yt. a Man at Canada has undertaken

for £50 with a few men to Surprize you & take possession

of ye building & disposess you wh. would be dangerous

Consequence to this province wherefore we desire you

to be on your Gaurd & not to Suffer on no acct. whatsoever any

french or any of their Indians to Enger into ye. house

We Send you a half barrel powder 56 lb lead & 28 lb

Shot for a Small Supply & [blank space] lb bacon we wish you all

well & Assure you yt. we are —-

[0392] 194a

44)

Albany ye. 26 July 1727

May it please your Ex.cy

We had ye. hon.r Yesterday to acqt. your Ex.cy

yt Mons.r Lassasnaje Gov.r of trois Rivine arrive here

ye 24th Instant as we are Informd with a message from ye.

Gov.r of Canada to y.r Ex.cy haveing good reason to be

perswaded yt. ye. Subject is Errant about our building at

Osweege & as we hear ye. french at Canada are very much alarmd

at our possessing yt. place & ye. forces ready to Attack & dispo=

=ses us is a great presumtion in ym. & of ye. last Consequence

to this province all ye. Neigbouring provinces on this Con=

=tenant wh. we humbly hope may be treated with great

Caution & delibration yt. ye. good union & firm aligance wh.

Subjects between ye. two Crowns may not be violeted by ye.

french of Canada, & its province disturbd in their Just & In=

=doubted right & possession of ye. lands Solemnly agreed to

belong to ye Crown of great britain & they in no manner

to preven any Indians freely to trade with ye. british

Subjects, as this Gentlemen is a person of Distinction & yt. we

are in Expectation yt. your Exc.y may be pleased with our

Opinion on this Cretical Subject wh. would take up too

much room to write out of ye. Great Concernd we have desird

& prevaild on Coll. M: Schuyler & Mr. Livingston with whom we

have discourd & told our Sentiments Abt. this Affair wh. we

hope may be Acceptable to y.r Ex.cy with respect we

Remain

Your Ex.cys most humble

& most Obed.t Servants

Peter Vn. Brugh                      Nicolaes Bleecker

Lancester Symes                     Harmanus Wendle

Rutger Bleecker                       Ph: Schuyler

St: Groesbeeck

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Minute Book 3: 1727-June: Construction at Oswego Continues Despite Illness and French Threats; Sachims From Detroit Condole Pieter Schuyler; the French Encourage Albany’s Slaves to Run Away

By mid June Lancaster Symes was well enough to attend a meeting of the Indian Commissioners but a “Distemper” now “raged” in both the city and county of Albany., affecting some of the commissioners By the end of June, two workmen at Oswego were sick and Evert Bancker’s son had set out to help his father, who was so gravely ill that he needed to return home. Nonetheless the work on the trading house continued and the commissioners assured the governor that it was going well.  The contract for providing food to the troops at Oswego went to Johan Jurch Kast and Johan Joost Petri, two justices of the peace living among the Palatines “above the falls” (present day Little Falls?).  The agreement was made for the coming year, but the Palatines had no bacon, pork, or beef, so the commissioners sent up 400 pounds of bacon. They corresponded with the governor as well as with Evert Bancker (in Dutch), Captain Holland, and Captain Nicolls about progress on the building and other details of the operation, such as obtaining skins for shoes for the men at the fort, finding limestone, repairing the road and bridges at the Oneida Carrying Place, and the details of where to deliver supplies. Wood Creek was running low, making it more difficult to transport goods. Overall, progress was steady but slower than expected.

The commissioners hoped that the British would succeed in convincing the French government that the French fort at Niagara violated the Treaty of Utrecht, but in reality the French had already finished Fort Niagara. There was now a real danger that they could prevent travel from distant nations to Albany. The French had also repealed their former ban on selling alcohol to Indians in order to better compete with the English. And despite Captain Bancker’s efforts to prevent them, the Six Nations had sent sachims to meet with the governor of Canada, mainly from Onondaga. Trade did fall off, both at Oswego and at Albany, where no Indians from Canada were seen. The price of rum at Oswego fell and the commissioners did not hear any news from Canada because no one from Canada came to Albany to trade. In addition to creating a surplus of trade goods, this cut off a source of intelligence.

Pieter Schuyler is Condoled by the Potowatomi and Tuchsagrondie (Detroit)

The exception occurred on June 16th, when Wynamack, a leader from a nation “called by the French poatami” (most likely the Potowatomi), appeared in the company of Ajastoenis, an old man who was identified as coming from Tuchsagrondie (Detroit). After finding a translator who could speak their language, the commissioners held a formal meeting with them at which the visitors condoled Pieter Schuyler, (Quider), who had died more than three years before, in February 1724. They lit a calumet pipe of peace painted blue and smoked it with the commissioners. Wynamack said that he was leaving the calumet at Albany as a token that his nation would come to trade there if he could report back to them that he was treated well and prices were cheap. He also said the French  had tried to stop him from coming and told him that he would be badly received now that Pieter Schuyler was dead. He did not believe them based on former promises that  “ye houses would be open here for the far Nations who are Civilly & Kindly treated.” (Likely these promises were made by one of the messengers sent west to distant nations in the name of the commissioners over the previous few years.) The commissioners welcomed Wynamack and Ajastoenis with gifts of blankets and rum, thanked them for condoling Pieter Schuyler, and assured them that the governor had appointed others in his place to treat with them. They advised them to ignore the French threats and promised that “[H]ere is Always a perpetuall Succession of Sachims as you Now See.” They said that the tree of friendship still grew at Albany to protect them from all evil. They hoped it would spread over all the “remote Indians” and that they would come to trade both at Albany and at Oswego. They explained that goods were expecially cheap because so few others had come to trade that year and invited them to test this for themselves.

A Frenchman from Philadelphia is Encouraging Albany’s Slaves to Run to Canada

The commissioners complained to Governor Burnet that a Frenchman had come from Philadelphia to Albany by way of New York.  In their words, “we find on Examination [that he] has been pampering with Severall Negro Slaves at this place to run to Canada [which] is of Dangerous Consequence [that] our Slaves Should be Intic’d to run thither.” They ordered him to go back where he came from. The somewhat confusing of their letter wording suggests that they sent him to New York on a boat with Captain Peter Winne and “Jacobse,” but the unnamed Frenchman told them that he would wait there and return to Canada with three other Frenchmen who had recently  gone to Philadelphia. The commissioners asked Governor Burnet to “secure” him to prevent his return to Albany.  It appears that Governor Burnet responded by ordering him not to come to Albany again. It is interesting to speculate as to whether the runaway slave retrieved from Seneca country in May by Evert Bancker had been working with this Frenchman.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the first entry for June 1727 starts here on p. 186. The transcription is below.

[0375] 186

(27

Albany ye [10] June 1727

May it please your Ex.cy

Your Ex.cys Severall Acceptable favours we have Rec.d

which we Should have Answerd much Sooner but have

been pvented yt. Some of us have been out of town, others

Out of order with ye Distemper w.h rages in our City

& County, & that haveing had had of late any Materiall

news from ye westward to Communicate to your Ex.cy

we are Assurd by ye traders who are Come Down yt. ye

building at Osweege goes on very well yt. on ye 4th Instant

the beams of the first Store was to be layd as may ap=

=pear by the Inclosed from the head Carpenter, we are

told yt. but 2 or 3 Canoes with Indians have been to

trade there Since Capt. Banker write last y.r there had

been 20 odd its Conjecturd yt. the french at Jagara

Stop ym. while the traders who pass by our trading

place are party loaded with Brandy w.h they never

premitted to Carry up till Now to Cut of our trade it is Re=

=ported yt. they think our people have found Lime Stone,

We Write Some time Since to Capt. Banker to

Stop the Sachims of the 6 Nations to go to Canada on ye

Invitation of ye Governour, but hear yt. Severall are gone

thither tho chiefly from Onnondage who are Inclind in

the french Intrest

We write to ye. two Justices Living among the

palatines above the falls to Come hither to agree with

Us for ye Delivery of provisions for ye Detachmt. gone

to Osweege,

It is long Since we had any manner of

Intelligence from Canada, no Indians Come from

thence to trade here,

We return you Ex.cy Our most herty thanks for

Sending

 

[0376] 186a

Sending us the news, wh. we take very kind & as a great

favour, we hope his Majesties arms may have Such

Good Success, over ye Spanish & Imperor as we desire

from the bottom of Our hears,

Its Conjecturd yt. ye Detachmt. Sent to Osweege

are arrivd there abt. ye 7 Instant they might have

been there Sooner had they not Met with bad

Whether & litle water in ye wood Creek

 

Albany the 12 June 1727

[Second copy on p. 243 [0490]]

May it please yr. Ex.cy

Since we had the hon.r to write to your

Excell.cy on the 10 Instant we are Informd yt. a french=

men Lately Come from philadelphi but last from

N: York who we find on Examination has been pam=

=pering with Severall Negro Slaves at this place to run

to Canada w.h is of Dangerous Consequence yt. our Slaves

Should be Intic’d to run thither, this fellow we had orderd

to return from whence he Came p.r Capt. Winne who

is to take him on board) he gives Out yt. he will

waite for ye Oppertunity of these three french=

=Men lately come from Canada & gone to philadel=

=phia to go with ym. but we humbly hope yt. he may

be Securd yt. he may not go thither this way

[0377] 187

[Second copy on p. 243 [0490]]

Albany 16 June 1727

May it please Your Excell.cy

We had the hon.r to write your Ex.cy

p.r peter Winne & Jacobse Since wh. we had ye

Inclosed from Capt. Nicolls ye traders Inform us

yt. it Would be done 3 weeks but it Seems yt. Capt.

Nicolls Suppose it would be 6 Weeks before it would

be finish we Cant Understand yt. Only 2 Masons are

at Work while more are there who Can be Imployd

we have Sent A Second letter for the palatines to Come

hither to Agree with us for the Delivery of provisions

for ye Men at Osweege, who we Expect in a few days

We Suppose they’l not be Able prevaild on to deliver

it further yt. the Wood Creek, it Seems yt. ye. french

have Already finish ye building at Jagara as

their traders are Allowd brandy they will do us no

litle damage yet hope Every thing may Succeed

According to your Ex.cy Expectation,

This day Arrivd here a few [days ago – crossed out] far Indians

but Cant Speak with ym. till to Morrow for want of

An Interpreter what they Shall purpose will not faile

to Communicate to your Exc.y pr first Oppertunity mean

while take leave to —- yt. we are with Great Esteem

& Respect, —

 

[0379] 188                                                                                                      (31

Att a meeting of the Com.es of the

Indian Affairs in Albany ye. 18th of

June 1727

Present

Philip Livingston

Myndt. Schuyler

Peter Van Brugh

Henry Van Renselaer

Rutger Bleecker

Lancester Symes

Reyer Gerritse

Step. Groesbeeck

Harmanus Wendell

Nicolaes Bleecker

Two Indians Sachims one from detroit alias

Tuchsachronde named ajastoenies & ye Other from ye.

Nation Calld by ye french poatamis named Wynamack

Appeard before this board with a Calumet pipe pointed [painted?]

blew, who make the following Speech,

We are not Come hither only on an Idle Errant

but Chiefly to Visit & See our fathers with our own Eyes–

how they do, and how Affairs are here,

We are Sent by ye. Sachims of Tuchsachrondie

with this Errant yt. they have heard yt. Coll. Peter Schuy=

=ler is dead, to Inquire whether it be so or not, & while we

are Assurd yt. he is departed this life We Come to Condole his

Death & Cover his grave with a bever Coat yt. it may

not be Exposd to ye. rain wh. we desire his Excel.cy our

father Corlaer may be Acquainted with,

They filld ye. Calumet with tobacco lighted it, yn. one

one of ym. went abt. & lett all the Com.rs take Some whiffs

Out of It as a Ceremony among ym. of peace & frindship

yt. they use in their treaties with ye. neighbouring Nations,

one of ym

[0380] 188a

32)

One of ym. Said I am but a young man of the

Nation Calld patamis & am Come hither directly from

hunting in company with this old men ajastoenies Else

would have brought Some psents from my nation but can

Only leave this pipe as a toaken yt. our Nation will

Come to trade here,

I have had but an Indifferent hunting

of bevers wh. ye. french would have traded from me as I

Came down but they would give me but trifles for it

and having heard yt. goods were So Cheap here induced to

Come to make a tryall of it the old Indian Ajastoenis,

I am come now but with a few Skins to See

how you do here & if I meet with good treatmt. & get

a good penny worth I Come again with large quantity

of Skins,

I have Mett with Great Diffeculty from

the french who would prevent me going to See you

Alleadeing yt. Coll. Schuyler dead & by yt. I would not

herken to any thing they told me, being Assurd other

men would be Appointed by our Selves ye. Gov.r to

Represent him therefore I presisted in my Design to

go & see my fathers. & would give no Credit to any

thing ye french told me Depending on what has

been formerly promised me yt. ye. houses would be open

here for the far Nations who are Civilly & Kindly

treated.

It was represented unto me yt. Some Ill Shouts

befall on me from you but I depened on your promis=

=ses & Engagemts yt. we Should be Always wellcome

I was almost in great darkness & Coverd over yt. I

Could Scarcely see ye. sun, but I have Uncoverd ye. [roofs]

by my constant resolution in Comeing hither & now find &

soe a Clear [resol – crossed out] sun Shine & Every thing well give a few

Skins )

Answer of ye

[0381] 189

(33

Answer of ye Com.es made on 19.th June 1727

We are Rejoycd to see you here & bid you

hearty Welcome at this place yt. we have ye Oppertunity to

Smoake together out of ye. pipe of peace its a pleasure for

us to hear from you yt. you have not regarded what ye. french

did falsely Insinuate ag.t us to prevent your Comeing hither

You will ever find true & Certain what we promise you, yt.

this place is a seat peace where ye. tree of fridship is Plan=

=ted whose reach now over all your habitation under whose

Schilter you may be Certain to & be Secure from all Evill

the Evil, ye Sun wh. Shines on yt. tree will we hope Spread

Over All ye. remote Indians, & ye. Good report you will bring

your Nations treatmt. here we Expect will Induce a greater

Number to Come hither or to ye. trading place at Ochsweege

where you please,) wh. house is build there as a token yt. ye.

path hither Shall be at all times open & Clear for you to

come without any Apprehension of fear, wherefore be Content

& never Regard what ye french may tell you yt. we Shall

Use you Ill, wh. they do with no Other View but yt. they

may Exact & Impose on you as they have done for

these Many Years past to make you their goods at an

Extravagent high price, wh. we hope you may perceive

now to open your Eyes, we Cant Omit to advice you

not to hearken to ye. french if they Should propose to unto

you or any other Indians near yow to Engage in a war

together for they will Contrive to prevent your Comeing to

trade here his Excel.cy Injoyns ye. five Nations to lett you

freely pass without any Interruption & therefore we recommend

you

[0382] 189a

34)

You to [Stay – crossed out] keep a Strict & firm Alliance & good

Understanding with ym.) we Return you thanks for ye.

Condoling ye. Death of Coll. Schuyler wh. we take very

kind from you (& Shows the true regard you have for

this Governmt. ye. Gov.r of this province had Appointed him

with Other psons to treat with you & all Other remote

Indians, here is at All times Some persons who Repre=

=sent our Gov.r Your Kind & Indulgent father if one pSon

dyes he Appoints Others in the room if he thinks fitt So yt.

here is Always a perpetuall Succession of Sachims as you

Now See.

You find our Goods Very Cheap here we have

Abundance at this time for have sufficiently provided

our Selves of all Sorts in Expectation yt. a great Number of ye.

far Indians would have Come to trade with Skins &

peltry & now our Stores are all filld & your people are

backward in Comeing Contrary to the former promisses

to do, now to Convince you of what we Say you may

go & try were Ever you please & yn. you find true wh. we Say

Given them 20 Gall. Rum 6 blankets Strouds & 4 blankets

 

[0383] 190

(3

Att A meeting of the Com.es of ye. indian

Affairs in Albany ye 22th June 1727–

Present

Philip Livingston

Pe: Van Brugh

Rutger Bleeker

Ryer Gerritse

Lancester Symes

St. Groesbeeck

Harmanus Wendell

Nicolaes Bleeker

Rec.d this day a letter from his Ex.cy

Wm. Burnet Esq.r &c. dated ye 19th Instant ye. Com.es agreed

with Johan Jurch Kast & Johan Joost Petri ye 2 Justices

liveing above ye falls among ye palatines for ye. Delivery of

provisions for ye. Detachmt. who are to Stay at Osweege,

to Deliver it at ye. Wood Creek over the Carying place

Or at the Canada Creek where it Comes into ye. Sd. wood

Creek to witt for a lb. pork 4 1/2, a lb. beef 3 3/4, a Skeple

wheat meal or a Skeple pease 5/ for one year & yt. at

Expiration thereof to provide for a longer time if his Ex.cy

Gov.r Burnet Esq.r &c. Approves of this agreemt. & they are

willing yn. to do It.

 

[0391] 194

(43

Albany 26 June 1727

Capt. Banker

VE aengenaeime p.r Mr. Hend Cuyler hebbe roy

ontfangen en den Inhout Estaen het is ons Seer lief

dat het gebouw by nae Claer is, het, gerught dat ve heb

wegens de france in canada om met maght ons volk

op oshweege te overvallen & possessie vant huys neemen

wy hebben daer Sekerhegt van over dese wegh dat 400

franse & 800 wilden Claer geweeft Lyn in Montreal om

dat Ongeoorlooft werk uyte voeren dogh als wy Geinformeert

Syn is het getackt tot dat de Gov.r Van Trois Riviere Mons.r

Lasoasanje Syn Ex.cy onse Gov.r Sall Gesproken hebben wien

nu aft gaet N: York wy hoopen dat het Een Goede uytstaef

magh hebben, wy Estaen dat Een psoon in Canada ondernoi=

=men heeft voor £50 met 10 a 12 man om het huys te Erassen

& So daer possessie van te neemen, twelk Informatie wy

nu aen Capt. Nicolls Senden dat ock de raede is van dese

Express dat hy op Syn           [blank space] magh syn wy ordeelen he raat=

=saen dat Ghy D’ Sackemakers dit behant te maken en dat

ghy 6 Trouwe wilden in gagert om op Osweege te leggen in

gasie bestaelt Sall worden So als VE Sall Accorderen & hoope

VeE sult met Lourence der over Avissoren

 

[0384] 190a

36)

Att a Meeting of the Com.es of ye.

Indian Affairs in Albany ye. 28th June

1727

Philip Livingston

Langester Symes

Rutger Bleecker

Ryer Gerritse

Harmanus Wendell

Stephanus Groesbeeck

May it please your Ex.cy

Your Excellencys favours of the 19th Instant

we received since which no oppertunity has offerd, we give

your Excellency thanks for Ordering the frenchmen not to Return

hither again,

The building we hear by the Last advice

goes not So forward, as we Expected 2 of the workmen are

Sick which may keep it back for Some little time, Capt.

Holland has had the peruzall of your Excellencys letter

and has write to Captain Nicolls to gett Skins for Shoes

for the men as we Shall do by ye first Opertunity,

The report about the young men who had found

lime Stone, and would not discover it proves false for we

hear he Shewd the place,

We hope that our ambassador in france who has orders

to represent agt. ye. building at Jagara may have good Succeed,

We have agreed with ye. palatines to furnish ye

Detachmt. have Osweege with provisions for one year as

Appears by our Minute of ye. 22th Instant, but they have no

bacon pork nor beef now we Send now thither 400 lb. bacon

by Capt. Bankers Son who going up to See his father who

we hear is Sick but Cant learn yt. he is very Ill we

Shall look out for a Smith & armourer & Inform y.r Ex.cy in

our next,

P.S. by ye. Information we have ye. road & bridges on ye

Carrying place want to be repaird

Posted in 1727, Dutch documents | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in 1727, Dutch documents | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Minute Book 3: 1727-April: The Indians Oppose Construction at Oswego But the Commissioners Move Forward

In April the Commissioners of Indian Affairs sent Laurence Claessen to Oswego to help Captain Evert Bancker as interpreter. Claessen was given detailed instructions about how to reconcile the Six Nations to the construction of a fortified “trade house” there. In theory, Governor Burnet had pursuaded them to agree to it in at a treaty conference in 1724, but it was clear that there was still opposition and that the French were encouraging it. Laurence was told to “tell them [the building] is for ye Conveniency of the traders to Secure their Goods according to the leave & Consent given by the Said Sachims to his Excellency in 1724 to prevent that their goods may not be taken out of their Small bark houses, and that the traders may Secure and Store” unsold goods rather than bringing them home again.  He was also told to say that the French intended to build a fort at Oswego to block trade with Albany even for the Six Nations, so the new building was for their security as well as to protect trade with more distant nations. Moreover the “Great and Good King of great Britain” would take it as “the Greatest Affront” if they opposed the building.

But Evert Bancker did not wait for Laurence.  On April 26th, the commissioners wrote to Governor Burnet to inform him that Bancker had already met with the Sachims who had denied him their consent to build. The commissioners hoped that when Claessen arrived he could change their minds. They also informed the governor about another source of tension. Some of the Palatines living at Schoharie had recently accused Indians there of killing a Palatine hog,. A fight broke out and a Palatine man was wounded. The governor was concerned, but the commissioners suggested waiting to see whether the sachims would not take the initiative to come reconcile matters.

In the meantime, Governor Burnet had already sent the commissioners a model to use for the proposed building and approved their plans for hiring workmen, building boats, sawing boards, and buying horses to send to Oswego to haul stone and timber.  And even though the building was promoted as a trading house, the governor also ordered troops to be sent there immediately, including a captain, two lieutenants, two sergeants, 2 corporals, and a drummer, as well as stores and provisions.  At Burnet’s request the commissioners ordered Captain Collins (probably at Fort Frederic in Albany) to find 26 wagons to carry the supplies up all at once. “If any person Should Refuze they must be Imprest.” Collins was told to find carpenters to make three boats with 66 paddles and 15 iron shod “setting poles” as quickly as possible “not to Lose one day.” The governor promised to pay for all the men.

At Oswego, Captain Evert Bancker would be in charge of the building as well as the trade. The commissioners hired the mason Isaac Bogaert as chief workman and director. Cornelis Waldron was also hired as a mason, Benjamin Bogaert and Nicolaes Groesbeck were hired as carpenters., and Conraet Becker and Christian Jans as sawyers to make boards for the building. Jeremy Schuyler, Johannes Beekman Junior, and Nicholaes Wyngaert agreed to “lett their Servants work as Laborers” on the project for wages. The minutes do not specify how much, if any, went to the servants and how much to their masters. The commissioners did not note the names of the servants, who may have been slaves. The wording suggests that Schuyler, Beekman, and Wyngaert may also have gone to Oswego, possibly to trade. Workmen set out for Oswego on April 13th with a birch canoe and two “batoes,” which the commissioners thought worked better for the purpose.

IMG_1179

Dugout and birchbark canoes on exhibit at the H. Lee White Maritime Museum on the pier at Oswego.

To make sure there was adequate transportation for materials and tools, no one working on the building was allowed to carry trade goods. The minutes specify the terms of employment for each worker, including wages, hours, and travel expenses. From the commissioners’ own funds they added a generous supply of rum. They bought two horses from Peter Van Brugh and a third from Peter Schuyler and sent to them to Oswego with Laurence Claessen. When they heard that the Iroquois had denied consent to build, they offered to send two additional “men who have good Interest among ye Indians” to help Claessen and Bancker as well as more presents to persuade the Iroquois to agree to the building.  They told the governor that the workmen would move ahead and start cutting wood, sawing boards, and digging a well. The governor agreed to guarantee the money for the additional presents. 

Evert Bancker had been travelling and trading in Iroquoia for years, but evidently did not have the same level of skill possessed by Laurence Claessen, whether with languages or diplomacy or both.  Bancker preferred Dutch to English and the entries for April include some of his correspondence in Dutch with the commissioners.  I have included my best shot at transcribing it but I have not tried to translate it.  Volunteers are welcome!

The commissioners also sent the governor a letter that they had received from Massachusetts Governor William Dummer.  The minutes don’t describe its contents except to say that it was “a Strange Retaliation for our good offices & pains” as well as expenses in trying to preserve security on the Massachusetts frontier. Evidently Massachusetts was still at odds with Albany over how to resolve the conflict between the Eastern Indians and the New England colonies.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the first entry for April 1727 starts here on p. 178a. The transcription is below.

Att a Meeting of ye. Com.es of the

Indian Affairs in Albany ye. 3d Apr. 1727

[A duplicate copy can be found at p. 239 [0482].]

Present

Philip Livingston

Peter Vn. Brugh

Henry Renselaer

Rutger Bleecker

Reyer Gerritse

Stephanus Groesbeek

Harmanus Wendell

Nicolaes Bleeker                                 This day Rec.d from his Excel.cy William

Burnet Esq.r &c. two letters of the 23 & 23th past in answer

to two letters from this board of the 16 & 20th Dito directed us

to agree with workmen here on ye best terms Can be done

to build the house at the Mouth of Onnondage river

Near ye lake and to Send up ye Interpreter to Capt. Ban=

=ker in Case we think it Necessary,

In Obedience to his Ex.cys directions agreed this day

with Isaac Bogaert & Cornelis Waldron Masons Benjamin Bogaert

& Nicolaes Groesbeck Carpenters to build Sd. house accor=

=ding to the Modle Sent by his Ex.cy at 8 / diem Each from

the day they Sett out till their Return home Excepting

Sundays to find themselves with provisions. but they to be

provided

 

[0361] 179

Provided with Canoes or baties to bring up the Materialls

and towls Sent hither from new york for ye use of the Sd house

Agreed with Coenraet Becker & Chirstian Jans Law=

=yers to Saw Timber & boards for ye. Use of Sd. house & Such other

Work as they Shall be Imployd at by Capt. Banker & the Chief

builder at 5/ p Diem on Condition as above

Agreed Also with Mr. Jeremy Schuyler Joh.s Beekman

Ju.r & Nicolaes Wyngaert to lett their Servants work as

Laborers at the Sd. house at 4/ p diem for the days they Shall

Work, on their own diat and to be pd. for their Journey back

If they do not Come home with their masters

Its resolved that none of the workmen Shall Carry up any

trading Goods, that they may not be hinderd to Carry up the

necessaries & towls for Sd. building,

Bought from Capt. Peter Van Brugh two horses

and from Mr. Peter Schuyler at £5÷ Each to be Sent up to ye

mouth Of Onnondage river for drawing Stone boards beams &c. for

building Said house,

Orderd yt. a letter be Write & Sent to Lourence Claese

the Interpreteer forthwith to Come hither to Receive orders to go

to Onnondage [river – crossed out] to be Capt. Banker Interpreter

 

Att A Meeting of ye. Com.rs of ye Indian

Affairs in Albany ye 4th. of April 1727

[A duplicate copy can be found at p.239a/ 0483.]

Present

Philip Livingston

Myndert Schuyler

Henry Renselaer

Rutger Bleecker

Reyer Gerritse

Stephanus Groesbeek

Har: Wendell                           The Commissioners have this day agreed & allowd

unto Isaac Bogaert the Sume of 5 pound over & above

his wages of 8/p Diem to be Chief Workmen & director of the

building to be made at ye Mouth of Onnondage river yet

is to be under Command of Capt. Banker

Allowd unto the workmen who are to build ye Sd. house 12

Gallon rum above the Alowance of ye thirty Gallon sent for

  1. from new york all w.h is to be paid by ye Com.rs out of their

Allowance of two hundred pound p annum

 

[0364] 180a [Item 2 – out of chronological order in original.]

Albany 4th April 1727

Capt. Collins

Being this day honourd with a letter from his Ex.cy

who has orderd a Capt. two Lieut. 2 Serg.ts 2 Corpralss & one D[rummer]

to be sent to Osweege and has directed us yt. all the batoes Stores

& provisions be Sent with all Speed to your place in Order to

Imbareg we desire you to procure 26 waggons to Carry up

all at once if any person Should Refuze they must be

Imprest there will be 66 padles 15 Setting poles ye last Shod

with Iron Required wh. we hope youl gett made without

delay you also are Desird to Imploy as many Cerpenters as

Can be Imployd to make three batoes with as much Speed

as possible not to [Refuse – crossed out] Lose one day & if any might refuse

they must be Imprest we want 50 Sk: boiling pease for ye.

Batoes pray let us know if they are to be had at Your place

his Excel.cy has been pleased to Ingage to pay for all ye.

men favour us with a line in answer and youl oblidge

who are with Esteam

 

 

[0362] 179a

13)

[Another copy can be found at p.240 / 0484. It is substantially the same.]

Att a Meeting of the Com.rs of ye

Indian Affairs in Albany ye 6th day of Ap.l 1727

Present

Ph: Livingston

Mynd:t Schuyler

Henry Renselaer

Rutger Bleecker

Reyer Gerritse

St. Groesbeeck

Har. Wendell

Ph: Schuyler                                        This Board acquainted Lourence Claese

that his Ex.y had been please to approve of our Sending

him to Cap. banker at Onneyde to Serve as his Inter=

=preter to Communicate to ye Sachims of ye 5 Nations

that his Excel.cy Wm. Burnet Esq.r &c. good intention

and design to build a trading house at Sweege on ye

mouth of Onnondage river the better to promote

& Carry on a trade with the far Indians,

Agreed with the Said interpreter for his Service at

Onnondage and to bring up with another men (whom he

is to hire on ye best terms he Can) three horses to the mouth

of Onnondage river to be Imployd for drawing timber

& Stone for the Sd. house, for the Sume of £20÷ to be paid

by the Sd. Com.es out of their Allowance of £200÷ but if he

be Obliged to Attend any time on Capt. Banker at the

building its agreed he Shall be allowd what

is Resonable above Sd. Sume

This board have tought [bought] powder to

Send Capt. Banker p Sd. Interpreter the following addi=

=tional Instructions,

Haveing obtaind Consent from his Exc.y Gov.r

Burnet Esq.r &c to Send Lourence Claese the Interpreter

to Inform the Indians with the Intention of his Sd. Ex.cy

for building a house at Sweege it being a matter of Great

Consequence

[0363] 180

(13

Consequence to this Governmt. if it Should be Opposd by

the Indians, you are therefore to use your best Endeavours

to Obtain their Consent for wh. purpose, We Recommend

you that observe & follow such directions as you have & Shall

Receive from his Ex.cy as near as possible you Can in relati=

=on to your treaty with the Sachims of the Six Nations

Concerning his Ex.cys Intention for building a house at Osweege

Near Cadrachqus Lake you must tell them is for ye Conveniency

of the traders to Secure their Goods according to the leave & Con=

=sent given by the Said Sachims to his Ex.cy in 1724 to prevent

that their goods may not be taken out of their Small bark

houses, and that the traders may Secure and Store their

goods for wh. they Can have no ready Sale, and not be Obliged

to bring back hither

You are also to acqu.t ye Indians yt. the Chief motive wh.

Moves this Governmt. to build this trading house at Osweege

is that his Ex.cy is Informd that the french design to

Make a fortification at Sd place which will not Only ye far

Indians from Comeing to trade there and at Albany with the

Inhbitations of this province but also the five nations them=

=selves by which means they Would Entirely make ymSelves

of All the Indians and Surround ye brethren on all Sides, that

they have had Sufficiet proof of ye french fortifying near them

and on ye Contrary that they have had repeated Instances

of the Civil treatmt. and kind behaviour of this Government

towards ym for their Secureity and wellfare for many years

past at this building will pVent the french from makeing

Any Attempt to fortify near it, and as it is done as well

for their Secureity as for promoteing the Sd. trade so we Cant

Suppose but that they [may-crossed out] will readily agree to approve of this

good Intention. that we Cant think yt. they do Entertain or

believe any report or Stories yt. ye. french of Canada may have

Spread am.g ym. to resentmt. yt. our Gov.r has Orderd to begin ye Buil=

=ding & finishd this house if they do our Gov.r who represents

the Great

 

[0364] 180a

14)

The Great and Good King of great Britain their father

& protecter would take it as the Greatest Affront that

can be done his Sd. Majesty and him Given under our

hands in Albany this 6 Day of April 1727

was Signd by these presents as

above

[0365] 181

(15)

Albany 6 april 1727

Capt. Banker

Wy hebben VE laest Geschreven p Mr.

John Cuyler & BPisger nevens Een brief Van Zyn Ea[f]

haar toe Gefonden,

Hier Nevens gaet Een andere brief van Zyn

Ex.cy p Lourence Claese als meede Instructer van ons

Jon.es Vedder heef De presente Van de Viff Naties &

Verre Wilde & Eerste £30÷ & de Laeste 20÷ beftaende

In Sulke Goederen als p inlegende Memorie om door VE

Vergeven te werden als V e. Goet Sall Ordeelin, voor best

Vant publick Wy & hoopen dat gy VE uyterste de voir

Sall Aen wenden dat D Wilde Gewilligh toe Staen het

Op bowen vant huys En ghy niet Mankere Sutt om Suloe

te Scygen willen wy niet aen twyfellen So Sullen

met Slangen D guntt te Uyt Slagh Van VE met patien=

=tie asisaghten

Lourence heeft drie paarden voor hout & Steen &c.

Meede te ryen voor het Opbenden vant huys modell

daer van sullen D’naeste week met het het week

volk opsenden & dan VE verder Schryven ondertusche

& blyde naer haer hartslyck Groetenisse

 

[

 

Albany ye. 10th April 1727

Mr. Lawyer

We have Rec.d your letters of Yesterdays date

that ye Indians have wounded three men at Skohare for

wh. accident of we are very much Concernd & hertily Sorry

for those yt. are fallen under this heavy Afflection We Send

A letter to his Ex.cy Gov.r Burnet to Acqu.t him of this Mis=

=chief what measures he Shall think proper to take we

do not know, mean while We Send to Capt. Banker at

Onnondage that he may acqt. the Sachims of the five

Nations of this fatall Misfortune what will be done

in this Affair we Cant tell but ye. Most Moderable &

amicable means will be best for the best peace of our

Country. We remain

Philip Livingston                    Reyer Gerritse

Myndert Schuyler                  Stephanus Groesbeck

Peter V Brugh                         Harm.s Wendell

Hend.k Renselaer

 

[0368] 182a

18)

Att a Meeting of the Com.es of ye,

Indian affairs in Albany ye. 11 day

of April 1727

Sedert onse Laeste p dese Gelegentheyt van

Lourence Claese ontfangen wy op gifteere het Onaenge=

=naem niews dat Enige wilden & wildinnen tot het

Getall Van 10-12 dewelke Laeste Sondagh aghtermiddagh

drunken asarren op Skohere Een groot onkeyl & oor=

=saakte driegende om d huyse & Schauren int brant

te Steeken om Sulkx voor te Coomen Stellen d.’ palatines

haar tegen dat gedaen Synde gingen D’ Wilden nae

haer huysen & quamen ti Samen met haer roers

peylen & boogen & Vielen aen op Een huys daer Ses man

in ware van wien Sy drie man hebben geschoten twe

daer Van doodelyck gequest, Een weert Gedoght Nu

doot te Syn de wilden niet beeter weetende of Sy waren

doot & daer op manen Sy D Vlught wy hebben Zyn

Excel.cy daer kenniss van te geven maer wat order

hy dies aengaerde Sall Geven waten wy niet,

Ondertuschen oordelen wy noodigh Dat Ghy de

Sackemakers dit on heyl op D. Sagste Mannier bekent

Maakt om So van haar te hooren hoe Sy dit neemen

En wat Sy deer in willen doen wy Soude & wagh-

=ten dat sy Enige Sackemakers Deputere om hurte

Coomen dit onheyl vor te Verschonen & Indien Sy

dit Uyt haar Seff niet doen of pretendere so ordele

wy Noodigh dat Ghy op D’ beste manier ghy Can te wegh

brenght door Enige principaele wilden dat Sy Sulx

te werk Stellen & Satisfactie doen door &soennig on

& der onheyl voor te Comen

 

0366] 181a [Out of order in original]

16)

Albany ye 26th Apr. 1727

Capt. Banker

V E brief den 13 defer Ontfangen waer

by wy vernemen dat Ghy in Onnondage met D Sackema=

=kers hebt Gesproken wegen het Timmeren op Sweege

day Sy het niet willen toestaen dat het huys daer Sall

op gebout werden twelk ops Seer Leet is om tehooren

en Sy Excellency ongelwyfelt Sall het ter hearten

namen wy hoopen & verwaghten dat op D’ Komst

van Lourence ghy D wilden beeter kunnen verstaen

& onderighten want hy verwaght dat Sy het Timme-

=ren niet Sullen tegen Staen maer vrywilligh ons Sullen

laeten vort gaen volgens haer Consent also het voor haer

besten is So als wy Alreede in VE Instructies met

Lourence gemett hebben, Syn Ex.cy heeft het aen ons

gelaeten voor een persoon van aensien Nae VE te

Senden tot VE Aensistenkie om het vry lof van D

wilden Soude Murmereeren te Obtineeren als Sy voor

dese gedaen hebben dat alles wreedigh magh toe=

=gaen also het Een Saach Van D’Groetse Conse=

=quensie is tot dat Governm.t Indien het niet Soude

Gelucken, so hebben wy goet gedaght dat Een of twe

pSoonen van aensien tot VE asustansie Sullen toe

gesonden werden onstants op VE Verder Schryven

dat de Wilde VE Affslaen ondertuschen Sullen

wy alles dat noodigh is voor So-Een Toght Claer

maken & gereert houden tot dien Eynde & Soecken

wy day ghy d Sackemakers by malkander houdt

om Een verdere propositie met haer te maken

So Zy

 

[0367] 182

(17)

So Sy VE Aftgeslagen hebben ondertuschen moet

ghy deprincipaalste wilden om Coopen & over reeden

want het werk moet gaan Laet d’Corter Syn wat

het will der halve verwagten wy VE Schryvens ter=

=post of ghy Consent hebt van d’Wilden of niet

D’Metselaers & Timmerlieden mosten met t’huys

Coomensonder Consent & verder Schryvens van ons

ondertuschen laet het volk geimployeert werden in

hacken planken Laghe Steen Ryen & putmaken &c.

d’wilden den brengeers deses hebben wy voldsen wy

Voldoen wat het Cruyt aengaet weet ghy kunnen

wy niet Indoen d’ datum Van VE brief denken wy

is a buys en Ock het Jaer heb VE gestelt 1717 naer haer=

=telycke groetenisse & blyde

Myndert Schuyler                  Philip Livingston

Rutger bleeker                         Peter van Brugh

Harmanus Wendell                  Reyer Gerritse

Nicolaes Bleecker                    Stevanus Groesbeek

[0477] 236a

* No. 15                                  Albany ye. 26th. april 1727

May it please your Excellency

Your Exce.lys most Esteemed favours

of ye. 10 & 12 Instant we Rec.d Inclosed find your

Ex.lys a letter Sent us by order of Gov.r Dummer

of ye. 13th. Instant whereby we Receive a Strange

Retaliation for our good offices & pains not

to Count yee. Expences we have been & Still are —

like to lay out for their Security & preservation

which we think however in duty & Conscience

bound to do to Save yee. poor Innocents on the fronteers

of Boston those in that Town we Suppose

think themseves [sic] Secure Enough

Inclosed your Excel.ly has a letter from Capt.

Banker as also one from him to us, we are Sorry

that he has made any Speech or proposalls to the

Sachims at onnondage before Lourence Came to

him & by what we hear from the Indians who are

come hither bifferd but 2 a 3 days. the Sachims

Seem to have denyd him their Consent to Errect

the building at oswego. but now while the Inter

=preter is with him we hope he may be able to

Inform them better & Convince them of yee. necessity

to have this house built for the Conveniency of

that traders & thier Security we have now Sent

a letter Express to him if the Indians to presist

in their denying Consent that he forthwith Send

us an account of it by Express on yee. arrivall

thereof we Shall dispatch two men who have good

Interest among ye Indians to assist him with

further psents to onnondage and have desird

him to keep yee. Sachims together till Said Gentle

=men Shall arrive there mean while that yee.

workmen be Imployd to hew wood Saw boards

digging of the well &c. and on Rect. of this advice

Shall

[0478] 237

Shall not neglect to Send your Excellency

an account of it

We are very glad to See by yee. Minute

of your Excel.ly in Councill that our Conduct in

the agreem.t made with ye. workmen & others we

Sent up to build Sd. house of which is approvd

aff. makes us not a little ambitious we take nothing

more to heart then that this building Should be

Erected in a peaceable & amicable manner being

of ye. greatest Consequence to this Province.

and are pleased to See your Excel.ly becomes Security

for the further psents that may be Required the workmen

Sett out from hence yee 13th Instant in Two batoes

& one burch Canoe yee. former are much yee. best as

people tell us who mett them we had much

trouble to dispatch them

Here are three other Batoes finishd

for the use of yee men who are to be Sent up

think two more will be Required

The misfortune happend at Skohere first

arised from yee Indians who had killed a hogg

belonging to one of ye man who is wounded haveing

Chargd them with it, which yee Indians when they

were drunk Resented it tho the pork was found in

their wigwomb & Some of their Number had done

that mischief & ye Palatines not giveing way to

their humour was in Short ye. occassion of the

Quarrel & the indians are a mixture of ye Several

Nations we did not intend your Ex.ly Should

take yee. trouble to Come hither unless the Sachims

acknowledged their Error of their own accord come

Reconcile this

Wee begg your Ex.cy Leave to Refer

that affair Relating ye. Transgressors of ye. late

Acts till our next meeting that we may have

a Compleat number of members. the master of

the Sloop presents to be gone haveing a fair wind

 

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Minute Book 3: 1727-March, Pt. 2: Albany Reaches out to Wawanolewat (Gray Lock)

Colonel Samuel Partridge wrote to the Albany Commissioners for Indian Affairs with a request from Massachusetts Governor William Dummer. Dummer wanted to negotiate peace with the Abenaki leader Gray Lock (Wawanolewat) and with the Indians at the French mission community at Saint Francis, who were still at war with New England in the long conflict known variously as Dummer’s War, Father Rale’s War, and Gray Lock’s War.  The commissioners responded in a letter addressed to Partridge and another Massachusetts official, John Stoddard. They agreed to send a message to Gray Lock and the “Chief of St. Francois,” but since Massachusetts had not sent a belt “as is Required on Such Occasions,” the commissioners would do it in their own name and not reveal that the message came from Massachusetts.

The commissioners said that the previous January they had sent Gray Lock a message by way of his brother Malalement to invite him to come to Albany along with other native leaders who were hunting on the New York frontier. Gray Lock was gone before the message was delivered, but three of the Saint Francis Indians came to Albany for a meeting on “the first instant,” i.e. March 1.  The commissioners told them about the peace treaty that New England had already concluded with several of the “Eastern Indian” groups involved in the war, including the Penobscot and “namywalk” (probably meaning Norridgewalk). They asked that St. Francis ratify the treaty, assuring them that when they did they would be welcome to hunt on New York’s frontiers. The Saint Francis Indians took this proposition back to their leaders along with gifts and a wampum belt, promising to work towards peace.

The commissioners told Partridge and Stoddard that they would make themselves guarantees that the messengers sent to Gray Lock would be treated civilly by New England and would be able to return safely, thus putting New England authorities on notice that they needed to protect the messengers against potential English attacks. But the commissioners doubted that Gray Lock could be persuaded to come to a meeting, since he had done “Much Mischief on ye. fronteers & has doubtless a Guilty Consience.” They also anticipated that the French would undermine any attempts at peace, but they believed that the messengers were sincere and that the Eastern Indians wanted peace. They explained that the previous fall some of the St. Francis leaders had started out on a trip to negotiate in response to an invitation from Albany, but turned back at Crown Point after hearing “false reports.”

The commissioners passed on all of this information to Governor Burnet.

There are no entries in the minutes for January 1727 or for March 1 1727, suggesting that the commissioners did not record all of their interactions, even those that involved sending belts, or that some records have been lost.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, these entries start here. The transcription is below.

[0358] 177a

Att A Meeting of ye Com.es of Indian

Affairs in Albany ye 26 March 1727

Present

Philip Livingston

Myndert Schuyler

Hendrick Renselaer

Ryer Gerritse

Stephanus Groesb.k

Nicolaes Bleecker

This day Recd. a letter Coll.o Samuel Patridge

dated at hatfield of ye. 22 Instant & Copy of a letter from

Gov. Dummer to this board

Albany 27 March 1727

Gentlemen

Your Letters of ye. 22th Instant with Coppy to you,

from Gov.r Dummer we Rec.d desireing our Assistance yt. Gray

Lock Should be Made a frind to Come into ye treaty of peace as

also ye Cheifs of ye St. francois Indians we Could wish yt it was

Effected to the end we have not been Wanting in Sending a

Message Janu.ry Last by Malalement Brother of Sd. Gray Lock

Inviteing him and other Chiefs who were hunting on our fron=

=teers Come hither, but Unfortunately missd him being gone home

but brought on ye. first Instant three St. francios Indians to

this place to whom we thought fitt to Communicate that

his hon.r Gov. Dummer had Confirmd & Ractifyd ye. peace with

  1. penabscutt & namywalk tribes yt. Much blood had been on

both Sides Lost in this Last War and Excepted yt. these

Indians In behalf of St. francios Should Ractify & Confirm

the Sd. treaty of peace that for ye. future none of their

tribe Should go to Molest or any of our N: England

Brethren or Else where: wh. if they do fathfully

perform they Should at all times be well Come to hunt

on these

 

[0359] 178

On these fronteers & Civil Tracted at this place on this we

gave ym. a present a belt am.s £11÷÷ promisd to use their unmo=

=st Endeavour to prevail on their Chiefs to Come hither on

our Invitation what success we Shall have in our under=

=takeing is Uncertain & precurious as soon as an Oppertunity

Shall Ofter we Shall Send such a massage to Gray Lock &

ye Chief of St. Francois as you desire but you have no belt as

is Required on Such Occasion we think proper to do it in

Our Name yt. your Governmt. may not be Seen in this Message

for fear it Might Miscarry not to give ye. Indians ye Opper=

=tunity to Suppoes it Comes from you we Shall not Scru=

=ple to make our Selves Garrantees for ye. Indians Sivil

Treatmt. with you & their Safe return tho Suspect they

had hardly be prevaild on Especially ye. Gray lock to go into ye.

Country for ye. letter has done Much Mischief on ye. fronteers

& has doubtless a Guilty Consience We Shall at Altimes be

ready to do any thing wh. may Contribute towards Esta=

=blishing a firm & lasting peace between ye. Governmt. & ye Indi=

=ans Could with it was Already Accoplishd. we fear yt. ye fren-

=ch priests & their Govern.r will if possible Oversett all amicable

Measures yt. May be Sett on foot to Confirm or Conclude any

treaty with you

These Indians Seem to be Sincere they told us yt. last fall on invi=

=tation of Some of our number while at Canada Severall Sachims

of Sd. In.ian were in their way hither as far a[s] the Crown point with an

intent to make treaty of peace wt. your Gov.mt were prevented

by false reports Spread among wh. made ym. desist yt. design

  1. Sd. Indians have fathfully promissd us to use their best

Indeavors to prevent ye. Sd. Indians from going to do Mischief

on ye. fronteers tho the but litle depandance on wt. hey come to

promise is ye. Needfull at psent from who are with Esteem

Your very Humble Serv.ts

Ph: Livingston             Reyer Gerritse

Myn: Schuyler                        St: Groesbeeck

Hen: Renselaer            N: Bleecker

To Mr. Saml Patridge &

John Stoddard Esq.s

 

[0360] 178a

Albany 28th March 1727

May it please your Ex.cy

Your has here Inclosed a letter from Coll. Samuel

Patridge proposeing our Intercession for bringing ye. Indians

of St. francois to an a micable disposition & Inclination

of ratefying ye. peace with N: England wh. we have done

already without their Knowledge as may Appear, by the

Inclosed wh. we hope yr. Ex.cy will be pleased to approve of

the Necessaries p oothout we Rec.d we are in Expectation

of yr. Ex.cys directions about ye. Workmen &c. is Needfull at psent

from

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Minute Book 3: 1727-March, Pt. 1: Trading House or Fort? Building at Oswego Will Not Be Easy; A Slave is Prevented From Making a “Path for Other Slaves to Desert.”

In March the commissioners began to implement Governor Burnet’s plan for the new stone building at Oswego by hiring carpenters and masons. They looked for “two old horses” to send up located sources for stone and other building materials. They hired Luykas Wyngaert and William Barret to get boards from “Mr. Coeymans” with which Anthony Bogardus and Cornelis Bogaert built four “batoes,” because canoes would not be suitable for transporting workmen to Oswego.  Finding workmen in Albany or Schenectady was a challenge. Masons and carpenters were expensive and had to be paid for the trip as well as the time at the site.  They also had to be skilled enough with boats to make the journey.  Even the Germans who now lived in the Mohawk Valley above the Mohawk towns were asking high prices.  The commissioners suggested looking to New York for cheaper labor.  They also talked to various individuals about working there, including Adam Smith, Keith and William Waldran, Major Isaac Bogaert, Major and Nicolas Groesbeek.  The new building would play a significant role in Albany’s economy that year.

Captain Evert Bancker was commissioned as “Captain of all the Christians who are going to trade at the fixed trading place” and charged with reining in those who were already venturing to “remote” places beyond the limits set by the legislature. He was also to oversee the construction of the new building. The commissioners warned the governor that the French already knew about their plans and that the Indians were strongly against “any building to be made by us.” They recommended sending Laurence Claessen to interpret for Captain Bancker on a permanent basis, since they did not trust the traders as reliable interpreters.  Bancker was provided with generous presents to persuade the Indians to allow construction to procede.

The proposed building was called a “house” and the rationale for its construction was to protect the goods of the traders. Nonetheless, Burnet thought of it as a counterforce to the French forts, especially Niagara, and from the beginning he planned to have a garrison there. The commissioners asked for soldiers to go up with the workmen to protect the construction from a possible French attack, but the governor did not want to send soldiers until the building was complete.

The commissioners also informed the governor that Captain Bancker had reclaimed a negro woman from the Seneca’s country at considerable expence.  1727-3-25slavepath

The commissioners explained that if Bancker had not laid out more that 20 pounds to get her back, the Senecas would have sent her to Canada where she would “make a path for other Slaves to desert that way.” They asked the governor to repay Captain Bancker. It is tempting to speculate as to whether she had already taken steps to make that path, even though she was not able to travel it herself.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the best copy of the entries for March 1727 starts here.

[0353] 175

Albany 13 March 1726/7

Capt. Banker

Sir

Inclosed you have a letter from his Ex.cy

with a Commission to be Capt. of all ye Christians who

are going to trade at the fixed trading place by act of

Generall Assembly one wherefore you are to receive herewith

for your direction as we informd that Severall traders

are already gone and others going dayly with a view as

We Conceive to Endave the true Intent of the ligis=

=lature & trade beyond ye place appointed in the Lake and

place’s Remote wherefore we desire you as soon as you Shall

Receive his Excel.cys Letter & this to Send for all Such

Traders & Command ym. to Come at ye. place appoin=

=ted as they will Answer to ye. Contrary at their peril,

the Charge thereof Shall be paid you by ye Publick

By the next Convenient oppertunity we Shall

Send you to ye. Value of 20 pounds in presents to be gi=

=ven to our Indians as also 10 pounds in goods to be gi=

ven by you to ye. far Indians–

As soon as we Can gett ye. workmen to make ye.

ye. house they Shall be Sent up with all Speed.

Ph: Livingston

M: Schuyler

Peter Vn: Brugh

L: Symes

R: Blecker

St: Groesbeek

P: Schuyler

[0354] 175a

Albany 16 March 1726/7

May it please your Ex.cy

We have been honord with your Ex.cys

Letter of ye 10th Instans [illeg. – crossed out] with ye.

Inclosed minute of Councill and packet for Capt. wh. we for=

=warded Yesterday to ye. Sinnekes Country in Obedience to yr.

Ex.cys ord.r we have Inquird for palatines workman to make ye Stone house but are Informd yt. there are now [none] above

ye falls nor at Skohere we had a palatine mason here

who lives at Schinnecktady he demands 9/p diem on

his own diat from the day he Setts out to his Return

2 Shirts Blankets gun powder [blank space] we had likewise

Masons & Cerpenters of this town who Demand 8/ p diem

they have from ye time they go [away – crossed out] to their return home

All Imploy here & this work being remote from their

Above Demand 12. more yn. their Usual days

hoe here we have made no agreemt. being limited

to palatines workman may probaly he [be] had Cheaper

at N: York So Shall not proceed till we receive y.r

Ex.cys further directions att this Affair ye. presents for Capt.

Banker we Shall Gett ready to be Sent with ye. workman

with Submission we think it to be Very Necessary as this

Jouncture yt. Lourence Claese be Sent to the onnonda=

-ges to Capt. bankers Interpreter to Explain to ye Indians

ye reason making this house for the use of ye. traders & it

being a Matter of Consequence if it Should be obstructed

& there is No depandance on any trader yt. Goes up to

Interpret for him,

We have Inquired of ye. Traders who agree yt.

there is Excellent Stone for building at ye. point of

onnondage

[0355] 176

Onnondage river but now Can Inform us Whether there

be Lime Stone or Not but ye. Measons tell us if ye.

Stone be Good as is Said the house may be made with Clay

& Sand. If So much lime Can but be had for pointing

ye Outside of ye walls wh. must be tryd we Cant learn

if a well Can be made in ye Most Convenient place

where ye. house ought to be Errected, but ye. banks of

the Lake & river being Very near so yt. water may be

had without Difficulty

We Shall gett horses to be Sent up As soon as ye.

workmen go up to buy two old horses will be Cheapest

Adam Smith appeard before this board demended

9/ p diem to Work at ye. house at Onnondage river

& 2 Shirts A blanket gun powder yt. Keth &, Wm. Waldran

Major Isaac Bogaert major & Nicolas Groesbeek Carpt.

demand 8/ p. Diem to Work at ye Sd. house

 

Att a Meeting of the Com.es of the Indian

Affairs in Albany ye 20th March 1726/7

Present

Ph: Livingston

Myn: Schuyler

Hend.k Renselaer

Lancester Symes

Rutger Bleecker

Stephanus Groesbeeck

Nicolaes Bleecker

Ryer Gerritse

We had the honour to receive a letter from his

Excel.cy of the 13 Instant in answer to wh. the Com.es write as

follows

Albany 20 March 1726/7

May it please yr. Exc.y

After ___ Haveing write the foregoing your Excellencys favour

of ye 13th Instant Came to hand whereby perceive that your

Excel.cy doth not think Convenient to Send any Soldiers till ye

house be finishd we do favourably hope yt. the french will not

Attempt to hinder this building in time of peace on our land

nor yt. ye Indians be agt. it Indeed ye. force of all the traders

& ye. 20 Men are but a trifle to what force the french Can

bring there if they design to obstruct it, your Excel.cys orders

to

[0356] 176a

to Capt. Banker to go on with the work are very necessary

but while your Ex.cy is pleased to require our opinion in this

Matter with Submission we Suppose that it Would much

Conduce to ye. forwarding of the building if the 20 Men

went up with ye. Workmen who may be Assistant and Im=

=ployd Makeing the house while there is but litle de=

=pandance, ye. work of the traders for at best few will only

Work their 6 Days and phaps not many will assist

Unless they be well paid we think if ye. Soldiers & work=

=men up at One time ye. Indians Will be less Jealous yn.

yt they Should Come afterwards the house may be So long

Makeing yt. the traders be most Returnd home & yn. the work=

=men wont Care to be left Alone if workmen Can be had on

better terms at N: York then here they must understand to

go up agt. Rapid Water Else they Cant Gett to the lake,

We have Imployd Cerpenters to make forthwith four batoes

yt. we think more Convenient for ye. men yn. Canoes,

The further presents of £10÷ for ye. far Indians

Shall Sent Capt. Banker as also ye. Necessaries for ye buil=

=ding wh. yr. Ex.cy has been pleasd to Send p Oot hout,

This Day agreed with Luykas Wyngaert Wm.

Barret to fitch boards at Mr. Coyemans for four batoes

& knees for ym.

Imployed Anthony Bogardus & Cornelis Bogaert

Cerpenters to make four batoes

[0357] 177

Albany 25 March 1726/7

May it please your Excel.cy

We had the hon.r to write your Ex.cy on

the 20th Instant p [by] Peter Winne, Since sh. ave Rec.d ye.

Inclosed from Capt. Banker of the 21th Ultimo wherin we

are adviced yt. ye. Gov.r of Canada has been Speedily Informd of

the design of our building at Sweegue Even as Conceive before it

was determynd to be done by your Excel.cy the french are Certainly mad[e]

Alarmd at this building & will leave No means untrydd With the

five Nations to Oversett Our design if possible they Can Compass it

If they do yn. they again their view and become matters of our Indians

who Seem to be at. Errecting this house out of a vain Conciet they

Entertain yt. we Shall treat them as the french have formerly done not

Considering yt. we have always Supplyd & Assisted ym. & yt. is our In=

trest to Secure ym. future Insult of the french as we Conceive t

hat this Affair is of ye last Consequence to this province if it Should

Miscarry So we may humbly hope that Such proper Measures

Shall be taken yt. it may have ye. desird Effect and not leave ye.

work till prevented by force & Voilence of ye. french or Indians

as ye. Ex.cy has Already Orderd it will be Very Necesary yt. ye.

Indians be prevaild to Consent our Makeing that building for

  1. purpose it will be Absolutely necessary yt. Lourence be

forthwith dispatch to Assist Capt. Banker & withall Carry

up ye. Severall psents for ye Indians not being Able to treat

with ye. Indians ye men who has been his Interpreter is

Returnd hither & None left with him who Can Speak ye.

Indian tongue this men tells us yt. ye. Indians are Strongly

possessd agt. any building to be made by us,

Capt. Banker has Sent us an acct. of Charges one negro wench

he Releasd in ye. Sinnekes Country am.s to £20:1÷ he has had much trou=

=ble to Gett her & prevent yt. She Should not be Sent to Canada &

make a path for other Slaves to desert yt. way we hope he may be

Repayd

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