The Records for 1753-1755

Following the resignation of the Commissioners for Indian Affairs in November 1746, William Johnson (on behalf of New York) as well as representatives from other colonies all negotiated with the Six Nations individually and the situation was chaotic at times. The commissioners were reinstated briefly from mid 1753 through the beginning of 1755, only to be replaced again by Johnson in May 1755. You can download their records for 1753-1755 here or from the menu at the top of the page. 

It is hard to believe, but I have now finished transcribing all of the previously untranscribed records for the Commissioners of Indian Affairs at Albany! I am going to add some more analysis and indexing, especially for the portions that are out of chronological order. Then I will finally turn back to writing both the book that got me started on all this and some other projects that have emerged from these records.


A Complete Transcription of Volume 3 (1737 and 1745)

The transcription of Volume 3 is now complete. It contains material from 1737 and 1745 that was probably originally part of Minute Book 4, but somehow became separated. You can download it here or from the menu at the top of the page.

Minute Book 3: 1729

There are no duplicate entries for 1729. The originals are in chronological order except that a second copy of the conference between Governor Montgomery and the Six Nations and their Allies held in October of the previous year is inserted after the entries for October 1729 (pages 299a-309a.) It corresponds to the printed version in DRCHNY 5:859 et seq. and I have not transcribed it. You can access the full text above in the menu at the top of the page or download it as a PDF here: aic_recordbooks-v1-1729only

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.


Complete Transcription for 1723-1732

Just in time for the New Year, I have finished transcribing the records from what I call Minute Book 3. On Cornell’s website they are Volume 1, because they are the earliest surviving volume of the originals. On Heritage Canada’s website they are labeled by the microfilm reel as C-1220.

Some portions of them are out of order and there are a lot of duplicate copies for some years. In fact for 1727 and 1728, it looks as though someone may have removed originals and put in duplicates. I created a spreadsheet and used it to generate tables that identify duplicates and provide a way to follow chronological order.


You are welcome to download pdfs of the transcription and the tables here: Minute Book 3: COMPLETE

I will also keep working on a chronological version. And the site is due for a little tidying up and revamping, especially in relation to tags and categories. Stay tuned and Happy Holidays!

Minute Book 3: 1724

I have finished transcribing the Albany Indian Commissioner Minute Book entries for 1724, the second year covered by the third volume of minutes. You can download 1724 as a unit here: AIC_RecordBooks-V1-1724only : or look at it online by clicking “1724” above.

In the Library and Archives Canada version, 1724 starts here:

I am going to post summaries for 1724 month by month, as I did with 1723. I’ve decided to include a new feature. At the beginning of each month I will add links to the online images starting at the beginning of that month. I am doing this for both the Library and Archives Canada images and the Cornell images. I will also go back and do this for 1723, because my summaries are really only an entry point into the originals. I am also going to do some analysis and talk about some of the implications of all the information in these records. The more people look at them the better, because everyone will see different things in them.

Guillaume De Lisle’s map of 1700, published in 1708 put the English on notice that Frenchmen had traveled deep into the interior of North America and were staking a claim to it. Both sides began to escalate their efforts to build forts and monopolize trade with the nations around the Great Lakes and beyond.  Downloaded from the Internet Archive at



Minute Book 3: 1723

I have finished transcribing the first year’s worth of entries for the third volume of records, or Minute Books, as they are labeled. This is the original that was taken to Canada during the Revolutionary War and has survived, although portions appear to be a little out of order and / or damaged. You can look at it as a website page by clicking on Minute Book 3: 1723 in the menu at the top of the page. You can also download it here:  aic_recordbooks-v1-1723. To make things confusing, Library and Archives calls this volume “Albany Indian Commissioner Record Books, volume 1,” and Cornell calls it “Indian Affairs Pamphlets, Volume 1.” I am calling it Minute Book 3, because it is volume 3 of the minutes of the Commissioners as they were bound at some point during the early to mid Eighteenth Century.

In my next post I will begin to analyze the entries for 1723 month by month, in order to take a closer look at who was involved and what was happening between the various peoples of North America with whom the Commissioners interacted during this year.


1633 June 8: Agreement for a Trading House on the Connecticut River (Pre-Minute Books documents)

vancurler_sickenames-drchny2-139The records that were bound together in the mid 18th century and labelled as “Minute Books” of the Albany Indian Commissioners had earlier precedents that were not included in those compilations. I am going to post copies of as many of these as I can find in order to look at how the Albany Indian Commissioners, and the diplomatic protocols they followed, evolved out of both European and Native American traditions.

Here is one of the earliest, an agreement made on June 8, 1633, between Jacob Van Curler, Commissary for the Dutch West India Company, and  Tattoepan, the chief of Sickenames, on the Connecticut River at what is now Hartford. Although framed by the Dutch as the purchase of a piece of land, this agreement contains the condition that the native owners will live there with the Dutch. The purpose of the agreement is clearly to allow the Dutch to build a “trading-house” that can be used by “all tribes of Indians,” even those in conflict with each other. The Dutch proceeded to construct a fort called Huys de Hoop . Sadly, the intent to keep things peaceful did not last and the trading house was soon caught up in the violence of Dutch-English-Pequot quarrels.

Source: E.B. O’Callaghan (ed.). Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, Albany: Weed, Parsons, 1853. You can download it from the Internet Archive here.

1677 July 21:The Oneidas’ Answer to Propositions Made July 20th by Maryland


Source: John Romeyn Brodhead, Berthold Fernow, E.B. O’Callaghan, Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, Albany: Weed, Parsons, 1881, v. 13, p. 510. Available through the Internet Archive here . The original, which has the same gaps as the printed version, is held by the New York State Archives. See Series A1894, New York (Colony) Council Papers 26-69. It must have already have been damaged by 1881, when the printed version was published.

This document is not listed in the “Schedule of Propositions” or in Peter Wraxall’s Abridgement of the Indian Affairs, which starts with an entry for March 1678. The date is a few months earlier than the earliest entry in the “Schedule of Propositions,” but that entry is for page two of the original. Perhaps this was page one.

Although this document does not mention the Commander of Fort Orange or the Commissaries of Albany, the meeting was held in the court house at Albany and Robert Livingston was the Secretary.

1677 December 21:The Commander and Commissaries’ Answer to the Oneidas

British Historical Documents (Series A1894, New York (Colony) Council Papers)


transcribed 9-7-2016 by Ann Hunter

not in DRCHNY

Schedule of Propositions says this begins on p. 8 of Volume I of the Minutes of the Commissioners of Indian Affairs

Document is damaged.


The Commander and Commissaries answer to ye Oneydes Propositions made yesterday in ye Court house of Albanie this 21th day of Decemb 1677




1          Yow have understood by ye Gov:rs messenger which brougt yow ye Zew.t that he did demaund ye mahikanders boy who was taken Prisoner by you at Claverak, and yow have now delivered him up, It is well, we shall make it known to ye Gov.r Genl. [of] ye first, & yow doe Likeways well that yow only look upon ye gov: order and not hearken to ye talk of any others.


2          As Concerning that which your Indians have done to those of mary Land, we shall according to your desire give ym of Maryland Notice of ye first [& we doubt not but yt yow will keep [the] covenant which is made betwixt Coll: Coursey authori[zed] of maryland [&] yow.


Doe give them the value of [illeg.] in Zewt Rumm Indian Corn & Tobacco.


This is a true Coppy

Translated & Compared by me

Rt: Livingston Secr.

Schedule of Propositions made by the Indians … 1677-1714

Click on the links below to download my transcription of the collection of notes entitled Schedule of propositions made by the Indians and answers given to them. These notes were taken in the nineteenth century, probably by British government officials. They cover portions of the first two volumes of the Albany Indian Commissioners’ Record Books for the period from 1677-1714. The original volumes are lost, so these notes provide information not available elsewhere.

The notes are now held by Library and Archives Canada. You can view their descriptive record here. The online images are available here.

You can also view the transcription directly online by hovering your cursor over Schedule of Propositions… in the menu at the bottom of the image at the top of the page, then clicking on the portion you want to see.

The transcription is divided into three parts, organized by date.

Part I provides only a rough outline or index of the first portion of the lost Volume I of the Albany Indian Commissioners records, covering 1677-1704. It has very little detail, in part because many entries were in Dutch, which the note takers could not speak, misidentifying it as “Indian.”


Part II, which contains more detailed notes on 1705-1706, the last portion of Volume I, includes much material not available elsewhere. By this time more of the AIC records were in English.


Part III includes notes for 1705-1706, the first seven years of Volume II of the AIC records, with a lot of detail and information not available elsewhere.


For an introduction to these materials, see this post containing the slides from a talk that I gave about them in October 2016.