Minute Book 3: 1729-February:

 

1729-2-22_alcohol[There are no entries for January 1729.]

In their first conference with Governor John Montgomerie in October 1728, the Haudenosaunee are recorded as saying they were glad the new Brother Corlaer was “a wise and prudent Man.” Perhaps this was more than the language of diplomatic flattery. Montgomery does seem to have gone farther than his predecessors in responding to one of the long standing complaints of the Six Nations, who had been trying for years to stem the destructive flow of alcohol into their country.  In February, after the Six Nations reminded them of Montgomerie’s agreement, the Commissioners of Indian Affairs issued a proclamation to all traders and others forbidding the transportation of strong liquor to any place in or near the “upper castles” (towns) of the Six Nations. Only Oswego was exempt, as agreed to at the conference. On the other hand, their use of the term “upper castles” suggests that at the very least Fort Hunter, and probably other Mohawk and Oneida communities, were not protected.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the entry for February is here on p. 281.

[0566] 281 [Wraxall mentions this p. 176.]

Albany the 22d Febry 1728/9

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Present

Philip Livingston

Henry Holland

[Jo]h: Cuyler

Peter Van Brugh

Evert Bancker

Rutger Bleecker

Evert Wendell

Nicolas Bleecker

Abraham Cuyler

[Joh].s Roseboom

Barent Sanders                        Whereas It has been represented in publick

Proposition to his Excy John Montgomerie Esq.r

Governour of New York &c by the Sachims of the 6 nations

how Dangerous the Selling of Rum & other Strong Liquor

is in their Castles and that great mischiefe may Ensue

from it they have Straineously desired that it may be

Prohibited, that no Christians may bring or Carry any Rum

among them in their Countrey for that will one way or Other

Create a Quarrell between them and our people; which

request has been granted them by his said Excy. And w.ch

the Sd. Indians have now lately repeated to the Comm:rs of the

Indian Affairs at Albany. Wherefore the said Comm.rs

have thought fit for his Majesties Service to Notifie to

All Traders and others, not to Convey Transport or Carry

any Rum or Other Strong Liquor at or near the upper Castles

of the Five Nations (Oswego only Excepted) on Penalty as

they Shall Answer the Contrary on their perill for Such

Contempt in disturbing the publick peace of this Province

 

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Minute Book 3: 1728-October Part 1: Governor Montgomerie’s First Conference with the Six Nations, Schaghticokes, and “River Indians”

Governor John Montgomerie’s first conference with New York’s native allies  began on October first.  The records contain two versions. What was probably the official version begins on page 299a of the records and is printed in DRCHNY volume 5, beginning at 5:859. Another version, likely a first draft, begins on page 263 of the records. It is worded a little differently but the sense is the same.

Land at Oswego for the English to Raise Food, Evidence of Haudenosaunee Orchards?

The Haudenosaunee sachims welcomed the new governor in a meeting held before the conference opened. They expressed sorrow over the death of King George I and celebrated the succession of George II in a speech that is interesting because it uses metaphors related to the cultivation of fruit trees, including grafting branches and covering roots, suggesting that these techniques may have been part of their practices during this period. The conference opened the next day with a speech by the new governor, who described his difficult five-month journey across the Atlantic before conveying greetings from the new King of England and renewing the covenant chain in his name.

Governor Montgomerie then asked to have land at Oswego marked off for the English to raise food for the troops. The Six Nations (Haudenosaunee) agreed to this idea, naming Laurence Claessen as the best person to assist with measuring and marking the land.  They refused to say how much land they would provide, explaining that they needed to consult with people not present at the conference before they could give a figure. No mention was made of a sale and no deed was signed. The orders given to Laurence Claessen after the conference ended instruct him to carry out a precise survey of “as Large a Tract of Land at Oswego as possible you Can” and bring it back to the commissioners.

A Compromise on Alcohol

Besides discussing the land, the parties renewed the Covenant Chain with each other, exchanged gifts including wampum, and went over issues familiar from previous conferences. The Haudenosaunee asked the new governor to prevent traders from bringing alcohol to their country because it was leading to violence and even murders. He insisted that the traders needed to bring rum to refresh the soldiers at Oswego and asked them not to molest the traders. Eventually they agreed to the use of alcohol at the Oswego Trading House and Montgomerie agreed to forbid the English to take it to the communities of the Six Nations. The Haudenosaunee also asked that the traders sell pure rum rather than mixing it with water. It is possible that the illness that still afflicted the troops at Oswego was related to problems with Oswego’s water supply which could affect rum if the tainted water was used to dilute it.

Who Defends Fort Oswego Against the French?

The governor also asked the Haudenosaunee to protect Fort Oswego against possible French attacks. They responded that it was their understanding that it had been constructed to protect them rather than for them to protect. Eventually they agreed to assist with its defense, acknowledging their experience with French attacks. They urged   the English both to make sure that the traders bring guns and ammunition to Iroquois and to keep military supplies on hand at Albany in case of need. Both sides promised to support each other and boasted of their military prowess.

The governor also urged the Haudenosaunee not to join the French and their allies in the war against a “Remote Nation,” probably meaning the Meskwaki (Fox). They asked for cheaper prices for goods and requested Joseph Van Size and Hendrick Wemp to work as smith and armorer in their country, adding that the French smith there was old and going blind.

Anglo-Dutch Farmers Encroach on Schaghticoke Lands

img_0112
Corn growing near the Knickerbocker Mansion Historic Site at Schaghticoke NY, August 2015

Governor Montgomerie renewed the Covenant Chain in a separate conference with the Schaghticoke and River Indians, for which they thanked him. He urged them to bring back those of their nation who had moved away, but they explained that it was difficult because they had less and less land at Schaghticoke to plant on. They told him that recently their European neighbors had planted on the Scaghticoke’s land, allowed their cattle to destroy Schaghticoke crops, and carried off corn from their fields. The governor asked for the names of the trespassers so he could punish them.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the entry for the draft version starts here on p. 263. The transcription is below.

[0530] 263

X                                 Albany p:rmo Octob.r 1728

Present

His Ex.cie John

Montgomerie Esq.r

Fran. Harrison }

Esq.rs of the Council

Ph: Livingston}

The Comm:rs of Ind:n  Affairs

The Sachims of the Six Nations

being this day Arrived desired to have a Conference

with his Ex:cy Jn.o Montgomerie Esq:r before His

Ex.cy Made his Proposition to them who appeared at

His Ex:cies Lodgings and Made the following Speech

Brother Corlaer

Last fall you Sent us a messuage, w:th a

Token to Each Nation that his late Majesty King

George the first was deceased for which wee was very

[Sorry – crossed out] Much Concernd and heartily Sorry because he

Was a King of Peace a Mighty Protector

of his Subjects and allies, but at the Same

Time wee reced the good news that his Son Prince

George now King George the Second Was already

Crown’d in his Place hopeing that he may follow

his fathers Steps — Give a Few Skinns

You Acquainted us at the Same Time

that King George was a young man Wee hope he

may Follow his Fathers Steps that he may be as a

Large Flourishing Tree that the branches thereof

may reatch up to Heaven that he may be Seen of

all People and Nations in the World

Wee Ingraft Siantes on the Same branches

Which Wee hope may Thrive and that the Leaves

thereof May never Fade nor Fall off but that the

Same May grow and Flourish that his Majestys

Subjects and his Allies May Live in Peace and

Quiet

[0531] 263a

quiet under the Shade of the same: Gave a Few Skinns

Just Now Wee grafted on the Large fine

Flourishing Tree Now Wee Come and Cover the Roots

Thereof in Case there might be any Part of them bear

that the Roots may be Sound and Spread themselves

through the whole Earth that the Tree may Stand fast

and Firm that no Storms nor Violent Tempestes may

be able to Move Shake or Endanger the Same, Gave a

Few Skinns

Wee have now done wt wee Intended to Say at

Present

His Excell:y answerd Them

I am Thankfull for your kind Speech His Maj:tie

has ordered me to Tell you that he Will be your kind

Father and Protector, I shall too Morrow Acquaint

With the Messuage His Majesty has orderd me to

Deliver to you And gave them a barrell of

Beer to drink his Majestys Health

[0532] 264

Propositions Made by his Ex:cie John Montgomerie

Esq:r Captain Generall and Governour in Chiefe of the

Provinces New York New Jersey &c. to the Sachims of the

Six Natkions viz:t Maquase Onydes Cayouges, Onondages

Sinnekes and Tuskarois in Albany the 2d day of October

in the Second year of his Maj.ties Reign Ann.o Domni 1728

Present

His Ex:cie John

Montgomerie

Esq.r

Geo: Clerke

Francis Harrison

Ph: Livingston            } Esq.rs of his Maj.ties

Capt. Long                              Councill

[Lt.] James

D Lansee

The Comm:rs of

Indian Affairs

The Mayor

[&] Aldermen

Brothers

The Concern you Exprest

yesterday for the Loss of his late Majesty the King of

Great Brittain will Recommed you very much to the favour

of his Son the Present King who as he Succeeds to his throne

Inheritts all his Virtues and I hope the kind Message

I am to deliver to you from him Will Comfort you for his

Fathers Death. Give three Stroud blankets

[0533] 264a

Brethren

It is w.th great Pleasure that I meet you here and

I am verry Sorry that I Could not do it Sooner, but you will

be Convenced that it was not my Fault when I tell you that

in Crossing the great Lake I met wth So Violent Storms that

I was driven Quite off this Coast and it being in the Winter

Season was Forced to go a great way Southard to refit the

Man of War in Which I Came So it was five Months after

I Came from England before I arrived in New Yorke. The

business of that Province w.ch was Absolutely necessary

to be done at my first arrival has detained me there Ever

Since and retarded my delivering [to you – crossed out] the kind Message

I am Charg’d with from my Master the King of Great

Brittain His Majesty has order’d me to Tell you that

he Loves you as a Father dos his Children, and that

this affection [in him – crossed out] towards you is occasiond by his

being Certainly Informed that you are a brave and

Honest People the Two Qualitys in the World that

Recommend most Either particular Persons or a

People to him. He has also been Informed that you Love

his Subjects the English and that you desire to Live w.th

them as Brethren. He has therefore Commanded me to

Renew the old Covenant Chain between you and all

his Subjects in North America and

[several lines crossed out appear to say “I have (illeg.] Indians under his Majesty’s Protection, and to Make it Brighter if possible than ever it was before]

to make it brighter if

Possible than Ever it was before and I expect you will give me

[illeg.] to do the like on your Parts

Give a Large Belt of Wampum

Brethren

Besides the two Qualitys of Bravery and

Honesty his Majesty is convinced that you are a wise

People and good Judges of your own Intrest; How

happy then must you think your Selves when the greater

and Powerfullest Monarch in Christendom Sends me

here to Confirm the ancient Friendship betwixt you

and his Subjects to Assure you of his Fatherly Care

[0534] 265

And to tell you that he thinks himselfe Oblidged to Love

and Protect you as his own Children You need fear no

Enemies while you are true to your Alliance w.th him; I

Promise you to take Care that none of your Brethren here

Shall do you Wrong and if any other Neighbouringe

Nations be So bold as to attempt to Disturb you, You

need not fear what they Dare or Can do, Since you have the

King of Great Brittain on your Side, who is a Prince

Early Initiated in the Art of War and formed by Nature

for the greatest Military Atchievements, will when Ever

there is Occasion for it Put himselfe at the head of the finest

body of Troops in the World who are all his own Naturall

born Subjects has at Present a Fleet of Shipps in So good

Order and So well Commanded that they would be Masters

of the great Lake altho’ the Fleets of all the Kings in Europe

Were Joyn’d against them. Give a Belt

Brethren

After what I have Told you I am Convinced

That So wise a People as you are will glory in behaving

as becomes the Faithfull Children of So great and Powerful

a King who Loves you and will Resent any Injury done

you as if it was done to his Children on the other Side of

the great Lake  Gave a [belt – crossed out] String

Brethren

I expect you are now Convinced that the

Garrison and house Erected at Oswego is not only for the

Conveniency of the far Indians to Carry on their Trade w:th the

Inhabitants of this Province but also for your Security and

Conveniency to Trade there for Such Necessarys as you

have Occasion for and at as Easy Terms as if none of the

upper Nations Came to Trade thither — I make no doubt

but you will at all Times willingly defend this Garrison

against all Attempts which may be Made against

It

[0535] 265a

It according to your Former Promises and Engagemts

I desire you to give and Grant unto your kind Father

His Most Sacred Majesty a Convenient Tract of Land to

be Cleared and Manured for his Men to Raise Provisions

for them and Pasturadge for their Cattle; Give a Belt I heare that you

have been often apprehensive that a Trade w:th the far Nations

Would be to your Prejudice, as that it would Make the

Goods you Want dear But I Can assure you that the Woolen

Manufactory in England is Able to Supply the whole

[Christian – crossed out] World. Therefore the greater trade is Carried on

the More and greater will be the Supply and Cheaper

than formerly; And I do Entreat you to be kind to the

Traders and not Molest them as they go up but to lett

Them pass Quietly Give a String of Wampum

I am Informed that the Indians from Canada who are

gone up w:th the French Army agt. a Remote Nation of

Indians have been Among you Endeavourd to Intice

your young men to go to Warr w.th them agt. a People who

never do anoy nor Molest you Am glad they have refusd

to Joyn w.th them, whereby you Show you Endeavour to

Cultivate a good Understanding with those Indians

Make them thereby your Friends and Encourage the

good Design of Promoteing a Trade w:th us and you;

I do Expect they will Persist in their good Deportment

Towards those and all other Remote Nations which

Will be a Means to Strenghten your Alliances and

Make you a great People  Give a String of Wampum

I do Inform you that His most Gracious Sovereign King

George my Mast.r your Indulgent Father has orderd me to make

you in his name a Handsome Present in Such Goods as are

most Suitable for you w:ch you Shall Receive as Soon as you

Shall have Given me your answer  Give a String

[0538] 267

X

Annswer made by the Sachims of the Six

Nations 1728 The Maquace Oneydes Onondages

Cayouges Sinnekes and Tuskaroras to His Excy John

Montgomorie Esq:r The 4.o day of October 1728

Present

His Ex.cy John Mont

gomerie Esq:r &c.

Geo: Clarke     }

Ph: Livingston }          Esq.rs of the Councill

The Comm:rs of Ind Affairs

Brother Corlaer

Wee are very glad that you are

arrived here in good health you Told us that your

Master the King of Great Brittain had Sent you

It is a very Dangerous Voyage in Coming over the

great Lake, The reason that wee are glad you are

arrived in health is because of the good Messuage

you bring us of your great Master the King of Great

Brittain, Wee would have been very Sorry If any

accident had happend to your Ex.cie in this dangerous

Voyage

 

Brother

You acquainted us w:th your Coming

Hither that you have Mett w:th an Accident and been

Driven from the Coast &c. and been five Months in

Coming to [the – crossed out] your Governmt.

 

Brother

You Acquainted us that was the

Reason that Detained you At your first

Arrivall

[0539] 267a

 

Arrivall from Meeting us no Sooner

You Told us also you was orderd by the

Great King your Master to Renew in his Name the

Old Covenant Chain w:th us, not only to Renew the same

but To make it brighter and Stronger than Ever

Brother Corlaer

You have renewed the old

Covenant Chain w.th the five nations in the name

of your Master now the King of Great Brittain

Wee Renew the old Covenant Chain in the like

Manner                        Give a Belt

 

Brother

This Silver Coven.t Chain wherein Wee are

[Joynd – crossed out] Linkd together That wee Make Stronger & Cleaner

that the Same be bright, Brother Wee shall not give

you any occasion of the breach of our Covenant If you

are Like Minded Then Wee and our Childrens Children

Shall Live in Peace

 

Brother Corlaer

You Acquainted us also that the

Great King your Master and our Father, Bears

great kindness to us as a Father Doth to his

Children; And If any Harm or Attempts shall be

Made on us, That our Father will Resent it

as If it was done to his Children on the other Side

Of the great Lake for w.ch kind Messuage Wee return

you our most hearty Thanks — Gave a Belt

 

Brother Corlaer           Wee shall not repeat your Excies Proposition

but Only the Principall Matters therein Contained

 

[0540] 268

 

Brother Corler

You Told us what was the reason why

His Majesty the King our Father so Affectionatly

Loved us for Two Qualifications of being an honest &

brave People

Brother Corlaer

It is true as you Say that the Six Nations

When they are Sober and not in Drink They will not

Molest or Injure any body, but there is one thing in

the Way that is Strong Liquour Which your Subjects

bring up to our Country — Therefore brother Wee desire

you very Strongly to Prohibitt the Sending or Carrying up

any Strong Liquour for that Will by one thing or

Other Create a Quarrell between your People and our young

Indians, our Ancestors have Fetched the Rum out of

this City when they wanted it. Let them who want Rum

be it Man or Woman Fetch it [hither – crossed out] from hence — Therefore Wee

Desire again that you do not Refuse our Request but to

Grant it Effectually; If you knew it Wee have already

Lost Many Men thro Liquor which has been brought

up; that our People kill one another Give a String of Wampum

This is now a day of Joy & gladness that wee meet together in this place

of Treaty That wee May Smoke a Pipe in friendship and it is very

acceptable to us to meet yr Excy here in good health —

Brother Corlaer

You have recomended us relateing the Traders

Who go up to lett them Pass and Repass freely without any

Molestation; Wee Promise to do them all Friendly Offices

in our Power, Let them Come w.th Such Goods as Powder

Lead Strowds and other dry Goods [&c.] They will be welcome

Except w.th Rum —

Brother Corlaer

you desired us for a Tract of Land near

The House at Oswego for the men to Plant on To raise

Provisions for them and Pasturadge for their Cattle

[0541] 268a

Brother Corlaer

It is with full Consent of the Six Nations

[illeg. crossed out] allowed you to Plant and sow at or near Oswego

and to have Pasturadge for your Cattle according to your Desire

and Wee shall make out such a Tract of Land as shall be necessary

to Raise Provisions for the men and Pasturadge for

their Cattle but Wee should not be Pleased that after it

be markd out, You do go beyond the Limitts which

Wee do Fix Give a String [Give a Belt – Crossed out]

Brother Corlaer

You Told us also that you Expected If

any Attempts be Made Against the House at Oswego

Wee Should Defend it; Wee Acquaint you that last

year when Liberty was Desired to build there it was

told us that the same was built there on Purpose to

Defend and Protect the Six Nations because It is

a Fronteer of our Nations Therefore Wee Rely on

your Promises to Perform them

Brother Corlaer

you told us also that the Six Nations

Imagined that If the farr Indians bought

Goods there thy would become Dear, but that the more

Trade there is the more Goods will be sent hither

and that there is Wool Enough in England to Supply

the whole World w:th Goods

Brother Corlaer

you acquainted us that you have

Goods Enough for the whole world w:ch Wee are very glad

to Hear the House at Oswego is such a Convenient Place

for Trade as Can be any where It is a place where all the

farr Indians must necessarily pass Wee desire also

that goods May be Sold Some what Cheaper to us

and that would be a Motive to Draw all the farr

Nations to us and Joyn w:th us for thro’ Cheapness

 

[0542] 269

of goods will become peace & make unity Give a belt

of wampum

Brother Corlaer

You told us you had been Informed

That when the french Army who went up Last Spring

against the farr Nations that Some French Indians

had been amongst us to Intice some of our young men

to go to Warr w.th them, That they are a Peaceable People

against whom the French now make Warr. That you

Was glad wee refused to go s.th them That those Indians

by these Means would become Friends to the 6 Nations

Brother Corlaer

It is True that the French have desired

It from us, but wee refused and Rejected their Proposall

because wee are Convinced that the French bear us no

Friendship, and wee have no very great Dependance

On them, for their Army Could have Subdued the Six

Nations, and Instead of going to the Foxes Could

Have masterd us While it has been Peace has

made us Severall Threatnings

Brother Corlaer

You have recommended unto us

that wee should Cultivate a Good Understanding

With the farr Indians and Draw them as Much

as Wee Can It is True Wee have had Warr agt. this or

that Nations, but never been the First Aggressors, But

Those who made Warr s:th us have Felt the Weight of

It Wee Promise you to Draw as Many farr Indians

to this Government as Wee Can — Give a Belt

 

[0543] 269a

Brother Corlaer

You Acquainted us also that you

had a fine Present for us Wherefore Wee thank you heartily

you told us that as soon as Wee had given our answer

you would Deliver it But as it is Late Wee Desire you

may give the same too Morrow

His Ex.cys answer

In answer

As to what you desire in Relation that no Rum should

be Sent up to your Country It is absolutely Necessary to

Send Rum to Oswego for the refreshmt. of the Men there

and those who Do Carry up Provisions I shall give Strict

Orders that none of my People do send or Carry up

and Strong Liquour to your People If any shall Trans=

=gress I Expect you will Inform against them; For

your know how Difficult it is to Restrain them from

Selling as well as is Difficult for your People from

bringing it

I thank you in my Master the King of Great

Brittains name for the land you have Granted

for the use of his Garrison at Oswego, I desire you will

Express how Many 1000 Faddom in length and

breadth you Will grant him, and I will Send up a fitt

Person to Marke out the bounds w:th you and I promise

you not to go beyond these bounds, by this you Will

See that the English do not Deal w:th you as the French

Do Who Take your Land without your Leave

The house at Oswego Was built for your Protection

So I Expect you will Assist me If it be attacked

by any body whatsoever that you will assist the

English

[0544] 270

Garrison there in Defending it for Nothing Can be

more Naturall than for you to Assist in the Defence of a

Place which is Maintained for your Security

I desire you to Send Some of your People too

Morrow Morning to Receive the Presents

Albany the 5.o of October 1728

A Private Conferrence Held w:th His Excell.y John

Montgomerie Esq:r &c. and Two Sachims of Each of the

Six Nations

 

Brother Corlaer

Wee are Very glad that you have

Renewed the ancient Covenant and strengthned the

Same w:th us and w:ch wee have on both Sides hitherto

kept Inviolable

Wee are also very glad that you our brother

Corlaer Who is now Come over to us is a wise Prudent

man. Wee must Esteem you So because you have spoken

very Sensibly — Brother — It Seemed yesterday as

If you were Displeased [dissatisfied – crossed out] that Wee did not Promise to

Defend the house at Oswego It has been of old Concluded

betwen your and our Ancestors that wee should be

one body and one heart, So what [was to be – crossed out] is Done to one

Member the whold must be Sensible of it and

Defend

[0545] 270a

Defend the Injury Done to any Part of it

Brother Corlaer

Wee have just now Told you that wee are one

body and one Heart you Desired us that when any

Attempt be Made ag.t the House at Oswego that Wee

should Defend It, how Can you Imagine that Wee

Should not do so, for wee have no Affection for the French

Who have been our Ancient Enemies Who Wee in the

Late Warr had almost Subdued & Conquerd for Wee

have Run Down and Destroyed whole Villages So

that If the bones of the French and of us Were gatherd

together It would make Heaps as high as houses

Brother Corlaer

Yesterday when wee made our answer Wee

did not Proceed in Regular order Wee Understood from

you that when any of our Neighbours might be So

bold as to Disturb us Wee need not fear while our

King our Common Father will Protect us who has

a Large Fleet of Shipps Ready to Employ on any

Occasion

You Told us that our great King is very

Watchfull to have So great a fleet ready on all occasions

Which is very Prudent, but that is a great Distance from

hence, and Can’t Defend us here. Wee hope that you

Will be Pleased to Take the Same Care here to have Every

thing in readiness in Case wee or you should be molest:d

by our Enemies for w.ch End it would be very Proper to

have a Magazine at this Place of all thing is necessary

for Warr on Occasion

Brother Corlaer           Wee Desire for the last Time that you may not

be Negligent to have a Magazine here of all things

Necessarys

[0546] 271

Necessary, to be ready on all occasions, but to grant

it and gett it Done, for wee may be attackd by our Enemies

on a Sudden, and when a Magazine is Furnishd, Wee

may want for nothing, for Wee have never made any

Promises on our side to former Governours but wee

Performd them

Brother Corlaer

You may Possibly know more than wee Do, and

know If there be any Likelihood of War, between the

Kings of Great Brittain and France Wee Desire you to

Inform us w:th what you know about that Matter. If there

be any Probability of It Wee begg that Wee may be Informd

and well Supplyed w:th Ammunition, for Wee have never

Waged War w:th any Nation but Wee have Subdued &

Conquerd them

Brother Corlaer

This is the only Method of Security for you and

us to have Amunition Enough in Readiness, In former

Times Wee were sufficiently Supplied w:th it by which Wee

Conquerd out Enemies, and for w:ch Wee were oblidged to

our Brethren who supplied us Cheap, for then Wee Could

buy more for one Bear Skin, than Wee Can for four or

five Now

Brother Corlaer

Wee have Spoake yesterday relateing the Rum

That your People shou’d not Carry it up to our Country

for If Wee See it wee Cannot forbear to buy and Drink it

Wee Desired that no Rum may be brought up, but

Pray understand us right, Wee Do not Mean that no

Rum should be Carryed up at all but none brought

in our Castles, Let it be brought to the Tradeing house

at

[0547] 271a

At Oswego, but Pray Take Care that the Traders Do not

mix it w.th Water Let them Sell Pure Rum and those

who buy let them Pay for it

Brother Corlaer

This is what wee should have Said yesterday

Wee begg again that you give strict orders to your

People not to Carry up Rum to Our Castles, where they

Come and Intice us to buy it and Drink it Let them

bring it to Oswego but at the Same Time give Particular

Directions that they bring thither Guns and Amunition

and Such things as Wee have occasion for but not

Rum only

Brother

Wee Desire also If it be in your Power to Let us have

goods Cheaper than they are Sold to us at Present

Brother            You Desired us yesterday how many 1000

Faddom the Land Wee have granted to his Majtie

at Oswego Should Extend in Length and breadth which

is a thing wee Can’t very well Tell now while Severall

Sachims are at home in our Castles w.th whom Wee

Ought first to Consult as to the Quantity Who would

Otherwise be Displeased at it

Brother

The Land w:ch you Desired is absolutely granted to

His Majesty our Common Father on w:ch you may

Depend for it is agreed by us all that he shall have it

but as to the Quantity Wee must Consult first w:th the

rest of the Sachims, and then shall Marke it out

Wee have Said that wee should marke out ye Land for

you when Wee Come home & have Consulted ye. rest of ye Sachims

Pray Let a fit Person go up w:th us and named Lourence

Clace the Interpreter who they Said is one of us and understands

Our Language, Wee have Done Speaking [now – crossed out] and what

have said now Wee should have Said yesterday in Publick but has been

Neglected

 

[0548] 272

Answer of       His Excelly John Montgomerie Esq:r

Captain Generall & Gov:r in Chiefe of the

Provinces New: Yorke New Jersey &c

Brethren

Now Since I have had Two or three meetings

w:th you, [think – crossed out] Like you better than before, because I am better

acquainted w:th you the kind Answer you have given

will Confirm his Majtie in the good Opinion he had of you

that the thing w.ch Seemed to Displease me yesterday when

you made Some Difficulty to Assist the English to Defend

Oswego was this, that I have orders from the King of Great

Britain our Father to Assist the Six Nations in Case

any of their Enemies should Attack them, but that you

have now Satisfied me and as Wee are Children of one

Common Father, If any Enemies Attack you I will Send

you Assistance and Come my selfe to Defend you If it be

Necessary as to your Trade of Rum and other things

I shall Take Care, that you Shall not be Abused and

what you Demand be Granted according to your Desire

As to what you Desire to know of the King of Great

Brittains Alliance w:th the King of France they are at

Present in very good Friendship together but as there

has been often War between them, The King of Great

Brittain will Always be ready to go to War in Case

the French Attack you or us; I believe he will have

Large Magazines here and in other convenient Places to Supply all

his Children in Case of War

I Consent that Laurence Clase the Interpreter go

up w:th you as you Desire to Marke out the Land, and

I Expect that you will give your kind Father a Large

Trade

You may now when Ever you are ready receive

the Presents I am to make you in name of my Master

the

[0549] 272a

The King of Great Brittain your Father, You shall

have Provisions for your Journey, and Waggons to bring

you to Snachntdy, the Rum shall be Delivered you above

Snachnatdy, for you have shown the Inconveniency of

your young men Getting Drunk w:th it; I wish you w:th

All my Heart a good Journey home and all Happiness

A Sinneke Sachim stood up & Said

Brother Corlaer

It has been Customary when Wee Come here

Towards the fall that a Smith & an Armourer has

been orderd to go w:th us to Worke in our Country. Wee begg

you to Grant us now that Joseph van Sige and Hend

Wemp may be order’d to go up w:th us who are fitt Persons for our

Occasion

His Excelly Answerd them

That he would order a Smith and an Armourer to

be Sent to Worke for them but then he Expected that

they would not Suffer the French Smith who is

now there nor any other from Canada to Reside

among them for the future

[0550] 273

A Speech made by His Excelly John Mont=

=gomerie Esq: Captain Gen:ll and Governour in

Chiefe of the Provinces of New York New Jersey &c

To the Schaakook & River Indians in

Albany the 5:o of Octob: 1728

[Printed DRCHNY 5:868 et seq. with some differences in list of those present and time sequence. Summary Wraxall p. 175-176.]

Present

His Excelly Jno Montgomerie Esq:r

George Clarke}           Esq:rs of His Majties Coun:ll

Ph: Livingston}

 

Captain Long}

Mr. Jam:s D Lansey}

 

Mynd:t Schuyler}

Evert Bancker }

Rutger Bleecker}        Esq:rs Comm:rs

[J]eremy Renslaer}

Children

I Sent for you my Children to give

you fresh assurance’s of the Protection of the Great

King of Great Brittain My Master Our Common

Father and Sovereign and to Acknowledge in this

Publick manner the Just Sense I have for your former

dutifull behaviour and Fidelity to his Royall Predecessors

and your Affection to your Brethren the rest of His

Subjects in these Parts & in his name & by his order

I renew w:th you the Ancient Coven.t Chain & give you a

Present of Such things as are of use to you and I expect

youl Continue firm to your Duty at all Times to Come

as you have Done in Time Past, and in Doing So you

may rest Assured not only of Protection but of all other

good Offices in the Poser of those that are in Authority

under the King our Common Father & Protector

Give a Belt

I am Concern’d I must Tell you that I am

Inform’d that many of your Nation have of late Mis=

=behaved themselves who on Frivolous Pretences and

Wrong Notions have Left their Native Country

Schaakook

[0551] 273a

Schaakook and gone to Live in Canada a place not so

good and Fertile as they Deserted from, I Exhort you to

use all proper Means to pswade them to Return back, &

Proper Care Shall be Taken that they and you Shall

have Sufficient Land and more than you and your

Children can Cultivate and plant on, That you & they

may Again Shelter under the branches & Leaves of

that Tree of Peace which has long since been planted

at Schaakook. Ile Take Care that the Same Shall Flourish

and grow, and when you hear any Rumours be not

Too Credulous as many of you have been Lately, but

Inform me of it and I will undeceive you, and Tell

you the Truth  Give a Belt

The Indians made Answer

Father Corlaer

Wee are very glad that you are Come to Visit your

Children & Rejoyced to See that the Tree w.ch has been long

since Planted at Schaakook which wee thought was

almost Witherd & Decayed is Come to Life again and

getts Nourishm:t and Wee are Extreamly well pleased

to Perceive that the fire w:ch used to burn and was

almost Extinguishd is kindled again Gave Two

Bever Skinns

Father

Wee are much Comforted to hear that you have

Renewed the Ancient Covenant Chain w:th us Wee Do

now do bring fur to wrap it up in that ye Same may not

rust but keep bright and Clean Give Two Beav:r Skinns

Father

Wee are Rejoyced that your Grandfather hath

Such a great value and Esteem for us in Sending you

(one of his Sons) hither to be our Father who Does us

the Honour to Send for us       Give Two Beaver Skinns

[0552] 274

Father

You have recommended unto us that wee should

use our Endeavours to Fetch back from Canada those who

deserted from Schaahkook Wee Promise to use all

Possible means to Perswade them to Return to their

Native Country, Give Two Beaver Skinns

It is Somewhat Difficult for us to Encrease our

Number at Schaahkook It is often Recomended to us

by those in Authority here to Settle there & bring those

back who are gone to Canada for Wee Can Scarcely have

the Land w:ch is Promis’d us and are Molested on that

w:ch is our own by People who Live near us — Wee Came

home Late last Spring from our Hunting and Planted

Some Land; and now this Fall our Indian Corn has

been Carried away

The Fences about our Land are old and rotten

So that the Cattle Distroy much of our Cropps Wee Came

home Late last Spring and found Some of our Land

Planted on by Christians, whom Wee would have paid

for their Trouble but they refused yet wee howed the

Indian Corn Twice, and now your People have ag:t our

Wills and by Violence Carried off the Corn from our

fields

His Excelly: Answerd them

Children

I thank you fore your kind Speech

I shall Acquaint your Grandfather w:t good People

you are

As to the Complaint you have made ag.t

the Christians If you will Let me know the Peoples

names who have Injured you I shall order them

to be Punished and you Satisfied

[0553] 274a

Albany 7:o October 1728

[Printed DRCHNY 5:867 with different wording.]

Present

His Ex.cy John Montgomerie Esq:r

Ph: Livingston

Mynd.t Schuyler

Evert Bancker

Rutger Bleecker

Henry Holland

Peter van Brugh

J: Cuyler

Steph: Groesbeek        } Esq.rs Comm:rs

Evert Windell

Joh: Roseboom

Har. Windell

Reyer Garrison

Abraham Cuyler

Ph. Schuyler

Nicolas Bleeker

Joh.s Lansigh

His Exy not having been able to deliver the

Presents to the Sachims of the 6 Nations in Publick

on Saturday last as he Intended being Prevented by

the Rain the Said Presents were this day Delivered

them by his Said Excy. in Name of His Majtie King

George the Second w:ch Presents Consist of the

following Particulars vizt

66 Fuzees                                40 £ Beads

65 Coats                                  48 Tobacco boxes

66 Hatts                                   54 Looking Glasses

8 Peices Strouds                      23 doz: Clasp knives

6 D.o Duffells                         8 D.o Single

6 D.o Blanketting                   1500 Flints

8 D.o Halfe Thicks                 1000 £ Powder

256 Course Shirts                   12 Casks Tobacco

57 Fine D.o                             1 box Pipes

30 Kettles                                1 Hhd Rum

59 Hatchetts                            6 barrells Porke

14 Doz Stockings

[0554] 275

The Rum shall be Delivered you above

Snachnatdy as I already have Told you, I wish you

a good Journey to your Habitations and hope to meet

again as soon as may be you shall have Provisions for

too Day and for your Journey and too Morrow a Bull

to Hunt, I Desire you to Recommend and Prevent

your young men not to Do mischiefe to the Peoples

Cattle as they go up, I have orderd Two barrells of

Cheer to Drink his Majties Health

[0555] 275a

[Printed in DRCHNY at 5: 868 with different wording.]

The Sachims Answerd

Brother Corlaer

You acquainted us that your Master the King of

Great Brittain our Common Father has Sent w:th you for us

This Present you Could not Deliver it last Saturday by

reason of the Rain, and that the Powder shall be Delivered us

which you Say is very Strong and good, for all which Wee

are very thankfull

Brother Corlaer

Wee are ver glad & Joyfull that wee See you have

Such a great Affection for us this is the Place appoint.d

of old to meet, Wee are very much Rejoyced our Brother

Corlaer is Safely Arrived here because the Sea is So

Dangerous and Tempestious to Cross, Wee have brought

a Small Present to your Exy: for your long Jouney

hither to meet us to Anoint your Feet w.th

Brother

Wee wish you a happy Voyage, and shall be

glad to Hear that you are Safe Arrived for Death follows

in Every where wee have now Done to Speak

A Sachim in behalfe of the Sinnekes said

Brother Corlaer

Wee desired you for a Smith and an Armour.r

but wee Do not hear further of it you Spoake ab.t a French

Smith who is there now, he can make no Worke if any our

Brethren be there from hence for he is an old man and

Can Scarcely See and Desire that Jos. van Size and

Hendrick Wemp do now go up along w:th us — Gave a

Few Skinns

Wee would Fain now have the Smith and armourer

Go

[0556] 276

Go up along up w:th us that wee may be Sure of them

Otherwise It may be Neglected

His Excy Replied

That he would give Effectuall orders to ye Comm:rs to get

the Said Smith and Armourer to go as they Desire that

After they have Divided the Presents they shall have a

barrell of Beer to Drink the Kings Health

 

Minute Book 3: 1728-September: Information from Canada, More Problems at Oswego, Final Preparations for the Conference with Governor Montgomerie

Intelligence from Canada

The Commissioners of Indian Affairs maintained a regular correspondence with authorities on the Massachusetts frontier, with whom they shared intelligence about the French. In September the commissioners sent Thomas Ingersoll to Northampton to pass on a paper to Colonel John Stoddard “Relating this Governor from Canada by two of our Sachams Indians.” The records include a somewhat confusing version of the cover letter but not the paper itself, so we do not know what it said.

Problems at Oswego

The next entry is a deposition taken on September 28th before the Mayor of Albany at the commissioners’ request.  It is sworn to by four people: Jacobus S. Planck, William Hogan Junior, Symon Veder, and Sybrant Van Schaick. The deponents accused an officer at Oswego, Lieutenant John Price, of drinking to excess and causing trouble for the commanding officer, Captain Nicolls. Apparently there was a possibility that Price was going to assume the command of the garrison.  The deponents said he was “no fitt person” for the post.

The garrison was once again in great need of food and the Assembly’s allowance of funds for the year had not provided enough to cover the costs. Moreover illness was still a problem and the sick men were unable to transport goods to Oswego after the Palatines brought them past the Oneida Carrying Place. The commissioners resolved to hire people from the city and county of Albany to assist with transporting goods and to ask Governor Montgomery to covern costs in excess of the allowance from the Assembly.

Montgomerie quickly agreed to put up the money.  The commissioners immediately wrote to the Justices at the Palatine settlement of Burnetsfield asking them to “Impress men and horses to Ride Over the Carrying Place the Batoes and Provisions which are Sent up” for the garrison.  They also wrote to Captain J. Roseboom at Schenectady to retrieve any bags belonging to the public that might be there and sent three men to Oswego with provisions for the immediate relief of the garrison.

The commissioners also agreed with sixteen named individuals and “three men out of the fort”  to go up to Oswego in a bateau to assist with transporting provisions.  Each man was paid 4 pence a day and given a gallon of rum, but left to travel “on [his] own diet.”  Every two men were required to bring back a boat.  Oswego would provide an income for local Dutch and Palatine families but there is no mention of employing the Oneidas or Mohawks living at or near the carrying place.  Horses were now used to carry boats as well as goods past the carrying place, suggesting that roads were improving.

1728-9-30_list
The named individuals are: Yelius D Gardinoy, Sim: Vedder, Evert Evertse, Dirck D Gardinoy, Bernard Bratt, Joh.s V: D.Hyden, Barent Albertine Bratt, Rob.t Dunbar, Jochem Kittleum, Joh.s Wyngaerd, Dour Van Voughen, Evert Yansen, Adam Conde, Joachem V: DeHyd.n, Joh.s V Veghten, and Evert Phillipsie. Minutes of September 30, 1728 p. 262a.

Final Preparations for a Conference

As previous governors had done, Governor Montgomerie issued a proclamation prohibiting the sale of strong liquor during the upcoming conference with the Six Nations. It is printed in Volume 5 of O’Callaghan’s Documents Relative to the Colonial History of New York on page 859.  The commissioners sent a messenger to ask the leaders of the River Indians and Schaghticokes to come to Albany.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the entry for September starts here on p. 260. The transcription is below.

[0524] 260

Albany 18th September 1728

Col. Stoddard

Last week we Received the inclosed paper

Relating this Governor from Canada by two of our

Sachams Indians which we now Sand you by Mr. Thomas

Ingorsol the bearer here of you may See the Contents of

the Same wee are

Sir Your Verry humblesevits

on of his Majesties [illeg.] Service

To the                          Coll. Jn.o Stoddard

at North Hampton

or in his absence to the next Justice of the

peace there

[0526] 261

Att a meeting of the Commissioner[s]

of the Indian affairs at Albany

ye 28th Septem.br 1728

Present

Ph: Livingston

Mynd.t Schuyler

Evt. Bancker

Rutger Blecker

Hen: Holland

St. Groesbeek

Peter van Brugh

Har: Wendell

Jeremiah v. Rensselaer

Nicolas Bleecker

Reyer Gerritse

Baront Sanders                                   Affidavit taken before this Roard [sic] Relating

Leut Price

Albany 28th September 1728

Appeared before Ruger Bleeker Esq.r mayor

of the City of Albany in presence of the Com.es for Indian

Attairs [sic] Jacob van Planck Symon Veeder William Hogen

Jun.r & Sybrant van Schaick all a gi’d who being duely

Sworn on the holy Evangelists of almighty god declare

that last winter while the Deponants were at osweego

Leut. John Price did not behave himself will there

being Sundry times in drink when he Could but gett

Strong Liquor and often drank with the Soldiers then

there by which means he was very troublisome to

Capt. Nicolls the Comanding officer the Deponants

for the Depose that the sd. Leut Price in their Judgement

is no fitt person to have the Comand of the Garrison

at osweego if he doth not behave himself better then

he did at the time they were with him at osweego

and further thes deponants Say not

was Signd

Jacobus S Planck

William Hogan Jun.r

Symon Veder

Sybrant van Schaic[k]

Sworne before me

at the Request of the

Comissioners of Indian affairs

at Albany this 28th Septembr. 1728

Rutger Blecker Mayor

[0527] 261a

Whereas this Board being Informed that his Maj.es

forces Posted at the Garrison of osweego are in great wan[t]

of Provisions to Subsist ym and yt ye Late Assembly

having Provided a fund for provisions for sd Garrison

for the Space of 12 Months & Same Small Incidents to ye

Amount of  £60. which being no ample Provision for ye

Transporting ye sd Provisions & Raggage [sic] to Osweego

which is nevertheless absolutely necessary that the

Same be forthwith Sent up to the sd Garrison [illeg. crosse out]

and the assembly having

Calculated that the Palatines Should Transport the Provisions

on the other Side of the Carrying place and there to deliver

to a Detachmt. Posted at Oswego, and being Assured

that Severall of the Men there are Sick and not able to

Receive and Fetch the Provisions as was Expected, and

therefore Necessary that Proper men of this Citty and

County be hired to bring up Said Provisions and being

Well Assured that no Men are to be had to Carry up the

said Provisions on the Publick Credit unless Some

Engagemt. be made for the Paymt. of  Such Transportation

and Contingent Charges It is therefore the Opinion of

this board That his Excy Gov.er Montgomerie be

acquainted w:th the Inconveniencys that Attend this

present Service desireing that his Said Excy will be

Pleased to Signifie unto this Board to Engage for the

Payment of Such Incidentall Charges which may Accrue

on the Present Services not Provided for by the Assembly

[0528] 262

[Printed in DRCHNY 5: 859 et seq. The printed version omits a few words, so this one has been transcribed. Another copy can be found on p. 298, scribbled on as though used for scrap paper.]

By His Excie John Montgomerie Captain Gen:ll and

Governour in Chiefe of the Provinces New=York New Jersey and the

Territories depending thereon &c

A Proclomation

Whereas Severall Sachims of the Five

Nations are arrived here wth. Many other Indians to Treat w:th me

about Some Publick Affairs, and Experience has Shown how

Prejudiciall to his Maj.ies Service and Dangerous to the Peace

of the Inhabitants the giveing or Selling of Rum or other stronge

Liquour to those Indians has at all Times been, These are

therefore by virtue of the Powers granted to me by his Majestys

Letters Pattents under the Broad Seale of Great Brittain strictly

Forbidding the Selling or giveing to the Indians any Such

Liquor dureing my Residence in this place as they will

Answer it at their Perill and all Magistrates Justices of

the Peace or Other Civill Officers are hereby Required and

Impowerd to give all due Assistance and Countenance to such

as shall Dilate or Inform agt. any Person or persons Acting

Contrary to the Tenor and Intent of this Proclamation to the

End that Such Delinquents may be Prosecuted and Punish’d

With the Uttermost Severity of the Law, Given under My

Hand in Albany this 30:th day of Septemb.r

In the Second year of his Majesties Reign Anoq. Dom 1728

Copia Vera

[0529] 262a

At the Meeting of the Comm:rs of the

Indian Affairs the 30th Septemb:r 1728

Present

Ph: Livingston

Mynd.t Suhyler

Rutger Blecker

Henry Holland

St: groesbech

Peter Van Brugh

Joh.s Cuyler

Ab: Cuyler

Har. Wendell

Nich.s Blecher

Ev: Wendell

Ph: Schuyler

Ryer Gerritse

Barret Sander

Joh.s Lansigh

_____

Yelus D Gardimoy

Sim: Vedder

Evert Evertse

Dirck D Gardimoy

Bernard Bratt

Joh.s V: D.Hyden

Barent Albertine Bratt

Rob.t Dunbar

Jochem Kittleum

Joh.s Wyngaerd

Dour Van Voughten

Evert Yansen

Adam Conde

Joachen V: DeHyd.n

Joh.s V Veghten

Evert Phillipsie

3 Men out of

the Fort

Reced this day a Letter from his Ex.cie

Govern.or Montgomerie Esq.r &c. whereby his Said

Ex.cy Ingages for Paym.t of the Contingent Charges

for the Transportation of the Provisions to Oswege

Not Provided for by the Assembly w:ch is very

acceptable to this Board

Orderd That a Letter be Writ to the Justices

at Burnetsfield to Impress men and horses to Ride

Over the Carrying place the Batoes and Provisions

which are Sent up now for the Supply of the

Garrison at Oswego

Writt a Letter to Capt: J: Roseboom at

Schinechtady to Inquire what baggs are there

belonging to the Publick and to Lett us know

forthwith that they may be Provided here

Sent a Messenger to the Sachims of Schaak=

=koak and River Indians to Come hither on Friday

to Meet his Excie Governour Montgomerie

Just now this Board Dispatched three

Men to go up w:th Provisions w:th all Speed for the

Releave of the Garrison at Oswego

This Day the Comm:srs agreed w:th the Persons in the

Margent: to go up there in a Battoe to bring up provisions

for the Detachment At Oswego a 4/ p Diem Each on their

Own Diet w:th Allowance of a Gallon of Rum for Every

Man and Every Two Men to bring a Battoe back

From Oswego

Minute Book 3: 1728-May through July: A Doctor is Sent to Oswego

There are no entries for April or June 1728.  During this time New York’s governor William Burnet was replaced by Colonel John Montgomerie, who arrived in New York on April 15th.  Burnet did not leave for his new position as governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire until July.  Many of the records preceding July 1728 are numbered in a way that suggests they are copies rather than originals, leading me to suspect that at some point the new governor had things copied and they got out of order in the process, perhaps leading to the loss of some materials.

The sole entry for May, a copy of a letter from the Commissioners of Indian Affairs to the governor, does not say which governor was being addressed, but the wording suggests that it was Colonel Montgomerie. The commissioners thanked him for acknowledging the importance of security on New York’s frontier and tried to convince him that they needed financial support to guarantee that security since their affairs were conducted on credit.

The letter shows that troops at Oswego were still becoming ill. It is unclear what disease was affecting them or whether it was the same thing that made people sick the year before.   The governor asked the commissioners to find a doctor to address the problem and in their letter of May 13th they said they had agreed with Charles Kerr, “a fitt person” “who understands Bleeding and Phisick,” to go to Oswego for a year in exchange for sixty pounds to be paid on his return. They planned to provide him with “wine Rum & sugar for the use of the sick men.” The governor approved their choice and on July 19th he received his orders to go to Oswego as “chirugeon.”

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the entry for May starts here on p. 216. The transcription is below.

[0436] 216

Albany 13 May 1728

May it please your Ex.cy

Your Ex.cys most Acceptable favours of ye 5th Instant

we Read. and are very glad for ye. kind Assurances your Ex.cy

pleased to give us that you intend to Imploy your thoughts

very much for the Securerity of our fronteer which is very

much of his Majesties Service Advantage of all his Subjects

in this Contenant, if there be no Incouragement to Support

the Credit for ye present Service we are at a loss how, It will

be Supported unless we Ingage our selves for it,

Pursuant to y.r Ex.cys Commands we have Agreed with

a fitt person, to Go to Osswego who understands Bleeding and

Phisick named Mr. Charles Kerr for £60 — Cred of the Governmt

for a year to Commence from the time we can send him thither

at his Return hither to be p. on Certificate from the Comm.

officer he has servd that time, we shall supply him with

some wine Rum & sugar for the use of the sick men and hope

that the next Assembly will provide for the payment of this

& all other Incidents that may Accrue for the Imediate ser=

=vice without which the settlement at Ossweego cant be

maintaind, in what manner & when we shall send Mr. Karr

to Oswegoo we cant tell to hire people on purpose will Cost

at Least £12– more when more provisions be sent thither

he may Conveniently go without much Charges to ye. Publick

however if it be your Ex.cys pleasure we Shall send him directly

& hire men for that purpose

[There are no entries for June 1727]

[0438] 217

By the Commissioners of the Indian affairs

att Albany

To Mr. Charles Kerr.

Whereas His Excellency John Montgomerie Esq.r

Capt. Generall and Govern.r in Chiefe of the Province of Newyork

New Jersey &c. has Directed us to send a fitt Person to the Garrison

at Osweego who understands Phisick and bleeding. and being Informd

that you are a person well Skilld in these arts: These are therefore

by Virtue of a Letter Received from his Said Excellency To desire

and Require You to go to Osweego as Chururgion for the said Garrison

assoon as may be with Such Proper Medicines as we Can now Supply

you with att Present and take under your Care for the time and Space

of one year from the date hereof Such Sick men which now are or Shall

be there belonging to his Majesties Garrison, for which Service

You are to be paid as p. Agreemt. with us by the Government or by

his Said Excellency the sume of Sixty pounds new york money.

Given under our hands in Albany the 19th. Day of July in the

Second year of his Majesties Reign Anno D.o 1728

Philip Livingston

Henry Holland

Joh: Cuyler

Dirck Ten Broeck

Johannes Lansigh

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–

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, and the Seneca town Onnahee to the west. By “Asskantekook” they probably meant Arsigantegok, the Abenaki community on the St. Francois River now known as Odanak, although it is possible that they were referring to Arossagunticook on the Androscoggin River in Maine. 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 he may have moved because he supported the English 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 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

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

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

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

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

 

Minute Book 3: 1727-February: Governor Burnet Plans His Fort at Oswego

Having obtained 300 pounds in funding from the New York Assembly to build a fort at Oswego, Governor Burnet asked the commissioners to recommend a location. Based on the meeting between the Six Nations and Governor Burnet in September 1724, the commissioners knew that the governor wanted the fort at Oswego rather than at the Six Nations’ preferred location at the end of Oneida Lake. On February 4th, they wrote the governor and told him what he wanted to hear. The most convenient place was the west side of the Onondaga River (now called the Oswego River) where it flowed into Lake Ontario, still known as Cataraqui Lake at this period.

The commissioners recommended that Captain Evert Bancker, already stationed in Seneca Country for the winter, pick the exact location.  The fort was to be 60 feet square with two blockhouses, a shingled room, and a chimney.  1727-2-4

They agreed to keep the matter private but they told the governor that it was already no secret in Albany.  They proposed to tell Captain Bancker that the building was intended to keep the traders’ goods dry, but added that Bancker would need some presents to give any Iroquois leaders who might oppose the work.  Bancker also proposed to regulate trade at Oswego and make sure that the Indians were not cheated by mixing rum with water.  The Six Nations had complained of being cheated in this way the previous year and proposed that the traders stop bringing rum to their country, but the English would not consider that possibility. The commissioners also assured the governor that they would tell Captain Collins to redeliver rum to the Indians after they complained that it had been stolen at Schenectady.

Captain Collins is probably Edward Collins, rather than his father John Collins, who was a lieutenant by this time.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the best copy of the entry for February 1727 starts here.

Albany ye 4th february 1726/7

May it please your Excy

We had ye honour of your Exce.cys favours

of ye 21 Jan.r [copy on p. 210a says 13th Jan.ry] with Capt. Banker[s] Letter acts of                                                                                          Assembly &

news papers for which we Return your Exc.ly [thanks. we’ll acqt. Capt. Collins with your Exc.ly]s Directions

about ye Redelivery of ye rum which ye Indians Compaind

has been Imbezzled at Schinechtady we wish Such vile

practices could be prevented it has done much mischief Al=

=ready according to your Ex.ly Commands laid as for our advice

about applying ye 300 lb providing by act of Assembly we

Shall do in ye best [as] we are able

The most Convenient place & Scituation for ye

building we are Informed is at ye South Side of ye Cadarach=

=qui lake on the west Side of ye onnondage River were it

Impties it Sell into Said Lake or Such proper place there

Adjacent as Capt. Banker Shall think fitt to pitch ye ffort

to be made of Stockadors 12 foot above Ground & if it be a Rock=

=ie place to be laid on the ground 1/4 of Loggs to be 60 foot Square

with two blockhouses of 20 & ye upper 14 foot Square of good 1/3

timber within a Chimney in act ye roof Coverd with Singles

which one of our board has Offerd to Compleat for £150÷ and

if this affair to be done in a publick manner we Shall En=

=deavour to gett it done for less 150 & ye Canoes or batoes w.h

are Requird for ye Transporting the men &c. we Compute

will Cost abt £12÷ [Copy p. 235 says £125 ÷] the remainder of ye Same [Sum] allowed may

be Applyd for provisions & Necessaries for the men but for

what time we Cant Calculate being a thing we are

Unacquainted with as for our part we Shall keep this

affair private but its no [Secret] in town we prosume it

to be necessary yt. Capt. Banker be directed about ye time

yt. ye. men are to go from hence yt. Such a building is to be

Errected for keeping the traders goods dry for wh

[0352] 174a

Purpose it will be Necessary yt. he be Supply’d with Some

Small pSent to give Some Sachims who might Oppose this

work. as for his Conduct yt he Endeavours yt. the Indians

be not Cheated in their trade Especially in Rum by being

mixt with water & further to Regulasie himself according

to ye. Act of Generall Assembly in yt. Case providing

[with Respect we are

May it please your Ex.lcy

your Exc.cy most humble &

Most Obedient Servants

Philip Livingston                    Rutger Bleecker

Myn: Schuyler                                    Harmanus Wendle

Peter Van Brugh                      Nicolaes Bleecker

Lancester Symes                     Stephanus Groesbeeck

John Cuyler                            Reyer Gerritse]

Minute Book 3: 1726-April: Major Abraham Schuyler is Sent to Onondaga to Promote the English Interest

1726-4-21Stefan Bielinski‘s biography  of Major Abraham Schuyler (1663-1726), on the New York State Museum’s The People of Colonial Albany Live Here website, tells us that by 1726, Schuyler had spent years as a trader, interpreter, and diplomat in Iroquoia. In April Governor Burnet and the Commissioners of Indian Affairs sent him to Onondaga with orders to invite the Six Nations to Albany in the summer for a meeting with the governor.  Schuyler was told to address Iroquois concerns about traders who brought alcohol to their country and to ensure the safety of the traders.  He was also told to go to the Seneca’s Country or wherever else he could find information about French plans at Niagara, and to hire “trusty Indians” for this purpose. He was provided with gifts and a belt of wampum and instructed to keep a journal of his activities and observations. He was not to engage in trade himself, but to count on an appropriate reward for his services from the governor, although no amount was stated.

Major Schuyler was also told to keep order among the Dutch traders and prevent them from giving rum even to Indians from outside Iroquoia except when they were about to depart from the falls, probably meaning the falls near Oswego, where trade flourished now that Albany merchants were forbidden to trade with Montreal.

The commissioners wrote to Governor Burnet enclosing a copy of Schuyler’s instructions. They said that even the traders who originally opposed moving the trade west (meaning to Oswego) now planned to partake in it and as many as 50 canoes were expected that summer.  If the French did not prevent it, Albany merchants should do well. The commissioners also told the governor that they had learned that Frenchmen were traveling from Montreal to Jagara (Niagara) without revealing their purpose, which was probably to build the new fort.

The last item in the commissioners’ letter reveals that problems with alcohol were were also occuring at Fort Hunter.  People there had submitted a petition asking for a law preventing people from buying corn from Indians and selling them rum, which was proving “very destructive to them.”

There are no entries for May 1726.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, April 1726 starts here.

Below is the full transcription:

[254] 125a                                                            [Apr. 21, 1726]

[Wraxall mention p. 163]

By the Commissioners of the

Indian Affairs at Albany

Instructions for Major Abraham Schuyler

Whereas his Excllency [sic] william Burnet Esq.

Cap.t Generall and Governour in Chief of the

Provinces of New York New Jersey &c. has been pleasd

to approve that some person of Experience be Sent

among the five Nations to Quiet the minds of the

Indians, and has appointed you to undertake that

affair, we Do therefore hereby Require you forth-

=with to go to Onnondage on your Arrival there,

Desire the Sachims of the five Nations to meet, &

when they Shall be Conven’d, you are to Desire

them in the name of his Excellency our Governou[r]

that he Expects to meet them here this Summer,

and that they do not Suffer any of their people

to molest our Traders. That Several of them had

Carried up Rum Last winter, who Could [be-crossed out] not be

Prevaild on to turn back again, That the Traders

Shall be Directed not to Deliver any of their

Rum to the far Indians but at their Departure

that no mischief may arise from it —-

You are to stay among the five Nations

Till you Shall Receive Orders from his Excellency

to Return home, and while you Stay there you are

to Observe the Motions of the ffrench who we are Informd

are Going from Montreal with a force of men to

build a ffort at Jagara, and it may be at Some other

Places on this Side of Cadaracqui Lake, off which

if your have Certain Intelligence, you are forthwith

by Express to Inform us of it, that his Excellency

may be acquainted with the Proceedings of the

ffrench in the Indian Country, and that you may —

be the better Informd of the ffrench Design,

we think it Necessary that you go to the Sinnekes

Country

[0255] 126

Country or Such other Place as you Shall Judge

Proper, That you may have a true Account of all

their Transactions and Proceedings, for which

Purpose you are to Imploy Some trusty Indians

of the five Nations to go among the ffrench

wherever they are, to see what they are Doing at

Jagara, to which End and for Present to the Indians

we think it Necessary that you Shall Receive

the value of Twenty five Pounds in Presents as

also a Belt of wampum and     [space in original] Blankets of

Strowds

You are to Reside Some Time at the

ffalls where our Traders Lye to see that they do

not abuse the farr Ind.ns in there Trade, and you

are to give them all the Encouragement Possible

to trade with our People Either here or at the ffalls

you are to take Care that no Rum be Delivered to

the Indians but at their departure that No mischief

may arise from it —

It will be very proper that you keep a

Journal of all your Proceedings & Transactions

of any moment. while you Shall be among the

Indians on this Message. you are to Act in all

things as you Shall think most for his Majesties

Interest and welfare of this Province, you are

not to Concern your Self with any Trade while

you are this Jurney [sic] Not Doubting but his

Excellency Shall Sufficiently Reward you for

your Service.

Given under our hands in Albany

this 21th day of April in the twelfth Year of

his Maj.es Reign Annoq. Domini 1726

Philip Livingston

Henry Holland

Pieter van Brugh

Evert Bancker

Hend. van Rensselaer

[0256] 126a

[Wraxall quotes this letter p. 163.]

Albany 27 April 1726

May it Please y.r Excellency

yours Ex.es favours of ye 25th March on ye Receipt

whereof we sent for major Ab.m Schuyler who as soon

as he Came to Town we acquainted him with your

Exce.ly[s] pleasure. for his Going in ye Indian Country to

Quiet their mines [sic] he accepted to go on Credit of your

Exce.ly[s] Letter we thought it Necessary to give him

Instructions Copy whereof is here Inclosed hopeing

his Message may have ye Desired Effect. and yt. ye.

Assembly will Provide for the Charges he has £25.– in

Presents to the Indians besides 5 blankets Strowds

to be Imployd Instead of belts of Wampum Its very

acceptable to us yt. yr. Exc.ly Concurs with us yt. its

Necessary to have persons of Experience among ye

Indians with out w.h they will Certainly allinate in

their affections & fidelity to his Majesty —

We hear of many that are gone to trade to ye.

westward even to Number of 50 Canoes. People Incou

=rage that trade now to Emulation even those who were

at first ag.nt it. if our People be not Interrupted by ye.

french they will gett a Large Chear of their trade

this Sumer —

We are Informd yt. a number of men

are gone from Montreal to Jagara Some Say to build

a ffort there what there Design may be theyl Conceal

from us as Long as Possible –

Inclosed is a Petition to your Ex.ly from the

Inhabitants of ffort Hunter Desireing a Law for

Restraining People to buy ye. Corn from ye. Indians

there & Selling ym. Rum w.h has been found by Experi

=ence to very Destructive to ym. it would Conduce

much for ye benifitt of ye. Inhabitants there to obtain

Such a Law but they ought to debard as well as others

from buying Corn from ye Indians & Selling Rum

 

Conference on Iroquois Research 2017 Presentation

The Conference on Iroquois Research met last week in Oswego, New York. It included many excellent presentations. I gave a talk based on the AIC records for 1723-1725 entitled “The Sappony Prisoner: Servant, Captive, Runaway, or Chief?” It concerns a Sappony captive taken from Virginia to Kahnawake in 1723 and his subsequent fate.
Here is a pdf copy: Captivity_Paper .

The C.I.R. is evolving in very interesting ways. Check out the web page to learn about their work, including their journal, which just published a third issue. They also have a Facebook Page where you can see pictures of the conference and learn more about the presentations.

This is a map of Oswego in 1727, and a marker and plaque from the site of the fort built that year.

 

 

This is what it looks like now:

 

 

I kept thinking about the Iroquois of 1723, as well as the French and Anglo-Dutch traders. They used to navigate these waters in canoes like the ones now on display in the H. Lee White Maritime Museum, following the river up to Onondaga and Oneida. What would they make of the present  day city?

IMG_1124
The view from my window at the Oswego Best Western Plus, where the conference took place.

IMG_1163
Small (wooden?)  boat outside the H. Lee White Maritime Museum at Oswego. My guess is that there were some boats a bit like this one around after the 1727 fort was constructed and certainly later in the century as French and British sailing ships began to ply Lake Ontario.

IMG_1179
Dugout and birchbark canoes on exhibit at the H. Lee White Maritime Museum on the pier at Oswego. Most traffic in 1723 was by canoe.