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–

Advertisements

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

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

Arossagunticook Hunters Come To Trade

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

1727-10-12Laurence Claessen’s Journal

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

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

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

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

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

[0412] 204a

Albany 5th October 1727

May it please yr. Excel.cy

We have been very pressing to gett in the acct.

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

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

the provisions thither & Indicent a mounting in all as may

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

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

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

not Certyfied tho Suppose they are Just

The Detachment sett out from Schinnechtady yester=

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

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

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

Could not be prevented for the Securety of the house

and Garryson while we think it of the Greatest Consequence

Every thing may Succeed according to Expectation

with Great Esteem & Respect

Philip Livingston

Henry Holland

Johannes Cuyler

Stephanus Groesbeeck

Harmanus Wendle

Nicolaes Bleecker

 

[0414] 205

At A meeting of the Com.es of the Indian

Affairs in Albany ye. 6 October 1727

[illeg.]

[Not in Wraxall]

Present

Philip Living.n

Henry Holland

J: Cuyler

Myn: Schuyler

Peter Vn. Brugh

Lancester Symes

Harmanus Wendle

Reyer Gerritse

Nicolaes Bleecker

An Indian Messenger from ye. Asikants=

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

of god that we meet together in good Health

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the Commissioners to give them liberty to Come gave a String

of Wampum

Brethren

We have been here last Summer and you gave us then

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

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

fetaque to come down to this place wherefore we desire that

we may be furnishd & Supplyd with Necessaries at Saragtoque

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

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

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

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

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

Canoes wee

[0415] 205a

Canoes we Shall Come hitherr with a great number of our

people and abundance of beaver and peltry and then

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

Answer

We are very glad that it has pleased Almighty god to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

you with Necessaries at Saraghtoga as Cheap as they are here

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

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

not promise you neither Can any person afford ym So Cheap

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

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

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

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

how much Cheaper goods are here yn. at Saragtoque

therefore we recommend you to tell your Sachims we de=

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

to trade while, goods are much Cheaper then Ever they

had been

 

[0416] 206

Albany 30th October 1727

May it please your Excel.cy

It would be very acceptable to us to hear

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

has the Journall of Mr. Lourence Claese the Interpre=

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

Indians are well Affected to the british Interest but in one

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

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

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

that we Can defend and Secure them against the attempt of

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

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

Securety of our trade is of the Greater Consequence to this

province and that they will raise a Sufficient Supply to

discharge the expence already layd out and what may be

wanting to lay out for the next year,

The Interpreter Informs us that the french Smith free=

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

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

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

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

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

who are with great Esteem and Respect

Phil: Livingston

Henry Holland

Hend.k Vn. Renselaer

Stephanus Groesbeek

Harmanus Wendle

Nicolaes Bleecker

 

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

12 Octob 1727

Journall of Mr. Lourence Claese the

Interpreter of his Journey to the Six

Nations being Translated into English

is as follows

In pursuance of my Instructions from the Com.es

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

to the Mohoggs Country acquainted the Sachims there of the

decease of his late Majesty King George of Glorious memory

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

=sent Majesty King George the second to the Imperi=

=all Crowns of Great britain france and Ireland, from

thence I went to Oneyde and Tuskerores and Acquainted

those Sachims with the Same,

On the 25th of Sept. I Arrivd at Onnondage

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

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

the Same day I came there, whereupon I calld the

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

them also of the Decease of his late Majesty King

George & of the acceptation of his present Majesty

King George ye. Second to the Imperiall Crowns of

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

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

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

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

Canada who has been always their Ancestors Enemy and

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

of their land and priviledges where our Governour gives

Sufficient Instancs of his Sincere affection & frindship

towards the well being of the Six Nations which he Endeavors

to Accomplish and Intends to preserve in it —

The King of France himself owns that the

Six Nations belong only to the Crown of Great Britain

Therefore brethren I Desire you in his Excel.cys Name

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

of

 

[0418] 207

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

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

nor do any thing without advice from brother

Corlaer and to fitch those Indians back who are gone

out fighting whereon I gave ym two blankets Strouds Desire=

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

=kes Country

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

the Sachims also as before of the Decease of his late

Majesty & of ye. Accession of his present majesty King

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

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

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

above to the Onnondages and gave ym. a blanket Strouds

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

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

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

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

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

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

firm to the Covenant which our and their fathers have made

I found a french Smith in the Sinneke Castle with

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

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

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

Did not they would be Dispatchd about it,

The Sachims of the Sinnekes answerd me to what I

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

Concernd to her the Maloncholy news of his late Majesty

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

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

Might follow this fathers Steps for the welfare of the kingdoms

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

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

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

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

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

[Danmify]

 

[0419] 207a

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

Gov.r touching this affair

The Sinneke Sachims Informd me

that the french of Canada keep a Continuall Correspondance

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

a little above Casastoqu a french Interpreter from montreal

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

vents into the Cadaraghqus Lake above the falls of Jagara &

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

with water Carryage & So Down the Szxquehanna River to

the Setlement where some french live who are much Disaf=

=fected to ye. British Interest

That the Said french Interpre=

=ter has Usd his Endevours with the Schawenos Indians

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

Near Niagara

That Jean Coeur the french Interpreter had

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Sinneke Sachims who have made lately in Canada to

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

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

very Jealous of one another about their buildings at Osweege

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

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

Might Resence if but if these places Credits any disturbance

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

 

[0420] 208

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

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

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

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

his trade is to ye. far Indians

On the Second October I went from ye Sinnekes Country

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

on their hunting

That the Deputed Sachims of Onnondage were

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

Indians liveing there to that they do not at any time

Assist the french to Attack the house at Osweege

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: 1724-September

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, September 1724 starts here

Most of the minutes for September cover a treaty conference with New York Governor William Burnet, the Six Nations, and the Schaghticokes that was held in Albany beginning on September 14th. They are printed in O’Callaghan’s Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, volume 5, beginning on page 713. I have not transcribed them because O’Callaghan’s version is essentially identical, but will briefly summarize them here.

On September 14th, Governor Burnet held a private conference with the Six Nations, New York Council member Francis Harrison, and Massachusetts Bay Council member John Stoddard. They discussed what had happened between the Six Nations messengers sent to bring the Eastern Indians to a peace treaty at Boston and the Eastern Indians (Abenaki) at the mission town of St. Francis.

The messengers said that they went first to Montreal and met with the Governor, who wanted to hold the meeting at Montreal so that he could be there. The messengers agreed in order to get an interpreter. While waiting for the St. Francis Indians, they went to Caughnawaga (Kahnawake) until the St. Francis delegates arrived. They invited the St. Francis sachems to come to Albany to talk about peace, but they replied that they could not lay down the hatchet against New England, because New England had taken their land and still held their people prisoner. They said that they would make peace when New England restored the land and freed the prisoners. They suggested that the parties wishing to make peace should come to Montreal rather than Albany.

Governor Burnet reminded the messengers that the Six Nations had told Boston that they would take up arms against the Eastern Indians if they did not comply with their requests. They denied agreeing to this, despite all his efforts,  “they knew not of any promise or Engagement, only that they promised His Excellency to be mediators for Peace.”

The next day Governor Burnet welcomed the Six Nations in the name of King George and gave them wampum belts incorporating letters of the alphabet. 1724-9-15The meanings of many of these initials are somewhat obscure. He thanked them for opening the path for far nations to come trade at Albany, claiming that this meant that goods were now more plentiful for the Six Nations. (While this might have been the case for those in the west, it is questionable whether things were working out equally well for the Mohawks). He noted that he had also improved the passage at Wood Creek where goods were carried from the Mohawk River watershed to Oneida Lake and eventually Lake Ontario by way of the Onondaga River (now called the Oswego River), a bottleneck for trade to and from the west.

Governor Burnet also said that he was keeping a force of young men with the Senecas with a smith and a trading house and that he also planned to send some men to the Onondagas, where the main trade with the far nations would pass. They planned to build a block house at the mouth of the Onondaga River. (“Onondaga River” did not mean what is now called Onondaga Creek, but rather what is now called the Oswego River where it enters Lake Ontario at Oswego.) Burnet’s men planned to live there along with a smith so they could be good neighbors to the Six Nations “and live as comfortably among you as they do here at home.” He explained that this would bring the beaver trade into Iroquoia along with cheaper goods. Governor Burnet explained that to show how much he wanted their beavers, he was wearing clothes made of beaver cloth. He asked the Six Nations to keep the path open for the far nations and to welcome the New Yorkers living in Seneca country as well as those who would be coming to Onondaga to build the new blockhouse.

Next Governor Burnet reminded the Six Nations that they had said they would send messengers to the Eastern Indians and take appropriate measures if the Eastern Indians continued to fight against New England. He said their continued friendship depended on them keeping their word, but he would leave it to the deputies from Boston to discuss the details.

On September 16th, the Six Nations met with the Commissioners for Massachusetts Bay. Despite the decision of Massachusetts Bay not to print records relating to their war with the Abenaki, the minutes of this meeting made it to England. They were not included in the Albany Indian Commissioner record books, but they are printed in O’Callaghan’s Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, volume 5, beginning on page 723.  Massachusetts rehearsed the occasions on which the Six Nations had allegedly said they would take up arms against the Eastern Indians if they did not stop attacking New England and urged them to do so now that the Eastern Indians had refused to comply with all requests to stop fighting. The Six Nations said that they were still waiting for an answer to the belt of wampum which they had sent to King George in England. They reiterated the position of the Eastern Indians that they would not make peace until their land and hostages were returned. They said that because England and France were at peace, “this matter of Peace lieth with you.” The best way to move forward would be to for Boston to return its Indian captives.

“Tho the Hatchett lays by our side yet the way is open between this Place and Canada, and trade is free both going and coming and so the way is open between this place of Albany and the six Nations and if a War should break out and we should use the Hatchett that layes by our Side, those Paths which are now open wold be stopped, and if we should make war it would not end in a few days as yours doth but it must last till one nation or the other is destroyed as it has been heretofore with us.” The speaker blamed the Governor of Canada for pushing the Eastern Indians to keep fighting even though they were inclined to peace. They asked the Massachusetts commissioners to try themselves to make peace with the Eastern Indians, since the Six Nations’ efforts had not succeeded. They intended to remain at peace and were not forsaking their brothers.

The next day, on September 17th, the Six Nations renewed the Covenant Chain with New York and thanked the governor for providing a smith to the Senecas and Onondaga, for clearing the passage at Wood Creek and for encouraging the far Indians to come to trade. They agreed to the block house near Onondaga, but expressed concern about what the prices for goods would be. They asked that the proposed blockhouse be located at the end of Oneida Lake instead of at the mouth of the Onondaga River. They acknowledged having said that they would “resent it” if the Eastern Indians continued to attack New England, and agreed to speak to the Boston commissioners about it. The Senecas asked why Myndert Wemp, a smith who they found “good, kind, & charitable” had not returned after spending time there with Major Abraham Schuyler two years before.

Despite the decision of Massachusetts Bay not to print records relating to their war with the Abenaki, the minutes of the proceedings between the  Commissioners for Massachusetts Bay and the Six Nations on September 16th made it to England. They were not included in the Albany Indian Commissioner record books, but they are printed inO’Callaghan’s Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, volume 5, beginning on page 723.  Massachusetts rehearsed the occasions on which the Six Nations had allegedly said they would take up arms against the Eastern Indians if they did not stop attacking New England and urged them to do so now that the Eastern Indians had refused to comply with all requests. The Six Nations said that they were still waiting for an answer to the belt of wampum which they had sent to King George in England. (This belt is described in the record of the treaty conference at Boston in August 1723, which can be found on page 197 of volume 5 of the Massachusetts General Court, Journals of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts 1723-1724.) The Six Nations explained the position of the Eastern Indians, who refused to make peace until their land and hostages were returned. They said that because England and France were at peace, “this matter of Peace lieth with you.” The best way to move forward would be to for Boston to return its Indian captives.

“Tho the Hatchett lays by our side yet the way is open between this Place and Canada, and trade is free both going and coming and so the way is open between this place of Albany and the six Nations and if a War should break out and we should use the Hatchett that layes by our Side, those Paths which are now open wold be stopped, and if we should make war it would not end in a few days as yours doth but it must last till one nation or the other is destroyed as it has been heretofore with us.” The speaker blamed the Governor of Canada for pushing the Eastern Indians to keep fighting even though they were inclined to peace. They asked the Massachusetts commissioners to try themselves to make peace with the Eastern Indians, since the Six Nations’ efforts had not succeeded. They intended to remain at peace and were not forsaking Massachusetts.

A few days later, on September 19th, Governor Burnet addressed the Six Nations again. Burnet’s tone was testy, even autocratic, and reveals the rifts still present between the British authorities and the Albany traders. Burnet told the sachems that the English blockhouse needed to be at the mouth of the Onondaga River in order to control the beaver trade, and that it must be the bad advice of the Albany traders that led the Six Nations to prefer the Oneida Lake location. He also blamed the traders for suggesting that goods should be as cheap at Onondaga as at Albany despite the additional work involved to bring them there from Albany, and for suggesting that Abraham Schuyler and Myndert Wemp return. He said that Albany was interfering in order to preserve its own trade with the French and asked the Six Nations not to consult the Albany traders in the future. He told them that he, not the Six Nations, would appoint his officers, that he would not appoint Abraham Schuyler because “he has taken a wrong way to get himself named,” and that he was sending Harme Vedder and Myndert Wemp’s brother to the Seneca instead of Schuyler and Mydert Wemp. (In the end, however, he appears to have sent Myndert Wemp after all.) He said that if he knew who had put these false notions into the minds of the Six Nations he would punish them.

Burnet said that the Six Nations had admitted to the Boston commissioners that they had agreed to support Boston against the Eastern Indians. He was not happy with their decision to wait for a response from the King of Great Britain before taking up arms. He claimed that the colonies were authorized by the king to make war with Indians on their own without the king’s consent. Burnet insisted that if the Six Nations were so “unworthy and cowardly” as to refuse to make war, they must at least allow their young men to enlist as soldiers in Boston’s army. He gave them what he described as “a very large Present” and wished them a safe journey home.

The Six nations sachems replied by D’Kannasore (Teganissorens) that since the governor did not approve of the location at Oneida Lake, they wished him “joy” where he proposed to make it and hoped it would bring many beavers. He thanked the governor for wishing them a good trip home, for many of their leaders had been lost on such journeys. He asked how many people planned to settle at the end of the Onnondaga river, to which the governor estimated 40 or 50. Teganissorens explained that he had been appointed as speaker by the Six Nations on the governor’s recommendation and that they had agreed to take his advice. He asked the governor whether he would also accept his advice, which the governor said he would do on matters of consequence.

Governor Burnet also met with the Schaghticoke sachems and complained that some of their people had been involved in attacks on New England. The Boston Commissioners at the meeting accused individuals from Schaghticoke named Schaschanaemp and Snaespank of injuring settlers on the frontiers, acknowledging that people at Schaghticoke had formerly lived “on our frontiers”. They were still welcome to hunt there “on the Branches of our Rivers” and considered friends who should not harbor New England’s enemies. The Schaghticokes admitted that Schaschanaemp and another person had come through Schaghticoke and had gone to the Half Moon and Saratoga. They said that the attacks might have been committed by people who had left Schaghticoke to live in Canada. In response to Governor Burnet’s question as to why so many people were moving from Schaghticoke to Canada, they said that one group had left because they heard that they were going to be attacked next by the Indians who were attacking New England, but they did not tell the rest of the Schaghticokes before they left. The governor accused the sachems of having no command over their people and reminded them that a Tree was planted by a former governor for them to live under (a metaphor for Governor Edmund Andros’s policy of sanctuary for refugees from New England).

The Schaghticokes said the tree was decaying, its leaves withering, and they had only a little land now to plant on. Some of them had gone hunting peacefully on the New England frontiers two years before, but were taken prisoner and put in jail in Boston. Jacob Wendell, an Albany trader who became a merchant in Boston, rescued them, but without him they would have been treated as enemies. Some of those who had been jailed had now gone to fight against New England to revenge themselves. The Boston commissioners said they were jailed by mistake because they were on Pennecook River where Boston’s enemies lived, but they were freed as soon as the mistake was discovered.

The Schaghticokes ended by renewing the covenant and affirming the Tree of Peace and Friendship planted at Schaghticoke. They would turn down requests to fight with the Eastern Indians against New England and follow the lead of the Six Nations. They, like the Six Nations, were waiting to hear King George’s response to the wampum belt message sent to him. Governor Burnet renewed the covenant and gave them gifts.

The Albany Indian Commissioners records for September 1724 include one document not printed in O’Callaghan, the record of a meeting on September 19th between the commissioners and Governor Burnet. Burnet changed the makeup of the commissioners by removing Johannes Wendell and restoring Robert Liviingston Junior. He arranged to pay back Jan Wemp and Jacob Glen for financing the work done at the Wood Creek carrying place by Major Goose Van Schaick and David Vanderheyden. He also arranged to get additional work done there to make a bridge over the creek and remove trees from the Mohawk River channel. He appointed Harme Vedder to go the Seneca Country and specified that he get the canoes used there by Jacob Verplank.  He also laid out other details about work to be done in Iroquoia. Myndert Wemp or Juriaen Hogan were preferred as smiths at Onondaga, and tools were to be provided there, although he said he would need to get the funding confirmed by the New York Council.

Last but not least, Governor Burnet said that he would not allow any more money for the interpreter’s travel expenses except if the governor ordered him to go. The interpreter, Lawrence Claessen, traveled to Iroquoia on a regular basis and these trips were important in diplomatic relations between New York and the Six Nations. Burnet was making it more difficult for the Albany Indian Commissioners to conduct their affairs. Clearly matters were still not resolved between the governor and the commissioners.