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-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: 1726-October: The French Undermine Haudenosaunee Peace Efforts Between the Abenaki and New England

In October the Kahnawake leaders Sconondo and Cahowasse came to Albany from their home near Montreal. They told the commissioners that they had been at Fort La Mot in Corlaer’s Lake (probably Isle La Motte in Lake Champlain) where they met a group of ojonnagongee (Eastern Indians / Abenaki) from St. Francis (Odanak) who were on their way to tell their compatriots who were out hunting that they should come home. They told Schonondoe and Cahowasse that they had been at Quebec, where they met the new French governor. The new governor summoned the chiefs of nine castles of the Eastern Indians (meaning Abenaki nations) and asked which of them had made peace with New England.  The three castles who admitted to making peace were accused of turning English. The governor said France would no longer protect them and would order their resident priest to leave. The governor said he would protect the other six castles, provide them with powder and other goods, and give them what they needed to continue the war against the people of New England who had taken Abenaki land “to which they have no Manner of Right.” Four parties of Eastern Indians who formerly lived at Norridgewock had gone out fighting against New England. The commissioners conveyed this news by an express to Massachusetts Governor Dummer and to Colonel John Stoddard at Northampton.

To put this entry in context, Norridgewock, an Abenaki community on the Kennebec River in what is now Maine, was the location of a French mission headed by Father Sebastian Rale, who encouraged the Abenaki to resist New England encroachments on their territories.  The warfare between the Abenaki and New England during the 1720s is known both as Father Rale’s War and Dummer’s War.  Father Rale was killed and scalped by the English when they attacked and burned the mission in 1724.

The new French governor is not named, but presumably means Charles de la Boische, Marquis de Beauharnois, who replaced Philippe de Regaud Vaudreuil as Governor-General of New France in 1726.

1726-10-14I suspect that Sconondo is the father of John Skenandoa, c 1706-March 11, 1816, the Oneida chief who was active during the Revolutionary War.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, this meeting starts here. The transcript is below. There are no entries for the rest of 1726 or for January 1727.

[0471] 233a

Att a meeting of ye Com.rs of the

Indian Affairs in Albany ye 14th 8ber [October]

1726

Present

Philip Livingston

Henry Holland                        } Esq.rs Com.rs

Joh.s Cuyler

Two Cachnawage Indians Liveing near Montreal in Canada

named Sconondo &

Cahowasse being arrivd here Inform the Com.rs that

twenty days ago they overtook at fort La Mot in Corlaers Lake

a party of ojonnagongee

Indians who Live at St. francois that were going with

a message to the Indians who are at hunting to Return

to their habitations. the said party of Indians told ye above

two Indians that they had been at quebeck and Seen the

new Gov.r there who had Sent for the Chiefs of ye Eastren Indians

of nine Severall Castles to whom he made a Speech

which of them had made peace with the people of New

England, the Chiefs of three Castles Stood up & Said that they

had Concluded a peace with them on which the Governour told them

that Since they were turnd English men

he would not assist nor protect them. but order the priest

who Lives among them to leave their habitation. and

would assist & protect the Indians of the other Six Castles

with what they have occassion for. having Received a

Ship Loaden with all sorts of goods fitt for their use

and made them a present of 800 lb powder &c. And told

them he had orders from the King his Master to furnish

them with what they have occassion for to prosecute the

war against the people of New England who possessd

their Land to which they have no Manner of Right.

The Said two Indians ad that four parties of

Indians who formerly Livd at Norrigewack were gone out

fighting from St. Francois against New England. but do

not know how ma[n]y days its ago Since they went out nor

[0472] 234

of how many men each party doth Consists

Resolved that Govern.r Dummer be forthwith given

Notice of this Intelligence by Express. in order to take

proper measures to defeat ye designs of ye Indians

who may be hovering or Skulking on his fronteers

which was done accordingly as also to Coll.o John

Stoddard at Northhampton —

[There are no entries for November or December 1726.]

Minute Book 3: 1724-June

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

New York’s diplomacy continued to be hampered by a lack of communication and even some outright conflicts between Governor Burnet, former Indian commissioner Colonel Johannes Schuyler, and the Albany Indian Commissioners. The commissioners had not been informed in advance that three representatives of New England had come to Albany to meet with the Kahnawake sachems and they did not know whether the governor had been informed of it, but they wrote to him saying that they presumed that he had been told. Colonel John (Johannes Schuyler), a former mayor of Albany and Indian Commissioner, had sent his own belts of wampum to Kahnawake the previous fall asking the Kahnawake sachems to come to Albany and to keep their people out of the conflict between New England and the Abenaki. Now the New England representatives sent their own messenger to the Six Nations asking them to come to the treaty. Massachusetts Governor Dummer wrote to the Albany Indian Commissioners asking them to pay part of the costs of the treaty. In their letter to the governor they said they could not pay the costs without being authorized to do so.

They also informed Governor Burnet that seven Indians from Kahnawake had gone to Otter Creek on Lake Champlain on their way to raid New England and several parties of Eastern Indians were also out raiding. The commissioners just wanted the war to end.

The commissioners met with the deputies of Kahnawake and its allies, Schwannadie, Adirondax, and Skightquan (Nippissing) on June 10th. The deputies addressed the commissioners as “Corlaer,” the term used for the governor of New York, seemingly unaware of the confusion or choosing to ignore it. They admitted that they had gone to war against New England again.

They said they wished to lay down the hatchet (make peace), but they had heard that New York, the Haudenosaunee, and New England had all agreed to take up the hatchet against them and the Abenaki. They asked that New York lay down the hatchet as well. They said that the belts they had received the previous winter had told them they should not make war while the governments of Great Britain and France were at peace. They said they agreed and promised to “stop up the path to New England,” that is stop sending warriors there. They asked that both sides bury the hatchet in “everlasting oblivion” and throw it in “a swift Current of Water to Carry it away.” They thanked God for giving New York the wisdom to mediate between them and Boston.

They added that at New York’s request they had asked the Indians at St. Francis to lay down the hatchet as well. The St. Francis Indians had said they would not come to treat about peace until Boston returned the Indian prisoners that they were holding, although they authorized the four allied nations to act as they thought best for the welfare of all. Governor Veaudreuil had given them his word that when Boston set its captives free, then he would command the Eastern Indians to make peace with New England. They also suggested that if New York had included the Eastern Indians in the belts sent out to invite Kahnawake to this treaty they would have been there too to talk of peace. Finally they said that as they were leaving Montreal they learned that some Indians living near Quebec were setting out against the English. They sent the principal sachem of Skawinnadie to tell them to stay at home until the delegates returned from the treaty. The commisisoners told them they were glad to see them and approved of their answer.

The commissioners wrote to Governor Burnet explaining what had transpired. Governor Dummer had told John Schuyler and Colonel Stoddard, who were now representing Boston, to cultivate a good relationship with the commissioners, and the commissioners seemed to be taking ownership of the wampum belt message that Colonel Schuyler had sent the previous winter even though Schuyler had not consulted them in advance. The government of New England, or “Boston” as both the commissioners and the Haudenosaunee often called it, was beginning to be more inclined to make peace with the Eastern Indians, realizing that war would get them nowhere.

They added that they were receiving complaints from Indians against traders who “defrayed them in their trade” and asked to be empowered to act against such traders.  They wanted to be able to compel traders accused of such practices to testify under oath about whether the complaint was true.

A few days later, on June 23rd, the Kahnawake sachems met with the Board again. They said that they had found the Indian prisoner taken in Virginia in 1722, likely the servant of Governor Spotswood who is mentioned in the minutes for 1723. He had been adopted by a woman in the place of her dead son, and she did not want to give him up, but they had persuaded her to do so. They suggested that she should be compensated for her loss. The commissioners thanked them and the woman. They agreed to give her a present to wipe off her tears.

Finally on June 25th, the Commissioners gave a formal answer to Kahnawake and its three allied nations. They thanked them for laying down the hatchet and assured them that New York had not agreed with New England to take up the hatchet against them. They also thanked them for sending the Skawinnadie sachem to prevent the Quebec Indians from going out against New England. But they said they could not get New England to make peace because fresh murders had now been committed there. They agreed to use their best efforts as mediators. They did not think New England would agree to the request from the St. Francis Indians that they free their Indian hostages until peace was actually concluded.

They belittled Governor Vaudreuil’s offer to end the war if the hostages were freed. And they now identified the leader of the party of seven Indians from Kahnawake who had gone to fight in New England as none other than “that treacherous felon Skononda.” They demanded that the sachems free the prisoners in the hands of this party when they returned to Kahnawake.

They also told them that several negro slaves had recently fled to Canada and that others had been enticed to do so by “some of your men now here.” They asked the sachems to discourage such practices, which they said were “the same as robbing us of our Goods” and could interfere with the good relations between them.

The sachems said that they would discourage their young men from luring negro slaves to Canada, and that Sconondo and his party went out against their orders. The commissioners said they were glad that the conference had ended so well and hoped that the meeting with Boston would do the same. The Indians “gave four [shouts] in Confirmation of what has been transacted at this Meeting.”

Minute Book 3: 1724-February

In Library and Archives Canada digital copy of the original minutes, February 1724 starts here

On February 14th, the commissioners continued negotiations with the four nations in Canada that included Kahnawake, Rondax, Schawenadie, and Skightqan (Nippising).  On February 14, they met with a delegation led by a Kahnewake sachem whose name is spelled in various ways, including Sconondo, Schonondoe, Sconondoe, and other variations. Possibly this was the Oneida leader John Skenandoa, who died in 1816 and may have been born as early as 1704. It was not uncommon in the 18th century for people to move back and forth between Kahnawake and the communities in Oneida and Mohawk country further south. However, even if the 1704 date is correct, he would have been very young to be a sachem in 1724. The commissioners used the word “sachem” to refer to many different kinds of leaders, and judging by later developments, Sconondo was the leader of a small group of people who were trading or hunting when they came to Albany, but later went raiding against New England. If Sconondo is not John Skenandoa, perhaps he was an ancestor.

Sconondo told the commissioners that an Onondaga called the Great World had asked the French authorities about a rumor that the Ottowawas planned to attack the Six Nations. If Sconondo was referring to Ohonsiowanne, an Onondaga sachem who is documented for the period between 1699-1704, this would mean that Ohonsiowanne continued to exert influence for a much longer period than historians have realized.

Governor Vaudreuil  denied the rumor, but the Great World remained suspicious. He told the governor that he planned to prevent the Wagonhaes (Anishinaabeg) from coming to Albany. (The Odawa (Ottawawas) were included in the term Wagonhaes.) The Governor thanked the Great World (since France did not want western nations to trade at Albany), but advised him not to strike first. If the Wagonhaes attacked them, the Six Nations should ask the French for help. The French would then be mediators between the parties. Schonondoe asked the commissioners not to name him as the source of this information.

The commissioners asked Sconondo to bring wampum belt messages to Kannawake and the other three nations asking them to make peace with New England. They said that if the four nations did not stop fighting with the Eastern Indians against New England, the path between Albany and Canada might become completely blocked and it would be their own doing. They reminded the delegation that the Eastern Indians had been their enemies in the past and were not to be trusted.

The commissioners reproached Sconondo’s delegation with committing new assaults on New England even after agreeing to peace the previous summer, reminding them that England and France were at peace and could not approve of the subjects of either one being murdered. Sconondo said that he understood and would do his best to persuade Kahnawake and its allies to listen to the message. He said the Sachems of the four nations were planning to come to Albany early in the Spring and asked for assurance that they could travel safely, without fear of attack by New England’s forces. He asked that the Governor of New York speak to the Governor of Boston in order to guarantee their safe passage.

The next entry for February is a letter from the commissioners to New York Governor Burnet. It is obvious from their  letter that they were still in conflict with him. He had accused them of undermining New England’s efforts to recruit the Six Nations and their allies to fight on the side of New England in the ongoing conflict with the Abenaki known as Father Rale’s War. More specifically Governor Burnet believed that the commissioners had privately told the Six Nations not to allow their young men to accept New England’s call to arms. The commissioners denied this charge. They protested that they would be blamed if the Indians did not fight for New England, even if it was really because of pressure from the French or other reasons. They expressed doubts about the wisdom of  Governor Burnet’s suggestion to “break” the fort that the French were trying to build at Irondequoit Bay.

The commissioners explained that they had sent Lawrence Claessen to the Senecas to ask them to send messengers to invite the “far Indians” living beyond the Six Nations to come to Albany to trade. They also said that the Eastern Indians were trying to draw the Schaghticoke Indians away to fight with them, and asked for more fortifications to ensure the safety of the local farmers and remove their “pannick frights.” The commissioners asked for money to reimburse the costs of recovering an Indian captive, the “negroe boy” mentioned in the January minutes. They asked how the governor would like to send him back to his owner in Virginia. Finally they told the governor that Captain Verplank, who was stationed in Seneca country, had written them that many far Indians were coming to trade in the spring, although the French were sending a force out to stop them.

Pieter_Schuyler
The death of Pieter Schuyler marked the end of an era.  Representatives from many native nations honored him with condolence rituals over the following months. The image was downloaded from the New York State Museum web site via Wikipedia. According to the NYSM, it was painted by Nehemiah Partridge between 1710 and 1718 and is now in the collection of the City of Albany.

In a postscript the commissioners noted that two former commissioners had passed away that month.The trader Hendrick Hansen, who challenged the infamous sale of the Mohawk Valley tract to Godfridius Dellius, Pieter Schuyler, and others in 1697, died on February 17th. His rival Colonel Pieter Schuyler, the famous “Quider,” died the following day.

In the final entry for February, the commissioners noted that people from the government of Massachusetts or Connecticut were in Kinderhook trying to buy land in New York from the Indians illegally, without a license from the government. They resolved to issue a warrant to bring the offenders in to answer this charge.

There are no entries for Marcb or April.