Minute Book 3: 1729-February:

 

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

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

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

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

Albany the 22d Febry 1728/9

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Present

Philip Livingston

Henry Holland

[Jo]h: Cuyler

Peter Van Brugh

Evert Bancker

Rutger Bleecker

Evert Wendell

Nicolas Bleecker

Abraham Cuyler

[Joh].s Roseboom

Barent Sanders                        Whereas It has been represented in publick

Proposition to his Excy John Montgomerie Esq.r

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

how Dangerous the Selling of Rum & other Strong Liquor

is in their Castles and that great mischiefe may Ensue

from it they have Straineously desired that it may be

Prohibited, that no Christians may bring or Carry any Rum

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

Create a Quarrell between them and our people; which

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

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

Indian Affairs at Albany. Wherefore the said Comm.rs

have thought fit for his Majesties Service to Notifie to

All Traders and others, not to Convey Transport or Carry

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

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

they Shall Answer the Contrary on their perill for Such

Contempt in disturbing the publick peace of this Province

 

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Minute Book 3: 1728: Laurence Claessen is Sent to Invite the Six Nations to a Conference With Governor Montgomerie

The entries for August 1728 document that the new governor of New York and New Jersey, John Montgomerie, asked the Commissioners of Indians Affairs to send Laurence Claessen to Iroquoia to invite the Six Nations to a meeting with Governor Montgomery by going “from Nation to Nation in the Manner usual.”  They gave the orders to Claessen and informed the governor that they had done so.

This is as good a place as any to insert these paintings of Claessen and his son that now hang on the walls of the Schenectady County Historical Society. They remind us that every time Claessen was sent on a mission like this, he left a family behind.  Or perhaps the boy in the picture came with him sometimes.

Laurence Claessen Van der Volgen
Laurence Claessen. Attributed to Nehemiah Partridge. Held at the Schenectady Historical Society, 32 Washington Avenue, Schenectady, NY 12305 and used with their permission. They give the date as 1725.
Version 2
The child in this painting by John Heaton, made in the early 1700s, is thought to be Laurence Claessen’s son. The painting now hangs at the Schenectady County Historical Society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the entry for May starts here on p. 259. The transcription is below.

[0522] 259

By the Com.es Appointed for

managing the Ind.n affairs at

Albany

Instructions for

Lourence Claase

Whereas we have Rec.d a lett.r from

His Ex.cy Govornour Montgomeerie dated in new

york ye 14th Aug.t 1728 desireing us therein to

Send you to the six nations of Indians to Sumon

them to meet him at Albany on the first day of

october next precisely

You are therefore hereby required & Comanded

forthwith to go from Nation to Nation in the

Manner usual and te them that his Ex.cy will

be puntually here at the time Appointed you

are not to fayle to make all possible Dispatch

& Expedition Given in Albany this [Sd.] our hands

this 20th of August in the 2d year of his Majesties

Reign Annoqe domini 1728

Signed

Henry Holland

Peter Van Brugh

Thomas Williams

Dirk Ten Broeck

Johannis Lansengh

[0523] 259a

Albany 20th Augustus 1728

Mr. Lourance Clasen

Whereas his Ex.cy Governour Monthgomerie

has been Pleased to write a leter to us the Commissioners

Directing us to Acquaint the Six nations o Ind.ns

by you to meet him the sd governour here the

first Day of October next this is therefore to order

you forthwith to sumon the said Nations of

Indians to be punitualy here on ye 1th Day of

october

Albany 20th August 1728

May it Please y.r Ex.cy

We Received his Excelncly Letter

of the 14th august yesterday and in obedience there

to have this day Dispatched Lourens Clason to

Sumon the Six nations of indians to be punctually

here on the 1st of 8ber [october] next according to the Exe.ly

Directed have orderd him to Come down 10th an we

10.th Respects May i please your Excellency

Your Exc.cy Most humbel

Serants

Minute Book 3: 1728-March: Mohawk Leaders Ask About Missing Kahnawake Hunters and Bring News of French Plans to Attack Oswego; The Six Nations Complain About Insults and High Prices at Oswego; The Garrison Needs Food

News from Mohawk Country

The Mohawk leaders Hendrick and Seth met with the Commissioners of Indian Affairs on March third. They said that two “Onnogonque indians” who had moved from Canada to live with the Haudenosaunee at Oriskany had come to a Mohawk castle (i.e. town) from hunting at the little falls on Wood Creek with other Canada Indians.  Two Kahnawake Indians had inquired about the three hunters from Kahnawake who had disappeared on the New England frontier.  Hendrick and Seth asked their “brethren at Albany” for news about the missing hunters, but the commissioners’ response is not recorded.

Hendrick and Seth also said that the Kahnawake Indians told the Mohawks that an army of a thousand Frenchmen were marching on Oswego.  The Mohawks immediately sent a messenger with wampum to inform the rest of the Six Nations.  They acknowledged the English advice to the Six Nations the previous summer urging them to keep their men at home to defend Oswego rather than allowing them to go to war elsewhere.

The English Won’t Let Indians Inside Fort Oswego and Powder is Too Expensive

On March 14th, an unnamed leader from Oneida complained to the commissioners about the situation at Oswego. He spoke in the name of the entire Six Nations. There may have been other Six Nations representatives present, since the commissioners responded using the term “Brethren.”

The speaker began by reminding the commissioners that the Six Nations had agreed to the trading house at Oswego because it was supposed to be for their benefit as well as that of the English.  Now the English at Oswego were preventing people from the Six Nations from coming into the house to warm themselves, or if “any one Obtains that liberty before he can be half warm he is out Doors.” Moreover the Six Nations had expected goods to become cheaper, but instead powder had become more expensive. The speaker pointed out that cheap goods would draw “waganhoes & far Indians” to trade with the English rather than the French. He also reprimanded the commissioners because Oswego was supposed to be “a house of peace” but the English were still at odds with the Governor of Canada much of the time. He presented seven hands of wampum and asked again for cheaper powder and lead as well as a quick response.

The commissioners said they were sorry that the new building was not providing “Such releave as was first Intended by our Gov.r” in the form of cheap power, lead, and other goods.  They said the men at Oswego had not brought enough powder and that they would tell the governor and obtain a “Speedy & Acceptable answer.” They assured the speaker that the governor wanted to provide cheap goods to encourage trade. The rest of their response contains some contradictions and it would be interesting to know what the Oneida speaker thought about them, but nothing is recorded about it. The commissioners blamed the rude reception for Indians at the Oswego trade house on the commander there and on the report that the French were threatening to attack it. At the same time they insisted that there was a “firm peace” between the crowns of France and England.  Despite the firm peace, they cautioned the Six Nations against joining the French war against the “foxes a Nation of Indians Liveing on a breach [branch] of the Mississippi” on the grounds that the French wanted the Six Nations to fight the Fox in order to weaken the Six Nations and prevent trade with the English.

The French were fighting a devastating war with the Fox  (Meskwaki) during this period. Apparently some of the Meskwaki had joined the Six Nations, since the commissioners added that “part of the Same indians are now liveing among you” so the Six Nations should be able to make peace with the rest.

Food, Arms, and Powder for Oswego

Several entries in March deal once again with getting supplies to the garrison at Oswego, which was running low on peas and wheat. One of the commissioners, Philip Livingston, put up the money to provide these goods, which required repairing batoes at Schenectady, fitting them with tarpaulins to keep off the rain, and hiring four men to convey them to the Oneida Carrying Place. Captain Nicolls, the commander at Oswego, would send his men to the carrying place and take the supplies the rest of the way to the fort.  Another commissioner, Harmanus Wendell, put up the money to pay Jacobus Peek for a batoe load of peas.

"Poling a Batteau," as depicted by an unknown artist, probably in the 1880s.
“Poling A Batteau,” from p. 423 of A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times, by Jonathan Pearson. Albany: Munsell, 1883. Artist and date unknown.                           Much of the food for the Oswego garrison was sent there from Schenectady by batteau. According to Pearson, batteaus could be either paddled, poled, or towed by workers walking along the riverbank or through the shallows.

 

Governor Burnet informed the commissioners that he was sending pork for the garrison as well as orders that anyone who wanted a license to go there should be required to carry arms and powder.  A somewhat confused entry in the records appears to say that the commissioners asked the interpreter at Schenechtady to hire a “trusty Indian” to take a letter to Oswego to convey orders from Colonel Rensselaer (possibly Hendrick Van Rensselaer, who was also a commissioner) to Captain Nicolls that men going to Oswego should take arms and ammunition with them.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the first entry for March starts here on p. 213. The transcription is below.

[0430] 213

At a Meeting of the Com.es of the Indian

Affairs in Albany the 3.d March 1727/8

[Another copy, substantially the same, can be found on p. 174a.]

Present

Philip Livingston

Myndert Schuyler

Evert Banker

Peter V.n Brugh

Rutger Bleecker

Langerter [Lancaster] Symes

Stephanus Groesbeeck

Nicolaes Bleecker

Hendrick & Seth two Sachims of the mohawks Indians

being arrived here inform that board that 2 Onnogonque indians

who are Removd from Canada to live among the 5 Nations ovis=

=kanie [p. 174a says “at Oriskany] Come to their Castle [blank space] days ago from the little falls

on the wood Creek where they had been on hunting there

with Severall other Canada Indians Say that two Cachnawage

Indians came there in 8 Days from that Castle to inquire of

their brethren at Albany about three Indians who were on

hunting on the fronteers of N. England that are missing wt. is become of ym.

The said Cachnawage indians also Said that an armey of [a]

thousand french men were Actually gone on their march against

the building at Osweege on which we Sent an Express with Seven

hands of wampum to go past day & Night to Inform the rest of the

nations with the french design & Intention & Suppose by this time

it is Reachd as far as the Sinnekes Country you have last Summer

advicd ye. Six Nations not to admit their men to go to war but to

keep them at home for the fear that the french Should make

any attempts against Osweege or the Indians which we have

Observed & taken notice of, & order them only to go hunting near

home to be ready to defend on any Surprise,

[0431] 213a

At a Meeting of the Com.es of Indian

Affairs in Albany this 14th day of March

1727/8 Speech made by an oneyde Sachim

Present

Ph: Livingston

Henry Holland

Myndert Schuyler

Langester Symes

Stephanus Groesbeeck

Harmanus Wendle                              Brother Corlaer & quieder

I Speak in the name of the Six Nations its not that

I that have Contrive what I am to Say but its Concluded by

all the nations what I Shall now Say, you have last Summer

desird to build a house at Osweege, and you Said at the

Same time that that house Should be to your & our Advan=

=tage whereon we Considered & did Concent the building

of the Same house but we [Con -crossed out] find it on the Contrary

that its not to our Advantage for we have not the liberty

when we Come there to Enter into the house to warm our Selves

If they of any one Obtains that liberty before he Can be half

warm he is out Doors, we had also thought at the Same

that we Should have had goods cheaper then formerly but

find it the Contrary for the powder is Sold us there by the

Gill therefore Brother Corlaer & quieder we desire that we

May have powder Cheaper there

Brother the reason we desire that Goods may be Sold

us Cheaper is that thereby you will Incourage all the wa=

=ganhoes & far Indians to Come & trade with you & leave the

french at Canada; we Cant much Complain about the

price of Dry goods but only the powder & lead you sell too

dear you Said also when you desird liberty to build the house

that it Should be a house of peace but it Seems often to be

the reverse as we Suppose that you & Gov.r of Canada cant

often agree on the Subject and then there is again again

a time that you maintain a great frindship together,

Brother we desire that you will be pleased to give

us a Speedy answer on the Subject that you will give us

powder & lead Cheaper then you do now because it has

often happend that we have Desird or proposed a matter

we never Rec.d any answer thereon gave a String of 7 hands

of Wampum

Answer

[0432] 214

Answer

Brethren

We are Sorry to her that you are Concernd

and afflected that the building at Osweege does not give you

Such releave as was first Intended by our Gov.r to Supply you

with powder & lead & other Necessaries for your use & Convi=

=ence that the Camidities are not Sold you there So Cheap as

you would have them we Shall not faile to Inform our Gov.r

with your request that you may have a Speedy & Acceptable

answer we have no rum [room] to doubt but proper Care will be

taken of Redress for you that powder & lead shall be

Offerd you there Cheaper as has been Sold last winter

it Seems that the men there have not taken Care to Carry

with them Such a Supply as has been necessary for you & that

you have not been well Rec.d at the house is to be im=

=ted & that [Our] are not known to the Commander there

is a report that the french will take it by thretetoun

Otherwise would be rec.d with [Ceivality] its our Gov.es Chief aim

to Induce the far Indians to Come & trade with the people

of this province & you & he knows ye. greatest motive to draw

them is to give them goods Cheap Which you must acknow=

=ledge are Sold at [ye] very Low rate to Recommend you to

give all the Incouragemt. in your power & free trade is

advantagous to us & you for the more trade we have the

Greater quantity of goods we have to Supply Such trade as

it is a firm peace between the two Crowns of Great brit=

=tain & france So we & the french of Canada who are Sub=

=jects must as long as Continues in frindship & good Continuence

together wherefore we dont think that they will molest

us In the peaceable possession of the house at Osweege if they

Should they break the peace they Cant never Justify Such a vaile

Accout for pretending a right to your land we must needs give

you a Certain not to joyn the french in their pretending war

against the foxes a Nation of Indians Liveing on a breach

of the River of Mississipi, with an Intend to Subdue ym.

for that only Strengthten the french make them proud and

is drawing you from your habitations & bringing a war on

you

[0433] 214a

You while you Can Live at peace for part of the Same

indians are now liveing among you do reather go on hun=

=ting & because your wives & Children we suppose its more

its more to Stop the trade to us then to Subdue them

Whereas the Garryson at Osweege by the last advice

from Capt. Nicolls will Soon be in want of pease & wheat

meal Wherefore its resolvd that two batoes be Repaird at

Schinechtady four men hird there one hundred Skiple

pease & 100 Sheple wheat meal he [be] brought & 100 bags be

made to put them in to bring it up to the Onneyde Carrying

place to deliver it to the men which Capt. Nicolls is to

Send to receive that there all which Philip Livingston

offers to provide & Stand Securety for & for the Charges which

may come thereon wh. the Com.es do resolve & Imagine Shall

be paid & Riembarzd unto ye Sd. Philip Livingston on order

out of the next Com.es Messy if the Next Assembly do not

provide & pay for the same

Att a Meeting of the Com.es of Indian

Affairs in albany ye 19th March 1727/8

Present

Philip Livingston

Henry Holland

Myndert Schuyler

Peter Vn. Brugh

Hend.k Vn. Renselaer

Langester Symes

Rutger Bleecker

Stepha: Groesbeek

Nicolaes Bleecker

Phil: Schuyler             This Day Recd. a Letter from his Ex.cy

Gov.r Burnet Esq.r Dated the 19 feb. wherein he men=

=tions to have Rec.d ours of the 14 D.o that he will Send

up pork by the return of the Sloops to Send an Express

with a letter for Capt. Nicolls at Osweege & that wh.

any desires lycences to go up there be Requird to de=

=mand  from them by his Exce.cys order to Carry arms &

powder. Every one as last year which the Com.es desird Colonel

Renselaer to Order the Capt. of Regimts. to warm [warn] their

Men yt. go up to take arms & amination with them to Swege

Resolvd that his Excel.cy  for Capt. Nicolls best

the Interpreter at Schinechtady) Inclosed in a [letter – crossed out]

letter to Direct him to hire a trusty Indian to Carry the Sd.

letter Express to Osweege with all Convenient Speed —

[0434] 215

Albany the 21 March 1727/8

May it please your Exc.y

We are honourd with your Excel.cy fav=

=vours of the 29th feb.y whereby perceive that your Ex.cy

will take care to Send up pork by the return of

the Sloops, we are about to hire men to Send for Capt.

Nicolls ( As soon as the River is Navigable & free

from Ice with hundred Sheple pease & 100 wheat

Meal the last from the Carrying place to the Carry=

=ing place where we writ him an Express your Ex.cy di=

=rected us to send to Osweege with the [pack] to Send batoes

to the wood Creek to receive those provisions as soon as the

whether will permit,

We suppose the best & Sevelt way to provide provi=

=sions for the Garryson at Osweege will be to Send thither in

may for 12 Moths wh. would Safe much trouble & more Cost &

Charges these are but four batoes Safe & free from rain will

be Requird to have Six Tarpellins made of Course Duck,

Inclosed Send your Excel.y Capt. Nicolls last letter

whereby your Ex.cy will see in what Condition ye. garryson

at [yt. time] & how necessary its to Send them [more illeg. – crossed out]

pease & Meal In wh. no time, we have nothing more wor=

=thy your Excel.cy Notice a psent wherefore Conclude

with that we are with great Esteem & Respect

Philip Livingston        Hend.r Vn. Renselaer

Henry Holland            Rutger Bleeker

Myndert Schuyler       Stephanus Groesbeek

Evert Banker               Har: Wendle

Peter Vn. Brugh          Nicolaes Bleecker

[0435] 215a

Att A meeting of the Comm.es of ye

Indian Affairs in Albany the 27th

March 1727/8

Present

Philip Livingston

Henry Holland

Myn: Schuyler

Har: Wendle

Ryer Gerritse

Nicolaes Bleker

Mr. Harmanus Wendle Engages to pay

Jacobus Peek for such quantity of pease as the 3

man who go up to the Carrying place can load a batoe wh.

the Com.es promise shall be paid unto him at the first Com.es

Messy if it be not otherwise paid for by the next Assem=

bly

[There are no entries for April 1728]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[0421] 208a

At A Meeting of the Com.s of the

Indian affairs in Albany ye. 27th Dec.r

1727

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

Present

Philip Livingston

Henry Holland

John Cuyler

Myndert Schuyler

Evert Banker

Peter Vn. Brugh

John Collins

Rutger Bleeker

Harmanus Wendle

Nicolaes Blecker

An Oneyde Sachim Named Canachquanie arri=

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

of that Castle that pursuant to the ancient Covenant

between you & ym. & the other nations that when

any news of moment Should Come to Either of them

it Should be communicated without loss of time they have

Received advice from Cadrachqui by a Sinneke & a Ca=

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

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

fourthwith depart and those who Intended to Re=

=turn to the Six Nations Should go with all Speed

before the Commander of yt. fort Should arrive from

Montreal that no unhappy accident men befall ym.

the Sinneke Indian who lately Came from Cana=

=da Affirms that the Indians of Schowinnade & about

the number of 700 made frequently their dances of war

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

Spring to Cutt off & destroy the house at Osweege this

was no Secret there while the Children sung these

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

=ployd in makeing padles for the french but what num

=ber of french would go on this Expedition with the

Said indians the Sinneke doth not know, but had

heard from the french at montreal that they Inten=

=ded to go on this Expedition against the house at

Osweego the next Spring

The Sachims of Onneyde to acquaint this road

that the Onnondage messengers who had promist Cap.

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

to the Canada indians not to molest or disturb us the

quit Setlemt. At Osweege yt. if they Should Commit

any acts of hostillities their ye. Six Nations Should Defend

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

=nd back haveing been only one days Journey & have

not

[0422] 209

Not deliverd their Message according to ther promise &

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

=ing fained Excuse that they were Sick,

Since the Said messengers have faild to perform this

Message the Sd. onneyde Sachims promise yt. this board

Should Send Indians to Canada on pretence of trade

to prevent the Said french Indians to joyn with ye.

french & also to discover what is hatching in Canada

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

& [Near] home,

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

=turn thanks to the Onnagdage Sachims for their Care

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

=dage Sachims in performing their promise & Engagements

made to Capt. Schuyler to let their Messengers proceed to

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

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

=glish against the french that the board are unthank=

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

while they are Sinciable of this former faithfull Servi=

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

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

& a looking Glass,

Resolved that Lourence the Interpreter go to onnonda=

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

Onneyde messenger to Endeavour the Six Nations Send one

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

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

its tought fitt to give him the following Instructions,

By the Com.s of the Indian Affairs

at Albany

Instructions for Lourence Claese the Interpreter to

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

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

Sent Messengers to the Cannada indians as they had

promissd

 

[0423] 209a

promisd last Summer to Messrs. Schuylers yt. they Should

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

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

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

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

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

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

that we Should be Attackd on the land belonging

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

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

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

& whereas Such attempts to be made by the french

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

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

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

Consequence to this his Majesties province in par=

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

in generall the prevention wherefore will be of

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

in these parts,

Wherefore you are Required & Commanded to go

with all Speed accompanyd with Jacob Glen Jn.r to

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

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

Send to the Canada Indians last Summer have not pro=

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

=sage Should be Accomplishd & that by one Deligate from

Each of the Six Nations to tell the Indians dwelling

or rendeing, or Such fett persons as they Shall think

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

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

up to Assist them in disturbing their brethren the English

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

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

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

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

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

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

[be]

 

[0424] 210

but if they Should be So Stuped & Senceless to be

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

Nations have resolved in their Generall meeting

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

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

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

Six Nations cant be maintaind unless they will keep

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is agreed by the Com.s with Lourence

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

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

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

Allowlence.

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: 1727-May: The Haudenosaunee Agree to Let the English Build at Oswego; Sixty Soldiers Are Sent Up; the French Invite the Six Nations to Montreal

In May the Commissioners of Indian Affairs heard that Captain Evert Bancker had managed to pursuade the Six Nations to allow the English to build a trading house at Oswego. Bancker consulted with the sachims in laying out the ground, including Teganissorens, referred to by the commissioners here as “the Kanssore.”  Bancker said the sachims left the exact location for the building up to him.  He still needed to find a source for limestone.

The French immediately invited Haudenosaunee leaders to Montreal, presumably to try to change their minds.  In the meantime, sixty British soldiers set out for Oswego in eleven boats, likely embarking at Schenectady, although this is not spelled out clearly. The commissioners oversaw the details, ordering wagons from Schenectady to transport stores and provisions there, making additional “batoes,” and providing everything required for the military detachment to reach Oswego as quickly as possible. With troops in place, it would be harder for the French to interfere with construction.  The commissioners knew that the French would hear about the soldiers’ departure before they reached Oswego, but as long as the Six Nations supported the building they did not think the French could stop it. However they did realize that they might need a French translator just in case. They informed the governor that some of the traders at Oswego could fill this role, but said that if he wanted them to hire someone else for the purpose they would. Laurence Claessen was told to stay at Oswego until the building was complete and to interpret for the “King’s Officer” in charge of the soldiers as well as for Captain Bancker. This detail suggests that even though Evert Bancker was in charge of trading operations, Governor Burnet was not putting him in charge of the military, creating the potential for confusion or even conflict.  Moreover, neither Claessen nor Bancker appear to have spoken English very well, and there is no mention of who would translate between the King’s Officer and Claessen or Bancker, should the need arise.

The commissioners began to arrange for provisions to be delivered to Oswego for the future from whoever could supply them at the lowest cost. This required taking them past the Wood Creek “Carrying Place” from the Mohawk River to Oneida Lake. Some Palatines had already made offers for this work. It is noteworthy that the commissioners don’t mention looking to the Oneidas or other members of the Six Nations, either in buying provisions or as sources of labor of any kind.  The profits from supplying the new fort would enrich Palatine and Anglo-Dutch New Yorkers, but not the Haudenosaunee, another possible source of conflict. And the commissioners’ correspondence with Governor Burnet contains one other ominous detail: Major Lancaster Symes had a “fitt of Sickness” that made him unable to travel. 1727-5-9He was probably not the only one who was already affected by illness, which would soon become a serious problem throughout the area.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the first entry for May 1727 starts here on p. 183. The transcription is below.

[0369] 183

([21

Albany 2 May 1727

May it please yr. Exc.l

Inclosed your Ex.cy has a letter from

Capt. Banker of the 24th April with the Acceptable

News that the Six Nations have given Consent for

building of the house at Osweege we are much Rejoyced

with it while we think it will be pleasing to yr. Ex.cy Save

the Publick Great Expences and as much trouble we hope

Your Excellencys will be perswaded that we act with

As much for the best of the Caution according to our

Ability as we are Capable of.

We hear from the Messengers who brought us

Capt. Bankers letter that french have Desird the

Sachims of ye. Six Nations to Come to Montreal we

Suppose they may Easy Stopd to go thither,

 

[0370] 183a

22)

Albany 2d. May 1727

Capt. Banker

VE ons seer aengenaeme van den 24 april

hebbe Wy met veel blyt Schap ontfangen & hoope dat

alles nu well gaen Sall dat het huys sonder [& blyden – crossed out]

& hindering Sall voltoyt werden D’Sackaemakers die

ghy by geoall [gevall?] Sall ontmoeten gelieft haer van Onsent

weegen te bedanken day sy haar belofte aen Syn Eecl.

Volbrengen dat hy de vener vall uns Een Goede plaets

Can Setten hy Sall het Seer weel Neemen & haer in

Zyn Gunst wegens dese Sack Sterker Continuere dat

de wilden Cruyt Loot & andere Goederen begeeren

geenrum is voor haer best het Can Alles op deie

tydt niet ter right gestelt worden maer als het huys

gemacht is Sall het Cruyt will bewaert kunnen

worden gelieft devoir te doen om D’ Sackemakers te Stuyren om [illeg.]

Canedae te gaen wy hebben gehort sy Syn genodight om

daer te Comen wy leaeste volkoomen aen ue om

Lourence by Us te geven So lang als ghy noodigh Denck

Indien UE Enigh nieus Cruygh geliest het ons te laeten weeten

wy hopen dat ghy So veelwerk volk Imployeert als ghy noodigh

denk dat het op bowen vant huys Spoedigh magh voort gaen en

met UE wynigh Costen als Mogelyck is, man heartlyck groteniss &.

[0371] 184

(23

Att a meeting of the Com.es of ye Indian

Affairs In Albany ye. 4th of may 1727

Present

Phil: Livingston

Langester Symes

Hend.k Renselaer

Reyer Gerritse

St: Groesbeeck

Being honoured this day with a

letter from his Excel.cy of ye 24 Ultimo whereby his Ex.cy

has pleased to direct a Capt. a Lieut. 2 Sargts. 2 Cor: 2 Drum[mers]

& Sixty Men of Greater Troops fourthwith to Osweege

in 11 Batoes to help fourthwith the work there and

to defend it ag.t any attack yt. Might be Made yt. We

Shall fourthwith Send for Waggons from Schinechtady

that all the Stores & provisions may be Sent away

as fast as Can be & that we Shall provide with all

Necessaries that may be yet requird to dispatch the Sd.

Men for their further provisions if it be wanted wh.

his Ex.cy Ingages to pay,

Orderd a letter to be write to Schinechta=

=dy to Capt. Collins to Send fourthwith 26 Waggons

to Carry up ye. batoes Stores & provisions sent up [to – crossed out]

by his Excellency for this Service and that all

Necessaries be provided with all Speed that may be

Requird for the Service.

[0372] 184a

24)

Att a Meeting of the Com.rs of Indian

affairs in Albany ye 5 of may 1727

Present

Philip Livingston

[REMAINDER OF PAGE IS BLANK]

[0373] 185

(25

[Another copy on p. 242a / 0489]

Albany 9 May 1727

May it please your Ex.cy

Your Excellencies most Esteemed favours

of the 24 Ultimo we Rec.d and have Added 4 batoes to the

8 Sent hither, and one more is made at Schinechtady those

Made at New york are much Inferiour & Shilter made

then those here we have provided all the Necessaries yt. have

been requird from us with dispatch to put forw.d the work

that nothing is wanting for the Detachmt. to proceed to

Osweege So that we Expect to hear yt. they put out this day

from Schinechtady hopeing yt. Every thing may Succeed

According to Expectation we Suppose yt. the workmen

Are now beginning to provide Materialls for ye house Capt.

Banker haveing Obtaind Consent from the Sachims of the

6 Nations to Errect ye. house he has the Kanssore & Other

Sachims with him at Osweege to Lay out ye Ground for the

Sd. building the Inclosed is from him [illeg. -crossed out] of the 29th April

wherein he Makes mentions ye. Sachims have Entirely

left it to him build where he pleases he thinks the

Only thing yt. will be Wanting is lime Stone the Stores

were Sent fourthwith to Schinechtady and what we

have provided here & there at the request of the Officers is

Containd in the Inclosed note ym. yt. they Should tell

us what Other Necessaries they wanted for this Expedi=

=tion and we would timely Apply that nothing might

pvent their Going forw.d major Symes has Already fitt of

Sickness wh. has brought him So low yt. we Suppose he’ll

not be able to undergo the feataque of Such teadious

voyage & Journey all persons are very well Satisfyd to

furnish what they have and do what work they Can on

Credit on ye. Encl. Letter

We Suppose yt. ye. Means of this detachmt.

will be

 

[0374] 185a

26)

at Canada much sooner then they Can be at Osweege,

tho. we think the french dare not Oppose this work

while the Indians are for it,

We Shall agree with those yt. Evill Supply the

men with further provisions Cheapest to be Delivered

beyound ye. Carrying place if men want it Some

palatines have Already Offord to do it,

There are Severall Young men at Osswegee who Can In=

+terpret french make no doubt but thy will do it when it

may be Requird, but if Your Ex.cy in your next Shall di=

=rect us to Agree with Some persons to do yt. Service we

Shall do it,

We have write to Lourence Clase to Stay

With Capt. Banker till ye. house be finishd & to

Interpret as well for the kings Officer as for Capt. Bank.r

as your Ex.cy has directed,

We return your Ex.cy our most

harty thanks ye. ho.r & liberty given us to

Consult about the best measures to be taken by us without

wait.g for y.r Excy.s Orders & Execute in without delay

Minute Book 3: 1727-April: The Indians Oppose Construction at Oswego But the Commissioners Move Forward

In April the Commissioners of Indian Affairs sent Laurence Claessen to Oswego to help Captain Evert Bancker as interpreter. Claessen was given detailed instructions about how to reconcile the Six Nations to the construction of a fortified “trade house” there. In theory, Governor Burnet had pursuaded them to agree to it in at a treaty conference in 1724, but it was clear that there was still opposition and that the French were encouraging it. Laurence was told to “tell them [the building] is for ye Conveniency of the traders to Secure their Goods according to the leave & Consent given by the Said Sachims to his Excellency in 1724 to prevent that their goods may not be taken out of their Small bark houses, and that the traders may Secure and Store” unsold goods rather than bringing them home again.  He was also told to say that the French intended to build a fort at Oswego to block trade with Albany even for the Six Nations, so the new building was for their security as well as to protect trade with more distant nations. Moreover the “Great and Good King of great Britain” would take it as “the Greatest Affront” if they opposed the building.

But Evert Bancker did not wait for Laurence.  On April 26th, the commissioners wrote to Governor Burnet to inform him that Bancker had already met with the Sachims who had denied him their consent to build. The commissioners hoped that when Claessen arrived he could change their minds. They also informed the governor about another source of tension. Some of the Palatines living at Schoharie had recently accused Indians there of killing a Palatine hog,. A fight broke out and a Palatine man was wounded. The governor was concerned, but the commissioners suggested waiting to see whether the sachims would not take the initiative to come reconcile matters.

In the meantime, Governor Burnet had already sent the commissioners a model to use for the proposed building and approved their plans for hiring workmen, building boats, sawing boards, and buying horses to send to Oswego to haul stone and timber.  And even though the building was promoted as a trading house, the governor also ordered troops to be sent there immediately, including a captain, two lieutenants, two sergeants, 2 corporals, and a drummer, as well as stores and provisions.  At Burnet’s request the commissioners ordered Captain Collins (probably at Fort Frederic in Albany) to find 26 wagons to carry the supplies up all at once. “If any person Should Refuze they must be Imprest.” Collins was told to find carpenters to make three boats with 66 paddles and 15 iron shod “setting poles” as quickly as possible “not to Lose one day.” The governor promised to pay for all the men.

At Oswego, Captain Evert Bancker would be in charge of the building as well as the trade. The commissioners hired the mason Isaac Bogaert as chief workman and director. Cornelis Waldron was also hired as a mason, Benjamin Bogaert and Nicolaes Groesbeck were hired as carpenters., and Conraet Becker and Christian Jans as sawyers to make boards for the building. Jeremy Schuyler, Johannes Beekman Junior, and Nicholaes Wyngaert agreed to “lett their Servants work as Laborers” on the project for wages. The minutes do not specify how much, if any, went to the servants and how much to their masters. The commissioners did not note the names of the servants, who may have been slaves. The wording suggests that Schuyler, Beekman, and Wyngaert may also have gone to Oswego, possibly to trade. Workmen set out for Oswego on April 13th with a birch canoe and two “batoes,” which the commissioners thought worked better for the purpose.

IMG_1179
Dugout and birchbark canoes on exhibit at the H. Lee White Maritime Museum on the pier at Oswego.

To make sure there was adequate transportation for materials and tools, no one working on the building was allowed to carry trade goods. The minutes specify the terms of employment for each worker, including wages, hours, and travel expenses. From the commissioners’ own funds they added a generous supply of rum. They bought two horses from Peter Van Brugh and a third from Peter Schuyler and sent to them to Oswego with Laurence Claessen. When they heard that the Iroquois had denied consent to build, they offered to send two additional “men who have good Interest among ye Indians” to help Claessen and Bancker as well as more presents to persuade the Iroquois to agree to the building.  They told the governor that the workmen would move ahead and start cutting wood, sawing boards, and digging a well. The governor agreed to guarantee the money for the additional presents. 

Evert Bancker had been travelling and trading in Iroquoia for years, but evidently did not have the same level of skill possessed by Laurence Claessen, whether with languages or diplomacy or both.  Bancker preferred Dutch to English and the entries for April include some of his correspondence in Dutch with the commissioners.  I have included my best shot at transcribing it but I have not tried to translate it.  Volunteers are welcome!

The commissioners also sent the governor a letter that they had received from Massachusetts Governor William Dummer.  The minutes don’t describe its contents except to say that it was “a Strange Retaliation for our good offices & pains” as well as expenses in trying to preserve security on the Massachusetts frontier. Evidently Massachusetts was still at odds with Albany over how to resolve the conflict between the Eastern Indians and the New England colonies.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the first entry for April 1727 starts here on p. 178a. The transcription is below.

Att a Meeting of ye. Com.es of the

Indian Affairs in Albany ye. 3d Apr. 1727

[A duplicate copy can be found at p. 239 [0482].]

Present

Philip Livingston

Peter Vn. Brugh

Henry Renselaer

Rutger Bleecker

Reyer Gerritse

Stephanus Groesbeek

Harmanus Wendell

Nicolaes Bleeker                                 This day Rec.d from his Excel.cy William

Burnet Esq.r &c. two letters of the 23 & 23th past in answer

to two letters from this board of the 16 & 20th Dito directed us

to agree with workmen here on ye best terms Can be done

to build the house at the Mouth of Onnondage river

Near ye lake and to Send up ye Interpreter to Capt. Ban=

=ker in Case we think it Necessary,

In Obedience to his Ex.cys directions agreed this day

with Isaac Bogaert & Cornelis Waldron Masons Benjamin Bogaert

& Nicolaes Groesbeck Carpenters to build Sd. house accor=

=ding to the Modle Sent by his Ex.cy at 8 / diem Each from

the day they Sett out till their Return home Excepting

Sundays to find themselves with provisions. but they to be

provided

 

[0361] 179

Provided with Canoes or baties to bring up the Materialls

and towls Sent hither from new york for ye use of the Sd house

Agreed with Coenraet Becker & Chirstian Jans Law=

=yers to Saw Timber & boards for ye. Use of Sd. house & Such other

Work as they Shall be Imployd at by Capt. Banker & the Chief

builder at 5/ p Diem on Condition as above

Agreed Also with Mr. Jeremy Schuyler Joh.s Beekman

Ju.r & Nicolaes Wyngaert to lett their Servants work as

Laborers at the Sd. house at 4/ p diem for the days they Shall

Work, on their own diat and to be pd. for their Journey back

If they do not Come home with their masters

Its resolved that none of the workmen Shall Carry up any

trading Goods, that they may not be hinderd to Carry up the

necessaries & towls for Sd. building,

Bought from Capt. Peter Van Brugh two horses

and from Mr. Peter Schuyler at £5÷ Each to be Sent up to ye

mouth Of Onnondage river for drawing Stone boards beams &c. for

building Said house,

Orderd yt. a letter be Write & Sent to Lourence Claese

the Interpreteer forthwith to Come hither to Receive orders to go

to Onnondage [river – crossed out] to be Capt. Banker Interpreter

 

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

Affairs in Albany ye 4th. of April 1727

[A duplicate copy can be found at p.239a/ 0483.]

Present

Philip Livingston

Myndert Schuyler

Henry Renselaer

Rutger Bleecker

Reyer Gerritse

Stephanus Groesbeek

Har: Wendell                           The Commissioners have this day agreed & allowd

unto Isaac Bogaert the Sume of 5 pound over & above

his wages of 8/p Diem to be Chief Workmen & director of the

building to be made at ye Mouth of Onnondage river yet

is to be under Command of Capt. Banker

Allowd unto the workmen who are to build ye Sd. house 12

Gallon rum above the Alowance of ye thirty Gallon sent for

  1. from new york all w.h is to be paid by ye Com.rs out of their

Allowance of two hundred pound p annum

 

[0364] 180a [Item 2 – out of chronological order in original.]

Albany 4th April 1727

Capt. Collins

Being this day honourd with a letter from his Ex.cy

who has orderd a Capt. two Lieut. 2 Serg.ts 2 Corpralss & one D[rummer]

to be sent to Osweege and has directed us yt. all the batoes Stores

& provisions be Sent with all Speed to your place in Order to

Imbareg we desire you to procure 26 waggons to Carry up

all at once if any person Should Refuze they must be

Imprest there will be 66 padles 15 Setting poles ye last Shod

with Iron Required wh. we hope youl gett made without

delay you also are Desird to Imploy as many Cerpenters as

Can be Imployd to make three batoes with as much Speed

as possible not to [Refuse – crossed out] Lose one day & if any might refuse

they must be Imprest we want 50 Sk: boiling pease for ye.

Batoes pray let us know if they are to be had at Your place

his Excel.cy has been pleased to Ingage to pay for all ye.

men favour us with a line in answer and youl oblidge

who are with Esteam

 

 

[0362] 179a

13)

[Another copy can be found at p.240 / 0484. It is substantially the same.]

Att a Meeting of the Com.rs of ye

Indian Affairs in Albany ye 6th day of Ap.l 1727

Present

Ph: Livingston

Mynd:t Schuyler

Henry Renselaer

Rutger Bleecker

Reyer Gerritse

St. Groesbeeck

Har. Wendell

Ph: Schuyler                                        This Board acquainted Lourence Claese

that his Ex.y had been please to approve of our Sending

him to Cap. banker at Onneyde to Serve as his Inter=

=preter to Communicate to ye Sachims of ye 5 Nations

that his Excel.cy Wm. Burnet Esq.r &c. good intention

and design to build a trading house at Sweege on ye

mouth of Onnondage river the better to promote

& Carry on a trade with the far Indians,

Agreed with the Said interpreter for his Service at

Onnondage and to bring up with another men (whom he

is to hire on ye best terms he Can) three horses to the mouth

of Onnondage river to be Imployd for drawing timber

& Stone for the Sd. house, for the Sume of £20÷ to be paid

by the Sd. Com.es out of their Allowance of £200÷ but if he

be Obliged to Attend any time on Capt. Banker at the

building its agreed he Shall be allowd what

is Resonable above Sd. Sume

This board have tought [bought] powder to

Send Capt. Banker p Sd. Interpreter the following addi=

=tional Instructions,

Haveing obtaind Consent from his Exc.y Gov.r

Burnet Esq.r &c to Send Lourence Claese the Interpreter

to Inform the Indians with the Intention of his Sd. Ex.cy

for building a house at Sweege it being a matter of Great

Consequence

[0363] 180

(13

Consequence to this Governmt. if it Should be Opposd by

the Indians, you are therefore to use your best Endeavours

to Obtain their Consent for wh. purpose, We Recommend

you that observe & follow such directions as you have & Shall

Receive from his Ex.cy as near as possible you Can in relati=

=on to your treaty with the Sachims of the Six Nations

Concerning his Ex.cys Intention for building a house at Osweege

Near Cadrachqus Lake you must tell them is for ye Conveniency

of the traders to Secure their Goods according to the leave & Con=

=sent given by the Said Sachims to his Ex.cy in 1724 to prevent

that their goods may not be taken out of their Small bark

houses, and that the traders may Secure and Store their

goods for wh. they Can have no ready Sale, and not be Obliged

to bring back hither

You are also to acqu.t ye Indians yt. the Chief motive wh.

Moves this Governmt. to build this trading house at Osweege

is that his Ex.cy is Informd that the french design to

Make a fortification at Sd place which will not Only ye far

Indians from Comeing to trade there and at Albany with the

Inhbitations of this province but also the five nations them=

=selves by which means they Would Entirely make ymSelves

of All the Indians and Surround ye brethren on all Sides, that

they have had Sufficiet proof of ye french fortifying near them

and on ye Contrary that they have had repeated Instances

of the Civil treatmt. and kind behaviour of this Government

towards ym for their Secureity and wellfare for many years

past at this building will pVent the french from makeing

Any Attempt to fortify near it, and as it is done as well

for their Secureity as for promoteing the Sd. trade so we Cant

Suppose but that they [may-crossed out] will readily agree to approve of this

good Intention. that we Cant think yt. they do Entertain or

believe any report or Stories yt. ye. french of Canada may have

Spread am.g ym. to resentmt. yt. our Gov.r has Orderd to begin ye Buil=

=ding & finishd this house if they do our Gov.r who represents

the Great

 

[0364] 180a

14)

The Great and Good King of great Britain their father

& protecter would take it as the Greatest Affront that

can be done his Sd. Majesty and him Given under our

hands in Albany this 6 Day of April 1727

was Signd by these presents as

above

[0365] 181

(15)

Albany 6 april 1727

Capt. Banker

Wy hebben VE laest Geschreven p Mr.

John Cuyler & BPisger nevens Een brief Van Zyn Ea[f]

haar toe Gefonden,

Hier Nevens gaet Een andere brief van Zyn

Ex.cy p Lourence Claese als meede Instructer van ons

Jon.es Vedder heef De presente Van de Viff Naties &

Verre Wilde & Eerste £30÷ & de Laeste 20÷ beftaende

In Sulke Goederen als p inlegende Memorie om door VE

Vergeven te werden als V e. Goet Sall Ordeelin, voor best

Vant publick Wy & hoopen dat gy VE uyterste de voir

Sall Aen wenden dat D Wilde Gewilligh toe Staen het

Op bowen vant huys En ghy niet Mankere Sutt om Suloe

te Scygen willen wy niet aen twyfellen So Sullen

met Slangen D guntt te Uyt Slagh Van VE met patien=

=tie asisaghten

Lourence heeft drie paarden voor hout & Steen &c.

Meede te ryen voor het Opbenden vant huys modell

daer van sullen D’naeste week met het het week

volk opsenden & dan VE verder Schryven ondertusche

& blyde naer haer hartslyck Groetenisse

 

[

 

Albany ye. 10th April 1727

Mr. Lawyer

We have Rec.d your letters of Yesterdays date

that ye Indians have wounded three men at Skohare for

wh. accident of we are very much Concernd & hertily Sorry

for those yt. are fallen under this heavy Afflection We Send

A letter to his Ex.cy Gov.r Burnet to Acqu.t him of this Mis=

=chief what measures he Shall think proper to take we

do not know, mean while We Send to Capt. Banker at

Onnondage that he may acqt. the Sachims of the five

Nations of this fatall Misfortune what will be done

in this Affair we Cant tell but ye. Most Moderable &

amicable means will be best for the best peace of our

Country. We remain

Philip Livingston                    Reyer Gerritse

Myndert Schuyler                  Stephanus Groesbeck

Peter V Brugh                         Harm.s Wendell

Hend.k Renselaer

 

[0368] 182a

18)

Att a Meeting of the Com.es of ye,

Indian affairs in Albany ye. 11 day

of April 1727

Sedert onse Laeste p dese Gelegentheyt van

Lourence Claese ontfangen wy op gifteere het Onaenge=

=naem niews dat Enige wilden & wildinnen tot het

Getall Van 10-12 dewelke Laeste Sondagh aghtermiddagh

drunken asarren op Skohere Een groot onkeyl & oor=

=saakte driegende om d huyse & Schauren int brant

te Steeken om Sulkx voor te Coomen Stellen d.’ palatines

haar tegen dat gedaen Synde gingen D’ Wilden nae

haer huysen & quamen ti Samen met haer roers

peylen & boogen & Vielen aen op Een huys daer Ses man

in ware van wien Sy drie man hebben geschoten twe

daer Van doodelyck gequest, Een weert Gedoght Nu

doot te Syn de wilden niet beeter weetende of Sy waren

doot & daer op manen Sy D Vlught wy hebben Zyn

Excel.cy daer kenniss van te geven maer wat order

hy dies aengaerde Sall Geven waten wy niet,

Ondertuschen oordelen wy noodigh Dat Ghy de

Sackemakers dit on heyl op D. Sagste Mannier bekent

Maakt om So van haar te hooren hoe Sy dit neemen

En wat Sy deer in willen doen wy Soude & wagh-

=ten dat sy Enige Sackemakers Deputere om hurte

Coomen dit onheyl vor te Verschonen & Indien Sy

dit Uyt haar Seff niet doen of pretendere so ordele

wy Noodigh dat Ghy op D’ beste manier ghy Can te wegh

brenght door Enige principaele wilden dat Sy Sulx

te werk Stellen & Satisfactie doen door &soennig on

& der onheyl voor te Comen

 

0366] 181a [Out of order in original]

16)

Albany ye 26th Apr. 1727

Capt. Banker

V E brief den 13 defer Ontfangen waer

by wy vernemen dat Ghy in Onnondage met D Sackema=

=kers hebt Gesproken wegen het Timmeren op Sweege

day Sy het niet willen toestaen dat het huys daer Sall

op gebout werden twelk ops Seer Leet is om tehooren

en Sy Excellency ongelwyfelt Sall het ter hearten

namen wy hoopen & verwaghten dat op D’ Komst

van Lourence ghy D wilden beeter kunnen verstaen

& onderighten want hy verwaght dat Sy het Timme-

=ren niet Sullen tegen Staen maer vrywilligh ons Sullen

laeten vort gaen volgens haer Consent also het voor haer

besten is So als wy Alreede in VE Instructies met

Lourence gemett hebben, Syn Ex.cy heeft het aen ons

gelaeten voor een persoon van aensien Nae VE te

Senden tot VE Aensistenkie om het vry lof van D

wilden Soude Murmereeren te Obtineeren als Sy voor

dese gedaen hebben dat alles wreedigh magh toe=

=gaen also het Een Saach Van D’Groetse Conse=

=quensie is tot dat Governm.t Indien het niet Soude

Gelucken, so hebben wy goet gedaght dat Een of twe

pSoonen van aensien tot VE asustansie Sullen toe

gesonden werden onstants op VE Verder Schryven

dat de Wilde VE Affslaen ondertuschen Sullen

wy alles dat noodigh is voor So-Een Toght Claer

maken & gereert houden tot dien Eynde & Soecken

wy day ghy d Sackemakers by malkander houdt

om Een verdere propositie met haer te maken

So Zy

 

[0367] 182

(17)

So Sy VE Aftgeslagen hebben ondertuschen moet

ghy deprincipaalste wilden om Coopen & over reeden

want het werk moet gaan Laet d’Corter Syn wat

het will der halve verwagten wy VE Schryvens ter=

=post of ghy Consent hebt van d’Wilden of niet

D’Metselaers & Timmerlieden mosten met t’huys

Coomensonder Consent & verder Schryvens van ons

ondertuschen laet het volk geimployeert werden in

hacken planken Laghe Steen Ryen & putmaken &c.

d’wilden den brengeers deses hebben wy voldsen wy

Voldoen wat het Cruyt aengaet weet ghy kunnen

wy niet Indoen d’ datum Van VE brief denken wy

is a buys en Ock het Jaer heb VE gestelt 1717 naer haer=

=telycke groetenisse & blyde

Myndert Schuyler                  Philip Livingston

Rutger bleeker                         Peter van Brugh

Harmanus Wendell                  Reyer Gerritse

Nicolaes Bleecker                    Stevanus Groesbeek

[0477] 236a

* No. 15                                  Albany ye. 26th. april 1727

May it please your Excellency

Your Exce.lys most Esteemed favours

of ye. 10 & 12 Instant we Rec.d Inclosed find your

Ex.lys a letter Sent us by order of Gov.r Dummer

of ye. 13th. Instant whereby we Receive a Strange

Retaliation for our good offices & pains not

to Count yee. Expences we have been & Still are —

like to lay out for their Security & preservation

which we think however in duty & Conscience

bound to do to Save yee. poor Innocents on the fronteers

of Boston those in that Town we Suppose

think themseves [sic] Secure Enough

Inclosed your Excel.ly has a letter from Capt.

Banker as also one from him to us, we are Sorry

that he has made any Speech or proposalls to the

Sachims at onnondage before Lourence Came to

him & by what we hear from the Indians who are

come hither bifferd but 2 a 3 days. the Sachims

Seem to have denyd him their Consent to Errect

the building at oswego. but now while the Inter

=preter is with him we hope he may be able to

Inform them better & Convince them of yee. necessity

to have this house built for the Conveniency of

that traders & thier Security we have now Sent

a letter Express to him if the Indians to presist

in their denying Consent that he forthwith Send

us an account of it by Express on yee. arrivall

thereof we Shall dispatch two men who have good

Interest among ye Indians to assist him with

further psents to onnondage and have desird

him to keep yee. Sachims together till Said Gentle

=men Shall arrive there mean while that yee.

workmen be Imployd to hew wood Saw boards

digging of the well &c. and on Rect. of this advice

Shall

[0478] 237

Shall not neglect to Send your Excellency

an account of it

We are very glad to See by yee. Minute

of your Excel.ly in Councill that our Conduct in

the agreem.t made with ye. workmen & others we

Sent up to build Sd. house of which is approvd

aff. makes us not a little ambitious we take nothing

more to heart then that this building Should be

Erected in a peaceable & amicable manner being

of ye. greatest Consequence to this Province.

and are pleased to See your Excel.ly becomes Security

for the further psents that may be Required the workmen

Sett out from hence yee 13th Instant in Two batoes

& one burch Canoe yee. former are much yee. best as

people tell us who mett them we had much

trouble to dispatch them

Here are three other Batoes finishd

for the use of yee men who are to be Sent up

think two more will be Required

The misfortune happend at Skohere first

arised from yee Indians who had killed a hogg

belonging to one of ye man who is wounded haveing

Chargd them with it, which yee Indians when they

were drunk Resented it tho the pork was found in

their wigwomb & Some of their Number had done

that mischief & ye Palatines not giveing way to

their humour was in Short ye. occassion of the

Quarrel & the indians are a mixture of ye Several

Nations we did not intend your Ex.ly Should

take yee. trouble to Come hither unless the Sachims

acknowledged their Error of their own accord come

Reconcile this

Wee begg your Ex.cy Leave to Refer

that affair Relating ye. Transgressors of ye. late

Acts till our next meeting that we may have

a Compleat number of members. the master of

the Sloop presents to be gone haveing a fair wind

 

Minute Book 3: 1726-March: Conflicts Over Alcohol Continue; the French Presence in Iroquoia is Growing

It is not clear how well Laurence Claessen knew English.  The commissioners often instructed him to keep journals of his diplomatic missions, but they generally submitted their own versionVersion 3 into the record.  In March, Claessen appeared before them and gave them his journal of his recent trip. The minutes describe “in substance” what it said, including a day by day account of how he went to several towns of the Six Nations and invited leaders to a meeting that was held in Seneca country beginning on February 22nd.  The participants discussed the ongoing conflicts over the sale of alcohol in Iroquoia and other matters including an English boy taken captive from Virginia and thought to be held in Iroquoia. The Six Nations said they did not have the boy.  They asked once again that the English prohibit the sale of alcohol in their country, but Claessen could only tell them once again that sales would be restricted to “Far Indians” from outside Iroquoia to promote the fur trade. The sachems described how alcohol was leading to violence and other problems, even to murders.  They gave Claessen a belt of wampum to take back to the English authorities to confirm their position that it should be banned completely. However they agreed not to molest the traders or the far Indians.

In Seneca country, Claessen found Juriaen Hogan, the blacksmith sent by the English, as well as a party of French residents that included a French smith and his family.  The Iroquois said the French smith had come to live with them “in a deceitful manner,” returning with a Six Nations delegation that had gone to condole the death of the French governor Ramsay. The smith and his party were, of course, also sending information back to the French, just as Claessen and Hogan were doing for the English. Claessen provided an account of new French boats being constructed on Lake Ontario (Cataraqui) and said the Onondagas had given permission to the French to build a new trading house on the south side of the lake where the Niagara River flows into it. He described the composition of the parties that had gone out fighting over the previous winter, and conveyed the Six Nations’ request for a meeting with the governor in the spring. Claessen also reported that the Six Nations was sending ambassadors to the Waganhas proposing a meeting and invited the commissioners to send their own wampum belts along.

The commissioners wrote to Governor Burnet, passed on the intelligence about French activities, and told him (in somewhat confused English) that the French must be prevented from settling in Iroquoia, and asked for funds to support an ongoing English presence among the Six Nations.  They conveyed the request to stop selling alcohol, blamed it on the French influence, and insisted that the traders could not maintain the fur trade without alcohol. They expressed concern that the Six Nations had sent deputies to meet in Seneca country, where the French influence was strongest, instead of to Onondaga as was customary. They also sent the governor the English boy who had run away from the Mohawks at Fort Hunter earlier in the year. Finally they described how Jan Wemp and Jacob Glen had cleared and mended the road at the Oneida Carrying Place, and given a bond to repair the bridge there over Wood Creek.

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

Below is the full transcription:

[0247] 122

[Wraxall p. 162 et seq.]

Att a meeting of the Com.rs of

Indian affairs in Albany the 16th

Day of March 1725/6

Present

Philip Livingston

Henry Holland                        } Esq.rs Com.rs

Evert Bancker

Peter van Brugh

This Day Lourence Claese the Inter=

=preter Appeard before this Board and Said that he

had Pursuant to y.e Instructions Deliverd him dated

the first day of febr.y been at y.e Severall Castles of

the five Nations and had acquainted them with y.e

Contents of the Same of which he has kept a Journall which is in

Substance as follows that on y.e 5.th of s.d month he

arrived in y.e maquase Country where he Communicated

to the Sachims that touching the prohibition of ye

5 Nations of Rum to be Sold unto y.e Indians at ye

falls or Lake his Ex.cy had given Strict orders that

no pson under his Governm.t Should Sell any to the Indians

of y.e five Nations at those places. but only to y.e far

Indians the better to Promote a trade with them

That his Ex.cy Recommended unto them not to molest

or hinder any of y.e far Indians in their Comeing to trade

with the Inhabitants of this Province or Return home

nor to any of our Trders [sic] —

That the Com.rs are Informd that there

is a french Smith from Canada at y.e Sinnekes Country

and that there is another English boy among y.e

five Nations taken from virginia —

Answer from y.e Sachims

That they Could give no Liberty that Rum Should be

Sold to the far Indians in their Country but faithfully

Promise not to hinder nor molest them, nor any of y.e

traders in their going up or Comeing Down

You make Enquiry if here is an English

Prison. from Virginia, to which we answer that

here is None

 

[0248] 122a

We have also heard y.t there is a french Smith in [ye]

Sinnekes Country with his wife & Children —

That on y.e 6th feb. he Left fort hunter

and arrived y.e 13th dit.o at onneyde where he Communi[cated]

to the Sachims there y.e Contents of his Instructions the

14th Received an answer from them and Said that

they Could not give a full answer to his Proposition

But that Some of their Deputed Sachims were Sent

to y.e Sinnekes Country and Desired him to acquaint

them with it and what they in their behalf Should

Conclude they would approve of

On the 15 Ditto went from Oneyde & Arriv’d at

Onnondaga the 17 Ditto, where, when the Sachims

were Conveen’d, acquainted them with the Contents

of his Instructions, on which they directly gave

the Same Answer as those at Oneyde had Done

That some of their Deputed Sachims were gone

to the Sinnekes Country, that they should give

him and Answer, and what they Concluded or

Consented they would approve.

On the 18th went from Onnondage and

arriv’d at Cayouge the 20.th D.o & having call’d

the Sachims to meet acquainted them with

Contents of his Instructions who immediatly

answer’d him that they had sent Deputies to the

Sinnekes Country & what they should resolve

with the rest of the Sachims they would Confirm

and approve off

He arriv’d at the Sinnekes Country on the

22.d of s.d month and found there the Deputed

Sachims of the four Nations, who he desir’d

Immediatly to meet together, and when they

were Conven’d acquainted them what he was

directed by his s.d Instructions & found Jurian

Hogan work there as Smith, as also a french

Smith, with his wife and three Children and an

Assistant; there are also three french men

who take Notice of all Transactions and

Occurences

On the 26

 

[0249] 123

On the 26th he being calld before the meetting

of the Sachims of the four Nations they said

that they were resolv’d to send two Deputies of

each Nation to his Excel.y at New York, because they

suspected that the Com.rs were negligent to acq.tt

his Exce.ly with their prohibition of the Rum

being sold to the Ind.ns in their Country at the fall

of Onnondage River; the same Day he reply’d

that his Excel.y has been fully Inform’d w.t their

Desires, and that his Excel.y has there upon given

Orders, that no Rum shall be sold to any of the

five Nations at the fall of Onnondage river

but only to the farr Ind.ns to promote a Trade

w.t them, and further what he was directed by

his Instructions, on w.ch they s.d that they fully

approvd of every thing he had s.d Except that

Rum should be sold in their Country w.ch they will

not allow off, and in Case they or the far Ind.ns have

Occasion for Rum, that they may go & buy it at

Albany or at Schinectady, as they have formerly

done then they & we shall be free from being

the authors of any mischief or murther yt shall be

Comitted there, for they added that what has been

done is [now] Imputed to them & the Brethren

the Christians, and therefore they desire wt this

Belt of Wamp.m as as Token from the 5 Nations

that the Gent.mn Com.rs will be pleas’d forthwith

to Issue a prohibition that no Rum may be carried

up into their Country Except for the traders own

Use and desire that his Excel.y may fortwith be

acquainted herew.t hoping that their Request

may be taken in Consideration, that it may

tend for the wellfare of us all being yt Strong

Liquor is the root of all Evil, w.ch we our Selves

have many times had sad Experience off. and saw last

year some Christian Ind.ns of ye 5 Nations & far Ind.ns

lying drunk to excess among one another at ye fall

who then gett in Quarrel together by w.ch many

sad Accidents may arise & if any do we clear our

selves of the Guilt

The french Smith came here in a deceitfull manner

We had sent Deputies to Canada to Condole the

Death

 

[0250] 123a

Death of Gov.r D Ramsey & they have brought him

along wtout our Order or knowledge, but we return

our Brother Corlaer our most hearty thanks for

sending us a Smith

The Sachims desire that his Excel.y will be pleas’d

to meet them at Albany [early-crossed out] in the Spring, they

have to treat ab.t matters of great moment Con=

=cerning the welfare of us All, They desire a good

Beek Iron for ye Smith that is w.t them & some

tools w.t out w.ch he can make no good work

The s.d Interpreter is Inform’d that ye ffrench

have finish’d and rig’d one Vessel at Cadarachqui

and another is to be lanchd this Spring

That the five Nations have Concluded to Send

of each Nation two Messengers to the Waganhas

or far Ind.ns in the beginning of June next with

Belts of Wampum to treat with them, & they

desire to know whether the Com.rs will Join in it

by sending belts of Wampum to the s.d Ind.ns

That he is inform’d from trusty Ind.ns that the

Gov.r of Canada has last year obtain’d liberty from

the Onnondages to build a trading house on the

West Side of Jagara River w.ch vents it self

into the Cadarachqui lake on the South side

thereof in the passage of the Ind.ns to this place

Mon.sr Longueill the present Gov.r of Canada has

been there last year to view the place, the french

are to have sd house built this Spring

That there are gone out a fighting this last

Winter 21 Mohoggs 40 Onnondages 20 Tuscaroras

40 Cayouges 40 Sinnekes and that there were

going yet 130 of the last among whom is to go

a french Man from Canada who is marryed w.t a

Sinneke Squa

 

[0251] 124

[Wraxall p. 163 has excerpt.]

Albany 18 March 1725/6

May it please your Excel.y

We have been honourd wt. your Ex.ys favours of ye 8 Inst.

with Submission to your Excel.y we are humbly of Opinion

that it is a matter of the [last] Consequence to the province

that no Care be taken to prevent the ffrench to reside

among our Ind.ns and that no person of Ability wt a

Number of Men be sent to dwell Continually among

them, We hope the Assembly will pleast to Consider

how to raise a fund to Defray the Charge without

which it appears plain to Us that the french gett

daily more footing & our Interest decreases wch. at

last may end in our Destruction

We are very glad your Ex.y is pleas’d to approve of our

sending the Interpreter to quiet the minds of the Ind.ns

he is Return’d. Inclos’d is his Journal wch. we refer

to your Ex.ys Consideration, by wch. it appears that the

Ind.ns persist in their first Resolution, that no

Rum shall be sold at the falls or Onnondage River, and

many of our traders are already gone wt. Rum —

thither, how it can be prevented now we dont know

for our people will go, Neither do we Conceive that

they can carry on a Trade with the far Indians

without it, So that we perceive that the ffrench

Interest greatly sways the Indians to prevent the

Selling of Rum

The ffrench we see are not Idle in Obstructing

our Trade, for we hear they will now build a trading house

at the place where we Imagen’d we had one, & what

will be the Event of the [Essecs] in the lake is uncertain

Yet it may be Conjucture’d it will be to prevent the

Ind.ns from coming to us to trade We must acknowledge y.t

the Ind.ns are greatly under ye Subjection of ye ffrench

who keep them in awe

It is with no little Concern & without precedent that

we see the Ind.ns have sent Deputies to the Sinnekes

Country to the ffrench who are there, whereas Onnondage

has always been the place appointed to Consult & treat

about publick Affairs

On the whole at this Juncture we are humbly of Opinion

that it will be for his Maj.es Service yt Some pson of Experi=

=ence wt. the Interpreter be sent among ye Ind.ns at Onnondage

to stay there (till your Exc.y sahll meet the Sachims here)

to quiet the minds of ye Ind.ns & keep them from molesting

our Traders, [for – crossed out] wch. we hope your Exc.y will be pleas’d to di=

=rect Us as soon as may be. By the Bearer we send the Eng.

boy taken by the Ind.ns from Virgin.a his Charge & Cloathing [&c]

amt to £       [blank in original] as p Acco.t here inclosd

 

[0252] 124a

Jan Wemp & Jacob Glen have produc’d affidavits

unto Us whereby it appears that they have sufficiently

clear’d up & mended the Road on Oneyde Carrying place

and that they clear’d & Cutt the Wood Creek & Carried

away the Trees So that the same is Navigable to the

Onneyde lake & that they have made a sufficient Cart

way from the End of the Road formerly made to the

Wood Creek from thence to the place where the

Canada Creek falls into the sd Wood Creek, but the

bridge over the Wood Creek they Could not Compleat

last Summer, tho’ have given Bond to pform that

this Summer according to agreem.t desiring they

may receive their Money for the whole Work

wch. they will not fail to Effect

Minute Book 3: 1725-October

Trade is Welcome in Iroquoia; Alcohol and Quarrels Are Not

On October 10th, another delegation from the Six Nations met with the Commissioners. This time Thanentsaronwe (Thannintsorowee) was the speaker. He came to complain again about the sale of alcohol by the European traders in Iroquoia, and to object once more to Governor Burnet’s proposed trading house on the Onnondage (Oswego) River. Alcohol had led to the death of a principal sachem, Sogeanjawa, who had been “stuck dead with a knife.” Several people had had noses and ears cut off, and nine of the “Far Indians” had killed each other. In the name of the whole Six Nations, he asked that no alcohol be transported to Iroquoia for the consumption of the Far Indians or the Six Nations. Traders were welcome to come and trade wherever they wished, with any other sort of goods. He also expressed uneasiness that the governors of New York and Canada could not agree. He begged them not to shed blood in the Six Nations’ country, where both were trading. He asked that if any English people should encounter the French “they may kindly love & friendly greet one another.” He explained that they had told the governor of Canada the same thing.

Thanentsorowee told the Commissioners that strowd blankets were now being sold to the French at the Onnondage River, despite the New York law against it. He said he had heard that people from Albany were taking credit for bringing Far Indians to Albany to trade, but actually the Six Nations should get the credit for going to the Far Nations and asking them to come to Albany to trade, with the result that five Far Nations had promised to do so. The Six Nations was paying the expenses in wampum and blankets to engage in this promotion. He asked that Albany help them with strowds, powder, and lead in order to continue doing so.

He also complained that the message that the governor of New York could not meet that summer had not been properly conveyed to the Senecas from Onondage, and if it had they would not have come. In the future, messages should be sent directly to the Senecas. He also asked for a better smith, since they did not like the one sent to them, and requested that Myndert Wemp come back with them immediately along with tools.

The Commissioners responded by thanking the delegates for bringing Far Nations to Albany to trade. They gave them powder, lead, and strowd blankets as they had requested, along with two kegs of Rum. They acknowledged the remainder of the message but did not respond to it. However they forwarded the minutes of the meeting to Governor Burnet.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, October 1725 starts here.

Minute Book 3: 1725-June

The French Still Plan to Build Fort at Niagara

On June 5th the commissioners wrote to the governor explaining that they had sent Laurence Claessen and two smiths to Onondaga. They added that David Van Dyck had resigned as commissioner, as Johannes Bleecker had done the previous November. A few days later, on June 11th, Claessen returned and gave an account of his journey.

Claessen arrived at Onondaga on May 27th to find the sachims of the Oneidas, Tuscaroras, Cayougas, and Senecas and Onondagas who had recently met with “Mons. Longueil, Lieut. Gov.r of Canada,” (Charles Le Moyne, Baron de Longueuil).

Claessen gave them seven strings of wampum, the agreed upon protocol that confirmed an official message. He told them that Governor Burnet (William Burnet, Governor of New York and New Jersey) had sent him to say that he could not comply with their request to meet, but that he would meet them the following year. They were happy to hear that Burnet only planned to build a trading house at Oswego, not a fort, and said they had nothing against building a house. They also thanked the governor for sending the smiths and promised to make them very welcome. They told Claessen that Longueuil had been at Onondaga until May 25th, two days before Claessen arrived. The records include what purports to be Longueuil’s speech at Onondaga.

Addressing the Haudenosaunee as “Children,” according to French custom, Longueuil said that he had been ordered to come there by the governor. He performed the customary condolence ceremony and gave a large belt of wampum, adding additional belts for each point in his speech. He said he had heard that the Six Nations were “jealous” of the French and expressed the hope that the bad feelings generated by the previous war between them were over and forgotten, since France and England were now at peace. He urged them to forget old differences and promised to “Imprint in the memory of our Children to observe the treaties of Peace & friendship” between them, so that it would live on even when “we aged Men” were dead and gone.

Longueuil confirmed that he was going to Tierondequoit (Irondequoit at the site of present day Rochester) and then to Seneca Country and Niagara, where he planned to build a strong trading house and sell goods more cheaply than before to the Six Nations as well as the nations beyond them. He also planned to build two ships to bring goods there.

Some Albany Traders Agree Not to Trade With the French

On June 11th the commissioners continued to attempt to enforce Governor Burnet’s prohibition against selling Indian goods to the French by resolving to direct the sheriff to issue summonses to a number of traders including John Schuyler, Stephanis Groesbeck, Nicholas Bleecker, Cornelis Cuyler, Hans Hansen, Edward Collins, David Schuyler Jr., Johannes Roseboom and Gerrit Roseboom Jr. They were directed to appear and take the oath against trading Indian goods with the French as required by the Act of 1720. All of them all except John Schuyler and Gerrit Roseboom Jr. appeared and took the oath. So did Jacob Verplanck. It is unclear whether “John Schuyler” refers to Colonel Johannes Schuyler or his son Johannes Schuyler, Jr.

The Jenondadies (Petun) Come to Trade

On June 19th, some “far Indians” came to trade, a group of “Jenondadies”  (Tionondati or Petun) who lived near the French fort at Detroit. Their leader Schaojiese thanked the commissioners for inviting them to come to Albany to trade and asked that the path be kept clear for them. They condoled Colonel Peter Schuyler and Hendrick Hanson, who had both died in February 1724, and requested “that their Eldest Sons may be accepted in their places that the tree may grow under w.h all ye upper nations may Shelter themselves.” They also said they were “great Lovers of Liquor” and asked for good Rum, not watered down.

The commissioners thanked them for coming and for their condolences and assured them that goods would be cheap. They promised to do what they could to prevent traders from watering down rum. They appeared taken aback by the request to appoint the eldest sons of Schuyler and Hansen in their place. They explained that the choice was in the hands of the governor. They assured the Tionontaties that the tree of peace and friendship would grow as strong as ever and the upper nations would be welcome to take Shelter under it.

The Twightwighs (Miamis) Send Joseph Montour and his Cousin Maconte as Messengers

Two members of the Montour family, who had married into the Twightwigh (Miami) nation and lived among them, met with the commissioners, Jean Fafar alias Maconte, was the nephew of Louis Montour, killed by the French in 1709 for encouraging far nations to trade with the English, and Joseph Montour, Louis’s son.  They brought a message from a group of Twightwigh (Miami) who had sent nine canoes to trade but were stopped at the falls of Oneida by the people who lived there. The reference appears to be to European traders, probably English subjects, because if they were French, the commissioners would have noted it. Possibly Abraham Schuyler and his party were trading while stationed with the Iroquois to reassure them about the expanding English presence in their country.

The Miami wanted to come renew their treaties and wondered why they had been stopped. Maconte and Joseph gave some dressed deerskins and a calumet pipe to the commissioners. The commissioners thanked them, but did not show much sympathy for the Miami. They expressed surprise that they had not come to Albany, since they had joined themselved in the Covenant Chain. They should not have allowed the people at Oneida falls to persuade them to trade there instead of at Albany, where goods were cheaper. They asked the Miami not to listen to such people in the future. They gave the Montour cousins some rum and blankets for the Miami sachems.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, June 1725 starts here.

 

 

Minute Book 3: 1725-April

 

The Six Nations Don’t Want a French-English War in Iroquoia

On April 11th, a delegation from Onondaga, Cayouga, and the Tuscaroras came to Albany on behalf of the Six Nations as a whole. They told the commissioners that Governor Vaudreuil had sent a message to Jean Coeur (Louis-Thomas Chabert de Joncaire) in Seneca Country telling him that someone from New England had revealed Governor Burnet’s plan for a trading house at the mouth of the Onondaga River (Oswego). Governor Vaudreuil described his own plans to build a fort at Niagara and ships to sail Cadarachqui (Lake Ontario) as well as his intention to destroy the English house at Oswego.

Severance-FrenchFrontier_FtNiagPlan1
Plans for the fort that France wanted to build at Niagara. From Frank Severance, An Old Frontier of France, NY: Dodd Mead, 1917, v.1, p. 240.

The delegates said that the Six Nations reminded Jean Coeur that the French and the Haudenosaunee had recently fought a bitter war that ended with an agreement not to make war over frivolous things such as “Beavers and furrs.” If the French destroyed the English trading house and built the proposed ships and fort, it could mean war. They urged the French to live in peace with the English. They did not want blood shed in their country.

They begged their brother Corlaer (New York) to listen to this message too.  The French and the English should “live like friends together,”  neither becoming the first aggressor.  The delegates said they would take particular note of whether Corlaer followed this advice, in support of which the sachims had sent a large belt of wampum. They had sent a belt to the French with the same message. They wanted Governor Burnet to meet them at the beginning of June to renew the covenant and discuss important matters.

The commissioners responded that they were surprised that the Six Nations would allow the French to impose on them in such a way, at which point the page ends.  The remainder of their answer is missing.

(I have edited this post to remove the sections relating to French forts, Abraham Schuyler’s assignment, and problems at Tiononderogue. The records begin to get out of order here, and I made a mistake in the dates of the entries relating to these issues, which date from 1726, not 1725. Apologies to my readers!)

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, April 1725 starts here .

Minute Book 3: 1725-January

Things were still not going well between the commissioners and William Burnet, the governor of New York and New Jersey.

Governor William Burnet
Governor William Burnet. Portrait by John Watson, from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Burnet_(colonial_administrator))

In January the commissioners replied to a letter from the governor in which he told them not to give Nicholas Schuyler and Jacob Wendell the oath against trading with the French because they were already trading with the French in contravention of the Act of 1720 that prohibited it. In this letter the governor accused the commissioners of taking ‘no more Notice of [his] minute in Council then if it had been waste paper.” Presumably he was angry about the incident the previous October in which Schuyler and Wendell had been caught red-handed in the woods north of Albany with a group of native people and a large quantity of strowd blankets that they were obviously transporting to Canada to trade with the French. No doubt it seemed pointless to have traders take loads of goods to Montreal and take the oath against doing so only after they returned.

In their reponse to the governor, the commissioners said they were sorry that he felt this way. They insisted that they were doing their best to comply with his directions but the Act of 1720 did not authorize them to do more than what they were doing.

The governor’s letter also asked for changes to their report responding to the petition of the London merchants opposed to the Act and sent them a printed copy of the Act. They thanked him for it, and for the suggestions for changes. The London merchants’ petition and the final version of the response of the New York government can be seen here in the printed Papers Relating to an Act of the Assembly of Province of New-York, For Encouragement of the Indian Trade &c. and for Prohibiting the Selling of Indian Goods to the French viz. of Canada. NY: Bradford, 1724. The papers include a map that shows the route from Albany to Iroquoia, featuring the Five Nations, and showing rivers, lakes, and carrying places. The map does not show the native communities in the Saint Lawrence Valley and elsewhere that were affected by suppressing the trade between Albany and Montreal.

Colden's Map included with Papers on the Fur Trade
Map included with Papers Relating to an Act of the Assembly of Province of New-York, For Encouragement of the Indian Trade &c. and for Prohibiting the Selling of Indian Goods to the French viz. of Canada. NY: Bradford, 1724.

In their letter to the governor the commissioners also suggested that it would be useful to have an English settlement at Irondequoit (the location of present-day Rochester) so that if there was a dispute between the far Indians (members of nations coming to trade from beyond Iroquoia)  and the French who wanted to prevent that trade, they could encourage the Six Nations to support the far Indians.

In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, January 1725 starts here