Table of Contents List of Archives Top of Page
Previous   Next

conversation, declare it as their opinion that the capture of that fort is the only thing that will unite the minds of the Indians in their friendship to the Colonies. Several expresses have passed this place from Sir John Johnson to Niagara since the capitulation at Johnstown;—the first very soon after me above-mentioned transaction, who, when they passed this place, pretended they were only going to the Seneca country after horses; but, on their arrival at Onondaga, declared they were sent express by Sir John with a letter to Mr. Butler. The others passed this place within a few days after the return of the Oneidas, who were down at Albany on the affair respecting Colonel Butler, and, as I have since heard, conveyed letters to Mr. Butler from Sir John and some others. In short, the Mohawks are frequently passing and repassing, without any other apparent business than that of carriers to and from Niagara. A large party of the Senecas are already arrived at the central Council-House, and deputations from the several tribes in Canada are daily expected at the same place. One of the Quigoga Chiefs, who appears friendly to the country, and is a particular friend of Mr. Kirkland, has just now been here, and informs that about “one hundred Senecas have lately met Mr. Butler, at Niagara; that Mr. Butler told them that the Colonists had shut up the passes into the country, and assured them that the Indians would be undone, unless some way could be opened to admit Mr. Johnson into the country upon his return in the spring; and that he requested their assistance to do it, which they had promised to give him.” He further informs, “that, upon the return of the party, three of their principal men, who had not been down, and were displeased at what their people had done, were set out for Niagara to see Mr. Butler.” The principal Sachem of the Tuscaroras is lately dead. The Oneidas and Tuscaroras, therefore, cannot attend the grand meeting till his funeral obsequies are performed.

I would beg the favour of a line. The Indians are very hungry for news. I hardly need suggest, sir, that a word of encouragement to our friends in this place would, at this time, strengthen their friendship, and induce them to persevere in that line of friendly conduct which they have hitherto invariably pursued since the commencement of the present disputes.

I am, sir, with much respect, your Honour’s most obedient and very humble servant,

JAMES DEANE.

To General Schuyler.


Oneida, March 18, 1776.

SIR: Some of the Sachems of this place were with me last evening, and desired me to write your Honour as followeth:

“BROTHER: It is with great pleasure we now inform you of the success of the message sent last summer from Albany to our brethren of Caughnawaga, and the seven tribes in Canada. They have at length arose from their seats, and directed their faces towards our central Council-House, and several days since entered our doors. Some of the Senecas now in Canada insisted upon their going directly to Onondaga; but they refused, alleging as a reason, upon their arrival, that they chose to come first to us, because we were of one heart and one mind with themselves, and as our people were sent to call them, they thought proper to follow the steps of our messengers, and to be led by us to the Council-House of the Six Nations. We are extremely glad to find such a disposition in our brethren, and are in constant expectation of a message from Onondaga to call us to the meeting; and we heartily wish for the Divine assistance to enable us to maintain peace and harmony in this quarter.

“Our brethren from Canada determine, after the meeting, to take the most direct course home, unless you should send and desire an interview with them at Albany. The Sachems and warriors at this place are all in health and peace, and take this opportunity to present our respects to you and Ojageghti, alias Mr. Down.”

Thus far the Sachems.

The Canadian Indians, I believe, sir, have a desire to visit your Honour in their way home, had they but an invitation; and perhaps an interview with them might be improved to very good purpose, especially as the hatchets (which the humane Mr. Johnson dispersed among them) are still in their hands, and some of their people are considerably influenced by the Senecas, who have ever been unfriendly to the Colonies.

I am, sir, your most obedient and very humble servant,

JAMES DEANE.

To General Schuyler.


The Testimony of GODFREY SHEW.

TRYON COUNTY:

Personally appeared before me, Jellis Fonda, Esq., one of his Majesty’s Justices of the Quorum for said County, Godfrey Shew, and being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, deposeth and saith:

That, on or about the 4th day of March instant, he, the deponent, was at his dwelling-house at Sacondaga, in company with three of the Mohawk Indians1 when he, the deponent, heard them say that in about six weeks’ time he, the deponent, would see a fine dance among the Yankees. Then the deponent replied, What will you do with them? The said Indians gave for answer, that they would kill, scalp, and burn them, the said Yankees. The deponent said, You will not hurt me and my family, will you? The Indians replied, No; we will give you notice time enough to go away. At the same time, Squire Collins was passing by with some of the New-England people in a sled, about a hundred yards distant, when the deponent saw one of the Indians cock his rifle and bring it up to his face, at the same time swearing he would shoot the said Collins through the left eye. Then the deponent took hold of the rifle and held it from his face; and when they went away, they shook hands with the deponent, and declared they would give him timely notice.

The deponent further saith, That he asked the Indians how strong they were. The said Indians informed the deponent that Colonel Croghan was coming with the Cherokees by the way of Niagara and Fort Stanwix, and would kill and burn the people from that place to Schenectady. Further saith not the deponent.

GODFREY SHEW.

Caughnawaga, March 25th, 1776: Sworn before

JELLIS FONDA, Justice.

He said the Indian’s name was David, a Mohawk.


The Testimony of FANNY KELLY and POLLY CONNER.

TRYON COUNTY:

Personally appeared before me, Jellis Fonda, Esq., one of his Majesty’s Justices of the Quorum for said County, Fanny Kelly and Polly Conner, and being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, deposeth and saith:

That, on or about the 17th day of March instant, were at the house of Thomas Harris, at Sacondaga, and one of the Mohawk Indians being present, viz: Joseph McElesson, when the said Joseph advised the said Fanny Kelly not to go to Stone-Arabia; and that Stone-Arabia and Canajoharie would be cut off and burned as soon as the snow was gone. And the said Joseph further informed the deponent that one of the heads of the Onondagas was killed at Canada, otherwise all would have been well; but now it was all over. And the said Joseph further said that he had killed two Yankees, and that he had told General Schuyler of it, and was not afraid to tell anybody of it. Further saith not.

  FANNY her

mark.
KELLY.
  POLLY her

mark.
CONNER.

Caughnawaga, March 25th, 1776: Sworn before me,

JELLIS FONDA, Justice.


The Testimony of Captain HENRY HANSON.

TRYON COUNTY:

Personally appeared before me, Jellis Fonda, Esq., one of his Majesty’s Justices of the Quorum for said County, Captain Henry Hanson, of the Mohawk’s country, and being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, deposeth and saith:

That on or about the 10th day of March instant, one of the Mohawk Indians (Hoonce Dowick by name) asked

Table of Contents List of Archives Top of Page
Previous   Next