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Troops for the purpose of training; but 1 forbade them to be carried out of it. I have ventured on my own risk to send them, but know not how soon the Council will order them to be returned. I beg leave to inform you that the spirit of the troops is high, and hope their ardor in the generous struggle will produce its proper effects, provided they can be supplied with arms, which there is no probability of our being able to procure in this place.
The commanding officer at Lewes has sent up to Head-Quarters the Third Lieutenant of the man-of-war, and three soldiers, who were put on board the alarm pilot there, by them taken, and fitted out for a tender. On Wednesday, the 27th ultimo, cruising to the southward of the Cape, they sent all their men on board a Plymouth sloop they had made prize of, except the Lieutenant and three others. About four oclock, next morning, the helmsman falling asleep, Providence steered the boat ashore, and they were soon after taken.
The Lieutenant informs us that the Roebuck left England last September, bound to Halifax, where she wintered, commanded by Captain Hammond. She carries forty-four eighteen and nine-pounders, mounted, and can mount ten more. I propose to keep the officers and men here under guard till the Congress is pleased to direct in what manner they shall be disposed of.
I am, sir, with the greatest respect, your most humble servant,
JOHN HASLETT, Colonel.
To the Honourable Colonel Hancock.
PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS TO GENERAL PUTNAM.
Philadelphia, April 8, 1776.
SIR: On Saturday I received a letter from General Heath requesting that some money might be sent to New-York for the use of the troops, which I immediately laid before Congress, and was authorized to forward one hundred thousand dollars; which I have accordingly sent by Captain Nathaniel Faulkner; and as I am uninformed whether the Paymaster is arrived at New-York, I have directed Mr. Faulkner to deliver the money to you. If the Paymaster is with you, please to order it to his care, for the use of the troops; if not, you will order the money to be improved for the payment of the troops under your command.
Please to acquaint General Heath that I received his letter, but have not time to write him now. You will please to forward me a receipt for the money.
Last evening I had the honour of your letter by Major Sherburne, desiring that three hundred thousand dollars may be sent for the use of the troops. As the Congress does not meet this day, I have judged it best to detain Major Sherburne here until I know the determination of Congress, which I shall know to-morrow, and whatever further sum they order I will despatch by Major Sherburne. In the mean time I have thought it most proper to send forward, by Captain Faulkner, the one hundred thousand dollars, as that sum may be improved until the other arrives.
I have the honour to be, with sentiments of esteem, sir, your most obedient servant,
JOHN HANCOCK, President.
To Major-General Putnam, Commanding the Continental Troops at New-York.
RICHARD BUTLER TO COLONEL JAMES WILSON.
Fort Pitt, April 8, 1776.
SIR: I send this by express to inform you that Kiosola, and two other Indians, messengers from Colonel Butler, the Kings Agent at Niagara, and the Commandant of the Six Nations, with a letter to Captain McKee, and a message to Kiosola, arrived there the 3d instant; a copy of which I send enclosed. Kiosola delivered the wampum he received, with a speech from the Six Nations, desiring his attendance at a treaty to be held at Niagara, and one from Colonel Butler and the commandant, to the same purport. He seemed determined to go, although he asked Captain Nevilles and my advice; and as we saw it would be of no use to, attempt to stop him, we thought it best to send him off pleased; therefore, delivered him a small speech, (No. 1,) and one as from yourself and the other Commissioners, (No. 2;) and as I had an opportunity to the Delawares, I sent them the speech, No. 3; all which I hope will meet your approbation. I considered that it would be best that the strange Indians should have a good opinion of us, therefore made them welcome, and sent them well pleased away, at as small an expense as possible. Kiosola desires me to inform you that he has but one heart, and that he will say or do nothing contrary to his engagements last fall; and that he does not doubt of preserving peace, as by what he hears from the Six Nations they mean no other. The Onondaga man (one of the messengers) says, that after Montreal was reduced, there came a great quantity of goods round by the north side of Lake Ontario, in a great many periaugurs to Niagara, and that great presents will be made there to the Indians. There are but few Indians come here from any quarter, and I think they would know their own importance, and expect their friendship shall be purchased as well as courted; yet, with prudent management, I believe they may be kept quiet at no very great expense.
The Indians are not a little alarmed, Kiosola tells me, at the exorbitant price of goods, that our traders charge them, and the great scarcity of ammunition and goods. They say, that at the treaty last fall here, we were to be one people; but that it seems as if we meant to take advantage of them by the times, and advising them to have nothing to do in taking part with those that could and would supply them reasonably if applied to; that they think it very odd at this time, when their relationship is desired, that these advantages should be taken to extort on them, when they could be supplied by the northward people at the usual terms; and he positively desired to know the reason, and when it might be expected to be remedied, that he might inform the people that might ask him. I gave him the following answers:
Friend Kiosola, it is true, it is hard just now; but our great men have your welfare at heart as well as ours, and will remedy that inconveniency as soon as possibleI hope between this and fall. The reason is this: we used to buy our goods from the people in England; but the present dispute hinders us from that now; but the people of Canada bought a great deal of goods from them last year, and have not yet sold them all; and we bought none, therefore are scarce; and for the future neither the Canadians nor us will buy any more English goods till these disputes are settled; but have sent to France and other parts, and that I am of opinion against fall they will be both plentifully and reasonably supplied, and I hope they would not be uneasy.
I inquired his reasons for not proceeding with the big belt last fall. He says he was disappointed by Captain Pipe, who was to have met him at the Moravian Town, as Mr. Gibson told him, but did not; then, he says, Mr. Gibson promised to send two of the Delawares from Newcomers Town to him at the Wyandot Town, to go with him; but after his waiting there tea days, and seeing no likelihood of their coming, he thought it too difficult to attempt alone, and resolved on coming back. He says he called some of the Wyandots together, and charged them to be careful of their young men, and see that they did no mischief; and that he sent a message by a Wyandot man to the western tribes to inform them that there had been a Council here, and that what was said was very good; and that the messenger was to go by the Picts, and then to the Northern tribes, and relate what he was charged with. I then told him that the accounts that went to Philadelphia were, that he was stopped, and that the Northern tribes had threatened to cut the big belt in pieces if he offered to proceed; all which, he says, is false, and that they said nothing of the kind, but seemed quite well pleased. I then asked how Mr. Gibson came to be threatened by Logan. He says it was a report that came to the Wyandot Town by a Mingo man, and he thought it might be so; therefore had word sent to Mr. Gibson for fear, and that he might take care.
I called on Mr. McKee the 1st ultimo, and informed him that I had accounts of two messengers from Niagara, and that they had letters which I supposed must be for him; which I expected to be informed of on their arrival, and their embassy, and the contents of the letters, so far as they respected the good of the United Colonies; which he promised I should. On their arrival, Mr. McKee went to Colonel