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Croghans, and there received his letter and the other messages already mentioned. Mr. Croghan, being chairman of the Committee, wrote to Mr. Thomas Smallman and Mr. John Campbell, to call on Mr. McKee to see his letter, and take his parole that he would not leave the neighbourhood of Pittsburgh till the next meeting of the Committee, which is to be on the 16th instant. It was shown to me, and my attendance desired, with Captain Neville to be present. We all attended, and Mr. Smallman gave Mr. Mc-Kee the letter from the Chairman. And on Mr. Smallmans demanding Mr. McKees letter, he immediately complied, and gave it. It was read by Mr. Smallman, Campbell, and myself. His parole was then demanded, as above, which he complied with, and I forbade his sending any despatches, or doing any business with the Indians, without my knowledge, before Captain Neville, Messrs. Smallman and Grayson; which he promised also not to do. Mr. McKee observed that the spring business is now on, and his presence necessary at his farm; he expected he would be allowed to go to and from it till then, which was allowed by both Messrs. Campbell and Smallman. I cannot help reflecting a little on the proceedings against that gentleman, who really behaved very well on the occasion; for after they had agreed that he might go to and from his farm, on his parole, Mr. Campbell made a verbal demand the next morning of his parole in writing, which Mr. McKee looked upon as an unbecoming demand, as they had agreed to each others demands and requests the day before, and that it had some design rather to offend, or put Mr. McKee to take measures (by straining their authority) that are quite unnecessary, if they proceed in a decent manner; and their taking those ill-marked steps may not have the effect that true friends to their country would wish; we therefore told Mr. Campbell that, when the Committee called on him in writing, he must answer them in writing also. I cannot help thinking there is more ill-nature than is necessary shown to that gentleman, as he is detained here ever since. I look upon it a little impolitick hindering him to speak to these Indians at this time, as there might still be some of the Committee or myself present, where anything might be said with safety, as a speech might be preconcerted that would save all appearances of our suspicion of their intending any harm, at the same time that proper care would be taken that they should do none. And I must say, in justice to Mr. McKee, that I have not seen one act that discovered an inimical intention to this country, as he might have done mischief, had he been so inclined, and gone where he would be caressed for it. Sir, this is not my single opinion, but of several respectable inhabitants of this country; and further, that he has been much more quiet than some others that would fain be thought great friends now. I cannot but think, sir, that Mr. McKee should have been prohibited doing any Indian business long ago, as it was reasonable to think that as long as he was not, there would be some directions to him, if but to try his attachment, and it would have kept those northward messengers from amongst our Indians, who are set a stir by any speech from any quarter.
April 9th.This day Mr. John Gibson arrived with several Shawnees, to whom Captain Neville spoke, and informed them that to-morrow he would receive the white prisoners and the slaves. For other accounts relative to them, I refer you to Mr. Gibson, who writes by this express, which I have detained four days for his coming. I intend to address them to the same purport that I have the Delawares, as soon as Mr. Gibson has done the business with them.
Sir, there has been a survey made by Colonel William Crawford, of the long island, about four miles below this place, in the Ohio, for John Marvie and Charles Syms, Esqrs., and Captain John Neville, which is a direct breach of the treaty of Fort Stanwix, and the treaty here last fall; and the consequences are much dreaded by many people of these parts, as it is a precedent that will be apt to be followed by many; and that it will furnish the officers of the Crown, now going to treat with the Indians, with arguments that may tend much to the dishonour and disadvantage of the Colonies, as we should be punctual in observing our treaties with them, if we expect they should with us. I thought it my duty to acquaint you of it, that such steps may be taken as you may think proper to direct, to prevent any further proceedings of the kind, or any mischief that might follow; as I am sure that John Montour will paint it to our disadvantage on his return, as he claims it by virtue of his fathers claim as an Indian, and it has been often talked of by Custologa, Captain Pipe, and other Indians. When an attempt was made to improve it by some white man, and John Montour proposed selling his right of it, they said it was not to sell it, that Montour was allowed to improve it, but, as an Indian, he might settle it, or any other part of their land.
Dear sir, I am obliged to renew the request of a little ammunition, as I find that all messengers expect a little, by way of provision for their return home. Captain Neville has let me have a little for the Onondaga and Mohawk men; and if I should refuse them, it not only implies a distrust, but exposes our poverty. As to other things, I can still get, though high. A smith is very much wanted. I hope you will be so kind as to give me directions, per return of this express, concerning these matters. I hope, sir, you will not take amiss my reminding you that a strict attention to Indian affairs is absolutely necessary, as the peace of the frontier country depends on their being quiet; and to the contrary, if we should be disturbed or driven, we must then oppress the interior part, that is too much distressed already. I have sent, some time past, for George Allen, and expect him every day. As soon as he receives his present, I shall take the first opportunity to inform you and the Assembly of it.
I have just called on Mr. Gibson, and informed him of my having your authority for superseding him; and when he had done the business that he had with these Indians, (which I understood is on account of the Virginia Commissioners,) it was your directions to me to let him know he was to do no more Indian business here. He then told me he would set off to Philadelphia and would take these despatches; but thinking he would probably be detained some days on the road, and for other reasons, I thought it most prudent to send the express, as these matters ought to be laid before you as early as possible.
Dear sir, I hope you will be so kind as to give my most respectful compliments to Doctor Franklin; and be assured that I will use my utmost endeavours for the service of the Colonies.
I am, sir, with all due respect, your most obedient, humble servant,
Agent and Interpreter.
To Colonel James Wilson.
P. S. I am sorry to inform you that party spirit prevails here as much as ever; and, indeed, through the country in general. I could say much more on this subject, but as I am convinced of your friendship, I am determined to do my duty, and say nothing about these matters, as I know how they stand in your opinion, as well the authors of the disputes as the abetters.Kiosola talks of visiting the honourable the Congress, if agreeable, this summer. Shall be glad to know if so.
COLONEL JOHN BUTLER TO ALEXANDER McKEE.
Niagara, February 29, 1776.
DEAR SIR: I wrote you the 20th ultimo, acquainting you I was glad of the opportunity to inform you I was appointed to the care and charge of the Indian Department, in Colonel Johnsons absence. He has desired me to write you to meet me here at this place; and it is Colonel Caldwells orders, and mine, that you attend a meeting we propose to hold at Niagara the beginning of next May. Your knowledge in the Indian affairs; your hitherto undoubted zeal for his Majestys service, and the duty you owe to Government, makes your presence absolutely necessary at this place on or before the time above-mentioned; and as I now understand the Indian, who was to carry the same, has not proceeded to you, have hired an Onondaga Indian to carry this on purpose; by whose return I will expect your answer; in which I expect you will be kind enough to inform of anything worth notice that you may know respecting the proceedings of the Rebels your way. We have nothing worth notice to mention to you, only the reduction of Montreal by the Rebels, the particulars of which you must, long ere now,