|You are here: Home >> American Archives|
for goods to pass that way into their country. The passage at Fort Stanwix was also to be mentioned, which they were to desire not to be stopped. This was proposed to them, and the propriety of making such an address submitted to their determination.
The affair was deferred until to-morrow. This afternoon the speeches delivered by the Commissioners, at a late treaty held at Albany, were repeated to the whole assembly, who were convened for that purpose, upon a large green before the Council-House. The speeches seemed to engage their attention, and pretty general approbation, though it appeared to be the opinion of the Council, that the belts were not to be returned, or exchanged, as the Commissioners had desired that their talk might remain at Onondaga, as a testimony to after generations of the love and affection of the Twelve United Colonies. Upon our return to our encampment this evening, the subject of the address was introduced, and unanimously disapproved of by the Oneidas, the Tuscaroras, and the deputation from the seven tribes in Canada.
The next morning, the Quigogas came to see their brethren, the Oneidas, and desired to know their sentiments respecting the propriety of the address. The Oneidas answered, that they had disapproved of such an address at present, and could wish to have the Six Nations exercise patience a little while longer, and defer the matter till some future meeting, at Albany, which they expected would be some time the ensuing summer. The Quigogas were much dissatisfied with this reply, and insisted that the address ought to be presented as soon as possible, upon the meeting of the Council.
The Oneidas, in a decent manner, delivered their sentiments respecting the matters submitted to their determination, together with their reasons, &c., and desired it might at least be deferred till some future meeting, at Albany. The Senecas, Onondagas, and Mohawks, immediately went out to consult upon the affair. While they were out, the account of the reduction of Boston arrived; and upon their coming in, being told that I had received a letter from General Schuyler, desired to hear the contents of it directly. I read them the speech addressed by the General to the Six Nations, giving an account of the above important transaction. A variety of passions appeared in the faces of the assembly upon the recital. Some seemed much elated with joy, and others as much depressed with vexation and disappointment. Tegawanonde, the Onondaga speaker, then proceeded to answer the Oneidas, and finally declared that such a speech should be addressed to the Commissioners, in the name of the whole Six Nations; adding that there would be an alteration in their minds, if their requests were not complied with. Saghnagenrat, an Oneida Sachem, then rose and expressed his joy and thankfulness, that they had determined to petition for a trade, as usual; to desire that the passage by Fort Stanwix might not be shut up by the forces of the United Colonies; but particularly, that they had determined to have the door open for goods to come up from Quebeck. He assured them that he rejoiced at the prospect of the Kings finding a passage that way into the country of the Six Nations, who will then (said he) be a happy people indeed. And as for your belt, by which you mean to speak, it will, upon the first sight of it, bear away the mind of Thoniyoudakayon, (General Schuyler,) and you will, without doubt, obtain your whole request. This ironical form of address was heard in much silence by the opposite party, though I suppose they will, notwithstanding, persevere in their design.
Saghnagenrat then addressed himself to the whole assembly, and assured them that the Oneidas and Tuscaroras were unalterably fixed in their determination not to interfere in the present quarrel, or endeavour to obstruct or hinder, by words or otherwise, any of the military operations of the contending parties, while they themselves were uninjured; which was fully confirmed by a speech delivered by one of the principal warriors of the Oneida and Tuscarora tribes.
The Oneidas, &c. , could not account for the perseverance of the Senecas, &c., in their design of addressing the Commissioners, any other way than by supposing that Colonel Butler had made a speech to them for that purpose, as afterwards, by the confession of a particular person, appeared really to be the case; and was, I suppose, the speech which the Senecas concealed from the publick, on account of my being present.
This day the Council-fire was extinguished. This evening the Quigogas came to see us, and settled all difficulties subsisting between them and their brethren, the Oneidas, and renewed and strengthened their ancient covenant of brotherhood, &c.
3d.Set out from Onondaga, and arrived safe at Oneida, without meeting anything very worthy of observation.
The above sketch of the late transactions at Onondaga are respectfully submitted to the honourable Commissioners for Indian Affairs, in the Northern Department, by their very humble servant,
GENERAL THOMAS TO GENERAL WASHINGTON.
Montreal, April 27, 1776.
SIR: I have been so unfortunate, by reason of the lakes being blocked with ice, as not to be able to reach this city until last evening; and the troops which were at Albany and Fort George, waiting for the opening of the lakes, hare not yet arrived on this side; but as they are on their way, hope to see them in a few days.
I have endeavoured to inform myself from General Arnold, and other gentlemen in this city, of the state of our Army before Quebeck, and in other parts of the Province of Canada. I find that the troops who engaged only to the 15th of April are mostly on their return home, and cannot be prevailed upon to continue longer in the country; and by the information given me, have no reason to expect that when those who are on their way here shall arrive, the whole will much exceed four thousand, exclusive of the small number of Canadians, who have, and are likely to engage in the Continental service.
The artillery, powder, &c., are not yet arrived, and little or no preparations made, as I expected there would have been, for the defence of the country; not an artificer, as I can find, for building boats or floating batteries, which are, in my opinion, very necessary to defend the river, nor a person who understands the use of artillery, except those who are confined in Quebeck. The provisions are not more than sufficient to victual the troops to the 10th of May, and the Continental currency has but little credit, which makes it extremely difficult to discharge the debts contracted among the inhabitants, whose dispositions are not so friendly as heretofore, owing partly to their not being paid so punctually for their services as they were promised, and partly to their disappointment in not seeing the number of troops coming into the country which they had been taught to expect. When I mention the quantity of provisions, I mean the provisions already here, exclusive of three hundred barrels of pork which General Schuyler is sending forward.
The Committee of Congress have not yet arrived; and unless, on their arrival, they can give credit to the Continental currency, we shall be subjected to many inconveniences. I am not at present able to make out a perfect return of the troops here, but shall as soon as in my power.
From the situation of things, your Excellency will judge whether double the number of troops mentioned above will be more than sufficient for the defence of this Province, should there be a reinforcement of the Ministerial troops, as there is the utmost reason to suppose there will be, as soon as the navigation of the river will permit, especially considering the little dependance that is to be made on the Canadians.
I should have been happy could I, consistently with truth, have given a more pleasing account of the state of our affairs in Canada; but it is my duty to represent facts as they are.
I am, sir, with the greatest respect, your most obedient, humble servant,
To His Excellency General Washington.
GOVERNOUR TRUMBULL TO GENERAL WASHINGTON.
Lebanon, April 27, 1776.
SIR: I am favoured with your two letters of the 20th and 22d instant. Of the lead ore which is raising at Middletown, in this Colony, but a small quantity is yet smelted. The work is going on, and hope you may be supplied with lead from thence ere long. We are not furnished with as experienced workmen as we could wish; the only workman whose experience may be depended on is at present unfit for duty