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History of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present online

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Gov. Evans, with several persons, visited
the Indians, and among others met the Nan-
tikokes, and while among them, one of them
took into his hands a belt of wampum fi-om
a line whereon there hung nineteen others,
and several strings of beads, and said, ' ' they
had been given to under.stand the Queen had
sent orders that the Indians should live in

' peace with one another, and that they were
sent to give some of these belts in behalf of
the Governor of Maryland, and themselves,
to the Five Nations. Governor. — How long
have you been at peace with these nations?
Nantikoke, — Twenty-seven years. Governor.
What is the reason then of so many belts of
wampum and strings of beads ? Nantikoke. —

j We send them as tribute."

j /At a meeting of the Council, June 16, 1706,
tlle^Indians were informed that a law had
been enacted that no person should trade
with them, but such as should first have a
license from the Governor. They desired
that only two persons should be allowed to
trade with them; but it was answered that

, they would be the more subject to be imposed

; on, the fewer should trade with them. They
further desired that none might be suffered
to go up into the country beyond their towns
to meet the Indians returning from hunting,
for they sustain great damage by that prac-
tice, by being made drunk at their return
before they got home to their wives, and so

j were imposed on and cheated by the traders
of the fruits of all their labors. Upon this
they were desired to take care among them-
selves that none of their people should sell
anything to the traders till they came home
to their own towns. And in licenses that

j should be given for the future, the Governor
would take care to oblige them not to go any

I higher into the country than the noted Indian
towns, and to trade nowhere else.* On the

1 «II Col. Eec 248.


/23d of July, 1712, several Indians being
'' arrived from Conestogoe on business of im-
portance, met the Council. Tagodrancj' or
Civility, a war captain and chief with Tan-
yahtickahungh, the old speaker, Knawonhunt
and Soachkoat, two brothers, and some others
being sate, they first presented a bundle of
deerskins, and by Indian Harry, their inter-
preter, said: "That the Proprietor, Gov.
Penn, had, at his first coming amongst them,
made an agreement with them that they
should always live as friends and brothers,
and be as one body, one heart, one mind, and
as one eye and ear, and that what one saw
the other should see, and what the one heard,
the other should hear, and that there should
be nothing but love and friendship between
them and us forever." They presented a
small' bundle of furs and said, that on their
part they had always kept up to this agree-
ment, and should constantly observe it in all
respects; that if anything came to their
knowledge relating to us they would always, ;
like brothers and friends, acquaint us with
it, and if, at any time, any foreigner's or ;
strangers came among them they would give
notice of it immediately at Philadelphia, and
in all things would acquit themselves accord-
ing to what they had promised and engaged.
They presented two bundles of skins together,
and said that on our part we had promised
them to regulate the trade that was carried
on with them at Conestogoe and had spoken
of licenses to be given to the traders, by
which means all abuses were to be rectified.
But that since licenses were granted they
found themselves worse dealt by than ever;
they received less for the goods they sold the
traders ; were worse treated and suffered more ;
injuries, which they desired the Council to
inquire into and know why it was so and
cause it to be redressed. They presented a
fifth bundle, and said that the cattle the
traders kept, hurt and destroyed their corn.
The Council having taken into consideration
the complaints of the Indians, ordered that
the traders whose cattle had done damage
should be forthwith obliged to make compen-
sation, and that they should remove to a ;
greater distance and not be allowed on any
terms to keep any cattle or horses than what
are for their immediate service, unless they
should live on purchased land.* '

Sir William Keith, whose name is associ- |
ated with the first surveys made in the terri-
tory now comprising the county of York,
arrived from England, on the 31st of May,
1717. with a commission from the Proprietor
and the Royal Approbation, to be Lieutenant- I

«II Col. Rec. 553. ■ I


Governor of the province. On the 15th of
July* he informed the Provincial Council
I that he intended to set out for Conestogoe
the next morning, and goods to the value of
£20 were provided as presents for the Indians.
A number of the members of the Council
accompanied him, and on the 8th of July the
chiefs and others of the Conestogoe or Min-
goe Indians, the Delawares, the Shawanese
and the Ganawese, all inhabitants upon or
near the banks of the Susquehanna, met
them. The Governor told the Indians that
he had lately been sent over by their great
and good friend and brother, William Penn,
to act in his place and stead in affairs of
government, while he himself was absent
near the great King and Emperor of the Eng-
lish. iThat the Governor and his Council had
come to inquire what new matter had befallen
them, and to give them all necessary assis-
tance. /The Mingoes, or Indians of Conesto-
goe, answered that they wanted to know what
Christians had settled back in the woods
behind Virginia and Carolina. The Governor
answered that the settlements of Maryland,
Virginia and Carolina, to the southward,
were subject to the same great King of
England and had nations of Indians under
their protection. ) It was then related that,
the son of a chie.' of the Delawares had been
killed by a large company made up of Chris
tians and Indians, while hunting, i During
the same conference complaint came from
Virginia of the killing of some Catawba
Indians by the Senecas. ) It was then said to
them that to hui't or molest the Indians who
were in friendship with any English govern-
ment was a breach of the league of friendship.
And thereupon a treaty was made.

First, for their strict observance of all form
er contracts of friendship made between them
and the government of Pennsylvania. See
ondly, That they must never molest or dis-
turb any of the English governments, nor
make war upon any Indians whatsoever, who
are in friendship with and under the pro-
tection of the English. Thirdly, That in all
cases of suspicion or danger they must ad-
vise and consult with this government, before
they undertook or determined anything.
Fourthly, That if through accident any mis-
chief of any sort should happen to be done by
the Indians to the English, or by the English
to them, then both parties should meet with
hearty intention of good will to obtain an ack-
nowledgment of the mistake, as well as
to give or receive reasonable satisfaction.
Fifthly, That upon these terms and condi-
tions the Governor did, in the name of their

*II Col. Rec. 19.


great and good friend William Penn, take
them and their people under the same pro-
tection and in the same friendship with this
Government, as William Penn himself had
formerly done and would do now if he were
present. To which the several chiefs and
their great men assented, it being agreed that
in testimony thereof they should rise up and
take the Governor by the hand, which ac-
cordingly they did with all possible marks of
friendship on their countenance and behav-

7 ^tithe war with the southern Indians the
' Conestogoes had lost their king, and at the
meeting of the Council, June 16, 1718, they
presented a new one, by the name of One-
shanayan, "who had an English heart and
great love for the Chriatians."y

At this conference, Tagotalessa or Civility
chief or captain of the Conestogoe Indians,
with other chiefs of the same nation, a chief
of the Shawanese above Conestogoe, George,an
Indian sent to represent the Gawanese, and a
chief of the Delawares, formerly on Brandy-
wine, all then inhabitants on the Susquehanna,
came from their respective habitations to pay a
visitto the government, andjwaited on the Gov-
ernor and Council, and John Cartlidge and
James Hendricks, being interpreters, both
skilled in the Delaware tonguey After stating
that they came only on a friendly visit, and to
renew the old league of friendship and pre-
senting a bundle of skins, Civility, among
other things, said "that he with some of the
young men had this last spring some incli-
nation to go out to war toward the south
ward, but being put in mind that it would
not be agreeable to this government, and af-
terward receiving the Governor's letter for-
bidding them to proceed, they desisted; that
they intend to go out this next winter
a-hunting that way, and think it proper to
acquaint this government therewith, for that
they bear such a respect to the government,
and know that we have always been so ready
to protect and assist them, that they are
agreed not to do anything which will be dis-
agreeable to us; that they look upon them-
selves but like children, rather to be directed
by this government, than tit to offer anything
more on this head. But they mast crave leave
to add one thing further, viz. ; that they have
reason to think that the authority of this |
government is not duly observed, for that
notwithstanding all our former agreements,
that ram should not be brought among them,
it is still carried in great quantities. They
have been doubtful with themselves whether

they should mention this, because if they were
supplied with none from hence, they would
be from Maryland, which would be a means
of carrying ofl' their peltry thither, but there
have been such quantities of that liquor car-
ried of late amongst them by loose persons
who have no fixed settlements, that they are
apprehensive mischief may arise from it; that
though they are perfectly well inclined when
sober, yet they cannot answer for their peo-
ple when drunk, and lest any inconveniences
may ensue from thence to this government,
whom they so much respect, as well as their
own people, they desire this may be taken
into consideration in order to be prevented
and redressed by all proper measures." The
Delaware chief, who was present, added that
"the young men about Paxtan had been lately
so generally debauched with rum, carried
amongst them by strangers, that they now
want all manner of clothing and necessaries
to go a hunting, wherefore they wish it
would be so ordered that no rum should be
brought amongst them, by any except the
traders who furnish them with all other nec-
essaries, and who have been used to trust
them, and encourage them in their hunting."
The Governor on the next day replied, that
"he could not take in good part their motions
towards going to war last spring, consider-
ing they had engaged themselves to the con-
trary in their last treaty with him at Cones-
togoe, that they might draw i^owerf ul enemies
upon them and engage their friends into their
quarrels." That they had "too just cause to
complain of loose idle fellows bringing quan-
tities of rum amongst them to their great in-
jury, and that this had not for some time past
been sufficiently looked after, but he would
speedily take care to have it in a great meas-
ure prevented. That they of their parts must
endeavor to prevent their women and young
people from coming to Philadelphia to
purchase and carry up rum from hence, which
too many were ready to deliver them private-
ly for their skins, and that when they meet
with any brought amongst them, they should
stave it, as they had formerly been ordered
and undertook to do."

,' rh reference to the surveys of land, he
s&id, "they cannot but be sensible of the care
that has been taken of them; they had ex-
pressed a willingness to retire from Cones-
togoe, yet the government here had persuaded
them to continue near us; we had run a line
aroand them that none might come near
them, and had fenced their cornfields by
John Cartlidge's care, who alone being placed
within those lines may be more capable of
looking after the tract, and the bounds of it. It


is also further thought fit that lines should be
run around the other Indian towns, as soon as
conveniently may be to secure them the more
effectually from encroachments. But while
such care is taken of them, it is expected they
shall in all cases on their parts show a due
regard to this government, that they be aiding
to all its officers in what may lie in their
power, that they suffer no idle persons to
spread rumors amongst them, or if they hew-
any such that they give no credit to them,
that if they can discover any evil minded
persons to have ill designs against this gov-
ernment, or any part of it, they must without
delay disclose it to the Governor, or some per-
son in authority under him." There were
then provided for the Indians a few garments,
■with some powder and shot to kill venison,
some tobacco and pipes, some bread, and a
dram was provided for them when they
went. *

After the death of William Penn, which
occurred on the 30th July, 1718, Col.
French, on behalf of the government, at
Conestogoe in 1719, met the. following rep-
resentatives of tribes: Canatowba, Queen
of the Mingoes; Sevana, King of the Shaw-
anese; "Wightomina, King of the Delawares;
Wininchach, King of the Conowagoes. (This
is the first mention of the tribe of the Gone-
wagoes.) Captain Civility of Conestogoe
was also present, being interpreter of the
several nations represented. This Captain
Civility was for many years the spokesman
on behalf of the Indians at Conestogoe,
whose name will be frequently met with,
acting as interpreter, and corresponding with
the government, and figuring much in coun-
cils. His influence was evidently very great
with both sides. His Indian name has already
been given as Tagotalessa, Tagodrancy, and
others less pronouncable, and he is described
as a "descendant of the ancient Susquehanna
Indians, the old settlers of these parts, but
also reputed of Iroquois descent."

Mutual complaints were made by the In-
dians of the respective provinces of Virginia
and Pennsylvania to the government. The
Indian chiefs at Conestogoe complained that
their Indian hunters had been attacked near
the head of the Potomac Kiver by a consid-
erable body of Southern Indians, come out to
war against the Five Nations, and the settle-
ments on the Susquehanna, and ten Mingoes
had been killed. But at the same time there
came ofiicial complaints from the Governgr of
Virginia. The Shawanese said that two of
their men had been killed. James Logan
asked if they had been abroad hunting. He

was answered, No. They had gone out to
war. He then demanded the reason why
they should offer to go to war after their solemn
promise to our Government to the contrary.
The chief of the Shawanese replied that a dis-
pute arising among some of their young men,
who was the best man, to end it they resolved'
to make the trial by going out to war, that
they could not be restrained, and went out
with some of the Five Nations.*
,-' A treaty made on the 6th of July, 1721, f
by Gov. Keith, was published in the
Philadelphia Gazette at the time, as "The
Particulars of an Indian Treaty, at Cones-
togoe, between his Excellency, Sir William
Keith, Bart., Governor of Pennsylvania, and
the deputies of the Five Nations, and where-
by appears the method of managing those
people at that time." There had occiirred a
disagreement betweeh the Pennsylvania and
Virginia Indians, the same against whom the J
war feeling had existed, which demanded
the attention of the government. The Gov
ernor visited Virginia that year. On the
5th of July he arrived at Conestogoe about
noon, and in the evening went to Captain
Civility's cabin, where four deputies of the
Five Nations and a few more of their people
came to see him. This was said to be the
first time that the Five Nations had sent any
of their chiefs to visit the Governor of Penn-
sylvania. The first branch of the treaty was
with the Conestogoe Indians on account of
the troubles with those of Virginia. The
Governor said: "I am but just now returned
from Virginia, where I wearied myself in a
long journey, both by land and water, only
to make peace for you, my children, that you
may safely hunt in the woods without danger
from Virginia and any Indian nations that
are at peace with that government. But the
Governor of Virginia expects that you will
not hunt within the great mountains on the
other side of the Potomac River, being it is a
small tract of land which he keeps for the
Virginia Indians to hunt in. And he promises
that his Indians shall not any more come on
this side of the Potomac, or behind the great
mountain, this way to disturb your hunting,
and this is the condition I have made for
you, which I expect you will firmly keep,
and not break it on any consideration what-
soever." The second branch of the treaty
was with the Five Nations. As that cele-
brated confederacy owned the lands pur-
chased for our people, their doings are of
interest to us. In the course of the speech
of Ghesaont on behalf of the Five Nations,

^*inCoI. Eeo.92.

tin Col. Kec. 123— Proud 132.


he said " though they cannot write, yet
the}' retain everything said in their councils
witii all the nations they treat with, and pre-
serve it carefully in their memories, as if it
was committed in our method to writing.
They complain that our traders carrying
goods and liquors up Susquehanna River,
sometimes meet with their young people go-
ing out to war, and treat them unkindly, not
only refusing to give them a dram of liquor,
but use them with ill language and call them
dogs, etc. They take this unkindly because
dogs have no sense or understanding, where-
as they are men, and think that their brothers
should not compare them to such creatures.
That some of our traders calling their young
men by these names, the young men an-
swered If they were dogs, they might act as
such, whereupon they seized a keg of liquor
and ran away with it." N. B. This seems to
be told in their artful way, to excuse some
small robberies that had been committed by
their young people. — Gazette.

"Then, laying down a belt of wampum upon
the table, he proceeded and said that all their
disorders arose from the use of rum and
strong spirits, which took away their sense
and memory; that they had no such liquors
among themselves, but were hurt with what
we furnished them, and therefore desired that
no more of that sort might be sent amongst
them." This speech of Ghesaont is a line
specimen of Indian eloquence, and now ex-
hibits their force in the use of metaphor.
"He presented a bundle of dressed skins, and
said that the Five Nations faithfully
remembered all their ancient treaties, and
now desire that the chain of friendship
between them and us may be made so strong
as that none of the links can ever be broken.
Presents another bundle of skins and ob-
serves that a chain may contract rust with
lying and become weaker; wherefore he
desires it may now be so well cleaned as to
remain brighter and stronger than ever it
was before. Presents another parcel of skins
and says that as in the firmament, all
clouds and darkness are removed from the
face of the sun, so they desire that all mis-
understandings may be fully done away. So
that then when they who are now here shall,
be dead and gone, their whole people, with
their children and posterity, may enjoy the
clear sunshine of friendship with us forever,
without anything to interpose and obscure it.
Presents another bimdle of skins and says
that looking upon the Governor as if William
Penn was present, they desire that in case
any disorders should hereafter happen be-
tween their young people and ours, we should

not be too hasty in resenting any such acci-
dent, until their council and ours should have
some opportunity to treat amicably upon it,
and so to adjust all matters as that the friend-
ship between us may still be inviolably pre-
served. Presents a small bundle of dressed
skins, and desires that we may now be
together as one people, treating one another's
children kindly and affectionately on all
occasions. He proceeds and says that they
consider themselves in this treaty as the full
plenipotentiaries and representatives of the
Five Nations, and they look upon the Gov-
ei-nor as the great King of England' s Repre-
sentative, and therefore they expect that
everything now stipulated will be made ab-
solutely firm and good on both sides. Among
other things, presenting a bundle of bear
skins, he said that having now made a
firm league with us, as becomes our brothers,
they complain that they get too little for
their skins and furs, so as they cannot live by
their hunting; they desire us therefore to
take compassion on them and contrive some
way to help them in that particular."

On the 8th of July, the Governor and his
Council, at the house of John Cartlidge, Esq.,
iving advised upon and
proper present, in return for that
of the Indians, which consisted of a quantity
of stroud match coats, gunpowder, lead, bis-
cuit, pipes and tobacco, the Governor made
his speech in reply to that of the Five
Nations from which the following extract is
made:* "As to what you have said of trade,
I suppose the great distance at which you
live from us prevented all commerce between
us and your people; we believe those who go
into the woods and spend all their time upon
it endeavor to make the best bargains they
can for themselves; so on your part you must
take care to make the best bargain you can
with them, but we hope our traders do not
exact, for we think that a stroud coat or a
pound of powder is now sold for no more
buck-skins than formerly, f

The skins they delivered in the morning liaving
been numbered and weighed as ordered, they were

found to be,
38 summer Deer Skins in the hair, many of them
ordinary, wt. 681. at 18d., £5. 2.

10 small Drest Deer Skins, wt. 181. at 3-6d, 3. 2.
1 Good Winter Buck in the hair, 6.

3 Bear Skins a 8 ps. 16.

£8. 6.
What is prepared & was now Delivered them, are
8 Stroud Water Coats of the best sort, a

17-6d. ~ £7. 0.

10 lb. of Powder, a 20d. 16. 8

20 lb. Lead, a 3d, 5.



6 pr. Stockings, pt. Blew & pt. Red, a 3-9d. 16. 6

1 Dozn. Tobacco Boxes, a 7.

1 Dozn. Tobacco Tongs, a 4. 6

13 lb. Tobacco, a4d., 4.

3 Dozn Pipes. 1-

1 Red Stroud to the Queen, 17. 6

£10. 12. 3
These being Delivered the Governour Gave them
an Entertainment, and the Secretary was Ordered to
provide for them as from the fflrat, all necessarys
During their stay & for their Journey on their return

'•Beaver is not of late much used in Europe,
and therefore does not give so good a price,
and we deal but very little in that commodity.
Bat deer skins sell veiy well amongst us, and
I shall always take care that the Indians be not
wronged, but except other measures be taken
to regulate the Indian trade everywhere the
common methods used in trade will still be
followed, and every man must take care of
himself, for thus I must do myself, when I
buy anything from our own people; if I do
Aot give them their price, they will keep it,
for we are a free people. I am sensible rum
is very hurtful to the Indians; we have made
laws that none should be carried amongst
them, or if any were, that it should be staved
and thrown upon the ground, and the Indians
have been ordered to destroy all the rum that
comes in their way. But they will not do it;
they will have rum, and when we refuse it
they will travel to the neighboring provinces
and fetch it. Their own women go to pur-
chase it, and then sell it amongst their own
people, at excessive rates. I would gladly
make any laws to prevent this that could be
effectual, but the country is so wide, the
woods are so dark and private, and so far
out of my sight, that if the Indians them-
selves do not prohibit it, their own people,
there is no other way to prevent it. For
my part I shall readily join in any meas-
ures that can be proposed for so good a
purpose. "

/These interviews between the provincial
Grovernors and the Indians will serve to rep-
resent in some sort to our minds the political
relations of each to the other, the manner of
their social intercourse, and of the unhappy

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 6 of 218)