Reswick and during Queen Anne's war against those incroachments of the French, that
induced the court of Great Brittain to insist at the Treaty of Utrecht upon an absolute
acknowledgement of the Dominion of Great Brittain over the Five Nations, which was
conceded to by the IS''' Article ; for as to their first time of settling near Oniagara, it was only
about the year 1720 ; and these three are the only settlements I know of, that the French have
in the Country of the Five Nations, how far these (complained of as before) will be from
supporting that assertion of the Gov"" of Canada, I submit.
N" 4. The settlement he is now making at Oniagara into a Fortification, is done in the sight
and in defyance of the Five Nations, and of the Treaty of Utrecht. The last conference with
the Five Nations at Albany in July last, will show how far they are from consenting to it;
they are too sensible of the consequences of it ever in their senses to consent. Possibly the
pretence he uses, in saying that it is only for a place of refreshment for Travellers, may, with
large presents have prevailed on some particular Men of the Five Nations to consent to it, as
was done at their former settlements at Cadaraghqui, Detroit and near Oniagara ; but the sad
experience, the Five Nations have found those refreshing places turned into Fortifications in
defyance of them, and that they keep them against the Treaty of Utrecht, and all the applications
that have been made for redress ; and by means of these they will before long, if a proper
remedy be not found, not only deprive the Five Nations of their Beaver Hunting Country, but
stop all intercourse between the English, and the Far Nations of Indians in allyance with the
Five Nations, as Oniagara is the Rout by which they come.
As to the Four prisoners, it would seem that the Gov" of Fennsilvania is the most proper
person to make remarks on that part of the letter.'
Governor Clinton to the Duke of Bedford.
[ New- York Papers. ( S. P. 0. ) XL, 224. ]
My Lord Duke.
By this opportunity I do myself the honour, to acquaint Your Grace, that M' Bradley, His
Maj'y"' Attorney General for this province died the 28"" inst:
' The above Notes were written about the last of August or boginning of September. Governor Clinton's letter to
the Governor of Pennsylvania, transmitting that of M. de la Jonquiere, is dated 2. September 1751. Pennsylvania Colonial
Recordi, Y., 55S. —En.
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXX. , 737
Your Grace is well acquainted with the importance of that Office, and how much the dignity
and authority of His Ma,'>'' Govern' within this province depends upon the fittness and ability
of the Person, that is to succeed M"^ Bradley.
The want of those qualities in an Attorney General, together with the particular infirmities
of M' Bradley, have greatly embarrassed my Administration, weakened my hands and exposed
not only my authority, but my person to such rudeness and insult as would upon a general
report, scarce be credited at a distance, of which 1 have been obliged to give Your Grace, and
my friends the trouble of receiving some information.
About two years ago I recommended to Your Grace the appointment of William Smith Esq: to
that Office, and took that care at that time, that Your Grace should be informed of his character.
I then obtained M' Smiths consent to accept that Office, attended with his earnest request,
that an application might be made for a provision for M"' Bradley, and his family, without
which he signified to me in the strongest terms, that he could not with pleasure accept it.
The late event has removed all difficulties on that head, and upon the first notice of M' Bradley's
death I immediately appointed Nr Smith to the Office, and ordered it to be notified to him,
who waited upon me with his thanks, and an assurance of his faithful discharge of that duty.
I immediately ordered His Commission to be made out dureing pleasure, and this day I have
put the seal to it, including the Offices of Attourney General and Advocate General which are
so connected in point of duty within this province, that they can not well be seperated, or
granted to different persons, and 1 am informed that every Attourney General has exercised both.
As to M'' Smith's Character I beg leave now only to add, to what I formerly informed Your
Grace: That he was born in England at Newport Pagnel in Buck's County in 1697, and had
an University Education, and the degree of Master of Arts, was admitted to the Bar here in
1725. wliere he has ever since practised with very great reputation, and an universal good
Character, and in his principles is firmly attached to present happy establishment, and is by far
the most fit, and able person in this province to execute the said Offices.
Wherefore I must intreat your Grace, that he may obtain His Maj''''' own appointm' of him
for the said Office with the like salary of ^150. sterling yearly, as the late M'' Bradley and
others his predecessors Attourneys General of this province usually had.
I think it proper to remark to Your Grace that M'' Piiiilipse, second Judge of the supreme
Court, having died three days before the beginning of the last Court in July, there was an
absolute necessity of forthwitii appointing another. I thought of John Chambers Esq: to fill
the vacancy, a CJentleman who has practised the law here above twenty five years, witii a
good reputation, and a large estate, and a person, the most aggreable to the whole province, as
he has always behaved with moderation, never countenancing any faction.
Upon my offer of the Office to him, he declined it unless it were granted dureing good
behaviour, with such strong reasons, as convinced me of the necessity and fitness of granting
of the Office to him in that manner, and I have not the least reason to believe that either I or
any of my successors, or the people in General will have any cause to wish he had a less
tenure in the office. I have the honour to be with the greatest respect
My Lord Duke
Your Grace's most obedient
Fort George in New York and most humble servant
31" August: 1751 (signed) G.Clinton.
His Grace the Duke of Bedford.
Vol. Vr. 93
738 NEW- YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
Governor Clinton to the Lwds of Trade.
[ New-York Papers, Bnndle li., No. 9. ]
Since I received the State of Indian affairs drawn up by M' Golden, I have had information
from the commanding Officer at Oswego, that a considerable body of French and Indians had
passed by that place, in order to drive ail the English Traders among the Indians away, and
to detter all the Indian Nations from having any commerce with the English. By the same
account I am informed, that the French are building a Vessel of Force on Cadaraghqui Lake.
The Indians who gave the information, say, that they saw the Cannon which are to be put on
Board that Vessel. If the French go on in this manner without obstruction, or any thing done
on our part, to secure us and the Indians in friendship with us, the French in a little time
must obtain an absolute influence over all the Indian Nations on the Continent; and a vessel
of such Force, as this is said to be, will be sufficient to disposess us of Oswego.
Of what consequence this may, in time be of to the safety, as well as to the British
Commerce among the Indians, Your LordPP' will easily perceive, and how much the Indian
affairs deserve your attention.
Without directions and instructions of a different nature from any hitherto given, no Gov',
in my opinion, has it in his power to do what is requisite for preserving the fidelity of the
Indians, and securing commerce among them, and therefore 1 hope your Lord^P' will excuse
my recommending of this matter to your Lord^P' consideration, that some method may be
speedily thought on to secure the Colonies against the designs of the French, and which from
the papers I have had the honour to send to your LordPP' must appear evident.
I am with the greatest regard
Your LordPP' most humble
and most obedient servant
1. October 1751. G. Clinton.
Hon. Cadtoallader Colden to Governor Clinton.
[ New-Tork Papers, Bnndle li., No. 10. ]
The present state of the Indian affairs, with the British and French Colonies
in North America, with some observations thereon for securing the Fidelity
of the Indians to the Crown of Great Brittain and promoting Trade
among them. —
In obedience to Your Excell""^"' commands, I have collected the informations we have received,
relating to the Indian affairs with the English and French Colonies, and put them in such
order, as from thence, their true State, at this time, may be put in the clearest light. For this
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXX. 739
purpose, it is necessary to go so far back, as the time when your Excel^^ engaged the Six
Nations in the expedition, intended against Canada, in the year 1746. Your Excell'^y no doubt,
remembers, in what disposition the Six Nations were then, what influence tlie P'rench had
gained among them, and how the Commiss", at that time, for Indian affairs, in this Province,
had (even by their own confession) lost all influence among the Indians. That, at that time,
M' Johnson distinguished himself among the Indians by his indefatigable pains among them,
and by Ids compliance with their humours in his dress and conversation with them ; that lie
was the chief instrument, under Your Excell'", in perswading them to enter into the War
against the French ; but that it was principally efl^ected by the very large presents pubiickly
made to them at that time by your Exceli'^'', and continued thro' M' Johnsons iiands, from time
to time, til! the peace was concluded, and for some time afterwards. The Commissioners for
Indian Aff"airs having lost all influence on the Indians, Your ExcelK'' found it necessary, to
commit the whole conduct of Indian affliirs to M'' Johnson with a Commission of Collonel
to command them, and being furnished with larger sums for this service by the Crown with a
Colonel's pay for himself, he made a greater figure and gained more influence among the
Indians, than any person before him (so far as I have learned) ever did. And it is no wonder,
since he had advantages much greater than any one before him ever had. The ascendancy
which he had gained over the Indians appeared, by his being able to prevent their sending to
Canada, to confirm the peace and to exchange their prisoners, as before this time they had
always done, & in their trusting entirely to your Excell'^ for the recovery of their people, who
were detained prisoners in Canada, by which they gave the French an undoubted proof, that
they looked on themselves as subject to the Crown of Great Brittain.
The allowance for Indian affairs from the Crown being stopt on the conclusion of the peace,
and the Assembly refusing to grant so much as the usual allowances made to the Commissioners
for Indian affairs in time of peace. Coll : Johnson found himself disabled to carry them on
without great prejudice to his private fortune, and if he had gone on in the expensive manner,
to which he had accustomed the Indians, might have ruined his fortune.
Coll : Johnson being discouraged by the want of the necessary supplies, desired his
dismission from this service, and at last (without Your Excellency's privity) sent a Belt round
all the Nations, whereby he informed them, that he no longer took care of their affairs. This
was a very odd step, such as nothing of the kind had ever been done before, & occasioned
extraordinary speculations among the Indians, of which it is supposed the French Emissaries
The Commission for Indian afl^airs had been, for many years past, intrusted with the Dutch
at Albany; the last Commissioners had joined openly with the Faction in the Assembly, in,
opposition to the Administration and the Governour's measures, and they were, on the other
hand, remarkably favoured by that Faction in the Representations and remonstrances of liiat
House. They openly assisted each other in infusing prejudices in the minds of the Peo|)le to
Your Excell'^* administration.
The Commissioners were influenced by two motives; first, by resentment for tiie loss of
that authority which tiiey had so long posessed, and this Resentment was increased by lis
being put into the hands of an Pvnglishman, whom the Dutch look upon as Intruders into their
patrimony. The other was the loss the Commissioners thereby sustained in their private or
personal Trade, or at least imagined that they did ; for as the Indians, when they come first to
Albany, go first to the Commissioners, they thereby gain a preference in the buying of Furs,
740 NEW-YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
and likewise make use of the Money allowed them for Presents to the Indians, to trade with
them preferably to others. This is evident by the interest the Traders make to be put into
that Commission which otherwise could have no profit attending it, but by the method
Coll : Johnson is the most considerable Trader with the Western Indians, and sends more
goods to Oswego than any other person does ; the people of Albany imagined, that his having
the conduct of Indian affairs, gave him great advantages, for as he lives near the Mohawk
Castle, and near forty miles from Albany, ail the Six Nations and other Indians to the
Westward stop at his house and were there supplied, and from that time few or none were
^ seen at Albany. This touched a people, in the most sensible part, who have no other view in
life, but that of getting money.
When the war broke out, the Contractors for supplying the Garrison of Oswego refused to
continue their contract, unless a very considerable allovpance was made for Escortes and other
extraordinary expences. Coll : Johnson undertook it and supplyed a double Garrison at Oswego,
by advancing the money on the faith of the Assembly ; he advanced money for several other
publick expences, by which a very large sum became due to him from the Province.
The Faction in the Assembly took a Method in favour of their Friends at Albany, which
had been often before practised even with Gov" themselves, to induce them to comply with
the humors of an Assembly, to the prejudice of the Prerogative, and tho' in itself the most
ungenerous, that can be well imagined, yet had always proved effectual, because no private
single Man was able to hold out against it. It was this. The Assembly under various pretences
delayed or refused the payment of the sums which Collonel Johnson had advanced for the
service of the Govern', sometimes by directing the payment to be made out of funds which
they themselves knew to be exhausted, and by the Treasurer (who is the Assembly's Creature)
his giving preference to Warrants payable to others, tho' of a posterior date, and by the
Assembly's arbitrary cutting of some part of his accounts, tho' they were proved in the
manner the Assembly required. This they did without mentioning what articles were
dissallow'd, or giving him an opportunity of proving them, or assigning any reason, why they
were disallowed; (vide. Minutes of Council at Albany July last & Coll : Johnsons memorial to
his Excell"^^) By these means near two thousand pounds of money he has advanced, remains
still due to him, and this without his charging any thing as a salary or Reward for his services,
or any interest for the money, now several years due to him. After such usage, it could not
be expected that Coll : Johnson would go on in the service of the Govern' by advancing money
on the credit of the Assembly for that service, while the Assembly not only refused to grant
funds as was usual for those services, but refused to pay what was already due.
^ The Act by which the Garrison at Oswego is supported, by a duty on Rum and Strouds sold
to the Indians, is contrived in such manner, that the conscientious fair Trader may be easily
entangled and brought under difficulties, while the fraudulent dealer, may gain great advantages
over him. And the Collectors of those duties have it in their power to favour their Friends
and distress those they dislike. The Collectors have been so far favour'd by the Faction in
-the Assembly, that tho' they have for several years paid nothing of the produce of those duties
as the act directs, into the Treasury, they have never been called to an account for the same.
And the Six Nations complain heavily, the Mohawks especially, who live intermixed with the
planters, that they must pay so much more for Rum and Strouds than their neighbours do.
There is reason to think, that all the Strouds sent to Canada, are exempted from this duty,
whereby the French gain a great advantage over the English fair Trader, for those goods sold
LONDON DOCUMENTS : - XXX. 741
to Frenchmen are not subjected to the duty, whereby the French are enabled to sell the goods
which they buy at Albany cheaper to the Indians, than the English can do at Oswego.
But the greatest discouragement, in the management of the Indian Affairs, is by the Indians'
being constantly cheated by them with what they deal. This is a mischief that has been
long complained of, and unless some Law were passed for the preventing of it, I know not
how it can be remedied ; for as the Law now stands, an Indian before he can obtain redress
must fee a Lawyer, must take out a writ, fill a declaration, and at last wait twelve months for
Justice, at two or three hundred miles distance, sometimes five hundred from his habitation,
and without one farthing to support him, or to defray the charges of the suit, and then, his
evidence is not admitted in any of our Courts, nor the evidence of any other Indian. Can
these people who are treated in this manner be supposed to be under the protection of the
King of Great Brittain, or can they be supposed to be treated like friends, or like rational or
human creatures? it is but too obvious what the consequences of this treatment must be.
As the Govern' have no funds for giving salaries to those who have the care of the Indian
Affairs, they are generally left to the discression of the Traders with the Indians, who pretend
to act without reward, and as they are divided into one set who trade to Canada and another
who trade at Oswego, or directly with the Indians, these two sets are influencing the Indians
in opposition to each other, in order to defeat the measures which the other takes. The
several Colonies likewise have different and seperate interests which they severally regard
more, than the common interest of the whole. Thus the Massachusetts Bay are at this time
endeavouring to draw the Mohawks to settle on their frontiers for their security, and the
people of Pennsylvania are endeavouring to draw them to the Frontiers of Pennsylvania, and
none of them will unite in furnishing a common stock for the wellfare of the whole.
The Assembly, since the year 1740, have neglected to give the usual annual supplies for the
expence attending the Management of the Indian affairs, till this last year, when they gave a
sum for presents to the Indians, and that only after the repeated accounts received of the
dissatisfaction the Indians had expressed, of their being totally neglected, since the conclusion
of the peace. But surely, no great matters can be expected, from what can be done in eight
or ten days time, at such Interviews with the Gov"", when at all other times they are neglected.
Thus it appears, that the Govern' of New York was entirely disabled from taking the usual or
any care of the Indian affairs from the conclusion of the peace, to the spring in the year 1751.
by the Assembly's refusing to grant the usual supplies for that service, and by their distressing
Coll: Johnson, with whom those affairs were intrusted.
The Gov in the conduct of Indian affairs is under a double disadvantage. The Assembly
will grant no supplies for the usual expi-nce of Commiss" for that service, unless the Creatures
of the Fraction be appointed, an