artillery did, w^*" I have order'd to be immediately put on board the battoes prepar'd there for
them, & transported with other military stores and part of the provisions to Oswego with that
Regiment before the waters grow low.
The two Companies of Sir William Pepperrell's
regiment and one of the Independent Companies of New York have been some weeks at that
Fort & employ'd in strengthening it & making it as defensible as the very weak state of it will
admit in so short a time. Two other Companies of Pepperrell's have been several days
detach'd to the Great Carrying Place near the Wood Creek in the way to Oswego, with orders
to clear it of any French Indians W^"" may be sent to obstruct the passage of the Creek by
falling great trees across it, to guard the battoes as they pass thro' it, mend the roads for the
more easy conveyance of the artillery, stores, and battoes over the Carrying Place, and
making the passage of the battoes thro' the narrow parts of the Creek more practicable in the
difficult places. The battoes for transporting the forces have been all made and ready at
Schenectady some time, together with the stores procur'd at New York and those purchas'd
here, and the builders and workmen whom I have bir'd for building the vessells and boats to
be employ'd on the Lake Ontario, w* must be built at Oswego, have been sent there several
weeks ago, and at work upon them ; so that I hope to get them upon the Lake before I leave
Oswego, w'"'" I look upon to be a point of great importance. I have procured seamen to
navigate them, and the Officers appointed by the Commodore to command them are arriv'd
from Virginia, and are gone with the stores for Oswego to have them rigg'd & fitted out with
the utmost expedition. Part of my Regim' is order'd to proceed with their baggage in battoes
as soon as may be from Schenectady to Oswego, and having now set the forces for Crown
Point in motion and settled the affairs of my government as much as I can before I go, I shall
set out the 24"" Instant for Providence and imbark on board the Province Sloop for New York,
from whence I shall proceed in 24 hours after my arrival for Albany up Hudson's River
with the remainder of Sir William Pepperrell's regiment now at New York and some levies of
my own, w'^'' are to join me there; & having settled every thing which remains to be
determin'd between me and Colonel Johnson concerning the expedition to Crown Point under
his command, & the forces to be employ'd in it, I shall pass on to Schenectady and proceed
directly from thence to Oswego, with the remainder of the forces destin'd for that service ;
and having seen the vessells and boats to be employ'd on the Lake Ontario or at least some
of them fitted out, or very near it, and gain'd what intelligence I can and the time will allow, of
the situation of the French at Niagara, I shall proceed with all the forces artillery and stores
there, as soon as may be.
The New England troops rais'd for the service at Nova Scotia were order'd, before I left
Boston to repair thither on the 7"" of April, in order to sail for the Bay of Funda, and about
2000 of them accordingly appeared there, & were imbark'd by the 22"* of that month, and
waited for the arms from England, w'^'' did not arrive at Boston until the IT* of May, being
the da}' before my return thither from Virginia ; the vessell in which they were sent happening
to have a long passage of about ten weeks; so that the troops did not sail until! the 23'^ of
May. Their stay the last month gave me uneasiness ; had I been upon the spot as there were
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXXII. 957
1000 stands of arms at Annapolis Royal and SOO might have been had here, the' not so good
as those sent from England, I should have chosen to have sent them away before ; but I have
reason to hope that they will succeed as it is. I have receiv'd an account, dated lo"" instant
from Col Lawrence, of their arrival at Scheignecto on the 2'' and that he concluded from not
having received any news from thence, that they were by that time masters of the Isthmus,
and was of opinion the reduction of the French Fort at S' Johns River would after that be an
easy task, if the two French 34 Gun Frigates, W^*" he had intelligence were in the Bay of
Funda, for the protection as he supposed of that River, should not be too hard for our sea
force there, which consisted of three twenty gun ships only, and a sloop of war. The news I
received here four days ago of a French squadrons being spoken with off Bank Vert near
Ne^'foundland, full of soldiers standing for Louisbourg, gave me no small concern for the
success of the expedition to Nova Scotia; but it was reliev'd in two hours by an acco' of
Admiral's Boscawen & Mostyn with eleven sail of the line being spoken with off S' Johns
River at Newfoundland nine days ago, close at the heels of the French, and having sent a
letter to Cap' Aldiick the Commandant there, acquainting him that they were going to
cruize off Louigbourg; otherwise the stay of the New England troops here the last month,
might have ruin'd the attempt for recovering the Isthmus, if not occasion'd the loss of the
The Acts pass'd lately in the several Colonies to prevent the exportation of provisions
to Louisbourg, together with the embargo in Ireland, have greatly distress'd the French at
Louisbourg and the effects must be soon felt in all their settlements in North America.
A few days ago I had a letter from the General dated 20"" of May from Fort Cumberland at
Wills's Creek in which he complains that the inexpressible disappointm'* he hath met with,
hath retarded his march a month beyond the time he at first intended ; but by the advices I
have since received from Gov' Morris and Gov"" Dinwiddle, I hear he hath surmounted his
difficirities, and it was judg'd would proceed the beginning of this montli from Fort Cumberland
for the French Fort called Fort Du Quesne upon the Ohio, which is computed to be from 90 to
110 miles distance from Wills's Creek, where very possibly he may be arriv'd by this time &
begun his attack, in w*^"" I have little or no doubt in my own opinion of his succeeding, tho'
it is pretty certain the French have sent a reinforcement of 900 men ( 100 of them regular
troops) and stores, very lately either to the Ohio or Niagara, and many of their battoes have
pass'd by in sight of Oswego. When I had the honor of conferring with His Excellency at
Alexandria, he purpos'd to build some vessells at Presque Isle for securing the navigation of
the Lake Erie ; v/"^ if effected must, together with those designed for Lake Ontario, make us
masters of the Great Lakes and Ohio and the country there, untill the French can get a
superior force upon those Lakes, w'^'' it seems very difficult if not impracticable for 'em to do,
when our vessells shall be cruizing upon them. I hear from Gov'' Morris that at the General's
request he hath estahlish'd a magazine of Provisions in the back parts of Pennsylvania, from
whence he will be easily supply'd by a new road, w"'' he, M"' Morris, is making thro' the
mountains to the waters of the Ohio, and which the General proposes to him to extend to
Veningo and Niagara; all w'^'", if executed, must be of infinite use for marching the troops
to & subsisting them upon the Ohio and at Niagara from a Colony more abounding w"'
provisions than any at present in North America.
The General's presence and activity hath infus'd spirit into tin' Colonies concern'd in the
attempt ag" Crown Point, and by the Commission w^'' he hath given to Colonel Johnson for
958 NEW-YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
taking upon him the management of the Indian Affairs, and the ready money he hath most
opportunely advanc'd to him for engaging 'em in the English Interest, he has greatly promoted
that service. The e.xpedition to Niagara this year is wholly owing to His Excellency's
proposal of it.
I am now to acknowledge, Sir, the receipt of your letters dated the 23'' and 24"" of Jan'', and
10"' of February the contents of which are answer'd in the foregoing part of this letter, except
that 1 beg leave to observe that in the last mentioned you seem to think that the soldiers in
New England are enlisted for His Majesty's service in general terms, whereas it is at present
impracticable to raise any number of them without acquainting them w"" the place of their
immediate destination, nor will any born in these Colonies inlist to go to the Southward of
Niagara, at furthest. The command under which they are to act, is likewise another very
material point w"' them.
I beg leave further to observe Sir, that the common fund, W"" you seem to suppose to be
provided by the several Governm'' in the Colonies for the support of His Majesty's service will
never be agreed upon by the Assemblies among themselves, tho' acknowledg'd to be necessary
to all; that, and a plan of Union must be establish'd by an authority from home or neither of
them will be effected; & this you will perceive by the inclos'd extract of the minutes
of Council at Alexandria, is the opionion of the other Governors who were present there as
well as my own. And if I might presume, Sir, to suggest my opinion further in this matter,
nothing would be a firmer cement of His Majesty's colonies, or go further towards consolidating
them in the support of his service & government there, and the defence of their common
interests ag"' a foreign power, than the establishment of such a fund and a plan of Union
among 'em; nor do I think they would be difficultly rec'' by them from the Parliament.
You will perceive. Sir, by the inclosed copies of my message to the Assembly of my own
government and their message in answer to it, upon the subject of their finding provisions for
mine and Sir William Pepperrell's regiments, according to the directions of Gen' Braddock's
inclos'd letter, and paying their Quota of the levy money for the raising of them, that they
refuse to do it.
I beg leave to assure you Sir that I shall consuJt oeconomy as much as may be consistent
with His Majesty's service in the expence of the expedition under my command. I omitted
to observe to you before that the reason of my being the Colonel of the two New England
Regiments gone to Nova Scotia was principally for the sake of encouraging the inlistm" and
saving the expence of the pay of two Colonels, having no expectation of any allowance or pay
to myself in it.
I hope Sir, consideration will be had of an allowance for my necessary suite in the expedition
under my command, & as the execution of the command will be attended w"" an extraordinary
charge to myself, especially in the rank to w"^ I have lately had the honour to be promoted in
His Maj= army, I hope His Majesty will be pleas'd to order me a proper support in it during
the time of the service. The expence of my travelling charges out of my own pockett in my
journey to Alexandria and back (being about 1250 miles) tho' I made use of my own horses
half the way and my servants the whole, and had some horses found for me in two of the
governments, exceeded ^200 sterling, w'^'' is near double the income of my Governm' to me
for the time I was absent from Boston.
The inclos'd copy of the General's instructions will siiow you Sir, the extent of my command.
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXXII. 959
My desire of laying before you a particular state of the Colonies with regard to the operations
carrying on there ag" the French, and the very little appearance there is of their forming a
plan of Union among themselves, as recommended by His Majesty, in one view, hath drawn
this letter into a greater length than I design'd, w'^'' I hope you will he pleas'd to excuse on
1 am with the greatest regard
Your most huml)le
and most obedient servant
The Right Honorable Sir Thomas
Robinson on of His Majesty's
Principal Secretaries of State.
' Lieutenant-General Willi.ui Shirley was a native of the county of Sussex, England, and boi-n about the year 1693.
He was by profession a biwyer, and had been in office in London ; but having a prospect of a numerous family, was
advised to remove to Boston. He resided there some six or eight years, and had the promise of the collector's place, but
strong interest having been made for another, Mr. Shirley was provided for by being appointed fiovernor of Massachusetts in
1741. He planned the expedition against Cape Breton in 1745, on the 31st August, of which year, he was appointed Colonel
of a Regiment of Foot that was afterwards broke in 1748. He published an account of that Expedition in 1746, in "A
Letter from William Shirley, Esij., Governor of Massachusetts Bay to his grace the Duke of Newcastle, with a Journal of
the Siege of Louisbourgh." bvo. Boston; and returned to England in 1749, when he was appointed one of the Commissioners
for settling the boundaries on this Coutiiient between England and France. While thus engaged, he wrote the Memorial of
the English Commissaries, dated 21st of September, 1750, wherein he cbiiuied for the Eiiglisli all the land east of the
Penobscot, and south of the Saint Lawrence, as constituting tlie ancient Acadia. luning his residence at Paris, he permitted
himself to be captivated with the charms of his landlord's daughter, whom ho privately married. This ill judged step, for
a person of his age and in his position, les-sened him in the regard of his superiors, and atiorded his enemies an opportunity
to injure him. He returned to his government of Massachuselta in 1753, and in 1754 explored the Kennebec, on which river
he erected Fort Halifax, below the Waterville falls, and Fort Western, on the present site of the city of Augusta, Maine. On
the approach of hostilities he was appointed Major General, 2d February, 1755, with the superintendence of operations
in the Northern Colonies, although he was little skilled in war, and proceeded as far as Oswego on an expedition against
Niagara, which fell through and brought disgrace on him. He was superceded in 1756, in the command of the Army, and
in the government of Massachusetts; and was ordered thereupon to England where he was badly received, and experienced
much difficulty in passing his accounts. Several publications in his defence appeared on his return to England; one is
entitled " A Review of Military operations in North America from the commencement of the French hostilities on the
frontiers of Virginia, in 1753, to the surrender of Oswego, on the 14th of August, 1756. In a letter to a Nobleman." 4to.
London. 1757. It was written in New-York, it is believed by William Smith the Historian, and taken to England by
William Alexander, known afterwards as the Earl of Stirling, who gave it to the Press. Smith'a New ■ York. H., 225. This was
followed in 1758, by "Memoirs of the principal transactions of the last war between the English and French in North
America, from 1744 to the treaty of Aix la Chapellc;" and by another, entitled "The conduct of Major General Shirley, late
Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Forces in North America, briefly stated." Mr. Smith says, Mr. Shirley in consequence
emerged from a load of obloquy. On 30th January, 1759, he became Lieutenant-General, [Army Lint ;) and "after long
solicitations," says Hutchinson, obtained the small government of the Bahama Islands. He was, says Bancroft, artful,/ i
needy and ambitious; a member of the Church of England; indifferent to the laws and the peculiar faith of the people (of
Massachusetts) whom he governed ; appointed originally to restore or introduce British Authoritj', and more relied upon
than any Crown officer in America. He was bitterly opposed to the Plan of the Union of the Colonies agreed upon at
Alban}- in 1754, and as early as 1756, advised the Ministry to impose a Stamp tax in America. General Shirley eventually
returned to Massachusetts and died at hia seat in Uoxbury, on the 24th March, 1771, [Allen's Biographical Dictionary,\ which
Bays, he was the author of Electra, a Tragedy, and The Birth of Hercules, a Masque, 4to. London, 1766. At the time of his
decease, Mr. Shirley was at the head of the List of Lieutenant Generals of the British Army. Army List. 1771 — Ed.
960 NEW-YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
Additional Instruction to Sir Cliarle-s Hardy.
[New-Tork Entries, B. P., p. 23.]
[Tho. Centuar, Additional Tnstruction to Sir Charles Hardy Knight Captain Gen' and Gov''
Hakdwicke, c. j,j Chief in & over His Maj'^'' prov™ of New Yorlc and the territories
Granville, P. . . , . , i t • . /-i
Marlbokougb c. P. s 1 depending thereon in America; or in his absence to the Lieut' Gov"",
President of the Council, or Commander in Chief of the said province for
the time being. Given at Whitehall the [12""] day of [August] 1755. in the
29"' year of His Maj""' Reign.
Whereas it has been represented unto us, that a controversy has for many Years subsisted
between his Majesty's Provinces of New York & New Jersey concerning the true line of
partition between the said provinces, on account of which great outrages have from time to
time been committed on the Frontiers of the said provinces, to the prejudice of His Maj'''"'
service and the disturbance of the public peace, and whereas it is of the greatest importance
to the tranquility and welfare of the said provinces, that a line of property and Jurisdiction
should be speedily settled between them, which can only be done by a Commission to be issued
by His Majesty for that purpose, with liberty to all parties who shall think themselves aggrieved
by the Judgement of the Commissioners thereby to be appointed, to appeal from such
Judgement to His Majesty in his privy Council; and whereas the Agent for the Proprietors
of New Jersey, has declared himself willing to concurr on their behalf in this measure, as the
only proper and effectual means of determining the matter in dispute, and has offered to give
ample security that the said proprietors shall and will defray one half of the expence of
obtaining and executing such a Commission ; You are therefore hereby authorized and
required earnestly to recommend it, in His Majesty's name, to the Assembly of the Province
of New York, under your Govern', that they do make speedy and effectual provision for
defraying the other moiety of the expence of obtaining and executing such commission, as
aforesaid, whenever His Majesty shall be graciously pleased to issue the same.
Note. The words witliin brackets in the above Document, are added from the Cojiy in Journal of the Oeneral Assembly of
New- York, II., ill. —Ed.
Lords- of Trade to Secretary Robinson.
[ Plantations General, (B.T.,) XLIII.,p. 41".]
To the Right Hon'''= Sir Thomas Robinson oue of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries
Having since the date of our Representation to His ^^ajesty, with which we did in obedience
to his commands, lay before him a plan of General Concert to be entered into by the several
Colonies for their mutual and common defence, received several letters from His Majesty's
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXXII. 961
Governors in North America, representing the defenceless state of the frontiers, and the
irregular management of Indian affairs; and it appearing to us upon a general view of these
points to be highly necessary as well for tlie future safety of the Colonies as to ease the mother
country of the great and heavy expense with which it has been of late years burthened, on
account of services relative to these points, that some general system should be laid down, and
some certain and permanent provision made for the defence of the Frontiers and for the
management of Indian Affairs, which are in their nature constant and permanent services.
To the end therefore that we may be furnished with full information upon every point
necessary to be attended to, in the consideration of a question of so great extent and
importance, and enabled to lay our thoughts upon it before His Majesty, whenever the
circumstances of the times shall require it; we submit to you whether it may not be proper
that General Braddock should be directed forthwith to consider and report his opinion in
what manner the Frontiers may be best defended; what number of forts it will be necessary
to erect; of what size and strength; where those forts should be situated ; what number of
regular troops it will be necessary to have constantly kept up in America for garrisoning them
and for other necessary services; how these troops should be distributed and where stationed.
And that no information may be wanting upon this matter which it is in our power to obtain
we shall think it our duty to call upon such of His Majesty's Governors as are best
acquainted with the general state and interest of North America for their thoughts upon this
occasion ; more particularly as to the manner in which these services can be best provided for
with the least inconvenience and burthen to His Majesty's Subjects.
Your most obedient
and most humble servants.
Whitehall T. Pelham.
July 16. 1755 J. Pitt.
Major -General Johnson to the Lords of Trade.
( New-York Papers, Bundle Kk., No. 64. ]
Albany. 21. July 1755
I went to Alexandria in Virginia to wait on His Excell'^'' General Braddock. I received
from and signed by him, a Warrant for the sole superintendency and management of the affairs
of the Six United Nations of Indians their allies and dependents, also some Instructions
relating to my conduct; I further received from him two thousand pounds sterling, part to be
laid out in presents and the remainder for various other expences, which would arise from the
part 1 was to act; besides this the General has given me an unlimited Credit upon Gov' Shirley
for what further sumes this service might call for.
Vol. VI. 121
962 NEW- YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
Immediately upon my return home I sent Messages with Belts and Wampum thro' the
several Nations, to acquaint tliem with my appointment, and to desire they would come down
to my house with all possihle dispatch; they came and herewith 1 transmit to your LordPP* an
authenticated copy of my proceedings at this meeting. Tho' I have not General Braddock's
Instructions for doing this, yet I have wrote him I should take this honour upon me, and as lie
is at a great distance from any of our Sea-Port Towns, I doubt not but both, your Lord^P' and
the General will approve of this method.
In the monies I have laid out, in those I shall be obliged to lay out, I have and shall be
governed, by the most prudent frugality, which circumstances will admitt of; my accounts
shall be kept with all possible regularity, and an undeviating integrity shall govern my
I think it my duty to acquaint your Lordships with the following particulars relative to the
Department I am now placed in. "
From the weakness of the public influence of this Colony on the confederate nations; from
the superior activity, attention and artful conduct of the French, the British Interest hath been
long declining amongst these Indians.
Fr&m Informations confirmed by my own observations and experience, I am convinced that
several of the most leading Men in the upper Nations of this confederacy, had entered into
engagements with the French, and would speedily have effected a general defection from us
to them and joined the French against us, and I fear their example would have produced a
total destruction of our interest amongst the confederate Nations.
I think I can now take upon me to assure your LordPP' there are very few, I hope none
amongst the whole confederacy, who in the present disputes between our Crown and the
French, do not sincerely wish us success and are not disposed to assist our Arms. I hope in a
few weeks they will demonstrate this their present temper of mind by their actions. If we
continue to exert ourselves with the spirit which seem[s] at presfent to animate us, should be
successful, and right measures are pursued with regard to Indian Affairs, I doubt not but the
ambitious and deep laid schemes of the French, not only with regard to these Indians, but all
those various Nations who surround the Dominion of great Brittain in America, will not only
be frustrated but receive a mortal wound. True it is, that to obtain this desirable end, a grea^
expence for perhaps some years will necessarily arise, but the alternatives in my humble
opinion most glaringly deserve it, and the beneficial consequences will abundantly repay it.
Three things appear to me necessary to be put in execution with all convenient speed, &
which I humbly recommend to your LordPP^ attention.