to him from Coll" Patton of the IS"* of December, on the unhappy skirmish between the
Indians and some of the people of Virginia, copies whereof I send you, whereby you will
perceive that the Indians were the aggressors, and that the Government of Virginia resent it
warmly; By the Governor's letter I find there is something of a demand from the Indians
(I suppose part of the si.\ nations) for lands, which the Goverments of Virginia and Maryland
intended to send Commissioners to treat with them about, in order to satisfy them. If that be
the Indians pretence, they ought to have waited for an Answer from those Governments, if
they made any demand, as I find they did on the Government of Maryland by their treaty
with the Governour of Pensilvania last year, but the Government of Virginia is not mentioned
by them in that Treaty, and yet the hostility committed by them is on the people of Virginia,
how they will excuse it I cannot see, however I desire you will give the Interpreter Orders
to go forthwith to them giving him instructions to expostulate with them on this their
unwarrantable conduct, to know who those white men are who were with that party of Indians,
and to know, from them, what part of Virginia it is they dispute, and where the Land lies that
they pretend to, and what sum of money or goods they expect in Exchange, and to give me a
full and plain and direct answer, which I will acquaint the Governour of Virginia with. You
will direct the Interpreter to let them know that I am amazed at their barbarous and treacherous
proceeding. That if they had any such demands on those Governments, or any grievance to
complain of, they ought to have acquainted me with it, and I would have negotiated the matter,
and have endeavoured to have made it up in an amicable manner. That I expect they will
keep their people at home, and if they send me their demands for the Lands, that they wait
232 NEW- YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
patiently for an answer, which considering the distance of their country to this place and from
hence to Virginia will take up a considerable time to adjust the matter.
I am informed they took from Oswego the two Indians you sent to reside there, in order to
bring you Intelligence of any extraordinary occurrences, this is a piece of conduct I am
surprized at, and expect they will give me an account of.
You will be full and particular in your Instructions to the Interpreter, that their answer may
be so too, I need not tell you of how much consequence it is that these things should be
adjusted to mutual satisfaction, you will readily conceive it.
Commiss"'" for Indian Affairs. Geo Clarke
Commissioners of Indian Affairs to Lieutenant- Governoi' Clarice.
[ New-Tork Bundle, Gg., p. 85. No. 3. ]
Albany 20Â«'' March 174Â§
May it please your Honour
Since our last to your Honour of the 21^* of February, We have not been honoured with
any of your Favours, and have now only to inform your Honour that we have thought proper
as you will perceive, by the inclosed minutes, to send the Interpreter to Onondage being
informed by the Mohawks that a General Meeting of the Six Nations was to be held at
Onondage, at the desire of some people from Philadelphia, We inclose your Honour the Orders
we gave to the Interpreter & the ansvper he brings us back, to which we beg leave to refer, it
seems the Indians are in General very uneasy about the affair at the back of Virginia, The
people from the Senecas Country write us that one of their principal Sachims is sent to
Ottowawe to desire those Indians not go a hunting, but to stay at home to take care of their
Castles, Your Honour will perceive best by the Run of this whole affair, in what humour the
Six Nations are at present. We have nothing in particular to add at present but remain
Your most humble servants
Myndert Schuyler Rutger Bleecker
Z%o. De Peyster Hend'' Ten Eyck
JoHANNis Lansing Jun' Dirck Ten Brock
Stevanus Groesbeeck Ryer Gerritse
Nicholas Bleecker Ed. Collins
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXVII. 233
At a Meeting of the Commissioners of Indian Affairs at Albany 7 March 174J
Present â€” Capt. Rutherford Peter Winne
Cornelius Cuyler Rutger Bleeker
Myndert Schuyler Nicholas Bleeker
Hend'' Ten Eyck John De Peyster
A Mohawk Indian came with seven hands of wampum to acquaint tliis Board that the
Interpreter and two other men from Philadelphia were come to Onondage to speak with the
six Nations. That the Mohawks therefore desire our Interpreter may be sent up with them to
hear what shall pass at that meeting.
This Board resolved that the Interpreter go to Onondage, and that he observe the
M"" Jacobus Bleeker
You are to go to Onondage, where we hear that some people from Philadelphia are arrived
to treat with the Six Nations, and when you come there you are to inform yourself what those
people shall propose to the Sachims of the Six Nations and what answer will be given them.
You are to tell the Sachims of the Six Nations at Onondage, that we are sorry that such a
sorrowfull Accident has happened at the back of Virginia, between some English & a party of
their people, that we have not yet got a certain account of that matter, & know nothing of it
but by common report, that as soon as we shall know the certainty thereof we will acquaint
them therewith, and that We hope it will not be the occasion of a breach in the Treaties
between them, & any of his Majesties English Subjects, But that upon the whole, we desire
that they will not be uneasy about it, nor take any resolution without the Advice and Consent
[of] us their Brethren, Whereupon you are to give them this belt of Wampum.
At a Meeting of the Commissioners of Indian Affairs at Albany 20 March 174'|
Present â€” Nicholas Bleeker Hend'' Ten Eyck
Cornelius Cuyler, John Lansingh
Myndert Schuyler Rutger Bleeker
Dirk Ten Brock John De Peyster
The Interpreter being returned from Onondage brings the following Account.
That according to his Instructions he went up to Onondage, but that the people from
Philadelphia had not been there, but had sent a message to Onondage to speak with the Six
Nations, upon which account this meeting had been called, which was broak up before he came
there, that as soon as came he called all the Sachims together, & according to his orders
enquired from them what had been proposed to them by the Government of Pensilvania, &
what answer they had made thereto, To which they Answer'd.
That the Pensilvania people had desired that the Traders of their Province might go &
come & trade as usual unmolested of the six Nations! And
That tiie six Nations should come to Philadelphia to receive payment of some land, which
the Proprietor has from them for whicii they are not yet paid.
Vol. VI. 30
234 NEW- YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
That they desire that tlie affair with the Virginia people should not be any occasion of any
breach in their Covenant Chain, for that they had no hand in it, And did not know from
whence it proceeded, but that as soon as knew it, they would inform the six Nations.
And that they had given them the following answer. That they will treat their people
kindly wherever they meet them, And that they will not in any wise molest them. And that
they could not this year go to Philadelphia by reason of the misfortune to the Southward, but
that the next year they would go. And that they will not be the occasion of a breach in the
Covenant Chain but that they will do their part to preserve the same entire.
That then he the Interpreter communicated to the Sachims the Remainder of what he was
ordered. To which they answered.
That they thanked their Brethren for what had been said, & do not doubt but their Brethren
would use their endeavour to make up the breach, between them and the Virginia people, which
they had concluded in their General Meeting to do, if the Virginia people are so inclined, that
it shall not be wanting of their side. And that they will not make themselves uneasy about it,
till farther news from Virginia, We expect our Brethren will inform us what the Governour
of Virginia intends to do, as soon as they shall know it. And as to the Covenant Chain, they
promise to keep it inviolable, & that no Intriegues of the Devil himself shall induce them to
break it. Nor will they suffer any of their people to go a fighting nor even to go from home,
on any account, but to stay at home to take care of their Castles and Families.
The Interpreter informs this Board that as the Indians tell the story of the Fight to
the Southward, the English fired first upon them & that four Indians were killed, & that
the other twenty six are all returned home, their party having consisted of 30, that eight
English were killed. And two much wounded, they computed the English to have been
about forty in all.
Commissioners of Indian Affairs to Lieutenant-Governor Clarice.
[ New-York Bundle, Gg., p. 86. No. 4. ]
Albany IS"" Aprill 1743.
May it please your Honour.
We received your Honour's letter of the 5"" Instant with copies of Coll. Gooch's & Coll.
Patton's letters, concerning the Skirmish and Murder at the Back of Virginia. The demand
your Honor mentions of some of the Nations to some lands in Virginia, is we conceive only
imaginary, having never heard any such-thing from them, And had any such thing been, they
would doubtless have mentioned it since this affair happened, but nothing of that sort has ever
been in the least hinted at by them. And should we now send the Interpreter to know from
them what lands they claim in Virginia, according to Coll. Gooch's desire. We humbly conceive
it would be furnishing them with a pretence & excuse they have never yet thought of.
What Coll. Gooch mentions of white men that are supposed to have been with the Indians, we
take that to be a mistake which has no doubt proceeded from some mongrel Indians that were
in the party.
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXVII. 235
We wrote j'our Honour the 20"' March and sent inclosed our Minutes containing the answer
the Interpreter brought from Onondage. wliich we suppose your Honour had not received when
your last to us was wrote, Your Honour will thereby perceive that the six Nations are inclined
to reconcile the matter with the people of Virginia, We have therefore deferred sending the
Interpreter to the Indians till we shall receive your Honour's farther orders, thinking that he
would not get any other answer from them than we have already had, We conceive it would
the best and cheapest way. That Coll. Gooch desire your Honour to reconcile the matter,
and then your Honour, if you shall think proper, can order us to make it up in such a manner
as your Honour shall think fit, Which will likewise be the less troublesome to your Honour.
If this receives your Honors approbation, we humbly conceive it would be the most proper that
we, as soon as we receive notice thereof, should send the Interpreter to the six Nations, to
desire that one or two of their Sachims come down here about the time your Honour can have
an answer from Coll. Gooch concerning this matter. Which we hope will be as soon as
possible for if a French warr should in the mean time break out it would be more difficult to
adjust this or any other difference We doubt not but Coll. Gooch will repay us the charges we
must necessarily be at herein. We have several Accounts that the six Nations have sent to
the farr Indians in covenant with them, to desire them to be at home and ready to assist them
in case of need. The French also are continually using all arts and means to foment and
widen differences of this sort, so that, should this matter not be made up in an amicable
manner. But Hostilities renewed or continued, the consequences might be very terrible,
however, we submit all with the greatest respect to your Honour. We have sent the Interpreter
to the Mohawks, to send from thence an Indian to the Six Nations to desire the Sachims to
stay at home, and to renew to them the repeated promises they have made to keep home their
fighting men, and to inform tliem that the Interpreter will be at Onondage in about 20 days, in
the mean time we hope to have your Honours further Orders which shall punctually be
observed, We have nothing more at present, But that we are
May it please your Honour
Your very humble servants
Hono''''' George Clarke Esq' Johannis Lansing Jun""
Lieutenant-Governor Clarice to the Commissioners of Indiaii Affairs.
[Now- York Bumllc, Gg., p. 86. No. 5.]
New York, April the 27"' 1743.
Yesterday I received your letter of the IS"' Instant, and altho you are of opinion that the
six Nations lay no claim to any lands in Virginia, and that the mentioning such a thing to them
236 NEW-YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
may furnish them with a pretence, yet if you had sent the luerpreter and instructed him to
have demanded the cause of the march and hostilities committed by their young men, he would
have collected from their answer whether they make any such claim or no, if they do not, he
might then have expostulated with them on their killing the cattle and horses and afterwards
killing the man whom Capt" Buchannon and Capf INPDowell sent to the Indians with a signal
of peace and afterwards firing on the party and killing many of them, from whence it is evident
that the Indians were the Aggressors. That this is a notorious breach of the Covenant Chain
which includes all his Majesties Subjects of whatsoever Province they are, That if they
pretend their men went to make warr or to molest any Indians to the Southward that that is
an infraction of the Union made in 1740 and confirmed by the six Nations last year for which
they ought to punish those Indians, that the Governments to the Southward, and their Indians
depended on the faith of that union, resolving on their part to observe it inviolably and are
much surprized that the six Nations should attempt in that treacherous manner to dissolve it,
That, however, if the six Nations disclaim their knowledge and express their abhorrence of
that action the Government of Virginia I hope will come to such a temper as may heal the
breach, especially if the six Nations will for the future restrain their youth from such
unwarrantable actions and excursions, upon this foot I would (and should have hopes of success)
interpose my good offices to appease the just resentment of the Government of Virginia, and
till this be done I know not what to write to Governour Gooch, it is therefore still necessary
that you send the Interpreter so instructed to the six Nations that I may know what so say.
You will perceive that Coll. Gooch does but just hint at the Indians pretending to claim some
lands in that country, but this is certain that the Indians did last year at Philadelphia complain
that some people to the Westward of that Province did settle on some of their lands without
making any purchase of them, Governour Thomas understood they meant the people of
Maryland by his telling them he would write to the Governour of that Province about it,
wherefore till that matter be cleared up the seeds of discontent will remain, and if I knew
certainly where these lands lie J could then write to the Governors about them, you may
perceive that the Government of Virginia is disposed if the Indians have any just claims to
those lands to adjust that matter, but as for the Hostility they seem determined to do themselves
justice, however I would Mn make up all matters between them, to which end it is absolutely
necessary that the Interpreter be sent that I may know more fully the Indians pretences, their
sentiments of this insult and their future intentions, such treacherous hostilities are not to be
suffered, and if this business be not made up, and the Indians do not for the future desist from
the like, the consequences will be very bad, And you will instruct the Interpreter to represent
things to the six nations in such a manner as may make them sensible that that hostility
committed by them at a time when all the Governments and the Indian nations depending on
them looked upon themselves and the six Nations as inviolably united in the Covenant Chain,
was an Act of the highest treachery & breach of faith, I could not, nor can I hardly yet bring
myself to believe that the Sachims were consenting or privy to that Excursion, if they were
not, they ought openly & explicitly to disclaim it, to punish the offenders and by all means to
prevent the like for the future, which in my opinion can only be done by forbidding the French
to come into their country.
Upon the whole you will perceive that the Government of Virginia has a sharp resentment
of tlie injury, and if the Indians do not (as undoubtedly they were the Aggressors) make
attonement for it in a suitable manner, it may I fear produce very ill consequences, wherein
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXVII. 237
this and all tlie Provinces may be involved, Wherefore T would have you use your utmost
Endeavours to effect it, and that speedily, the Governour of Virginia desiring an answer as
soon as may be.
If the Interpreter finds they claim any lands in Virginia and Maryland he is to know what
they are, where they lie and what they demand for them as in Governor Gooch's letter, he
should likewise inform himself whether there were any white men in that party & who
If the Indians upon conference with the Interpreter upon the matters mentioned, will depute
some of their Sachims to treat with you about them at Albany I shall like it very well.
Commissioners for Indian Affairs. Gentlemen &c.
Lieutenant-Governor Clarhe to Governor Gooch.
[New-Tork Bundle. Gg.,p. 87. No. 6. ]
; ,f No. 6.
f _ New York, May the 2^ 1743.
On the 5"" of the last month I had the honour to receive your letter of the S"" of January,
which I would have acknowledged sooner, had I foreseen that it will take more time to get an
Answer from the Sachims of the six Nations than I then apprehended; I have ordered the
Interpreter to go to them with Instructions what to do in this unhappy business, and so soon
as he returns I will acquaint you with the Negotiation, hoping that matters maybe so managed
as to heal the breach that is made in the Covenant Chain as its called, for it may be very fatal
if an open rupture should ensue, and they be thereby driven to the necessity of throwino-
themselves into the arms and power of our natural Enemy the French, who only want the
advantage of such an event to open an uninterrupted way to annoy all the Colonies and render
the Settlements therein very precarious, if not to drive the Planters from thence into the
shelter of towns or under the cover of forts, for its very evident that the six Nations are the
present and only restraint they have. This Consideration I am perswaded will induce you
rather to listen to overtures of Reconciliation than to the sanguine impulses of revenge, how
just soever your resentment be, you may be assured I will do all that lies in my power to
make the Sachims sensible of this treacherous hostility intreating you to wait a little longer
for the Result, and to be assured that I am very sincerely
Dear Sir &c.
The Honourable Governor Gooch Geo. Clarke
238 NEW- YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
Minute of the Proceedings of the Commissioners of Indian Affairs.
[ New-York Bundle, Gg., p. S7. No. 7.]
At a Meeting of tlie Commissioners of Indian Affairs the 2"* of May 1743 at the City
Present â€” Myndert Schyler Reyer Gerritse
Rutger Bleeker Abraham Cuyler
John De Peyster John Rutherford
Cornelis Cuyler John Lansingh.
Dircii Ten Brooli.
Tliis Board sent the Interpreter to Onondage with the following Message to the Sachims of
the six Nations of Indians
According to the promise the Commiss" of Indian Affairs made to the Sachims of the
Mohawks who came to Albany in February last, in the name of the six Nations, with a Belt of
Wampum, to speak with them concerning the unhappy affairs between some of His Majesties
English Subjects and a party of your people at the back of Virginia, I am now sent to inform
you that your Brother our Governour has received a letter from the Governor of Virginia
with another from a Colonel who was but a few miles from the place where that affair happened
and who doubtless was well informed thereof. He says that a party of Indians of ihe Six
Nations appeared upon their frontiers in a hostile manner and killed and carried away horses
&c" upon which tlie Inhabitants of tiiat neiglibourhood went with their arms for their own
security to know from those Indians what migiit be the meaning or reason of their thus treating
the English, with whom you had so lately entered into a more strict alliance than ever by the
Treaty made at Albany with our Governour in 1740, And accordingly when they came up
with them, on the 18"" of December they sent a man with a signal of peace to them, who they
killed upon the spott and then fired upon the other English without any manner of provocation,
whereupon the people of Virginia, out of a principle of self preservation were obliged to return
the fire. Now we have performed our promise in giving you a true and exact account of
Gave a Belt of Wampum
The Commissioners of Indian affairs have further ordered me to tell you That they think
you can't but be ashamed and confused when you hear that among those people who so lately
and so solemnly took into the Covenant Chain all His Majesties subjects to the Southward, and
unite yourselves with them so as to become one flesh and blood, there should yet be such false,
treacherous base wretches as those are who have committed this horrid barbarous murder, And
that they are confident this affair will be resented by you the Sachims, Who we doubt not but
were ignorant of this matter. But that now you must certainly believe that all what those
Indians have said about the English attacking them first is notoriously false, for that they killed
the man who was sent to speak with them with a token of peace in his hand, And people who
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXVII. 239
will be guilty of such cruel actions, can not certainly be believed a word they sny, for as cruel
as they are, there is yet so much shame left as would make them blush to own it.
Tiie Goveriiour of Virginia has desired our Governor that he would demand of you the
reasons of this Transaction and that he would let him know as soon as possible what your
answer is, for that he is amazed at such treatment and does not know what to think of it,
That he can't think of any reason that has been given you to use his people in such a
manner especially since all the Governments to the Southward had so lately entered into a
a more strict alliance with you than ever, by the Treaty of Union in 1740, Which they all have
and always would have observed inviolable.
If you had any reason to be disgusted at the people of Virginia, you should have acquainted
us therewith that we might in a peaceable manner have obtained satisfaction for you, and if
you have any thing as yet to say against them, We desire you will let us know what it is.
It is your indispensable duty to express your abhorrence of this affair, and to keep your men
for the future at home, which we also expect you will do. You know very well that your
people broke the Covenant Chain in going to fight to the Southward whether they intended it
against English or Indians, So that you ought to desire our Governour to intercede for you and
to make up this breach with the Governor of Virginia, which we doubt not but he will do upon
the intercession of our Governor.
If you can hear from the Sachims that they claim any lands to the Southward, you are to
enquire where they lie and what they demand for them in satisfaction. And also enquire
whether any white people were among the party.
The Interpreter being returned from Onondage Reports to this Board that he had said to the
- Sachims there as he was ordered. And that they answered him as follows.
We the Sachims of the Six Nations have now according to our Desire of you heard what has
come to your Ears of the sorrowfull accident between some of our Brethren of Virginia and some
of our people, You tell us that you are informed that our people were the aggressors. That
our men came in a hostile manner and killed their Cattle and that our Men killed the man sent
by our brethren with a Token of Peace in his hand, and that then the Virginia people were