LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXVII. 303
of the Massachusets had declared War against the French Indians, which was matter of surprise
to his Exceil''^ considering Gov' Shirley's request as aforesaid.
At a Council held at his Excellency's residence in Albany the li"" October 1745.
PitESENT â€” His Excell'^y the Hon"^ George Clinton.
M'' Livingston, M'' Horsmanden, M"" Murray, Capl" Rutherford.
The Commissioners of the Massachusets Bay communicated to his Excel^y late last night
some intelligence they then had received by express, that an Attack had been made upon one
of the block houses upon the Frontiers of New England by an Army of French and Indians as
appeared by a letter from Zacharia Field directed to CaptÂ° Wells and inclosed to John Stoddard
Esq'^ at Albany (one of the Commissioners) by Ephraim Williams, which letters were read
and are as folioweth :
Read a letter from Zachariah Field to Captain Wells dated Nortlifield 12. October
1745 informing him that the French had attacked a settlement on the Borders at
A letter from Ephraim Williams Jun"' to the Hon*"'" John Stoddard Esq" of the same
date mentioning the above letter.
Whereupon the Commissioners from the Massachusets Bay and Pennsylvania Govern" (the
Com miss" from Connecticut being returned home) were sent for to confer with his Excell*^^
and Council [this] morning upon the subject matter of the above letters.
The Commiss" from the Massachusets Bay attending accordingly proposed to His Excell'"''
and Council, that as the French at Canada and their Indians have now attacked the King's
Forts, and in regard the Six Nations of Indians by their answer to the fourth article in his
Excell'^'' speech now made to them have agreed to take up the Hatchet against the French at
Canada and their Indians, upon condition they should have two months time allow[ed] them to
use their endevours for obtaining satisfaction touching the infraction of the Treaty of neutrality
which had (at that time) been made by French Indians by committing hostilitys upon the
Frontiers of New England, or if in the mean time any further hostilitys should be offered
against His Mnj'>" Settlements, that then they would immediately after upon his Excell"^* orders
strike with the hatchet against the French & their Indians, and as further hostilitys had now
been committed as appeared by the aforesaid letters, the said Commissioners requested his
Excell"'^ that he would please agreable to this treaty to give his orders to the Six Nations
immediately to fall upon the Enemy, and the Massachusets Government would provide them
with Amunition and other warlike stores at their own expence, provided this Province would
not furnish them therewith and they would take the Indians along with them.
And then the said Commiss" withdrew to wait his Excell"^* answer.
And his Excell'^^ advising with the Council thereupon they were of opinion: That, as there'
was a matter of the highest concern to all the Colonies it could not be determined upon so
suddenly, as the Massachusets Commiss" desired, for there were but four Members of the
Council present and it was proper it should be discussed by a full Board at his Excell'^^'' return
to New York ; besides, it was necessary this matter should be laid before the Assembly that
' this. Kew-York Council Minutes, XXL, 60. â€” Ed.
304 NEW- YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
they may make provision for such an event ; that proper Fortifications may be immediately
erected upon our Northern Frontiers to which at present the Six Nations are our only barrier,
and should our Indians be withdrawn, are' out settlements would be naked and utterly exposed
to incursions and insults of the Enemy; and his Excellency would not consistently with the
security of this Province (as matters were now circumstanced) engage the Indians in the war,
at this critical time, till proper measures can be taken to put this province in a better condition
That this Province was at all times at an anual expence to secure these Nations in the British
interest as well in peace as war, well knowing that if they are our friends they are our
That the other Provinces never took notice of them but in time of war, excepting upon
some extraordinary emergency respecting the particular instance of their respective Colonys.
Moreover, it did not appear by the express whether this was a formidable Army or of what
number it consisted, for it was probable it was no more than a small flying party who would
soon retire after doing some little Mischief.
Considering the time this fresh hostility was committed it did not come within the words
or meaning of this Treaty, for 'twas before the Indians had given in their answer to his
'Twas observed that the Six Nations had now said in answer to His Excell'^''''. proposition to
them concerning their engaging in the war that they were in alliance with a great number of
Far Nations of Indians, and if they should so suddenly lift up the Hatchet without acquainting
their allies with it they would perhaps take offence at it, that 'twas probable many Indians of
the Six Nations were at this time in the Enemies Country and might remain there some time
if they have not notice of such an event, and 'twas most reasonable there should be time
allowed for calling them home, and thereby preventing their falling a sacrifice to the Enemy.
But though it must be allowed the Six Nations are more immediately under the influence of
the Govern' of New York as being constantly in their pay at a very great expence as well in
peace as war, yet the Council conceived 'twas most just & reasonable and a duty incumbent
on every Colony to assist each other not only in case of attack made by the Enemy upon any
of us, but likewise to join in any well concerted scheme for the annoyance of the common
Enemy, as the same is also most agreable to the Royal orders concerning the present War,
nevertheless they could not advise his Excell'^^ to take such measures at this instant as the
setting on the Indians to war immediately as things are thus circumstanced, but rather thought
it adviseable as the Assembly were now soon to be sitting that there should be the concurrence
of the whole Legislature upon a matter of so great moment.
Which was agreed to by the Board, then the Commissioners were called in and acquainted
with the above opinion and resolution.
His Excell'"'' however told the Commissioners though he could not immediately give orders
to the Indians to engage in the war, nevertheless he would give them assistance by immediately
detaching a party of the Militia at the expence of this Province.
The Commissioners took an hour's time to consider of this proposal and said at their return
that they could not accept of the Militia for they believed 'twas only a small party that by that
time was gone off; so that nothing but his Excellency's orders to the Indians to join in the
â€¢war, and to go with the Massachusets Commissioners immediately and thereby be withdrawn
' our. JS'ew-Tork Conncil MintUes, XXI., 61. â€” Ed.
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXVII. 305
from our Frontiers would content them, for they seemed to depart with some sort of threatnings
that tiieir Govern' would represent this matter iiome.
Note. â€” The worda within brackets in the preceding Document are aJded from tlie Eecord in X'ew - Vurk Council Minnies,
XXI. â€” Ed.
Governor Clinton to the Duke of Newcastle.
[New-Tork Papers. (8. P. 0.) IS., 257. ]
Since I had the honour to write to Your Grace of 25"' July last, I have been obliged to
make a voyage to Albany, to attend an interview with the Si.\ nations of Indians, in order
to establish them more warmly in the British interest, from which they were likely to revolt,
thro' the influence and artifice of the French.
At the publick conference, there attended Commissioners from the Massachusets Bay,
Connecticut and PenÂ«ilvania, with intent to renew and confirm with me, in behalf of His
Majesty, their respective treatys with the Six nations, and during my stay there, The
Commissioners from the Massachusets demanded of me the Assistance of those nations to war
against the French Indians in their Govern', wiiereby tiie frontiers of this province would have
been left naked, and exposed to the insults of the Enemy, and all our out settlers stript of
succour; as we have no regular strengtii to repel an Enemy, nor a sufficient number of garrisons
to protect the inhabitants, should they be attacked.
Whereupon I advised with His Majesty's Council then with me, who were of opinion, that
it was of very dangerous consequence to suffer the Indians to depart this province, till I had
informed the Legislature with the nature of this demand, however willing I might be to assist
His Maj'^^ subjects in New England, and shall refer Your Grace to my transactions at large
with the Indians at this conference,, and what passed between the Commissioners from the
Massachusets Bay and me, upon the occasion, which I Iiave inclosed, and hope for Your
Grace's approbation therein.
Since my return from Albany I have again recommended to the Assembly, the necessity of
raising supplys for building of P'orts, to cover tiie frontiers of this province, and particularly
more so now, as the Indians, by this treaty, have engaged themselves to make war upon the
French Indians in two months after, unless they can obtain satisfaction in that time, from them,
for a breach of a treaty of neutrality entered into between them, and now become void, by their
committing hostilities upon His Maj'>' subjects in New England.
I am e.xtremeiy concerned to see the dispatch of publick business so greatly neglected by the
Assembly of this province, notwithstanding my frequent importunities and recommendations
on that head; and I am perswaded while they are at the charge of maintaining a Govern"", it
will never be otherwise, tho' I have it to say, none ever gained more esteem among them, than
myself, by a candid behaviour to them. They are selfish and jealous of the power of the
Crown, and of such levelling principles, that they are constantly attacking it's prerogative, so
that nothing but a Governour's independence, can ever bring them to a just sence of their duty
Vol. VI. .^O
306 NEW- YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
to His Majesty, and his service. I iiave taken unwared pains to that end tho', hitherto to little
purpose; and 1 find that neither dissolutions, nor fair means can produce from tiiem, such
effects, as will tend to a publick good, or their own preservation ; They will neither act for
themselves, nor assist their neighbours, altho' I have constantly laid before them His Maj"''
Royal orders, and instructions, transmitted to me from time to time by Your Grace since the
commencement of the War, as also the frequent applications made to me by Governour Shirley
and M' Warren, for assistance of men, provisions, and moiiy, in mai[n]tenance of the late
expedition against Cape Breton, and for the protection of Louisbourg since reduced to the
obedience of His Maj'-'; to all which they have paid no greater regard than voting ,Â£5000 this
currency to that service, without any other assistance, and even that was more than I could
well expect, as few, but hireling, have a seat in the Assembly, who protract time for the sake
of their wages, at a great expence to the Province, without contributing any thing material to
its welfare, credit or safety.
It is now become clear to me, that unless the Legislature at Home does take cognizance of
their disobedience and indolence, and enjoin them to a more submissive behaviour to His Maj'J''
Royal orders and instructions, I have poor hopes of succeeding in any affair, tho' ever so well
concerted for His Maj'^' service and the security of the Province.
I take the liberty to inclose Your Grace some Messages I sent to the Assembly, since my
speech to them of the 25. June last, to which they have not given the least attention, except
their enabling me to go to Albany, when the conceived the frontiers in the most imminent
danger, although it has been the constant practice heretofore in time of War for the Governour
to meet the Indians once a year, when the Province was much less able to be at the charge.
I have been endevouring to set on foot a scheme, and to engage the Province therein, for the
reduction of a Fort at Crown point, posessed by the French in the Indian Country, which is a
very great annoyance to our frontiers, and had in pursuance thereof sent up six pieces of
Cannon of IS pounders with carriages and a proportion of powder, ball, match and other
implements. It is well they are gone, for to my great concern (and what I have so often
represented to the Assembly would be our fate) I received an account the 19"" inst: by express
from Albany, that a party of French and their Indians had cut off a settlement in this province
called Saraghtoge about fifty miles from Albany, and that twenty houses with a Fort (which
the publick would not repair) were burnt to ashes, about thirty persons killed and scalped and
about sixty taken prisoners.
Upon receipt of this news I sent the Assembly another Message, who have paid but little
regard thereto, except their voting an inconsiderable sum towards building a small Fort in the
frontiers to be garrisoned with some Militia ; and have pleaded an adjournment for a fortnight,
upon account of the small pox prevailing in this City, and that they may return home to settle
their affairs, and such of them as are Colonels of Militia, to make proper regulations in their
Regiments, for the defence of the respective Countys, as we hear the Enemy is still in the
Country, to which I was advised by my Council to consent.
In the mean time I have done every thing in my power for His Maj'>'* service and have
detached two of His Maj'>' companys of Fusiliers to Albany, and given orders to march
detachments of the militia as a further security to that City. I have also given orders to the
Six nations, of Indians, to take up the hatchet against the Enemy, but unless the Assembly
will come into ways and means to join our neighbours to attack the Enemy in their settlements,
I can not answer for the safely of this province under its present circumstances. I have
LONDON DOCUMENTS: XXVII. 307
discharged my duty, and do refer Your Grace to tlie proceedings of the Assembly for what
they have done.
I am witii the greatest of regard
Your Graces most obedient and
New York SO"" Nov' most humble servant
1745. (signed). G. Clinton.
His Grace the Duke of Newcastle.
Governor Clinton to the Loi'ds of Trade.
[ New-Tork Papers, Bundle Gg., No. 154. ]
This waites upon Your Lord^P' with a duplicate of my last of the 30"" November inclosed,
wherein I acquainted Your LordPP' that the Assembly had adjourned to l?"" Dec'. They came
to a resolve of a very extraordinary nature the SQ"" Nov"" viz'
" Resolved. For the honour of His Majesty and the welfare and security of this
" Colony, that this house will at all times cheerfully concur to every reasonable
" measure for our own defence, for the assistance of our IS'eighbours, and to any well
" concerted plan, consistent with the circumstances of the Colony for the distressing
" and attacking the Enemy ; and that this is, and ever has been the firm purpose and
Â»' unanimous resolution of this House."
This they did with a view to remove the complaints and odium their own people threw upon
them, for their neglect in raising supplys for the safety of the Province, particularly the
Frontiers ; and I was advised to make use of these complaints in my message before they
adjourned, in expectation they would have been moved thereby, and acted with a spirit
becoming a time of common danger, and with such zeal for the welfare of the Province, as
might have ended in the confusion of the Enemy.
1 sent the Chief of the Province from Council to know from the Assembly what they meant
by this Resolve, and whether they would make good such services, as I might, in the interim,
be advised (for the safety of the Country) to send the Militia upon ; to which they answered,
such powers were not meant by their resolve nor would they promise to requite any such
services, unless they were previously acquainted therewith.
They met according to their adjournment, and I was in hopes with Resolutions to raise
supplys effectually to enable me (in conjunction with the Neighbouring Govern'') to discourage
any further descents of the Enemy into these Provinces, to which end, I sent them a Message
informing them, that I had great reason to apprehend, the designs of the Enemy against this
Province were very formidable. I also acquainted them with overtures made to me by the
Massachusets Govern' recommended by their Assembly, for the annoyance of the Enemy in
308 NEW- YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
their own Country ; and as in strictness, J think my recommendations (by advice of His Maj'^^'
Council) sufficient for their guide, yet I iiave constantly waved all ceremony, and laid before
them every paper and letter touching the designs and conduct of the Enemy'as an inducement
to their more ready adhering to such measures as would tend to the general good of this and
the neighbouring Govern'*; and notwithstanding the unhappy people in the Frontiers have
mostly left their settlements and effects, and fled to the City of Albany for refuge, the Assembly
has not come to any resolution for their protection or any thing else since they met, except
their voting 150 pounds for building a Fort in the frontiers burnt down by the Enemy.
I must own, these sort of representations are vexatious to me, and I doubt not, disagreable
to Your Lordpp*; but the duty and affection 1 owe to His Mnj'y obliges me to acquaint you with
every neglect of the Assembly, relating to the security of this Province since the commencement
of the War, and more particularly now, as" it Has been attacked by the Enemy; and such like
disasters may reasonably issue every day, as we are [in] no condition of defence. I am ettc
N. York. IS Jan'-'' 174|. G. Clinton.
P. S. I have transmitted to Your Lord^P' the Act of the Province printed with the Seal
affixed, which 1 conceive will answer the end of engrossement, as frequent casualtys have
attended their coming to your hands since war was declared by France. Should this method
be thought agreable to Your Lord^P', You will please to signify e Your approbat" thereof.
Lords of Trade to Governor Clinton.
[ New-York Entries, M., 29T. ]
To the Hon"' George Clinton Gov' of New York.
Sir. '^^'^ ^
Since our letter to you of the 28"" of June 1745 We have received Yours of the 19"" of Janry
1744-, 10"" of June, two of the SS"- of July, 30"' of Nov'^ and IS"' of Janry 174f.
In your letter of the 10"' of June 1745 You acquaint us with your having dissolved the
Assembly on account of their unwarrantable proceedings, and in that of the 25"" of July that
you had hopes that the new one would answer Your expectations seeming as you say tliere to
be of a better Disposition towards business. We are therefore sorry to find by Complaints
against them in Your letter of the SO"" of November following that you have since had reason
to alter Your opinion in that particular, as it is a disappointment to you and may be attended
with bad consequences to His Majesty's Affairs.
It is certainly high time to make effectual provision for the Security of the Province when
the Indians have begun to commit hostilities upon the Frontiers.
You have done your duty in using Your best endeavours in induce the Assembly thereto, tho
they have not as yet seconded these good intentions of Yours in the manner they ought, yet as
it appears by Your letter of the 30"" of Nov' that they have voted a small sum towards building
a Fort upon the Frontiers We hope they may be yet further prevailed upon to concur with you
LONDON DOCUMENTS: XXVII. 309
in those things W^ you shall judge necessary for the publick Service and the Safety of
At the same time we are pleased to find that they were not backward in exerting themselves
in the common cause, but shew'd a proper Regard to His Majesty's service by furnishing
assistance towards the Expedition to Cape Breton.
We have laid before His Grace The Duke of Newcastle Extracts of so much of one of Your
letters of the 25"" of July as relates to the Encroachments of the French and the necessity of
the Governments sending You over an Engineer to repair the Fortifications of Your Province ;
and as much of the other of the same date as relates to Vessels built by the French upon the
Lake Cadaracqui & the methods you propose for putting a stop to their encroachments.
In the Postscript to Yours of the IS"" of Janry last you acquaint us that you have
transmitted the Printed Acts of the Assembly of Your Province with the seal affixed thereto,
which you conceive will answer the End of Engrossment, and desire our opinion thereon, as
they are authenticated under the Seal of the Province, We doubt not but they have been
examined & if for the future you certify by your own hand that they have been passed by you,
we are of Opinion it will answer the end of Y'' Instructions, So we bid you heartily farewell
Your very loving friends
and humble Servants
Whitehall J. Pitt
May IS"- 1746 B. Leveson Gower.
P. S. We must desire that you will for the future constantly send us together with the Acts
passed in Your Government, Your Observations thereon & Your reasons for passing them as
you are directed to do by Your Instructions.
Governor Clinton to the Diike of Newcastle.
[ New- York. ( S. P. O. ) X., 81. ]
New York lO"- June 1746.
I must always acknowledge with a great many thanks the many favours I have received from
your Grace and particular the last in obtaining for me this government, tiio' it has fallen far
short of what it was represented in regard to the support of a Governor, and to the climate,
which has been fatal to one of my family, nor have I or any of the rest enjoyed any sliare of
health since we have been in the Province. I am obh'ged to send my son out for change of air,
he having had an ague & feaver for above this ten months, which has wore him to nothing.
Tiierefore I am became a petitioner in behalf of my self and family, to beg of your Grace to
get me his Majesty's leave to come to England for the recovery of my health, having very much
empaired my hearing and eye sight.
310 NEW-YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
As I offered my service to command the squadron to be appointed to go against Louisbourg,
and took it for granted this present expedition would follow, and from some hint I had from
home, I did not think I should have failed ; but tho' 1 did not obtain it, I hope when I have
leave to return to England that the Lords of the admiralty will appoint me some command to
come home with from hence, as I take it for granted ships will be going home in the fall ; as
they appointed Commidore Knowles a command to bring him out to his government. This
I must beg your Graces assistance in, as it may be a chance of making some little profit going
home, which 1 have had no opportunity of doing here ; but intirely submitt every thing to
I am with the greatest respect
Your Graces most obedient
His Grace Duke of Newcastle. (signed) G. Clintox.
Governor Clinton to the DuTce of Newcastle.
[New-York. (8. P. 0.) X., 36.]
I have the honour of your Grace's letter of the 9"" of April last, acquainting me with His
Majesty's royal orders touching an expedition for the immediate reduction of Canada.
I am perfectly glad to hear that such measures are taken, and I do assure your Grace that
nothing shall be wanting on my part to promote the success of it. I am taking the necessary
& most speedy steps for raising men for that service, and I wish I may meet with such aid from
the Province as the importance of this enterprize demands; but I cannot help acquainting your
Grace that altho' the Council and Assembly have declared their joy & loyalty in their addresses
to my speech upon the occasion, yet I have already discovered they did not speak with their
hearts, and are evading to provide materials which will be absolutely wanting to transport
such troops as can be raised within this Province, into the enemy's country, because they are
not expressly ordered so to do, by Your Grace's letter.
I must observe to Your Grace that I shall meet with great difficultys in providing arms and