may be every-where obstructed among the Indians and entirely lost, and in case of a war the
frontiers of the Northern Colonies be on all quarters exposed to the incursions of the Indians,
and their settlements ruined.
As we had certain intelligence of the Treaty of peace being concluded, I depended on soon
receiving orders and instructions for the liberty of prisoners on both sides, but having received
no orders or instructions on that head, not so much as a copy of the Treaty of peace, I am
disabled from pursuing any method of obtaining the liberty of these prisoners, I must likewise
inform Your Grace, that as His Maj'^'' Gov' of this Province is without any support for
defraying any part of the expence of the Administration, of which in my former letters, I have
informed Your Grace, I am obliged to defray the expence of preserving the Indians in their
fidelity out of my own private pocket, and on the credit of the orders, I formerly received
from the Duke of Newcastle by sending proper persons among them with presents for that
purpose, and tho' this be a heavy charge on me, and absolutely necessary for His Maj''' service,
I know not how I shall be otherwise reimbursed, than by the aforesaid credit which has not
been recalled. I have sent copys of all the papers which have passed, between the Governor
of Canada and me on this occassion, to the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations for
their information, to which I must beg leave to refer Your Grace, humbly praying that I may
receive proper instructions on this head without delay.
Your Grace will perceive from the inclosed extract of a paper which the Gov' of Canada
had sent among the Indians, what artifices he is using, now at the commencement of the
peace to infuse among them of the English and to withdraw their affections from us.
I have been for some weeks past much out of order, that I hope Your Grace will forgive me
in making up of another hand
I am with the greatest regard and respect
My Lord Duke
Your Graces most obedient
and most iiumble servant
New York 30"> May 1749. (signed.) G Clinton.
To his Grace the Duke of Bedford.
Oovernor Clinton to the Lords of Trade.
[ Now-Tork Papers, Ith., No. 29. ]
Your Lordships will receive with this copys of several letters & papeis which I have passed
between the Governour of Canada & me relating to the Exchange of Prisoners. The Governour
of Canada under various pretences detains a great number of His Majesty's Subjects of this
486 NEW-YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
Province Prisoners in Canada. I have set all the French at Liberty (who were a much
greater number than the English in Canada) except about Eighteen or twenty who were taken
by the Mohawk Indians & remain in their hands. They have five of their people prisoners in
Canada. The Gov'' of Canada insists to have these French who are in the hands of the
Mohawks delivered up in the first place & at the same time refuses to deliver up those Indians
he has prisoners; and likewise to set at Liberty a great many of the English who are detained
like Slaves among the French Indians, unless we buy them like slaves from their Indian
Masters. At the same time the Gov"" of Canada has his Emissaries among the Indians of the
five Nations who by the force of presents and otherwise are endeavouring to debauch them in
their Fidelity lo the Crown of Great Britain by perswading them to go to Canada & there to
humble themselves for having joined with the English in the war & to enter into new treaties
of friendship & submission to the French King. The Gov' of Canada at the same time
threatens to make War on the Mississaques & on other Nations scituate on Lake Hurons who
had joined us in the War against the French in Canada, had blocked up several of the French
Forts scituated on those Lakes for the Security of their Commerce among these distant nations
& in a renconter with the French had killed above sixty of their Men. These Nations had
entirely obstructed the French commerce in the time of the War, & their Communication
with the Mississippi & now not only trade with His Majesty's Subjects of this Province, but
endeavour to carry the trade of all the neighbouring Indian Nations to Oswego & to withdraw
them from the French.
As it would be at present of the worst consequence to the British Interest in Trade if the
French should succeed in their Designs, & afterwards as to the safety of the Northern Colonies
in case of a War, I am doing everything in my power to defeat their Designs, But as his
Majesty's Government in this Province is without one farthing at present for the support of it,
or for the defraying any Expence in the Administration iiowever necessary, I am put under
the necessity of Defraying this Expence of preserving the Indians in their Fidelity out of my
own private pocket, & without knowing in what manner I shall be reimbursed.
I have now sent the Indian Interpreter with a considerable quantity of provisions &
Amunition to meet the Misissaque Indians at Oswego to Encourage them in their Confidence
of their being supported against the intrigues of the French in their Trading with his Majesty's
Subjects, & as this is evidently a necessary service I am confident His Majesty will not allow
me to suffer by my zeal for his service in advancing the mony for the Expence of it, since it
could not otherwise be performed.
Your Lordships will perceive by my last letter to the Governour of Canada that I expected
to be Enabled by the treaty of peace to demand all the prisoners to be set at liberty in
pursuance of it; But tho I have received his Majesty's Proclamation of Peace I have no orders
relating to the liberty of the Prisoners on either side, neither have I any copy of the treaty of
peace, so that I am disabled from pursueing those measures I had resolved to take for procuring
the Liberty of the Indians as well as of the other British subjects Prisoners in Canada.
It is of the greatest consequence. My Lords, that I be enabled to preserve the Confidence
the Indians have in the protection of the King of Great Britain, for if it had not been for the
assistance we had from our Indians it would have been very difticult to have preserved a great
part of this Province & other parts from desolation by the Incursions of the French Indians,
whereas by the Assistance we have had from them notwithstanding the Agravations made in
the common News Papers of what the people on the Frontiers have suffered from the Incursions
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXIX. 487
of the J-rench a greater part of Canada has been laid waste by our Indians & their settlements
Deserted, & according to the Informations I have obtained since the cessation of Arms more of
the French killed by the Indians in alliance with us than English by the French ; But the
greatest advantage we obtained in the War was in the almost total destruction of the French
Commerce with the numerous Indian Nations to the Westward & which, had I not been
obstructed by the Intrigues of the Faction in this Province, would have been so effectually
destroyed by the Measures I had taken that the French could not in many Years (if ever),
have recovered it.
These things I can only curserly mention at this time that Your Lordships may see the
Importance of my beng Enabled by proper Instructions & otherwise to preserve the Indians in
their Fidelity & that no time be lost for this purpose least the French in Canada should by their
Artifices gain any advantage over us. This is the true and only foundation of the Difference
between the Governor of Canada & me at this time, that he lays hold of the conclusion of
the Peace & the setting of prisoners at liberty in consequence of it as^ a proper occasion to
withdraw the dependance of the Five Nations as well as other Indian Nations on the British
Crown, tho by the treaty of Utrecht these five nations (as they were then commonly called by
the English) are declared subjects of Great Britain.
The affairs of the Indians is of so great Importance to the safety & prosperity of the
Northern Colonies that it deserves the serious attention of His Majesties Ministers now
immediately after the conclusion of a peace, & the more so that the French in Canada appear
indefatigable at this time to gain an Advantage of us by our remissness occasioned by the
unsettled state of the publick Affairs of this Province : I every hour hope to receive Instructions
by which the Administration shall be so far strength'ned that a Faction shall not think it safe
out of picque or other sinister View to oppose and obstruct every Measure I take for His
Majesties Service however necessary or useful they may be for the publick Good.
As soon as the present unsettled Affairs of this Province will permit me I propose to lay a
Memorial before Your Lordships of the State of the Indian Affairs & of what I think may be
most proper to be done to make the Indian Nations the most useful to the Kingdom of Great
Britain & its Colonies; but J must in the mean lime beg Your Lordships to represent to His
Majesty the necessity of strengtlming my hands & supporting me in the measures which may
be necessary for preserving the Fidelity of the Indians, & their Dependance on the Crown of
Great Britain, & this without Delay.
Y'our Lordships will perceive from the Inclosed Extract of a paper which the Gov' of Canada
had sent among the Indians, what Artifices he is using now at the commencement of the peace
to infuse among them, of the English, & to withdraw their affections from us.
I am with the greatest respect. My Lords,
Your Lordships most obedient
New York and most humble Servant.
S-* June 1749. G. Clinton.
To, The Right Hon'''= The Lords Commiss" for Trade & Plantations.
488 NEW-YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
Marquis de la Galissoniere to Governor Olinton.
[ New-Tork Papers, Hh., No. 80. ]
(TKANSLATED FEOM THE FEENCH.]
Quebec, 25В«' August 1748.
Your Excellency's letter of the 24"' of May being dispatched in time of war, I ought not be
surprised at the bitter complaints it contained on the subject of the incursions of Canadians
and Indians into the territory of New England; but as you have doubtless ere this found out
by the return of peace that nothing occurred during this last war except events and misfortunes
inseperable therefrom, I hope you will be so good as to dispense with my answering that
point more at length, the rather that, as you do not cite any particular act nor accuse any
individual by name, it would be difficult for me to undertake the justification of all the
Canadians and all the Indians. I doubt not but M"' Shirley has communicated to you some
complaints which I made to him on ray side, last autumn and spring, and which I am about to
repeat to you.
Notwithstanding the unceasing attention paid by the Marquis de Beauharnois, my predecessor,
and myself, to recovering from the hands of the Indians the greatest number possible of English
people, and to procure them a prompt return into their country, having sent back forty
one by sea, belonging to the Province of New-York alone, your government has distinguished
itself from that of Massachusetts and the others, by retaining to this day our prisoners, and
leaving them in the hands of the Indians, who, it is said, still have eighteen exclusive of the
five you have just restored.
This conduct, which I am persuaded Your Excellency has not approved, would have obliged
me, had the war continued, to retain here all the prisoners belonging to the Province of New
York, until that government had adopted more favorable sentiments towards the prisoners on
both sides. But peace being reestablished, I shall modify this resolution as much as possible,
without failing in what I owe to the security of the French Canadians, who are still detained
throughout the extent of your Government, exclusive of the forty-one you have already received,
and who have been replaced by only five. I have given M"' Thomas William those, the list
whereof is hereunto annexed.
I do not include the twenty-four prisoners of old France in the account, because 1 had already
begun, last year and this, to send back all the English belonging to Old England and the
other Colonies, a great number of whom I had here, and I daily send off the remainder of them
by every opportunity.
1 have to submit to you some personal complaints, wherein I refer myself entirely to your
justice. The Peace ought to put an end to National animosities, but it is a mark of friendship
to make known to each other those who by their conductor discourse, may afford cause during
the war for grave reprisals. The first is against an officer who was in command at Sarastow,
in the month of October and November, 174G, in presence of whom some English or Dutchmen,
and not Indians, burnt in the hand with touchwood, a Canadian named L'Esperance who had
been taken by some Mohawks at Isle la Mothe. This man is here, and will bear all his life the
marks of that barbarity. The 2'' against M' Chew, who had informed you that he was not well
treated during his imprisonment at Quebec. On this point I request to interrogate those who
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXIX 489
were there at the time, who spoke so well of the good treatment they experienced here, that
M'' Shirley had thanks returned therefor to my predecessors and me.
The S-" complaint is more vague, for I cannot name any person, but I am as certain as
possible that the English have promised money to some Indians if they would assassinate the
Commandant of Detroit and some others.
I come to your demand for Indian prisoners, whereunto I beg you to permit me to answer.
First. That the Indians are not subjects of Great Britain.
2'^ That we have not, nor had any war with the Six Nations of Iroquois, who have continued
to live in terms of friendship with us for forty-five years, with the exception of the small party
of Mohawks whom the other Cantons disavow.
2'^ That the Nations can come as they promised, to negotiate for the restoration of those
prisoners, but this in no way concerns the English.
4"' That Article 15 of the Treaty of Utrecht, to which you refer me, does not name the
Iroquois, and though it did so, it would be null in their regard, since they never acquiesced
therein; we have always regarded them as Allies in common of the English and French, and
they do not look on themselves in any other light.
I beg of you, then. Sir, to detain no longer, as the war appears to authorize you, the Iroquois
deputation which is to come here. I beg you, still more urgently, and in the immediate interest
of your people, to forbid, more vigorously than ever, the underhand doings of your traders to
assassinate Frenchmen in some isolated posts. Such plots cannot be long concealed ; they
were but too common during the last peace, and would oblige us to have recourse to reprisals,
as cruel as they are easy, and which are extremely repugnant to me. Wherefore, I warn 3'ou,
beforehand, in order that it can be said that we are laboring to cement the peace even before
it is entirely concluded and the conditions are communicated to us. It is with this view that
T send, in company with M'' , your deputy. Lieutenant Desligneris, of the King's
troops, to negotiate with you the exchange of the Canadians who are prisoners at New-York.
On restoring them to me I shall liberate all the English and Dutch of New-York, in my
hands. I know not if it will cost you much, but I have made the first advances, and what
sum you expend will not equal our disbursements, as the number of your prisoners, of all
classes, exceeded four or five times that of ours.
As for the few who will still remain in the hands of our Indians, you have only to send
back some one with M"' Desligneris, and you may rely that I will facilitate their redemption as
much as possibly lies in my power.
I liave the honor to be, with respect.
Your Excellency's most humble
and most obedient servant
A true copy, examined and compared with the original paper.
Peter De Joncourt,
Interpreter of the French language.
Vol. VI. 02
490 NEW-YOEK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
Lieutenant Desligneris to Governor Clinton.
[New-Tork Papers, Hh., No. 81.]
[TRANSLATED FEOM THE FRENCH.]
To his Excellency, Monsieur de Clinton, Captain-General and Governor of the Province of
I take the liberty of most humbly representing to Your Excellency that the advanced season
makes me greatly apprehend difficulties on my return to Canada, and pray you to be so good
as to accelerate my departure. My voyage to this country has no other object than the release
of the Canadian prisoners who remain in the hands of the Mohawks, and I assure Your
Excellency that if you deliver them to me all the prisoners belonging to the Government of
New-York, as well as the Indian prisoners at Quebec, will be restored to liberty and sent back
as soon as the season will permit.
Sir, Your Excellency has done me the honor to tell me that had the Marquis de la Galissoniere
sent back one only of the Indian prisoners, it would have greatly facilitated the recovery of
our Canadians from out the hands of the Moiiawks, but that he not only did not do so, but
even does not say when he will send them.
To the first point I answer, that the Marquis de la Galissoniere sent several of them back
last year who had promised to return to negotiate the exchange of their people and to bring
us back our Canadians, and that since that time they have made no movement to that effect.
Therefore, he was not bound to trust them any more.
To the second, I answer, that it is the Marquis de la Galissoniere's intention to release the
Indian as well as the English prisoners as soon as we shall have our Canadians ; and if he does
not make mention of them to your Excellency, it is because he does not regard those Indians as
subjects of the King of Great Britain. In fact, were they such, would not those have been
punished who, after having come with a message to Montreal, treacherously killed and carried
off some Frenchmen from Isle la Motte; and would not those have been condemned to death
who are killing each other daily in drunken debauchery? The King does not tolerate such
disorders among his subjects.
It has been asked of me, Sir, on the part of Your Excellency, if some of our prisoners were
now surrendered, with a promise to send back the others in course of time, whether the Marquis
de la Galissoniere would release all those we have in Canada? I answer, I do not believe
that he would, but am persuaded that if it be impossible to have them all at present, and
that a portion of them are given up to me, the Marquis de la Galissoniere will also release
some of yours, because I know that he is well disposed to live in friendship with this
government, and to avoid all sorts of subjects of diflerence. I have reason to think. Sir, that
Your Excellency entertains the same sentiments. Wherefore, I flatter myself you will make
every effort to withdraw our Canadian prisoners out the hands of the Indians and restore them
to me; especially when you will be informed of the care with which the English prisoners in
the hands of our Indians have been redeemed. Mess" Williams and Vanderheden can render
faithful testimony thereof, since they themselves have been witnesses of the pains which the
Commandant of Montreal took to that effect when they were in that city. I hope Your
Excellency will be so good as to return the compliment, and reflect that it is much more the
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXIX. 491
interest of the government of New-York than that of Canada, that the exchange of prisoners
should take place, inasmuch as we have a much greater number of yours than you have of ours
in this country.
Meanwhile, my opinion is, that it is highly advantageous to the two Colonies that this
exchange should be promptly made, and that it is the surest means of restoring tranquility;
by sending immediately to Albany there would still be sufficient time to bring thither our
prisoners from the Mohawks; and I doubt not but Colonel Janson, who has considerable
influence among that nation, would succeed if he had orders to recover them. I most humbly
pray Your Excellency to be pleased to pay attention to what I have the honor to represent, and
to dismiss me as soon as possible. I shall be truly obliged thereby.
I am, with the most profound respect, Sir,
Your most liumble
and most obedient servant,
New-York, IQ"" October, 174S. Desligneris.
A true cop3', examined and compared with the original paper.
Peter De JoxNcourt,
Interpreter of the French language.
Governor Clinton to the Governor of Canada.
[ New-York Papere, Hh., No. 33. ]
Fort George in New York. lO"- Oct' 1748
In answer to Your letter of the So"" August I am well pleased that you observe the difference
of the time in which my former was wrote, and that wherein Yours is.
As soon as I received orders to make Hostilities cease, all the French Prisoners in this
Province, taken before the Cessation of arms, being then between three or four hundred, were
immediately set at liberty, and sent to the French Colonies at the expeuce of this Government.
I have likewise restored seven French Ships taken by the Privateers belonging to this place,
since the cessation of arms, four of which are already sailed from hence, on their return home,
and the others are at liberty to go as soon as the Commanders of them shall think proper, so
that at this time the French Prisoners in this place enjoy all the Advantages of a peace, those
only who are in the hands of the Indians excepted. And as to them it is owing to Your
conduct, with respect to the inhabitants of this Province, and the Indians (likewise the King
of Great Britains subjects) who have the misfortune of being Prisoners in Canada, that they
do not now return with the Officer you sent to receive them.
The care I must have of the King's Subjects under my Government made it necessary for
me to suffijr them to remain in the State they were 'till the return of the persons I had sent to
You with the French Prisoners, that I might form my resolutions according to your conduct.
I have sent at several times above one thousand French Prisoners from this place, who while
here were entertained in lodgings and carried home at our Expence, You will perceive that we
492 NEW-YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
are in no manner short of what has been done any where in the King of France's Dominions,
either in the good treatment of the Prisoners, or the numbers that have been restored: This
Governm' has reason therefore more than any other to have their prisoners in Canada well
treated and as speedily as possible sent home.
Now, Sir, 1 am sorry to be under the necessity of complaining that after You knew of the
Cessation of Hostilities You refused to set the King of Great Britain's Subjects at liberty, not
only those who are in the hands of the Indians but those who are absolutely in Your own
power, for which there can be no excuse, and make my releasing the few French Prisoners who
are in the hands of the Indians a condition of their Liberty.
1 know not what greater demand could be made in time of actual War, and which must be
attended with this hardship to the King my Master's Subjects, that if the French were now to
be delivered the English must (by the Season of the Year) remain the whole winter in Canada,
after the French are returned, or be under the necessity of Travelling in the Severities of that
Season. Whereas had you sent all the English Prisoners back with my Messengers and Your
Officer both English and Frencli migiit have returned home with equal conveniency. I must
also complain that you still keep the English Prisoners in close confinement, especially Anthony
Van Schaick, and John Abeel, who have been so long detained, and who I am credibly
informed have been treated with a severity not commonly practised amongst Civilized Nations.
Your conduct has given me a right (which I think otherwise I should not have had) to
detain as many of the French Prisoners in this place as I shall think proper, till such time as
His Majesty's Subjects shall be all released: Nevertheless that the Subjects of both Crowns may
as much as is in my power enjoy the benefit of peace without unnecessary delay I shall
immediately give orders to have the French Prisoners who are still in the hands of the Indians
to be taken out of their hands. It appears by Your letter you are sensible enough what
difKculties attend the doing of this, where the Prisoners have been given up to particular
families and adopted. However if you shall restore all the English Prisoners, I undertake to