William Evans.

The Friends' library : comprising journals, doctrinal treatises, and other writings of members of the religious Society of Friends (Volume 1) online

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would not be answered, and that great devas-
tation and bloodshed would be the consequence.
The writing was signed by the Creeks, Chero-
kees and all the nations present, except the
Six Nations.

" 17th. Struck the remainder of the tents and
got all our baggage, sheep, fowls, ducks, &c.,
on board the Dunraore by eleven o'clock. We
were about sixty souls on board, including the
commissioners' retinue, sailors, marines, pi'i-
soners returning home, &c. The wind not
being fair we waited some time ; when it be-
came rather more favourable — we sailed easily
away and reached the Bass islands, forty miles,
by seven in the morning.

" 18th. First-day, judging it proper to hold
a meeting, we sat down in the cabin, being
joined by general Lincoln and several others ;
the remainder were above round the cabin
door. It was a solid time, several testimonies
were borne, and the meeting concluded in sup-
plication and thanksgiving to the Father of
mercies, who had preserved and sustained us
in the present arduous journey.

" 19th. The servants and seamen having
quarrelled, one of the marines was ordered to
walk the deck with his sword, and to be re-
lieved by the others alternately during the

" 22nd. The wind being high and fair, we
sailed rapidly and arrived at fort Erie about
twelve o'clock at night.

"23d. Wind so high all day, that it ap-
peared imprudent to attempt landing ; but in
the afternoon captain Bunbury left us for
Niagara, to engage a vessel going to Kings-
ton, for our accommodation when we should

" 24th. In the afternoon, Jacob Lindley
being furnished with a spare horse by the
commissioners, and John Parrish, John Elliott
and Joseph Moore having their horses sent to
them, they took leave of us, intending to spend
a day or two with a few Friends in the neigh-
bourhood, and wait the recovery of Parrish,
the interpreter, who lay sick at a house a few
miles off, as he was to be their guide through
the wilderness. I felt heavy at parting with
them ; but seeing no alternative, wrote by
Jacob Lindley, informing my wife of my in-
tention to return by Montreal. Colonel Pick-
ering, governor Randolph and their servants,
with all the interpreters, also left us, with in-



tention to proceed on different routes, and to
spread information of the issue of tlie treaty,
as it was apprehended that the Indians were
already dispersed and doing mischief. Five
women who had been prisoners also went off
with general Chapin. Our company having
now become small, we felt lonesome at part-
ing with those who had been the companions
of our trials. Five o'clock in the afternoon,
a number of Canada Indians, accompanied by
J. Launier, a Frenchman and interpreter, came
on board to see us, conversed pleasantly with
us and invited our company on shore to a
dance ; many from on board accordingly
went; but I had no inclination to behold what
I had already seen too much of.

" 25th. Captain Pratt sent us two batteaux,
one of them large, for our baggage, the other
for the passengers. Taking breakfast once
more on board the Dunmore, we left her about
nine o'clock, the sailors and marines parting
from us with many good wishes. The boats
being well manned with soldiers, we got on
and put in at Winternut's tavern, where Jasper
Parrish the interpreter was confined, and still
very weak. , Here we again met with our
friend John Elliott, and soon after arrived
at Chippeway. Captain Hamilton being the
commandant of .the fort, he met us at the
shore and took us to his apartment, where we
were entertained with great frankness and
generosity. About four o'clock in the after-
noon, the general, doctor, secretary, lieutenant
Gwanz and myself, proceeded in a wagon for
Queens-town, stopping a few minutes on our
way at the falls of Niagara ; and got to our
inn about seven o'clock in the evening. The
farmers who live near the falls, would be sub-
ject to the loss of their geese and ducks, by their
being carried down with the rapidity of the
current and dashed over this mighty cataract,
were it not for an expedient which they have
discovered as a preventive. They pluck the
feathers entirely off their breasts, about the
size of a dollar, and keep it constantly bare :
The water so affects them in this part, that
they stay in it but a few minutes ; otherwise
they would continue in their favourite element
and be destroyed, as many hundreds have
already been. We were informed, that some
years past, a sergeant and four men attempt-
ing to cross the river too near the falls, were
all carried down and perished; those on shore
not being able to render them any relief.

" 28th. Got to Navy Hall, where we

" 30th. Sailed about three o'clock in the
morning in a small sloop, and having a fine
wind, made about one hundred and thirty
miles ; and as there were several islands

ahead, the captain concluded to stand off and
on all night.

" 31st. Arrived at Kingston, a garrison
formerly built by the French, now occupied
by the British. A batteau being ready to re-
ceive us, we embarked for Lachine, and got
on about twenty-five miles before dark ; no
houses appearing, the general orders were to
lap ourselves in our blankets and sleep in the
boat, which we did as well as we could, hav-
ing nine passengers and four Frenchmen on
board, one or other of whom steered the boat
all night.

" First-day, the 1st of ninth month, sailed
down the river St. Lawrence and passed a
fort on the American side, and also two Indian
towns, one of them on an island. In the
evening, after passing through the greatest
number of islands I ever saw in a river,
which are called the Thousand islands, and
also through a long rapid, we arrived at lake
St. Francis. The wind being fresh, it was
doubtful whether we could cross it or not in
the night ; but our Canadians concluding to
venture on, we all laid down as in the prece-
ding night — the lake is about fifteen miles
long and six broad. I slept none, the clouds
appeared wild and threatening for a night
voyage. About ten o'clock, the helmsman
seeing a gust rising, roused all up, and in a
few minutes a terrible hurricane came on,
with tremendous lightning and thunder, and
very dark ; but by the ilashes of the light-
ning we judged we were about a mile or a mile
and a half from shore. The rain poui'ed
down in torrents, and it appeared almost a
hopeless attempt to reach the shore ; but some
of our company possessing considerable forti-
tude and skill, were active in directing and
encouraging the men to persevere in rowing ;
notwithstanding all which, such was the im-
petuosity of the waves and violence of the
winds, added to a deluge of rain and per-
petual thunder and lightning, that one of our
best hands threw down his oar and cried out
in Fi'ench, 'we shall all perish, — we shall all
perish.' But Providence, whose tender mer-
cies were over us, had more gracious designs
concerning us, and at length brought us safe
to shore, which happily proved to be sandy,
or we might still have been dashed to pieces.
Having a piece of painted cloth on board, as
many of us as could, got under it, as it con-
tinued to rain very hard. About twelve o'clock
it cleared away and being very cold, we con-
cluded to go on shore and walk about to warm
ourselves, being thoroughly wet and shivering
with the cold. It was thought impossible to
kindle a fire as everything was so wet, but
one of our Friends striking to light our pipes



we were enabled to kindle one, which was a
great relief to us, and sitting round it till day-
light, were enabled to prepare something for
breakfast and set sail again. I believe all of
us were thankful for our deliverance. The
man who was most intimidated had a conse-
crated wafer about his neck to preserve him
from drowning, but his faith failed him in the
hour of trial.

" Ninth month 2nd, with a fair breeze we
soon reached the far end of the lake and got
to a large new tavern, with a view of warming
ourselves and procuring some refreshment ;
but there being no other fire than a little in an
out-shed, we departed and sailed down the
rapids, nine miles in thirty-five minutes ; and
a little further on came to another rapid, also
said to be several miles long, which we passed
in about four minutes, and arrived at Lachine
about three o'clock in the afternoon. Feeling
myself very unwell, I went to bed eai'ly and
had a restless night.

" 3d. Having provided carts for our bag-
gage and each pair of us a calash, (a kind of
open carriage,) and a French driver, we set
off for Montreal, which, though unwell, and a
great part of the road extremely bad, we
reached about ten o'clock. This town is
populous, and carries on a great trade. The
chapels are open all day, and seldom without
persons in them paying their devotions. Some
we saw on their knees ; and as we did not
interrupt them, they continued thus engaged,
and retired as they got through their perform-
ances. Here are several nunneries richly
endowed : the sisters employ themselves in
acts of benevolence, visiting the sick, relieving
the poor, and at times in needle-work and in
making images — several of them were passing
to and fro in the streets, clothed in long black
robes and hoods. The law which gives the
church one-ninth of the purchase money of
all lands sold by public sale at the church
door, has enriched this church to a degree
that is almost incredible. The market, which
is said to be one of the cheapest in America,
is attended by a number of little cars about
twice the size of a wheel-barrow, in which
they bring vegetables, fruit, &c., and are
drawn by two large dogs, which appear to be
well kept and in comfortable condition.

" 4th. The commanding officer at Montreal
having sent orders to the farmers to find us
two carts for our baggage, and four calashes
for ourselves to convey us to St. Johns, they
attended about six o'clock in the morning,
being obliged to submit to such arbitrary
commands, however much engaged in their
husbandry, which was the case at this time,
it being their harvest of oats and flax — such
are the effects of military government. Break-

fasting at Chambly ; and riding through a
beautiful country about twenty-seven miles
we ari'ived at St. Johns. I continued unv^ell,
having a high fever on me, which was also
the case with captain Scott and several others
of our company. Fifteen of us embarked after
dinner time in a small boat, but there being
scarcely any wind and no current, we had to
put in at a very undesirable place, the char-
acter of which was bad, and we had reason to
believe in part at least, justly so. I retired to
obtain some rest, but a company of rude peo-
ple, who had got to the house before us, made
such a continual noise, that I was kept awake
until towards morning, when I got a little

" 6th. Passed several garrisons, and pro-
ceeding with a fair wind, stopped at an Ameri-
can custom-house on the New York side : here
we were obliged to leave the master of our
boat, who W'as so ill he could go on no further.
We had now none to steer or manage the boat,
but a boy of about sixteen, who knew the lake;
but the wind being fine and we anxious to pro-
ceed, William Hartshorne took command of
the vessel, and we sailed pleasantly till evening.
We aimed to harbour at Gillis's creek, where
we might go on shore and sleep ; but it being
after dark before we arrived there, and none
of us being acquainted with the entrance, we
ran upon shoals and rocks, and the sea and
winds being high, our little bark thumped as
though the bottom would have been beaten
out. In great danger we continued on the
shoals near an hour ; at length, with much
difficulty, we got off, and anchoring in suffi-
cient depth of water, were obliged to lay here
the remainder of the night, and a painful one
it was to me; it being rainy and a high wind,
and no light to find our blankets. I laid down
on some casks and trunks, but slept none, and
my disorder returned upon me with double
force in the morning.

" 7th. Sailed about eight miles to a pretty
good house to breakfast ; but I ate none and
could scai'cely walk from the vessel, in order
to get upon a bed until the company were
ready to depart. Went on all day without
stopping again, and arrived at a small house
with poor accommodations. I wanted nothing
but a bed, and although there was but one,
and our company consisted of the passengers
of three vessels, yet they kindly gave that up
to me, and I got a little sleep the fore part of
the night.

" First-day, the 8th, arrived at Skeensbo-
rough or Whitehall, about ten in the forenoon,
where I soon went to bed, as did likewise cap-
tain Scott and others. In the evening I walked
out a little, but had a very poor night, with
high fever and much parched with thirst.



My indisposition was now so serious, as to
induce the fear that I must be left behind ;
yet I had a great desire to reach home, if

" 9th. Friends encouraged me to proceed,
though in great suffering, and we got to fort
Ann, after riding about eight miles over an
exceedingly rough road. Here I took a little
nourishiTient and laid down to rest ; from
thence we went to fort Edward, and in the
evening arrived at Saratoga: though the roads
were somewhat better this afternoon, yet it
was a very trying day to me.

"10th. After a tolerable night's rest, we
put on and breakfasted at Still-water, having
passed through a beautiful country, though at
one time the seat of war, where general Bur-
goyne was captured. General Lincoln having
been on the spot at the time, informed us of
many particulars connected with that memo-
rable event. We rode through a very plea-
sant country and reached Albany in the

"11th. Remained here all day, had a very
poor night, and my fever coming on about
three o'clock in the morning, I seemed almost
ready to die with thirst.

" 12th. Went on board a sloop for New
York. — I was still very unwell, and my spirits
increasingly depressed by receiving a confir-
mation of a report which we had heard at
Saratoga, that my beloved city, (Philadelphia,)
was in an alarming condition, from the preva-
lence of a very contagious and mortal fever —
that the stages and all other means of commu-
nication between New York and it were stop-
ped — that the vast numbers which died daily
occasioned the common rights of burial to be
intermitted, and a variety of other affecting
accounts. After sailing about three miles, the
vessel being heavily loaded, got aground, and
though great exertions were made in the night,
at high water, to set us afloat, they were with-
out effect. Our passengers kindly gave me a
berth, but my fit of illness coming on as usual
about one o'clock in the morning, I passed a
distressing time.

13th. The captain ordered a considerable
part of our deck load, which consisted of
boards, to be rafted and to meet us a few
miles below ; this lightened the vessel, and
she was with much labour got off; but the
wind having left us we made little way. In
the morning, before day light, I was attacked
with the most violent chill I had ever experi-
enced, followed by fever.

" 14th, 15th and 16th, the wind being un-
favourable we made slow progress."

He gradually recovered from the chills and
fever, and was able, in a short time, to return
to his family, who were in the vicinity of

Philadelphia. The yellow fever then prevail-
ing in the city, his sympathetic mind was
deeply affected with the great affliction and
sufferings under which the inhabitants were
labouring, in consequence of the awful pesti-
lence then permitted to overspi'ead that place.

Although Friends had not the satisfation of
seeing a general treaty of amity concluded,
owing as was apprehended, to the interference
of some evilly disposed and interested persons,
yet the opportunities afforded for amicable in-
tercourse with the Indians, for religious service
among the frontier inhabitants, and for ming-
ling with the families of Friends then newly
settled in the parts they visited, together with
the peaceful evidence that they were in the
way of their duty, sustained them under the
trials and privations they met with, and com-
pensated for the sacrifices which they made in
leaving home.

In rendering to the Meeting for Sufferings
an account of the engagement, they remarked :
that notwithstanding the desirable object of
peace was not obtained, they had not a doubt
of the rectitude of submitting to go on the
arduous and exercising journey, believing that
their company had tended to renew the ancient
friendship with the Indian natives ; many of
whom, particularly the Wyandots, Shawnese
and Delawares, appeared to appreciate their
motives in going, and some of those nations
travelled sixty or seventy miles, in order to
have the company of Friends — that they had
been favoured to travel together in much
unity and harmony and to return in peace.

The Society continued to feel a deep in-
terest in the welfare of the natives, and to
cherish toward them the obligations of justice
and Christian benevolence. They commise-
rated their situation as an untutored race, lia-
ble from their ignorance to be easily imposed
upon, and subject to the dominion of ferocious
passions when excited. In their intercourse
with them, therefore, they endeavoured not
only to satisfy the claims of justice to the
fullest extent, but by kind and liberal treat-
ment, to convince them of the sincerity of
their friendship, and that they were actuated
by the desire to promote their comfort and
happiness. This course of procedure had
procured for the Society a place in their con-
fidence and affections, and an influence over
them, which was often beneficially exerted in
their councils, when deliberating on the most
important subjects. When treaties were about
to be negotiated, the Indians generally solicited
the attendance of some Friends to advise and
assist them ; and after consulting the President
of the United States, and obtaining his consent,
which was always cheerfully accorded, the So-
ciety mostly deputed a few of its members to



be present on such occasions, in the hope that
they might be instrumental in cahning the
minds of the natives, and inducing both parties
to accede to such reasonable propositions as
might facilitate the settlement of the subjects
in dispute, stay the eifusion of blood, and re-
store those amicable relations, which it was so
desirable should subsist between the United
States and the aboriginal proprietors of our

In the eighth month, 1794, the Meeting for
Sufferings was informed through the officers
of government, that a treaty was shortly to
be held at Canandaigua, in the State of New
York, between commissioners appointed on be-
half of the United States and the chiefs of the
Six Nations ; and that they were particularly
solicitous Friends should attend it — the go-
vei'nment also encouraging their doing so.

After sei'iously deliberating on this impoi'-
tant movement, four Friends, viz : David Ba-
con, John Parrish, William Savery and James
Emlen, under an apprehension that it was their
religious duty, offered themselves for the ser-
vice, and being approved by the meeting, were
furnished with a number of articles, as presents
for the Indians, and with the following ad-
dress, viz :

" The people called Quakers, in Pennsylvania,
New Jersey, <^c., by their representatives as-
sembled at Philadelphia the 9th of ninth month,

" To our brothers the Indians of the Six
Nations, who have appointed to meet at Can-
andaigua, in order for the promotion of lasting
peace ;

" Brothers,
" We are always glad when we have an
opportunity of hearing from you, our old
friends, and using our endeavours in promo-
ting the good work of peace.

" Brothers, — We understand the President
of the United States has proposed holding a
treaty with you, by his commissioners. Our
religious profession has always led us to pro-
mote so good 9. work ; and having been in-
formed that the President of the United States,
as also your nations, are willing and desirous
we should be at the treaty, we have therefore
authorized our beloved friends, David Bacon,
John Parrish, William Savery and James Em-
len, to attend the said treaty for us; on whose
behalf we make known to you, that they are
our friends, whom we greatly love, being true
men, whose love is so great to their Indian
brethren, the old inhabitants of this land of
America, that they are willing to come to see
you, with desires to do you good;

"Brothers, — We meddle not with the affairs
of government; but we desire to do all we can

to preserve and promote peace and good-will
among all men.

" Brothers, — Our grandfathers and friend
Onas, were careful in their day to preserve
peace and love with their brothers, the Indi-
ans : — We, their children and successors, en-
deavour to do the same, and are happy when
we can prevail on the people to be kind, and
do good and not evil to one another.

" Brothers, — We pity the Indians, as well
as the white people, when they ai'e brought
into suffering and distress, and would do them
all the good in our power. — We hope the
Great and Good Spirit will put it into the
hearts of the great men of the United States
and your great men, to adjust and compro-
mise all their differences.

" Brothers, — We hope you will receive
kindly our friends and brothers, David Ba-
con, John Parrish, William Savery and James
Emlen. We have put under their care a small
token of love for you, as the descendants of the
first inhabitants of this land of North America,
whom our forefathers found here after they
had crossed the great water. Desiring that
the chain of our friendship may be kept brio-ht,
We bid you farewell.

" Signed by forty-four Friends."

The benevolent and sympathetic mind of
our beloved friend, was so deeply interested
for this injured people, that though he had
endured so much in the late painful and
hazardous journey to Detroit, yet he could
not withhold his aid, when another attempt
was to be made for adjusting the many griev-
ances of his red brethren, and if possible,
settling the terms of a lasting peace. He
has left the following narrative of the under-
taking, viz :

" Left Philadelphia in company with my
friends David Bacon, John Parrish and James
Emlen, the 15th of ninth month, 1794; being
accompanied by several Friends to German-
town, where we took an affectionate leave of
them. Nothing from without affords so great
consolation and strength in undertaking such
arduous journies, as a sense that we are fa-
voured with the precious unity and affectionate
concern of our near connections and brethren.
This, to me, has been a comfortable reflection,
and softens the trials I have felt at leaving my
home at this time, especially as the Yearly
Meeting is near at hand.

" Having got on the Blue mountains the
18th, we proceeded a short distance when it
began to rain, and increased till our clothes
were wet through ; but after riding several
miles, we stopt at a house, got some refresh-
ment, dried our clothes and rode to Cattawissa.
Neither the land nor the appearance of the
country round this place appear very attractive.



" 19th. Riding through a better country on
the west side of the Susquehanna, we stopped
at a place where they at times entertain trav-
ellers and expected to dine ; but they having
neither feed for our horses, bread nor meat,
we rode two miles further and dined upon
bread, the people having neither meat nor

" 20th. Got to the house of a Friend at
Loyalsock. Before I alighted from my horse
I felt unwell, and immediately went to lie down.
A fever coming on, 1 was very sick until even-
ing, and began to doubt the propriety of going
on, yet was glad that my indisposition was not
the cause of detaining my friends, for it rained
too hard to travel, until near night.

"21st. Being much recruited I went on,
and after crossing the Lycoming eight times,
proceeded over an exceedingly stony and miry
path through the woods ; we thought the road
very long and tiresome, both to ourselves and
the horses. At dark we heard the barking of
a dog, which rejoiced us ; but it proved to be
at a place called the Block-house, a poor shel-
ter indeed. We were now convinced of our
neglect in not providing ourselves with neces-

Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library : comprising journals, doctrinal treatises, and other writings of members of the religious Society of Friends (Volume 1) → online text (page 76 of 105)