THE OHIO VALLEY-GREAT LAKES ETHNOHISTORY
ARCHIVES: THE MIAMI COLLECTION
It is noted that the following work from the Miami Archives should be read and considered within the historical context in which it was composed and printed. The opinions expressed and the language used do not reflect the opinions or standards of the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology, but are, rather, indicative of thought in that historical moment during which the document was published.
Pouchot in: Hough, Franklin B., trans.
and ed., Memoir Upon the Late War
in North America, between the
French and English, 1755-60,
vol. 1, Roxbury, Mass.,
1866, pp. 102-189.
A party of Iroquois Indians of La Presentation, had resolved to go on an expedition to the Palatine village on the Mohawk river, but the greater part of them desisted from the enterprise. One of the chiefs1 still wished to persist in it, and two other warriors joined him. They arrived about night near the first house in the village, where there were eleven men as a guard, (page 103) who were quietly enjoying themselves, having their arms against the wall within the room by the side of the window, where the Indians could see them. The chief hid himself near this window which was very low, and proposed to the two warriors to attack these people but they refused, as they saw so many men. After some useless entreaty, the chief said to them: "When I set out, I threw away my body, so that I lose nothing in attacking them; follow me if you will." This man, who was about five feet nine inches, young and vigorous, at once leaped through the window, all naked and painted black, his gun in hand, and shouting as usual. The English militia who did not expect this apparition, arose and greatly frightened fled to a corner of the room. The Indians made several yells and acted like a crazy person. Seeing the guns, he took and threw them out of the window to his friends, but took no notice of them. By this time, the two other Indians seeing their comrade within, fighting with the English, knife in hand, (they always have one hung to the neck) entered by the window with loud cries. The English thinking them to be in numbers, humbly asked quarters. Our three Indians took them and brought them to Montreal. If everybody had not seen these prisoners, they would not have believed this adventure.
On the first days of May, a detachment of forty-five soldiers and an officer, left Carillon in bateaux to go and bring some plank that had been sawed on the (page 104) other side of the river. As soon as they landed, they were fired upon by about forty Indians, and seventeen men were killed or captured. We learned about this time, by a courier from Niagara, that the Indians called Folles-Avoines, had killed twenty-two French and pillaged the magazine of the post at La Baye.2 They will soon make reparation for what they have done.
On the 25th a party of three hundred Indians and two hundred French or Canadians, under the orders of St. Luc, a colonial captain, set out. On the 1st of August, it returned, having attacked a convoy of fifty-four wagons, having some provisions and a large (page 123) amount of equipage which they pillaged. They brought in sixty prisoners and one hundred and ten scalps.3 A few days before, a detachment of five hundred men, under the orders of M. de CourteManche, had taken forty scalps, and brought to camp five prisoners.
The English, on their part, labored to form an entrenched camp. A party under M. Marin, a colonial captain, encountered a body of their troops composed of seven or eight hundred men, and commanded by Rogers. M. Marin took prisoner a major of militia from old England4 with some others, and took only two scalps. The loss of the English was estimated at one hundred men, while the French had four Indians killed, and four wounded, and six Canadians killed and six wounded, among whom was an officer and a cadet.
We may infer from the relation of M. de Longueuil, who had been sent to the Five Nations, that they were then very little inclined in our behalf. They favored the march of the English destined for Frontenac, who concealed their purpose by saying that they were going (page 124) to rebuild the forts at the portage and on Oswego river.5
On the 30th, M. du Plessis, with eighteen hundred men, was detached to take post at La Presentation and cover that frontier. M. de Longeuil who had been sent to treat with the Five Nations, could go no further than to Oswego, the Indians having told him not to go any further, because their people were all out hunting, and that the English had six or seven thousand men at the portage rebuilding the posts. . .
On the 22d of September, M. Aubry, a captain on the Illinois, left Fort Du Quesne, with a detachment of Canadians and Loup Indians about 600 strong, to reconnoitre the English who were encamped at Royal- (page 130) Anon.6 They found a little camp in front of some entrenchments, which would cover a body of 2,000 men. The advance guard of our detachment having been discovered, the English sent a captain and fifty men to reconnoitre, who fell in with the detachment and were entirely defeated. In following the fugitives, the French fell upon this little camp and surprised and dispersed.7 The fugitives, scarcely gained the principal intrenchment which M. Aubry held in blockade two days. He killed two hundred cattle and horses. Our people returned almost all mounted. They estimated the loss of the enemy at 200 men, while ours was a corporal and two soldiers.
The enemy had another camp at Raiston,8 where General Forbes, Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Americans, was commander-in-chief. It came to pass that by blundering at Fort Du Quesne they were obliged from want of provisions to abandon it. In the month of October, M. de Lignery, who com- (page 131) manded at Detroit, sent back some Indians and French, and the Illinois who were there employed to cover that post.
On the 27th of November, M. de Corbiere, a colonial captain, was detached against Loyal-Anon, with 45 Indians, soldiers and Canadians. He met an advance guard which he judged to embrace from 700 to 800 men and attacked them. They fled in disorder to their camp. The French took a hundred scalps and seven prisoners. They pursued the enemy into their intrenchments, when they fired cannon upon them. These events may appear extraordinary, but we may believe them possible if we consider that the English never went out but with trembling, and that when attacked, they could form no judgment of the number of their enemy as the latter were always dispersed and hidden behind trees. The English, on the contrary, did not dare to scatter in an unknown country, and kept together in a body where they were exposed to the fire of men who aimed very steadily.
In a second sortie, M. de Corbiere met the enemy three leagues from Fort Du Quesne. He returned and notified M. de Lignery, who, finding himself reduced in provisions and troops, embarked at once with his artillery, and what remained of his munitions for the Illinois, after distributing his merchandize that was on hand to the Indians of the settlement. He retired himself with them, to Sonnioto, and the (page 132) Rock River. M. de Corbiere after burning Fort Du Quesne, went up by land with some Canadians and soldiers to Fort Machault.
The commandant of the latter post, in a council held with the Indians on the Ohio River, made great excuses for having got embroiled with them, and for having ensanguined their country. He assured them that henceforth he wished to live with them in peace, and he begged them to forget the past, adding that he was not angry at seeing them allied with the French, and that since they had retired, he had no orders to attack them. The English had, as he said, only a little cabin among them, for holding trade, and he wished them to come and see him, as he had little resting places, and they would always find something for their wants. This pathetic discourse greatly surprised the Loups and Chaouanons who replied that before giving an answer, they must ascertain the sentiments of the other Indians, their allies. We may judge from this, that the English did not intend to make any great efforts in that direction.
Johnson also held a great council with the Five Nations. He exhorted them to withdraw the Indians from our Missions. He told them that it would be absolutely necessary for them in the spring, to kill Onontio the king of France, and that they were coming to Lake Ontario with ten thousand men to attack all our posts.
At ten o'clock in the morning, a white flag appeared in the road from La Belle-Famille to the portage. M. Pouchot answered by another flag. They were four Indians sent by MM. Aubry and de Lignery. Upon entering the fort, they produced two letters, one dated July 17th and the other the 22d. In the former, signed at Presque Isle, they acknowledged the receipt of those of M. Pouchot of the 7th and 10th, and said they were soon to leave Fort Machault, and thought they might fight the enemy successfully, and compel them to raise the siege.
By these Letters, these gentlemen asked M. Pouchot's advice upon what they could do to relieve him. The Indians, told M. Pouchot, that they had passed by the camp of the enemy's Indians, with whom they had held a council in the presence of Johnson, and that they had sent five belts to the Iroquois on the part of the nations who were coming with M. Lignery, to induce them to retire. If not, they would strike them as well as the English. The latter assured them that they would not mingle in the quarrel. We learned also by the same means, that there were about six hun- (page 187) dred French and one thousand Indians9 who, when they passed the little rapid at the outlet of Lake Erie, appeared like a floating island, as the river was covered with their bateaux and canoes.
. . . According to what M. de Portneuf, the commandant at Presque Isle, had written to M. Pouchot, he could not believe that they could show 2,800 men, of whom 1,200 were Indians. M. Pouchot made four copies of this letter, and sent one by each Indian, of whom one was an Onondaga, another a Loup from the Ohio, and the third a Chaouanon, so that there should be no jealousy, between them, and that in case the English in their watching should seize one, they would save another, which proved to be the case.
After being refreshed these Indians left as they came, bearing the flag, and the English and Indians who saw them go out did not molest them. M. Pouchot did not doubt but that they then held a council with the Iroquois in the presence of Johnson.
About two o'clock in the afternoon, the Onondaga
returned, saying he had lost his wampum,- (as a European who had lost his
jewels), and that he had come back to find them. He said he had charged another
Indian with carrying the letter. M. Pouchot then thought that this Indian was a
spy rather than a friend, and accused him accordingly, but afterwards found he
was mistaken. Kaendae, being a little intoxicated every day, teased M. Pouchot,
wishing to hold sometimes the English side, and sometimes the French. The
Onondaga was very quiet. He, with great boldness, examined all our works in the
most dangerous places, notwithstanding a considerable fire of the enemy, and
never sought shelter. He was perhaps the only Indian who has evinced so decided
1 (1, p. 102) Kouatagete, who is frequently noticed in a subsequent part of this work relating to La Presentation.- Ed.
2 (1, p. 104) Now Green Bay, Wisconsin.- Ed.
3 (1, p. 123) Major Rogers states that this attack was made on the 27th, between Fort Edward and Half-Way Brook, and that one hundred and sixteen English were killed, of whom sixteen were rangers. He was immediately sent out with a large army, but the enemy escaped.- Roger's Journal, 119.- Ed.
4 (2, p. 123) This is probably an error. The major captured was Israel Putnam of the provincial troops. Major Rogers states the loss of the English as thirty-three, and that of the enemy as one hundred and ninety-nine, including Indians.- Roger's Journal, 119.- Ed.
5 (1, p. 124) Bradstreet's force consisted of 135 regulars, 1,112 provincials from New York, 412 from New Jersey, 675 from Massachusetts, and 318 from Rhode Island, with 300 bateau men; in all 2,952 men. He encountered the greatest difficulty in getting through the abattis of timber which Col. Webb had felled into Wood Creek in 1756.- Mante, p. 152.- Ed.
6 (1, p. 130) Legonier.- Ed.
7 (2, p. 130) A soldier having entered a tent found an officer taking his tea, and said to him: "How is it your comrades are beaten and you here so quiet? You deserve not to live!" He at once killed him with a blow of his hatchet.- Note in Original.
8 (3, p. 130) Raystown, now Bedford, Pennsylvania.- Ed.
9 (1, p. 187) Of this number were three hundred soldiers and militia whom M. Aubry had brought from the Illinois, with six hundred Indians whom he had engaged on the route to follow him. M. Aubry, after a very difficult march, arrived at Fort Machalut, where he joined M. de Lignery. The latter had assembled the Ohio Indians at the Fort of Presque Isle, from whence he left with M. Aubry.- Note in Original.
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