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.
(Johnson Hall, March 16, 1764)
Johnson, Sir William in: The
of Sir William Johnson,
vol. 4, pp. 367-372.
TO THOMAS GAGE
Johnson hall March 16th, 1764.
I have had the pleasure of both your last letters of the 4th & 8th Inst, with the Enclosures, for which I am to return you many thanks.
In my opinion the Troops had better be marched Some time before the Peace is made, or concluded which will have the better effect upon them, and produce some concessions not otherwise to be brought about. I am therefore induced to think that the latter end of June will be a very proper time to meet them at Niagara, as the Troops will not much sooner get over the carrying place nor indeed can the Representatives of the different tribes be earlier convened.
I think Major Gladwin might acquaint those Indians in the Neighbourhood of Detroit who Express a desire for peace that if they continue to demean themselves properly they will be treated with about that time, and that the Troop shall be ordered not to offer them any insults. That they should forthwith collect all the Prisoners yet amongst them with all Deserters so as to have them in readiness to deliver up at the Treaty, & not afterwards, I have lately sent off three Indians with the Letters to Maj Gladwin, &ca & charged them with a message to the Hurons &ca which I expect will prove of great service.
A General Meeting is now Just over at Onondaga ab 200 of those Senecas who were at it are returned home on my Message desiring only their Chiefs Councilrs & leadg Warrs to come down the rest of that Nation with the Onondagas, Cayugas, amounting to near 400 are on their way hither, & may arrive this night or tomorrow, should any disaffected be amongst them.
I have guarded against them by the orders I have given the Provincials & Militia. The arrival of these Indians will enable me to have the final Resolves of the Chenussios, as Niagara is within their Country I shall lay before them the necessity of the Tract you mention, and make little doubt of their compliance (if they are at all well disposed) on making them some present in return, and I shall take proper steps for a like tract in the Neighbourhood of Fort Pitt and I think such Cessions highly necessary.
The Indians of Oswegatchy have all along shewn some attachmt to the Misisagaes, as the latter tho branched into many Parts & Tribes, are the most numerous of all the Nations in them parts I apprehend we should not Strengthen their hands, nor give the others cause to assume a Confidence on having so powerfull a back, If ever a Strong friendship subsists between our Neighbours & the Western Indians, the former on being attacked or threatned will find an Assylum amongst the latter, & both in Conjunction Ravage our Frontiers, The Six Nations on the one side and Indians of Canada on the other may be made an usefull barrier and Check upon the Western Indians, and the fomenting a Coolness between them, & Jealousy of each others power will be the surest means of preventing a Rupture, dividing them in their Councils, & rendering an union impracticable which cannot be too much guarded against.
I great approve of your proposal for lodging the Wyaloosin Indians &ca in the Barracks of Burlington, it will ease me of much trouble at this verry busy time, & the Crown of much Expence, without the risque of their representing us in an unfavorable light to the Friend Indians.
I have the pleasure to acquaint you that the Prisoners, arrived here on the 15th & were yesterday sent down under a Guard of a Capt & 50 Provincials to Albany, The Indians of Onoghquago have kept Five of them, amongst them- at this time I could not well refuse them, there is also one there Wounded in the Knee who could not be brought down, The Oneidas, (page 369) Tuscaroras, Ondagaes &ca have also kept a few in order to replace some of their Friends deceased, & I have detained Four in order to give them amongst the Nations in the same manner which being always done is Expected by them, & thought in the greatest light. The Number of Prisoners I have sent to Coll Elliot2 are 14 Men, with Capt Bull, A Villain of the first rank, the manner of their being taken agrees with what I first heard, Except that one of them was wounded, as he made a good deal of resistance when they Tyed him, but it is with particular satisfaction I inform you that they are all of Kanestio, and have many prisoners amongst them which Bull offered for his Ransom, he told the party that took him that he had with his own hands killed 26 English since the Spring & it appears that their design was to come hither, make offers of peace, beg for a little ammunition, & on their return destroy Cherry-Valley or some other of our Settlements, they insulted the Indians of 2 or 3 Small Friendly Villages & Shot down their Cattle, & took away their provisions by force. Bull did not attempt to deny his behavior, and on my asking him on what account he became so inveterate an Enemy he told me, he did not know, that he was advised to it, & his party followed his Example, he is a fellow of great address, but feigns an ignorance, & is full of prevarication, he is very likely & remarkably active as are sevl others with him, which makes me dread their escaping, altho' I told him If he attempted it all those in our hands shod be imediately put to death.
I have now the pleasure further to acquaint you that one of the partys I sent out of 10 Men headed by Thomas King have met with 9 Delawares bending their Course towards the Settlements & singing their Warsong agt the English, our party imediately engaged them killed and Scalped one, and took three prisoners, who may be soon Expected, this the first blood drawn by our Indians, and will prove of great consequence.
As the Oneidas, & Tuscaroras & Oghquagos have from their behavior great reason to dread the resentment of the Chenussios, (page 370) Shawanese &ca to whom they are by their situation greatly Exposed I last Week ordered Thirty Men with an Officer out of the two provincial Companys for the defence of Scohare and Cherry valley, with 6 of the Militia to go to Oghquago, but that number being small, I have now ordered them to be reinforced by a Capt with 60 provincials from the German Flatts. I have ordered the like number to the Oneida Village called Canowaroghere. Indeed was it not difficult to get provisions carried to Oghquago It would be the best place I know of for a Rendezvous of about 4, or 500 Men, as it is in the Neighbourhood of the Chenussios & their Friends which would greatly alarm them facilitate the success of such partys of Whites & Indians as I shall continue to send out for harassing the disaffected. This would soon, bring them to terms, nor would our Indians afford them time to plant corn or take any measures for their Subsistence.
The sooner some Troops move will certainly be the better, as it will greatly encourage our Friends, & Confound our Enemys, who will be at a loss how to guard all quarters, & unable to collect in a body.
I have inexpressible trouble, every Room & Corner in my House Constantly full of Indians, each individual of whom has a thousand things to say, & ask and any person who chuses to engage their affections or obtain an ascendency over them must be the greatest Slave living & listen to them all at any hour. Those whom I sent to the Detroit last June are impatient for their pay that I was obliged to advance it to Daniel & part to the others as they have greatly urged me representing that they are destitute, having lost their hunting by that Journey, [ I cannot help reminding you of the Warrant for the amount of Capt Claus's account, as 3] I cant help observing to you that I am greatly out of Cash, having Expended sevl sums & taken up much Goods &ca on my Own credit to satisfy the imediate calls of service.
The Expence has been of necessity large, but it has answered my Expectations, by obtaining a security to these Communications, and producing a favorable diversion to facilitate the peace & annoy our Enemys which could not well be done at this time without the assistance of Indians. The Expences attending presents cloathing &ca have been greatly encreased, by my being obliged to purchase them hereabouts, where their prices are, as much again as I could have them from home & much dearer than at York or Philadelphia, so that to prevent an unnecessary charge for the time to come I would request your permission to lay in a proper quantity In time & at once to be purchased at the cheapest hand, & for that purpose that I might have a Warrant for 4, or 5000 Ster so as to make imediate payment as this is the cheapest plan I can follow I must submit it to your consideration as also the want there will be for a couple of 100 Good light Short Guns for many of the Indians, which I am at a loss how to procure.
The best manner of employing the Indians during the Campaign After seriously thinking on [that Subject 3] I am led to observe that If they [Indians3] to the amount of 4 or 500 with a few chosen Rangers & proper Officers are sent in sev bodies on the one side whilst the Troops with about 100 Chosen Indians go on the other it will greatly distress the Enemy and facilitate our Success, beyond in my opinion what they could do together. As the Indians partys will be able to go to places where our Troops cannot follow them, & probably are not to go. The interior Country, the Woods & Mountains being the places our Enemys will retire to can only be penetrated with any prospect of success by Indians, who can drive them from their retreats destroy many of them & reduce the rest to a state of despondency. This will favour the march of our Troops, and promote their success, [by dividing the Force of our Enemys, & rendering their designs abortive.3]
This is only my private opinion on which I would gladly be favored with your Sentiments and directions, as I can either collect them in a body or divide them as I have [proposed3] provided I have time.
Many of the Indians were desirous of going the length of Scioto & falling upon the Shawanese who are scattered along that River but I have been unwilling to let them until they had first drove away the Delawares & few Shawanees from all the branches of Susquehanna & cleared that Quarter of such Villains another reason was that they could not go there & return time enough to joyn the Troops. The Indians &ca who brought the prisoners here will return tomorrow or next day to joyn the partys, now out from whom I shall soon Expect to have agreable news.
I hear from all Quarters of the General panic of our Enemys, occasioned by our Employing their own sort against them, this they never Expected as I was not impowered all last Summer to send any upon service and this reduces them to a greater Dilemma at present; It must have been but a Small party of observation who killed the Man at Fort Pitt, the Indians in General are retired a considerable distance from thence, & greatly alarmed about the security of their familys. In short the measures you have been pleased to favor with your approbation will I flatter myself prove to your satisfaction, and leave Less for the Troops to do this Campaign than might have been Expected which wod Give me Great pleasure as will every thing that can contribute to your Ease & Reputation.
I am &ca
His Excellency GENL GAGE
FROM JOHN R. HANSEN ETC.
In the Johnson Calendar, p. 211-12, are listed the following papers which
were destroyed by fire: a letter of March 18th from Captain John R. Hansen,
Wisers Dorp Schohare, further about two prisoners charged
1 In the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass.; in the handwriting of Guy Johnson.
2 Lieutenant Colonel Robert Elliott, of the 55th regiment.
3 (1, pp. 370, 371, 372) Crossed out in the original.
Return to TOC, p. 17
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