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.
(Fort Pitt, Nov. 30, 1764)
Bouquet, Henry in: [B. M., Add. MSS.
21653, f. 327A, A., Df.] and in
Stevens, et all., The Papers of
Col. Henry Bouquet, Series
NB. The Cocknawaga Indians under Captain Artel's Command proceed to morrow, with the Deputies of the Delawares & Shawanese to Sir Wm Johnson.
The Six hostages of the Delawares are at this Fort, as to the Shawanese We were obliged to leave Two of their Sick upon the Road; One I have sent with a Delaware to the Ouabache & the Miamis to acquaint those Nations of the Peace.
Three I send as Deputies to Sir William Johnson chusing rather to Seize the favourable opportunity of sending them with the cocknawaga Indians, and giving thereby an opportunity to Sir William to conclude the peace with these Two Nations at the Same time, than to give the Trouble of a separate Treaty by waiting for their Deputies who are to come wth the Captives. Besides that these Savages are So fickle and Wavering in their dispositions that there is no dependance upon their Engagements, till they are fulfilled.
I have therefore present no other hostages of that Nation, but they have promised to replace them immediately and for the Mingoes, They have behaved as usual after Striking Seven of our Men [working] here upon the Road & they are run off. That vermin is not worth treating with them; We Shall have however Two other Hostages notwithstanding, of these Bandittes, when their Chief returns from the Lake where I have sent him to inform these Nations of the Peace.
I Shall now have the honor to answer your Letter to the 9th & 11th Instant which are come too late to execute the Plan you proposed had I been informed sooner of your Intentions, I would have Sent an Officer with some Delawares & Shawanese /tho it is rather too Soon yet to trust them/ to the different Nations you mention; But if you permit me sir, I shall take the Liberty to observe from my Superficial knowledge of the Character of the Savages, that it is not probable this Method would have produced the desired Effect: The distant Tribes would despise and probably insult a Single Messenger, and put us under the disagreeable necessity of suffering tamely that affront, or engaging in to a War with them to obtain a precarious satisfaction.
Those Nations being extremely disposed against us owing to the perfidious Insinuations of the French, & the contemptible Light in which they represent us, They would neither believe our offers sincere, nor think, us able to inforce them.
The dread of English Power is in my humble opinion the only motive capable of Making a Solid Impression upon their minds and they must be convinced by their own Eyes that it is not out of necessity but out of regard for them that we offer them our alliance. And I doubt whether we Shall ever root out the French Interest in that Country till we make our appearance in it with a Force Sufficient to make ourselves respectable and awe both the French & the Savages. The force of power well established will facilitate ever after any Negotiation with them, and We might afterwards with safety reduce the Garrisons & Send Messages and even a thousand orders by a Single Messenger But not before.
Return to TOC, p. 17
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