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, Sept. 22, 1773)
Johnson, Sir William in: Docs. Rel.
to the Col. Hist. of the State N. Y.
(London Docs.: XLIII): VIII, pp.
395-397 and in The Papers of
Sir William Johnson, vol. 8,
Johnson Hall Sep 22d 1773
My late ill state of Health having rendered it necessary that I should go the Sea Side, in order to make use of the Sea Water, It was not sooner in my power to say any thing material, to y Lordship on the subject of your dispatch of April last (No 4) especially as I wrote two letters to your Lordship during that month (Nos 4& 5)
Among other particulars of intelligence since my last transmitted by my Deputy to the Southward and from the Indians, (page 889) I find that a certain Captain Bullet1 with a large number of of People from Virginia are gone down the Ohio beyond the Limits of the proposed Government, with authority (as is said) to survey and lay out Lands there, which are to be forthwith Patented this has a good deal alarmed the Indians who sent Six Shawanese from Sioto to Pittsburgh with a message thereupon a copy of which is herewith enclosed. A little before these Messengers were dispatched from Sioto, Two Indians returned to that Town from the Arkansas and Dussesses where they had been on public business, who were called to a meeting by some Spaniards and French who delivered them several Speeches, setting forth the danger all their Nations were in from the designs of the English, who they said had it in view to possess all their Country. Custalaga Cheif of the Delawares with a hundred of his Nation have retired on invitation below the falls of Ohioto2, the Wabash Indians, there are still eight hundred Delawares & Munsies at their former places of residence about Ohio, but many of them talk of removing lower down, with a view as I understand & have reason to believe, of joining the other Tribes and becoming more formidable to us.- The Indians in April last at Sioto, returned my Deputy for answer to the information I gave them of His Majestys Intentions to form a Colony on Ohio, and of the evacuating of Fort Pitt, that they were very thankfull for the whole they had thereof and hoped (page 890) that the person appointed to govern there would prove a wise man and restrain the abuses in Trade & irregularities committed by the Frontier Inhabitants, which continued to cause much discontentm amongst them. After this, they proposed to hold conferences with the Ouabache Indians and Cherokees &ca in July, & then if the Season would admit of it, purposed to come to a congress with me which they could not do earlier as my dispatches and Belts had been unluckily delayed at Fort Pitt so long that they could not meet me at the time appointed. The Shawanese on the whole appear at present the most attentive to the Six Nations Councils of any to the Southward, but they are much alarmed at the numbers who go from Virginia &c in pursuit of new settlements leaving large Tracts of Country unsettled behind them, and who I am sorry to find an not be restrained being numerous, & remote from the influence and Seats of Government, and the old claims of Virginia conspiring to encourage them, so long as they confine themselves within the ceded Tract. The Indians can be satisfied that they have little cause of complaint, & this was one principal reason for the extent of the purchase but these People are not to be confined by any Boundaries or Limits, and the rest of their conduct is alike disorderly, so that Robberries & Murders are & will be committed, and I wish it may go no farther, as it assuredly would have done long since, had I not thrown difficulties in the way of their scheme for a general alliance.
These settlers generally set out with a general Prejudice against all
Indians and the young Indian Warriors or Hunters are too often inclined to
retaliate, a Party of the latter from the upper Senecas very lately killed four
French men in a Birch Canoe on lake Ontario, they made light of it till they
were told that these men were British Subjects and under our protection, but I
have not as yet received the particulars when I do, I shall take the Steps
proper on that occasion, most of these evils result from the rapid intrusion on
Lands, and the unrestrained irregularities in Trade, to which I see no prospect
of a period, from any steps that are likely to be taken in the Colonies.
1 Captain Thomas Bullit, of Virginia, the founder of the city of Louisville, Ky., was a man of great energy and enterprise. He served under Washington on the frontier, and was afterwards in the battle which resulted in Braddock's defeat. Having been sent down the Ohio in 1773, by Governor Dunmore, to make surveys, he landed and built the first cabin on the site of the present city of Louisville. The knowledge acquired of the country in this exploration confirmed him in his determination to settle in it, and he accordingly hastened back to his friends to procure supplies and to induce them to accompany him to his new home. But he was unfortunately prevented from accomplishing his purpose by sickness and sudden death. Marshall's History of Kentucky, I., 31.- Ed.
2 Perhaps intended for "Ohio to."
to TOC, p. 21
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