History of the Five Indian Nations of Canada
Which are dependent
On the Province of New-York in America,
Are the Barrier between the English and French in that Part of the World.
Accounts of their Religion, Manners, Customs, Laws, and Forms of Government; their several Battles and Treaties with the European Nations; particular Relations of their several Wars with the other Indians; and a true Account of the present State of our Trade with them.
In which are shewn The great Advantage of their Trade and Alliance to the British Nation, and the Intrigues and Attempts of the French to engage them from us; a Subject nearly concerning all our American Plantations, and highly meriting the Consideration of the British Nation at this Juncture.
A MAP of the Country of the Five Nations, belonging to the Province of New York; and of the Lakes near which the Nations of Far Indians live, with part of Canada.
N.B. The Tuscaroras are now reckon'd a sixth Nation, & live between the Onondagues & Oneidas; & the Necariages of Misilimakinac were received to be the seventh Nation at Albany, May 30.th 1723; at their own desire, 80 Men of that Nation being present besides Women & children. The chief Trade with the far Indians is at the Onondagues rivers mouth where they must all pass to go towards Canada.
By the Honourable C a d w a l l a d e r C o l d e n, Esq; One of his Majesty's Counsel, and Surveyor-General of New-York.
To which are added,
Accounts of the several other Nations of Indians in North-America, their Numbers, Strength, &c. and the Treaties which have been lately made with them. A Work highly entertaining to all, and particularly useful to the Persons who have any Trade or Concern in that Part of the World.
L O N D O N:
Printed for T. Osborne, in Gray's-Inn. MDCCXLVII.
TO THE HONOURABLE
G E N E R A L
O G L E T H O R P E.
The Indian Affairs have ever appeared to your judgment of such Importance to the Welfare of our own People, that you have ever carefully applied your Thoughts to them; and that with such Success, that not only the present Generation will enjoy the Benefit of your Care, but our latest Posterity bless your Memory for that Happiness the Foundation of which was laid under your Care, provided that the People here, whose Duty and Interest is chiefly concerned, do on their own Parts second your Endeavours, towards securing the Peace, and advancing the Prosperity of their Country.
The following Account of the Five Indian Nations will shew what dangerous Neighbours the Indians have once been; what Pains a neighbouring Colony (whose Interest is opposite to ours) has taken to withdraw their Affections from us; and how much we ought to be on our Guard. If we only consider the Riches which our Enemies receive from the Indian Trade (though we were under no Apprehensions from the Indians themselves) it would be highly imprudent in us to suffer such People to grow Rich and Powerful, while it is in our Power to prevent it, with much less Charge and Trouble, than it is in theirs to accomplish their Designs.
These Considerations alone are sufficient to make the Indian Affairs deserve the most serious Thoughts of every Governor in America. But I well know, besides; that your Excellency's views are not confined to the Interest of one Country only.
The Five Nations are a poor and, generally called, barbarous People, bred under the darkest Ignorance; and yet a bright and noble Genius shines through these black Clouds. None of the greatest Roman Heroes have discovered a greater Love to their Country, or a greater Contempt of Death, than these people called Barbarians have done, when Liberty came in Competition. Indeed, I think our Indians have outdone the Romans in this Particular; some of the greatest of those have we know murdered themselves to avoid Shame or Torments; but our Indians have refused to die meanly, or with but little Pain, when they thought their Country's Honour would be at stake by it; but have given their Bodies, willingly, to the most cruel Torments of their Enemies, to shew, as they said, that the Five Nations consisted of Men, whose Courage and Resolution could not be shaken. They greatly sully, however, those noble virtues, by that cruel Passion, Revenge; this they think is not only lawful, but honourable, to exert without Mercy on their Country's Enemies, and for this only it is that they can deserve the Name of Barbarians.
But what, alas! Sir, have we Christians done to make them better? We have indeed Reason to be ashamed, that these Infidels, by our Conversation and Neighbourhood, are become worse than they were before they knew us. Instead of virtues we have only taught them Vices, that they were intirely free from before that Time. The narrow Views of private Interest have occasioned this, and will occasion greater, even publick Mischiefs, if the Governors of the People do not, like true Patriots, exert themselves, and put a stop to these growing Evils. If these Practices be winked at, instead of faithful Friends, that have manfully fought our Battles for us, the Five Nations will become faithless Thieves and Robbers, and join with every Enemy that can give them any Hopes of Plunder.
If Care were taken to plant and cultivate in them that general Benevolence to Mankind, which is the true first Principle of virtue, it would effectually eradicate those horrid Vices, occasioned by their unbounded Revenge; and then they would no longer deserve the Name of Barbarians, but would become a People, whose Friendship might add Honour to the British Nation.
The Greeks and Romans, Sir, once as much Barbarians as our Indians now are, deified the Heroes that first taught them those virtues, from whence the Grandeur of those renowned Nations wholly proceeded; a good Man, however, will feel more real Satisfaction and Pleasure, from the Sense of having any Way forwarded the Civilizing of a barbarous Nation, or of having multiplied the Number of good Men, than from the fondest Hopes of such extravagant Honours.
These Considerations, I believe, will induce you, Sir, to think a History of the Five Nations not unworthy of your Patronage; and on these only it is that I presume to offer my best Endeavours in this, who am, with the greatest Respect,
S I R,
Your most obedient,
and most humble Servant,
P R E F A C E
F i r s t P a r t.
Though every one that is in the least acquainted with the Affairs of North-America, knows of what Consequence the Indians, commonly known to the People of New-York by the Name of the Five Nations, are, both in Peace and War; I know of no Accounts of them, published in English, but what are very imperfect, and indeed meer Translations of French Authors, who themselves know little of the Truth. This seems to throw some Reflections on the Inhabitants of our Province, as if we wanted Curiosity to enquire into our own Affairs, and were willing to rest satisfied with the Accounts the French give us of our own Indians,notwithstanding that the French in Canada are always in a different Interest, and sometimes in open Hostility with us. This Consideration, I hope, will justify my attempting to write an History of the Five Nations at this Time; and having had the Perusal of the Minutes of the Commissioners for Indian Affairs, I have been enabled to collect many Materials for this History, which are not to be found any where else; and cannot but think, that a History of this Kind will be of great Use to all the British Colonies in North-America, since it may enable them to learn Experience at the Expence of others: And if I can contribute any Thing to so good a Purpose, I shall not think my Labour lost.
It will be necessary for me here to say something in Excuse of two Things in the following Performance, which, I am afraid, will naturally be found Fault with in it. The first is, the filling up so great Part of the Work with the Adventures of small Parties, and sometimes with those of one single Man: And the second is, the inserting so many Speeches at length.
As to the first, the History of Indians would be very lame, without an Account of these private Adventures; for their warlike Expeditions are almost always carried on by surprising each other, and their whole Art of War consists in managing small Parties. The whole Country being one continued Forest, gives great Advantages to those skulking Parties, and has obliged the Christians to imitate the Indians in this Method of making War among them. And some would, doubtless, be desirous to know the Manners and Customs of the Indians, in their publick Treaties especially, who could not be satisfied without taking Notice of several minute Circumstances, and Things otherwise of no Consequence. We are fond of searching into remote Antiquity, to know the Manners of our earliest Progenitors; and, if I am not mistaken, the Indians are living Images of them.
My Design therefore in the second was, that thereby the Genius of the Indians might appear. An Historian may paint Mens Actions in lively Colours, or in faint Shades, as he likes best, and in both Cases preserve a perfect Likeness; but it will be a difficult Task to shew the Wit, Judgment, Art, Simplicity, and Ignorance of the several Parties, managing a Treaty, in other Words than their own. As to my Part, I thought myself incapable of doing it, without depriving the judicious Observer of the Opportunity of discovering much of the Indian Genius, by my contracting or paraphrasing their Harangues, and without committing often gross Mistakes. For, on these Occasions, a skilful Manager often talks confusedly, and obscurely, with Design; which if an Historian should endeavour to amend, the Reader would receive the History in a false Light.
The Reader will find a great Difference between some of the Speeches here given of those made at Albany, and those taken from the French Authors. Ours are genuine and truly related, as delivered by the sworn Interpreters, of whom Truth only is required; a rough Stile, with Truth, is preferable to Eloquence without it: This may be said in Justification of the Indian Expression, though I must own, that I suspect our Interpreters may not have done Justice to the Indian Eloquence. For the Indians having but few Words, and few complex Ideas, use many Metaphors in their Discourse, which interpreted by an unskilful Tongue, may appear mean, and strike our Imagination faintly; but under the Pen of a skilful Representer, might strongly move our Passions by their lively Images. I have heard an old Indian Sachem speak with much Vivacity and Elocution, so that the Speaker pleased and moved the Auditors with the Manner of delivering his Discourse; which however, as it afterwards came from the Interpreter, disappointed us in our Expectations. After the Speaker had employed a considerable Time in haranguing with much Elocution, the Interpreter often explained the whole by one single Sentence. I believe the Speaker, in that Time, embellished and adorned his Figures, that they might have their full Force on the Imagination, while the Interpreter contented himself with the Sense, in as few Words as it could be expressed.
He that first writes the History of Things, which are not generally known, ought to avoid, as much as possible, to make the Evidence of the Truth depend intirely on his own Veracity and Judgment; and for this Reason I have related several Transactions in the Words of the Registers, when this is once done, he that shall write afterwards, need not act with so much Caution.
The History of these Indians, I promise myself, will give an agreeable Amusement to many; almost every one will find something in it suited to his own Palate; but every Line will not please every Man; on the contrary, one will naturally approve what another condemns, as one desires to know what another thinks not worth the Trouble of reading; for which Reason, I think, it is better to run the Risque of being sometimes tedious to certain Readers, than to omit any Thing that may be useful to the World.
I have sometimes thought, that Histories wrote with all the Delicacy of a fine Romance, are like French Dishes, more agreeable to the Palate than the Stomach, and less wholesome than more common and coarser Diet.
An Historian's Views must be curious and extensive, and the History of different People and different Ages requires different Rules, and often different Abilities to write it; I hope therefore the Reader will, from those Considerations, receive this first Attempt of this kind, with more than usual Allowances.
The Inhabitants of New-York have been much more concerned in the Transactions, which followed the Year 1688, than in those which preceded it. And as it requires uncommon Courage and Resolution to engage willingly in the Wars against a cruel and barbarous Enemy, I should be sorry to forget any that might deserve to be remembered by their Country, with Gratitude on that Occasion.
V O C A B U L A R Y
Some Words and Names used by the French Authors, who treat of the Indian Affairs, which are different from the Names of the same People or Places, used or understood by the English, and may therefore be useful to those who intend to read the French Accounts, or compare them with the Accounts now published.
Names used by the French. The same are called by the English, or by the Five Nations.
Abenaguies. Owenagungas, or New-England Indians, and are sometimes called the Eastern Indians.
Amihouis. Dionondadies, or Tuinondadeks, a Branch or Tribe of the Quatoghies.
Aniez. Mohawks, called likewise Maquas.
Bay des Puans. Enitajiche.
Corlaer, or Corlard. Schenectady. But the Five Nations commonly call the Governor of New-York by this Name, and often the People of the Province of New-York in general.
Iroquois. The Five Nations.
Iroquois. The Five Nations.
Lac Huron. Caniatare, or Quatoghe lake.
Loups. Scahkook Indians.
Manhattan. New-York City.
Mourigan. Mahikander, or River Indians, living on Hudson's River, below Albany.
Ontario lac. Cadarackui Lake.
Outagamies. Quacksies, and Scunksiks.
Outawas. Utawawas, or Dewagunhas.
Terre rouge. Scunksik.
C O N T E N T S.
The Introduction, being a short View of the Form of Government of the Five Nations, and of their Laws and Customs. pag. 1
PART I. CHAP. I.
Of the Wars of the Five Nations, with the Adirondacks and Quatoghies. 21
The Wars and Treaties of Peace of the Indians of the Five Nations with the French, from 1665 to 1683, and their Affairs with New-York in that time. 31
Of the Transactions of the Indians of the Five Nations with the neighbouring English colonies. 36
Mons. De la Barre's Expedition, and some remarkable Transactions in 1684. 59
The English attempt to trade in the Lakes, and the French attack the Senekas. 71
Colonel Dongan's Advice to the Indians. Adario's Enterprize, and Montreal sacked by the Five Nations. 80
PART II. CHAP. I.
The State of Affairs in New-York and Canada at the Time of the Revolution in Great-Britain. 91
A Treaty between the Agents of Massachusets-Bay, New-Plymouth, and Connecticut, and the Sachems of the Five Nations at Albany, in the Year 1689. 100
An Account of a general Council of the Five Nations at Onondaga, to consider of the Count De Frontenac's Message. 105
The French surprize Schenectady. The Mohawks Speech of Condolance on that Occasion. 113
The Five Nations continue the War with the French. The Mohawks encline to Peace. Their Conferences with the Governor of New-York. 121
The English attack Montreal by Land, in Conjunction with the Indians, and Quebeck by Sea. 126
The French, and the Five Nations, continue the War all Winter with various Success. The French burn a Captain of the Five Nations alive. 131
The Five Nations treat with Capt. Ingoldsby. 137
The French surprize, and take three Mohawk Castles. 142
The Treaties and Negotiations the Five Nations had with the English and French in the Years 1693, and 1694. 150
The War continued. The French repossess themselves of Cadarackui Fort; and find means to break off the Treaty between the Five Nations and Dionondadies. 180
The Count De Frontenac attacks Onondaga in Person with the whole Force of Canada. The Five Nations continue the War with the French, and make Peace with the Dionondadies. 188
The Conduct which the English and French observed in regard to the Five Nations, immediately after the Peace of Ryswick. 196
Treaties, Charters, publick Acts &c. from pag. 204, to the End.
I N T R O D U C T I O N,
A short View of the Form of Government of the Five Nations, and of their Laws, Customs, &c.
It is necessary to know something of the Form of Government of the People, whose History one is about to know, and a few Words will be sufficient to give the Reader a Conception of that of the Five Nations, because it still remains under original Simplicity, and free from those complicated Contrivances, which have become necessary to the Nations, where Deceit and Cunning have increased as much as their Knowledge and Wisdom.
The Five Nations (as their Name denotes) consist of so many Tribes or Nations, joined together by a League or Confederacy, like the United Provinces, and without any Superiority of the one over the other. This Union has continued so long, that the Christians know nothing of the Original of it: The People in it are known by the English under the Names of Mohawks, Oneydoes, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Sennekas.
Each of these Nations is again divided into three Tribes or Families, who distinguish themselves by three different Arms or Ensigns, the Tortoise, the Bear, and the Wolf; and the Sachems, or old Men of these Families, put this Ensign, or Mark of their Family, to every publick Paper, when they sign it.
Each of these Nations is an absolute Republick by itself, and every Castle in each Nation makes an independent Republick, and is govern'd in all publick Affairs by its own Sachems or old Men. The Authority of these Rulers is gain'd by, and consists wholly in the Opinion the rest of the Nation have of their Wisdom and Integrity. They never execute their Resolutions by Force upon any of their People. Honour and Esteem are their principal Rewards; as Shame, and being despised, their Punishments. They have certain Customs, which they observe in their publick Transactions with other Nations, and in their private Affairs among themselves; which it is scandalous for any one among them not to observe, and these always draw after them either publick or private Resentment, whenever they are broke.
Their Leaders and Captains, in like Manner, obtain their Authority, by the general Opinion of their Courage and Conduct, and lose it by a failure in those Virtues.
Their great Men, both Sachems and Captains, are generally poorer than the common People; for they affect to give away and distribute all the Presents or Plunder they get in their Treaties or in War, so as to leave nothing to themselves. There is not a Man in the Ministry of the Five Nations, who has gain'd his Office, otherwise than by Merit; there is not the least Salary, or any Sort of Profit, annexed to any Office, to tempt the Covetous or Sordid; but, on the contrary, every unworthy Action is unavoidably attended with the Forfeiture of their Commission; for their Authority is only the Esteem of the People, and ceases the Moment that Esteem is lost. Here we see the natural Origin of all Power and Authority among a free People, and whatever artificial Power or Sovereignty any Man may have acquired, by the Laws and Constitution of a Country, his real Power will be ever much greater or less, in Proportion to the Esteem the People have of him.
The Five Nations think themselves by Nature superior to the rest of Mankind, and call themselves Ongue-honwe; that is, Men surpassing all others. This Opinion, which they take Care to cultivate into their Children, gives them that Courage, which has been so terrible to all the Nations of North America; and they have taken such Care to impress the same Opinion of their People on all their Neighbours, that they, on all Occasions, yield the most submissive Obedience to them. I have been told by old Men in New England, who remembered the Time when the Mohawks made War on their Indians, that as soon as a singleMohawk was discover'd in the Country, their Indians raised a Cry from Hill to Hill, A Mohawk! A Mohawk! upon which they all fled like Sheep before Wolves, without attempting to make the least Resistance, whatever Odds were on their Side. The poor New England Indians immediately ran to the Christian Houses, and the Mohawks often pursued them so closely, that they entered along with them, and knocked their Brains out in the Presence of the People of the House; but if the Family had Time to shut the Door, they never attempted to force it, and on no Occasion did any Injury to the Christians. All the Nations round them have, for many Years, intirely submitted to them, and pay a yearly Tribute to them in Wampum; they dare neither make War nor Peace, without the Consent of the Mohawks. Two old Men commonly go about every Year or two, to receive this Tribute; and I have often had Opportunity to observe what Anxiety the poor Indians were under, while these two old Men remained in that Part of the Country where I was. An old Mohawk Sachem, in a poor Blanket and a dirty Shirt, may be seen issuing his Orders with as arbitrary an Authority, as a Roman Dictator. It is not for the Sake of Tribute however, that they make War, but from the Notions of Glory, which they have ever most strongly imprinted on their Minds; and the farther they go to seek an Enemy, the greater Glory they think they gain; there cannot, I think, be a greater or stronger Instance than this, how much the Sentiments, impressed upon a People's Mind, conduce to their Grandeur, or one that more verifies a Saying often to be met with, though but too little minded, That it is in the Power of the Rulers of a People to make them either Great or Little; for by inculcating only the Notions of Honour and Virtue, or those of Luxury and Riches, the People, in a little Time, will become such as their Rulers desire. The Five Nations, in their Love of Liberty, and of their Country, in their Bravery in Battle, and their Constancy in enduring Torments, equal the Fortitude of the most renowned Romans. I shall finish their general Character by what an Enemy, a Frenchman, says of them, Monsieur De la Poterie, in his History of North America.
"When we speak (says he) of the Five Nations in France, they are thought, by a common Mistake, to be mere Barbarians, always thirsting after human Blood; but their true Character is very different. They are indeed the fiercest and most formidable People in North America, and, at the same Time, are as politick and judicious, as well can be conceived; and this appears from the Management of all the Affairs which they transact, not only with the French and English, but likewise with almost all the Indian Nations of this vast Continent."
Their Matters of Consequence, which concern all the Nations, are transacted in a general Meeting of the Sachems of each Nation. These Conventions are commonly held at Onnondaga, which is nearly the Center of their Country; but they have fixed on Albany for the Place of treating with the British Colonies.
They strictly follow one Maxim, formerly used by the Romans to increase their Strength, that is, they encourage the People of other Nations to incorporate with them; and when they have subdued any People, after they have satiated their Revenge by some cruel Examples, they adopt the rest of their Captives; who, if they behave well, become equally esteemed with their own People; so that some of their Captives have afterwards become their greatest Sachems and Captains. The Tuskaroras, after the War they had with the People of Carolina, fled to the Five Nations, and are now incorporated with them; so that they now properly indeed consist of six Nations, though they still retain the old Name of the Five Nations among the English. The Cowetas also, or Creek-Indians, are in the same Friendship with them.
The Tuskaroras, since they came under the Province of New York, behave themselves well, and remain peaceable and quiet; and by this may be seen the Advantage of using the Indians well, and I believe, if they were still better used (as there is Room enough to do it) they would be proportionably more useful to us.
The Cruelty the Indians use in their Wars, towards those that do not or cannot resist, such as Women and Children, and to their Prisoners, after they have them in their Power, is deservedly indeed held in Abhorrence: But whoever reads the History of the so famed ancient Heroes, will find them, I'm afraid, not much better in this Respect. Does Achilles's Behaviour to Hector's dead Body, in Homer, appear less savage? This Cruelty is also not peculiar to the Five Nations, but equally practised by all other Indians. It is wonderful, how Custom and Education are able to soften the most horrid Actions, even among a polite and learned People; witness the Carthaginians and Phoenicians burning their own Children alive in Sacrifice; and several Passages in the Jewish History; and witness, in later Times, the Christians burning one another alive, for God's Sake.
When any of the young Men of these Nations have a Mind to signalize themselves, and to gain a Reputation among their Countrymen, by some notable Enterprize against their Enemy, they at first communicate their Design to two or three of their most intimate Friends; and if they come into it, an Invitation is made, in their Names, to all the young Men of the Castle, to feast on Dog's Flesh; but whether this be, because Dog's Flesh is most agreeable to Indian Palates, or whether it be as an Emblem of Fidelity, for which the Dog is distinguished by all Nations, that it is always used on this Occasion, I have not sufficient Information to determine. When the Company is met, the Promoters of the Enterprize set forth the Undertaking in the best Colours they can; they boast of what they intend to do, and incite others to join, from the Glory there is to be obtained; and all who eat of the Dog's Flesh, thereby inlist themselves.
The Night before they set out, they make a grand Feast, to this all the noted Warriors of the Nation are invited; and here they have their War Dance, to the Beat of a Kind of a Kettle-drum. The Warriors are seated in two Rows in the House, and each rises up in his Turn, and sings the great Acts he has himself performed, and the Deeds of his Ancestors; and this is always accompanied with a Kind of a Dance, or rather Action, representing the Manner in which they were performed; and from Time to Time, all present join in a Chorus, applauding every notable Act. They exaggerate the Injuries they have at any Time received from their Enemies, and extol the Glory which any of their Ancestors have gained by their Bravery and Courage; so that they work up their spirits to a high Degree of warlike Enthusiasm. I have sometimes persuaded some of their young Indians to act these Dances, for our Diversion, and to shew us the Manner of them; and even, on these Occasions, they have work'd themselves up to such a Pitch, that they have made all present uneasy. Is it not probable, that such Designs as these have given the first Rise to Tragedy?
They come to these Dances with their Faces painted in a frightful Manner, as they always are when they go to War, to make themselves terrible to their Enemies; and in this Manner the Night is spent. Next Day they march out with much Formality, dressed in their finest Apparel, and, in their March, observe a profound Silence. An Officer of the regular Troops told me, that while he was Commandant of Fort-Hunter, the Mohawks, on one of these Occasions, told him, that they expected the usual military Honours as they passed the Garison. Accordingly he drew out his Garison, the Men presented their Pieces as theIndians passed, and the Drum beat a March; and with less Respect, the Officer said, they would have been dissatisfied. The Indians passed in a single Row, one after another, with great Gravity and profound Silence; and every one of them, as he passed the Officer, took his Gun from his Shoulder, and fired into the Ground near the Officer's Foot: They marched in this Manner three or four Miles from their Castle. The Women, on these Occasions, always follow them with their old Clothes, and they send back by them their Finery in which they marched from the Castle. But before they go from this Place, where they exchange their Clothes, they always peel a large Piece of the Bark from some great Tree; they commonly chuse an Oak, as most lasting; upon the smooth Side of this Wood they, with their red Paint, draw one or more Canoes, going from Home, with the Number of Men in them padling, which go upon the Expedition; and some Animal, as a Deer or Fox, an Emblem of the Nation against which the Expedition is designed, is painted at the Head of the Canoes; for they always travel in Canoes along the Rivers, which lead to the Country against which the Expedition is designed, as far as they can.
After the Expedition is over, they stop at the same Place in their Return, and send to their Castle, to inform their Friends of their Arrival; that they may be prepared to give them a solemn Reception, suited to the Success they have had. In the mean Time, they represent on the same, or some Tree near it, the Event of the Enterprize, and now the Canoes are painted with their Heads turned towards the Castle; the Number of the Enemy killed, is represented by Scalps painted black, and the Number of Prisoners by as many Withs, (in their Painting not unlike Pothooks) with which they usually pinion their Captives. These Trees are the Annals, or rather Trophies of the Five Nations: I have seen many of them; and by them, and their War Songs, they preserve the History of their great Achievements. The solemn Reception of these Warriors, and the Acclamations of Applause, which they receive at their Return, cannot but have in the Hearers the same Effect, in raising an Emulation for Glory, that a Triumph had on the old Romans.
After their Prisoners are secured, they never offer them the least Male-treatment, but, on the contrary, will rather starve themselves, than suffer them to want; and I have been always assured, that there is not one Instance, of their offering the least Violence to the Chastity of any Woman that was their Captive. But notwithstanding this, the poor Prisoners afterwards undergo severe Punishments before they receive the last Doom of Life or Death. The Warriors think it for their Glory, to lead them through all the Villages of the Nations subject to them, which lie near the Road; and these, to shew their Affection to the Five Nations, and their Abhorrence of their Enemies, draw up in two Lines, through which the poor Prisoners, stark naked, must run the Gauntlet; and on this Occasion, it is always observed, the Women are much more cruel than the Men. The Prisoners meet with the same sad Reception when they reach their Journey's End; and after this, they are presented to those that have lost any Relation in that or any former Enterprize. If the Captives be accepted, there is an End to their Sorrow from that Moment; they are dressed as fine as they can make them; they are absolutely free (except to return to their own Country) and enjoy all the Privileges the Person had, in whose Place they are accepted; but if otherwise they die in Torments, to satiate the Revenge of those that refuse them.
If a young Man or Boy be received in Place of a Husband that was killed, all the Children of the Deceased call that Boy Father; so that one may sometimes hear a Man of thirty say, that such a Boy of fifteen or twenty is his Father.
Their Castles are generally a Square surrounded with Palisadoes, without any Bastions or Out-works; for, since the general Peace, their Villages lie all open.
Their only Instruments of War are Musquets, Hatchets, and long sharp pointed Knives; these they always carry about with them: Their Hatchet, in War-time, is stuck in their Girdle behind them; and besides what Use they make of this Weapon in their Hand, they have a dexterous Way of throwing it, which I have seen them often practise in their Exercise, by throwing it into a Tree at a Distance: They have, in this, the Art of directing and regulating the Motion, so that though the Hatchet turns round as it flies, the Edge always sticks in the Tree, and near the Place at which they aim it. The Use of Bows and Arrows are now intirely laid aside, except among the Boys, who are still very dexterous in killing Fowls and other Animals with them.
They use neither Drum nor Trumpet, nor any Kind of musical Instrument in their Wars; their Throats serve them on all Occasions, where such are necessary. Many of them have a surprising Faculty of raising their Voice, not only in inarticulate Sounds, but likewise to make their Words understood at a great Distance; and we find the same was practised by Homer's Heroes,
Thrice to its Pitch his lofty Voice he rears,——O Friend! Ulysses Shouts invade my Ears.
The Five Nations have such absolute Notions of Liberty, that they allow of no Kind of Superiority of one over another, and banish all Servitude from their Territories. They never make any Prisoner a Slave; but it is customary among them to make a Compliment of Naturalization into the Five Nations; and, considering how highly they value themselves above all others, this must be no small Compliment. This is not done by any general Act of the Nation, but every single Person has a Right to do it, by a Kind of Adoption. The first Time I was among the Mohawks, I had this Compliment from one of their old Sachems, which he did, by giving me his own Name, Cayenderongue. He had been a notable Warrior; and he told me, that now I had a Right to assume to myself all the Acts of Valour he had performed, and that now my Name would echo from Hill to Hill all over the Five Nations. As for my Part, I thought no more of it at that Time, than as an Artifice to draw a Belly full of strong Liquor from me, for himself and his Companions; but when about ten or twelve Years afterwards, my Business led me again among them, I directed the Interpreter to say something from me to the Sachems; he was for some Time at a Loss to understand their Answer, till he had asked me whether I had any Name among them: I then found that I was really known to them by that Name, and that the old Sachem, from the Time he had given me his Name, had assumed another to himself. I was adopted, at that Time, into the Tribe of the Bear, and, for that Reason, I often afterwards had the kind Compliment of Brother Bear.
The Hospitality of these Indians is no less remarkable, than their other Virtues; as soon as any Stranger comes, they are sure to offer him Victuals. If there be several in Company, and come from a-far, one of their best Houses is cleaned and given up for their Entertainment. Their Complaisance, on these Occasions, goes even farther than Christian Civility allows of, as they have no other Rule for it, than the furnishing their Guest with every Thing they think will be agreeable to him; for this Reason, some of their prettiest Girls are always ordered to wash themselves, and dress in their best Apparel, in Order to be presented to the Stranger, for his Choice; and the young Lady, who has the Honour to be preferred on these Occasions, performs all the Duties of a fond Wife, during the Stranger's Stay: But this last Piece of Hospitality is now either laid aside by the Mohawks, or, at least, they never offer it to any Christian. This Nation indeed has laid aside many of its ancient Customs, and so likewise have the other Nations, with whom we are best acquainted; and have adopted many of ours; so that it is not easy now to distinguish their original and genuine Manners, from those which they have lately acquired; and for this Reason it is, that they now seldom offer Victuals to Persons of any Distinction, because they know, that their Food and Cookery is not agreeable to our delicate Palates. Their Men value themselves, in having all Kind of Food in equal Esteem. A Mohawk Sachem told me with a Kind of Pride, That a Man eats every Thing without Distinction, Bears, Cats, Dogs, Snakes, Frogs, &c. intimating, that it is Womanish, to have any Delicacy in the Choice of Food.
I can however give two strong Instances of the Hospitality of the Mohawks, which fell under my own Observation; and which shew, that they have the very same Notion of Hospitality, which we find in the ancient Poets. When I was last in the Mohawks Country, the Sachems told me, that they had an Englishmanamong their People, a Servant who had run from his Master in New York. I immediately told them, that they must deliver him up. No, they answered, we never serve any Man so, who puts himself under our Protection. On this I insisted on the Injury they did thereby to his Master; and they allowed it might be an Injury, and replied, though we never will deliver him up, we are willing to pay the Value of the Servant to the Master. Another Man made his Escape from the Goal of Albany, where he was in Prison on an Execution for Debt; the Mohawks received him, and, as they protected him against the Sheriff and his Officers, they not only paid the Debt for him, but gave him Land, over and above sufficient for a good Farm, whereon he lived when I was last there. To this it may be added, all their extraordinary Visits are accompanied with giving and receiving Presents of some Value; as we learn likewise from Homer was the Practice in old Times.
Polygamy is not usual among them; and indeed, in any Nation, where all are on a Par, as to Riches and Power, Plurality of Wives cannot well be introduced. As all Kind of Slavery is banished from the Countries of the Five Nations, so they keep themselves free also from the Bondage of Wedlock; and when either of the Parties becomes disgusted, they separate without Formality or Ignominy to either, unless it be occasioned by some scandalous Offence in one of them. And in Case of Divorce, the Children, according to the natural Course of all Animals, follow the Mother. The Women here bring forth their Children with as much Ease as other Animals, and without the Help of a Midwife, and, soon after their Delivery, return to their usual Employment. They alone also perform all the Drudgery about their Houses, they plant their Corn, and labour it, in every Respect, till it is brought to the Table: They likewise cut all their Fire-wood, and bring it Home on their Backs, and in their Marches bear the Burdens. The Men disdain all Kind of Labour, and employ themselves alone in Hunting, as the only proper Business for Soldiers. At Times, when it is not proper to hunt, one finds the old Men in Companies, in Conversation; the young Men at their Exercises, shooting at Marks, throwing the Hatchet, Wrestling, or Running, and the Women all busy at Labour in the Fields.
On these Occasions, the State of Lacedæmon ever occurs to my Mind, which that of the Five Nations, in many Respects, resembles; their Laws, or Customs, being, in both, form'd to render the Minds and Bodies of the People fit for War.
Theft is very scandalous among them; and it is necessary it should be so among all Indians, since they have no Locks, but those of their Minds, to preserve their Goods.
There is one Vice which the Indians have all fallen into, since their Acquaintance with the Christians, and of which they could not be guilty before that Time, that is, Drunkenness: It is strange, how all the Indian Nations, and almost every Person among them, Male and Female, are infatuated with the Love of strong Drink; they know no Bounds to their Desire, while they can swallow it down, and then indeed the greatest Man among them scarcely deserves the Name of a Brute.
They never have been taught to conquer any Passion, but by some contrary Passion; and the Traders, with whom they chiefly converse, are so far from giving them any Abhorrence of this Vice, that they encourage it all they can, not only for the Profit of the Liquor they sell, but that they may have an Opportunity to impose upon them. And this, as they chiefly drink Spirits, has destroyed greater Numbers, than all their Wars and Diseases put together.
The People of the Five Nations are much given to Speech-making, ever the natural Consequence of a perfect Republican Government: Where no single Person has a Power to compel, the Arts of Persuasion alone must prevail. As their best Speakers distinguish themselves in their publick Councils and Treaties with other Nations, and thereby gain the Esteem and Applause of their Countrymen, (the only Superiority which any one of them has over the others) it is probable they apply themselves to this Art, by some Kind of Study and Exercise, in a great Measure. It is impossible for me to judge how far they excel, as I am ignorant of their Language; but the Speakers whom I have heard, had all a great Fluency of Words, and much more Grace in their Manner, than any Man could expect, among a People intirely ignorant of all the liberal Arts and Sciences.
I am inform'd, that they are very nice in the Turn of their Expressions, and that few of themselves are so far Masters of their Language, as never to offend the Ears of their Indian Auditory, by an unpolite Expression. They have, it seems, a certain Urbanitas, or Atticism, in their Language, of which the common Ears are ever sensible, though only their great Speakers attain to it. They are so much given to Speech-making, that their common Complements, to any Person they respect, at meeting and parting, are made in Harangues.
They have some Kind of Elegancy in varying and compounding their Words, to which, not many of themselves attain, and this principally distinguishes their best Speakers. I have endeavoured to get some Account of this, as a Thing that might be acceptable to the Curious; but, as I have not met with any one Person who understands their Language, and also knows any Thing of Grammar, or of the learned Languages, I have not been able to attain the least Satisfaction. Their present Minister tells me, that their Verbs are varied, but in a Manner so different from the Greek or Latin, that he cannot discover by what Rule it was done; and even suspects, that every Verb has a peculiar Mode: They have but few radical Words, but they compound their Words without End; by this their Language becomes sufficiently copious, and leaves Room for a good Deal of Art to please a delicate Ear. Sometimes one Word among them includes an entire Definition of the Thing; for Example, they call Wine Oneharadeseboengtseragberie, as much as to say, a Liquor made of the Juice of the Grape. The Words expressing Things lately come to their Knowledge are all Compounds: They have no Labeals in their Language, nor can they pronounce perfectly any Word wherein there is a Labeal; and when one endeavours to teach them to pronounce these Words, they tell one, they think it ridiculous that they must shut their Lips to speak. Their Language abounds with Gutturals and strong Aspirations, these make it very sonorous and bold; and their Speeches abound with Metaphors, after the Manner of the Eastern Nations, as will best appear by the Speeches that I have copied.
As to what religious Notions they have, it is difficult to judge of them; because the Indians, that speak any English, and live near us, have learned many Things of us; and it is not easy to distinguish the Notions they had originally among themselves, from those they have learned of the Christians. It is certain they have no Kind of publick Worship, and I am told that they have no radical Word to express God, but use a compound Word, signifying the Preserver, Sustainer, or Master of the Universe; neither could I ever learn what Sentiments they have of a future Existence. Their funeral Rites seem to be formed upon a Notion of some Kind of Existence after Death: They make a large round Hole, in which the Body can be placed upright, or upon its Haunches, which after the Body is placed in it, is covered with Timber, to support the Earth which they lay over, and thereby keep the Body free from being pressed; they then raise the Earth in a round Hill over it. They always dress the Corps in all its Finery, and put Wampum and other Things into the Grave with it; and the Relations suffer not Grass or any Weed to grow on the Grave, and frequently visit it with Lamentations: But whether these Things be done only as Marks of Respect to the Deceased, or from a Notion of some Kind of Existence after Death, must be left to the Judgment of the Reader.
They are very superstitious in observing Omens and Dreams; I have observed them shew a superstitious Awe of the Owl, and be highly displeased with some that mimicked the Cry of that Bird in the Night. An Officer of the regular Troops has informed me also, that while he had the Command of the Garrison atOswego, a Boy of one of the far Westward Nations died there; the Parents made a regular Pile of split Wood, laid the Corps upon it, and burnt it; while the Pile was burning, they stood gravely looking on, without any Lamentation, but when it was burnt down, they gathered up the Bones with many Tears, put them into a Box, and carried them away with them; and this Inclination, which all ignorant People have to Superstition and amusing Ceremonies, gives the Popish Priests a great Advantage in recommending their Religion, beyond what the Regularity of the Protestant Doctrine allows of.
Queen Anne sent over a Missionary to reside among the Mohawks, and allowed him a sufficient Subsistence from the privy Purse; she sent Furniture for a Chappel, and a valuable set of Plate for the Communion Table; and (if I am not mistaken) the like Furniture and Plate for each of the other Nations, though that of the Mohawks was only applied to the Use designed. The common Prayer, or at least a considerable Part of it, was translated also into their Language and printed; some other Pieces were likewise translated for the Minister's Use, viz. An Exposition of the Creed, Decalogue, Lord's Prayer, and Church Catechism, and a Discourse on the Sacraments. But as that Minister was never able to attain any tolerable Knowledge of their Language, and was naturally a heavy Man, he had but small Success; and his Allowance failing, by the Queen's Death, he left them. These Nations had no Teacher, from that Time, till within these few Years, that a young Gentleman, out of pious Zeal, went voluntarily among the Mohawks. He was at first intirely ignorant of their Language, and had no Interpreter, except one of the Indians, who understood a little English, and had, in the late Missionary's Time, learn'd to read and write in his own Language. He learned from him how to pronounce the Words in the Translations, which had been made for the late Missionary's Use. He set up a School, to teach their Children to read and write their own Language; and they made surprizing Proficiency, considering their Master did not understand their Language. I happened to be in theMohawk Country, and saw several of their Performances; I was present at their Worship, where they went through some Part of the Common Prayer with great Decency. I was likewise present, several Times, at their private Devotions, which some of them performed duly, Morning and Evening. I had also many Opportunities of observing the great Regard they had for this young Man; so far, that the Fear of his leaving them made the greatest Restraint on them, with which he threatened them, after they had been guilty of any Offence. Soon after that Time, this Gentleman went to England, received Orders, and was sent by the Society, Missionary to Albany, with Liberty to spend some Part of his Time among the Mohawks.
I had lately a Letter from him, dated the seventh of December, 1641, in which he writes as follows:
"Drunkenness was so common among them, that I doubt, whether there was one grown Person of either Sex free from it; seldom a Day passed, without some, and very often forty or fifty being drunk at a Time. But I found they were very fond of keeping me among them, and afraid I should leave them, which I made Use of to good Purpose; daily threatning them with my Departure, in Case they did not forsake that Vice, and frequently requiring a particular Promise from them singly; by which Means (through God's Blessing) there was a gradual Reformation; and I know not that I have seen above ten or twelve Persons drunk among them this Summer. The Women are almost all entirely reformed, and the Men very much. They have intirely left off Divorces, and are legally married. They are very constant and devout at church and Family Devotions. They have not been known to exercise Cruelty to Prisoners, and have, in a great Measure, left off going a fighting, which I find the most difficult, of all Things, to dissuade them from. They seem also persuaded of the Truths of Christianity. The greatest Inconveniency I labour under, is the Want of an Interpreter, which could I obtain, for two or three Years, I should hope to be tolerably Master of their Language, and be able to render it easier to my Successor."
This Gentleman's uncommon Zeal deserves, I think, this publick Testimony, that it may be a Means of his receiving such Encouragement, as may enable him to pursue the pious Purposes he has in View.
The Mohawks, were they civilized, may be useful to us many Ways, and, on many Occasions, more than any of our own People can be; and this well deserves to be considered.
There is one Custom their Men constantly observe, which I must not forget to mention; That if they be sent with any Message, though it demand the greatest Dispatch, or though they bring Intelligence of any imminent Danger, they never tell it at their first Approach; but sit down for a Minute or two, at least, in Silence, to recollect themselves, before they speak, that they may not shew any Degree of Fear or Surprize, by an indecent Expression. Every sudden Repartee, in a publick Treaty, leaves with them an Impression of a light inconsiderate Mind; but, in private Conversation, they use, and are delighted with brisk witty Answers, as we can be. By this they shew the great Difference they place between the Conversations of Man and Man, and of Nation and Nation; and in this, and a thousand other Things, might well be an Example to the European Nations.
H I S T O R Y
Five INDIAN Nations,
On the Province of NEW-YORK.
The History of the Five Nations, from the Time the Christians first knew any Thing of them, to that of the Revolution in Great-Britain.
Of the Wars of the Five Nations with the Adirondacks and Quatoghies.
The first Settlers of New-York having been little curious in inquiring into the Indian Affairs, further than what related to Trade; or, at least, having neglected to transmit their Discoveries to Posterity, it is much more difficult to give a just History of these Nations before, than since the Time of their being under theCrown of England. What we can learn of Certainty, however, is this. The French settled at Canada in the Year 1603, six Years before the Dutch possessed themselves of New-Netherlands, now called New-York, and found the Five Nations at War with the Adirondacks, which, they tell us, was occasioned in the following Manner.
The Adirondacks formerly lived three-hundred Miles above Trois Rivieres, where now the Utawawas are situated; at that Time they employ'd themselves wholly in Hunting, and the Five Nations made planting of Corn their Business. By this Means they became useful to each other, by exchanging Corn for Venison. The Adirondacks, however, valued themselves, as delighting in a more manly Employment, and despised the Five Nations, in following Business, which they thought only fit for Women. But it once happened, that the Game failed the Adirondacks, which made them desire some of the young Men of the Five Nationsto assist them in Hunting. These young Men soon became much more expert in Hunting, and able to endure Fatigues, than the Adirondacks expected or desired; in short, they became jealous of them, and, one Night, murdered all the young Men they had with them. The Five Nations complained to the Chiefs of theAdirondacks, of the Inhumanity of this Action; but they contented themselves with blaming the Murderers, and ordered them to make some small Presents to the Relations of the murdered Persons, without being apprehensive of the Resentment of the Five Nations; for they looked upon them, as Men not capable of taking any great Revenge.
This however provoked the Five Nations to that Degree, that they soon resolved, by some Means, to be revenged; and the Adirondacks being informed of their Designs, thought to prevent them, by reducing them with Force to their Obedience.
The Five Nations then lived near where Mont Real now stands; they defended themselves at first but faintly against the vigorous Attacks of the Adirondacks, and were forced to leave their own Country, and fly to the Banks of the Lakes where they live now. As they were hitherto Losers by the War, it obliged them to apply themselves to the Exercise of Arms, in which they became daily more and more expert. Their Sachems, in order to raise their People's Spirits, turned them against the Satanas, a less warlike Nation, who then lived on the Banks of the Lakes; for they found it was difficult to remove the Dread their People had of the Valour of the Adirondacks. The Five Nations soon subdued the Satanas, and drove them out of their Country; and their People's Courage being thus elevated, they, from this Time, not only defended themselves bravely against the whole Force of the Adirondacks, but often carried the War into the Heart of theAdirondacks's Country, and, at last, forced them to leave it, and to fly into that Part of the Country, where Quebeck is now built.
There are more Instances than one in History, of poor dispirited Nations, that by some signal Affront or Abuse have had their Spirits so raised, that they have not only performed notable Things on a sudden, but, if they happened, at the same Time, to be led and governed by wise Men, have so far kept up, and improved that Spirit, that they have become, in a Manner, a different People. Let us examine History, and we shall find, that the different Figure every Country has made in the World, has been ever principally owing to the Principles which were inculcated into, and carefully cultivated in the People. In this chiefly consists the Art of making a Nation glorious, or the Crime of debasing them into Servitude or Slavery. It was from the Notions of Liberty, Honour, and Glory, and such wise and generous Principles, which the meanest Citizen among the old Romans entertained, that they became so great and powerful, and a Terror to all Nations; as the sordid, timorous, cunning Artifices, and the Love of Wealth and sensual Pleasures, cultivated among the present Romans, has debased them now into the meanest and least feared Nation on the Earth. The History of the Five Nations will readily shew, how far the ancient Roman Principles have been cultivated among them.
Soon after this Change of the People of these Nations, the French arrived at Canada, and settled at Quebeck; and they thinking it adviseable to gain the Esteem and Friendship of the Adirondacks, in whose Country they settled, Monsieur Champlain, the first Governor of Canada, joined the Adirondacks in an Expedition against the Five Nations. They met a Party of two-hundred Men of the Five Nations in Corlar's Lake, which the French, on this Occasion called by Monsieur Champlain's Name, and both Sides went ashore to prepare for Battle, which proved to the Disadvantage of the Five Nations. The French, in short, kept themselves undiscover'd, till the Moment they began to join Battle; and their Fire-arms surprised the Five Nations so much, that they were immediately put into Confusion; for, before that Time, they had never seen such Weapons. The Trade with the French, soon after this, drew most of the neighbouring Nations to Quebeck, and they all joined in the War against the Five Nations.
The Adirondacks having their Numbers thus increased, and their Fire-arms giving them new Confidence, proposed nothing less to themselves, than the intire Destruction of the Five Nations. Upon this, their young Warriors became fierce and insolent, and would not be kept under any Discipline or Subjection to their Captains; but, upon all Occasions, rashly attacked the Enemy, who were obliged to keep themselves upon the defensive; and to make up what they wanted in Force, by Stratagems, and a skilful Management of the War. The young Men of the Five Nations soon perceived the Advantages they gained by this Conduct, and every Day grew more submissive to their Captains, and diligent in executing any Enterprize.
The Five Nations sent out small Parties only, who meeting with great Numbers of the Adirondacks, retired before them with seeming Terror, while the Adirondacks pursued them with Fury, and without Thought, till they were cunningly drawn into Ambuscades, where most of their Men were killed or taken Prisoners, with little or no Loss to the Five Nations.
The Adirondacks, by this Means, wasted away, and their boldest Soldiers were almost intirely destroy'd, while the Number of the Five Nations were increased, by the Addition of the Prisoners, which they took from the Satanas.
The wisest and best Soldiers of the Adirondacks, when it was too late, now at length discovered, that they must learn the Art of War from those Enemies that they at first despised; and now five of their Captains endeavoured to perform by themselves singly, with Art and by Stratagem, what they could not do by Force at the Head of their Armies; they had however no longer any Hopes of conquering, their Thoughts were only set on Revenge.
It is not improper to observe here, once for all, that in writing the History of Indians, it is often necessary to give an Account of the Enterprizes of single Persons, otherwise the Indian Genius can never be known, or their Manner of making War understood. An Indian named Piskaret was at this Time one of the Captains of greatest Fame among the Adirondacks: This bold Man, with four other Captains, set out for Trois-Rivieres in one Canoe, each of them being provided with three Musquets, which they loaded with two Bullets apiece, joined with a small Chain ten Inches long; they met with five Canoes in Sorel River, each having ten Men of the Five Nations on Board. Piskaret and his Captains, as soon as those of the Five Nations drew near, pretended to give themselves up for lost, and sung their Death Song, then suddenly fired upon the Canoes, which they repeated with the Arms that lay ready loaded, and tore those Birch Vessels betwixt Wind and Water. The Men of the Five Nations were so surprized, that they tumbled out of their Canoes, and gave Piskaret and his Companions the Opportunity of knocking as many of them on the Head as they pleased, and saving the others, to feed their Revenge, which they did, by burning them alive with the most cruel Torments. This however was so far from glutting Piskaret's Revenge, that it seemed rather to give a keener Edge to it; for he soon after undertook another Enterprize, in which none of his Countrymen durst accompany him: He was well acquainted with the Country of the Five Nations, and set out about the Time the Snow began to melt, with the Precaution of putting the hinder Part of his Snow Shoes forward, that if any should happen upon his Footsteps, they might think he was gone the contrary Way; and, for further Security, went along the Ridges and high Grounds, where the Snow was melted, that his Track might be often lost; when he came near one of the Villages of the Five Nations, he hid himself till Night, and then entered a Cabin, while every Body was fast asleep, murdered the whole Family, and carried their Scalps into his lurking Place. The next day the People of the Village searched for the Murderer in vain. The following Night he murdered all he found in another Cabin. The Inhabitants next Day searched likewise in vain for the Murderer; but the third Night a Watch was kept in every House. Piskaret in the Night bundled up the Scalps he had taken the two former Nights, to carry, as the Proof of his Victory, and then stole privately from House to House, till at last he found an Indian nodding, who was upon the Watch in one of the Houses; he knockt this Man on the Head; but as this alarmed the rest, he was forced immediately to fly. He was however under no great Concern from the Pursuit, being more swift of Foot than anyIndian then living. He let his Pursuers come near him from Time to Time, and then would dart from them. This he did with Design to tire them out with the Hopes of overtaking Him. As it began to grow dark, he hid himself, and his Pursuers stop'd to rest. They not being apprehensive of any Danger from a single Man, soon fell asleep, and the bold Piskaret observing this, knock'd them all on the Head, and carried away their Scalps with the rest. Such Stories as these are told among the Indians, as extraordinary Instances of the Courage and Conduct of their Captains. The Indians will often travel thus three or four Hundred Miles singly, or two or three in Company, and lurk about their Enemy's Borders for several Weeks, in Hopes to revenge the Death of a near Relation or dear Friend. Indeed they give themselves so very much up to Revenge, that this Passion seems to gnaw their Souls, and gives them no Rest till they satisfy it. It is this Delight in Revenge, that makes all barbarous Nations cruel; and the curbing such Passions is one of the happy Effects of being civilized.
The Five Nations are so much delighted with Stratagems in War, that no Superiority of their Forces ever make them neglect them. They amused the Adirondacks and their Allies the Quatoghies (called by the French Hurons) by sending to the French, and desiring Peace. The French desired them to receive some Priests among them, in Hopes that those prudent Fathers would, by some Art, reconcile them to their Interest, and engage their Affections. The Five Nations readily accepted the Offer, and some Jesuits went along with them: But after they had the Jesuits in their Power, they used them only as Hostages, and thereby obliged the French to stand neuter, while they prepared to attack the Adirondacks and Quatoghies, and they defeated the Quatoghies in a dreadful Battle fought within two Leagues of Quebeck.
The French own, That if the Five Nations had known their Weakness at that Time, they might have easily destroyed the whole Colony.
This Defeat, in Sight of the French Settlements, struck Terror into all their Allies, who were at that Time very numerous, because of the Trade with the French, which furnished them with many the most useful Conveniences; for before that Time the Indians had no Iron Tool among them.
The Nipeceriniens, who then lived on the Banks of St. Laurence River, fled upon this to the Northward, believing that the extreme Coldness of the Climate, and a barren Soil, would be the securest Defence against the Ambition of the Five Nations. The Remainder of the Quatoghies fled with the UtawawasSouthwestward; and for the greater Security, settled in an Island, which being further than the Name of the Five Nations had then reached, they trusted to the Distance of the Place, and the Advantage of its Situation.
Their last Expedition having succeeded so well, the Five Nations gave out, that they intended next Winter to visit Yonnendio, (the Name they give to the Governor of Canada;) these Visits are always made with much Shew. Under this Pretence they gathered together 1000 or 1200 Men. Their out Scouts met withPiskaret near Niccolet River, and still pretending a friendly Visit to the Governor of Canada, as their only Design, he told them, that the Adirondacks were divided into two Bodies, one of which hunted on the North Side of St. Laurence River at Wabmake, three Leagues above Trois Rivieres, and the other at Nicolet. As soon as they had gained this Information, they killed him, and returned with his Head to the Army. The Five Nations divided likewise into two Bodies; they surprized the Adirondacks in both Places, and in both cut them in pieces.
Thus the most warlike and polite Nation of all the Indians in North America, was almost intirely destroyed by a People they at first despised, and by a War which their Pride and Injustice brought upon them; and we here see, that all the Advantages of Numbers, Courage and Weapons, is not equal to good discipline in an Army.
A very few Adirondacks only now remain in some Villages near Quebeck, who still waste away and decay, by their drinking strong Waters, tho' when the French first settled at Quebeck, 1500 fighting Men of them lived between that Place and Sillerie, which are only a League distant, besides those that lived atSaquenay, Trois Rivieres, and some other Places. And since this decisive Battle, the Adirondacks have never been considered as of any Consequence, either in Peace or War.
The Quatoghies and Atawawas now soon began to be in Want of the European Commodities, which had made them considerable among their new Friends. In order therefore to supply themselves anew, they returned to Trade at Quebeck; and by this Means the Place of their Retreat was discovered to the five Nations; and they not having their Revenge satiated, while the Quatoghies had a Being, soon convinced them, that no Extent of Country could set bounds to that Passion, when it rages in the Hearts of the Five Nations, for they soon after attack'd them in their new Settlement. The Quatoghies had the good Fortune to discover the Five Nations Time enough to make their Escape, and fled to the Putewatemies, who lived a Day's Journey further, where they, and all the Neighbouring Nations, secured themselves in a large Fort. The Five Nations followed, but, being in Want of Provision, they could not attempt a Siege, and therefore proposed a Treaty with the Putewatemies, which was accepted. The Putewatemies acknowledged the Five Nations as Masters of all the Nations round them, applauded their Valour, and promised them their Friendship, and to supply them with Provisions; they would not however trust themselves out of their Fort, but sent out a Supply; and even this they did, only with Design to do that by Treachery, which they durst not attempt by Force; for the Provisions were poisoned. The Treachery was discovered however to the Five Nations, by an old Quatoghie, who had a Son Prisoner among them; his Affection for his Son overcoming even his Hatred to his Country's Enemies. This Treachery highly enraged the Five Nations against the Putewatemies, and the neighbouring People; but Famine obliging them to retire at this Time, they divided their Armies into Parties, the better to provide for their Subsistence, by Hunting; one of these Parties in their Chace fell in with a Village of the Chicktaghicks (called by the French Hinois) and surprized the old Men, Women and Children, when the young Men were abroad hunting; but the young Men, upon their Return, gathering together all the rest of the Villages, pursued this Party of the Five Nations, and recovered the Prisoners.
This was the first Time that the Five Nations had been seen in those Parts, but their Name was become so terrible, that the Chictaghicks, notwithstanding this Advantage, left their Country, and fled to the Nations that lived westward, till the General Peace was settled by the French, and not till on that Occasion returned to their own Country.
The Wars and Treaties of Peace of the Indians of the Five Nations with the French, from 1665 to 1683, and their Affairs with New-York in that Time.
In June 1665 Monsieur De Trasi appointed Vice-Roy of America by the French King, arrived at Quebeck, after he had visited the French Islands in the West Indies, and brought with him four Companies of Foot; and in September of the same Year, Mr. Coursel arrived Governor General of Canada; he brought with him a Regiment and several Families, with all Things necessary for establishing of a Colony. Their Force being now thus considerably augmented, the French Governor resolved to chastise the Insolence of the Five Nations; and for that Purpose, in the Winter, sent out a Party against the Mohawks, but these by the Cold, and their not knowing the Use of Snow Shoes, suffered very much, without doing any Thing against the Enemy.
This Party however fell in with Skenectady, a small Town which Corlear (a considerable Man among the Dutch) had then newly settled. When they appeared near Shenectady, they were almost dead with Cold and Hunger; and the Indians, who were then in that Village, had intirely destroyed them, if Corlear, (in Compassion to his fellow Christians) had not contriv'd their Escape. He had a mighty Influence over the Indians; and it is from him, and in Remembrance of his Merit, that all Governors of New-York are called Corlear by the Indians to this Day, tho' he himself was never Governor. He persuaded the Indians, that this was a small Party of the French Army come to amuse them, that the great Body was gone directly towards their Castles, and that it was necessary for them immediately to go in Defence of their Wives and Children. This they believed, and readily obeyed; and as soon as the Indians were gone, he sent to the French, and supplied them with Provisions and other Necessaries to carry them back. The French Governor, in Order to reward so signal a Service, invited Corlear to Canada; but as he went through the great Lake, which lies to the Northward of Albany, his Canoe was overset, and he was drowned; and from this Accident that Lake has ever since been called Corlear's Lake, by the People of New-York. There is a Rock in this Lake, on which the Waves dash and fly up to a great Height; when the Wind blows hard, the Indians believe, that an old Indian lives under this Rock, who has the Power of the Winds; and therefore, as they pass it in their Voyages over, they always throw a Pipe, or some other small Present to this old Indian, and pray a favourable Wind. The English that pass with them sometimes laugh at them, but they are sure to be told of Corlear's Death. Your great Countryman Corlear (say they) as he passed by this Rock, jested at our Fathers making Presents to this Old Indian, and in Derision turned up his Backside, but this Affront cost him his Life.
In the following Spring the Vice-Roy and the Governor of Canada, with twenty eight Companies of Foot, and all the Militia of the Colony, marched into the Country of the Mohawks, with a Design to destroy this Nation, which by their Wars not only prevented their Commerce with the western Indians, but likewise often put their Colony in Danger. It certainly was a bold Attempt, to march above 700 Miles from Quebeck through vast unknown Forests. The Mohawks however, on their Approach, Men, Women, and Children, retired into the Woods, and all that the French were able to do, was to burn some Villages, and to murder some old Sachems that (like the old Roman Senators,) chose rather to dye than to desert their Houses.
The French were so conceited before, of their Superiority over the Indians in their Skill of War, and their Weapons, that they thought they could not escape, but the little Honour or Advantage they got by this Expedition lessened their Vanity, and made them desirous of Peace; and the Five Nations remaining fearful of the French fire Arms, it was without much Difficulty concluded in the Year 1667.
The Five Nations however being naturally very enterprizing and haughty, one of their Parties some Time after met with some French in their hunting, and quarrelled with them. The Indians had the Advantage, they killed several of the French, and carried one Prisoner into their own Country. Monsieur de Courselsent on this to threaten the Five Nations with War, if they did not deliver up these Murderers; and the Five Nations, to shew their publick Displeasure at this Breach of Peace, sent Agariata, the Captain of the Company that did the Mischief, with forty others, to beg Pardon; but Monsieur Coursel was resolved to make an Example of Agariata, and ordered him to be hanged in Sight of his Countrymen; and the French think that this Severity was a great Means of preserving the Peace till the Year 1683.
The Dutch, who settled in the New Netherlands, now called New-York, in 1609, entered into an Alliance with the Five Nations, which continued without any Breach on either Side, till the English gained this Country. The Dutch gained the Hearts of the Five Nations by their kind Usage, and were frequently useful to the French, in saving those of them that were prisoners from the Cruelty of the Indians.
In 1664, New-York being taken by the English, they likewise immediately entered into a Friendship with the Five Nations, which has continued without the least Breach to this Day; and History, I believe, cannot give an Instance of the most Christian or most Catholick Kings observing a Treaty so strictly, and for so long a Time as these Barbarians, as they are called, have done.
The English and French (Peace being every where settled) now endeavoured to extend their Commerce and Alliances among the Indian Nations, that live to the westward of New-York. The French however, in their Measures, discovered always a Design of conquering and commanding; for with this View Mr. de Frontenac, who had succeeded in the Government of Canada, in the Year 1672, persuaded the Five Nations to allow him to build a Fort on the north Side of Cadarackui Lake, under Pretence of a Store for Merchandise, and the Security of his Traders, and under the same Pretence built several other Forts at some other considerable Places far in the Country.
The English and Dutch, on the contrary, prosecuted their Measures only with the Arts of Peace, by sending People among the Indians to gain their Affections, and to persuade them to come to Albany to trade; but the War with the Dutch, which happened about this Time, prevented even these honest Designs from having the Success they otherwise might have had; for in the Year 1673, New-York being surprised by the Dutch, and restored the next Year to the English, the Alterations of Government, and of Masters, obstructed very much any Measures that could have been taken for the publick Good. Their Trade was likewise considerably hindered by the War which the Five Nations had at that Time with the River Indians, which forced many of those Indians to seek Shelter among the Utawawas, who fell under the French Government at last; however, the English, Dutch and French having all made Peace in Europe, and the Government of New-York likewise having obtained a Peace between the Five Nations and Mahikandars or River Indians, both the English and French were at full Liberty to prosecute their Designs of extending their Commerce among the Indians, which both did with very considerable Success and Advantage to the Inhabitants of their respective Colonies.
But this Justice must be done to the French, that they far exceeded the English in the daring Attempts of some of their Inhabitants, in travelling very far among unknown Indians, discovering new Countries, and every where spreading the Fame of the French Name and Grandeur. The Sieur Perot travelled in the Year 1667 as far as the Fall St. Mary beyond Missilimakinak, and having learned those Indians Language, gained them over to his Country's Interest.
The Courage and Resolution of many of these Adventurers are deservedly recorded by the French; but the English give it another Turn, and say it is the Barrenness and Poverty of Canada that pushes the Men of Spirit there, upon Enterprizes, that they would not have attempted, if they had lived in the Province ofNew-York. The chief Reason, in my Opinion, however, of the French having so far succeeded beyond the English is, that the Indian Affairs are the particular Care of the Governor and other principal Officers in Canada, who have the greatest Knowledge and Authority; whereas those Affairs in New-York are chiefly left to the Management of a few Traders with the Indians, who have no Care for, or Skill in publick Affairs, and only mind their private Interest.
Of the Transactions of the Indians of the Five Nations with the neighbouring English Colonies.
The Five Nations being now amply supplied by the English with Fire-Arms and Ammunition, give full Swing to their warlike Genius, and soon resolved to revenge the Affronts they had at any Time received from the Indian Nations that lived at a greater Distance from them. The nearest Nations, as they were attack'd, commonly fled to those that were further off, and the Five Nations pursued them. This, together with a Desire they had of conquering, or Ambition of making all the Nations round them their Tributaries, or to acknowledge the Five Nations to be so far their Masters, as to be absolutely directed by them in all Affairs of Peace and War with their Neighbours, made them overrun great Part of North-America. They carried their Arms as far South as Carolina, to the Northward of New-England, and as far West as the River Mississipi, over a vast Country, which extends twelve hundred Miles in Length, from North to South, and about six hundred Miles in breadth; where they intirely destroyed many Nations, of whom there are now no Accounts remaining among the English.
These warlike Expeditions often proved troublesome to the Colonies of Virginia and Maryland; for not only the Indians that were Friends to those Colonies became Victims to the Fury of the Five Nations, but the Christian Inhabitants likewise were frequently involved in the same Calamity.
The French having a long Time felt the Inconveniencies and Dangers they were in from this restless warlike Spirit of the Five Nations, made use of this Time of Peace to guard against it for the future, and were very diligent in pursuing the most prudent Measures. They sent some of their wisest Priests and Jesuits to reside among them, and the Governors of New-York were ordered, by the Duke of York, to give these Priests all the Incouragement in their Power. The chief View of these Priests was, to give the Indians the highest Opinion of the French Power and Wisdom, and to render the English as suspected and as mean as possible in their Eyes. They waited likewise for every Opportunity to breed a Quarrel between the English and the Indians, and to withdraw the Five Nations from fighting with those Nations that traded to Canada. For these Purposes these Priests were instrumental in turning the Resentment of the Five Nationsagainst the Indians, that were in Friendship with Virginia and Maryland. The Governor of Maryland, on the other Hand, to prevent the ill Consequences, that might happen by Wars between Nations that were in Friendship with the English, and lived in their Neighbourhood, sent Colonel Coursey, in the Year 1677, toAlbany, to increase the Friendship between Virginia and Maryland on the one Part, and the Five Nations on the other; and, accordingly, both Sides gave mutual Promises at Albany: But this good Understanding was soon shaken by some Parties of the Oneydoes, Onondagas, and Senekas, who were out when this Treaty was made, and were ignorant of it. One of them met with the Susguehana Indians, who were in Friendship with Maryland, and fell upon them; they killed four of the Susguehanas, and took six Prisoners. Five of these Prisoners fell to the Share of the Senekas, who, as soon as they arrived in their own Country, sent them back with Presents, to shew that they kept their Promises with Maryland; but the Oneydoes detained the Prisoner they had.
Another Party, that went against the Canagesse Indians (Friends of Virginia) were surprised by a Troop of Horse, who killed one Man, and took a Woman Prisoner: The Indians, in Revenge, killed four of the Inhabitants, and carried away their Scalps, with six Christian Prisoners.
The Mohawks, all this while, kept strictly to their Words, and suffered none of their Men to go towards Virginia and Maryland.
There is Reason to think that the Dutch, who lived about Albany at that Time, spirited up the Indians against the English; the national Differences, that were then recent, bred a Rancour in their Spirits. Some Dutchmen persuaded the Oneydoes, that the English at New-York were resolved to destroy them, and put them into a terrible Disturbance; for here the Dutch and the French Priests joined in the same Measures. The Commandant at Albany hearing of this, sent two Interpreters of the Indian Language, to persuade the Oneydoes to come to Albany, in Order to be assured of the English Friendship, and to have their Jealousy removed; which being done, Swerise, one of the chief Sachems of the Oneydoes, excused his Countrymen at Albany the fifteenth of February 1678/9, by laying the Blame on the People of Schenectady, who had informed not one, but several of their People, and at several Times, that the English designed to cut them all off; and said, had they not Reason to believe the People of Schenectady, who are Friends and Neighbours to the English? They brought with them a Christian Woman and her Child, that had been taken Prisoners, and restored them, praying the Governor to use his Interest to have their People restored, that had been taken by the People of Virginia; but they kept another Christian Woman and her two Children, which they said they did only till such Time as their Prisoners should be restored, or some Canastoga Indians given in their Place.
When the Five Nations make Peace with another Nation, that has taken some of the Five Nations Prisoners, if these Prisoners be dead, or cannot be restored, they usually demand some Indians, in Friendship with the Five Nations, in their stead; who either are adopted in Place of their dead Friends, or restored to their own Nation; and sometimes they desire some of their Enemies to be given to them, and even those frequently are adopted by a Father in Place of a Son, or by a Sister in Place of a Brother, and, most frequently, by a Wife in Place of a Husband lost in the Wars; but if they chance not to be agreeable to the Relations, then they are certainly made Sacrifices to their Revenge.
Governor Andross, being acquainted by Letter with this last Proposal of the Oneydoes, required the immediate Delivery of the Christian Prisoners, and promised to write to Virginia to have the Indian Prisoners sav'd. Some Presents being given to the Oneydoes, and they promised to bring them in a Month's Time.
They, at the same Time, informed the Commandant at Albany, that eight of their Men were then out against the People of Virginia; that they knew nothing of what was now promised; and therefore, in Case they should do any Harm, they desired that it might not be taken as a Breach of their Promises they now made. They promised likewise to inform the Governor of every Thing these Parties shou'd happen to do. In the last Place they said, we shall be very sorry if any Thing should happen to the Prisoners that we have promised to restore, lest it should create some Jealousies of us, we hope that you will consider that they are mortal. Accordingly, in May following, the Oneydoes brought the other three Prisoners to Albany, and, on the Twenty-fourth of that Month, Swerise, when he delivered them to the Commandant at Albany, and the Commissioners for Indian Affairs, said,
"We are come to this Place with much Trouble, as we did last Winter, and renew the Request we then made, that six Indians be delivered to us in the Room of these six Christians, in Case our People, who are Prisoners, be dead. None of us have gone out against the Christians since we were last here; but we told you then that some were then out, who knew nothing of the Governor's Orders, and we desired, that if any Thing happened it might not be taken ill. Now thirteen of our People, who went out against our Indian Enemies, met eighteen Men on Horseback, as far from any of the English Plantations as Cahnuaga is from Albany, they fired upon our People; our Men, being Soldiers, returned their Fire, and killed two Men and two Horses, and brought away their Scalps.
"It would be convenient that the Governor tell the People of Virginia, not to send their Men so far from Home; for if they should meet our Parties in their Way against our Enemies, the Cahnowas, whom the English call Arogisti, we cannot answer for the Consequences.
"We have now observed the Governor's Orders, in bringing the three other Christian Prisoners; and we trust the Affair of our Prisoners wholly to the Governor.
"We have now performed our Promises: But where are our Prisoners; or, if they be dead, the others in their Room, now when it is so late in the Spring? However, we will still trust this to the Governor."
Then delivering the Prisoners one by one, said, "We have, we say, now performed our Promises, and are not ashamed. We hope Corlaer, who governs the whole Country, will likewise do that, of which he need not be ashamed.
"Corlaer governs the whole Land, from New-York to Albany, and from thence to the Senekas Land; we, who are his Inferiors, shall faithfully keep the Chain: Let him perform his Promise, as we have ours, that the Chain be not broken on his Side, who governs the whole Country."
Then the Commissioners gave them Presents for their kind Usage of the Prisoners.
After which Swerise stood up again and said; "Let Corlaer take Care, that the Indian Woman, that is wanting, be restored, and, for those that are killed, others in their Room. If Corlaer will not give Ear to us in this Affair, we will not hereafter give Ear to him in any Thing."
Hearing afterwards, that these last Words were ill taken, Swerise, with two more of the chief Oneydoe Sachems, excused it, saying; "What we said, of not hearkening any more to Corlaer, did not proceed from the Heart, but was spoken by Way of Argument, to makeCorlaer more careful to release our People that are Prisoners; and you may be convinced it was so, when you consider that it was said after your Answer, and without laying down either Bever, or any Belt or Wampum, as we always do, when we make Propositions; therefore we desire, that, if it be noted, it may be blotted out, and not made known to Corlaer, for we hold firmly to our Covenant, as we said in our Propositions."
They, at the same Time, told them, That the Sinondowans came to them with eight Belts, desiring them no longer to prosecute the War with the Virginia Indians, but to go to War against the Dewaganas, a Nation lying to the North-westward; and that the Sennekas did desire them to set these Christians at Liberty, and to carry them to Albany; all which we promised to do.
The Five Nations continuing however still to be troublesome to Virginia, that Government, in September following, sent Colonel William Kendall, and Colonel Southley Littleton, to Albany, to renew and confirm the Friendship between Virginia and the Five Nations. Colonel Littleton died at Albany, before theIndians arrived; and Colonel Kendall spoke first to the Oneydoes, and told them in a set Speech, "That their People had taken away and destroyed their Goods and People, and brought some of the Women and Children of Virginia Captives into their Castles, contrary to that Faith and Promise, and in Breach of the Peace made with Colonel Coursey, without any the least Provocation, or Injury done, by the People of Virginia. However, through the great Respect Virginia has to their Nations, and by the Persuasions of the Governor of New-York, and the Information he has given the Government of Virginia, that they had quietly and peaceably delivered to him the Prisoners taken from Virginia, who were returned safely; and their excusing the same, and Inclination to live peaceably, without injuring Virginia for the future; the Government of Virginia did forgive all the Damages the Five Nations have done to the People of Virginia, though very great; provided that they, or any living among them, for the future, do not offend, or molest the People of Virginia, or Indians living among them."
He spoke to the Mohawks and Sennekas, separately from the Oneydoes, because they had not done any Mischief, and promised them kind and neighbourly Usage when they came to Virginia, and gave them Presents; they returned the Compliment, with an Assurance of their Friendship, and condoled ColonelLittleton's Death, after the Indian Manner, by a Present of a Belt of black Wampum, besides the Belt given, on renewal of the Friendship.
The Onnondagas did not come till November; on the fifth of which Month the Virginia Agent spoke to them, in the same Words he did to the Oneydoes. It does not appear, by the Register of Indian Affairs, what Answer the Oneydoes and Onnondagas made, but it is certain they did not observe Friendship withVirginia, but molested them with reiterated Incursions of their Parties. It is observable, however, that these two Nations, and the Cayugas, only had French Priests among them at that Time, and that none of the rest ever molested the English; for which Reason, Colonel Dongan, notwithstanding the Orders he had received from his Master, and that he himself was a Papist, complained of the ill Offices these Priests did to the English Interest, and forbid the Five Nations to entertain any of them; though the English and French Crowns, while he was Governor of New-York, seemed to be more than ever in strict Friendship.
The French had no Hopes of persuading the Five Nations to break with New-York directly, but they were in Hopes, that, by the Indian Parties doing frequent Mischief in Virginia, the Government of New-York would be forced to join, in resenting the Injury, and thereby that Union, between the Government of New-York and the Five Nations, would be broke, which always obstructed, and often defeated, the Design the French had, of subjecting all North America to the Crown of France. For this Reason, the Governors of New-York have always, with the greatest Caution, avoided a Breach with these Nations, on Account of the little Differences they had with the neighbouring Colonies. These new Incursions of these two Nations were so troublesome to the People of Virginia, that their Governor, the Lord Howard of Effingham, thought it necessary, for their Security, to undertake a Journey to New-York.
I shall give a particular Account of this Affair, which was thought of such Consequence, that a Peer of England left his Government, and travelled four-hundred Miles, to treat with the Five Nations; and shall take this Opportunity of describing some Ceremonies they use, in making Peace.
The Sachems of the Five Nations being called to Albany, eight Mohawks, three Oneydoes, three Onnondagas, and three Cayuga Sachems, met his Lordship there; and, on the thirteenth of July, 1684, he, accompanied by two of the Council of Virginia, spoke to the Sachems as follows, in the Presence of ColonelThomas Dongan, Governor of New-York, and the Magistrates of Albany. The Senekas being far off, were not then arrived.
Proposals made by the Right Honourable Francis Lord Howard of Effingham, Governor-general of his Majesty's Dominion of Virginia.
The Mohawks, Oneydoes, Onnondagas, and Cayugas.
"It is now about seven Years, said he, since you (unprovoked) came into Virginia, a Country belonging to the great King of England, and committed several Murders and Robberies, carrying away our Christian Women and Children Prisoners into your Castles. All which Injuries we designed to have revenged on you, but at the Desire of Sir Edmond Andross, then Governor-general of this Country, we desisted from destroying you, and sent our Agents, Colonel William Kendal, and Colonel Southley Littleton, to confirm and make sure the Peace, that Colonel Coursey of Maryland included us in, when he first treated with you. We find, that as you quickly forgot what you promised Colonel Coursey, so you have wilfully broke the Covenant-chain which you promised our Agent, Colonel Kendal, should be kept more strong and bright, if we of Virginia would bury, in the Pit of Oblivion, the Injury then done us; which, upon Governor Andross's Intercession, and your Submission, we were willing to forget: But you not at all minding the Covenant then made, have every Year since, come into our Country in a war-like Manner, under Pretence of fighting with our Indians, our Friends and Neighbours, which you ought not to have done, our Agent having included them likewise in the Peace. You not only destroyed, and took several of them Prisoners, but you have also killed and burnt our Christian People, destroying Corn and Tobacco, more than you made Use of, killed our Horses, Hogs, and Cattle; not to eat, but to let them lie in the Woods and stink: This you did, when you were not denied any Thing you said you wanted.
"I must also tell you, that, under the Pretence of Friendship, you have come to Houses at the Heads of our Rivers (when they have been fortified) with a white Sheet on a Pole, and have laid down your Guns before the Fort; upon which, our People taking you for Friends, have admitted your great Men into their Forts, and have given them Meat and Drink, what they desired. After the great Men had refreshed themselves, and desiring to return, as they were let out of the Fort-gates, the young Men commonly rushed into the Fort, and plundered the Houses, taking away, and destroying all the Corn, Tobacco, and Bedding, and what else was in the Houses. When they went away, they generally also took several Sheep with them, and killed several Cows big with Calf, and left them behind them cut to Pieces, and flung about, as if it were in Defiance of us, and in Derision of our Friendship. These, and many more Injuries that you have done us, have caused me to raise Forces, to send to the Heads of our Rivers, to defend our People from these Outrages, till I came toNew-York, to Colonel Thomas Dongan, your Governor-general, to desire him, as we are all one King's Subjects, to assist me in warring against you, to revenge the Christian Blood that you have shed, and to make you give full Satisfaction for all the Goods that you have destroyed: But by the Mediation of your Governor, I am now come to Albany to speak with you, and to know the Reason of your breaking the Covenant-chain, not only with us and our neighbour Indians, but with Maryland, who are great King Charles's Subjects; for our Indians have given King Charles their Land; therefore I, the Governor of Virginia, will protect them, as your Governor, under the great Duke of York and Albany, will henceforth you, when the Chain of Friendship is made between us all.
"Now I have let you know, that I am sensible of all the Injuries you have done us, and by the Desire of your Governor-general, I am willing to make a new Chain with you for Virginia, Maryland, and our Indians, that may be more strong and lasting, even to the Word's End; so that we may be Brethren, and great King Charles's Children.
"I propose to you, first, That you call out of our Countries of Virginia and Maryland, all your young Men or Soldiers that are now there.
"Secondly, That you do not hinder or molest our friendly Indians from hunting in our Mountains, it having been their Country, and none of yours; they never go into your Country to disturb any of you.
"Thirdly, Though the Damages you have done our Country be very great, and would require a great deal of Satisfaction, which you are bound to give; yet we assure you, that only by the Persuasions of your Governor, who is at a vast deal of Trouble and Charge for your Welfare, which you ever ought to acknowledge, I have pass'd it by and forgiven you; upon this Condition, that your People, nor any living among you, for the future, ever commit any Incursions upon our Christians or Indians living among us, or in Maryland.
"For the better Confirmation of the same, and that the Peace now concluded may be lasting, I propose to have two  Hatchets buried, as a final Determination of all Wars and Jarrings between us; one on behalf of us and our Indians, and the other for all your Nationsunited together, that ever did us any Injury, or pretended to war against our Indian Friends, or those of Maryland.
"And that nothing may be wanting for Confirmation thereof (if you desire it) we are willing to send some of our Indian Sachems, with an Agent, next Summer, about this Time, that they may ratify the Covenant with you here, in this prefixed House, where you may see and speak together as Friends.
"That the Covenant now made between us, in this prefixed House, in the Presence of your Governor, may be firmly kept and performed on your Parts, as it always has been on ours; and that you do not break any one Link of the Covenant-chain for the future, by your People's coming near our Plantations; when you march to the Southward, keep to the Feet of the Mountains, and do not come nigh the Heads of our Rivers, there being no Bever-hunting there; for we shall not for the future, though you lay down your Arms as Friends, ever trust you more, you have so often deceived us."
The next Day the Mohawks answer'd first by their Speaker, saying:
"We must, in the first Place, say something to the other three Nations, by Way of Reproof, for their not keeping the former Chain, as they ought; and therefore we desire you, great Sachem of Virginia, and you Corlaer, and all here present to give Ear, for we will conceal nothing of the Evil they have done." [Then turning to the other Nations.] "You have heard Yesterday all that has been said; as for our Parts, we are free of the Blame laid on us; we have always been obedient to Corlaer, and have steadily kept our Chain with Virginia,Maryland, and Boston; but ye are stupid and brutish, and have no Understanding, we must stamp Understanding into you. Let the new Chain made Yesterday be carefully preserved for the future. This we earnestly recommend to you, for we are ready to cry for Shame of you; let us be no more ashamed on your Account, but be obedient, and take this Belt, to keep what we say in your Memory.
"Hear now, now is the Time to hearken; the Covenant-chain had very near slipt, by your not keeping it firmly. Hold it fast now, when all former Evils are buried in the Pit.
"You Oneydoes, I speak to you as Children; be no longer childish, or void of Understanding.
"You Onondagas, our Brethren, you are like deaf People, that cannot hear, your Senses are covered with Dirt and Filth.
"You Cayugas, do not return into your former Ways. There are three Things we must all observe.
"First, The Covenant with Corlear. Secondly, the Covenant with Virginia and Maryland. Thirdly, with Boston. We must stamp Understanding into you, that you may be obedient; and take this Belt for a Remembrancer."
Then Cadianne, the same Mohawk Speaker, turning to my Lord, said:
"We are very thankful to you, great Sachem of Virginia, that you are persuaded by Corlear, our Governor, to forgive all former Faults. We are very glad to hear you, and see your Heart softened. Take these three Bevers as a Token.
"We thank the great Sachem of Virginia for saying, that the Axe shall be thrown into the Pit. Take these two Bevers, as a Token of our Joy and Thankfulness.
"We are glad that Assarigoa will bury in the Pit what is past. Let the Earth be trod hard over it; or rather, let a strong Stream run under the Pit, to wash the Evil away out of our Sight and Remembrance, and that it may never be digged up again.
"Assarigoa, you are a Man of Knowledge and Understanding, thus to keep the Covenant-chain bright as Silver; and now again to renew it, and make it stronger. (Then pointing to the three other Nations, said,) But they are Chain-breakers. I lay down this as a Token, that we Mohawks have preserved the Chain intire on our Parts. Gives two Bevers and a Racoon.
"The Covenant must be kept; for the Fire of Love of Virginia and Maryland burns in this Place, as well as ours, and this House of Peace must be kept clean. Gives two Bevers.
"We now plant a Tree, whose Top will reach the Sun, and its Branches spread far abroad, so that it shall be seen afar off; and we shall shelter ourselves under it, and live in Peace without Molestation. Here he gave two Bevers.
"You proposed Yesterday, that if we were desirous to see the Indians of Virginia, you are willing to send some of their Sachems next Summer, about this Time, to this Place. This Proposal pleases me very much, the sooner they come the better, that we may speak with them in this House, which is appointed for our speaking with our Friends; and give two Belts to confirm it.
"You have now heard what Exhortation we have made to the other three Nations; we have taken the Hatchet out of their Hands; we now therefore pray, that both your Hatchets may likewise be buried in a deep Pit. Giving two Bevers.
"Assarigoa, some of us Mohawks are out against our Enemies, that lie afar off, they will do you no Harm, nor plunder, as the others do. Be kind to them, if they shall happen to come to any of your Plantations; give them some Tobacco and some Victuals; for they will neither rob nor steal, as the Oneydoes, Onnondagas, and Cayugas have done.
"The Oneydoes particularly thank you, great Sachem of Virginia, for consenting to lay down the Axe. The Hatchet is taken out of all their Hands. Gives a Belt.
"We again thank Assarigoa, that he has made a new Chain. Let it be kept bright and clean, and held fast on all Sides; let not any one pull his Arm from it. We include all the four Nations, in giving this Belt.
"We again pray Assarigoa, to take the Oneydoes into his Favour, and keep the Chain strong with them; for they are our Children. Gives a Belt.
"The Oneydoes give twenty Bevers, as a Satisfaction for what they promised the Lord Baltimore, and desire that they may be discharged of that Debt."
The two Governors told them, that they would use their Endeavours with the Lord Baltimore, to persuade him to forgive what remained.
Then the Indians desired that the Hole might be dug, to bury the Axes, viz. one in Behalf of Virginia and their Indians, another in Behalf of Maryland and theirs, and three for the Onnondagas, Oneydoes, and Cayugas. The Mohawks said, there was no Need of burying any on their Account, for the first Chain had never been broke by them.
Then the three Nations spoke by an Onnondaga, called Thanohjanihta, who said:
"We thank the great Sachem of Virginia, that he has so readily forgiven and forgot the Injuries that have been done; and we, for our Parts, gladly catch at, and lay hold of the new Chain. Then each of them delivered an Axe to be buried, and gave a Belt.
"I speak in the Name of all three Nations, and include them in this Chain, which we desire may be kept clean and bright like Silver. Gives a Belt.
"We desire that the Path may be open for the Indians under Assarigoa's Protection, to come safely and freely to this Place, in order to confirm the Peace." Gives six Fathom of Wampum.
Then the Axes were buried in the south-east End of the Court-yard, and the Indians threw the Earth upon them; after which the Lord Howard told them, since now a firm Peace is concluded, we shall hereafter remain Friends, and Virginia and Maryland will send once in two or three Years to renew it, and some of ourSachems shall come, according to your Desire, to confirm it.
Last of all the Oneydoes, the Onnondagas, and Cayugas, jointly sang the Peace-song, with Demonstrations of much Joy; and thanked the Governor of New-York for his effectual Mediation with the Governor of Virginia in their Favour.
Colonel Dungan had gained the Affections of the Five Nations, and they esteemed him much.
They desired the Duke of York's Arms to put upon their Castles, which, from the Sequel of their Story, we may suppose they were told would save them from the French. Colonel Dungan desired them to call Home those of their Nations that had settled in Canada. To which they answered, Corlear keeps a Correspondence and Friendship with Canada, and therefore he can prevail more than we can. Let Corlear use his Endeavours to draw our Indians Home to their own Country.
The Government of the Massachusets Bay had appointed Colonel Stephanus Cortland, one of the Council of New-York, their Agent at this Time, to renew their Friendship likewise with the Five Nations, and to give them some small Presents; which was accordingly done.
The Governor of New-York, Colonel Dungan, concluded with this Advice to them: Keep a good Understanding among yourselves; if any Difference happen, acquaint me with it, and I will compose it. Make no Agreement with the French, or any other Nation, without my Knowledge and Approbation. Then he gave the Duke's Arms to be put up at each of their Castles, in Hopes it might deter the French from attacking them, (as they were threatened from Canada) by this so manifest a Declaration of their being under the Protection of the Crown of England, when the two Crowns were in the strictest Friendship; but it is probable the French chose this very Time to attack them, to bring them off from that Confidence they seemed to have in the English.
It may be proper, before I proceed, to insert here also a remarkable Speech made by the Onnondagas and Cayugas to the two Governors, on the second Day of August, viz.
"Your Sachem is a great Sachem, and we are but a small People; but when the English came first to Manhatan, to Aragiske and to Yakokranagary, they were then but a small People, and we were great. Then, because we found you a good People, we treated you kindly, and gave you Land; we hope therefore, now that you are great, and we small, you will protect us from the French. If you do not, we shall lose all our Hunting and Bevers: The French will get all the Bevers. The Reason they are now angry with us is, because we carry our Bever to our Brethren.
"We have put our Lands and ourselves under the Protection of the great Duke of York, the Brother of your great Sachem, who is likewise a great Sachem.
"We have annexed the Susquehana River, which we won with the Sword, to this Government; and we desire it may be a Branch of the great Tree that grows in this Place, the Top of which reaches the Sun, and its Branches shelter us from the French, and all other Nations. Our Fire burns in your Houses, and your Fire burns with us; we desire it may be so always. But we will not that any of the great Penn's People settle upon the Susquehana River, for we have no other Land to leave to our Children.
"Our young Men are Soldiers, and when they are provoked, they are like Wolves in the Woods, as you, Sachem of Virginia, very well know.
"We have put ourselves under the great Sachem Charles, that lives on the other Side the great Lake. We give you these two white dressed Deer-skins, to send to the great Sachem, that he may write on them, and put a great red Seal to them, to confirm what we now do; and put the Susquehana River above the Falls, and all the rest of our Land under the great Duke of York, and give that Land to none else. Our Brethren, his People, have been like Fathers to our Wives and Children, and have given us Bread when we were in Need of it; we will not therefore join ourselves, or our Land, to any other Government but this. We desire Corlear, our Governor, may send this our Proposition to the great Sachem Charles, who dwells on the other Side the great Lake, with this Belt of Wampum, and this othersmaller Belt to the Duke of York his Brother: And we give you, Corlear, this Bever, that you may send over this Proposition.
"You great Man of Virginia, we let you know, that great Penn did speak to us here in Corlear's House by his Agents, and desired to buy the Susquehana River of us, but we would not hearken to him, for we had fastened it to this Government.
"We desire you therefore to bear witness of what we now do, and that we now confirm what we have done before. Let your Friend, that lives on the other Side the great Lake, know this, that we being a free People, though united to the English, may give our Lands, and be joined to the Sachem we like best. We give this Bever to remember what we say."
The Senekas arrived soon after, and, on the fifth of August, spoke to the Lord Howard in the following Manner:
"We have heard and understood what Mischief hath been done in Virginia; we have it as perfect as if it were upon our Fingers Ends. O Corlear! we thank you for having been our Intercessor, so that the Axe has not fallen upon us.
"And you Assarigoa, great Sachem of Virginia, we thank you for burying all Evil in the Pit. We are informed, that the Mohawks, Oneydoes, Onnondagas, and Cayugas, have buried the Axe already; now we that live remotest off, are come to do the same, and to include in this Chain the Cahnawaas, your Friends. We desire therefore, that an Axe, on our Part, may be buried with one of Assarigoa's. O Corlear! Corlear! we thank you for laying hold of one End of the Axe; and we thank you, great Governor of Virginia, not only for throwing aside the Axe, but more especially for your putting all Evil from your Heart. Now we have a new Chain, a strong and a straight Chain, that cannot be broken. The Tree of Peace is planted so firmly, that it cannot be moved, let us on both Sides hold the Chain fast.
"We understand what you said of the great Sachem, that lives on the other Side the great Water.
"You tell us, that the Cahnawaas will come hither, to strengthen the Chain. Let them not make any Excuse, that they are old and feeble, or that their Feet are sore. If the old Sachems cannot, let the young Men come. We shall not fail to come hither, tho' we live farthest off, and then the new Chain will be stronger and brighter.
"We understand, that because of the Mischief that has been done to the People and Castles of Virginia and Maryland, we must not come near the Heads of your Rivers, nor near your Plantations, but keep at the Foot of the Mountains; for tho' we lay down our Arms, as Friends, we shall not be trusted for the future, but looked on as Robbers. We agree however to this Proposition, and shall wholly stay away from Virginia: And this we do in Gratitude to Corlear, who has been at so great Pains to persuade you, great Governor ofVirginia, to forget what is past. You are wise in giving Ear to Corlear's good Advice, for we shall now go a Path which was never trod before.
"We have now done speaking to Corlear, and the Governor of Virginia; let the Chain be for ever kept clean and bright by him, and we shall do the same.
"The other Nations from the Mohawks Country to the Cayugas, have delivered up the Susquehana River, and all that Country, to Corlear's Government. We confirm what they have done by giving this Belt."
Coll. Bird, one of the Council of Virginia, and Edmond Jennings Esq; Attorney General of that Province, came with four Indian Sachems, (according to the Lord Howard's Promise) to renew and confirm the Peace, and met the Five Nations at Albany in September 1685.
Coll. Bird accused them of having again broke their Promise, by taking an Indian Girl from an English Man's House, and four Indian Boys Prisoners.
They excused this, by its being done by the Parties that were out when the Peace was concluded, who knew nothing of it; which Accident they had provided against in their Articles. They said, the four Boys were given to the Relations of those Men that were lost; and it would be difficult to obtain their Restoration: But they at last promised to deliver them up.
The Senakas and Mohawks declared themselves free of any Blame, and chid the other Nations.
So that we may still observe the Influence which the French Priests had obtained over those other Nations, and to what Christian like Purpose they used it.
The Mohawks Speaker said, "Where shall I seek the Chain of Peace? Where shall I find it but upon our Path? And whither doth our Path lead us, but into this House? This is a House of Peace;" after this he sang all the Links of the Chain over. He afterwards sang by Way of Admonition to the Onondagas,Oneydoes, and Cayugas, and concluded all with a Song to the Virginia Indians.
The French Priests however still employed their Influence over the Onnondagas, Cayugas, and Oneydoes; and it was easy for them to spirit up the Indians (naturally revengeful) against their old Enemies. A Party of the Oneydoes went out two Years after this against the Wayanoak Indians, Friends of Virginia, and killed some of the People of Virginia, who assisted those Indians. They took six Prisoners, but restored them at Albany, with an Excuse, that they did not know they were Friends of Virginia. But Coll. Dungan on this Occasion told them, That he only had kept all the English in North-America from joining together to destroy them; that if ever he should hear of the like Complaint, he would dig up the Hatchet, and join with the rest of the English to cut them off Root and Branch; for there were many Complaints made of him to the King by the English, as well as by the Governor of Canada, for his favouring of them.
We have now gone through the material Transactions which the Five Nations had with the English, in which we find the English pursuing nothing but peaceable and Christian-like Measures; and the Five Nations (tho' Barbarians) living with the People of New-York, like good Neighbours and faithful Friends, and generally with all the English also, except when they were influenced by the Jesuites; at the same Time, one cannot but admire the Zeal, Courage, and Resolution of these Jesuites, that would adventure to live among Indians at War with their Nation; and the better to carry their Purposes, to comply with all the Humours and Manners of such a wild People, so as not to be distinguished by Strangers from meer Indians. One of them, named Milet, remained with the Oneydoes till after the Year 1694; he was advanced to the Degree of a Sachem, and had so great an Influence over them, that the other Nations could not prevail with them to part with him. While he lived with them, the Oneydoes were frequently turned against the Southern Indians (Friends of the English southern Colonies) and were always wavering in their Resolutions against the French at Canada.
We shall now see what Effect the Policy of the French had, who pursued very different Measures from the English.
Mr. De la Barre's Expedition, and some remarkable Transactions in 1684.
The French, in the Time they were at Peace with the Five Nations, built their Forts at Taidonderaghi and Missilimakinak, and made a Settlement there. They carried on their Commerce among the numerous Nations that live on the Banks of the great Lakes, and the Banks of the Mississipi; they not only prosecuted their Trade among these Nations, but did all they could to secure their Obedience, and to make them absolutely subject to the Crown of France, by building Forts at the considerable Passes, and placing small Garisons in them. They took in short all the Precautions in their Power, not only to restrain the Indians by Force, but likewise to gain their Affections, by sending Missionaries among them. The only Obstruction they met with was from the Five Nations, who introduced the English of New-York into the Lakes to trade with the Indians that lived round them. This gave the French much Uneasiness, because they foresaw, that the English would not only prove dangerous Rivals, but that the Advantages which they had in Trade, beyond what it was possible for the Inhabitants of Canada to have, would enable the People of New-York so far to undersel them, that their Trade would soon be ruined, and all the Interest lost which they had gained with so much Labour and Expence. The Five Nations likewise continued in War with many of the Nations, with the Chictaghicks particularly, who yielded the most profitable Trade to the French; and as often as they discovered any of the French carrying Ammunition towards these Nations, they fell upon them, and took all their Powder, Lead and Arms from them. This made the French Traders afraid of travelling, and prevented their Indians from hunting, and also lessened the Opinion they had of the French Power, when they found that the French were not able to protect them against the Insults of the Five Nations.
The Senakas lie next to the Lakes, and nearest to the Nations with whom the French carried on the greatest Trade, these People were so averse to that Nation, that they would never receive any Priests among them, and of Consequence were most firmly attach'd to the English Interest, who supplied them with Arms and Powder (the Means to be revenged of their Enemies.) For these Reasons Mr. De la Barre (Governor of Canada) sent a Messenger to Coll. Dungan, to complain of the Injuries the Senakas had done to the French, and to shew the Necessity he was under to bring the Five Nations to Reason by Force of Arms. This Messenger happening to arrive at the Time the Indians met the Lord Howard at Albany, Coll. Dungan told the Senakas the Complaints that the French Governor made of them. To which they gave him the following Answer, in Presence of Mr. De la Barre's Messenger, on the 5th of August 1684.
"We were sent for, and are come, and have heard what you have said to us, that Corlear hath great Complaints of us, both from Virginia and Canada. What they complain of from Canada may possibly be true, that some of our young Men have taken some of their Goods, but Yonnendio the Governor of Canada, is the Cause of it. He not only permits his People to carry Ammunition, Guns, Powder, Lead, and Axes to the Tuihtuih-ronoons our Enemies, but sends them thither on purpose. These Guns which he sends knock our Bever Hunters on the Head, and our Enemies carry the Bevers to Canada that we would have brought to our Brethren. Our Bever Hunters are Soldiers, and could bear this no longer. They met some French in their Way to our Enemies, and very near them, carrying Ammunition, which our Men took from them. This is agreeable to our Customs in War; and we may therefore openly own it, tho' we know not whether it be practised by the Christians in such like Cases.
"When the Governor of Canada speaks to us of the Chain, he calls us Children, and saith, I am your Father, you must hold fast the Chain, and I will do the same: I will protect you as a Father doth his Children. Is this Protection, to speak thus with his Lips, and at the same Time to knock us on the Head, by assisting our Enemies with Ammunition?
"He always says, I am your Father, and you are my Children; and yet he is angry with his Children, for taking these Goods.
"But, O Corlear! O Assarigoa! we must complain to you; you Corlear are a Lord, and govern this Country; is it just that our Father is going to fight with us for these Things, or is it well done? We rejoiced when La Sal was sent over the great Water; and when Perot was removed, because they had furnished our Enemies with Ammunition; but we are disappointed in our Hopes, for we find our Enemies are still supplied. Is this well done? Yea, he often forbids us to make War on any of the Nations with whom he trades; and at the same Time furnishes them with all Sorts of Ammunition, to enable them to destroy us.
"Thus far in Answer to the Complaint the Governor of Canada hath made of us to Corlear. Corlear said to us, that Satisfaction must be made to the French for the Mischief we have done them. This he said before he heard our Answer. Now let him that hath Inspection over all our Countries, on whom our Eyes are fixed, let him, even Corlear, judge and determine. If you say that it must be paid, we shall pay it, but we cannot live without free Bever Hunting.
"Corlear, hear what we say, we thank you for the Duke's Arms, which you have given us to be put in our Castles, as a Defence to them. You command them. Have we wandered out of the Way, as the Governor of Canada says? We do not threaten him with War, as he threatens us. What shall we do? Shall we run away, or shall we sit still in our Houses? What shall we do? we speek to him that governs and commands us.
"Now Corlear, and Assarigoa, and all People here present, remember what we have answered to the Complaints of the Governor of Canada; yea, we wish that what we here said may come to his Ears." Then they gave a Belt.
Monsieur De la Barre at this Time was gone, with all the Force of Canada, to Cadarackui Fort, and ordered the three Vessels to be repaired which the French had built on Cadarackui Lake: His Design was to frighten the Five Nations into his own Terms, by the Appearance of the French Army, which consisted of 600 Soldiers of the regular Troops, 400 Indians, and 400 Men that carried Provisions, besides 300 Men that he left to secure Cadarackui Fort, and the western Indians, that he expected would join him. But while he was at this Fort, the Fatigue of travelling in the Month of August, together with the Unhealthiness of that Place (the Country thereabout being very marshy) where he tarried six Weeks, occasioned so great a Sickness in his Army, that he found himself unable to perform any Thing but by Treaty; and therefore sent Orders to Monsr. Dulhut, who was come from Missilimakinak with 600 Men, French and Indians, to stop. Monsr. De la Barre passed across the Lake, with as many Men as were able to travel, and arrived at the River which the French call La Famine, by the Indians called Kaihohage, which falls into the South Side of Cadarackui Lake, about thirty Miles from Onnondago. There were two Villages of the Five Nations on the North Side of the Lake, about fifteen Miles from the French Fort, consisting of those Indians that had the most Inclination to the French: They provided the French Army with Provisions, while they remained at the Fort; but it is probable, sent an Account to their own Nations of every Thing that happened; and that this was the Reason of the Usage they afterwards met with from the French.
When Monsr. De la Barre sent to Coll. Dungan, he was in Hopes, from the strict Alliance that was then between the Crowns of England and France, and from Coll. Dungan's being a Papist, that he would at least sit still till he had reduced the Five Nations. But none of these Reasons permitted that Gentleman to be easy, while the French attempted such Things, as in their Consequences would be of the highest Degree prejudicial to the English Interest, and might put all the English Colonies in America in Danger. Wherefore he dispatched the publick Interpreter, with Orders to do every Thing in his Power to prevent the Five Nations going to treat with Monsr. De la Barre.
The Interpreter succeeded in his Design with the Mohawks, and with the Senakas, who promised that they would not go near the French Governor: But he had not the like Success with the Onnondagas, Oneydoes, and Cayugas, who had received the French Priests, for they would not hear the Interpreter, but in Presence of the French Priests, and Monsr. la Main, and three other Frenchmen that Monsr. De la Barre had sent to persuade them to meet him at Kaihohage; they gave the following Answer to the Interpreter.
"Arie, you are Corlear's Messenger, Ohquesse (Monsr. la Maine) is the Governor of Canada's; and there sits our Father; Yonnondio acquainted us some Time ago, that he would speak with us, before he would undertake any Thing against the Senakas. Now he hath sent for all the Nations to speak with him in Friendship, and that at a Place not far from Onnondaga, even at Kaihohage. But our Brother Corlear tells us, that we must not meet the Governor of Canada without his Permission; and that if Yonnondio have any Thing to say to us, he must first send to Corlear for Leave to speak with us. Yonnondio has sent long ago to us to speak with him, and he has lately repeated that Desire by Onnissantie the Brother of our Father Twirhaersira that sits there; he has not only entreated us by our Father, but by two praying Indians, one an Onnondaga, the other the Son of an old Mohawk Sachem, Connondowe. They brought five great Belts of Wampum, not a Fathom or two only, as you bring. Now Ohquesse has been sent with three Frenchmen; Yonnondio not being content with all this, has likewise sent Dennehoct, and two other Mohawks, to persuade us to meet him, and to speak with him of good Things. Should we not go to him after all this Intreaty, when he is come so far, and so near to us? Certainly if we do not, we shall provoke his Wrath, and not deserve his Goodness. You say we are Subjects to the King of England and Duke of York, but we say we are Brethren. We must take Care of ourselves. Those Arms fixed upon the Posts, without the Gate, cannot defend us against the Arms of la Barre. Brother Corlear, we tell you, that we shall bind a Covenant Chain to our Arm, and to his, as thick as that Post, (pointing to a Post of the House) be not dissatisfied; should we not embrace this Happiness offered us, viz. Peace, in the Place of War; yea, we shall take the Evil Doers, the Senekas, by the Hand, and la Barre likewise, and their Ax and his Sword shall be thrown into a deep Water. We wish our Brother Corlear were present, but it seems the Time will not permit of it."
Accordingly Garangula, one of the chief Sachems of the Onondaga's, with thirty Warriors, went with Mr. Le Maine, to meet the Governor of Canada at Kaihohage. After he had been two Days in the French Camp, Monsr. la Barre spoke to him as follows, (the French Officers making a Semi-circle on one Side, while Garangula, with his Warriors, compleated the Circle on the other.)
Monsr. De la Barre's Speech to Garangula.
"The King, my Master, being informed that the Five Nations have often infringed the Peace, has ordered me to come hither with a Guard, and to send Ohguesse to the Onondagas, to bring the chief Sachem to my Camp. The Intention of the great King is, that you and I may smoke the Calumet of Peace together, but on this Condition, that you promise me, in the Name of the Senekas, Cayugas, Onondagas, and Mohawks, to give intire Satisfaction and Reparation to his Subjects; and for the future never to molest them.
"The Senekas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneydoes, and Mohawks have robbed and abused all the Traders that were passing to the Illinois and Umamies, and other Indian Nations, the Children of my King. They have acted, on these Occasions, contrary to the Treaty of Peace with my Predecessor. I am ordered therefore to demand Satisfaction, and to tell them, that in case of Refusal, or their plundering us any more, that I have express Orders to declare War. This Belt confirms my Words. The Warriors of the Five Nations have conducted the English into the Lakes, which belong to the King, my Master, and brought the English among the Nations that are his Children, to destroy the Trade of his Subjects, and to withdraw these Nations from him. They have carried the English thither, notwithstanding the Prohibition of the late Governor of New-York, who foresaw the Risque that both they and you would run. I am willing to forget these Things, but if ever the like shall happen for the future, I have express Orders to declare War against you. This Belt confirms my Words. Your Warriors have made several barbarous Incursions on the Illinois and Umamies; they have massacred Men, Women, and Children, and have made many of these Nations Prisoners, who thought themselves safe in their Villages in Time of Peace. These People, who are my King's Children, must not be your Slaves; you must give them their Liberty, and send them back into their own Country. If the Five Nations shall refuse to do this, I have express Orders to declare War against them. This Belt confirms my Words.
"This is what I have to say to Garangula, that he may carry to the Senekas, Onondagas, Oneydoes, Cayugas, and Mohawks the Declaration which the King, my Master, has commanded me to make. He doth not wish them to force him to send a great Army toCadarackui Fort, to begin a War which must be fatal to them. He would be sorry that this Fort, that was the Work of Peace, should become the Prison of your Warriors. We must endeavour, on both Sides, to prevent such Misfortunes. The French, who are the Brethren and Friends of the Five Nations, will never trouble their Repose, provided that the Satisfaction which I demand be given, and that the Treaties of Peace be hereafter observed. I shall be extremely grieved if my Words do not produce the Effect which I expect from them; for then I shall be obliged to join with the Governor of New-York, who is commanded by his Master to assist me, and burn the Castles of the Five Nations, and destroy you. This Belt confirms my Words."
Garangala was very much surprised to find the soft Words of the Jesuit, and of the Governor's Messengers, turned to such threatening Language. This was designed to strike Terror into the Indians; but Garangula having good Information from those of the Five Nations living near Cadarackui Fort, of all the Sickness and other Misfortunes which afflicted the French Army, it was far from producing the designed Effect. All the Time that Monsieur de la Barre spoke, Garangula kept his Eyes fixed on the End of his Pipe; as soon as the Governor had done speaking, he rose up, and having walked five or six Times round the Circle, he returned to his Place, where he spoke standing, while Monsieur de la Barre kept his Elbow-Chair.
"I honour you, and the Warriors that are with me all likewise honour you. Your Interpreter has finished your Speech; I now begin mine. My Words make haste to reach your Ears, hearken to them.
"Yonnondio, you must have believed, when you left Quebeck, that the Sun had burnt up all the Forests which render our Country inaccessible to the French, or that the Lakes had so far overflown their Banks, that they had surrounded our Castles, and that it was impossible for us to get out of them. Yes, Yonnondio, surely you must have dreamt so, and the Curiosity of seeing so great a Wonder has brought you so far. Now you are undeceived, since that I and the Warriors here present are come to assure you, that the Senekas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneydoes, and Mohawks are yet alive. I thank you, in their Name, for bringing back into their Country the Calumet, which your Predecessor received from their Hands. It was happy for you, that you left Underground that murdering Hatchet, that has been so often dyed in the Blood of the French. Hear, Yonnondio, I do not sleep, I have my Eyes open, and the Sun, which enlightens me, discovers to me a great Captain at the Head of a Company of Soldiers, who speaks as if he were dreaming. He says, that he only came to the Lake to smoke on the great Calumet with the Onondagas. But Garangula says, that he sees the contrary, that it was to knock them on the Head, if Sickness had not weakened the Arms of the French.
"I see Yonnondio raving in a Camp of sick Men, whose Lives the great Spirit has saved, by inflicting this Sickness on them. Hear, Yonnondio, our Women had taken their Clubs, our Children and old Men had carried their Bows and Arrows into the Heart of your Camp, if our Warriors had not disarmed them, and kept them back, when your Messenger, Ohguesse, came to our Castles. It is done, and I have said it. Hear, Yonnondio, we plundered none of the French, but those that carried Guns, Powder, and Ball to the Iwikties andChictaghicks, because those Arms might have cost us our Lives. Herein we follow the Example of the Jesuits, who stave all the Caggs of Rum brought to our Castles, lest the drunken Indians should knock them on the Head. Our Warriors have not Bevers enough to pay for all these Arms, that they have taken, and our old Men are not afraid of the War. This Belt preserves my Words.
"We carried the English into our Lakes, to trade there with the Utawawas and Quatoghies, as the Adirondacks brought the French to our Castles, to carry on a Trade which the English say is theirs. We are born free, we neither depend on Yonnondio nor Corlear.
"We may go where we please, and carry with us whom we please, and buy and sell what we please: If your Allies be your Slaves, use them as such, command them to receive no other but your People. This Belt preserves my Words.
"We knock'd the Twihtwies and Chictaghicks on the Head, because they had cut down the Trees of Peace, which were the Limits of our Country. They have hunted Bevers on our Lands: They have acted contrary to the Customs of all Indians; for they left none of the Bevers alive, they killed both Male and Female. They brought the Satanas into their Country, to take Part with them, after they had concerted ill Designs against us. We have done less than either the English or French, that have usurped the Lands of so many IndianNations, and chased them from their own Country. This Belt preserves my Words. Hear, Yonnondio, what I say is the Voice of all the Five Nations; hear what they answer, open your Ears to what they speak: The Senekas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneydoes, and Mohawkssay, that when they buried the Hatchet at Cadarackui (in the Presence of your Predecessor) in the Middle of the Fort, they planted the Tree of Peace in the same Place, to be there carefully preserved, that, in Place of a Retreat for Soldiers, that Fort might be a Rendezvous for Merchants; that, in Place of Arms and Ammunition of War, Bevers and Merchandise should only enter there.
"Hear, Yonnondio, take Care for the future, that so great a Number of Soldiers, as appear there, do not choak the Tree of Peace planted in so small a Fort. It will be a great Loss, if after it had so easily taken Root, you should stop its Growth, and prevent its covering your Country and ours with its Branches. I assure you, in the Name of the Five Nations, that our Warriors shall dance to the Calumet of Peace under its Leaves, and shall remain quiet on their Matts, and shall never dig up the Hatchet, till their Brethren, Yonnondio or Corlear, shall either jointly or separately endeavour to attack the Country, which the great Spirit has given to our Ancestors. This Belt preserves my Words, and this other, the Authority which the Five Nations has given me."
Then Garangula addressing himself to Monsieur le Maine, said:
"Take Courage, Ohguesse, you have Spirit, speak, explain my Words, forget nothing, tell all that your Brethren and Friends say to Yonnondio, your Governor, by the Mouth of Garangula, who loves you, and desires you to accept of this Present of Bever, and take Part with me in my Feast, to which I invite you. This Present of Bever is sent to Yonnondio on the Part of the Five Nations."
When Garangula's Harangue was explained to Monsieur de la Barre, he returned to his Tent, much inraged at what he had heard.
Garangula feasted the French Officers, and then went Home, and Monsieur de la Barre set out in his Way towards Montreal; and as soon as the General was imbarked, with the few Soldiers that remained in Health, the Militia made the best of their Way to their own Habitations, without any Order or Discipline.
Thus a very chargeable and fatiguing Expedition (which was to strike the Terror of the French Name into the stubborn Hearts of the Five Nations) ended in a Scold between the French General and an old Indian.
The English attempt to trade in the Lakes, and the French attack the Senekas.
The Marquis de Nonville having now succeeded Monsieur de la Barre, in the Year 1685, and having brought a considerable Reinforcement of Soldiers with him, resolved to recover the Honour the French had lost in the last Expedition, and revenge the Slaughter the Five Nations continued to make of theTwihtwies and Chictaghicks, who had put themselves under the French Protection; for the Five Nations having intirely subdued the Chictaghicks, after a six Years War, they resolved next to fall upon the Twihtwies, and to call them to an Account for the Disturbance they had given some of their People in their Bever Hunting. The Five Nations have few or no Bever in their own Country, and for that Reason are obliged to hunt at a great Distance, which often occasions Disputes with their Neighbours about the Property of the Bever. The Bever is the most valuable Branch of the Indian Trade, and as the Twihtwies carried their Bevers to the French, the English encouraged the Five Nations in these Expeditions, and particularly, in the Beginning of the Year 1687, made the Five Nations a Present of a Barrel of Powder, when their whole Force was preparing to go against the Twihtwies. The English were the better pleased with this War, because they thought that it would divert the Five Nations from the Virginia Indians: But the French were resolved to support their Friends more effectually by a powerful Diversion, and to change the Seat of the War.
For this Purpose Mr. de Nonville sent, in May 1687, great Quantities of Provision to Cadarackui Fort, and gathered the whole Force of Canada to Montreal. His Army consisted of fifteen hundred French of the regular Troops and Militia, and five hundred Indians that lived near Montreal and Quebeck. He sent likewise Orders to the Commandant at Missilimakinak to assemble all the Nations living round him, and to march them to Oniagara, in order to join the Forces of Canada designed against the Senekas, and the other Officers posted among the Indians Westward had the like Orders.
The Twihtwies received the Hatchet with Joy from the Hands of the French Officer. The Outagamies, Kikabous, and Maskuticks, who were not used to Canoes, were at first persuaded to join the Twihtwies, who were to march by Land to Teuchsagrondie, where there was a French Fort, at which they were to be supplied with Ammunition. But after the French Officer left them, the Utagamies and Maskuticks were dissuaded by some of the Mahikander Indians, who happened to be with a neighbouring Nation at that Time.
The Putewatemies, Malhominies, and Puans offered themselves willingly, and went to the Rendezvous at Missilimakinak; where they were received by the Utawawas with all the Marks of Honour usually paid to Soldiers. Though the Utawawas had no Inclination to the present Enterprize; they could not tell however how to appear against it, otherwise than by inventing what Delays they could, to prevent their March.
In the mean while a Canoe arrived, which was sent by Mr. de Nonville, with his Orders to the Officers. This Canoe, in her Passage, discovered some English, commanded by Major Mac Gergory, in their Way to Teiodonderaghie. The English thought (after they had an Account of the new Alliance their King had entered into with the French) that the French would not disturb them in prosecuting a Trade with the Indians every where, and that the Trade would be equally free and open to both Nations. With these Hopes a considerable Number of Adventurers went out, under the Conduct of Major Mac Gergory, to trade with the Indians that lived on the Banks of the Lakes; and that they might be the more welcome, persuaded the Five Nations to set all the Dionondadie Prisoners at Liberty, who went along with the English, and conducted them towards Missilimakinak, or Teiodonderaghie; but the English found themselves mistaken, for the French Commandant at Teiodonderaghie, as soon as he had Notice of this, sent three-hundred French to intercept the English.
 The Utawawas and Dionondadies having likewise an Account of the English, designed to support their own Independency, and to incourage the English Trade. The return of the Dionondadie Prisoners made that Nation very hearty in favouring the English, they therefore marched immediately off, with Design to join Major Mac Gergory; but the Utawawas were divided in their Inclinations, their Chief, with about thirty more, joined the French, the rest remained in suspence, and stood neuter.
The Utawawas thus wavering, disconcerted the Measures of the Dionondadies, for they began to suspect the Utawawas, and therefore immediately returned to secure their Wives and Children that they had left near the French Fort with the Utawawas. The English and their Effects were seized without any Opposition, and were carried to the French Fort at Teiodonderaghie.
The English brought great Quantities of Rum with them, (which the Indians love more than their Lives) and the French being afraid, that if the Indians took to Drinking, they would grow ungovernable, did what they could to keep them from it. They were most concerned that the Putewatemies (who had no Knowledge of the English, or of that bewitching Liquor, and were firmly attached to the French) should not taste it.
The Utawawas still contrived Delays to the March, and having got some of the Putewatemies privately by themselves, they offered them a Cag of Rum, and said: "We are all Brethren, we ought to make one Body, and to have one Soul. The French invite us to war against the Five Nations, with Design to make us Slaves, and that we should make ourselves the Tools to effect it. As soon as they shall have destroyed the Five Nations, they will no longer observe any Measures with us, but use us like those Beasts they tie to their Ploughs. Let us leave them to themselves, and they will never be able to accomplish any Thing against the Five Nations."
But the Putewatemies had entertained such Notions of the French, as made them deaf to the Politicks of the Utawawas.
The French however grew jealous of these Caballings, and therefore resolved to delay their March no longer, and would not stay one Day more for the Utawawas, who desired only so much Time to pitch their Canoes, and went away without them.
Mr. Tonti, Commandant among the Chictaghicks, met with another Party of the English of about thirty Men, in Lake Erie, as he marched with the Chicktaghicks and Twihtwies, and other neighbouring Nations, to the general Rendezvous. He fell upon the English, plundered them, and took them Prisoners. The Frenchdivided all the Merchandize among the Indians, but kept the Rum to themselves, and got all drunk. The Deonondadie Prisoners, that conducted the English, joined with the Mahikander Indians that were among Mr. Tonti's Indians (who had privately dissuaded about twenty of the neighbouring Nations from going with Tonti) and endeavoured to persuade all the Indians to fall upon the French, while they were drunk, and destroy them; saying, the French are a proud, imperious, covetous People, that sell their Goods at an extravagant Price; the English are a good natured honest People, and will furnish you with every Thing at reasonable Rates. But these Arguments were to no Purpose, for these far Indians had entertained an extraordinary Opinion of the French Power, and knew nothing of the English.
The French and Putewatemies being gone from Teiodonderaghie, the Utawawas began to be afraid of the French Resentment, and therefore, the better to keep up the Colour they had put on their Delays, marched over Land, with all possible Expedition, to the general Rendezvous near Oniagara, where all the FrenchForce, both Christians and Indians, was to meet.
The Five Nations being informed of the French Preparations, laid aside their Design against the Twihtwies, and prepared to give the French a warm Reception. Upon this the Priest at Onondaga left them, but the Priest at Oneydo had the Courage to stay. The Senekas came to Albany to provide Ammunition, and the Commissioners made them a Present of a considerable Quantity of Powder and Lead, besides what they purchased. They were under a great deal of Concern when they took Leave of the Commissioners, and said, "Since we are to expect no other Assistance from our Brethren, we must recommend our Wives and Children to you, who will fly to you, if any Misfortune shall happen to us. It may be we shall never see you again; for we are resolved to behave so, as our Brethren shall have no Reason to be ashamed of us."
We must now return to Monsieur de Nonville's Army.
Monsieur Campagnie marched eight or ten Days before the rest of the Army, with between two and three hundred Cannadians. As soon as they arrived at Cadarackui, they surprised two Villages of the Five Nations, that were settled about eight Leagues from that Place, to prevent their giving any Intelligence to their own Nation of the French Preparations, or of the State of their Army, as it was supposed they did in the last Expedition under Monsieur de la Barre. These People were surprised when they least expected it, and by them from whom they feared no Harm, because they had settled there at the Invitation, and on the Faith of the French. They were carried in cold Blood to the Fort, and tied to Stakes, to be tormented by the French Indians, (Christians, as they call them) while they continued singing in their country Manner, and upbraiding the French with their Perfidy and Ingratitude.
While Monsieur de Nonville was at Cadarackui Fort, he had an Account, that the Chicktaghicks and Twihtwies waited for the Quatoghies and Utawawas at Lake St. Clair, with whom they designed to march to the general Rendezvous, at the Mouth of the Senekas River. For this Expedition was chiefly designed against the Senekas, who had absolutely refused to meet Monsieur de la Barre, and were most firmly attached to the English. The Senekas, for this Reason, were designed to be made Examples of the French Resentment to all the other Nations of Indians.
The Messenger having assured the General, that it was Time to depart, in order to meet with the western Indians, that came to his Assistance, he set out the twenty-third of June, and sent one Part of his Army in Canoes, along the North Shore of the Lake, while he, with the other Part, passed along the South, that no Accidents of Wind might prevent the one or the other reaching, within the Time appointed, at the Place the Indians were to meet him. It happened, by reason of the good Weather, that both arrived on the same Day, and joined the western Indians at Trondequat, As soon as the Men were put on Shore, they hawled up the Canoes, and began a Fort, where four hundred Men were left to guard the Canoes, and the Baggage. Here a young Cannadian was shot to Death, as a Deserter, for conducting the English into the Lakes, though the two Nations were not only at Peace, but their Kings in stricter Friendship than usual. But this Piece of Severity is not to be wondered at, when this War was undertaken, chiefly to put a Stop to the English Trade, which now began to extend itself far into the Continent, and would in its Consequence ruin theirs. The next Day the Army began to march towards the chief Village of the Senekas, which was only seven Leagues distant, every Man carrying ten Biskets for his Provision. The Indian Traders made the Van with Part of the Indians, the other Part marched in the Rear, while the regular Troops and Militia composed the main Body. The Army marched four Leagues the first Day without discovering any Thing; the next Day the Scouts advanced before the Army, as far as the Corn of the Villages, without seeing any Body, though they passed within Pistol-shot of five-hundred Senekas, that lay on their Bellies, and let them pass and repass without disturbing them.
On the Report which they made, the French hastened their March, in hopes to overtake the Women, Children, and old Men; for they no longer doubted of all being fled. But as soon as the French reached the Foot of a Hill, about a Quarter of a League from the Village, the Senekas suddenly raised the Warshout, with a Discharge of their Fire-arms. This put the regular Troops, as well as the Militia, into such a Fright, as they marched through the Woods, that the Battalions immediately divided, and run to the Right and Left, and, in the Confusion, fired upon one another. When the Senekas perceived their Disorder, they fell in among them pell-mell, till the French Indians, more used to such Way of fighting, gathered together and repulsed the Senekas. There were (according to the French Accounts) a hundred Frenchmen, ten French Indians, and about fourscore Senekas killed, in this Rencounter.
Monsieur de Nonville was so dispirited with the Fright that his Men had been put into, that his Indians could not persuade him to pursue. He halted the remainder of that Day. The next Day he marched on with Design to burn the Village, but when he came there, he found that the Senekas had saved him the Trouble; for they had laid all in Ashes before they retired. Two old Men only were found in the Castle, who were cut into Pieces and boiled to make Soup for the French Allies. The French staid five or six Days to destroy their Corn, and then marched to two other Villages, at two or three Leagues distance. After they had performed the like Exploits in those Places, they returned to the Banks of the Lake.
Before the French left the Lakes, they built a Fort of four Bastions at Oniagara, on the South-side of the Straights, between Lake Erie and Cadarackui Lake, and left a hundred Men, with eight Months Provisions in it. But this Garison was so closely blocked up by the Five Nations, that they all died of Hunger, except seven or eight, who were accidentally relieved by a Party of French Indians.
The western Indians, when they parted from the French General, made their Harangues, as usual, in which they told him, with what Pleasure they saw a Fort so well placed to favour their Designs against the Five Nations, and that they relied on his never finishing the War, but with the Destruction of the Five Nations, or forcing them to abandon their Country. He assured them, that he would act with such Vigour, that they would soon see the Five Nations driven into the Sea.
He sent a Detachment of Soldiers to Teiodonderaghie, and in his Return to Canada, which was by the North Side of the Lake, he left a sufficient Number of Men, and a Quantity of Provisions, at Cadarackui Fort.
The French having got nothing but dry Blows by this Expedition, sent thirteen of the Indians, that they surprised at Cadarackui, to France, as Trophies of their Victory, where they were put into the Galleys, as Rebels to their King.
Colonel Dongan's Advice to the Indians. Adario's Enterprize, and Montreal sacked by the Five Nations.
Colonel Dongan, who had the Indian Affairs very much at Heart, met the Five Nations at Albany as soon as possible after the French Expedition, and spoke to them on the fifth of August, in the following Words, viz.
"I am very glad to see you here in this House, and am heartily glad that you have sustained no greater Loss by the French, though I believe it was their Intention to destroy you all, if they could have surprised you in your Castles.
"As soon as I heard their Design to war with you, I gave you Notice, and came up hither myself, that I might be ready to give all the Assistance and Advice that so short a Time would allow me.
"I am now about sending a Gentleman to England, to the King, my Master, to let him know, that the French have invaded his Territories on this Side of the great Lake, and warred upon the Brethren his Subjects. I therefore would willingly know, whether the Brethren have given the Governor of Canada any Provocation or not; and if they have, how, and in what Manner; because I am obliged to give a true Account of this Matter. This Business may cause a War between the King of England and the French King, both in Europe and here, and therefore I must know the Truth.
"I know the Governor of Canada dare not enter into the King of England's Territories, in a hostile Manner, without Provocation, if he thought the Brethren were the King of England's Subjects; but you have, two or three Years ago, made a Covenant-chain with theFrench, contrary to my Command, (which I knew could not hold long) being void of itself among the Christians; for as much as Subjects (as you are) ought not to treat with any foreign Nation, it not lying in your Power, you have brought this Trouble on your selves, and, as I believe, this is the only Reason of their falling on you at this Time.
"Brethren, I took it very ill, that after you had put yourselves into the Number of the great King of England's Subjects, you should ever offer to make Peace or War without my Consent. You know that we can live without you, but you cannot live without us. You never found that I told you a Lye, and I offered you the Assistance you wanted, provided that you would be advised by me; for I know the French better than any of you do.
"Now since there is a War begun upon you by the Governor of Canada, I hope without any Provocation by you given, I desire and command you, that you hearken to no Treaty but by my Advice; which if you follow, you shall have the Benefit of the great Chain of Friendship between the great King of England and the King of France, which came out of England the other Day, and which I have sent to Canada by Anthony le Junard. In the mean Time, I will give you such Advice as will be for your good; and will supply you with such Necessaries, as you will have Need of.
"First, My Advice is, as to what Prisoners of the French you shall take, that you draw not their Blood, but bring them Home, and keep them to exchange for your People, which they have Prisoners already, or may take hereafter.
"2dly, That if it be possible, that you can order it so, I would have you take one or two of your wisest Sachems, and one or two of your chief Captains, of each Nation, to be a Council to manage all Affairs of the War. They to give Orders to the rest of the Officers what they are to do, that your Designs may be kept private; for after it comes among so many People, it is blazed abroad, and your Designs are often frustrated; and those chief Men should keep a Correspondence with me by a trusty Messenger.
"3dly, The great Matter under Consideration with the Brethren is, how to strengthen themselves, and weaken their Enemy. My Opinion is, that the Brethren should send Messengers to the Utawawas, Twihtwies, and the farther Indians, and to send back likewise some of the Prisoners of these Nations, if you have any left, to bury the Hatchet, and to make a Covenant-chain, that they may put away all the French that are among them, and that you will open a Path for them this Way, they being the King of England's Subjects likewise, tho' the French have been admitted to trade with them; for all that the French have in Canada, they had it of the great King of England; that by that Means they may come hither freely, where they may have every Thing cheaper than among the French: That you and they may join together against the French, and make so firm a League, that whoever is an Enemy to one, must be to both.
"4thly, Another Thing of Concern is, that you ought to do what you can to open a Path for all the North Indians and Mahikanders, that are among the Utawawas and further Nations: I will endeavour to do the same to bring them Home; for, they not daring to return Home your Way, the French keep them there on purpose to join with the other Nations against you, for your Destruction; for you know, that one of them is worse than six of the others; therefore all Means must be used to bring them Home, and use them kindly as they pass through your Country.
"5thly, My Advice further is, that Messengers go, in behalf of all the Five Nations, to the Christian Indians at Canada, to persuade them to come Home to their native Country. This will be another great Means to weaken your Enemy; but if they will not be advised, you know what to do with them.
"6thly, I think it very necessary, for the Brethren's Security and Assistance, and to the endamaging the French, to build a Fort upon the Lake, where I may keep Stores and Provisions, in Case of Necessity; and therefore I would have the Brethren let me know what Place will be most convenient for it.
"7thly, I would not have the Brethren keep their Corn in their Castles, as I hear the Onondagas do, but bury it a great Way in the Woods, where few People may know where it is, for fear of such an Accident as has happened to the Senekas.
"8thly, I have given my Advice in your General Assembly by Mr. Dirk Wessels, and Akus the Interpreter, how you are to manage your Parties, and how necessary it is to get Prisoners, to exchange for your own Men that are Prisoners with the French; and I am glad to hear that the Brethren are so united, as Mr. Dirk Wessels tells me you are, and that there are no rotten Members nor French Spies among you.
"9thly, The Brethren may remember my Advice, which I sent you this Spring, not to go to Cadarackui; if you had, they would have served you as they did your People that came from hunting thither; for I told you then, that I knew the French better than you did.
"10thly, There was no Advice or Proposition that I made to the Brethren, all the Time that the Priest lived at Onondaga, but what he wrote to Canada, as I found by one of his Letters, which he gave to an Indian to carry to Canada, but which was brought hither; therefore I desire the Brethren not to receive him or any French Priest any more, having sent for English Priests, with whom you may be supplied to your Content.
"11thly, I would have the Brethren look out sharp, for Fear of being surprized. I believe all the Strength of the French will be at their Frontier Places, viz. at Cadarackui and Oniagara, where they have built a Fort now, and at Trois Rivieres, Montreal, and Chambly.
"12thly, Let me put you in Mind again, not to make any Treaties without my Means, which will be more advantageous for you, than your doing it by yourselves, for then you will be looked upon as the King of England's Subjects, and let me know, from Time to Time, every Thing that is done.
"Thus far I have spoken to you relating to the War."
Then he chid them for their Breach of Faith with Virginia. He told them, that he was informed, that last Spring they had killed a fine Gentleman, with some others; and that a Party of the Oneydoes was now there at the Head of Tames River, with Intention to destroy all the Indians thereabout. They had taken six Prisoners, whom he ordered them to bring to him, to be restored; and that for the future they should desist from doing any Injury to the People of Virginia, or their Indians, otherwise all the English would unite to destroy them. But at the same time he freed the Senekas from any Blame, and commended them as a brave and honest People, who never had done any Thing contrary to his Orders, except in making that unlucky Peace with the French, three Years ago.
Lastly, He recommended to them, not to suffer their People to be drunk during the War: A Soldier thereby (he said) loses his Reputation, because of the Advantages it will give the Enemy over him.
This honest Gentleman earnestly pursued the Interest of his Country; but it seems his Measures were not agreeable to those his Master had taken with the French King; for he had Orders to procure a Peace for the French on their own Terms, and was soon after this removed from his Government. Indeed such an active, as well as prudent Governor of New-York, could not be acceptable to the French, who had the universal Monarchy in View, in America as well as in Europe.
The great Dispute between Coll. Dungan and the French was in this, that Coll. Dungan would force the French to apply to him, in all Affairs relating to the Five Nations, and the French would treat with them independently of the English. For this Reason Coll. Dungan refused any Assistance to the French, till they, by such Application, should acknowledge the Dependance of the Five Nations on the Crown of England. But King James ordered him to give up this Point; and that he should persuade the Five Nations to send to Canada, to receive Proposals from the French Governor; and for this Purpose, forced them to agree to a Cessation of Arms, till their Deputies should go and return from Canada; and that they should, in the mean Time, deliver up all the Prisoners they had taken from the French; and that no Accident might prevent this, and blast so favourable an Opportunity of making Peace to the best Advantage, Monsr. De Nonvillesent his Orders to all his Officers in the Indian Countries, to observe a Cessation of Arms, till the Ambassador of the Five Nations should meet him at Montreal, as they had given him Reason to expect they would in a little Time, to conclude the Peace in the usual Form.
In the mean Time, Adario, the Chief of the Deonondadies, finding that his Nation was become suspected by the French, since the Time they had shewn so much Inclination to the English, when they attempted to trade at Missilimakinak, resolved, by some notable Action against the Five Nations, to recover the good Graces of the French.
For this Purpose, he marched from Missilimakinak, at the Head of a Hundred Men; and that he might act with the more Security, he took Cadarackui Fort in his Way for Intelligence: The Commandant informed him, that Monsr. De Nonville was in Hopes of concluding a Peace with the Five Nations, and expected their Ambassadors in eight or ten Days at Montreal for that Purpose, and therefore desired him to return to Missilimakinak, without attempting any Thing that might obstruct so good a Design.
The Indian being surprised with this News, was under great Concern for his Nation, which he was afraid would be sacrificed to the French Interest, but dissembled his Concern before the French Officer. He went from Cadarackui, not to return home as the Commandant thought, but to wait for the Ambassadors of the Five Nations, near one of the Falls of Cadarackui River, by which he knew they must pass. He did not lurk there above four or five Days, before the Deputies came guarded by forty young Soldiers, who were all surprised, and killed or taken Prisoners. As soon as the Prisoners were all secured, the cunningDeonondadi told them, "That he having been informed, by the Governor of Canada, that fifty Warriors of their Nation were to pass this Way about this Time, he had secured this Pass, not doubting of intercepting them."
The Ambassadors being much surprised at the French Perfidy, told Adario the Design of their Journey, who, the better to play his Part, seemed to grow mad and furious, declaring against Monsr. De Nonville, and said he would, some time or other, be revenged of him, for making a Tool of him, to commit such horrid Treachery. Then looking stedfastly on the Prisoners (among whom Dekanefora was the principal Ambassador) Adario said to them, Go, my Brethren, I unty your Bonds, and send you home again, tho' our Nations be at War: The French Governor has made me commit so black an Action, that I shall never be easy after it, till the Five Nations shall have taken full Revenge.
This was sufficient to persuade the Ambassadors of the Truth of what he said, who assured him, that he and his Nation might make their Peace when they pleased. Adario lost only one Man on this Occasion, and would keep a Satana Prisoner (adopted into the Five Nations) to fill up his Place. Then he gave Arms, Powder and Ball to the rest of the Prisoners, to enable them to return.
The Ambassadors were chiefly, if not all, Onondagas, and Oneydoes, who had been long under the Influence of the French Priests, and still retained an Affection to them; but this Adventure thoroughly changed their Thoughts, and irritated them so heartily against the French, that all the Five Nations prosecuted the War unanimously.
Adario delivered the Slave (his Prisoner) to the French at Missilimakinak, who to keep up the Enmity between the Deonondadies and the Five Nations, ordered him to be shot to Death. Adario called one of the Five Nations, who had been long a Prisoner, to be an Eye Witness of his Countryman's Death, then bid him make his Escape to his own Country, to give an Account of the French Cruelty, from which it was not in his Power to save a Prisoner, he himself had taken.
This heightned the Rage of the Five Nations so, that Monsr. De Nonville's sending to disown Adario in this Action, had no Effect upon them; their Breasts admitted of no Thoughts but that of Revenge. It was not long before the French felt the bloody Effects of this cruel Passion, for 1200 Men of the Five Nationsinvaded the Island of Montreal, when the French had no Suspicion of any such Attempt, while Monsr. De Nonville and his Lady were in that Town. They landed on the South Side of the Island, at La Chine, on the 26th of July 1688, where they burnt and sacked all the Plantations, and made a terrible Massacre of Men, Women, and Children. The French were under Apprehension of the Town's being attack'd, for which Reason, they durst not send out any considerable Party to the Relief of the Country, only once, when the Indians had blocked up two Forts, Monsr. De Nonville sent out a hundred Soldiers, and fifty Indians, to try to bring off the Men in those Forts. The French of this Party were all either taken or cut to Pieces, except one Soldier, and the commanding Officer, who, after he had his Thighs broke, was carried off by twelve Indians that made their Escape. There were above a Thousand of the French killed at this Time, and twenty-six were carried away Prisoners, the greatest Part of which were burnt alive. The Five Nations only lost three Men on this Expedition, that got drunk and were left behind. This, however, did not satiate their Thirst after Blood, for, in October following, they destroyed likewise all the lower Part of the Island, and carried away many Prisoners.
The Consequence of these Expeditions were very dismal to the French, for they were forced to burn their two Barks, which they had on Cadarackui Lake, and to abandon their Fort there; they designed to have blown up their Works, when they left that Place; and for that End left a lighted Match where the Powder lay, but were in such a Fright, that they durst not stay to see what Effect it had. They went down Cadarackui River in seven Birch Canoes; and for greater Security, travelled in the Night. One of the Canoes, with all the Men in it, were lost, by their Precipitation, as they passed one of the Falls in that River. The Five Nations hearing the French had deserted Cadarackui Fort, fifty Indians went and took Possession of it, who found the Match the French had left, which had gone out, and twenty eight Barrels of Powder in the same Place, together with several other Stores.
The News of the Success the Five Nations had over the French soon spread itself among all the Indians, and put the French Affairs every where into the greatest Disorder.
The Utawawas had always shewn an Inclination to the English, and they therefore immediately sent openly four Sachems, with three Prisoners of the Senekas, which they had, to assure them, that they would for ever renounce all Friendship with the French, and promised to restore the rest of the Prisoners. They also included seven Nations, that lived near Missilimakinak, in this Peace.
This put the French Commandant there under the greatest Difficulty to maintain his Post; but there was no Choice, he must stand his Ground, for the Five Nations had cut off all Hopes of retiring.
The Nepairinians and Kikabous, of all their numerous Allies, only remained firm to the French; every one of the others endeavoured to gain the Friendship of the Five Nations; and would certainly have done it, by murdering all the French among them, had not the Sieur Perot, with wonderful Sagacity and eminent Hazard to his own Person, diverted them.
Canada was now in a most miserable Condition, for while the greatest Number of their Men had been employed in the Expedition against the Five Nations, and in trading among the far Nations, and making new Discoveries and Settlements, Tillage and Husbandry had been neglected; and they lost several Thousands of their Inhabitants, by the continual Incursions of small Parties, so that none durst hazard themselves out of fortified Places; indeed, it is hard to conceive what Distress the French were then under, for tho' they were every where almost starving, they could not plant nor sow, or go from one Village to another for Relief, but with imminent Danger of having their Scalps carried away by the sculking Indians; at last the whole Country being laid waste, Famine began to rage, and was like to have put a miserable End to that Colony.
If the Indians had understood the Method of attacking Forts, nothing could have preserved the French from an entire Destruction at this Time; for whoever considers the State of the Indian Affairs during this Period, how the Five Nations were divided in their Sentiments and Measures; that the Onondagas, Cayugas, and Oneydoes, under the Influence of the French Jesuites, were diverted from prosecuting the War against Canada, by the Jesuites cunningly spiriting up those three Nations against the Virginia Indians, and persuading them to send out their Parties that Way: That the Senekas had a War at the same Time upon their Hands with three numerous Indian Nations, the Utawawas, Chicktaghicks, and Twihtwies; and that the Measures the English observed all King James's Reign, gave the Indians rather Grounds of Jealousy than Assistance: I say, whoever considers all these Things, and what the Five Nations did actually perform, under all these Disadvantages against the French, will hardly doubt, that the Five Nations by themselves were at that Time an Overmatch for the French of Canada.
H I S T O R Y
FIVE Indian NATIONS
On the Province of NEW-YORK.
P R E F A C E
To the Second Part.
The former Part of this History was written at New-York in the Year 1727, on Occasion of a Dispute which then happened, between the Government of New-York and some Merchants. The French of Canada had the whole Fur Trade with the Western Indians in their Hands, and were supplied with their woollen Goods from New-York. Mr. Burnet, who took more Pains to be informed of the Interest of the People he was set over, and of making them useful to their Mother Country, than Plantation Governors usually do, took the Trouble of perusing all the Registers of the Indian Affairs on this Occasion. He from thence conceived of what Consequence the Fur Trade with the Western Indians was of to Great-Britain; that as the English had the Fur Trade to Hudson's Bay given up to them, by the Treaty of Utrecht, so, by the Advantages which the Province of New-York has in its Situation, they might be able to draw the whole Fur Trade in the other Parts of America to themselves, and thereby the English engross that Trade, and the Manufactories depending on it.
For this Purpose he thought it necessary to put a Stop to the Trade between New-York and Canada, by which the French supplied themselves with the most valuable and necessary Commodities for the Indian Market, and to set the Inhabitants of this Province on trading directly with the Indians. Besides the Consideration of Profit and Gain, he considered what Influence this Trade had on the numerous Nations of Indians living on the vast Continent of North-America, and who surround the British Colonies; of what Advantage it might be of, if they were influenced by the English in Case of a War with France; and how prejudicial, on the other Hand, if they were directed by French Counsels.
The Legislature of New-York was soon convinced of the Justness of his Reasoning, and passed an Act, prohibiting the Trade to Canada, and for encouraging the Trade directly with the Indians. They were likewise at the Charge of building a fortified trading House at Oswego, on Cadarackui Lake, and have ever since maintained a Garison there. As this Act did in its Consequence take a large Profit from one or two considerable Merchants, who had the Trade to Canada, intirely in their Hands, they endeavoured to raise a Clamour against it in the Province, and presented likewise Petitions to the King, in Order to get the Act repealed. Upon this Occasion Mr. Burnet gave me the Perusal of the Publick Register of Indian Affairs, and it was thought the Publication of the History of the Five Nations might be of Use at that Time.
I shall only add, that Mr. Burnet's Scheme has had its desired Effect: The English have gained the Trade which the French, before that, had with the Indians to the Westward of New-York; and whereas, before that Time, a very inconsiderable Number of Men were employed in the Indian Trade Abroad, now above three hundred Men are employed at the Trading House at Oswego alone; and the Indian Trade has since that Time yearly increased so far, that several Indian Nations come now every Summer to trade there, whose Names were not so much as known by the English before.
This History, from New-York, soon went to England, and I have been informed, that a Publication, with a Continuance of that Work, would be acceptable there. I have the more chearfully complied with this Notice, because of the War threatened from France, believing that a Publication of this Kind may be useful, whether the present Inquietudes between the two Nations end in a War or in a Treaty. The French have encouraged several Publications of this Sort at Paris, and certainly such may be more useful in a British Government, where the People have so great a Share in it, than it can be in a French Government, intirely directed by the Will of their Prince.
I now continue this History to the Peace of Reswick, and if I find this acceptable, and that a farther Continuation of it be desired, I shall, if my Life and Health be preserved, carry it down farther; but as I have too much Reason to doubt my own Ability, to give that Pleasure and Satisfaction which the Publick may expect in Things thus submitted to their View, I think it not justifiable to trouble them with too much at once.
H I S T O R Y
Five INDIAN Nations,
On the Province of NEW-YORK.
The History of the Five Indian Nations of Canada, from the Time of the Revolution to the Peace of Reswick.
The State of Affairs in New-York and Canada, at the Time of the Revolution in Great-Britain.
We left the Five Nations triumphing over the French in Canada, and they almost reduced to Despair. The Revolution, which happened at this Time in England, seemed to be a favourable Conjunction for the Five Nations; the English Colonies, by the War at that Time declared against France, becoming Parties in their Quarrel: For one will be ready to think, that the Five Nations being by themselves too powerful for the French, as appears by the preceding Chapter, when these were assisted by the Utawawas, Quatoghies, Twihtwies, Chictaghicks, Putewatemies, and all the Western Indian Nations, and when the Englishstood neuter; now certainly, when not only all these Indian Nations had made Peace with the Five Nations, but the English joined with them in the War, the French would not be able to stand one Campaign.
But we shall find what a Turn Affairs took, contrary to all reasonable Expectations, from the general Appearance of Things, and of what Importance a resolute wise Governor is to the well-being of a People, and how prejudicial Divisions and Parties are. For this Reason, it will be necessary to take a View of the Publick Affairs in the Province of New-York, and in Canada, at that Time, in order to understand the true Causes of the Alterations, which afterwards happened in Favour of the French.
The Revolution occasioned as great Divisions and Parties in the Province of New-York, in Proportion to the Number of People, as it did in Britain, if not greater. The Governor and all the Officers either fled or absconded; the Gentlemen of the King's Council, and some of the most considerable or richest People, either out of Love, or what they thought Duty, to King James, or rather from an Opinion they had that the Prince of Orange could not succeed, refused to join in the Declaration the People made in favour of that Prince, and suffered the Administration to fall into different Hands, who were more zealous for the Protestant Interest, and who were joined by the far greatest Number of the Inhabitants. After the Revolution was established, they that had appeared so warmly for it, thought that they deserved best of the Government, and expected to be continued in the Publick Offices; the others were zealous to recover the Authority they had lost, and used the most persuasive Means with the Governors for that Purpose, while the former trusted to their Merit. This begat great Animosities, which continued many Years. Each Party, as they were at different Times favoured by several Governors, opposed all the Measures taken by the other, while each of them were by Turns in Credit with the People or the Governor, and sometimes even prosecuted each other to Death. The publick Measures were by these Means perpetually fluctuating, and often one Day contradictory to what they were the Day before. The succeeding Governors, finding their private Account in favouring sometimes the one Party, and at other Times the other, kept up the Animosities all King William's Reign, though very much to the publick Prejudice; for each Party was this while so eager in resenting private Injuries, that they intirely neglected the publick Good.
The Constitution of Government in the English Plantations, where the Governors have no Salary, but what they can attain with the Consent of the Assemblies or Representatives of the People, gave Occasion to imprudent Governors to fall upon these Expedients, as they sometimes call them, for getting of Money. And a prevailing Faction, knowing for what Purpose the Governments in America were chiefly desired by the English Gentlemen, used this great Privilege to tempt a Governor to be the Head of a Party, when he ought to have been the Head of the Government. Indeed New-York has had the Misfortune, too frequently, to be under such as could not keep their Passion for Money secret, though none found it so profitable a Government, as they did who followed strictly the true Maxims of governing, without making Money the only Rule of their Actions.
The frequent Changes of Governors were likewise prejudicial to the publick Affairs. Colonel Slaughter, the first Governor after the Revolution, happened to die soon after his Arrival, when steady, as well as resolute Measures, were most necessary. But some think, that the Occasion of all the Misfortunes lay in the Want of Care in the Choice of Governors, when the Affairs of America wanted able Hands to manage them; they think that the Ministry had the saving of Money chiefly in View, when, to gratify some small Services, they gave Employments in America to those that were not capable of much meaner Offices at Home. The Opinion the People had of Colonel Slaughter's Capacity gave ground to these Surmises; but, if it was so, it happened to be very ill saved Money; for the Mismanagements in this Country occasioned far greater Expence to the Crown afterwards, than would have bought such Gentlemen handsome Estates, besides the great Losses they occasioned to the Subjects.
The greatest Number of the Inhabitants of the Province of New-York being Dutch, still retained an Affection to their Mother Country, and by their Aversion to the English weakened the Administration. The common People of Albany, who are all Dutch, could not forbear giving the Indians some ill Impressions of theEnglish; for the Mohawks, in one of their publick Speeches, expressed themselves thus: "We hear a Dutch Prince reigns now in England, why do you suffer the English Soldiers to remain in the Fort? put all the English out of the Town. When the Dutch held this Country long ago, we lay in their Houses; but theEnglish have always made us lie without Doors." It is true, that the Plantations were first settled by the meanest People of every Nation, and such as had the least Sense of any Honour. The Dutch first Settlers, many of them I may say, had none of the Virtues of their Countrymen, except their Industry in getting Money, and they sacrificed every Thing, other People think honourable or most sacred, to their Gain: But I do not think it proper to give particular Instances of this.
The People of New-England were engaged in a bloody War at this Time with the Owenagungas, Ouragies, and Ponacoks, the Indians that lie between them and the French Settlements. The Scahkooks were originally Part of these Indians. They left their Country about the Year 1672, and settled above Albany, on the Branch of Hudson's River that runs towards Canada. The People of New-England were jealous of the Scahkook Indians, that they remembering the old Difference they had with the People of New England, and the Relation they bore to the Eastern Indians, did countenance and assist these Indians in the War againstNew England. They had Reason for these Jealousies, for the Scahkook Indians received privately some Owenagunga Messengers, and kept their coming among them secret from the People of Albany; and some Scahkooks had gone privately to the Owenagungas. They were afraid likewise, that the Mohawks might have some Inclination to favour those Indians, because some of the Eastern Indians had fled to the Mohawks, and were kindly received by them, and lived among them.
Notwithstanding all these Failures of good Policy, in the Government of New-York, the French had not gained so great Advantages, if they had not carefully observed a different Conduct, which it is now necessary to consider.
Canada was at this Time in a very distressed Condition, the Country and out Plantations burnt and destroyed, their Trade intirely at a stand, great Numbers of their People slain, and the remainder in danger of perishing by Famine, as well as by the Sword of inveterate cruel Enemies. When such Misfortunes happen to a Country, under any Administration, though in Truth the Conduct of Affairs be not to be blamed, it is often prudent to change the Ministers; for the common People never fail to blame them, notwithstanding their having acted with the greatest Wisdom, and therefore cannot so soon recover their Spirits, that are sunk by Misfortunes, as by putting their Affairs into different Hands.
For these Reasons, it is probable, the French King recalled Mr. de Nonville, but rewarded him for his Services, by an honourable Employment in the Houshold. The Count de Frontenac was sent in his Place. This Gentleman had been formerly Governor of that Country, and was perfectly acquainted with its Interest; of a Temper of Mind fitted to such desperate Times, of undaunted Courage, and indefatigable, though in the sixty-eighth Year of his Age. The Count de Frontenac arrived the second of October 1689. The Country immediately received new Life by the Arrival of a Person, of whose Courage and Conduct every one had entertained a high Opinion. Care was taken to increase this Impression on the Minds of the People, by making publick Rejoicings with as much Noise as possible. He wisely improved this new Life, by immediately entering upon Action, without suffering their Hopes to grow cold. He staid no longer at Quebeck, than was necessary to be informed of the present State of Affairs, and in four or five Days after his Arrival set out in a Canoe for Montreal, where his Presence was most necessary; and the Winter was already so far advanced, that the Ice made it impracticable to go in a larger Vessel. By this the old Gentleman increased the Opinion and Hopes the People entertained of him, that, without staying to refresh himself after a fatiguing Sea-Voyage, he would immediately undertake another, that required all the Vigour and Heat of Youth to withstand the Inclemencies of the Climate and Season, and the Difficulty of such a Passage.
When the Count de Frontenac came to Montreal, he increased the Admiration the People had of his Vigour and Zeal, by pretending to go to visit Cadarackui Fort, now abandoned, which he had built in the Time he was formerly Governor. The Clergy and People of Montreal came jointly with stretched out Arms, representing the Danger of such an Attempt, and the Difficulties and Hardships that would necessarily attend it, praying him not to expose a Life that was so necessary for their Safety. He, with seeming Reluctance, yielded to their Intreaties; I say with seeming Reluctance, for it was inconsistent with his Prudence really to have such a Design. This Shew of the Governor's offering to go in Person, animated some of the Gentlemen of the Country, who voluntarily went in the Winter, with one Hundred Indian Traders, to visit that Fort; and finding it in better Condition than they expected, by the Report of those who had abandoned it, they staid there, and made some small Reparations in the Walls, which the Indians had thrown down.
The Count de Frontenac brought back with him Tawerahet, a Capiga Sachem, one of the thirteen Prisoners that Mr. de Nonville took at Cadarackui, and sent to France. He was in Hopes this Indian would be useful in procuring a Treaty of Peace with the Five Nations, for they had an extraordinary Opinion ofTawerahet; and the French had found, by sad Experience, that they could not be Gainers by continuing the War: For this Purpose the Count used Tawerahet with much Kindness, during his Voyage, and, after he arrived at Quebeck, lodged him in the Castle under his own Roof, and took such Pains with this Sachem, that he forgot all the ill Usage he had formerly received.
The French had the more Reason to desire a Peace with the Five Nations, because they knew, that they would now certainly have the English Colonies likewise upon them; and if the Five Nations had been able to do so much Mischief by themselves alone, they were much more to be feared, when they would be assisted, in all Probability, with the Force and Interest of the English Colonies.
Four Indians of less Note, who were brought back along with Tawerahet, were immediately dispatched, in this Sachem's Name, to the Five Nations, to inform them of his Return, and of the kind Usage they had received from the Count de Frontenac; and to press them to send some to visit their old Friend, who had been so kind to them when he was formerly Governor of Canada, and who still retained an Affection to the Five Nations; as appeared by the Kindness Tawerahet and they had received from him. This was the only Method left to the French of making Proposals of Peace, which it was their Interest by all Means to procure.
The Governor of Canada, as I said, conceived that there was no Way so proper to keep up the Spirits of the People, who had got new Life by his Arrival, as by putting them upon Action; and indeed their present miserable Condition made them forward enough, to undertake the most desperate Enterprize, when the frequent Incursions of the Indians made it as dangerous to be at Home, as to attack the Enemy Abroad.
For this Purpose he sent out three Parties in the Winter; one was designed against New-York, the other against Connecticut, and the last against New-England.
The Five Nations followed Colonel Dungan's Advice, in endeavouring to bring off the Western Indians from the French, and had all the Success that could be expected, before Mr. de Frontenac arrived.
They were overjoyed when they heard, that the English had entered into War with the French, and came several Times to Albany to know the Certainty of it, while it was only rumoured about. The People of Albany desired them to secure any of the praying Indians that should come from Canada, if they found that they were still ruled by the Priests; but to encourage them, if they came with a Design to return to their own Country.
The Senekas, Cayugas, Onondagas, and Oneydoes, the twenty seventh of June 1689, before any Governor arrived, renewed the old Covenant (as they said) which was first made many Years ago with one Tagues, who came with a Ship into their River. "Then we first became Brethren, said they, and continued so till last fall, that Sir Edmond Andross came and made a new Chain, by calling us Children; but let us stick to the old Chain, which has continued from the first Time it was made, by which we became Brethren, and have ever since always behaved as such. Virginia, Maryland, and New-England, have been taken into this silver Chain, with which our Friendship is locked fast. We are now come to make the Chain clear and bright. Here they gave two Bevers."
King James, a little before his Abdication, sent over Sir Edmond Andross with arbitrary Powers, and he, in Imitation of the French, changed the Stile of speaking to the Indians, of which they were very sensible.
They discovered a great Concern for their People that were carried to Canada; they long hoped (they said) that the King of England would have been powerful enough to deliver them, but now they began to lose all Hopes of them.
A Treaty between the Agents of Massachuset's Bay, New-Plymouth, and Connecticut, and the Sachems of the Five Nations, at Albany, in the Year 1689.
About the Beginning of September 1689, Colonel John Pynchon, Major John Savage, and Captain Jonathan Bull, Agents for the Colonies of Massachuset's Bay, New-Plymouth, and Connecticut, arrived at Albany, to renew the Friendship with the Five Nations, and to engage them against the Eastern Indians, who made War on the English of those Colonies, and were supported by the French.
The Five Nations had received four Messengers from the Eastern Indians, which gave the People of New-England some Apprehensions, and they were therefore desirous to know what Reception these Messengers had met with.
The Five Nations answered by Tahajadoris, a Mohawk Sachem, on the twenty fourth of September. He made a long Oration, repeating all that the Agent from New-England had said, the Day before, and desired them to be attentive to the Answer now to be made to them. They commonly repeat over all that has been said to them, before they return any Answer, and one may be surprized at the Exactness of these Repetitions. They take the following Method to assist their Memories: The Sachem, who presides at these Conferences, has a Bundle of small Sticks in his Hand; as soon as the Speaker has finished any one Article of his Speech, this Sachem gives a Stick to another Sachem, who is particularly to remember that Article; and so when another Article is finished, he gives a Stick to another to take Care of that other, and so on. In like Manner when the Speaker answers, each of these has the particular Care of the Answer resolved on to each Article, and prompts the Orator, when his Memory fails him, in the Article committed to his Charge. Tahajadoris addressing himself to the Agents, said:
"You are welcome to this House, which is appointed for our Treaties and publick Business with the Christians; we thank you for renewing the Covenant-chain. It is now no longer of Iron and subject to Rust, as formerly, but of pure Silver, and includes in it all the King's Subjects, from the Senekas Country eastward, as far as any of the great King's Subjects live, and southward, from New-England to Virginia. Here he gave a Bever.
"We are glad to hear of the good Success our great King has had over the French by Sea, in taking and sinking so many of their Men of War. You tell us in your Proposals that we are one People, let us then go Hand in Hand together, to ruin and destroy the French our common Enemy. Gives a Bever.
"The Covenant-chain between us is ancient (as you tell us) and of long standing, and it has been kept inviolably by us. When you had Wars some time ago with the Indians, you desired us to help you; we did it readily, and to the Purpose; for we pursued them closely, by which we prevented the Effusion of much of your Blood. This was a certain Sign that we loved truly and sincerely, and from our Hearts. Gives a Belt.
"You advise us to pursue our Enemies, the French, vigorously; this we assure you we are resolved to do to the utmost of our Power: But since the French are your Enemies likewise, we desire our Brethren of the three Colonies to send us an hundred Men for the Security of this Place, which is ill provided, in Case of an Attack from the French; the Christians have Victuals enough for their Entertainment. Gives one Belt.
"We patiently bore many Injuries from the French, from one Year to another, before we took up the Axe against them. Our Patience made the Governor of Canada think, that we were afraid of him, and durst not resent the Injuries we had so long suffered; but now he is undeceived. We assure you, that we are resolved never to drop the Axe, the French never shall see our Faces in Peace, we shall never be reconciled as long as one Frenchman is alive. We shall never make Peace, though our Nation should be ruined by it, and every one of us cut in Pieces. Our Brethren of the three Colonies may depend on this. Gives a Bever.
"As to what you told us of the Owenagungas and Uragees, we answer: That we were never so proud and haughty, as to begin a War without just Provocation. You tell us that they are treacherous Rogues, we believe it, and that they will undoubtedly assist the French. If they shall do this, or shall join with any of our Enemies, either French or Indians, then we will kill and destroy them. Gives a Bever."
Then the Mohawks offered five of their Men, to guard the Agents Home against any of their Indian Enemies, who they were afraid might be laying in wait for the Agents, and gave a Belt.
Afterwards the Speaker continued his Speech, and said: "We have spoke what we had to say of the War, we now come to the Affairs of Peace: We promise to preserve the Chain inviolably, and wish that the Sun may always shine in Peace over all our Heads that are comprehended in this Chain. We give two Belts, one for the Sun, the other for its Beams."
"We make fast the Roots of the Tree of Peace and Tranquillity, which is planted in this Place. Its Roots extend as far as the utmost of your Colonies; if the French should come to shake this Tree, we would feel it by the Motion of its Roots, which extend into our Country: But we trust it will not be in the Governor ofCanada's Power to shake this Tree, which has been so firmly and so long planted with us. Bevers."
Lastly, He desired the Magistrates of Albany to remember what he had said, and gave them a Bever.
But the Agents perceiving, that they had not answered any Thing about the Owenagunga Messengers, and had answered indistinctly about the War with the Eastern Indians, desired them to explain themselves fully on these two Points, about which the Agents were chiefly concerned.
The Five Nations answered:
"We cannot declare War against the Eastern Indians, for they have done us no Harm: Nevertheless our Brethren of New-England may be assured, that we will live and die in Friendship with them. When we took up the Axe against the French and their Confederates, we did it to revenge the Injuries they had done us; we did not make War with them at the Persuasions of our Brethren here; for we did not so much as acquaint them with our Intention, till fourteen Days after our Army had begun their March."
After the Company had separated, the Sachems sent to the New-England Agents, desiring to speak with them in private; which being granted, the Speaker said, we have something to tell you, which was not proper to be spoken openly, for some of our People have an Affection to the Owenagungas; and we were afraid, that they would discover or hinder our Designs.
Now we assure our Brethren, that we are resolved to look on your Enemies as ours, and that we will first fall on the Owaragees; and then on the Owenagungas, and lastly on the French; and that you may be convinced of our Intention, we design to send five of our young Men along with our Brethren to New-England, to guard them, who have Orders to view the Country of the Owaragees, to discover in what Manner it can be attacked with the most Advantage. This we always do before we make an Attempt on our Enemies. In a Word, Brethren, your War is our War, for we will live and dye with you.
But it is to be observed, that they confirmed nothing relating to these Indians, by giving Belts.
It is probable, that the Sachems acted with some Art on this Occasion, for they really had favourable Inclinations towards the Owenagungas; and they had Reason not to increase the Number of their Enemies, by making War on the Eastern Indians, who avoided doing them any Injury. The People of Albany likewise have always been averse to engage our Indians in a War with the Eastern Indians, lest it should change the Seat of the War, and bring it to their own Doors.
On the 25th the Magistrates of Albany had a private Conference with the Sachems of the Five Nations, and desired to know their Resolutions as to the War with Canada, and the Measures they resolved to follow. In this Conference the Indians saw that the People of Albany were so much afraid of the French, that their Spirits were sunk under the Apprehensions of the approaching War; and for this Reason made the following Answer.
"We have a hundred and forty Men out-skulking about Canada; it is impossible for the French to attempt any Thing, without being discovered and harassed by these Parties: If the French shall attempt any Thing this Way, all the Five Nations will come to your Assistance, for our Brethren and we are but one, and we will live and dye together. We have desired a hundred Men of our Brethren of Boston to assist us here, because this Place is most exposed; but if the Governor of Canada is so strong, as to overcome us all united together, then he must be our Master, and is not to be resisted; but we have Confidence in a good and just Cause; for the great God of Heaven knows how deceitfully the French have dealt with us, their Arms can have no Success. The Great God hath sent us Signs in the Sky to confirm this. We have heard uncommon Noise in the Heavens, and have seen Heads fall down upon Earth, which we look upon as a certain Presage of the Destruction of the French: Take Courage! On this they all immediately joined in singing and crying out, Courage! Courage!"
An Account of a general Council of the Five Nations at Onondaga, to consider the Count De Frontenac's Message.
On the 27th of December 1689, two Indians came to Albany, being sent by the Onondaga and Oneydo Sachems, with seven Hands of Wampum from each Nation, to tell their Brethren in New-York and New-England, that three of their old Friends, who had been carried Prisoners to France, were come with Proposals from Canada; that there was a Council of the Sachems appointed to meet at Onondaga, and that they therefore desired the Mayor of Albany, Peter Scheyler, and some others of their Brethren, to come thither, to be present and to advise on an Affair of so great Consequence; for they were resolved to do nothing without the Knowledge and Consent of all those that were included in the Chain with them.
The same Messenger told them, that some Letters were sent to the Jesuit at Oneydo; and that they would neither burn, nor suffer those Letters to be opened, till the Brethren should first see them.
All that the Magistrates of Albany did on this important Occasion, was to send three Indians with Instructions in their Name, to dissuade the Five Nations from entertaining any Thoughts of Peace, or yielding to a Cessation of Arms.
On the 4th of January one of the chief Mohawk Sachems came to Albany, to tell the Magistrates, that he was to go to Onondaga, and desired the Brethren's Advice how to behave there; on which the Magistrates thought it necessary to send likewise the publick Interpreter, and another Person to assist at the general Meeting, with written Instructions; but no Person of Note, that had any Influence on the Indians, went.
When the Messengers arrived at Oneydo, they discoursed privately with one of the Prisoners that had returned from France, and found that he had no Love for the French; but it is impossible but that Indians, who had seen the French Court, and many of their Troops, must be surprised at their Grandeur: he complained however of the ill Usage he had met with. The French chose, on this Occasion, to send first to Oneydo, because of the Assistance they expected the Jesuit, that resided there, would give to their Negotiation.
I believe it will not be tedious to the Reader, that desires to know the Indian Genius, if I give a circumstantial Account of this general Council or Parliament of the Five Nations, that he may see in what Manner a People that we call Savages behave on such important Occasions.
On the 22d of January the general Council was opened at Onondaga, consisting of eighty Sachems; in the first Place Sadekanaghtie, an Onondaga Sachem, rising up, addressed himself to the Messenger of Albany, saying,
Four Messengers are come from the Governor of Canada, viz. three who had been carried Prisoners to France, and a Sachem of the Praying Indians that live at Montreal.
The Governor of Canada notifies his Arrival to us, that he is the Count de Frontenac, who had been formerly Governor there; that he had brought back with him Tawerahet a Cayuga Sachem, and twelve Prisoners, that had been carried to France; then taking the Belt ofWampum in his Hand, and holding it by the Middle, he added, what I have said relates only to one Half of the Belt, the other Half is to let us know, that he intends to kindle again his Fire at Cadarackui next Spring, and therefore invites his Children, and Dekanasora anOnondaga Captain in particular, to treat there with him about the old Chain. Then Adarahta the chief Sachem of the praying Indians stood up, and said, with three Belts in his Hand, I advise you to meet the Governor of Canada as he desires; agree to this, if you would live, and gives one Belt of Wampum.
Tawerahet sends you this other Belt, to inform you of the Miseries, that he and the rest of your Countrymen have suffered in their Captivity; and to advise you to hearken to Yonondio, if you desire to live.
This third Belt is from Thurensera, Ohguesse, and Ertel, who say by it, to their Brethren: We have interceded for you with Yonondio, and therefore advise you to meet him at Cadarackui in the Spring, because it will be for your Advantage.
When this Sachem had done speaking, the Mohawk Messenger sent from Albany delivered his Message Word for Word, as he had received it, without omitting the least Article. The Interpreter, while the Indian was speaking, read over a Paper, on which the Message was set down, lest any Thing should have been forgot.
After this Cannehoot a Seneka Sachem stood up, and gave the general Council a particular Account of a Treaty made last Summer, between the Senekas and the Wagunha Messengers, (one of the Utawawa Nations) who had concluded a Peace for themselves, and seven other Nations, to which the other four Nations were desired to agree, and their Brethren of New-York to be included in it. He said the Proposals made in several Propositions were as follow.
1. We are come to join two Bodies into one. Delivering up at the same Time two Prisoners.
2. We are come to learn Wisdom of you Senekas, and of the other Five Nations, and of your Brethren of New-York. Giving a Belt.
3. We by this Belt wipe away the Tears from the Eyes of your Friends, whose Relations have been killed in the War, and likewise the Paint from your Soldiers Faces. Giving another Belt.
4. We now throw aside the Ax, which Yonondio put into our Hands, by this third Belt.
5. Let the Sun, as long as he shall endure, always shine upon us in Friendship. Here he gave a red Marble Sun as large as a Plate.
6. Let the Rain of Heaven wash away all Hatred, that we may again smoke together in Peace, giving a large Pipe of red Marble.
7. Yonondio is drunk, but we wash our Hands clean from all his Actions. Giving a fourth Belt.
8. Now we are clean washed by the Water of Heaven, neither of us must defile ourselves by hearkening to Yonondio.
9. We have twelve of your Nation Prisoners, who shall be brought home in the Spring; there he gave a Belt, to confirm the Promise.
10. We will bring your Prisoners when the Strawberries shall be in blossom, at which Time we intend to visit Corlear, and see the Place where the Wampum is made. (New-York.)
The Speaker added, we will also tell our Friends the other Utawawa Nations, and the Dionondadies, who have eleven of your People Prisoners, what we have now done, and invite them to make Peace with you.
He said further, we have sent three Messengers back with the Wagunhas, in order to confirm this Peace with their Nation.
After the Seneka Speaker had done, the Wagunha Presents were hung up in the House, in the Sight of the whole Assembly, and afterwards distributed among the several Nations, and their Acceptance was a Ratification of the Treaty. A large Belt was given also to the Albany Messengers as their Share.
The Belt of Wampum sent from Albany was in like Manner hanged up, and afterwards divided.
New-England, which the Indians call Kinshon (that is a Fish) sent likewise the Model of a Fish, as a token of their adhering to the general Covenant. This Fish was handed round among the Sachems, and then laid aside to be put up.
After these Ceremonies were over, Sadekanahtie, an Onondaga Speaker, stood up, and said, Brethren, we must stick to our Brother Quider, and look on Yonondio as our Enemy, for he is a Cheat: By Quider they meant Peter Schyler the Mayor of Albany, who had gained a considerable Esteem among them; as they have no Labeals in their Language, they pronounce Peter by the Sound Quider.
The Messenger from Canada had brought Letters, and some medicinal Powder, for the Jesuit Milet, who resided at Oneydo. These Letters and the Powder were delivered to the Interpreter from Albany to be carried thither, that the Contents of them might be made known to the Sachems of the several Nations. The Jesuit was present all this While in their Council.
Then the Interpreter was desired to speak what he had to say from their Brethren at Albany. He told them, that a new Governor was arrived, who had brought a great many Soldiers from England. That the King of England had declared War against France, and that the People of New-England were fitting out Ships against Canada. He advised them, that they should not hearken to the French, for when they talk of Peace, said he, War is in their Heart, and desired them to enter into no Treaty but at Albany, for the French, he said, would mind no Agreement made any where else.
After this they had Consultations for some Time together, and then gave the following Answer by their Speaker.
Brethren, our Fire burns at Albany. We will not send Dekanasora to Cadarackui. We adhere to our old Chain with Corlear; we will prosecute the War with Yonondio, and will follow your Advice in drawing off our Men from Cadarackui. Brethren, we are glad to hear the News you tell us, but tell us no Lies.
Brother Kinshon, we hear you design to send Soldiers to the eastward against the Indians there; but we advise you, now so many are united against the French, to fall immediately on them. Strike at the Root, when the Trunk shall be cut down, the Branches fall of Course.
Corlear and Kinshon, Courage! Courage! In the Spring to Quebeck, take that Place, and you'll have your Feet on the Necks of the French, and all their Friends in America.
After this they agreed to the following Answer to be sent to the Governor of Canada.
1. Yonondio, you have notified your Return to us, and that you have brought back 13 of our People that were carried to France, we are glad of it. You desire us to meet you at Cadarackui next Spring, to treat of the old Chain; but Yonondio, how can we trust you, after you have acted deceitfully so often? Witness what was done at Cadarackui; the Usage our Messengers met with at Utawawa, and what was done to the Senekas at Utawawa. This was their Answer; however, they sent a Belt with this, which always shews a Disposition to treat.
2. Therhansera, Ohguesse and Ertel, do you observe Friendship with us, if you have not, how come you to advise us to renew Friendship with Yonondio, they sent them likewise a Belt?
3. Tawerahet, the whole Council is glad to hear, that you are returned with the other twelve. Yonondio, you must send home Tawerahet and the others this very Winter, before Spring, and we will save all the French that we have Prisoners till that Time.
4. Yonondio, you desire to speak with us at Cadarackui: Don't you know that your Fire there is extinguished? It is extinguished with Blood, you must send home the Prisoners in the first Place.
5. We let you know that we have made Peace with the Wagunhas.
6. You are not to think, that we have laid down the Axe, because we return an Answer; we intend no such Thing: Our Fair-fighters shall continue the War till our Countrymen return.
7. When our Brother Tawerahet is returned, then will we speak to you of Peace.
As soon as the Council broke up, their Resolutions were made publick to all their People, by the Sachems of their several Nations.
Two Sachems were sent to Albany, by their general Council, to inform their Brethren there of their Resolutions, and to bring back the Contents of the Letters sent from Canada to the Jesuit.
As soon as they arrived, one of the Mohawks, that had been sent from Albany to the Council, delivered the Wagunha Belt, and repeated over distinctly all the Articles agreed to with that Nation, and referred to the Onondaga Speaker, being one of those sent by the Council of Albany, to recite the Answer to the Governor of Canada. He rising up, repeated over the whole as before set down, and added; The French are full of Deceit; but I call God to witness, we have hitherto used no Deceit with them, but how we shall act for the future, Time only can discover. Then he assured the Brethren, that the Five Nations were resolved to prosecute the War, in Token whereof he presented Quider with a Belt, in which three Axes were represented. Perhaps by this Representation only three Nations joined in sending it, the Cayugas and Oneydoes being more under the Influence of the Jesuit Milet, who lived among them intirely, according to their Manner of Life, and was adopted by the Oneydoes, and made one of their Sachems. The Letters from Canada to him were read, they contained nothing but common News and Compliments.
The Mohawk Messengers, that had been sent from Albany, had carried with them Goods to sell at the general Council. This was taken Notice of at the general Council, and gave the Indians a mean Opinion of the People of Albany, and particularly of Peter Schyler; for it is exceedingly scandalous among the Indians, to employ a Merchant in publick Affairs; Merchants, (I mean the Traders with the Indians) are looked upon by them as Liars, and People not to be trusted, and of no Credit, who by their Thoughts being continually turned upon Profit and Loss, consider every Thing with that private View. As this made a Noise atAlbany, by its giving the Jesuit an Opportunity of setting the Messengers from Albany in an ill Light, Peter Scheyler cleared himself by Oath, of his having any Interest directly or indirectly in those Goods, and sent a Belt back with his publick Justification. The Mohawk Messengers had refused to take the Goods, as being scandalous to the Business they went on; but were persuaded, by being told that the Goods belonged to Quider.
The Magistrates of Albany advised the Sachems, to send the Jesuit Prisoner to Albany, where he might be kept securely, without having it in his Power to do Mischief, but they could not prevail. The Indians were resolved to keep all the Means of making Peace in their own Hands.
The French surprise Schenectady. The Mohawks Speech of Condoleance on that Occasion.
The Count De Frontenac being desirous, as before observed, to raise the drooping Spirits of the French in Canada, by keeping them in Action, and engaging the most daring of them, in Enterprizes that might give Courage to the rest, had sent out three Parties against the English Colonies, in Hopes thereby to lessen the Confidence which the Five Nations had in the English Assistance, now that England had declared War against France. The Party sent against New-York was commanded by Monsr. De Herville, and was ordered to attempt the surprising of Schenectady, the nearest Village to the Mohawks; It consisted of 150 French Bush-lopers or Indian Traders, and of as many Indians, the most of them French Converts from the Mohawks, commonly called the Praying Indians, settled at a Place near Montreal, called Cahnuaga. They were well acquainted with all that Part of the Country round Schenectady; and came in Sight of the Place the 8th of February 1689-90.
The People of Schenectady were at that Time in the greatest Security, notwithstanding that they had Information from the Indians, of a Party of French, and French Indians being upon their March that Way. They did not think it practicable, in that Season of the Year, while it was extremely cold, and the whole Country covered with Snow. Indeed Europeans will hardly think it possible, that Men could make such a March through the Wilderness in the severest Frosts, without any Covering from the Heavens, or any Provision, except what they carried on their Backs.
Tho' the People of Schenectady were informed in the Evening before the Place was surprised, that several sculking Indians were seen near the Place, they concluded, that they could be only some of the neighbouring Indians; and as they had no Officer of any Esteem among them, not a single Man could be persuaded to watch in such severe Weather, tho', as the French owned afterwards, if they had found the least Guard or Watch, they would not have attempted the Place, but have surrendered themselves Prisoners: They were so exceedingly distressed with the Length of their March, and with Cold, and Hunger, but finding the Place in fatal Security, they marched into the Heart of the Village, without being discovered by any one Person; then they raised their War Shout, entered the Houses, murdered every Person they met, Men, Women, and Children, naked and in cold Blood; and at the same Time set Fire to the Houses. A very few escaped, by running out naked into the Woods in this terrible Weather: And several hid themselves, till the first Fury of the Attack was over; but these were soon driven from their lurking Places by the Fire, and were all made Prisoners.
Captain Alexander Glen, at this Time, lived at a Distance by himself, on the other Side of the River, and was the most noted Man in the Place. He had at several Times been kind to the French, who had been taken Prisoners by the Mohawks, and had saved several of them from the Fire. The French were sensible what Horror this cruel sacking of a defenceless Place, and murdering People in cold Blood, must raise in Mens Minds; and to lessen this, they resolved to shew their Gratitude to Captain Glen. They had passed his House in the Night, and observing that he stood on his Defence the next Morning, some of them went to the River Side, and calling to him, assured him, that they designed him no Injury. They persuaded him to come to the French Officer, who restored to him all his Relations that were Prisoners.
Some Mohawks being also found in the Village, the French dismissed them, with Assurance, that they designed them no Hurt.
This Conduct was not only necessary to promote the Peace which the Count De Frontenac with so much Earnestness desired, but likewise to secure their Retreat, by making the Mohawks less eager to pursue them.
The French marched back, without reaping any visible Advantage from this barbarous Enterprize, besides the murdering sixty-three innocent Persons in cold Blood, and carrying twenty-seven of them away Prisoners.
The Care the French took to sooth the Mohawks had not intirely it's Effect, for as soon as they heard of this Action, a hundred of their readiest young Men pursued the French, fell upon their Rear, and killed and took twenty-five of them.
This Action frightened the Inhabitants in and about Albany so much, that many resolved to desert the Place, and retire to New-York. They were packing up and preparing for this Purpose, when the Mohawk Sachems came to Albany to condole, according to their Custom, with their Friends, when any Misfortune befals them. I shall give their Speech on this Occasion, as it will be of Use to the Reader, in order to his forming a true Notion of the Indian Genius. They spoke the twenty-fifth of March as follows.
"Brethren, the Murder of our Brethren at Schenectady by the French grieves us as much, as if it had been done to our selves, for we are in the same Chain; and no Doubt our Brethren of New-England will be likewise sadly affected with this cruel Action of the French. The French on this Occasion have not acted like brave Men, but like Thieves and Robbers. Be not therefore discouraged. We give this Belt to wipe away your Tears.
"Brethren, we lament the Death of so many of our Brethren, whose Blood has been shed at Schenectady. We don't think that what the French have done can be called a Victory, it is only a farther Proof of their cruel Deceit. The Governor of Canada sends to Onondaga, and talks to us of Peace with our whole House, but War was in his Heart, as you now see by woful Experience. He did the same formerly at Cadarackui, and in the Senekas Country. This is the third Time he has acted so deceitfully. He has broken open our House at both Ends, formerly in the Senekas Country, and now here. We hope however to be revenged of them. One Hundred of our bravest young Men are in Pursuit of them, they are brisk Fellows, and they will follow the French to their Doors. We will beset them so closely, that not a Man in Canada shall dare to step out of Doors to cut a Stick of Wood; But now we gather up our Dead, to bury them, by this second Belt.
"Brethren, we came from our Castles with Tears in our Eyes, to bemoan the Bloodshed at Schenectady by the Perfidious French. While we bury our Dead murdered at Schenectady, we know not what may have befallen our own People, that are in Pursuit of the Enemy, they may be dead; what has befallen you may happen to us; and therefore we come to bury our Brethren at Schenectady with this third Belt.
"Great and sudden is the Mischief, as if it had fallen from Heaven upon us. Our Forefathers taught us to go with all Speed to bemoan and lament with our Brethren, when any Disaster or Misfortune happens to any in our Chain. Take this Bill of Vigilance, that you may be more watchful for the future. We give our Brethren Eye-Water to make them sharp sighted, giving a fourth Belt.
"We are now come to the House where we usually renew the Chain; but alas! we find the House polluted, polluted with Blood. All the Five Nations have heard of this, and we are come to wipe away the Blood, and clean the House. We come to invite Corlear, and every one of you, and Quider (calling to every one of the principal Men present by their Names) to be revenged of the Enemy, by this fifth Belt.
"Brethren, be not discouraged, we are strong enough. This is the Beginning of your War, and the whole House have their Eyes fixed upon you at this Time, to observe your Behaviour. They wait your Motion, and are ready to join in any resolute Measures.
"Our Chain is a strong Chain, it is a Silver Chain, it can neither rust nor be broken. We, as to our Parts, are resolute to continue the War.
"We will never desist, so long as a Man of us remains. Take Heart, do not pack up and go away,  this will give Heart to a dastardly Enemy. We are of the Race of the Bear, and a Bear you know never yields, while one Drop of Blood is left. We must all be Bears;giving a sixth Belt.
"Brethren be patient, this Disaster is an Affliction which has fallen from Heaven upon us. The Sun, which hath been cloudy, and sent this Disaster, will shine again with its pleasant Beams. Take Courage, said he, Courage, repeating the Word several Times as they gave a seventh Belt.
(To the English.)
Brethren, three Years ago we were engaged in a bloody War with the French, and you encouraged us to proceed in it. Our Success answered our Expectation; but we were not well begun, when Corlear stopt us from going on. Had you permitted us to go on, the French would not now have been able to do the Mischief, they have done, we would have prevented their sowing, planting or reaping.
We would have humbled them effectually, but now we dye. The Obstructions you then made now ruin us. Let us after this be steady, and take no such false Measures for the future, but prosecute the War vigorously. Giving a Bever Skin.
The Brethren must keep good Watch, and if the Enemy come again, send more speedily to us. Don't desert Schenectady. The Enemy will glory in seeing it desolate. It will give them Courage that had none before, fortify the Place, it is not well fortified now: The Stockadoes are too short, the Indians can jump over them. Gave a Bever Skin.
Brethren, The Mischief done at Schenectady cannot be helped now; but for the future, when the Enemy appears any where, let nothing hinder your sending to us by Expresses, and fire great Guns, that all may be alarmed. We advise you to bring all the River Indians under your Subjection to live near Albany, to be ready on all Occasions.
Send to New-England, tell them what has happened to you. They will undoubtedly awake and lend us their helping Hand. It is their Interest, as much as ours, to push the War to a speedy Conclusion. Be not discouraged, the French are not so numerous as some People talk. If we but heartily unite to push on the War, and mind our Business, the French will soon be subdued.
The Magistrates having returned an Answer on the twenty seventh, to the Satisfaction of the Indians, they repeated it all over, Word by Word, to let the Magistrates see how carefully they minded it, and then added,
Brethren, we are glad to find you are not discouraged. The best and wisest Men sometimes make Mistakes. Let us now pursue the War vigorously. We have a hundred Men out, they are good Scouts. We expect to meet all the Sachems of the other Nations, as they come to condole with you. You need not fear our being ready, at the first Notice. Our Ax is always in our Hands, but take Care that you be timely ready. Your Ships, that must do the principal Work, are long a fitting out. We do not design to go out with a small Company, or in sculking Parties; but as soon as the Nations can meet, we shall be ready with our whole Force. If you would bring this War to a happy Issue, you must begin soon, before the French can recover the Losses they have received from us, and get new Vigour and Life, therefore send in all Haste to New-England. Neither you nor we can continue long in the Condition we are now in, we must order Matters so, that the French be kept in continual Fear and Alarm at home; for this is the only Way to be secure, and in Peace here.
The Scahkok Indians, in our Opinion, are well placed where they are (to the Northward of Albany); they are a good Out-guard; they are our Children, and we shall take Care that they do their Duty: But you must take Care of the Indians below the Town, place them nearer the Town, so as they may be of most Service to you.
Here we see the Mohawks acting like hearty Friends, and if the Value of the Belts given at that Time be considered, together with what they said on that Occasion, they gave the strongest Proofs of their Sincerity. Each of these Belts amount to a large Sum in the Indian Account.
The English of New-York and the French of Canada were now entering into a War, in which the Part the Five Nations are to take is of the greatest Consequence to both; the very Being of the French Colony depended on it, as well as the Safety of the English. The Indians at this Time had the greatest Aversion to theFrench, and they desired nothing so much, as that the English might join heartily in this War. We shall see by the Sequel how a publick Spirit, directed by wise Counsels, can overcome all Difficulties, while a selfish Spirit loses all, even natural Advantages. In the present Case, the Turn Things took seems to have been entirely owing to one Thing. The French in making the Count de Frontenac Governor of Canada, chose the Man every Way the best qualified for this Service: The English seemed to have little Regard to the Qualification of the Person they sent, but to gratify a Relation or a Friend, by giving him an Opportunity to make a Fortune; and as he knew that he was recommended with this View, his Counsels were chiefly employed for this Purpose.
By this Means an English Governor generally wants the Esteem of the People; while they think that a Governor has not the Good of the People in View, but his own, they on all Occasions are jealous of him; so that even a good Governor, with more Difficulty, pursues generous Purposes and publick Benefits, because the People suspect them to be mere Pretences to cover a private Design. It is for this Reason, that any Man, opposing a Governor, is sure to meet with the Favour of the People, almost in every Case. On the other Hand, the Opinion the French had of the Count de Frontenac's publick Spirit, and of his Wisdom and Diligence, made them enter into all his Measures without hesitating, and chearfully obey all his Commands.
The Five Nations continue the War with the French; the Mohawks incline to Peace; their Conferences with the Governor of New-York.
The Governor of Canada received Hopes that the Five Nations inclined to Peace, by their returning an Answer to Therawaet's Message, and thought he might now venture to send some French to them with further Proposals. The Chevalier D'O, with an Interpreter called Collin, and some others, went; but they had a much warmer Reception than they expected, being forced to run the Gauntlet through a long Lane of Indians, as they entered their Castle, and were afterwards delivered up Prisoners to the English.
The Five Nations kept out at this Time small Parties, that continually harassed the French. The Count de Frontenac sent Captain Louvigni to Missilimakinak, to relieve the Garison, and he had Orders, by all Means, to prevent the Peace which the Utawawas and Quatoghies were upon the Point of concluding with theFive Nations. He carried with him one hundred forty three French, and six Indians, and was likewise accompanied with a Lieutenant and thirty Men, till he got one hundred twenty Miles from Montreal. They were met in Cadarackui River, at a Place called the Cats, by a Party of the Five Nations, who fell vigorously on their Canoes, killed several of the French, and made them give Way; but Louvigni, by putting his Men ashore, at last got the better, after a smart Engagement, in which the Indians had several Men killed, and two Men, and as many Women, taken Prisoners. I am obliged to rely on the French Account of these Skirmishes; they do not mention the Number of the Indians in this Rencounter, but I suspect them to have been much fewer than the French; for when the Enemy are equal in Number, or greater, they seldom forget to tell it. One of the Indian Prisoners was carried by them to Missilimackinak, to confirm this Victory, and was delivered to the Utawawas, who eat him. The Lieutenant carried the other back with him. He was given to Therawaet.
To revenge this Loss, the Five Nations sent a Party against the Island of Montreal, who fell on that Part called the Trembling Point; and though they were discovered before they gave their Blow, they attacked a Party of regular Troops, and killed the commanding Officer, and twelve of his Men: Another Party carried off fifteen or sixteen Prisoners from Riviere Puante, over against Trois Rivieres. This Party was pursued, and finding that they were like to be overpowered, murdered their Prisoners and made their Escape. These Incursions kept all the River, from Montreal to Quebeck, in continual Alarm, and obliged the Governor to send all the Soldiers to guard the south Side of the River. Notwithstanding this, five Persons were carried away in Sight of Sorel Fort, by a small skulking Party, but they were soon afterwards recovered by the Soldiers. About the same Time another Party burnt the Plantations at St. Ours.
The Five Nations had conceived great Hopes from the Assistance of the English, as the Magistrates of Albany had promised the Mohawks, when they came to condole, after the surprising of Schenectady; but the English were so far from performing these Promises, that many of the Inhabitants retired from Albany toNew-York; and they who had the Administration of Affairs, were so intent on their party Quarrels, that they intirely neglected the Indian Affairs. Indeed the People of New-York have too often made large Promises, and have thereby put the Indians upon bold Enterprizes, when no Measures were concerted for supporting them. This made the Indians think, that the English were lavish of Indian Lives and too careful of their own. The Mohawks, who lived nearest the English, were most sensible of these Things, and soon entertained Notions prejudicial to the Opinion they ought to have had of the English Prudence and Conduct; it is even probable, these Indians began to entertain a mean Opinion of both the English Courage and Integrity. It is not strange then, that the Mohawks at last gave Ear to the assiduous Application of their Countrymen, the praying Indians, who, with French Arguments, persuaded them to make Peace as soon as possible, without trusting longer to the English, who had so often disappointed or deceived them.
The Mohawks sent one of their Sachems, Odigacege, to the praying Indians, who introduced him to the Count de Frontenac. The Count made him welcome, and told him, that he was sorry for the Injuries his Predecessors had done them; but that he would treat them like Friends, if their future Conduct did not prevent him, and gave him a Belt, with Proposals of Peace to his Nation.
Colonel Slaughter, who was then Governor of New-York, being informed that the Five Nations were like to make Peace with the French, by their having lost much of their Confidence in the English Assistance, found it necessary to meet them, which he did in the End of May 1691. There were present at that Time sixOneydo, eleven Onondaga, four Cayuga, and ten Seneka Sachems. He renewed the Covenant with them, and gave them Presents. The Mohawks having entered into a Treaty with the French, did not join with the other four Nations in their Answer.
On the second of June the Speaker, in Name of the other four Nations, told him, they were glad to see a Governor again in this Place; that they had learned from their Ancestors, that the first Ship which arrived in this Country surprized them exceedingly; that they were curious to know what was in its huge Belly. They found Christians in it, and among them one Jacques, with whom they made a Chain of Friendship, which has been preserved to this Day. By that Chain it was agreed, that whatever Injury was done to the one, should be deemed, by both Sides, as likewise done to the other. Then they mentioned the Confusion that had lately been in the Government of New-York, which had like to have confounded all their Affairs, but hoped all would be reduced to their wonted Order and Quiet. They complained of several of the Brethren leaving Albany in Time of Danger, and praised those by Name who staid, and then said: Our Tree of Peace, which grows in this Place, has of late been much shaken, we must now secure and fasten its Roots; we must frequently manure and dress it, that its Roots may spread far.
They assured the Governor, that they were resolved to prosecute the War against the French as long as they lived, and that they would never speak of Peace, but with the common Consent. They abhor those that do otherwise, and desired that the Brethren might not keep a Correspondence with Canada by Letters. You need not (said they) press us to mind the War, we mind it above all Things; do you but your Parts, lay aside all other Thoughts but that of the War, for it is the only Thing we have at Heart. They gave Bevers at the End of every distinct Part of their Answer.
On the fourth the Mohawks spoke to the Governor, in Presence of the other four Nations: They confessed the Negotiations they had with the Praying Indians, and with the Governor of Canada, and that they had received a Belt from him. Then they restored one of the Prisoners taken at Schenectady, as the Fruit of that Negotiation. They desired the Governor's Advice, and the Advice of the whole House, what Answer to return to the Governor of Canada; and lastly, desired the Senekas to release the Prisoners they had taken from the Praying Indians.
Colonel Slaughter check'd the Mohawks for entering into a separate Treaty with the Enemy, and said he could admit of no Proposals of Peace. He told them, that the Prisoners taken from the Praying Indians must not be restored; putting them in mind, that some of them having been formerly released, soon after returned and murdered several People, and burnt several Houses.
He assured them of his Assistance, and then added, You must keep the Enemy in perpetual Alarm. The Mohawks thanked him for his Assurance of Assistance; but took Notice of his saying, You must keep the Enemy in perpetual Alarm. Why don't you say, they replied, We will keep the Enemy in perpetual Alarm. In the last Place, the Mohawks renewed their League with all the English Colonies; adding, Though an angry Dog has endeavoured to bite the Chain in Pieces, we are resolved to keep it firm, both in Peace and in War: We now renew the old Chain, that so the Tree of Peace and Prosperity may flourish, and spread its Roots through all the Country.
In the last Place, the four Nations answered the Mohawks.
"Mohawks, our Brethren, in answer to your Proposals from the Governor of Canada, we must put you in Mind of his Deceit and Treachery; we need only give one recent Instance, how he lately sent to the Senekas to treat of Peace, and at the same Time fell uponSchenectady, and cut that Place off. We tell you, that the Belt sent by the French Governor is Poison; we spew it out of our Mouths, we absolutely reject it, and are resolved to prosecute the War as long as we live."
Then they left the Belt lying on the Ground.
The English attack Montreal by Land, in Conjunction with the Indians, and Quebeck by Sea.
It was now evident that the Indians could no longer be amused with Words, and that, unless the English entered soon upon Action, the French would carry their Design of making Peace with the Five Nations, and the English be left to carry on the War in America by themselves. Certainly a more proper Opportunity of doing it with Success could not be expected, than at present, while the French in Canada had neither recovered their Spirits, nor the Strength they had lost, by the terrible Incursions of the Five Nations. A joint Invasion on Canada was concerted with New-England, they were to attack Quebeck by Sea, whileNew-York attacked Montreal by Land. The Governor therefore proposed to the Indians to join with him in attacking Canada, for which Purpose he told them, that he designed to send a considerable Force this Summer. They desired Time to consult on it at their general Meeting, which was soon to be held atOnondaga, and to know what Number of Christians he designed to send, that they might join a suitable Number of their Men. To this the Governor answered, that he must not communicate the Particulars of his Design to so many, because they could not then be kept secret from the Enemy; as he found by the Discoveries that were last Year made to the French by that Means.
It was at last agreed, that the Mohawks should join with the Christians that were to march from New-York directly against Montreal, and that the other four Nations should send a considerable Party down Cadarackui Lake, and join them before Montreal.
Major Peter Schuyler, the same whom the Indians call Quider, commanded the Party sent from New-York, which consisted of three hundred Men, one half Christians, the other Mohawks and Scahkook Indians. He set out from Albany about Midsummer. As he was preparing his Canoes to pass Corlear's Lake, he was discovered by the French Indians, who immediately returned to Montreal, to give Information of what they had seen. The Chevalier Clermont was sent out to make further Discoveries: He found the English above Chamblie, and went immediately back with the Intelligence he there gained. In the mean while Mr. de Callieres, Governor of Montreal, did all in his Power to give Major Schuyler a proper Reception, by drawing the Militia and regular Troops together for the Defence of the Place. There happened to be a very considerable Number of Utawawas trading at that Time at Montreal, Mr. de Colliere, in Order to engage them to join him, made a great Feast for them, went among them, and, after the Indian Manner, began the war Song, leading up the Dance with his Axe in his Hand, and shouting and hollowing in the same wild Manner the Indians do. This done, he carried his whole Force, which consisted of twelve hundred Men, cross the River, and encamped on the south Side, at la Prairie de la Magdeleine, together with a great Number of Utawawas, the Praying Indians, and other French Indians. The famous Therawaet being now entirely gained by the Caresses of the Count de Frontenac, made one of the Number. They encamped round the Fort, which stood on a steep rising Ground between two Meadows.
Major Schuyler having left forty of his Men to guard his Canoes, which had carried him cross the Lake, marched on without stopping. He got into a Hollow, which led into the Meadow, without being discovered; and marching under that Cover, he fell suddenly upon the Militia, who were soon put into Confusion, and many of them, and of the Utawawas, who were posted with them, were killed. He pursued them as they fled to the Fort, which he attacked briskly, but was obliged to leave it, by the Approach of the regular Troops who came to relieve it. He received them however bravely, and, after they had lost several Officers and many Men, they retired. Major Schuyler finding the Number of the Enemy much greater than was expected, and being informed that a considerable Party of the Enemy had marched Southward, he began to apprehend, that this Party was sent to cut off his Retreat, by destroying his Canoes. It was resolved therefore immediately to follow this Party; he overtook them, and they covering themselves behind some large fallen Trees, he attacked them, and made his Way through them, but with considerable Loss.
In this Attack the Mohawks signalized themselves, but the Scahkook Indians did not behave themselves well. The Mohawks, upon no Occasion, yielded an Inch of Ground, till the English first gave Way. The French, by their own Accounts, lost, in the several Attacks made by Schuyler, two Captains, six Lieutenants, and five Ensigns, and, in all, three hundred Men, so that their Slain were in Number more than Major Schuyler had with him. The Mohawks suffered much, having seventeen Men killed, and eleven wounded. They returned to Albany the eleventh of August.
After the English under Major Schuyler had retired, an Owenagunga Indian came from New-England, with an Account of the Preparations made there against Canada, and that they had actually sailed.
This Fleet, which was commanded by Sir William Phips, was discovered in St. Laurence Bay, while the Count de Frontenac remained at Montreal; and thereupon he made all possible Haste to Quebeck, and carried three hundred Men with him.
The Fleet, which consisted of thirty Sail, did not reach Quebeck till the seventh of October. Sir William spent three Days in nothing but Consultation, while the French made all possible Preparation for a Defence, and, by this Means, suffered them to get over the Fright and Consternation, into which the first Appearance of the Fleet had thrown them; for the Place was not in any Posture of Defence. It gave them Time likewise to draw all the Country round them into the Town. And on the fourth Day Sir William summoned the Count to surrender, who returned him such an Answer as his Conduct deserved.
The English landed four Miles below the Town, and had thick Woods to march through, before they could come at it, in which Ambuscades of French and Indians were made at proper Distances, by whom the English were repulsed with considerable Loss. They attempted the Wood again the next Day with no better Success.
The French, in their Account of this Action, say, that the Men, though they appeared to be as little disciplined as Men could be, behaved with great Bravery, but that Sir William's Conduct was such, that, if he had been in Concert with them, he could not have done more to ruin the Enterprize; yet his Fidelity was never suspected. In short, this Descent was so ill managed, that the English got on Board again in the Night, with the Loss of all the Cannon and Baggage which they had landed.
The French thought themselves in such great Danger at that Time, that they attributed their Deliverance to the most immediate Protection of Heaven, in confounding the Devices of their Enemy, and by depriving them of common Sense; and for this Reason the People of Quebeck make an annual Procession, in Commemoration of this Deliverance.
Sir William cannonaded the Town for some Time with little Execution, and then returned in Hast, Winter approaching; indeed that Season was already so far advanced, that he lost eight Vessels in his Return.
The Five Nations continued their Incursions all along St. Laurence River, from Montreal to Quebeck, and carried away many Scalps. At one Time a French Officer, with thirty eight Men, surprised some of the Five Nations in a Cabin, which they had built near Lake St. Piere. Some of them escaped and informed two other Cabins, which the French had not discovered, and they returned with their Companions, and killed the Captain and Lieutenant, and one half of the Men.
Notwithstanding that the French preserved their Country, these warlike Expeditions, and the Necessity they were under of being on their Guard, prevented their cultivating the Ground, or of reaping the Fruit of what they had sowed or planted. This occasioned a Famine in Canada, and, to increase the Misery of the poor Inhabitants, they were forced to feed the Soldiers gratis, while their own Children wanted Bread.
In October the Onondagas, Cayugas, and Oneydoes came to Albany, to condole with the English, for the Men lost in the Expedition against Montreal, as they had already done with the Mohawks. They said it was ever their Custom to condole with their Friends when they lost any Number of Men in Battle, though they had the Victory. They at the same Time, as they had often done before, complained of the Dearness of Powder: Why, say they, do you call us your King's Soldiers, when you will not sell us Powder at the usual and reasonable Rates?
And in answer to a Complaint, of there not being a sufficient Number of English sent against Montreal, the People of Albany upbraided them with a Breach of Promise, in not sending that Party down Cadarackui River which they promised, which they said was the chief Reason of the want of Success in that Expedition.
The French and the Five Nations continue the War all Winter with various Success. The French burn a Captain of the Five Nations alive.
The old French Governor kept up his Vigour and Spirits wonderfully, no Fatigue made him ever think of Rest. He knew of what Use it would be to convince the Five Nations, that the joint Attack of the English and Indians had neither weakened him, nor frightened him from carrying on the War with as much Vigour as before.
It was absolutely necessary that the Utawawas and other Western Indians, who came to Montreal to trade, should return safe to their own Country, otherwise there would be an End to the French Trade with those Nations, upon which the Being of Canada depends; for it is only by the Fur-trade with these Nations that they make Returns to Europe; and if these Nations did not return in Time, all the Western Indians would look on the French as lost, and consequently would make Peace with the Five Nations, and perhaps join in the Destruction of Canada.
Captain la Forest, with one hundred and ten Men, was sent to conduct the Utawawas Home; he carried with him considerable Presents sent by the King of France, to confirm these Nations in the French Interest.
Two Indian Prisoners, taken at la Prairie, were given to the Utawawas, and carried with them, to confirm the Stories they were to tell of their Successes against the English and Five Nations. These poor Men were there burnt alive; and if I should add, that it was done by French Instigation, what I shall relate by and by will clear me of the want of Charity. I believe it was so, in Order to rivet the Hatred between these People and the Five Nations.
The Five Nations continued their Incursions all Winter on Canada. Forty of the Mohawks fell upon Fort Vercheres, and carried off twenty of the Inhabitants; but the Alarm reaching Montreal, Mr. de Crizaei, with one hundred Men of the regular Troops, was sent in pursuit of them, who recovered most of the Prisoners.
The Count de Frontenac being informed, that a considerable Party of the Five Nations hunted Bever on the Neck of Land between Cadarackui Lake and Lake Erie, with great Security, resolved to give them a better Opinion of the Strength and Courage of the French. For this Purpose he sent three hundred and twelve Men to surprise them, under the Command of Mr. Beaucour, a young Gentleman. The Praying Indians of Montreal were of the Party. This Expedition being in the Winter, they were obliged to undergo cruel Fatigues, while they marched on the Snow with snow Shoes, and carried all their Provision on their Backs. Several of the French had their Feet frozen, which obliged fifteen to return, with some old Indians, that could not bear the Fatigue; and it was with much Difficulty that Beaucour could persuade the rest to continue their March. After a March to a surprizing Distance, at that Season of the Year, they surprised eighty of the Five Nations, who notwithstanding made a brave Defence, and did not run before they left most of their Men dead on the Spot. Three Women were made Prisoners, with whom the French immediately turned back to Montreal. Some stragling Parties went towards Albany, but did no more Mischief than killing two or three stragling Persons, and alarming the Country.
The Trade to Missilimakinak being still intirely stopt, by the Parties of the Five Nations investing Cadarackui River, by which, and Cadarackui Lake, the Passage in Canoes is made to the Western Indians, Captain la Noue, with a Command of the regular Troops, was ordered early in the Spring to guard the Traders through that Passage; but when he reached the Falls de Calumette, he discovered the Enemy, and returned faster than he went.
La Noue had Orders a second Time to attempt this Passage, and went as far as the River du Lievre (thirty Leagues from Montreal) without any Obstruction; but there discovering several Canoes of the Five Nations, he went back as fast as before.
The Quatoghies and the Bullheads having informed the French of another smaller River, which falls into Cadarackui River, and runs to the Northward of it, by which a Passage might be made to the Lakes, it was resolved to attempt this Passage, though it were much farther round, and more dangerous, there being many more rapid Falls in that River. Three Officers, with thirty Soldiers, were sent with the Traders for this Purpose, but a Party of the Five Nations meeting with them in the long Fall, before they reached this River, they were all killed or taken, except four that escaped back to Montreal.
A considerable Party of the Five Nations, under the Command of Blackkettle, a famous Hero, continued a long Time on Cadarackui River, in hopes of meeting with other French Parties, in their Passage towards Missilimakinak; but finding that no Attempts were made that Way, he resolved to make an Irruption into the Country round Montreal. The French say he had six hundred Men with him; but they usually increase the Number of their Enemies, in the Relation they give of these Transactions, either to excuse their Fears, or to increase their Glory.
Blackkettle overrun the Country (to use the French Expression) as a Torrent does the Low-lands, when it overflows its Banks, and there is no withstanding it. The Soldiers had Orders to stand upon the defensive within their Forts. Mr. de Vaudreuil pursued this Party (after they had burnt and ravaged the whole Country) at the Head of four hundred Men; he overtook them and surprised them. The Five Nations fought desperately, though the same Author, at this Place, makes them no more than two hundred Men. After they had lost twenty Men on the Spot, they broke through the French, and marched off. The French lost four Officers and many common Soldiers, and they took five Men, nine Women, and five Children Prisoners.
The Five Nations in a few Days had however some Revenge; a Captain having had Orders to guard the Vessels from Montreal to Quebeck, a Party of the Five Nations attacked him in his Return, as he passed through the Islands in Lake St. Pierre. He himself was killed, and the whole Party intirely routed.
The French all this Summer were obliged to keep upon the defensive within their Forts, while the Five Nations, in small Parties, ravaged the whole Country, so that no Man stirred the least Distance from a Fort, but he was in danger of losing his Scalp.
The Count de Frontenac was pierced to the Heart, when he found that he could not revenge these terrible Incursions of the Five Nations; and his Anguish made him guilty of such a Piece of monstrous Cruelty, in burning a Prisoner alive after the Indian Manner, as though I have frequently mentioned to have been done by the Indians, yet I forbore giving the Particulars of such barbarous Acts, suspecting it might be too offensive to Christian Ears, even in the History of Savages. Here however I think it useful to give a circumstantial Account of this horrid Act, to shew on one Hand, what Courage and Resolution, Virtue, the Love of Glory, and the Love of one's Country can instill into Mens Minds, even where the Knowledge of true Religion is wanting; and on the other Hand, how far a false Policy, under a corrupt Religion, can debase even great Minds.
The Count de Frontenac, I say, condemned two Prisoners of the Five Nations to be burnt publickly alive. The Intendant's Lady intreated him to moderate the Sentence, and the Jesuits, it is said, used their Endeavours for the same Purpose. But the Count de Frontenac said, there is a Necessity of making such an Example, to frighten the Five Nations from approaching the Plantations, since the Indulgence, that had hitherto been shewn, had incouraged them to advance with the greatest Boldness to the very Gates of their Towns; while they thought they run no other Risque, but of being made Prisoners, where they live better than at Home. He added, that the Five Nations having burnt so many French, justified this Method of making Reprizals. But with Submission to the Politeness of the French Nation, may I not ask, whether every (or any) horrid Action of a barbarous Enemy, can justify a civilized Nation in doing the like?
When the Governor could not be moved, the Jesuits went to the Prison, to instruct the Prisoners in the Mysteries of our Holy Religion, viz. of the Trinity, the Incarnation of our Saviour, the Joys of Paradise, and the Punishments of Hell, to fit their Souls for Heaven by Baptism, while their Bodies were condemned to Torments. But the Indians, after they had heard their Sentence, refused to hear the Jesuits speak, and began to prepare for Death in their own Country Manner, by singing their Death Song.
Some charitable Person threw a Knife into the Prison, with which one of them dispatched himself: The other was carried out to the Place of Execution by the Christian Indians of Loretto, to which he walked, seemingly, with as much Indifference as ever Martyr did to the Stake. While they were torturing him, he continued singing, that he was a Warrior brave and without Fear; that the most cruel Death could not shake his Courage; that the most cruel Torment should not draw an indecent Expression from him; that his Comrade was a Coward, a Scandal to the Five Nations, who had killed himself for fear of Pain; that he had the Comfort to reflect, that he had made many Frenchmen suffer as he did now. He fully verified his Words, for the most violent Torment could not force the least Complaint from him, though his Executioners tried their utmost Skill to do it. They first broiled his Feet between two red hot Stones; then they put his Fingers into red hot Pipes, and though he had his Arms at Liberty, he would not pull his Fingers out; they cut his Joints, and taking hold of the Sinews, twisted them round small Bars of Iron. All this while he kept singing and recounting his own brave Actions against the French. At last they flead his Scalp from his Skull, and poured scalding hot Sand upon it; at which Time the Intendant's Lady obtained Leave of the Governor to have the Coup-de-grace given, and I believe she thereby likewise obtained a Favour to every Reader, in delivering him from a further continuance of this Account of French Cruelty.
Notwithstanding this Cruelty, which the French Governor manifested towards the Five Nations, and thereby his Hatred of them, he found Peace with them so necessary to Canada, that he still pursued it by all the Means in his Power. For this Purpose the Praying Indians (who, as I observed before, are Mohawks, and have always kept a Correspondence with their own Nation) were employed to bring it about, and to endeavour a Cessation of Arms, that the Governor might have an Opportunity of shewing what kind Things he had in his Heart towards the Five Nations, but without Success.
The Five Nations treat with Captain Ingoldsby.
The Governor of New-York, Colonel Slaughter's Death, soon after his Arrival, was very prejudicial to the Affairs of New-York; for Captain Ingoldsby, who had no other Commission but that of Captain of one of the Independent Companies of Foot, took upon himself the Government of the Province, without any Authority; and he having likewise highly offended a great Number of the People, by the Share he took in the late Party Quarrels, it was not easy for him to prosecute any vigorous Measures. He was reckoned to be much more a Soldier than a Statesman.
Captain Ingoldsby met the Five Nations at Albany, the sixth of June 1692. In his Speech, he told them of his vigorous Resolutions to prosecute the War, and then blamed them for not sending (according to their Promise) a Party down Cadarackui River, to join them that went from Albany against Montreal, and for their Carelesness in suffering themselves to be surprised last Winter in their Hunting. He desired them to keep the Enemy in perpetual Alarm, by the Incursions of their Parties into the Enemy's Country, and to give him timely Notice of all their Motions. He told them in the next Place, that he heard the French were still using their wonted Artifice, of amusing them with Offers of Peace; but the former Proceedings of the French sufficiently demonstrates, said he to the Brethren, that while Peace is in their Mouths, War is in their Hearts, and the late horrid Murder of the Brethren, after Quarter given, sufficiently shews the Perfidy and Rancour of their Hearts. It is in vain, said he, to think of any Cessation of Arms, much less of a Peace, while the two Kings are at War at Home. He added, Virginia is ready to assist us, and only waits the King's Orders, which are daily expected, and then renewed the Chain for Virginia. In the last Place he told them, that he heard the Dionondadas had sent two Prisoners Home, with a View thereby to procure Peace; and advised them by all Means to make Peace with that Nation.
The Five Nations answered by Cheda, an Oneydo Sachem:
The Sachems of the Five Nations have with great Attention heard Corlear speak; we shall make a short Recital, to shew you with what Care we have hearkened. After the Recital he continued.
We heartily thank Corlear, for his coming to this Place to view the Strength thereof, for his bringing Forces with him, and for his Resolution of putting Garisons into the Frontier Places. Giving five Bevers and a Belt.
Brother Corlear, as to what you blame us for, let us not reproach one another, such Words do not favour well among Friends. They gave nothing with this Article.
Brother Corlear, be patient under the Loss of your Men, as we are of the Mohawks our Brethren, that were killed at the same Time. You take no Notice of the great Losses we have suffered. We designed to have come to this Place to have condoled with you in your Loss, but the War took up all our Time, and employed all Hands. They gave five Bevers, four Otters, and one Belt, as a Gift of Condolence.
Brother Corlear, we are all Subjects of one great King and Queen, we have one Head, one Heart, one Interest, and are all ingaged in the same War. You tell us, that we must expect no Peace while the Kings are at War on the other Side the great Water. We thank you for being so plain with us. We assure you we have no Thoughts of Peace. We are resolved to carry on the War, though we know we only are in danger of being Losers. Pray do you prosecute the War with the same Resolution. You are strong and have many People. You have a great King, who is able to hold out long. We are but a small People, and decline daily, by the Men we lose in this War, we do our utmost to destroy the Enemy; but how strange does it seem to us! How unaccountable! that while our great King is so inveterate against the French, and you are so earnest with us to carry on the War, that Powder is now sold dearer to us than ever? We are poor, and not able to buy while we neglect hunting; and we cannot hunt and carry on the War at the same Time: We expect, that this Evil we so justly complain of be immediately remedied. Giving nine Bevers.
Brother Corlear, you desire us to keep the Enemy in perpetual Alarm, that they may have no Rest, till they are in their Graves; Is it not to secure your own Frontiers? Why then not one Word of your People that are to join us? We assure you we shall continue to carry on the War into the Heart of the Enemies Country. Giving eight Bevers.
We the Five Nations, Mohawks, Oneydoes, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senekas, renew the Silver Chain whereby we are linked fast with our Brethren of Assarigoa (Virginia) and we promise to preserve it as long as the Sun shall shine in the Heavens. Giving ten Bevers.
But Brother Corlear, How comes it, that none of our Brethren fastened in the same Chain with us, offer their helping Hand in this general War, in which our great King is engaged against the French? Pray Corlear, how come Maryland, Delaware River, and New-England, to be disengaged from this War? You have always told us, that they are our Brethren, Subjects of the same great King. Has our King sold them? Or do they fail in their Obedience? Or do they draw their Arms out of our Chain? Or has the great King commanded, that the few Subjects he has in this Place, should make War against the French alone? Pray make plain to us this Mystery? How can they and we be Brethren, and make different Families? How can they and we be Subjects of the same great King, and not be engaged in the same War? How can they and we have the same Heart, the same Head, and the same Interest, as you tell us, and not have the same Thoughts? How comes it, that the Enemy burns and destroys the Towns in New-England, and they make no Resistance? How comes our great King to make War, and not to destroy his Enemies? When, if he would only command his Subjects on this Side the great Lake to joyn, the Destruction of the Enemy would not make one Summer's Work.
You need not warn us of the Deceit and Treachery of the French, who would probably insinuate Thoughts of Peace; but Brethren, you need not fear us, we will never hearken to them: Tho' at the same Time, we must own, that we have not been without Thoughts of your being inclined to Peace, by Reason of the Brethren's Backwardness in pushing on the War. The French spread Reports among us to this Purpose, and say, that they had in a Manner concluded the Matter with you. We rejoice to be now assured of this Falshood. We shall never desist fighting the French as long as we shall live. And gave a Belt of Wampum.
We now renew the old Chain, and here plant the Tree of Prosperity and Peace. May it grow and thrive, and spread its Roots even beyond Canada. Giving a Belt.
We make the House clean, where all our Affairs of Importance are transacted with these five Otters.
We return you Thanks for the Powder and Lead given us; but what shall we do with them without Guns, shall we throw them at the Enemy? We doubt they will not hurt them so. Before this we always had Guns given us. It is no Wonder the Governor of Canada gains upon us, for he supplies his Indians with Guns as well as Powder; he supplies them plentifully with every Thing that can hurt us. Giving five Otters.
As to the Dionondadas setting two of our Nation at Liberty, we must tell you, that it was not the Act of that Nation, but the private Act of one Person: We are desirous to make Peace with that Nation as soon as we can, upon honourable Terms. And gave a Belt.
The Mohawks, before they left the Place, desired a private Conference with the Governor, and told him, that they were all exceedingly dissatisfied, that the other English Colonies gave no Assistance, and that it might prove of ill Consequence. Captain Ingoldsby promised to write to them, and hoped it would have a good Effect.
The French surprise and take three Mohawk Castles.
The Praying Indians promised their Endeavours to reconcile their Brethren the Mohawks to the French, on whom the French expected they would have much Influence; but their Endeavours proving ineffectual, their Correspondence began to be suspected. The French thought they did more Hurt than Good, by the Intelligence the Enemy by their Means received. The French in Canada began to lose their Spirits, by being obliged to remain so long upon the defensive, as the Five Nations gained more Courage by it. The Count de Frontenac thought it therefore absolutely necessary to undertake some bold Enterprize, to shew the Five Nations, that they had to do with an Enemy still able to act offensively: An Attack on the Mohawks he thought would be most effectual for this Purpose, because it would shew, at the same Time, that the English would not protect their nearest Neighbours. As this was designed to be done by Surprize, the Winter Season was chosen for this Purpose, as least to be suspected at such a Time; and when the Enemy could not, without great Hardship, keep Scouts abroad, to discover them or the English give any Assistance.
The Body of the French designed for this Expedition was put under three Captains of the regular Troops, and thirty Subalterns, and consisted of picked Men of the regular Troops of the common Militia of the Country of the Praying Indians, the Quatoghies of Loretto, Adirondacks, and Sohokies, who live to the eastward of Boston, making in all about six or seven hundred Men, so that a great Part of the Force of Canada was employed in it. They were well supplied with all Sorts of Ammunition, Provision, Snow-Shoes, and such Conveniencies for Carriage, as were practicable upon the Snow, and through such great Forests as they had to pass. The French at Canada have a Kind of light Sledges made with Skins, and are drawn by large Dogs on the frozen Snow.
They set out from la Prairie de Magdeleine the 15th of January 1692-3, after having endured what might have been thought unsurmountable Hardships; they passed by Schenectady at some Distance from it, on the 8th of February, at which Time one that had been taken Prisoner, when that Place was sacked, made his Escape from them, and gave the People of Schenectady Intelligence of the French, who by an Express, immediately informed the Commandant of Albany. The Millitia was expeditiously raised, and a Lieutenant with fifty five Horse was immediately dispatched to Schenectady; but no Care was taken to give theMohawks Notice, which might have been done without much Danger, by sending up the South Side of the River, whilst the French marched on the North. The French, on the 8th at Night, reached the first Mohawk Castle, where there were only five Men, and some Women and Children in great Security, their other Men being all abroad, these were all taken without Opposition. The next Fort not far from it was in like Manner surprized, without any Opposition, both of them were very small, and being next the English, not fortified.
Schenectady being the nearest English Settlement to the Mohawks, and but a little Way from their nearest Castle, many of them are always there. The Mohawks then in the Town were exceedingly enraged, that none went out to assist their Nation; some were sent therefore out the next Day, to gain Information of the Enemy, and to give the Mohawks Notice; but they returned without doing their Duty.
The French went on to the next Mohawk Fort, which was the largest; and coming to that in the Night, they heard some Noise, and suspected they were discovered: But this Noise was only occasioned by a War Dance, forty of the Indians designing to go next Day upon some Enterprize. The French approached the Castle silently, and finding the Indians no way on their Guard, opened the Gate, and entered before they were discovered; but notwithstanding this, and the Confusion the Indians must be in, this Conquest was not without Loss of Blood, the French having lost thirty Men, before the Indians entirely submitted: TheFrench designed to have put them all to the Sword, but their own Indians would not suffer it, and gave Quarter: They took three hundred Prisoners, of whom one hundred were fighting Men. I have no Account of the Number of Mohawks killed, but no Doubt it was very considerable.
When the Account came to Albany, how much the Mohawks, who were at Schenectady, were enraged, that no Assistance was sent to their Countrymen; Peter Schuyler a Major of the Militia offered himself to go with what Force could be got ready for their Assistance. He went himself immediately to Schenectady, and sent out to discover the Enemy: His Scouts brought him Intelligence, first, that the French were in Possession of the two smallest Forts, afterwards, that they had heard great Firing at the largest Fort; and at last, that it was taken. Having received 200 Men, partly regular Troops, but most of the Militia, he began his March on the 12th in Quest of the Enemy; but hearing soon after, that six hundred Men of the upper Castles were on their March, 'tis probable he did not endeavour to be up with the French so soon as he might; for I find by his Journal, that he was nearer them on the fourteenth, than he was two Days after. He had not sufficient Force to fight them: He sent therefore to the upper Indians, to hasten their March. On the 15th he was joined by these Indians, in all two hundred and ninety Men and Boys, very ill armed. His Body then consisted of two hundred and fifty Christians, and two hundred and ninety Indians, armed fighting Men. They had no other Provision but some Biscuit every Man had in his Pocket. On the 16th he was informed by an Indian, who pretended to be a Deserter, that the French had built a Fort, where they designed to wait for him, and fight him; whereupon he sent an Express to Coll. Ingoldesby, then Commandant atAlbany, to hasten more Men to join him, with sufficient Provision for the whole. He found afterwards, that this Indian was sent by the French, on purpose to persuade the Indians to give over the Pursuit. Major Schuyler came up to the Enemy on the 17th; when he came near them he did not go on streight towards them, for Fear of Ambuscades, but marched round. As soon as he came in Sight, he was saluted with three loud Shouts, which were answered with as much Noise. The Indians began in their Manner to secure themselves, by felling the Trees between them, and the Enemy sallied out to prevent them, but were soon beat back. The Indians fell to Work again, and desired the Christians to assist them, which was done, but in such Confusion, that they themselves were in Danger from the falling Trees. The French sallied a second Time with all their Force, crying out, They run, we'll cut them off, and get their Provisions; but they were warmly received, and beat back into their Fort. They sallied a third Time, and were beat back with considerable Loss, the Indians bringing in several Heads and Scalps. As soon as the Skirmishing was over, the Major sent back an Express, to hasten the Men that were to reinforce him, and were to bring Provision, some of the Men having had no Provision for two Days. The Major then secured himself, under the Cover of the fallen Trees, and kept out Watches to observe the French.
The 18th proving a cold stormy Day, with Snow, he was informed, by a Deserter, that the French were upon their March, it not being easy to follow their Tracks, or to discover them in such Weather. The Officers were commanded to pursue and retard their March, till the Reinforcement should come up, but the Men refused to march without Provision. The Officers, with about 60 Men, and a Body of Indians, followed the Enemy till Night, when they began to secure themselves, by fortifying their Camp. The Officers wanting a sufficient Number to secure themselves in like Manner, or to sight the Enemy, returned, leaving about forty Christians, and one hundred Indians, to observe them. On the 19th the Provisions, with about 80 Men, arrived, under the Command of Captain Sims of the regular Troops. Every Man, as he was served with Provision, marched towards the Enemy. The Van was commanded by Captain Peter Matthews of the regular Troops, who coming up with the Enemy's Rear, would have attacked them, to retard their March, but the Mohawks were averse to fighting. The French dropt on purpose several of their Prisoners, who told the Mohawks, that the French were resolved to put all the Prisoners to the Sword, if they should be attacked. The Enemy passed the North Branch of Hudson's River upon a Cake of Ice, which, very opportunely for them, stuck there in one Place, while it was open by a late Thaw, both above and below. The Weather continuing very cold, and the Indians averse to fighting, Major Schuyler gave over the Pursuit on the 20th, having lost only four private Men, and as many Indians, two Officers and twelve Men Christians and Indians were wounded. The French lost thirty three Men (the Bodies of twenty seven were found) of whom four were Officers, and twenty-six wounded, as the Deserters told him. Between forty and fifty Prisoners were recovered. I have been told, that Captain Matthews desired Coll. Schuyler, when he came first up with the French, to summon them to surrender; he said, the French are in great Distress, and this will give them an Opinion of our Strength; but Coll. Schuyler refused, tho' he was brave, he was no Soldier; and it is very probable, that the French observing the want of Conduct and Discipline, were encouraged. It is true, the English were in great Want of Provisions at that Time. The Indians eat the Bodies of the French that they found. Coll. Schuyler (as he told me himself) going among the Indians at that Time, was invited to eat Broth with them, which some of them had ready boiled, which he did, till they, putting the Ladle into the Kettle to take out more, brought out a French Man's Hand, which put an End to his Appetite.
The French went home as fast as they could carry their wounded Men with them; but coming to a Place, where they had hid Provisions for their Supply in their return, they found it all spoiled. This put them in great Distress, so that they were forced to eat their Shoes; they sent some of the nimblest Men forward toMontreal, that Provision might meet them. As soon as they came near the Settlements they dispersed, every Man running home to eat, so that they returned to Canada like an Army routed. The French own they lost eighty Men, and had thirty three wounded in this Expedition.
One may wonder how it is possible for Men to march several hundred Miles in the Wilderness, while the Ground is every where covered with Snow, two or three Feet deep at least; but the foremost march on Snow Shoes, which beat a firm Track for those that follow. At Night, when they rest, they dig a Hole in the Snow, throwing the Snow up all round, but highest towards that Side from whence the Wind blows, so large, as to contain as many Men as can lye round a Fire: They make the Fire in the Middle, and cover the frozen Ground round it with the small Branches of the Fir-Trees. Thus they tell me a Man lyes much warmer, than one imagines that never tried it.
When the Information of the French came to Schenectady, an Express was sent to New-York to Coll. Fletcher then Governor there; the Express reached New-York, an hundred and fifty Miles from Albany, the 12th at ten in the Night. The Governor got the City Regiment under Arms by eight the next Morning.
He called out to know who were willing to go with him to the Frontiers, they all immediately threw up their Hats, and answered one and all. Indeed the People of this Province have, upon all Occasions, shewn their Courage and Resolution in Defence of their Country; but the Misfortune is, they are under no Discipline, and have been seldom led by Men that knew their Duty. The Governor ordered an hundred and fifty Voluntiers for this Service, and as many more from Long-Island. The River then happened to be open by a sudden Thaw, which does not, at that Time of the Year, happen once in twenty Years. He embarked three hundred Men in five Sloops, by four in the Afternoon of the 14th, and arrived at Albany the 17th at nine in the Morning. The same Day the Governor went to Schenectady, and ordered the Men to follow, but before they could get every Thing ready for their March into the Woods, they had an Account, that Major Schuyler was upon his Return. Several Gentlemen of Albany, particularly Mr. Lanslear, a Gentleman of the best Estate there, went out Voluntiers under Major Schuyler, which I ought not to have forgot.
Coll. Fletcher made a Speech to the Mohawks at Albany, he blamed their supine Negligence, in suffering themselves to be surprised in the Manner they were in Time of War. He told them that they had Reason to be convinced, that the English were their Friends heartily, by the Number of Men he had marched to their Assistance in a very little Time, upon the first Notice. He promised to wipe away their Tears in the Spring, by considerable Presents; and that he would, in the mean while, take Care of their Subsistence, by providing Houses and Victuals for them. He told them, he doubted they had some false Brethren among them, that gave the French Information, and favoured their Designs; and in the last Place, advised them to convince the French, that they had not lost their Courage with this Misfortune.
The Mohawks, in their Answer, called Coll. Fletcher by the Name of Cayenguirago; and he was called so by the Indians always after this. It signifies a great swift Arrow, as an Acknowledgement of the Speed he made to their Assistance. But they appeared, in their Answer, to be quite disheartned; they had not, in the Memory of any Man, received such a Blow. They said their Strength was quite broke, by the Continuance of the War; but they added, if all the English Colonies would join, they could still easily take Canada: Their being so ill armed, was the Reason (they said) that the French had now escaped.
The French, continued they, arm their Indians compleatly, and furnish them with every Thing necessary for War, as we find every Time we meet with them.
The French had got a great Quantity of Furs, and other Peltry, at Missilimakinak, by their Trade with the Indians; but the Five Nations had so effectually blocked up the Passage between that and Canada, that they had remained there useless to the French for several Years. The Count de Frontenac, after his Success against the Mohawks, was in Hopes the Five Nations would keep more at home in Defence of their own Castles, and with these Hopes sent a Lieutenant, with eighteen Canadians, and twenty praying Indians, to open the Passage to Missilimakinak; but this Party fell in with another of the Five Nations, who entirely routed them, so that a few escaped only, to give an Account of their Misfortune; at last 200 Canoes, loaded with Furs from Missilimakinak, arrived at Montreal, which gave as universal a Joy to Canada, as the Arrival of the Galleons give in Spain.
The Treaties and Negotiations the Five Nations had with the English and French, in the Years 1693 and 1694.
As by this Time the Reader may be tired with the horrid Scenes of a barbarous War, it may be some Relief to observe the Indian Genius in the Arts of negotiating; and see how a barbarous People, without any of the Arts and Sciences in which we value our selves, manage their Interest with the most learned, most polite, and artificial Nation in Europe. The Five Nations were informed, that the Governor of Canada had received from Europe a very considerable Recruit of Soldiers, and of all Sorts of Ammunition. This, with the great Loss the Mohawks had lately suffered, while they had been amused by the English with great Hopes, and very little real Assistance, made the Oneydoes, at last yield to the Solicitations of the Jesuit Milet, to send a Message to the French for Peace. It is probable he had the Art to influence the People at Albany to favour his Designs, by giving them Hopes of being included in the Peace, as may be conjectured, from what will appear in the Sequel.
Coll. Fletcher being informed, that the Oneydoes had sent a Messenger to Canada, sent for the Five Nations to Albany. He spoke to them the third of July 1693.
He first excused his not meeting them as he had promised, at the Time the Sap begins to run in the Trees, by Reason of his having received a Commission to be Governor of Pensilvania, to which Place he was obliged at that Time to go. He put them in Mind with what Speed he came to their Assistance last Winter, and how effectual, in all Probability, it would have been, had they only retarded the Enemy's March till he could have reached them: He advised them to guard against being drunk, and shewed them the ill Consequences of it in Time of War.
Then he said, "I have received Information, that some of the Brethren are wavering, and inclined to Peace with the Enemy; and am assured, that such Thoughts must arise from the Instigation of the Jesuit Milet, whom some of the Brethren have suffered to live so long among them, and whose only Practice is to delude and betray them. Let me therefore advise you to remove that ill Person from among you."
In the End he condoled their Dead, and made them a very considerable Present of ninety Guns, eight hundred and ten Pound of Powder, eight hundred Bars of Lead, a Thousand Flints, eighty seven Hatchets, four Gross of Knives, besides a considerable Quantity of Cloathing and Provisions. This Present, he told them, their King and Queen had sent them, and renewed the Covenant for all the English Colonies.
The King usually sends them a considerable Present with every new Governor sent to New-York, which is not always applied as it is designed. If this Present had been made sooner, it had been of much more Use to the English, as well as to the Five Nations.
The Five Nations the next Day spoke as follows.
"We are involved in a bloody War, which makes us sit in Sorrow and Grief; and being about to speak of Matters of Importance, we, in the first Place, clear the Mouth and Throat of our Interpretess, by giving her these three Bever Skins."
Then they repeated his Excellency's Speech, in Answer to which they said,
"Brother Cayenguirago, we rejoice, that the great King and Queen of England take such Notice of us, as we find, by the large Present sent us; we return hearty Thanks for the Ammunition especially.
"We are glad that our Brother Cayenguirago renews the Chain, not only between us and this Government, but likewise with New-England, Virginia, Maryland and Pensilvania; it shall be kept inviolable by us the Five Nations, as long as the Sun shines. We pray our Brother Cayenguirago to have a watchful Eye, that none of the other Colonies keep any Correspondence with the Enemy, but use their Endeavours to destroy them. We heard nothing of what you told us of the Priest Milet, who lives at Oneydo, till we came to this Town. We have enquired the Truth of our Brethren the Oneydoes, who confess, that the Priest sent an Indian to Canada with Letters, which has surprised us very much.
"Brother Cayenguirago, you are our great Tree, whose Roots extend to the utmost Bounds of this Government; we desire you may not be disturbed when any of our Prisoners misbehave, for they are not countenanced by us; and all proper Methods shall be taken, to prevent the like for the future. In like Manner we beg you to take Care, that none of the Prisoners you have correspond with the Enemy, as we suspect the Chevalier D'O. did; and that he was sent with Letters to Canada by some of our Brethren. (He made his Escape from Boston.)
"Brother Cayenguirago, In former Times our Propositions to one another were only Discourses of Peace and Friendship, and in giving Presents; but how much is the Case altered of late? Now we talk of nothing but War, and are continually prompting one another to it. As to our Parts, we will keep close to the War to the last Drop of our Blood; and tho' we be tossed to and fro with Storms, we will remain stedfast to the last Man, as it was resolved by both in the Beginning of the War.
"Brother Cayenguirago, we were told in our own Country, not only that the King had made you Governor of Pensilvania, but likewise that you were preparing a Fleet to take Canada. O! what joyful News this was to our young Men. Sadagarus, the great SenekaCaptain, was to command them. Now they said, we need only make one hearty Push, while the Fleet is before Quebeck. Now there will be an End to this bloody War, and all our Troubles; But alas, now we are come here, we hear not one Word of this Design.
"Brother Cayenguirago, you are that flourishing Tree that covers us; you keep the Chain bright; we have one Request to make to you, that you may stay with us, and not return to England; for you know our Ways and Manners. If you have any Thing to tell the King and Queen, write it to them, for the King knows you to be a wise Man, and will therefore believe you.
"Brother Cayenguirago, we are very glad to hear that Pensilvania is come under your Government, bring their young Men here, with their Bows and Arrows and Hatchets in their Hands, for this is the Place of Action. We are pleased that the Showonons or Satanas, who are our Enemies, have applied to you for Protection; and that you sent them to us to endeavour a Peace, and that you sent Christians with them, to conduct them back again. We wish they were come to assist us against the common Enemy.
"Brother Cayenguirago, now we have done, but must tell you again, that we roll and wallow in Joy, by Reason of the great Favour the great King and Queen has done us, in sending us Arms and Ammunition, at a Time when we are in the greatest Need of them; and because there is such Unity among the Brethren."
They made the Governor a considerable Present of Furs, to shew their Respect to his Person; but they did not give one Belt to confirm any one Article; so that the whole of it is, according to their Stile, only argumentative.
Coll. Fletcher not being satisfied with their Answer, concerning the Jesuit Milet, made this further Proposal to them. "As to Milet the Priest, whom the Brethren of Oneydo still harbour among them, I must tell you again, that he betrays you, and all your Councils; and that you may see I desire not to diminish your Number, I am willing to give you a pretty Indian Boy, in Lieu of the old Priest; and accordingly the Boy was brought and delivered to them."
In answer to this the Oneydo Sachem said, "As soon as the Indian Messenger returns all his Papers shall be taken from him, and be forthwith brought to our Brother Cayenguirago, before the Priest shall see any of them: we are willing to take the Boy in Exchange for the Priest, but it is not safe to do it, while our Messenger is in the Power of the Enemy; let the Boy stay here till we bring the Priest, which shall be as soon as the Messenger shall return". But he gave no Belt, or other Present, to confirm this Promise. He added,
"Brother Cayenguirago, we now acquaint you that it is proposed by all the Five Nations, to make Peace with the Dionondadies, a Nation of Indians near in Alliance with the French of Canada. This will both strengthen us and weaken the Enemy. The Senekas, who live nearest them, have undertaken this Treaty, and take Belts of Wampum from the other Nations, to confirm the Peace. We desire your Approbation, that you would send your Belt in Concurrence, as our eldest Brother in our Chain."
The Governor approved of this, and gave them a Belt to carry in his Name.
Notwithstanding what the Speaker of the Five Nations had promised to the Governor, to bring all the Papers the Oneydo Messenger should bring from Canada, before the Jesuit Milet should have Liberty to see them, it could not be difficult for the Jesuit, to persuade them to keep the Power of making Peace in their own Hands, and for that Purpose, to call a Meeting of the Sachems of Onondago, where all such Matters had been formerly transacted among themselves, and there to determine independently, rather than to submit themselves to another Nation at Albany. They only invited the English to assist at the general Council. The English used what Arguments they could to dissuade this Meeting, but rather to observe the Promise made to the Governor; and it seems used some Threatning. The Mohawks had so much Regard to the English, that they refused to assist at the Council. The other four, notwithstanding this, met, and resolved on an Answer to be sent to the Governor of Canada; but at the same Time, to shew their Regard to the Mohawks and English, these Resolutions were not to be final, till they should first be communicated to the English and Mohawks, and their Advice received thereon; for which Purpose several Sachems were sent toAlbany, of whom Decanesora was the Principal and the Speaker.
Decanesora had for many Years the greatest Reputation among the Five Nations for speaking, and was generally employed as their Speaker, in their Negotiations with both French and English: He was grown old when I saw him, and heard him speak; he had a great Fluency in speaking, and a graceful Elocution, that would have pleased in any Part of the World. His Person was tall and well made, and his Features, to my thinking, resembled much the Bustos of Cicero. I shall give an Account of these Negotiations from Decanesora's Mouth, because his Narration agrees in the main with the Account the French give of them, and carries along with it as strong Evidences of Truth, as that of the French do: but the chief Reason is, that I intend to give the Reader as perfect a Notion as I can of the Indian Genius; and here it will appear, what Art Decanesora had, to make an Account of an Affair less disagreeable to English Ears, which had been undertaken against their Advice, and contrary to their Interest.
Decanesora spoke to Major Schuyler (Quider) and the Magistrates of Albany, the second of February 1693-4 as follows.
"Brother Cayenguirago, we are come to acquaint you, that our Children the Oneydoes having of themselves sent a Messenger to Canada, he has brought back with him a Belt of Peace from the Governor of Canada.
"As soon as Tariha (the Messenger) arrived at Canada, he was asked, where the six hundred Men were that were to attack Canada, as they had been informed by Cariokese a Mohawk Deserter? He assured them there was no such Design.
"He was carried to Quebeck, where he delivered his Belt, with the following Propositions. Onondio, if you would have Peace go to Albany, and ask it there, for the Five Nations will do nothing without Cayenguirago. The Governor of Canada was angry at this, and said, he had nothing to do with the Governor of New-York, he would treat only with the Five Nations; the Peace between the Christians must be made on the other Side the great Lake. He added, he was sorry to see the Five Nations so far degenerated, as to take a sixth Nation into their Chain, to rule over them. If you had desired me to come and treat in any of your Castles, I would have done it; but to tell me I must go to Albany, is to desire of me what I can by no Means do. You have done very ill, to suffer the People of New-York to govern you so far, that you dare do nothing without their Consent. I advise you to send two of each Nation to me, and let Decanesora be one of them. I have Orders from the King my Master to grant you Peace, if you come in your proper Persons to ask it. The Governor ofCanada afterwards said,
"Children of the Five Nations, I have Compassion for your little Children, therefore come speedily, and speak of Peace to me, otherwise I'll stop my Ears for the future: By all Means let Decanesora come; for if the Mohawks come alone, I will not hear them, some of all the Five Nations must come. Now Tariha return home, and tell the Five Nations, that I will wait for their coming till the Trees bud, and the Bark can be parted from the Trees. I design for France in the Spring, and I leave a Gentleman to command here, to whom I have given Orders to raise Soldiers, if you do not come in that Time, and then what will become of you? I am truly grieved to see the Five Nations so debauched and deceived by Cayenguirago, who is lately come to New-York, and by Quider. Formerly the chief Men of theFive Nations used to converse with me; but this Governor of New-York has so deluded you, that you hearken to none but him; but take Care of what will follow, if you hearken to none but him."
Then Decanesora excused the not sending the Letters to Albany, which came by Tariha, as they had promised, saying, the other Nations trusted this to the Oneydoes, because the Messenger was to return to them, and the Oneydoes deceived the others. He likewise excused their not coming to Albany as soon as Tarihareturned, which was in November. He said the chief Sachem of the Onondagas, who was entrusted (as their Speaker) by the Five Nations with their general Affairs, by the general Council of Onondaga, had a sore Leg, and could not travel.
That in such Case he (Decanesora) did all that was in his Power, that is, he called a Council at Onondaga, to give Directions in this Affair; and that he invited Quider to this Council. He continued,
"The four Nations that met there resolved to send Deputies to Canada, and that I Decanesora was to be one of them; but at the same Time ordered me, with some others, to communicate the Resolutions of the General Council to our Brethren at Albany, and to theMohawks, to be farther advised by them.
"The Resolutions are, to send three Belts to the Governor of Canada, with the following Propositions.
"I. Onondio, you have sent for me often, and as often asked, why I am afraid to come? The great Kettle of War that you have hung over the Fire is the Reason of it. Then laying down the first Belt, I am to ask his Consent to the other two Belts which I still keep in my Hand.
"II. We now not only throw down the Kettle, and thereby throw the boiling Water out of it, but likewise break it to Pieces, that it may never be hanged up again by this second Belt.
"III. Hearken, Onondio, you are sent from the French King, your Master, as Cayenguirago is from the great King and Queen of England. What I am now about to speak to you, is by Inspiration from the great God of Heaven. You say that you will have nothing to do with our Brethren of Cayenguirago, but I must tell you, that we are inseparable, we can have no Peace with you so long as you are at War with them; we must stand and fall with them; which I am to confirm, by laying down the third Belt.
"When this was concluded the Jesuit Milet, and another French Gentleman (who had been taken Prisoner, and was taken into the Place of the chief Sachem of Onondaga, formerly lost in the War, and thereby became a Sachem) desired Leave to add two Belts to the other three. By their being Sachems they had a Vote in the General Council, and a Right to propose any Thing. They wrote and read to us the Purports of their Belts, and we have brought their Papers with us, to shew to our Brethren."
To shew the Necessity they were under of making Peace, speedily he added:
"That two Women, who were Prisoners at Canada, had made their Escape, on Purpose to inform them that the French were making great Preparations of Battoes, and other Necessaries for an Expedition; one said, she had informed one of the Sachems of the Praying Indians of her Design, who sent an Indian with her to advise the Five Nations, to prevent the great Danger they were threatened with by a speedy Conclusion of the Peace; and added, that they had sent one of their People back with this Praying Indian, to assure them that Deputies would certainly go to Canada in the Spring to treat of Peace." I make no Doubt, this was only an Article to hasten the Five Nations to conclude the Peace, lest the English, if it were delayed, should find Means to prevent it. Then he shewed the Flag which the Governor of Canada sent them to be carried by their Deputies, that the French might know them. Upon these Resolutions being taken, the Five Nations recalled six hundred Men, that they had placed along Cadarackui River, to intercept the French, as they passed to and from Missilimakinak.
The Jesuit's Papers being read to them, several Things were found in them which he had not read to the General Council. To this Decanesora answered; "We know that the Priest favours his own Nation, and deceives us in many Things; but it is not in his Power to alter our Affection to our Brethren, we wish you would bury all Misunderstandings that you have conceived on his Account; and we likewise wish you gave less Credit to the Rum-Carriers than you do."
Here we see, by this Appellation, what a contemptible Character the Traders have among the Indians, and yet the Government of New-York has almost perpetually trusted the Management of the Indian Affairs to these Traders.
Decanesora ended his Conference as follows:
"The Governor of Canada's Words, and the Resolutions of the four Nations are now before you, consult therefore what is to be done, and if it be necessary for the Brethren to go to our Castles to advise us farther, be not unwilling; and then he laid down a large Belt eleven Rows deep, and seven Fathom of Wampum."
The next Day Major Schuyler told them that he could consent to no Treaty with the French; but proposed to them to meet the Governor here in seventy Days, and that Decanesora in particular should return at that Time, and gave a Belt.
They agreed to meet the Governor at that Time;
"But as for myself (says Decanesora) I cannot promise; I am now the Minister of the General Council, and cannot dispose of myself, but by their Directions; if they order me, I shall willingly return. We did not expect to hear such positive Prohibition of keeping any Correspondence with the French; seventy Days must pass before we meet again, if any Mischief be done by the Enemy in that Time, let us not blame one another. Consider again what is most for the publick Good, and let it be spoken before we part, and laid down a large Belt of fourteen deep."
Major Schuyler then asked them again, whether they promised to stop all Correspondence with the French, either by the Jesuit or otherwise, for seventy Days, and till they shall have his Excellency the Governor's Answer.
Decanesora answered to this, "I have no Authority to answer this Question. I shall lay the Belt down in every one of the Castles, and tell, that by it all Correspondence is desired to stop with the French; but I cannot promise that this will be complied with."
Major Schuyler on the sixth called the Indians again together: He advised them not to submit to, nor trust such a perfidious Nation as the French are, who have upon all Occasions proved themselves such. Be not discouraged, (says he, giving a Belt) Heaven begins again to favour us. This Day the Forerunners of theShawonons are come to Town, seven Nations are on their March following them, one Thousand in Number, including Men, Women and Children, as you may learn from their own Mouths. Take Courage, and be not afraid, giving five Fathom of Wampum. This seemed a lucky Incident, and accordingly it had more Influence than all other Arguments together.
Decanesora, the next Day, called the Magistrates together, and told them, you have at last shut up the Way to Canada, but we have one Thing to ask, after mature Deliberation, which we expect will not be refused us. Major Schuyler assured them that every Thing should be granted, which was either for their Safety or Honour. We desire then, said he, that you send a Messenger along with ours to the Praying Indians at Canada, to tell them that the Priest is false; that we are to meet Cayenguirago in the Spring, and therefore cannot go to Canada at that Time; and that a further Cessation of Arms be agreed to, till such Time as we can go. We desire at least, that if you will not send a Messenger, that you put the Message in Writing, as a Token of your Assent to it. This last was agreed to, and the Message was put in Writing in the following Words, and translated into French.
The Dispatch of three Belts, which two Messengers of the Five Nations carry to the Caraguists and Catholick Indians, according to what was resolved by the Agayandres or Sachems of the Five Nations, at Albany, February the ninth 1694.
The Agayandres of the Five Nations cannot go to Canada in the Spring, as they gave Reason to expect by the last Message from Onondaga, because Cayenguirago has called all the Five Nations, and other Indians, to meet him at Albany, in the Month of April next, to which the Five Nations have agreed.
If the Caraguists, or French, have any Thing to propose to the Five Nations, they may safely come into our Country. This Belt opens the Path, and secures it to them both coming and going.
The Five Nations, and their Friends, lay down the Hatchet till they shall have an Answer, which they expect in forty Days. Provided nevertheless, that the Caraguists and French tye their Hatchets down at the same Time.
These Belts were accordingly presented to the Praying Indians of Cahnuaga, who refused to receive them but in the Presence of Mr. de Callieres, Governor of Montreal. Mr. de Callieres acquainted the Count de Frontenac with the Contents. After which the Praying Indians, in Presence of Mr. de Callieres, gave the following Answer.
"We will have no Correspondence with the Five Nations, but by Order of the Governor of Canada our Father, and unless Decanesora, and the other Deputies, come before the Feast of St. John, the Way will be shut up for ever after, and our Father's Ears will be stopt. We however assure you, that if the Deputies come in that Time the Path shall be safe both coming and going."
Whether the Accounts given of the coming of the Shawonons was only an Amusement, or whether they were diverted on their March, I know not, for I find no farther Account of them in the Register of the Indian Affairs: However it was, the Impression made on the Indians by that News, was not sufficient to withstand the Force of the resolute Answer their Messenger received from the Praying Indians. Decanesora and the other Deputies went early in the Spring to Canada; the other Sachems met Colonel Fletcher at Albany, the fourth of May 1694. The Indians spoke first by Sadakanahtie, an Onondaga Sachem, as follows:
"Some of our Sachems agreed last Winter that we should keep no Correspondence with the French; we confess that we have broke that Promise, and that we have received a Messenger from Canada, and have sent our Deputies likewise thither. The Belt is not yet arrived, by which we are to acknowledge our Fault in doing this. The Reason of our doing it is truly this, we are afraid of the Enemy.
"When a Messenger came last Year from Canada to Onondaga, our Brother Cayenguirago discharged our Meeting in General Council at Onondaga, to consult on that Message, and ordered us to hold our General Council here at Albany on that Affair. The Privilege of meeting in General Council, when we please, is a Privilege we always have enjoyed; no former Governor, of the Name of Corlear, ever obstructed this Privilege. We planted a Tree of Peace in this Place with them, its Roots and Branches extend as far as Virginia andNew-England, and we have reposed with Pleasure under its Shade. Brother, let us keep to that first Tree, and let us be united and unanimous; such Prohibition of our Assemblies will be of ill Consequence, and occasion Differences between us.
"We acknowledge, I say, our sending Agents to Canada for Peace, we were incouraged in doing this, by the Knowledge we have of the Governor of Canada. He is an old Man, and was formerly Governor of that Place. He was always esteemed a wise peaceable Man, and therefore we trust our Message will have a good Issue. We did not take it amiss that you sent to the Dewagunhas, nor that Arnout was sent to the Satanas, both of them our Enemies; and, for the same Reason, our Brother Cayenguirago ought not to be displeased with our sending to the French for Peace.
"We, Onondagas, acknowledge ourselves to have been the chief Promoters of this Message, we have sent in all nine Sachems with nine Belts. It is true we are now under much Uneasiness in having trusted so many Sachems in the French Hands, being almost half the Number we have in our Nation, but we were in haste to prevent the Designs the French had against our Countries and yours, by the great warlike Preparations they were making in Canada."
Then he told all the Orders and Directions which their Ambassadors had received; which agreeing with the Account which Decanesora gave of his Negotiation, I shall here pass over. He finished all by giving a Belt.
Colonel Fletcher told them, he would give no Answer to what they had said, before they discovered to him what Reason they had to say, that he had forbid their holding any Assembly at Onondaga, and that he had made Peace with the Dewagunhas and Satanas, without their Consent and Concurrence.
To this the Speaker the next Day answered; "I was sick, and absent when the Affairs you mention were transacted, and I was at a Loss how to excuse our sending to the French contrary to your Advice; but several Sachems being arrived since I spoke, I have been better informed by them, who were present at those Transactions. We find it, in every Circumstance, as our Brother Cayenguirago says; that you did not obstruct our keeping General Councils at Onondaga, but only cautioned us in hearkening to the Fallacies of the French, and in holding Meetings on that Occasion. We assure you we will never separate from you, we still have one Head, one Blood, one Soul, and one Heart with you; and as a Confirmation of this I give this Belt seven deep.
"As to the Dewagunhas and Shawonons, we are confident Cayenguirago will not admit them into his Government, till they have made Peace with us, which we shall willingly grant. When our Enemies are humbled, and beg Peace, why should they not have it? Let them come and live with us, it will strengthen our Country.
"Brother Cayenguirago, when the Christians first arrived in this Country, we received them kindly. When they were but a small People, we entered into a League with them, to guard them from all Enemies whatsoever. We were so fond of their Society, that we tied the great Canoe which brought them, not with a Rope made of Bark to a Tree, but with a strong iron Chain fastened to a great Mountain. Now before the Christians arrived, the General Council of the Five Nations was held at Onondaga, where there has, from the Beginning, a continual Fire been kept burning; it is made of two great Logs, whose Fire never extinguishes. As soon as the Hatchet-makers (their general Name for Christians) arrived, this General Council at Onondaga planted this Tree at Albany, whose Roots and Branches have since spread as far as New-England, Connecticut, Pensilvania, Maryland and Virginia; and under the Shade of this Tree all theseEnglish Colonies have frequently been sheltered. Then (giving seven Fathom of Wampum) he renewed the Chain, and promised, as they likewise expected, mutual Assistance, in Case of any Attack from any Enemy.
"The only Reason, to be plain with you, continued he, of our sending to make Peace with the French, is the low Condition to which we are reduced, while none of our Neighbours send us the least Assistance, so that the whole Burthen of the War lyes on us alone. Our Brethren of New-England, Connecticut,Pensilvania, Maryland and Virginia, of their own accord thrust their Arms into our Chain; but since the War began we have received no Assistance from them. We alone cannot continue the War against the French, by Reason of the Recruits they daily receive from the other Side the great Lake.
"Brother Cayenguirago, speak from your Heart, are you resolved to prosecute the War vigorously against the French, and are your Neighbours of Virginia, Maryland, Pensilvania, Connecticut and New-England, resolved to assist us? If it be so, we assure you, notwithstanding any Treaty hitherto entered into, we will prosecute the War as hotly as ever. But if our Neighbours will not assist, we must make Peace, and we submit it to your Consideration, by giving this great Belt fifteen deep.
"Brother Cayenguirago, I have truly told you the Reasons which have induced us to offer Peace to the French; we shall likewise, from the Bottom of our Hearts, inform you of the Design we have in this Treaty. When the Governor of Canada shall have accepted the nine Belts, of which I have just now told you, then we shall have something more to say by two large Belts, which lye still hid in our Bosom. We shall lay down first one and say, We have a Brother Cayenguirago, with whose People we have been united in one Chain from the Beginning, they must be included in this Treaty; we cannot see them involved in bloody War, while we sit in easy Peace. If the Governor of Canada answer, that he has made a separate Peace with us, and that he cannot make any Peace with Cayenguirago, because the War is from over the great Lake; then we shall lay down the second great broad Belt, and tell the Governor of Canada, if you will not include Cayenguirago's People, the Treaty will become thereby void, as if it had never been made; and if he persists, we will absolutely leave him."
While the Sachems were at Albany, Decanesora and the other Ambassadors arrived at the Castle of the Praying Indians, near the Falls above Montreal. They were conducted from thence, by the Superior of the Jesuits, to Quebeck. They had their Audience of the Governor of Canada with great Solemnity, in the Presence of all the Ecclesiasticks and Officers of Distinction, and of the most considerable Indians then in the Place. They were every Day, while they staid in the Place, entertained at the Governor's Table, or at the Tables of the most considerable Officers. Decanesora on his Side made a good Appearance, being cloathed in Scarlet trim'd with Gold, and with a laced Bever Hat on his Head, which had been given him by Colonel Fletcher before he went.
The Jesuit Milet had by Letter informed the Governor of every Thing in their Commission, and though he was thereby enabled to have answered them immediately, he consulted three Days, after the Ambassadors had delivered what they had to say, before he would return an Answer, that it might appear with more Solemnity. The Indians never return a sudden Answer on any Occasion of Importance, however resolved they be beforehand, and despise those that do, though their Answer be never so much to the Purpose. I choose to give an Account of this from Decanesora's Mouth, as I did of the former, and for the same Reason. The Account given of it by the Indians agrees, in all the material Points, with that published by the French, and I am confident it is not less genuine.
Colonel Fletcher being sensible of what Consequence this Treaty between the French and Five Nations might be of to all the English Colonies, gave them Notice of it, and informed them of the Reasons which had induced the Indians to enter into it. He told them, there was no Possibility of preventing it, but by theIndians being assured of more effectual Assistance, than they had hitherto received, and advised them to send Commissioners for that Purpose to Albany in August, at which Time he intended to meet the Five Nations there, after the Return of their Messengers from Canada. Accordingly, Andrew Hamilton, Esq; Governor of New-Jersey, Colonel John Pinchon, Samuel Sands, Esq; and Major Pen Townsend, Commissioners from Massachuset's Bay, and Colonel John Hauley and Captain Stanley, Commissioners from Connecticut, waited on Colonel Fletcher at Albany, who carried with him likewise a Part of the Council ofNew-York.
These Gentlemen having met the Indians at Albany the fifteenth of August, Decanesora rose up first, and desired Leave to sing a Song or two of Peace, before they began on Business. Then Rode, a Mohawk Sachem, rose up, and addressing himself to the other Sachems, said, we have great Reason to rejoice, seeing so many of those, who are in our Chain, are now met, to consult together on the general Weal; after which they sang two or three Songs.
Sadakanahtie being chosen Speaker for that Day, rose up, spoke much to the same Purpose as he had done to Colonel Fletcher in May last; giving a metaphorical Account of their League with the English, how it began, and by what Steps it had been inlarged and strengthened; how the other Colonies had thrust their Arms into this Chain, but had given little or no Assistance against the common Enemy. "Our Brother Cayenguirago's Arms (says he) and ours are stiff, and tired with holding fast the Chain, whilst our Neighbours sit still and smoak at their Ease. The Fat is melted from our Flesh, and fallen on our Neighbours, who grow fat while we grow lean: They flourish while we decay.
"This Chain made us the Envy of the French, and if all had held it as fast as Cayenguirago, it would have been a Terror also. If we would all heartily join and take the Hatchet in our Hand, our common Enemy would soon be destroyed, and we should for ever after live in Peace and Ease. Do you but your Parts, and Thunder itself cannot break our Chain."
Then he mentioned some Jealousies they had entertained of New-England, by their suffering the Chevalier D'O to escape to Canada, which they suspected had been concerted between him and the People of New-England, in Order to treat of Peace. "Our Agents, said he, saw the Chevalier D'O at Canada, who told them that he had been set at Liberty by the English, and that it was in vain that the Five Nations warred against the French, while the English favoured them." On this Occasion he shewed them a Fish painted on Paper, which the Commissioners of New-England had given them, when they first entered into the Chain, as a Seal to the League.
He finished by telling them, that they would next Day give all the Particulars of their Negotiation in Canada.
The next Day Decanesora proceeded to the Account of his Negotiation, as follows: "The Governor of Canada having often sent to us to come to Canada to treat with him, we went thither, and told him that we were come to treat of Peace. We made the following Proposals.
"Father, if we do not conclude a Peace now, it will be your Fault; for we have already taken the Hatchet out of the Hands of the River Indians (Hudson's River) whom we incited to the War. But we must tell you, that you are an ill Man, you are inconstant and not to be trusted; we have had War together a long Time, and though you occasioned the War, we never hated the House of Oghessa, (a Gentleman living at Montreal) let him undertake the toilsome Journey to Onondaga; for if he will he shall be welcome.
"Father, we are now speaking of Peace, and therefore I must speak a Word to the Praying Indians, and first to those of Cahnuaga (chiefly Mohawks) you know our Customs and Manners, therefore make Onondio acquainted therewith, and be assisting in the prosecuting of this good Work. Then to the other Castle, called Canassadaga, (chiefly Onondagas) you are worse than the French themselves, you deserted from us, and side with our Enemies to destroy us; make some amends now, by forwarding Peace.
"You have almost eat us up, our best Men are killed in this bloody War; but we now forget what is past. Before this we once threw the Hatchet into the River of Kaihohage, but you fished it up, and treacherously surprised our People at Cadarackui. After this you sent to us to have our Prisoners restored; then the Hatchet was thrown up to the Sky, but you kept a String fastened to the Helve, and pulled it down, and fell upon our People again. This we revenged to some Purpose, by the Destruction of your People and Houses in the Island of Montreal.
"Now we are come to cover the Blood from our Sight, which has been shed by both Sides during this long War.
"Onondio, we have been at War a long Time, we now give you a Medicine to drive away all ill Thoughts from your Heart, to purge it and make it clean, and restore it to its former State.
"Onondio, we will not permit any Settlement at Cadarackui; you have had your Fire there thrice extinguished; we will not consent to your rebuilding that Fort, but the Passage through the River shall be free and clear. We make the Sun clean, and drive away all Clouds and Darkness, that we may see the Light without Interruption.
"Onondio, we have taken many Prisoners from one another, during the War. The Prisoners we took have been delivered, according to our Custom, to the Families that have lost any in the War. They no longer belong to the Publick, they may give them back if they please, your People may do the same. We have brought back two Prisoners, and restore them to you.
"After I had finished what I had to say, continued he, the Governor of Canada told me, that he would not make Peace with Cayenguirago. To this I answered, these Words displease me much, you shall keep Peace with him. Onondio said again, I must fight with Cayenguirago, it is not in my Power to make Peace; this can only be done by my Master, who lives over the great Water. To this I replied, I cannot bear this Discourse; if you should fight him now, and not stay till I get Home, all the Country will look on me as a Traytor; I can treat with you no longer. The Argument on this Subject lasted three Days, at last the Governor of Canada assured me, that he would not undertake any Enterprize against Cayenguirago this Summer, but would wait to hear what he wou'd say.
"The Governor of Canada insisted three Days to have Hostages left, which I refused, but two agreeing of their own accord to stay, they were left, viz. one an Onondago, another a Seneka.
"Then the Governor of Canada made the following publick Answer:
"I. I accept of Peace as you offer.
"II. Son, bring all the Prisoners back that you have taken from me, and yours shall have Liberty to return Home, if they please.
"III. Children, erect my Fire again at Cadarackui, and plant there the Tree of Peace.
"After this the Governor of Canada delivered me a Belt, which I now lay down before you; by it he said, desire Cayenguirago to send a wise Man to me, and he shall have Protection according to the Custom of Christians; and added,
"Children of the Five Nations, if Cayenguirago shall employ you to do any Service for him, do not accept of it, let him send his own People."
Decanesora added, that the Governor of Canada had fixed eighty Days for a Return to this Belt.
He continued and said, "The Sachems of the Dionondadies were present; after I had finished my Speech, they said; May what you have now said be from your Hearts; we suspect you are not sincere; let us no longer feel the Smart of the Hatchet, and gave this Belt which I now lay down.
"The Praying Indians next said, Brethren, our Father Onondio has told you to bring Home all the Prisoners, do not fail in this; giving two Belts.
"Brother Cayenguirago, you will find what I have now said confirmed by this Paper, which the Governor of Canada gave me. I brought Letters likewise for the Jesuit Milet, who was to read the Paper to us." The Paper contained the Articles in French, in which the Governor of Canada was willing to make Peace.
But besides what Decanesora here tells, the French Accounts say, that he brought two Belts underground (that is privately) from three Onondaga Sachems, to assure the Governor of Canada of their particular Affection, which the Governor of Canada answered, by a private Belt to them.
As soon as Decanesora had done speaking, Colonel Fletcher rejected the Belt sent by the Governor of Canada, saying; If the Governor of Canada have any Thing to say to me, let him send some of his People to Albany, and they shall have Protection.
Next Day Sadekanahtie, after he had sung a long Song, gave the following Account of their Negotiations with the Dewagunhas and Dionondadies, which they had undertaken by the Governor's Advice.
"We were afraid, says he, to send Messengers of our own People, and therefore we employed two Prisoners we had of the Dionondadies with the Governor's Belt. Some time after this, some of the Senekas hunting near the Dionondadies, two of them were taken; but when they were carried to the Dionondadie Castle, they were not treated like Prisoners; they were used kindly, and sent back with the following Offers of Peace.
"We are glad to see you Face to Face to speak to you, since the Sun has been so propitious to send home the Men that were Prisoners with you, giving a few Strings of Wampum.
"We are glad of this Opportunity to tell you, that we have been both drunk in making War on one another; we now give you a Cordial to ease your Hearts, that there be no longer War between us, by this Belt.
"We are glad that you have set the Doors open as far as Cayenguirago's House, that we may freely go thither. Carry him this second Belt.
"Brethren, we thank you for having prepared a Place for us at your General Council of Onondaga. Our Country is every where free to you to treat with us, by this third Belt.
"Brethren, our whole Country rejoiced when you invited us into your Country, and from thence to go where Cayenguirago dwells; be not afraid to come to our Country, you shall meet with no Molestation.
"Brethren, we thank you for putting us in Mind of what was formerly agreed to, viz. that when any ill Accident happens, we were to meet together to compose Matters, and not to revenge it with War. We are now together to put an End to all Misunderstanding, by this fourth Belt.
"Brethren, (we include all the Nations from the Senekas Country to New-York in this Name) hearken to us. We rend the Clouds asunder, and drive away all Darkness from the Heavens, that the Sun of Peace may shine with Brightness over us all; giving a Sun of a round red polished Stone.
"Brethren, we put the Hatchet into the Hands of the Chightaghies, Twithtwies, and Odsirachies, to war against you; but we shall in three Days go to these Nations and take the Hatchet out of their Hands; giving half a Stone Pipe.
"You Senekas are stupid Creatures, we must therefore warn you not to hunt so far from your Castles, lest you be hurt by any of these three Nations, and then blame us. They then gave the other half of the Pipe.
"But Brother Cayenguirago, says Sadakahnitie, do not suffer these Nations to come nearer than the Senekas Country, lest they discover our Weakness, and to what a low Condition the War has reduced us. These Nations have been so long in Friendship with the French, and are so much under their Influence, that we cannot trust them yet, or be too much upon our Guard against them."
Colonel Fletcher not being able to give the Five Nations any Assurance of a vigorous Assistance, he called the principal Sachems to a private Conference on the twentieth. He asked them, whether they had made Peace with the Governor of Canada; they answered, that it only wanted his Approbation, and added, that they could no longer carry on the War without Assistance. You have the whole Negotiations before you, say they, and we submit it to your Prudence.
He then allowed them to make Peace, provided they kept faithful in their Chain with the English; but told them, that as to his Part he could make no Peace with the Governor of Canada. They were under great Uneasiness to leave their Friends in the War, they said, and wished, since neither the Governor of Canadanor he would receive Proposals by their Hands, that they might think of some neutral Place to treat. The Governor answered, that he could neither receive nor send any Message on that Head; and that Peace could be only made between them by the two Kings.
The Governor next asked them, whether they would permit the French to build again at Cadarackui; they answered, they would never permit it, and were resolved to insist on it, in all the ensuing Treaties, that he never shall. Then the Governor added, if you permit the French to build any where on that Lake, there will be an End to your Liberty, your Posterity will become Slaves to the French. If ever you should permit them, I will look on it as an absolute Breach of the Chain with us: If the French attempt it give me Notice, and I will march the whole Force of my Government to your Assistance. We shall find afterwards, however, that the Government of New-York was far from making good this Promise.
The Governor told them, that they had lost much of their Honour in creeping to the French, in such an abject Manner; for, says he, the Governor of Canada's Paper, which you brought with you, says, that you came in the most humble and penitent Manner, and begged Peace. To which they answered, the Governor ofCanada has no Reason to make such Reflexions, we have many of his Belts to shew, by which he again and again sued to us for Peace, before we would hearken to him. But, replies the Governor, how came you to call him Father? For no other Reason, they replied, but because he calls us Children. These Names signify nothing.
They desired the Governor not to say any Thing particularly of Cadarackui, in his publick Speech that he was to make next Day, for they had, they said, some among them that would tell all to the Governor of Canada; and concluded, with wishing that they had some one, who could write and read all that the Governor had said to them, that they might not forget any Part of it, when they come to consult and resolve on this weighty Affair, at their General Council at Onondaga.
Here we see these Barbarians, these Savages, as we call them, acting with the greatest regard to the Treaties they had entered into with their Allies, and that at a Time when the Exigences of their own Affairs, and when the faint feeble Assistance, which their Allies had contributed in the common Cause, would, among Christian Potentates, have been thought a sufficient Excuse for their taking Care of themselves separately, in breach of the most solemn Confederacy they could enter into.
The Sachems of the Five Nations being met at Onondaga, to consult on the Terms offered by the French, they were divided in their Opinions; the Cayugas, and Part of the Senekas, were most favourable to the French Proposals; but the major Part was absolutely against allowing the French to rebuild a Fort atCadarackui, nor would they consent to include all the French Allies in the Treaty, with some of which they had particular Causes of Animosity.
The Party that was most for Peace obtained Leave to go to Canada, to try whether they could obtain Terms less disagreeable. They accordingly went thither, within the Time prefixed by the Governor of Canada, for an Answer; and to make themselves more acceptable to the French, they carried thirteen Prisoners with them, and delivered them up. The Jesuit Milet was of this Number, who had been taken in the Year 1689, and one Jonscaire, who had been long a Prisoner among the Senekas: He had been delivered up to a Family of the Senekas, that had lost some considerable Relation, and was by them adopted. He ingratiated himself so much with that Nation, that he was advanced to the Rank of a Sachem, and preserved their Esteem to the Day of his Death; whereby he became, after the general Peace, very useful to the French in all Negotiations with the Five Nations, and to this Day they shew their Regard to his Family and Children.
When the Governor of Canada came to Particulars with these Deputies, he could obtain nothing but ambiguous or dubious Answers, as to the rebuilding of Cadarackui Fort, and the including of all the French Allies in the Peace. Whereupon he dismissed them with Presents, and made them many fair Promises, in Case of their Compliance; but threatened them with utter Destruction, in Case of their refusing the Terms he had offered. Many of the French Indian Allies were present, when the Governor of Canada refused any Agreement without his Allies being included in it, and this attached them exceedingly to the FrenchInterest. This Regard, which the French generally shew for the Interest of their Allies, is a Piece of Policy which, upon all Occasions, proves useful to them; whereas, the Neglect of this Piece of natural Justice has as often been prejudicial to others, who have not had so tender a Sense of it. But it is not so easy for a weak State to keep up its Honour in such Cases, as it is for a powerful Prince.
The War renewed. The French repossess themselves of Cadarackui Fort, and find Means to break off the Treaty between the Five Nations and Dionondadies.
The Five Nations refusing to come to the Governor of Canada's Terms, he resolved to force them; and as he suspected that they continued obstinate, by the Advice of the English, and the Confidence they had of the English Assistance, he thought he would most effectually lessen that Confidence, by attacking and destroying the remainder of the Mohawks, who liv'd adjoining to the English Settlements. For this Purpose he resolved to march, in the Winter, the whole Force of Canada against that Nation; but one of the Prisoners learning their Design, made his Escape, and informed the Mohawks of it. This made him alter his Measures, knowing well enough, that if the English were prepared to receive them, such an Enterprize would only lead those engaged in it to certain Destruction. He then sent three hundred Men into the Neck of Land between Lake Erie and Cadarackui Lake, the usual hunting Place of the Five Nations, in hopes of surprising them while they hunted carelessly there, and at the same Time to view the old French Fort there, to observe in what Condition it remained.
This Party met with three or four Men, who defended themselves obstinately, till they all fell dead on the Spot. They surprised likewise a Cabin, where they took some Men and Women Prisoners; and four of them were publickly burnt alive at Montreal. So far the Count de Frontenac thought it more proper to imitate the Indians in their most savage Cruelties, than to instruct them, by his Example, in the Compassion of the Christian Doctrine. A Party of one hundred and fifty of the Five Nations fell upon the Dewagunhas, in their Way to Canada, and entirely routed them. Ten Prisoners were taken, nine of which were burnt alive, in revenge of the same Fate the four Men of the Five Nations had received at Montreal.
This Year also some sculking French Indians murdered some People near Albany and Schenectady.
The Party sent to view Cadarackui Fort found it in a better Condition than they expected, the Indians having neglected to demolish and level the Bastions, and probably they had not Instruments sufficient to do it. The Count de Frontenac therefore, in the Summer of the Year 1695, sent a considerable Body of Men, both French and Indians, thither, to repair the Fortifications, and to cover those that should be at work. The Five Nations, in August, sent Messengers to Albany, to acquaint the English that the French had taken Possession of Cadarackui, and were repairing of it. They demanded, in Consequence of the Promise Colonel Fletcher had given them, the Assistance of five hundred Men and some Cannon, which they promised they would draw over Land, where they could not be carried by Water. At the same Time they desired, that the People of New-England might be told, that many of the Owenagungas were gone with theFrench to Cadarackui, and that this was a proper Time to fall upon those that remained, and to destroy them, and the Women and Children.
Coll. Fletcher came to Albany in September; there, in a Speech to the Five Nations, he blamed them for being asleep, when they suffered the French to take Possession of Cadarackui; it would have been much easier, he said, to have prevented their getting the Possession, than to drive them out, now they are in it, especially as now you yourselves are convinced, that it is impossible to carry Cannon thither from this Place. All, says he, I can now do, is to advise you to invest the Place with your Parties, so as to prevent their receiving any Supply of Provisions: By this Means you may force them to desert it. Then he gave them 1000 Pound of Powder, two Thousand Pound of Lead, 57 Fusees, one Hundred Hatchets, three Hundred and forty eight Knives, and two Thousand Flints, besides Cloathing, &c. But in my Opinion, the Government of New-York have, on all Occasions, been exceedingly to be blamed, in not having some Men of Experience among the Five Nations to advise and direct them on all Emergencies of Importance. The French are very careful of this, and the Officers of the regular Troops are obliged to take their Tours among their Indians, while the Captains of the independent Companies of Fusiliers at New-York live like military Monks, in Idleness and Luxury.
The French gained a great Advantage, by possessing this Place, as it is of great Security to their Traders, in their passing between Montreal and Missilimakinak. It served likewise as a Place of Stores, and Retreat in all their Enterprizes against the Five Nations, that Place being nearly about half Way betweenMontreal and the Country of the Five Nations. It likewise exposed the Five Nations in their hunting, to the Incursions of that Garison, by its being in the Neighbourhood of their principal hunting Place for Bever.
The French grew exceedingly uneasy, when they found, that the Dionondadies, who live near Missilimakinak, had almost concluded a Peace with the Five Nations, and that the rest of their Allies were like to follow their Example: Some of these Nations had been at Montreal, and at their Return forwarded the Peace, that thereby they might be at Liberty to go to Albany; for they informed their Neighbours, that the Five Nations had intirely shut up the Path to Montreal; and besides that, the French were not in a Condition to supply them, for they had nothing for themselves, not so much as a Drop of strong Spirits. If these Nations had, at that Time, deserted the French, it might probably have put an End to the French Colony; for as the Lands of Canada barely produce sufficient for the Subsistence of its Inhabitants, the only Means they have of purchasing Cloathing and other Necessaries is by their Trade with the Indians. The French likewise had been in Danger of greater Mischief by the Peace, for these Nations being at War with the Five Nations, and lying on the Back of them, obliged the Five Nations to keep always a very considerable Part of their Force at home, to defend themselves against these Nations, and to revenge the Injuries they received from them; but if the Peace had been concluded with these Nations, the Five Nations could have turned their whole Force against Canada, and probably might have persuaded these Nations to have joined with them in warring on the French.
The French Commandant at Missilimakinak had his Hands full at this Time; and if he had not been a Man of great Abilities, he must have sunk under the Difficulties he had to go through; in the first Place, to contradict the Stories brought from Montreal, he ordered the Stores of his Fort to be sold to the Indians at the cheapest Rate, and assured them, that great Quantities were every Day expected from France, which were only detained by contrary Winds; and after these Goods shall arrive, said he, they will be sold cheaper than ever they have been. He told them likewise, that the Count de Frontenac would never make Peace with the Five Nations, but was resolved to extirpate them; for which Purpose he was now rebuilding Cadarackui Fort. At the same Time he took all possible Methods to extinguish the Beginnings of Friendship, which appeared between the Five Nations and Dionondadies.
The Dionondadies durst not avow their treating with the Five Nations to the French, neither durst the Five Nations trust their Agents in a Place where they knew the French had so great Influence; both Sides therefore agreed to carry on their Treaty by Means of Prisoners which they took from one another. The Civility with which the Dionondadies treated these Prisoners, their dismissing them, and their receiving again Prisoners which had been taken by the Five Nations, gave the Commandant sufficient Ground to suspect what was doing. The Dionondadies at last took seven Men of the Five Nations Prisoners, and carried them to Missilimakinak. The French perceiving, by their Manner of bringing them in, that the Dionondadies intended to treat them with the Civility they had lately used to others, murdered two of them with their Knives as they stept ashore. On this the Dionondadies immediately took to their Arms, saved the other Five, and carried them safe to their Castle; and continuing in Arms, threatened Revenge for the Insult they had received.
The French were forced in like Manner to stand to their Arms, and as there are always many different Nations at Missilimakinak trading, some of which were inveterate Enemies of the Five Nations, they joined with the French. The Utawawas stood neuter. This gave the Commandant Means of ending the Dispute by Composition. He in the first Place assured them, that the Christians abhorred all Manner of Cruelty, and then told them, that as the French shared with the Dionondadies in all the Dangers and Losses sustained by the War, they ought in like Manner to partake with them in any Advantage. The Dionondadies on this were persuaded to deliver up one of the Prisoners. What I am about to relate, I think, gives Room to charge the French with a Piece of Policy, not only inconsistent with the Christian Religion, but likewise with the Character of a polite People; and that all Considerations from Religion, Honour, and Virtue, must give Way to the present Exigencies of their Affairs. That an End might be put to the Beginnings of a Reconciliation between these People and the Five Nations, the French gave a publick Invitation to feast on the Soup to be made on this Prisoner, and, in a more particular Manner, invited the Utawawas to the Entertainment.
The Prisoner being first made fast to a Stake, so as to have Room to move round it, a Frenchman began the horrid Tragedy, by broiling the Flesh of the Prisoner's Legs, from his Toes to his Knees, with the red hot Barrel of a Gun; his Example was followed by an Utawawa, and they relieved one another as they grew tired. The Prisoner all this while continued his Death Song, till they clapt a red hot Frying-pan on his Buttocks, when he cried out, Fire is strong and too powerful; then all their Indians mocked him, as wanting Courage and Resolution. You, they said, a Soldier and a Captain, as you say, and afraid of Fire; you are not a Man. They continued their Torments for two Hours without ceasing. An Utawawa being desirous to outdo the French in their refined Cruelty, split a Furrow from the Prisoner's Shoulder to his Garter, and filling it with Gunpowder, set Fire to it. This gave him exquisite Pain, and raised excessive Laughter in his Tormenters. When they found his Throat so much parched, that he was no longer able to gratify their Ears with his howling, they gave him Water, to enable him to continue their Pleasure longer. But at last his Strength failing, an Utawawa flead off his Scalp, and threw burning hot Coals on his Scull. Then they untied him, and bid him run for his Life: He began to run, tumbling like a drunken Man; they shut up the Way to the East, and made him run Westward, the Country, as they think, of departed (miserable) Souls. He had still Force left to throw Stones, till they put an End to his Misery by knocking him on the Head with a Stone. After this every one cut a Slice from his Body, to conclude the Tragedy with a Feast. It is doing no Injury, I think, to these Frenchmen, who thus glory in this horrid Cruelty, to ask them, whether they did not likewise regale their revengeful Appetites with a Share of this inhuman Feast?
Though I have had frequent Occasions to mention these barbarous inhuman Cruelties, transacted by the Indians, yet I have avoided to relate the particular Circumstances of them, because I believe few civilized Ears can bear the reading of them without Horror. But when they are perpetrated by Christians, and so far gloried in, as to be recorded in their own History, I am willing to shew it to my Countrymen in its proper Colours. This last Piece of French History is taken from Histoire de l'Amerique Septentrionale, par Monsr. de la Poterie, published at Paris with the Royal Licence, and recommended to the Publick by Mons.Fontenelle, Vol. ii. Page 298.
Though this cruel Act had its designed Effect, in breaking off this Method of negotiating between the Five Nations and Dionondadies, it did not prevent the Peace; and it had very near raised a Civil War with their own Indians, which was only prevented by the dextrous Conduct of the French Officers, who, in all kind of Artifice, have always been superior to the Indians. But let me observe on this Occasion, that the avoiding any Misfortune, by any base or wicked Action, is commonly the Cause of greater Mischiefs than what is thereby avoided; and of this numerous Examples may be given.
The Count de Frontenac attacks Onondaga in Person, with the whole Force of Canada. The Five Nations continue the War with the French, and make Peace with the Dionondadies.
The Count de Frontenac having secured Cadarackui Fort, which was called by his Name, as a Place of Arms and Provisions, and for a Retreat to the Men that should happen to be sick or wounded, resolved to make the Five Nations feel his Resentment of their refusing his Terms of Peace. For this Purpose he assembled all the regular Troops of Canada, the Militia, the Owenagungas, the Quatoghies of Loretto, the Adirondacks, Sokokies, Nepiciriniens, the Praying Indians of the Five Nations, and a few Utawawas, at Montreal, in June 1696. The other western Indians near Missilimakinak, by their late Correspondence with the Five Nations, and the Dissatisfaction they had manifested, were not trusted. The Manner of making War with the Indians in a Country wholly covered with Woods, must be so much different from the Methods used in Europe, that I believe the Reader will be pleased to have a particular Account of the Countde Frontenac's Conduct in this, who was an old experienced General, in the seventy fourth Year of his Age.
It is to be observed, that it is impossible to pass the vast Forests between the Countries of the Five Nations with Waggons, or other Carriages, or on Horseback, or even on Foot, in the summer Time, by Reason of many impassible thick Swamps and Morasses. For this Reason, the only Method of travelling is in Bark Canoes, or very light Battoes, along the Rivers, which may be easily carried on Men's Shoulders, where the Stream of the River becomes too rapid, and from one River to another; for which Purpose the shortest Passes are always chosen, and are called, for this Reason, Carrying Places.
The Count de Frontenac marched from la Chine, in the south End of the Island of Montreal, the fourth of July. He divided five hundred Indians so, that the greatest Number of them should always be in the Van, which consisted of two Battalions of the regular Troops. They were followed by the Canoes which carried the Provisions. The Van was commanded by the Chevalier de Callieres, Governor of Montreal; he had with him two large Battoes, which carried two small Pieces of Cannon, small Mortars, Granadoes, and the Utensils of the Artillery. The Count de Frontenac was at the Head of the main Body, accompanied by the Engineer and several Gentlemen Voluntiers. The Body consisted of four Battalions of the Militia, who, in War with Indians, were then more depended on than the regular Troops; these were commanded by Monsieur Ramsay, Governor of Trois Rivieres. The Rear, which consisted of two Battalions of regular Troops, and of the rest of the Indians, was under the Command of the Chevalier de Vaudreuil. All the Indians had French Officers set over them.
In this Order the Army marched, only those that were in the Van one Day, were in the Rear the next; and they always kept a Number of Indians on the Scout, to discover the Tracks of the Enemy, for fear of Ambuscades. And when they were obliged to carry the Canoes, and drag the large Battoes, several Parties were detached to cover the Men that worked.
After twelve Days March they arrived at Cadarackui Fort, one hundred eighty Miles from Montreal. Here they waited for the Utawawas, who disappointed them; and in the mean Time raised a Bark, which had remained sunk since Cadarackui Fort was deserted. They crossed over Cadarackui Lake to OnondagaRiver (now Ohswega). This River being narrow and rapid, they ordered fifty Men to march on each Side of it, to prevent their being surprised, and the Army moved slowly along the River, according to the Intelligence they received from their Scouts. They found a Tree, as they passed along, on which the Indianshad, in their Manner, painted the French Army, and had laid by it two Bundles of cut Rushes. This was a Defiance in the Indian Manner, and to tell them by the Number of Rushes, that fourteen hundred thirty four Men would meet them. The French passed the little Lake, between Ohswega and Onondaga, in Order of Battle; and the two Wings, to prevent their being surprised, and to make the Place of their Landing more uncertain to the Enemy, took a Circuit along the Coast. As soon as they had landed they raised a Fort. A Seneka, who had been some time a Prisoner in Canada, and pretended an Attachment to the French, was sent out to make a Discovery. He deserted to the Onondagas. He found them waiting for the French, with a Resolution to defend their Castle, and to fight the French; for which Purpose they had sent away their Women and Children. The Seneka told them that the French Army was as numerous as the Leaves on the Trees; that they had Machines which threw Balls up in the Air, and which falling on their Castle burst to Pieces, and spread Fire and Death every where, against which their Stockadoes could be of no Defence. This was confirmed by another Seneka, who deserted. Upon which the Onondagas thought it most adviseable to retire, leaving their poor Fort and bark Cottages all in Flames.
After the General had an Account of this, he marched to their Village in Order of Battle. The Army was divided into two Lines: The first commanded by the Chevalier de Callieres, who placed himself on the Left, consisted of two Battalions of the Inhabitants in the Center, and a Battalion of the regular Troops on each Wing. The Artillery followed them. Most of the Indians of this Division were upon the Right, who continually sent out Scouts. The second Line was commanded by the Chevalier de Vaudreuel, composed of the same Number of Battalions, and in the same Order. The Count de Frontenac was carried in a Chair directly after the Artillery. But it was impossible for them to keep their Order, in passing through thick Woods, and in passing Brooks. In this formidable Manner the aged General marched up to the Ashes of the Village, and his Army exerted their Fury on the Indian Corn, which covered a large Field in thick Ranks.
An Indian Sachem, about one hundred Years old, would not retire with the rest, but chose this Time to end his Days. The French Indians had the Pleasure of tormenting him, which he bore with surprising Evenness of Mind, and with that Resolution which becomes a Sachem of the Five Nations. He told his Tormentors to remember well his Death, when his Countrymen should come to take terrible Vengeance of them. Upon which, one stabbing him several Times with his Knife, he thanked him but said, you had better make me die by Fire, that these Dogs of Frenchmen may learn how to suffer like Men. You Indians, their Allies, you Dogs of Dogs, think of me when you shall be in the like State. Thus this old Sachem, under all the Weakness of old Age, preserved a Greatness of Soul, and a due Regard for the Honour of his Country, to the last Moment of his Breath.
The Chevalier de Vaudreuil was sent with a Detachment of six or seven hundred Men to destroy the Oneydoes Corn, who liv'd but a small Distance from Onondaga, which he performed without any Resistance. The Jesuit Milet had lived for the most Part with the Oneydoes; he had infused into them the most favourable Sentiments of the French, and they had been the most inclined to Peace on the French Terms. Thirty five of them staid in their Castle to make the French welcome; but the only Favour they obtained, was to be made Prisoners, and carried to Montreal. The French Governor declared his Resolutions to extirpate the Onondagas, and for that Reason gave Orders to give no Quarter.
The Difficulty of supporting so many Men in these Deserts, made it necessary for the Count de Frontenac to return as speedily as possible. Though the French Army was much an Overmatch for the Onondagas, both in Number of Men and in their Arms, the Onondagas were not so far dispirited, as not to follow them in their Return. They found Opportunities to revenge themselves in some Measure, by cutting off every Canoe that happened at any Time to be at a Distance from the main Body. This obliged the Count to hasten his March, so that he returned to Montreal the tenth of August.
The Onondagas suffered nothing by this chargeable Expedition, but the Loss of their Corn, and their Bark Cottages. They lost not one Man, but the old Sachem, who resolved to die a Martyr to his Country's Honour. The French suffered considerably by its Consequences; for all the Planters being taken off from their Labour, either in this Expedition, or in watching and securing their Forts and Country, a Famine ensued; and this I find has often happened in Canada, where all the Men, fit to bear Arms, have been employed in such like Expeditions. If the Oneydoes had not timely surrendered themselves, the Count had not been able to have carried Home the least Token of a Victory. And all that can be said for this Enterprize is, that it was a kind of heroick Dotage.
The Influence that the Jesuit Milet had obtained over the Oneydoes was such, that some Time after this, thirty of them deserted to the French, and desired that he might be appointed their Pastor.
In the following Winter the Mohawks, with the Governor of New York's Privacy, sent one to the Praying Indians with two Belts, and he carried two Prisoners with him. By the first Belt he asked, whether the Path was entirely shut up between their two Countries; and, by the second, demanded the Restitution of a Prisoner the Praying Indians had taken: But his real Design was, to learn the State of their Country, and what Designs were forming. Notwithstanding the Influence and Artifice of the French Priests over these Converts, they still retained an Affection to their Countrymen; for which Reason the Count de Frontenacentertained a Jealousy of these Intercourses, and threatened to put to Death any that should come in that Manner again; but the Messenger had the Satisfaction of discovering the distressed Condition of Canada by Famine.
A Party of the French was sent out in the Winter, to make some Attempt upon the English Settlements near Albany; but some Mohawks and Scahkook Indians meeting with them, before they reached the Settlements, they were intirely routed. The commanding Officer, one du Bau, and two others, saved themselves from the Fury of the Indians, by running to Albany; the rest were either killed or perished in the Woods, so that not one Man of this Party got back to Canada.
It was much easier for the French to set the Praying Indians upon the English, against whom it is possible many of them had personal Animosities, that made them go over to the French, than to fight their Countrymen. Several of them came this Winter skulking about Schenectady and Albany; and being well acquainted with the Country, and speaking likewise the Mohawk's Language, by which they sometimes deceived the Inhabitants, they surprised some of the Inhabitants, and carried away their Scalps.
The Five Nations, to shew that the Count de Frontenac's Expedition had no Way discouraged them, sent out several Parties against Canada. One of them met with a Party of French upon St. Laurence River, near Montreal. The French were routed, and their Captain killed. As soon as this was heard at Montreal,Repentigni was sent out after them with a considerable Party of French, Nepicirinien Indians and Praying Indians; but this Party was likewise defeated, and the Captain, with many of his Men, killed.
Thus the War was continued till the Peace of Reswick, by small Parties of Indians, on both Sides, harassing, surprising, and scalping the Inhabitants near Montreal and Albany.
Some Time this Year the chief Sachem of the Dionondadies (whom the French call the Baron) went to Quebeck, pretending a strong Attachment to the French, but really to conceal the Treaty of Peace that he was on the Point of concluding with the Five Nations; for which Purpose he had sent his Son with nineteen Belts to the Senekas. The Substance of whose Commission was as follows:
The French have for many Years confounded our Resolutions, and deceived us, but now we are resolved to break all their Artifices, by stopping our Ears. We come now to unite with you, while the French know nothing of the Matter. The Commandant at Missilimakinak has told us many Lies, he has betrayed us, and made us kill one another, but we are firmly resolved never to hearken to him any more. The Peace was accordingly firmly concluded, notwithstanding all the Opposition the French could make. The French Authors say, the only Reason that induced the Dionondadies was, that the English sold them Goods cheaper than the French could.
Some Time before the News of the Peace arrived, the French at Montreal being informed that a Party of the Five Nations were discovered near Corlear's Lake, sent out a Captain with a Party of Soldiers and Indians, who being well experienced in the Manner of making War with Indians, marched through the thickest Woods, and by the least frequented Places, so that he discovered the Enemy, without being discovered. He surprised that Party, killed several, and took one Prisoner. The Utawawas being then trading at Montreal, the Count de Frontenac invited them to a Feast to be made of this Prisoner, and caused him to be burnt publickly alive at Montreal, in the Manner of which I have already given two Accounts from the French Authors.
The Conduct which the English and French observed, in regard to the Five Nations, immediately after the Peace of Reswick.
Soon after the News of the Peace of Reswick reached New-York, the Governor sent an Express to Canada, to inform the Governor there of it, that Hostilities might cease. The Five Nations having an Account of the Peace earlier than they had it in Canada, took Advantage of it, in hunting Bever near Cadarackui Fort. The Governor of Canada being informed of this, and believing that the Five Nations thought themselves secure by the general Peace, resolved to take his last Revenge of them. For this Purpose he sent a considerable Party of Adirondacks to surprise them, which they did, and killed several, but not without Loss of many of their own Men. The Loss of one of their greatest Captains at that Time gave the Five Nations the greatest Affliction. After he was mortally wounded, he cried out: "Must I, who have made the whole Earth tremble before me, now die by the Hands of Children?" for he despised the Adirondacks.
A Dispute at this Time arose, between the Government of New-York and Canada, about the French Prisoners which the Five Nations had in their Hands. The Earl of Bellamont, then Governor of New-York, would have the French receive those Prisoners from him, and directed the Five Nations to bring them toAlbany for that Purpose. The French, on the other Hand, refused to own the Five Nations as subject to the Crown of Great-Britain, and threatened to continue the War against the Five Nations, if they did not bring the Prisoners to Montreal, and deliver them there. The Count de Frontenac sent some of the Praying Indians with a Message to this Purpose, and to have all the French Allies included in the general Peace.
The Messenger on his Return told the Count, publickly in Presence of several Utawawas, that the Five Nations refused to include several of his Allies, but were resolved to revenge the Injuries they had received. The Utawawas were exceedingly discomposed at hearing this, and the Count, to recover their Spirits, assured them, that he never would make Peace without including all his Allies in it, and without having all their Prisoners restored. At the same Time he made Preparations to attack the Five Nations with the whole Force of Canada.
The Earl of Bellamont being informed of this, sent Captain John Schuyler (of the Militia) to tell the Count, that he had the Interest of the King his Master too much at Heart, to suffer the French to treat the Five Nations like Enemies, after the Conclusion of the general Peace; for which Reason he had ordered them to be on their Guard, and had furnished them with Arms and Ammunition; that he had ordered the Lieutenant-Governor, in Case they were attacked, either by the French or their Allies, to join them with the regular Troops; and that, if he found it necessary, he would raise the whole Force of his Government in their Defence.
This put a Stop to the French Threatening, and both Sides made Complaint to their Masters. The two Kings ordered their respective Governors to be assisting to each other, in making the Peace effectual to both Nations, and to leave the Disputes, as to the Dependency of the Indian Nations, to be determined by Commissioners, to be appointed pursuant to the Treaty of Reswick.
It is exceedingly impolitick, when weaker Potentates, ingaged in a Confederacy against one powerful Prince, leave any Points to be determined after the Conclusion of a Peace; for if they cannot obtain a Concession, while the Confederacy stands and their Force is united, how can a weaker Prince hope to obtain it, when he is left alone to himself, after the Confederacy is dissolved? The French have so often found the Benefit of this Piece of Imprudence, that in all their Treaties they use all the Cajoling, and every Artifice in their Power, to obtain this Advantage, and they seldom miss it.
About the Time of the Conclusion of the Peace at Reswick, the noted Therouet died at Montreal. The French gave him Christian Burial in a pompous Manner, the Priest, that attended him at his Death, having declared that he died a true Christian; for, said the Priest, while I explained to him the Passion of our Saviour, whom the Jews crucified, he cried out; "Oh! had I been there, I would have revenged his Death, and brought away their Scalps."
Soon after the Peace was known at Montreal, three considerable Men of the Praying Indians came to Albany; they had fine laced Coats given them, and were invited to return to their own Country. They answered, that they were young Men, and had not Skill to make a suitable Answer, and had not their ancient Men to consult with; but promised to communicate the Proposals to their old Men, and would bring back an Answer in the Fall. I find nothing more of this in the Register of Indian Affairs, though it might have been of great Consequence had it been pursued to Purpose; but such Matters, where there is not an immediate private Profit, are seldom pursued by the English with that Care and Assiduity, with which they are by the French.
While Captain Schuyler was in Canada, he entered into some indiscreet Discourse with Monsieur Maricour, for whom the Five Nations had a particular Esteem, and call Stowtowisse. Captain Schuyler, in asserting the Dependency of the Five Nations on New-York, said, that those Nations were their Slaves. Mr.Maricour told this Discourse to an Onondaga, with all the Aggravations he could, and added, that it was intirely owing to the English that the Peace was not absolutely concluded, and that Captain Schuyler prevented their Prisoners being restored, because he would have them sent to Albany, as being Slaves to theEnglish. That the French had no Dispute with the English, but for the Independency of the Five Nations. This indiscreet Conduct of Captain Schuyler was so much resented by the Five Nations, that a Deputation of the most considerable Sachems was sent to Albany in June 1699, to complain of it; and they sent at the same Time Deputies to Canada to conclude the Peace, independently of the English. These Deputies that came to Albany were so far convinced that the French had abused them, and how much more it was for their Security to be included in the general Peace with the English, than to have only the French Faith for their Security, that they immediately dispatched a Messenger after their Deputies that were gone to Canada. Though this Messenger reached them too late to stop their Proceeding, it convinced the Deputies so far of its being for their Interest to be joined with the English in the Peace, as they had been in the War, that they insisted that the Exchange of Prisoners be made at Albany. At the same Time the Messenger was sent after their Deputies to Canada, Colonel Peter Schuyler was sent with others to Onondaga, to remove the Prejudices they had received there.
The Count de Frontenac died while these Disputes continued. Monsieur de Callieres, who succeeded him, put an End to them, by agreeing to send to Onondaga to regulate the Exchange of Prisoners there; for which Purpose Monsieur Maricour, Ioncaire, and the Jesuit Bruyas, were sent.
When the French Commissioners were come within less than a Mile of Onondaga Castle, they put themselves in Order and marched with the French Colours carried before them, and with as much Show as they could make. Decanesora met them without the Gate, and complimented them with three Strings of Wampum. By the first he wiped away their Tears for the French that had been slain in the War. By the second he opened their Mouths, that they might speak freely; that is, promised them Freedom of Speech. By the third he cleaned the Matt, on which they were to sit, from the Blood that had been spilt on both Sides: The Compliment was returned by the Jesuit, then they entered the Fort, and were saluted with a general Discharge of all the fire Arms. They were carried to the best Cabin in the Fort, and there entertained with a Feast. The Deputies of the several Nations not being all arrived, the Jesuit, and MonsieurMaricour, passed the Time in visiting and conversing with the French Prisoners. The General Council being at last met, the Jesuit made the following Speech, which I take from the Relation the Five Nations afterwards made of it to the Earl of Bellamont.
"1. I am glad to see the Five Nations, and that some of them went to Canada, notwithstanding Corlear forbid them: I am sorry for the Loss of your People killed by the remote Indians; I condole their Death, and wipe away the Blood by this Belt.
"2. The War Kettle boiled so long, that it would have scalded all the Five Nations had it continued; but now it is overset, and turned upside down, and a firm Peace made.
"3. I now plant the Tree of Peace and Welfare at Onondaga.
"4. Keep fast the Chain you have made with Corlear, for now we have one Heart and one Interest with them; but why is Corlear against your corresponding with us, ought we not to converse together when we are at Peace and in Friendship?
"5. Deliver up the French Prisoners you have, and we shall deliver not only those of your Nation we have, but all those likewise taken by any of our Allies; and gave a Belt.
"6. I offer myself to you to live with you at Onondaga, to instruct you in the Christian Religion, and to drive away all Sickness, Plagues and Diseases out of your Country, and gave a third Belt.
"7. This last Belt, he said, is from the Rondaxe, or French Indians, to desire Restitution of the Prisoners taken from them."
The Jesuit in the Conclusion said; "Why does not Corlear tell you what passes between the Governor of Canada and him? He keeps you in the Dark, while the Governor of Canada conceals nothing from his Children. Nor does the Governor of Canada claim your Land, as Corlear does."
The General Council immediately rejected the Belt by which the Jesuit offered to stay with them, saying, We have already accepted Corlear's Belt, by which he offers us Pastors to instruct us. Decanesora added, The Jesuits have always deceived us, for while they preached Peace, the French came and knocked us on the Head. To this the Jesuit replied, that if he had known that Corlear intended to send them Pastors, he would not have offered this Belt.
It is to be observed that the Indian Council refused to hear the French, or to give them an Answer, but in Presence of the Commissioners from Albany.
The French Commissioners having assured the Peace with the Five Nations, the Inhabitants of Canada esteemed it the greatest Blessing that could be procured for them from Heaven; for nothing could be more terrible than this last War with the Five Nations. While this War lasted, the Inhabitants eat their Bread in continual Fear and Trembling. No Man was sure, when out of his House, of ever returning to it again. While they laboured in the Fields, they were under perpetual Apprehensions of being killed or seized, and carried to the Indian Country, there to end their Days in cruel Torments. They many Times were forced to neglect both their Seed Time and Harvest. The Landlord often saw all his Land plundered, his Houses burnt, and the whole Country ruined, while they thought their Persons not safe in their Fortifications. In short, all Trade and Business was often at an intire Stand, while Fear, Despair, and Misery appeared in the Faces of the poor Inhabitants.
The French Commissioners carried several of the principal Sachems of the Five Nations back with them, who were received at Montreal with great Joy. They were saluted by a Discharge of all the great Guns round the Place, as they entered. The French Allies took this amiss, and asked if their Governor was entering. They were told, that it was a Compliment paid to the Five Nations, whose Sachems were then entering the Town. We perceive, they replied, that Fear makes the French shew more Respect to their Enemies, than Love can make them do to their Friends.
Monsieur de Callieres assembled all the French Allies, (who were then very numerous at Montreal) to make the Exchange of Prisoners, and they delivered the Prisoners they had taken, though the Five Nations had sent none to be exchanged for them. Thus we see a brave People struggle with every Difficulty, till they can get out of it with Honour; and such People always gain Respect, even from their most inveterate Enemies.
I shall finish this Part by observing, that notwithstanding the French Commissioners took all the Pains possible to carry Home the French, that were Prisoners with the Five Nations, and they had full Liberty from the Indians, few of them could be persuaded to return. It may be thought that this was occasioned from the Hardships they had endured in their own Country, under a tyrannical Government and a barren Soil: But this certainly was not the only Reason; for the English had as much Difficulty to persuade the People, that had been taken Prisoners by the French Indians, to leave the Indian Manner of living, though no People enjoy more Liberty, and live in greater Plenty, than the common Inhabitants of New-York do. No Arguments, no Intreaties, nor Tears of their Friends and Relations, could persuade many of them to leave their new Indian Friends and Acquaintance; several of them that were by the Caressings of their Relations persuaded to come Home, in a little Time grew tired of our Manner of living, and run away again to the Indians, and ended their Days with them. On the other Hand, Indian Children have been carefully educated among the English, cloathed and taught, yet, I think, there is not one Instance, that any of these, after they had Liberty to go among their own People, and were come to Age, would remain with the English, but returned to their own Nations, and became as fond of the Indian Manner of Life as those that knew nothing of a civilized Manner of living. What I now tell of Christian Prisoners among Indians, relates not only to what happened at the Conclusion of this War, but has been found true on many other Occasions.
The End of the Second Part.
 This will appear by several Instances in the Second Part of this History.
 Wampum is the Current Money among the Indians: It is of two Sorts, White and Purple; the White is worked out of the Inside of the great Conques into the Form of a Bead, and perforated, to string on Leather; the Purple is worked out of the Inside of the Muscle Shell; they are wove as broad as one's Hand, and about two Feet long; these they call Belts, and give and receive at their Treaties as the Seals of Friendship; for lesser Matters a single String is given. Every Bead is of a known Value, and a Belt of a less Number, is made to equal one of a greater, by so many as is wanting fastened to the Belt by a String.
 It is still a Custom among the Indians, to expiate Murder by Presents to the Relations of the Person killed.
 They are called Shaouonons, by the French, and live now on one of the Banks of the Misissipi.
 It is a Custom among the Indian Prisoners of War, when led to Death, to sing an Account of their own Exploits; and this they are hardy enough to continue even in the midst of Tortures.
 The French call this Town Corlear, from the Persons Name who first settled there. It is situate on the Mohawks River sixteen Miles from Albany.
 The Indians living on the Branches of Hudson's River, within or near the English Settlements at that Time.
 The Word Proposition has been always used by the Commissioners for Indian Affairs at Al bany, to signify Proposals or Articles in the Treaties or Agreements made with the Indians.
 A Castle of the Sennekas, from whence the French call the Sennekas Tonontouan.
 Comprehended under the general Name of Utawawas.
 All Indians make Use of a Hatchet or Axe, as an Emblem to express War.
 The Name the Five Nations always give the Governor of Virginia.
 The Five Nations always express Peace by the Metaphor of a Tree.
 The French Priests had, from Time to Time, persuaded several of the Five Nations to leave their own Country, and to settle near Montreal; where the French are very industrious in encouraging them. Their Numbers have been likewise increased by the Prisoners the French have taken in War, and by others that have run from their own Country; because of some Mischief that they had done, or Debts which they owed the Christians. These Indians are all profess'd Papists, and for that Reason are commonly called the praying Indians by their Countrymen, and they are called Cahnuagas by the People of Albany, from the Place where they live; the French value them on Account of the Intelligence they give in Time of War, and their Knowledge of the Countries.
 The Mohawks Country is situated between the other Nations and Albany.
 Ronoon signifies Nation or People, in the Language of the Five Nations; they say Tuihtuih-ronoons, Chichighik-ronoon, Deonondadik-ronoon, &c.
 That is, the Partridge.
 Pointing to the Jesuite.
 The Indians commonly gave a new Name to any Person they receive or adapt into their Nation. This is the Jesuites Indian Name, the Interpretation whereof I know not.
 Voyages du Baron de la Hontan, Tome 1. Letter 7.
 The Calumet is a large smoaking Pipe made of Marble, most commonly of a dark red, well polished, shaped somewhat in the Form of a Hatchet, and adorned with large Feathers of several Colours. It is used in all the Indian Treaties with Strangers, and as a Flag of Truce between contending Parties, which all the Indians think a very high Crime to violate. These Calumets are generally of nice Workmanship, and were in Use before the Indians knew any Thing of the Christians; for which Reason we are at a Loss to conceive by what Means they pierced these Pipes, and shaped them so finely, before they had the Use of Iron.
 Called Sawanons by the French.
 Called Illinois by the French.
 History de le Amerique Septentrionale, par Mr. de la Poterie, Tome ii. Cap. 16.
 In the Straights between Lake Erie and Quatoghie Lake.
 Called by the People of New-England Panocok Indians.
 Thurensera signifies the Dawning of the Day, and was the Name given by the Indians to the Jesuit Lamberville, who had formerly resided at Onondaga.
 Monsr. le Morne, the Word signifies a Partridge.
 Ertel signifies a Rose, the Name of some other French Gentleman, for whom the Indians had an Esteem.
 The Indians always paint their Faces when they go to War, to make themselves look more terrible to the Enemy. A Soldier in the Indian Language is expressed by a Word, which signifies a Fair-fighter.
 The Indians in this Manner distinguish the Seasons of the Year, as the Time of planting Corn, or when it is ripe, when the Chesnuts blossom, &c.
 Peter Schyler, Mayor of Albany.
 This was spoke to the English, who were about removing from Albany.
 The Bullheads are said to be cowardly People.
 When the Affair of which they speak concerns the Government of New-York, the Indians always address themselves to the Governor, whether he be present or not.
 This, in the Indian Idiom, signifies a trifling Excuse of an unwilling Person.
 The French call it la Famine, near Oswego. The Treaty with Mr. de la Bar was made there.