PHILANDELPHIA: Printed and Sold by B. FRANKLIN, and D. HALL, at the New-Printing-Office, near the Market. MDCCLIII.

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To the Honourable JAMES HAMILTON, Esq Lieutenant-Governor, and Commander in Chief, of the Province of Pennsylvania, and Counties of New-Castle, Kent and Sussex, upon Delaware, The REPORT of RICHARD PETERS, ISAAC NORRIS, and BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Esquires, Commissioners appointed to treat with some Chiefs of the Ohio Indians, at Carlisle, in the County of Cumberland, by a Commission, bearing Date the 22d Day of September, 1753.

May it please the GOVERNOR.

NOT knowing but the Indians might be waiting at Carlisle, we made all the Dispatch possible, as soon as we had received our Commission, and arrived there on the Twenty-sixth, but were agreeably surprized to find that they came there only that Day.

IMMEDIATELY on our Arrival we conferred with Andrew Montour, and George Croghan, in order to know from them what had occasioned the present coming of the Indians, that we might, by their Intelligence, regulate our first Intercourse with them; and were informed, that tho' their principal Design, when they left Ohio, was to hold a Treaty with the Government of Virginia, at Winchester, where they had accordingly been; yet they intended a visit to this Province, to which they had been frequently encouraged by Andrew Montour, who told them, he had the Governor's repeated Orders to invite them to come and see him, and assured them of an hearty Welcome; and that they had moreover some important Matters to propose and transact with this Government.

THE Commissioners finding this to be the Case, and that these Indians were some of the most considerable Persons of the Six Nations, Delawares, Shawonese, with Deputies from the Twightwees, and Owendats, met them in Council, in which the Commissioners declared the Contents of their Commission, acknowledged the Governor's Invitation, and bid them heartily welcome among their Brethren of Pennsylvania, to whom their Visit was extremely agreeable. — Conrad Weiser and Andrew Montour interpreting between the Commissioners and Indians and several Magistrates, and others, of the principal Inhabitants of the County, favouring them with their Presence.

THE Twightwees and Delawares having had several of their great Men cut off by the French and their Indians, and all the Chiefs of the Owendats being lately dead, it became necessary to condole their Loss; and no Business could be begun, agreeable to the Indian Customs, till the Condolances were passed; and as these could not be made, with the usual Ceremonies, for want of the Goods, which were not arrived, and it was uncertain when they would, the Commissioners were put to some Difficulties, and ordered the Interpreters to apply to Scarrowyady, an Oneido Chief, who had the Conduct of the Treaty in Virginia, and was a Person of great Weight in their Councils, and to ask his Opinion, whether the Condolances would be accepted by Belts and Strings, and Lists of the particular Goods intended to be given, with Assurances of their Delivery as soon as they should come. Scarrowyady was pleased with their Application; but frankly declared, that the Indians could not proceed to Business while the Blood remained on their Garments, and that the Condolances could not be accepted unless the Goods, intended to cover the Graves, were actually spread on the Ground before them. A Messenger was therefore forthwith sent to meet and hasten the Waggoners, since every Thing must stop till the Goods came.

It was then agreed to confer with Scarrowyady, and some others of the Chiefs of the Shawonese and Delawares, on the State of Affairs at Ohio, and from them the Commissioners learned, in sundry Conferences, the following Particulars, viz.

"THAT when the Governor of Pennsylvania's Express arrived at Ohio, with the Account of the March of a large French Army to the Heads of Ohio, with Intent to take Possession of that Country, it alarmed the Indians so much, that the Delawares, at Weningo, an Indian Town, situate high up on Ohio River, went, agreeable to a Custom established among the Indians, and forbad, by a formal Notice, the Commander of that Armament, then advanced to the Straits, between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, to continue his March, at least not to presume to come farther than Niagara. This had [Page 4]not however any Effect, but, notwithstanding this No [...] the French continued their March; which, being afterwards taken into Consideration by the Council, at L [...]gs-Town, they ordered some of their principal Indians to give the French a second Notice to leave their Country, and return Home, who meeting them on a River running into Lake Erie, a little above Weningo, addressed the Commander in these Words:

The second Notice delivered to the Commander of the French Army, then near Weningo.

Father Onontio.

Your Children on Ohio are alarmed to hear of your coming so far this Way. We at first heard you came to destroy us; our Women left off planting, and our Warriors prepared for War. We have since heard you came to visit Us as Friends, without Design to hurt us; but then we wondered you came with so strong a Body. If you have had any Cause of Complaint, you might have spoke to Onas, or Corlaer (meaning the Governors of Pennsylvania, and New-York) and not come to disturb us here. We have a Fire at L [...]gs-Town, where are the Delawares, and Shawonese, and Brother Onas; you might have sent Deputies there, and said openly what you came about, if you had thought amiss of the English being there; and we invite you to do it now, before you proceed any further.

The French Officer's Answer.


I FIND you come to give me an Invitation to your Council Fire, with a Design, as I suppose, to call me to Account for coming here. I must let you know that my Heart is good to you; I mean no Hurt to you; I am come by the great King's Command, to do you, my Children, Good. You seem to think I carry my Hatchet under my Coat; I always carry it openly, not to strike you, but those that shall oppose me. I cannot come to your Council Fire, nor can I return, or stay here; I am so heavy a Body that the Stream will carry me down, and down I shall go, unless you pull off my Arm: But this I will tell you, I am commanded to build four strong Houses, viz. at Weningo, Mo­hongialo Forks, L [...]gs-Town, and Beaver Creek, and this I will do. As to what concerns Onas, and Assaragoa (meaning the Governors of Pennsylvania and Virginia) I have spoke to the [...] and let them know they must go off the Land, and I shall speak to them again; if they will not hear me, it is their Fault, I will take them by the Arm, and throw them over the Hills. All the Land and Waters on this Side Allegheny Hills are mine, on the other Side theirs; this is agreed on between the two Crowns over the great Waters. I do not like your selling your Lands to the English; they shall draw you into no more foolish Bargains. I will take care of your Lands for you, and of you. The English give you no Goods but for Land, we give you our Goods for nothing."

WE were further told by Scarrooyady, that when the Answer to this Message was brought to Logs-Town, another Council was held, consisting of the Six Nations, Delawares, and Shawonese, who unanimously agreed to divide themselves into Two Parties, One to go to Virginia, and Pennsylvania, with Scarrooyady, and the other to go with the Half King to the French Commander, who had it in Charge to make the following Declaration, as their third and last Notice.

The Third Notice, delivered by the Half King to the Commander of the French Forces.


You say you cannot come to our Council Fire at Logs-Town, we therefore now come to you, to know what is in your Heart. You remember when you were tired with the War (meaning Queen Anne's War) you of your own Accord sent for us, desiring to make Peace with us; when we came, you said to us, Children, we make a Council Fire for You; we want to talk with you, but we must first eat all with one Spoon out of this Silver Bowl, and all drink out of this Silver Cup; let us exchange Hatchets; let us bury our Hatchets in this bottomless Hole; and now we will make a plain Road to all your Countries, so clear, that Onontio may sit here and see you all eat and drink out of the Bowl and Cup, which he has provided for you. Upon this Application of yours we consented to make Peace; and when the Peace was concluded on both Sides, you made a solemn Declaration, saying, Whoever shall hereafter transgress this Peace, let the Transgressor be chastised with a Rod, even tho' it be I, your Father.

Now, Father, notwithstanding this solemn Declaration of yours, you have whipped several of your Children; you know best why. Of late You have chastised the Twightwees very severely, without telling us the Reason; and now you are come with a strong Band on our Land, and have, contrary to your Engagement, taken up the Hatchet without any previous Parley. These Things are a Breach of the Peace; they are contrary to your own Declarations: Therefore, now I come to forbid you. I will strike over all this Land with my Rod, let it hurt who it will. I tell you, in plain Words, you must go off this Land. You say you have a strong Body, a strong Neck, and a strong Voice, that when you speak all the Indians must hear you. It is true, You are a strong Body, and ours is but weak, yet we are not afraid of You. We forbid you to come any further; turn back to the Place from whence you came.

SCARROOYADY, who was the Speaker in these Conferences, when he had finished this Relation, gave his Reason for setting forth these three Messages to the French in so distinct a manner; because, said he, the Great Being who lives above, has ordered us to send three Messages of Peace before we make War: — And as the Half King has, before this Time, delivered the third and last Message, we have nothing now to do but to strike the French.

[Page 5]THE Commissioners were likewise informed, by Mr. Croghan, that the Ohio Indians had received from the Virginia Government at large Number of Arms in the Spring, and that at their pressing Instances a suitable Quantity of Ammunition was ordered in the Treaty at Winchester to be lodged for them, in a Place of Security, on this Side the Ohio, which was committed to the Care of three Persons, viz. Guest, William Trent, and Andrew Montour, who were impowered to distribute them to the Indians as their Occasions and Behaviour should require. That all the Tribes settled at or near Allegheny would, take their Measures from the Encouragement which the [...]e Indians should find in the Province of Virginia; and that the kind Intentions of this Government in the Appropriation of a large Sum of Money for the Use of these Indians, in case they should be distressed by their Enemies, and their Hunting and Planting prevented, were well known to them by the repeated Informations of Andrew Montour and the Traders.

CONRAD WEISER, to whom it was earnestly recommended by the Commissioners, to procure all the Information possible from the Indians of his Acquaintance, touching their Condition and Disposition, and the real Designs of the French, did likewise acquaint us, that all Persons at Ohio would have their Eyes on the Reception of those Indians, now at Carlisle, and judge of the Affection of this Province by their Treatment of them: and that as the intended Present was no Secret to those Indians, it was his Opinion, that the Whole should, at this Time, be distributed; for if any Thing can, such a generous Donation must needs attach the Indians entirely to the English.

THESE several Matters being taken into Consideration by the Commissioners, and the Governor having given them express Directions to accommodate themselves to the Circumstances of the Indians, as they should appear in examining them at the Place of Treaty, we were unanimously of Opinion, that an Addition should be made to the Goods bought at Philadelphia, in which a Regard should be had to such Articles as were omitted or supplied in less Quantities than was suitable to the present Wants of the Indians. On this Resolution the Lists of Goods were examined, and an additional Quantity bought of John Carson, at the Philadelphia Price, and usual Rate of Carriage.

DURING these Consultations, it was rumoured that the Half King was returned to Logs-Town, and had received an unsatisfactory Answer, which was confirmed, but not in such Manner as could be positively relied on, by a Brother of Andrew Montour, and another Person who came directly from Allegheny. This alarmed the Commissioners, and made them willing postpone Business till they should know the Certainty thereof, judging, that if the Half King was returned, he would certainly send a Messenger Express to Carlisle with an Account of what was done by him; and from this the Commissioners might take their Measures in the Distribution of the Present.

A LETTER, wrote by Taaf, and Callender, two Indian Traders, dated the twenty-eight Day of September, from a Place situate a little on this Side Allegheny River, directed to William Buchannan, was given him in the Morning of the first Day of October, and he immediately laid it before the Commissioners for their Perusal. In this Letter an Account is given, that the Half King was returned, and had been received in a very contemptuous Manner by the French Commander, who was then preparing with his Forces to come down the River; and that the Half King, on his Return, shed Tears, and had actually warned the English Traders not to pass the Ohio, nor to venture either their Persons or their Goods, for the French would certainly hurt them. On this News the Conferences with Scarrooyady, and the Chiefs of the Six Nations, Delawares, and Shawonest, were renewed, and the Letter read to them, at which they appeared greatly alarmed; but, after a short Pause, Scarrooyady, addressing himself to the Delawares and Shawonese, spoke in these Words:

Brethren and Cousins,

I LOOK on this Letter as if it had been a Message from the Half King himself: We may expect no other Account of the Result of his Journey. However, I advise you to be still, and neither say nor do any Thing till we get Home, and I see my Friend and Brother the Half King, and then we shall know what is to be done.

THE Forms of the Condolances, which depend entirely on Indian Customs, were settled in Conferences with Scarrooyady; and Cayanguileguoa, a sensible Indian, of the Mohock Nation, and a Person intimate with and much consulted by Scarrooyady, in which it was agreed to take the Six Nations along with us in these Condolances; and accordingly the proper Belts and Strings were made ready, and Scarrooyady prepared himself to express the Sentiments of both in the Indian Manner. And as the Goods arrived this Morning before Break of Day, the several Sorts used on those Occasions were laid out; and the Indians were told that the Commissioners would speak to them at Eleven a Clock.

November 1, 1753.

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