John Johnston ALS to [Guy Johnson?], April 1, 1779; "Connatasage"

Rebel alliances with Indians. Exchange of prisoners of war--Onandagos, Mohawks, and Oneidas with the Senecas, Cayugas and Rebels. Discussions between General Clinton and Captain Butler on the prisoners and the movements of Rebels near Albany. Mentions the influence of the French on the Indians to ally with the Americans. Docket: "Coppys of Letters Indian Dept: No: 36." IEGOR Lot 690.

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Cunnutarage April 1st 1779 {struck} April 1st 1779 Dear Sir,

I Received Your Letter as Well as those directed to Gen Clinton In Answer to which By Aron who was returning to Niagiara I mentioned in a few words the Sentiment, of the Chiefs and warriors as at that time I had not Leasure to Mention the Oppinion and Determination of the Indians By reasons the next Morning after the Result of there Council the night Before. / Aron returned: the Indians for the most part being in Liqour.

The same day as your messages arrived a Belt in the name of the french arrived the purport of which I In Close Wherein you will discover the Policy of the Rebels in Endeavouring to Insinuate themselves into favour of the Indians which makes the point we are Upon for Goverment the more difficulate to Conpute first I mentioned to them of the Sinicer desire you had of exchanging prisoners with them as Likewise in particular your most Intrusting Inclination of seing your family once More whom you had so Long parted with in order to support Goverment and Oblidge them the six nations and that provided: Mr Campbell should insist or Request that Some who are amongest the Indians should be giving up in Exchange for those you Nominated in Espesal Manner your family: that you hope that they would assist you therein if agreeable to them / at the same time I Explaind Capt Butlers Letter to them Directed to General Clinton to Let them know that neither you nor Capt. Butler spoke positively that it should be done with regard of the prisoner being Given up Only that he would use his Influence to have it Brought about for the sake of Your family if it was Agreeable to the Chiefs. {line of dashes}

On which a Councill was Calld of the Cayugas and Sinakes and your Messingirs the Mohawk Onandago & Onidias which represented the six nations first they asked who sent this purposal to the rebels to exchange prisoners with them it was Immedately Answerd by one and All of them that none of them knowed or were made privey to it untill the answer Came from General Clinton to Capt Butlers Letter on which they asked myself if Capt. Butler had showed me or Aqquainted me that he purposed to the Rebels to exchange prisoners with them I told them Positively Not or Indeed Sir if I had been made privey to it I would not have told them at that Most Critical Juncture for in Consequence of which they would Immedately have put Every prisoner to death: which would further have added to a Scene of Blood / Secondly say they your promise Was that such prisoners as we Took was oure own Accordingly to our rules and Customes / as we are a people which know not of Exchanging and pray if we deliver our prisoner up Who Will be Able to deliver us Living souls for our dead which lost there Lives at fort Stanwix against the Rebels / in the next place Consider the french Message which says there is Only a few Fools Belonging to the king of Britian left to decieve and never preform what they Solomily pretended to us Brother and this your request Unforethought is not Suitable For Reasons &c. &c.

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some people Might Immagine what was said Before to them was Truth By the french: and we on our Part the Chiefs of the six nations think it highly Nessarary not to know any thing of the Exchange made By Capt. Butler and we would be glad that Col. Butler Would settle the Affair with any thing agreed to/But so contrary to the rules of us that we Cannot approve of it But Endeavour to follow Every thing promised by us on the List who are recorded friends to Goverment by those who will prove it therefor rest satisfied that we do not Want to speak to them on no other Terms than Bringing them to a due thought of paying a Respect to them they have offended

Likewise Continued they if that we should Condecend to deliver any one single one of there ones up they would Immagine that we was not able to withstand them which is all they want our Complyance

for in the Constant Status of Schyler threatens to put Both Men Women and Children to the sword to pay us in our own Coins; and if he should attempt any thing of the kind we have it in our powr to do the same {a long line}

I have told them as I Mentioned Before that it was not your Request that it should positively take place But only to ask there oppinions -

I have done my Endeavor as

You Requested -

I am Sir Yr. Most Ob. Hbl.

[Servt. John Johnston -

I further aqquaint you that there is Differant Partys, a Going and gone out to war and Impossable to stop them / no {struck} some time ago there was {struck} the person arrived Who was in Albany Karyhaugees son of Kunnussadago. Old printups Bread Who Informs that he see three Differant divisions of Rebels passing through Albany designd as Schyler said towards Canada/which Makes Agreable to the Generals Information from York/Which Makes Every Matter Appear More plainly they are Using there utmost Craft: to Turn the harts of the Indians and on our part I hope As I hitherto Mentioned that nothing will be amiss on our parts Who are {struck} to Confute their Intentions: Provisions I have hitherto Mentiond Without repetions Would be a Means of InCouraging them as they are in Great distress most of the Men kind will be soon gone from this Villiage so as it will Make there Women and Children Most Missarable Without to some Timely Assistance/The rebel Onidias and some Onandagos are Constantly Imployed at Cayuga with Messages Backwards & forwards from Conawarohan in Order to Change there Minds I never during my tarry hear Was put to such a pinch as this present for to Get two People to Accompany the Generals Express for if I had Offerd 50 dollars a Peice not one would Listen they being all designd for War Untill I got the Bearer to Oblidge me Whome I promised should be rewarded by you with 15 dollars and received every Mark of kindness from you for his Complyance as the river and Creeks are Most Terable high {line of dashes} and the Message of the Most Serious Attention to forward you will find by the french speech to the Indians that it aggrees with what the General Mentions in regard of the perfidity of the Canadians

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Your Letter to me Dated March: 16. mentioning to me that Provided any of those friends to Goverment I aqquainted you in My Last of should Come this way that I would Encourage them from you by telling them they should draw pay from the 24 of Oct. last at the Rate of 2 / pr. Day all which I will do by giving them all the Encouragement and Assistance in my Power / the Arrival of the Generals Express from York assisted me a Great deal by Confirming what I had all along Laid Before them as Truth. / I have Explained to the Chiefs the Coppys and Speeches of those Letters you sent Me from Detroit I could by no Means fetch the provisions you aqquainted Me was at Gerondaquat By reasons of a deep snow which fell and rivers and Creeks Most Excessive high: so as was it not for my Landlady I Could not be able to Get any Corn provisions Amongst them Either for Myself of any other travelers as Likewise any few things you send Me it waste like wax Before the fire: they will not on the Least trifling Occasion speake under a pair of stockings or a shirt it is Black times hear so as I am almost sick of it / I Return you thanks for aqquainting me of the provisions at Gerondadquat I am when Oppertuinity May serve afraid to fetch it as there is so many familys hear with there mouths open I am Sir with my Compliments to Col. Bolton and the Rest of the Gentm.

Sir your Most Obt. Humbl.

Servt. John Johnston

Capt Indian Dept.

P.S. I think that it would be highly necessary for you to be aqquainted as speedily as possible if the seven nations were in the rebel interest or not Yrs. J Johnston

I was oblidgd to kill two cows for the treaty held hear the other day as My Orders to you will Specify and another for My self and friends yesterday if the Bearer You Could prevail upon to send {struck} to Bring Me a Small Cage of Good stuff would be very Exceptable as the Little you sent me there Cheifs never Let Me Rest Whilst they were drye and I had to Give them

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Coppy of Letter Indian Dept: No. 36

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