J. Jeffers LS Copy to [Richard] Butler, August 16, 1791; Fort Franklin

Jeffers, Lieut. in the 1st US Regiment, reports on visits to Cornplanter and New Arrow. Includes quoted statement from Corn Planter, expressing his dissatisfaction with the Treaty of Painted Post. The Allaghany Indians state they were paid too little for the land they sold to the United States. Request for meat to be sent to the Garrison. IEGOR Lot 734.

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Copy Fort Franklin 16th August 1791.


Having found that Mr. Mead, who was taken from this Place, was taken only 20 Miles, where it is supposed that he attacked the Indians with a knife - he and one Capt. Bullet was found dead together, we having taken a Delaware, who I supposed had a hand in it, I stopped to examine into the Matter which detained me till the 4th Instant, finding nothing could be proved against him, I set him free and started for the Corn= =Planters Town at 11, oClock A.M. The Indians having stolen the Horses from about the Garrison, I was obliged to go by water which was very disagreeable as the water was very low - all the Indians on the Alleghany followed one to a man.

I arrived at the Corn planter's Town on the 9th [insl.?] made known some part of my business to the Corn planter - The 10th. The Cornplanter takes one Horse & gives me another, turns out his warriors and we proceed on to New Arrow's Town where I read your speech to them, which they received with great satisfaction - I then made a Speech myself which they likewise received with pleasure. I left the Council House to themselves for a while, there was 10 Chiefs and about 100 warriors present - I was soon sent for when the Corn planter arose and said

" I have now authority from those Chiefs to tell you " the determination of the 6 Nations.

" Gov[r.?] StClair the the Great Warrior of the United States on " the western waters, sent us a speech by [Cyachoota?] at the " time that General [Harmes?] marched against the bad Indians " He then told us that the bad Indians, still continued to kill " his women & Children and that he was going to whip them, " that he was not going to hurt the 6 Nations, that the 6 - " Nations must set down & keep their minds easy, & keep " fast hold of the Chain of Friendship; this his first speech we have

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" have hearkened to & shall till the day of our death.

" You seem to be afraid, you seem to think it will overset " and that we shall do something wrong, but that cannot be; " keep your mind easy. immediately when our [express?] arrives " You shall hear all the News, we are well acquainted with " each other, I beg of you to keep fast hold of the Chain of friend= " =ship as we shall also. If the bad Indians are for peace " we shall rise up and assist in making peace. When you " hear we are gone to the Council, keep your mind easy, we " shall do all we can to bring about a peace - We feel for " you & we feel for the Indians, that are against you, for fear " of the Bloody consequences, we hope the Governor will not " think hard we took hold of his first speech and we shall " continue to obey his first orders, which was to set down and " keep fast hold of the Chain of friendship."

I find that the Speeches of the six nations, are rules by the Buffaloe Creek Indians, & they are ruled by the British - for the Corn Planter and several others, has convinced me that they are willing to rise up and join our Army

The Treaty of the Painted post does not seem to give such general satisfaction to the Indians on the Alleghany River as I could wish - It seems by their story that they did not receive Goods in proportion to other Indians in consequence of their having received a considerable quantity at Philadelphia last winter, one half of which was plundered from them by the Militia when ascending the Alleghany river

The Corn planter says

"The Chief of the goods was given to the Queogas, Onon= " dogo's & Oneidas: As the Seneca's was going to receive " money from Phelps for their lands, I do not blame the " Great Men for this, I blame Phelps entirely for telling that

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" that I had a great quantity of Goods for the Indians on the " Alleghany waters - true I had goods and meant to have " divided them, but the Militia stole a great part of them " and took all my Cañoes when on their way up the River. " they likewise stole the Deed for my lands at Muskingum " and several papers of great value.

" For 217 Indians we received only 17 Dollars from " Phelps. I am told that Phelps declared in public that " he paid me a large sum of money in Philadelphia last " winter, and that I had not divided it, I declare that " Phelps is a liar, for I never received one copper from him.

Such stories makes the Corn planter very unpopular and is a great damage to the United States, as he is an undoubted friend.

What Brandts business was to the West, I cannot find out, there is a large number of the Western Chiefs, come with him & are gone with him to Montreal to hold a Council with the British, where I understand the Oneidas are invited. Whether these Western Chiefs are for Peace or war, I cannot find out, the Corn Planter thinks they are for Peace, when they return to Buffaloe Creek, the cornplanter intends to wait on them - As soon as he returns, he says he will let me know what news - What I can find out you shall know soon after.

I recommended it very strongly to the Indians to hearken to the Governors last speech, but it seems it has been determined at Buffaloe Creek not to join our Army. yet I think that some will come, for the Cornplanter told me that I might look out for him

The Cornplanter tells me there is no reinforcement come to Niagara & that there has been no late repairs at the Fort, only where the lightning struck it, they have built it up as it was before.

Stiff Knee tells me that [Butler?] the British Indian Agent, told the bad Indians, that he wished they would make peace

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Peace, but if they were determined for war & were like to be beat, that he had 1000 Militia, that he was ready to help them with. - I am informed that 1600 chosen warriors were assembled and ready for war. - 800 at Detroit & 800 at the Miamis Towns, that in con = =sequence of a message from Fort Washington or some other place which I cannot get interpreted, they had dispersed & that they are to reassemble next moon. I should have proceeded on to Buffaloe Creek, but I found the Western Chiefs were gone to Montreal, and my time was so short, that I Could not go any further and give you an answer by the time you [set?].

I beg leave to say, that it is only flinging away public money to send Commissioners or any other person to - speak to the Indians at Buffaloe Creek while the English are in possession of Niagara - The Indians in former Councils have told me, that the Americans pretend to own Niagara - I tell them true enough. well say they, why don't you go and take it. I tell them that perhaps they will give it up by & bye - they say no, they never will give it up, and you are afraid to go and take it - And then the Black Rascals will walk about with all the pomposity in the world. I had rather wade up to my ancles in blood than to be so insulted.

You may depend on the friendship of the cornplanter People who are about 300 in number, but the Buffaloe Creek Indians are to be doubted.

I consider it absolutely necessary for their Garrison to be reinforced with 10 men, I have 440 feet exterior Sides to defend with 30 men, whereas according to the Principals of defence 100 is little enough.

I am sorry to see in your last letter to Mr. Bond that you propose relieving him, for the regularity and dignity with

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with which he conducted himself in my absence, convin= =ces me, that should we be engaged & I fale, that he is every way calculated to command.

I have this day sent off Stiff Knee after two Indians who belong to Buffaloe Creek, that have stolen two Horses from the Alleghany County. He is to bring the Horses and Indians if possible, and I am determined to give the Indians a severe flogging, for I have tried and found that to be a very good medicine for them.

Before you go down the River, I wish you would give me authority, to inlist these 6 months men for 3 years, for fear I shall be {a line crossed out} left again without men.

I have to request that you will order the Contractors to forward on, a large supply of meat for the use of this Garrison without loss of time as we have only about 100 [W?.] on hand [&] the Corporal and the 3 Indians, with an addition of 10 Soldiers will be a proper escort for a drove of Cattle. And as the bad Indians are about a less number will not do.

I would not wish you to give these Indians any thing, as I have agreed to pay them and if you give them ever so much I shall yet have to pay them.

God bless and prosper your plans and protect your person through the Campaign.

I have the Honor to be Dear General with sentiments of the highest Esteem Your most [obedient?] & very [Humble?] [Servant?] J Jeffers Lieut. 1st. U.S. Regt. Command. [?]

The [Honble?] Major General Richard Butler

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