Albany Commissioners of Indian Affairs Reports, June 1753 - May 1755

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Copies of correspondence, reports of meetings with Native American groups, and remarks on fort construction, prisoner exchange, rivalries with the French, religious evangelization, and diplomacy.

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of gartering and provisions for your Journey home -

Whereupon they expressed themselves well satisfied and promised they would take no revenge -

The Commissrs ordered Mr. Robert Wendal for bringing down the Indians, for his charges in providing for the Indians upon the Road, for his trouble in Burying the Indian, for five days attendance and serving as Interpreter - the sum of two pounds -

Ordered that a Letter be wrote to the Govr. to acquaint him with this affair, and also that eighty four french cannoos are past Oswego

Copy of the Letter to the Govr. -

May it please your honr.

We are told by persons come now from oswego that eighty four cannoos and battoes are past by oswego we suppose for ohio, which we thought proper to acquaint your honr. of - We also let your honr. know that a Scortico Indian was lately killed by some negroes of this City - three of the suspected negroes are in Goal, and with much difficulty and expense we have satisfied the Indians and sent them peaceably home -

At a meeting of the Commissioners of Indian affairs at the house of Robert Lotteridge May 20th: 1754

Present Myndert Scuyler Cornelius Cuyler Robert Sanders Sybrant van Schaik Peter Winne John Beeckman Jacob C. Ten Eike

Pursuant to a message sent last year to Kannossodaga, appeared before us an onondaga Indian and his wife who brought with them from the Indian Castle calld Kan= =nossadaga one William Powel

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an English Prisoner who was taken by the French about sixteen months ago to the back of Philadelphia, the Indian and his wife demanded a negro man in Exchange for ye said Powel . after a long debate the Commrs. agreed with the said Indian and his wife for {struck} to pay them Eight thousand black wampum for maintaining and bringing hither the said William Powel - Messrs. Robert Landers and Cornelius Cuyler have paid the Indians ye Eight thousand wampum - the Commrs. ordered Mr. Sanders to give the said Indian a blanket of Strouds and a Shirt, because he is a principal Indian belonging to ye Onondaga Castle.

Albany 15 June 1754 -

At a Meeting of the Commissrs. for Indian Affairs at Mr. Lutteridge's.

Prst. {all names below denominated by "Esqr." to the right} Col Myndt. Schuyler The Mayor Robt. Saunders] The Recordr. Sybrant van Schack Cornelius Cuyler Col. Marshal John Beekman John Rentzlaar Jacob Coenrt. Ten Eyck Peter Winnie

Peter Wraxall Secry.

His Honour the Lieut. Govr. having directed {illegible struck} Myndt. Schuyler to convene the Commissn. of Indian Affairs that they might consult together if they had any Matters in particular to recommend to His Honour {illegible struck} upon the approaching Congress with the Six Nations.

In consequence hereof, the Commissrs. are of Opinion, that His Honour should in the most earnest Manner exhort the 6 Nations who now live displeased & confused, to unite & dwell

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dwell together in their respective Castles, and that the Mohawk Nation should live in One Castle only.

That His honour apply to the Onondaga Indians in particular to direct & exhort them to live together in one Castle according to their Antient & prudent Customs & to cause all their Friends & Relations whereever dispersed to join them particularly those who have separated themselves & live at present at Sweegassie † {reference to footnote at bottom of this page} where the French have lately Fortified have a Garison & where there constantly reside a French Mis-sionary in order to draw them off from our Alliance. At this Sweegassie the French have lately made a Settlement of Indians belonging to the 6 Nations & more particularly of the Onondaga & Cayouge Nations.

That whereas the French have for a great while hath been endeavouring to prevail on the Sennecas to come & live at Irondequat in order to have them nearer to their Settlement the more easily to effect their Design of Debauch - -ing them from the British Interest, the Commissrs. are of Opinion that His Honour should insist on the Sennecas who at present live very remote from one Another, to make a General Castle near the Mouth of the Senneca River, where they have already began to build a New Castle. This point has been several times recommended to them by former Govrs. and whc. they have faith fully promised to do but have not hitherto effected.

The Commissrs. are of opinion that the most effectual Method to retain & secure the 6 Nations to the British Interest will be to build Two Forts, the One in the Onondaga the other in the Senaccas Country & that each of the said Forts be supplied with a proper Missionary -

They are further of Opinion that the carrying & selling Rum in the Castle of the 6 Nations is of the most pernicious Consequence is of the most pernicious Consequence to the public Interest of this Colony in particular & to the British Interests in general with respect to our Indian Connexions - The † Southside of the River St. Laurence to the Eastward of Fort Cadaragut {the preceding two lines are the footnote referenced above}

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The Commissrs. are also of Opinion, that no Frenchman should upon any pretense whatsoever be suffered to reside or trade amongst the 6 Nations, and that the sd. 6 Nations should be directed to send those French Men away who now Reside or Trade amongst them & to warn them not to return, These French Emissarys having always been of Fatal Consequence to the British Interest amongst the 6 Nations.

The Secretary is directed to give a Copy of these Minutes To His Honour the Lieut. Govr.

Peter Wraxall Secry & Agent for Indn. Affairs

{horizontal dividing line}

The Commission constituting Commissrs. for Indian Affairs having been omitted to be Recorded in its proper Place, it is here after done viz.

L.S. By His Excellency The Hon[?al]. George Clinton Captain General & Governour in Chief of the Province of New york & Territories thereon depending in America Vice Admiral of the same and Admiral of the White Squadron of His Majesties Fleet

To all to whom these presents shall come or may concern greeting

Whereas it is highly necessary for His Majesties Service & the Welfare & Interest of this Province, that the Affairs of the 6 Nations of Indians should be duly managed & transacted, I have therefore thought fit to constitute & appoint, and I do by & with the Advice of His Majesties Council, of this Province for the time being {struck} hereby constitute & appoint the Gentlemen of His Majesties Council of this Province for the time being; The Capt. Commandant or Commanding officer of His Majesties Forces posted at Albany for the time being; The Representatives in General Assembly for the City & County of Albany for the time being; The Representative in General Assembly for the Mannor of

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of Renselaerwyk for the time being; the Representative in general Assembly for the Township of Schonectady for the time being; The Representative for the Manor of Livingston for the time being. The Mayor & Recorder of the City of Albany for the time being; and Myndt. Schuyler, Cornelius Cuyler, Hendrik Bleeker, John Beekman, Peter Groenendyck, Johannis Lansingh the younger Jacob C. Ten Eyck Esqr. to be Commissrs. or Managers of the In-dian Affairs at Albany. Hereby giving & granting unto the said Commissrs. or Managers of the Indian Affairs {struck} any Three or more of them full Power & Authority to meet together at such place as they shall appoint & as often as the Exigency of the Indian Affairs may Require, and to make & give such Orders & Directions in the Management of the said Affairs as have been hertofore usual for such Commissrs. to do & wch. they shall conceive to be expedient for his Majesties Service & the Welfare & Interest of the Province

They the said Commissrs. transmitting their Proceedings therein from time to time to me or the Govr. or Commander in Chief for the Time being & observing & fulfilling all such Orders & Instructions relating to the Premises as they shall receive from me or the said Govr. or Commander in Chief. And all other Persones are hereby required not to intermeddle in any matters relating to the Execution of this Commission.

Given under my Hand & Seal at Arms at Fort George in the City of New york the Sixteenth day of Novr - in the year of our Lord 1752. And in the Twenty sixth year of His Majesties Reign G. Clinton By His Excellencys Command Geo Bangar D. Secry.

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