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with the Six Nations, in 1775.
tions, not to interfere in our quarrels. We are not in the least doubtful of success, as our cause is just. We will live or die like men. We can raise an army of three hundred thousand fighting men, who are brave, and are determined not to part with their civil and religious privileges. Therefore we now repeat to you, brothers of the Six Nations, take great care of the strong friendship you have now made with the Twelve United Colonies. Let that be your care, and that only. Peace is what we wish to establish.
Brothers of the Six Nations,
You yesterday told us, that as the roads in your country were opened for you and your brothers of the Twelve United Colonies to pass and repass, you desired at the same time that we would not stain the road with blood. Brothers, be assured we have no intention at present to spill blood in your country, and we hope it never may happen; and it never can, provided those wicked men who are come so far from home in order to disturb the peace of the Twelve United Colonies, do not appear in your country. But as we are determined to be free or die, we must pursue them until we drive them from off this island, or until they confirm our ancient privileges. Therefore, brothers, rest assured, whatever may happen between us and our enemies, we never will injure or disturb the peace of the Six Nations, but preserve invariable the friendship that is now established, even unto death.
You also desired yesterday that some of your friends of our blood should remain in peace, and particularly the missionary at Fort Hunter, who did not concern himself with the affairs of this world, but was earnestly engaged in conducting you to happiness, and instructing you in the reverence due to the great God who governs the universe. Brothers, such a man we love, and we are desirous of his remaining quiet and happy with you. We are also desirous that all the other missionaries, who have been engaged in the same good cause, may safely continue among you, and instruct you in the Gospel, which will be the means of your happiness in this world and the one to come.
As we always looked upon you, brothers of the Six Nations, to be a wise and capable people in conducting business of every kind, we were a little surprised to hear you say that
no one was appointed by the Twelve United Colonies to attend and watch the fire that they have kindled up at this place; when we have repeatedly told you that they had appointed five persons, whose business it is to attend and preserve it bright and clear, and that two of those five live in this town, who would take particular care, and who had full authority from the Twelve United Colonies, to keep the flame bright and clear. Brothers, for fear you should not have understood us fully, we again acquaint you that the Twelve United Colonies have authorized Gen. Schuyler and Mr. Douw, both of this town, to keep the fire burning, that it may illuminate the whole country of the Six Nations, who may always see the way down to it, and sit in peace round it.
You yesterday desired that the trade may be opened at this place and at Schenectady. We also wish it, and it will be done, so that you may trade as you formerly did, and be able to return home with your goods to your entire satisfaction.
You yesterday mentioned some matters concerning land claimed by the people of Albany, and also the land in dispute between Connecticut and Governor Penn. We now inform you that we are not authorized to transact any business of that kind at present, but will represent the matter to the Grand Congress at Philadelphia.
We have now finished, and let you know the present that we have from the Twelve United Colonies is preparing for you, and when it is ready, we will acquaint you. Wagons shall be provided for you, whenever you are ready to set off for Schenectady.
JOURNAL OF MR. CHRISTOPHER GIST, WHO ACCOMPANIED MAJOR GEORGE WASHINGTON IN HIS FIRST VISIT TO THE FRENCH COMMANDER OF THE TROOPS ON THE OHIO, 1753.
[The following Journal of Mr. Christopher Gist, who accompanied General (then Major) Washington, in his tour over the Alleghany mountains, has been politely communicated to the Historical Society by James Mease, M. D. of Philadelphia. Washington's Journal of the same tour may be seen in Chief Justice Marshall's Life of Washington, and in Mr. Sparks's edition of Washington's Writings, Vol. II. P. 432. Gist is mentioned repeatedly in that volume, and is differently styled "Mr. Christopher Gist," and "Captain Gist."
In speaking of him with reference to his being appointed an agent to manage Indian affairs, Washington says:-" I know of no person so well qualified for an undertaking of this sort, as Captain Gist. He has had extensive dealings with the Indians, is in great esteem among them, well acquainted with their manners and customs, indefatigable and patient,most excellent qualities where Indians are concerned. As to his capacity, honesty, and zeal, I dare venture to engage.—Washington's Writings, Vol. II. p. 236.
Dr. Mease's letter accompanying the Journal is subjoined.-Publishing Committee.]
To the Historical Society of Massachusetts.
During an extensive tour through the western counties of Pennsylvania last summer, I had the pleasure to meet Judge Shippen, President of the Sixth Judicial District of this state, at Franklin, in Venango county, (whose grandfather was for some time secretary of the colonial government,) and was presented by him with the following document, which is connected with an important event in the annals of American history. The author, Mr. Gist, was a frontier settler, and a pioneer of the forest, and was often employed by the government upon missions to the Indians, and to the French, who, as is well known, disputed the claims of England to the country on the Ohio.
I am, respectfully,
Philadelphia, April 18, 1835. 13
Wednesday, 14th November, 1753. Then Major George Washington came to my house at Will's Creek, and delivered me a letter from the council in Virginia, requesting me to attend him up to the commandant of the French fort on the Ohio river.
Thursday, 15th. We set out, and at night encamped at George's creek, about eight miles, where a messenger came with letters from my son, who was just returned from his people at the Cherokees, and lay sick at the mouth of Conegocheague. But as I found myself entered again on public business, and Major Washington and all the company unwilling I should return, I wrote and sent medicines to my son, and so continued my journey, and encamped at a big hill in the forks of Youghiogany, about eighteen miles.
Friday, 16th. The next day set out and got to the big fork of said river, about ten miles there.
Saturday, 17th. We encamped and rested our horses, and then we set out early in the morning,
Sunday, 18th. And at night got to my house in the new settlement, about twenty-one miles; snow about ancle deep.
Monday, 19th. Set out, cross Big Youghiogany, to Jacob's cabins, about twenty miles. Here some of our horses straggled away, and we did not get away until eleven o'clock.
Tuesday, 20th. Set out, had rain in the afternoon ; I killed a deer; travelled about seven miles.
Wednesday, 21st. It continued to rain. Stayed all day. Thursday, 22nd. We set out and came to the mouth of Turtle creek, about twelve miles, to John Frazier's; and he was very kind to us, and lent us a canoe to carry our baggage to the forks, about ten miles.
Friday, 23d. Set out, rid to Shannopin's town, and down Alleghany to the mouth of Monongahela, where we met our baggage, and swimmed our horses over Alleghany, and there encamped that night.
[* Will's Creek, the residence of Mr. Gist, rises at the base of the little Alleghany mountain, in the south-west angle of Bedford county, Pennsylvania, and flowing south empties into the Potomac at the town of Cumberland, in Alleghany county, Maryland. This town and vicinity originally went by the name of Will's Creek.-Note by Dr. Mease.] It Conegocheague creek rises in Salem, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, and flowing west, empties into Brush creek, formerly Bushy run.-Note by Dr. Mease.]
Saturday, 24th. Set out; we went to king Shingiss,* and he and Lawmolach went with us to the Logstown, and we spoke to the chiefs this evening, and repaired to our camp.
Sunday, 25th. They sent out for their people to come in. The Half-King came in this afternoon.
Monday, 26th. We delivered our message to the HalfKing, and they promised by him that we should set out three nights after.
Tuesday, 27th. Stayed in our camp. Monacatoocha and Pollatha Wappia gave us some provisions. We stayed until the 29th, when the Indians said, they were not ready. They desired us to stay until the next day; and as the warriors. were not come, the Half-King said he would go with us himself, and take care of us.
Friday, 30th. We set out, and the Half-King and two old men and one young warrior, with us. At night we encamped at the Murthering town, about fifteen miles, on a branch of Great Beaver creek. Got some corn and dried meat.
Saturday, 1st December. Set out, and at night encamped at the crossing of Beaver creek from the Kaskuskies to Venango,† about thirty miles. The next day rain; our Indians went out a hunting; they killed two bucks. Had rain all day.
Monday, 3d. We set out and travelled all day. Encamped at night on one of the head branches of Great Beaver creek, about twenty-two miles.
Tuesday, 5th. Set out, about fifteen miles, to the town of Venango, where we were kindly and complaisantly received by Monsieur Joncaire, the French interpreter for the Six Nations.
Wednesday, 5th. Rain all day. Our Indians were in council with the Delawares, who lived under the French colors, and ordered them to deliver up to the French the belt,
[* Shingiss was a noted Indian warrior, and according to Heckewelder, was a terror to the frontier settlements of Pennsylvania ;" but at this time was the firm and fast friend of the English, and neither the art nor the affected politeness of the French military commander could effect a change in his sentiments towards them. The Half-King was also a great warrior, and a decided friend of the Americans. He it was who informed Major Washington in May, 1754, of the approach of a French detachment when he was on his march to the frontier, and which Washington surprised and defeated.-Note by Dr. Mease.]
[+ Kaskuskies or Kuskuskas, is laid down in Hutchins's map some distance up Big Beaver creek, in Pennsylvania. Venango is now Franklin, the capital of Venango county. The outlines of the redoubt round the fort are very plain to this day. It is situated at the entrance of French creek into the Alleghany river.-Note by Dr. Mease.]