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[From the Dutch. Records entitled "Proceedings of the Justices of the Peace from 1680 to 1685," in the County Clerk's Office, Albany.]
Extraordinary Meeting hold en in Albany
on the 7 Septemb? 1683.
Present—Marte Gerritse, Cornells Van Dyck, Dirck Wessels, Joh: Provoost, J. Janse Bleker.
Two Gayugas, Aekontjaeken and Kakejaegoeke by name, and a susquehanne being questioned in the Court house relative to the situation of the Susquehanne River which Mr. Wra Haig and Mr. James Graham, Gov: Wm Penn's Agents, propose to purchase, Report as follows :—
That it is one day's journey from the Mohawk Castles to the Lake whence the Susquehanne River rises, and then 10 day's journey from the River to the Susquehanne Castles—in all 11 days:
One day and a half ?s journey by land from Oneida to the kill which falls into the Susquehanne River, and one day from the kill unto the Susquehanne River, and then 7 days unto the Susquehanne Castle—in all 9| days' journey:
Haifa days journey by land and one by Water from Onnondage before we arrive at the River, and then 6 days from the River:
From Cayuga one day and a half by Land and by water before arriving at the River and then 5 days from the River:
From Sinnekes" four Castles 3 daysby Land and two days by water ere arriving at the River and then 5 days from the River—in.all 10 days which is very easy, they conveying their packs in Canoes from the River—
The Indians demand wherefore such particular information relative to the Susquehanne River is sought after from them, and whether people are about to come there? The Indians are asked if it would be agreeable to them if folks should settle there! The Indians answer, that they would be very glad if people came to settle there, as it is nigher than this place and more convenient to transport themselves and packs by water inasmuch as they must bring every thing hither on their backs; say further, that people must go from here and dwell there. Those there should be pleased on that account—they will come to trade there.
N. B. The ascending the Susquehannah River is one week longer than the descending.
A Map of the Susquehannah River is sent to the Governour with this letter:—
Albany 8th of Sep* 1683. Right Honblc—We have according to your honrs Commands taken Informacon both off Christians and Indians concerning ye situation of Susquehannes River, and how near it Lyes to ye severall Nations off Indians Westwards, that Live in his R: highnesse Territories and from whence ye trade is brought to these Parts, and after that we caused Twoo Cajouges Indians and a Susquehanne Indian demonstrate to us all ye Rivers and Creeks Relating thereunto, doe finde, that they that settle upon said River will be much nearer to ye Indians than this Place, and consequently y Indians more Inclinable to goe there, where ye accommodation of a River is to be had, then come by Land here, as the said Indians did expresse, soe y* by that meanss your honr may easily conjeecture, how advantageous it will be to his Royall highnesse Intrest, and since your hon1' was desyreous to know our opinions of ye bussinesse, wee cannot juge, but that it will be Prejudiciall to his Royall highnesse Government but ye Expedient that it is to be found for Preventing ye same, is Left to your honor Consideracon Wee have ordered our Secretary to draw a draught of ye River, and how ye foresd five Nations of Indians Lie, as near as yeforesd Indians could demonstrate, which wee are apt to beleeve is not much amisse, and have sent it here Inclosed, we shall pr ye first conveniency expect your hon,s Comands how to act and Proceed in y« Bussinesse. In ye meantime shall break off and Remain
Tour honrs most humble &
most obedient Servants
THE MAGISTRATES OF ALBANY TO GOV. DONGAN.
Last night Arnout ye Interpreter arrived here from ye Indians Westward and brings us news yt ye four Nations vizfc Cajouges, Onnondages, Oneydes & Maquase are upon there way hither and may be expected her to-morrow, Wee are credibly Inform'd of there willingnesse to dispose of ye Susquehanne River, being verry glad to hear off Christians intending to come and Live there, it being much nearer them then this Place and much easier to get thither with there beever, The River being navigable wfc Canoes till hard by there Castles, soe yl if Wm Penn buys said River, it will tend to ye utter Ruine off ye Bevr Trade, as ye Indians themselfs doe acknowledge and Consequently to ye great Prejudice off his Royall highnesse Revenue's and his whole Territoryes in general, all which we doe humbly offer to your honrs serious Consideracon, Wee presume that there hath not any thing Ever been mooved or agitated from ye first settling of these parts, more Preju diciall to his Royall highnesse Intrest, and ye Inhabitants of this his govern* then this businesse of ye Susquehanne River, The french its true have endevoured to take away our trade, by Peace mealls but this will cutt it all off at once; The day after your honr departed, wee sent a draught of ye River and how near there Castles lie to it, drawne by our Seer1' as near as ye Indians could deskribe, a copy Whereof we have kept here, and Arnout ye Interpreter says that he is also informed by diverse Indians, that ye Castles are situate as near ye Susquehanne River as ye draught demonstrates, if not nearer; and in his Private discourse with them, did Perceive there joy of People comeing to live there; Wee did expect an answr of our Letter wc ye Last Sloops with absolute orders concerning this bussinesse, In the meantime shall Putt a Stopp to all Proceedings till wee have Recd your honls Commands wch we hope will be to deny ye treaty in this point. This goes by an Expresse sent by Mr Haig We suppose to Mr Graham to come up and Prosecute businesse ; In ye meantime shall use our uttmost Endeavours in our Stations both for Our Masters honr and ye Interest and ye Welfare off his Territories, whilst wee subscribe ourselfs
Your honrS most humble
& Devoted Servants Ye Albany 24 Septr 1683 Commissaries of Albany &ca
Mr Haig did not send ye Canoo yesterday, expecting Possibly to hear first off ye Indians arrivall who are now all att Skinnecttady.