Gambar halaman


[ Lond. Doc. XXII. ]
Gov. Burnet to the Board of Trade.

New York, Oct. 16, L721.

That I might, improve their (the Indians7) present good humor to the best advantage I have employed the five hundred pounds granted this year by the Assembly chiefly to the erecting and encouraging a settlement at Tirandaquet a Creek on the Lake Ontario about sixty miles on this side Niagara1 whither there are now actually gone a company often persons with the approbation of our Indians and with the assurance of a sufficent number of themselves to live with them and be a guard to them against any surprise, and because the late President of the Council Peter Schuyler's son 2 first offered his service to go at the head of this expedition I readily accepted him and have made him several presents to Equip him and given him a handsome allowance for his own salary and a Commission of Captain over the rest that are or may be there with him and Agent to treat with the Indians from me for purchasing Land and other things which I the rather did that I might shew that I had no personal dislike to the family.

This Company have undertaken to remain on this Settlement and that never above two shall be absent at once, and tho? these have the sole encouragement at present out of the public money yet there is nothing that hinders as many more to go and settle there or any where else on their own account as please.

This place is indisputably in the Indians possession and lies very convenient tor all the far Indians to come on account of Trade from which the French at Niagara will not easily hinder them because first it must be soon known and is against the Treaty and besides they may easily slip by them in canoes and get to this place before the French can catch them in the pursuit if they should attempt to hinder them.

This, my Lords is the beginning of a great Trade that may be maintained with all the Indians upon the Lakes and the cheapness of all our goods except Powder above the French will by degrees draw all that Trade to us which can not better appear than by the French having found it worth while to buy our Goods at Albany to sell again to the Indians. Wherefore to break that Practice more effectually I have placed a sufficient guard of Soldiers on the Carrying Place to Canada and built a small Blockhouse there3 with the remainder of the five hundred pounds before mentioned.

As to Niagara I did write to the Governor of Canada to complain of all the unwarrantable steps he has taken and among others of his erecting a Blockhouse at Niagara before the Treaty of Limits had settled who it belong to

I received his answer at Albany in which he flatly denies most of the Facts I complain of.

But as to Niagara he pretends possession for above fifty years first taken by Ml de la Sale

1 Irondequoit bay, Monroe Co. 2. Major Abraham Schuyler.

3. Now Fort Edward, originally Fort Lydius, Washington Co.

[vol. I.J 37


[ParisDoc. VII.]

Letter, dated 22 May, 1725. M. the Marquis of Vaudreuil writes that he received advice the 8th December that the English and the Dutch had projected an establishment at the mouth of the River Chouaguan on the borders of Lake Ontario and very near the post we have at Niagara.

The news of this establishment on soil always considered as belonging to France, appeared to him the more important as he felt the difficulty of preserving the post of Niagara where there is no fort, should the English once fortify Chouaguen; and that in losing Niagara the Colony is lost and at the same time aH the trade with the upper Country Indians, who go the more willingly to the English since they obtain goods there much cheaper and get as much brandy as they like, which we cannot absolutely dispense furnishing the upper country Indians, though with prudence, if it be desirable to prevent them carrying their furs and surrendering themselves to the English.

M. de Longueuil wrote in the month of February that the Iroquois of the Sault had appointed four of their chiefs and one of the Lake of the Two Mountains to go to Orange to represent to the Dutch that they would not suffer their settling at Chouaguen and that they would declare war against them if they established themselves there.

He repaired on the ice to Montreal on the 12 March where he received the confirmation of the news of the English, and learned that they and the Dutch had started with a great many canoes for Lake Ontario to make a settlement at the mouth of the River Choueguen in concert with the Iroquois; that he was afraid he could not prevent it if they be supported by those Indians, to a war with whom he knows, the King does not intend to expose himself.

The Indians of the Sault returned from Orange dissatisfied with their reception. He immediately despatched M. de Longueuil to the Iroquois and thence to Choueguen. He commanded him to induce the savages not to suffer this Establishment, and in case he could not prevail on them to oppose it openly, to persuade them to remain neuter and to suggest to them at the same time, that it is their interest to maintain us at Niagara or to consent to our building a more solid and secure house than the one that is here.

In regard to the English he ordered M. de Longueuil, should he find them settled at Choueguen, to summon them to withdraw from their lands until the boundaries were regulated, failing which he should adopt proper measures to constrain them.

Letter dated 10 June 1725. M. de Longueuil writes to him (M. Begon)from Fort Frontenac the ninth of May that there was no Trading Post as yet at Choueguen.

Letter dated 31 October, 1725. Mess,s de Longueuil & Begon send particulars of said Sieur de Longueuirs voyage. He found 100 English at the portage of the River, four leagues from Lake Ontario, with more than 60 canoes; that they made him exhibit his passport and showed him an order from the Governor of New-York not to allow any Frenchmen to go by without a passport.

M. de Longueuil took occasion to reproach the Iroquois Chiefs wTho were present that they were no longer masters of their lands. This succeeded; they blew out against the English; told them they would bear with them no longer, having permitted them to come to trade. They even promised him they should remain neuter in case of war against the English.

He next repaired to Onontague, an Iroquois Village and there found the Deputies of the other four Iroquois Villages who were waiting for him there. He made them consent to the construction of 2 barks and the erection of a stone house at Niagara, of which he took the plan which they send with an estimate amounting to 29,295 livres (=$5,592.)

Nota. The two barks were built in 1726.

The House (Niagara) was commenced the same year and finished in 1726.

Nota. Sieur Chaussegross, engineer, writes that he erected this House on the same spot where an antient Fort had been built by order of M. d'Enonville former Governor and Lieutenant General of Few France in 1686.

25 July, 1726. (M. de Longueuil writes that) he has given orders to Chevalier de Longueuil his son who commanded there (at Niagara) not to return until the English and Dutch retire from Chouguen where they have been all summer to the number of 300 men, and should he meet their canoes on the lake, to plunder them.

18 Sept 1726. M the Marquis of Beauharnois sends an extract of a letter from Chevalier de Longueuil dated Niagara the 5th of 7b^ 1726, in which he states that there are no more English at Choueguen, along the Lake nor in the River and if he meet any of them in the Lake he'll plunder them.


[ Lond. Doc. XXIII. ]

New York May 9th 1727.

I have this Spring sent up workmen to build a Stone house of strength at a place called Oswego, at the mouth of the Onondage River where our principal trade with the far Nations is carried on. I have obtained the consent of the Six Nations to build it, and having intelligence that a party of French of ninety men were going up towards Niagara I suspected that they might have orders to interrupt this work, and therefore I have sent up a detachment of Sixty Souldiers with a Captain and two Lieutenants, to protect the building from any disturbance that any French or Indians may offer to it. There are besides about two hundred traders now at the same place, who are all armed as Militia, and ready to join in defence of the Building and their Trade, in case they are attacked; The French can have no just pretence for doing it, but their lately building a Fort at Niagara, contrary to the last Treaty makes me think it necessary for us to be on our guard against any attempts they may make.

When the house is finished it will be sufficiently strong against an attack with small arms, which is all that can be brought thither, and I intend to keep an Officer and twenty men always in Garrison there which will be of the greatest use to keep our Indians true to us, it being near the centre of all the Six Nations, & lying most conveniently to receive all the far Indians who come to trade with us.

My Lord Bellomont formerly intended to build a Fort by King Willianrs order near this place, and it went so far that even plate and furniture for a chappie there, were sent over from England, but the Design was laid by upon his Death, and has never been resumed since 'till now.i

The. Assembly provided three hundred pounds last fall for this service, of which I then acquainted Your Lordships, but I have been obliged to layout more than double that value upon my own credit, to furnish necessaries and provisions, and hire workmen, & make Battoes to carry up the men, for it is all Water carriage from our outmost Town called Schenectady to this place, which is about twohiindred miles, except five miles, where they must draw their Battoes over Land, which is easily enough done, and this makes the communication much more convenient than by Land.

1 Smith Hist. N. Y. Ed. 1828, i. 253, represents the erection of the above Fort as having been begun in 1722; an error which has been copied by McAuley, Dunlap and others who have followed him without enquiry. Gov. Burnet's despatch and the preceding Docs., correct the mistake and furnish the precise date.

I hope the Assembly will supply this Deficiency when they meet, but I wss so convinced of the benefit of the undertaking that I was resolved not to let it fail for want of a present supply of money.

I am with great Respect,
My Lords, Your Lordships most dutifull and

most obliged humble servant

W. Burnet.


[ Lond. Doc. XXIII. I

New York 29th June 1727.

Extract.—The province is much obliged to your Lordships for representing the French building a Fort at Niagara, and in order to obtain Redress The same fort which I have been building at the mouth of the Onnondage's River called Oswego this Spring, goes on successfully hitherto, and without any interruption,from the French or their Indians, and with the full consent and approbation of our own Indians

The Detachment of Souldiers which I sent to up arrived safely there the beginning of this month, so that it is not likely that any attempt will now be made to hinder it, and I depend upon its being of the best use of anything that has ever been undertaken on that side either to preserve our own Indians in our Interest, or to promote and fix a constant Trade with the remote Indians.


[ Paris Doc. VII.; Lond. Doc. XXIII. ]

July 20th, 1727.

Sir—I am very well persuaded that you have been informed that the King my master has done me the honor to name me Governour and his Lieutenant General in all New France, and that you have likewise been so of my arrival to this country.

I find myself, Sir, in a juncture when the close union that subsists between our Sovereigns ought to flatter me with the hopes of the like between you and me. But I cannot avoid observing to you my surprise at the permission which you have given to the English Merchants to carry on a trade at the River of Oswego, and that you have ordered a Redoubt with Galleries (Machicoulies) and full of Loop holes and other works belonging to fortification, to be built at the mouth of that River, in which you have placed a Garrison of Regular Troops.

I have been, Sir, the more astonished at it, since you should have considered your Undertaking as a thing capable of disturbing the Union of the two Crowns; You cannot be ignorant of the possession during a very considerable time, which the King my Master has of all the Lands of Canada, of which those of the lake Ontario and the adjacent Lands make a part, and in which he has built Forts and made other Settlements in different places as are those of Denonville at the Entrance of the River of Niagara, that of Frontenac, another called La Famine, that which is called the Fort des Sables, another at the Bay ot the Cayougas at Oswego, &c, v\ ithout any opposition, they having been one and all of them possessed by the French, who alone have had a right, and have had the possession of carrying on the Trade there.

I look, Sir, upon the Settlements that you are beginning and pretending to make at the Entrance of the Lake Ontario into the River of Oswego, the fortifications that you have made there, and the Garrison that you have posted there, as a manifest infraction of the Treaty of Utrecht, it being expressly settled by that Treaty, that the subjects of each Crown shall not molest nor encroach upon one another, 'till the Limits have been fixed by Commissaries, to be named for that purpose.

This it is, Sir, which determines me at present to send away M. De la Chassaigne Governour of the Town of trois Rivieres, with an Officer, to deliver this letter to you, and to inform you of my Intentions.

I send away at the same time a Major to summon the Officer who commands at Oswego, to retire with his Garrison and other persons who are there, to demolish the fortifications and other works, and to evacuate entirely that post and to retire home.

The Court of France which I have the honour to inform of it this moment, will have Room to look upon this undertaking as an act of hostility on your part, and I dont doubt but you will give attention to the justice of my Demand.

I desire you to honour me with a positive answer which I expect without delay by the return of these Gentlemen, I am persuaded that on your side you will do nothing that may trouble the harmony that prevails among our two Crowns, and that you will not act against their true Interests.

I should be extremely pleased, Sir, if you would give me some occasion to show you particularly the sentiments of Respect with which I have the honour to be. Sir,

Your most humble and

most obednt servant

At Montreal, Beaucharnois.

this 20* July 1727.

P, S. M. De la Chassaigne who did not at first intend to carry with him any but the Officer of whom I had the honour to inform you in my Letter, has since desired me to let him have the four Gentlemen named in the Passport which I have ordered to be made out for him. I dont doubt, Sir, but you will have the same Regard for them as for the King's Officer who goes along with them.



[ Paris Doc. VII. ]

His Lordship the Marquis of Beauharnois appointed by His Most Christian Majesty Governour General in and over Canada and the whole Dependencies of New France, being informed of your Governour's enterprise at the Mouth of Choueguen River, where he ordered a Stone Redoubt to be built on the shore of Lake Ontario where the French only have traded, and of which they have

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