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proved by him, were fairly transcribed, and ordered to be dispatched without Delay
The said Letters follow in these Words, Viz' :
Letter from the Governor to Sir William Johnson.
“PHILADELPHIA, 28th June, 1774.
“By the repeated Accounts which I am daily receiving from Pittsburg, and other Parts of our Western Frontier, there seems little room to doubt but the mutual Hostilities which have uphappily taken Place between some of the Inhabitants of Virginia and the Western Indians, particularly the Shawanese, will end in a general War, unless some prudent Measures are speedily taken to prevent it.
“ The occasion of this unfortunate Breach, as well as the particu. lars of the Murders which have been committed on both sides, bave no doubt been communicated to you, by the Deputy Agent for Indian Affairs at Pittsburg. It will therefore be only necessary for me to inform you in general, that a great Part of the Settlers in our back Country have fled from their Habitations, and that the Panic is daily increasing, to such a Degree that there is just Reason to apprehend a total Desertion of that Country.
“I have been induced from a Representation of the Distresses of these People, to Issue Writs to call our Assembly to meet at Pbila. delphia on the 18th of next Month, to enable me to afford them the necessary Relief.
“As it is of the utmost Consequence that this Affair should be properly represented to the Six Nations, and that they should, if possible, be induced to become Mediators between us and the Shawa. nese and Delawares, I must request you will take such Veasures as you shall think most proper to satisfy them that any Injuries which the Shawanese may have received and may consider as a Provoca. tion for the Hostilities committed on their Part, were by no Means done by the Orders or Consent of this Governnient, but that on the contrary, we have been ever sincerely disposed to pro serve Peace and Friendship with them, and are now very willing, notwithstanding what has happened, to listen to Terms of Accommodation, and to renew our Friendship and forget every Thing tbat is past. Your interposition and influence in this Matter may very p ssibly have the most salutary Effects. If a Rupture can be prevented, it appears to me it must be through the Six Nations; however, I submit the Matter entirely to your Consideration, and am Sir, with great Regard, “ Your most obedient humble Serrant,
“JOHN PENN. “ Sir WILLIAM JOHNSON, Baronet.”
A Letter from the Governor to Lord Dunmore.
“PHILADELPHIA, 28th June, 1774. “ My Lord,
“I am very unhappy to find myself under the necessity of wri. ting to your Lordship on so disagreeable a Subject as an Indian War, which is now like to become general, unless the Governments of Virginia and Pennsylvania, by some prudent and timely Interposition, may happily prevent the further progress of Hostilities which have unhappily taken Place. I have taken the best Measures in my Power to keep the Settlements, from breaking up, and have called the Assembly upon the Occasion, in order that every proper Step may be taken, either to compose the Differences between His Majesty's Subjects and the Indians, or to defend the Frontiers if pacific Measures should fail.
“I have so many Complaints of the Behaviour of Doctor Conelly, that I am obliged to wish your Lordship to make some enquiry into his Conduct, which, if my Information be true, is ex. treamely oppressive and tyrannical with respect to our People, and what is still worse, there is a great Reason to fear his Military Operations may have a dangerous tendency to involve the Colonies in general in an Indian War. He seizes upon the Property of the People without reserve, and treats the Persons of our Magistrates with the utmost Insolence and disrespect, and with Menaces not only of imprisoning them, but even of pulling down their Houses, and it is said he has sent out, or is to send out Parties against the Indians, with orders to destroy all they meet with, whether Friend or Foe. These Matters may be exaggerated, but I cannot doubt but that Mr. Conolly has afforded some Ground for these Complaints, and althoʻ your Lordship hath been pleased to claim the Jurisdiction of Pittsburg and the country thereabouts, I would fain hope that you would not encourage Mr. Conolly in such exhorbitances and Outrages as are laid to his Charge.
“I have the Honor to be,
66 humble Servant.
“ JOHN PENN. "To the Right Honorable The Earl of Dunmore, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty's Province of Virginia, Williamsburg.
A Letter from the Governor to Arthur St. Clair, Esquire.
“PHILADELPHIA, 28th June, 1774. "Sir:
“ The Accounts which you have transmitted of the Temper of the Indians, and the Murders they have already perpetrated, are truly alarming, and give every Reason to apprehend that we shall not long be exempt from the Calamities of a Savage War. The Desertion of that Country, in consequence of the Panic which has seized the Inhabitants on this Occasion, must be attended with the most mischievous Effects, and prove ruinous to the immediate sufferers, and distressing to the Province in general. Every Measure therefore, should be attempted to stop the Progress of this Evil, and to induce those who have already gone off, to return to their Habitations, and I must rely on you to exert all your Prudence and Activity for this Purpose. The Steps which have been already taken appear to me very proper, and I have no doubt but that you will continue your Endeavors to restore the drooping Spirits of the People, and inspire them with a Resolution to stand their Ground, at least 'till they are satisfied of the 'Intentions of the Indians towards this Province. You may assure them that Government sepsibly feels the Distresses of their Situation, that it will be attentive to their Interests, and afford them every Assistance and Protection in its Power to give. With this Disposition, I have issued Writs for convening the Assembly on the 18th of next month, and shall immediately on their Meeting lay this Matter before them, and have Reason to expect that such Measures will be adopted as may effectually enable the Government to extend to them a Relief adequate to its wishes and their wants. In the mean Time, I shall give orders for such further supply of ammu. nition to be sent up as will be sufficient for the present Occasion.
“I have wrote to Sir William Johnson, informing him of the Intelligence we had received of these Transactions, and requesting his Interposition with the six Nations, to use their Influence with the Shawanese and Delawares, to prevent further Hostilities on their Part, and to assure them of the sincere Intentions of this Govern. ment to continue their pacific Disposition towards all our Indian Brethren. I have also wrote to Lord Dunmore, complaining of Conolly's outragious and tyrannical behaviour at Pittsburg, and representing the dangerous tendency his Military operations may have to involve the Colonies in a general Indian War. “I am, Sir, your most Obedient humble Servant,
“ JOHN PENN. "To ARTHUR S. CLAIR, Esquire,
“at Ligonier, in Westmoreland County. “P. S. My Commissioners who attended Lord Dunmore, could not induce him to come into any reasonable tem porary Line of Jurisdiction, and therefore Things must remain in the disagreeable Situation of Interfering Jurisdictions. In this unhappy Situation, I am satisfied you and the other Magistrates will act a prudent Part. It is impossible in such a Case to give particular Directions. With respect to the keeping up the Rangers you have raised for the Security of the Inhabitants, I shall recommend it to the Assembly to defray the Expence that shall accrue in that necessary Measure ; and I cannot have the least doubt that they will approve of what has been done on this Occasion, as also the continuance of the same Forces, until their Sentiments can be known.”
At a Council held at Philadelphia, on Thursday, 14th July, 1774.
The Honorable JOHN PENN, Esquire, Governor. Richard Peters,
1 Benjamin Chew,
The Governor laid before the Board several late Letters from Arthur SClair, Esquire, at Ligonier, containing very favourable Accounts of the Disposition and Temper of the Indians, as also an Extract of Mr. Alexander Mokee, the Deputy Indian Agent's Journal, of all the Transactions with the Indians at Pittsburg, since the first of May last.
The Governor then acquainted the Board that the Assembly being to meet by Summons, on Monday next, on Occasion of the late Indian Disturbances, he thought it would be necessary that a Message on that Subject should be prepared, to be sent them immediately on their Meeting; Whereupon Mr. Chew, Mr. Tilghman, and Mr. Shippen, were appointed a Committee to prepare a Draught of the same.
Monday, 13th July, 1774.
A Committee of Assembly waited on the Governor with a Ver. bal Message, acquainting him that the House were met pursuant to His Honour's Summons, and desired a Copy of the Writ by which they were convened. The Governor thereupon immediately sent to the House by the Secretary, one of the Writs he had issued for summoning them, and also the following Message, which had been prepared by the Committee of Council appointed to draw the same, together with the several Letters and other Papers of Iutelligence he had received relative to the State of Affairs with the Indians, Viz': :
A Message from the Governor to the Assembly.
“The Importance of the Matter I have to lay before you will, I am persuaded, make it unnecessary to apologize to you for calling you together at a Season of the Year of all others the inost incon. venient for you to attend the Public Business.
“I am to inform you that in the latter end of April last, about eleven Delaware and Shawanese Indians were barbarously murdered on the River Ohio, about ninety Miles below Pittsburg, by two Parties of White Men, said to be Virginians. As we were at that Time in a State of perfect Amity with the Western Indians, and it does not appear that those who were killed by the above Parties had given them the least Provocation, I am at a loss to conjecture what could be the Inducement to acts so cruel and inhuman. " As soon as this unfortunate Affair was known on the Frontiers
Province, Messages were dispatched to assure the Indians that these outrages had been committed by wicked People without the Knowledge or Countenance of any of the English Governments, and requesting they might not be the means of disturbing the Friendship which subsisted between us. This Step had so far a good Effect as to quiet them for the present, and prevent their coming to a Resolution to enter into a general War with us. It did not however, restrain the particular Friends and Relations of the Deceased, who, it seems, contrary to the advice of their Chiefs, in a short Time afterwards took their Revenge by murdering a number of Virginians, settled to the Westward of the River Monongahela. Alarmed at this proceeding, the out Settlers left their Habitations and fled with their Families into the interior Parts, and the Panic soon became so universal that a great Part of the Western Frontier of this Province was totally deserted, and it is impossible to say when the Mischief would have stopped, had not a number of Rangers been raised by the Magistrates and others in the County of Westmoreland, who were stationed in proper Places, to protect the Inhabitants, and act defensively in case of an Attack. This Meagure I esteemed a very salutary one, supplied the men with Arms and Ammunition, and ordered them to be kept up'till the Meeting of the Assembly, under a full persuasion that you would chearfully defray the necessary Expence attending it.
“ It would be too tedious to relate the several occurrences which have happened from Time to Time since the first Act of Hostility committed, but I refer you for more particular Information thereon to the Letters and Papers I have ordered the Secretary to lay before you. You will thereby perceive that the Delawares and Shawanese repeatedly made the strongest Professions of a pacific Disposition, and their Desire that Matters should be accommodated; and, as an Earnest of their Sincerity, they not only protected the Persons and Goods of our Traders among them from the Violence of some of