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Volkert P. Douw to the President of Congress



[Road November 11, 1775.]

Albany, November 6, 1775.

SIR: This is to inform you that Mr˙ Deane (who was sent by the Commissioners to the Six Nations, to recapitulate to them what was said to them at the treaty here in Albany) is returned, and informs me that the Cayuga, Mohawk, and Senecas, who went with Colonel Johnson, are returned from Canada, and informed their brethren that they had taken up the hatchet against the Colonies, at the request of Colonel Johnson, in Canada, which their brethren, who had been on the treaty here, were much displeased with, and insisted that they should bring said hatchet to the Commissioners at Albany, to be buried; others were that they should bring back to Colonel Johnson. The majority were for its being brought to Albany, to the Commissioners; and they have let me know that, the latter end of the month, sixty or seventy of the chiefs will be here for that purpose, which will be attended with a considerable expense. And as I have no orders from the honourable Congress to lay out any money for their travelling expenses to and fro, I should be glad to have any directions from the honourable Board how to act, whether I am to lay out at my discretion, and to be accountable to the honourable Congress, or be limited to a certain sum; of which I shall be glad to be informed per bearer.

As the Commissioners, at the treaty here, recommended to the honourable Congress to send two blacksmiths in the


Indian country, since which, one of the chiefs has been here with a string of wampum, and desired me not to fail sending smiths in their country, (I having had no orders from the honourable Congress to send any, it is yet omitted,) as they have for these many years past constantly had them, both from former Commissioners and Sir William; and if possible that they may have some powder, as, without that, they cannot support themselves and families.

As they are now well disposed towards us, I think it expedient to exert ourselves in maintaining that harmony, which I have and always will endeavour to cultivate and maintain, to the utmost of my power, but it will be certainly attended with expenses.

As I have no interpreter, (and frequent occasions for one,) I beg the honourable Congress will appoint or give me authority to appoint one.

I am, Sir, your most obedient and humble servant.


To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq˙, President of the Continental Congress, at Philadelphia.