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A Conference Held at Watertown, in the Colony of Massachusetts-Bay


In the Meeting House, Tuesday, July 16, 1776, P˙ M.

The Conference was continued.

PRESIDENT. Brothers, we hope we now see you well. At our last meeting, you desired that the goods we should


send to the Truck-House at Machias might be such as you most wanted. We should be glad you would now inform us what goods you want most, and like best, and we will endeavour the Truck House shall be supplied with them, being desirous to accommodate you in the best manner in our power.

AMBROSE. We want strouds and blankets for winter and summer. Our children and families are always in want of those articles. We want powder, shot, flints, knives, and combs, hatchets, small axes of two different sizes, paint, some steel-traps to catch beaver, and we want guns, too, to go a-hunting with.

PRESIDENT. Major Shaw has delivered us a memorandum of a number of articles. We will order our Commissary to supply the Truck-House with them, if they can be procured.

AMBROSE. We are much obliged to you.

PRESIDENT. One of you desired yesterday that a Truckmaster, with goods, might be sent to St˙ John' s.

AMBROSE. There is one Adderton, who lives a league from our village, who we should be glad might be appointed.

PRESIDENT. We should be glad to send a Truckmaster there; but as St˙ John' s is not within the bounds of this Colony, we have no right to do it.

AMBROSE. We are much obliged to you.

PRESIDENT. Since we. last talked together, we have received letters from General Washington, in which he mentions his brothers the St˙ John' s and Mickmac Indians. As he thinks you are strong men and his good friends, and as you have expressed a great inclination to take part with him in the war, he desires you to come and join him at New York, with all possible expedition. He wants five or six hundred of you; but if you cannot spare so many, desires you to speak to your brothers of Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, and other places, to come along with you, so as to make up that number in the whole. The pay and encouragement will be the same we mentioned to you last Saturday. We now desire your answer, that we may write it to General Washington.

AMBROSE. My brothers, it is not in our power to tell how many men we can raise. We will get as many as we can. We cannot say anything further. We will endeavour to furnish all we can.

PRESIDENT. You all promise to use your endeavours to engage all the warriors you can. They are to come here, and then go to New York to join General Washington.

AMBROSE. Yes, we have said it already, that we will go and get all that we can.

PRESIDENT. You told us the other day how many you thought your several villages would furnish. We should be glad if you would mention the number again, according to the best of your judgment, that General Washington may know what to depend on.

AMBROSE. St˙ John' s consists of sixty men, and will furnish thirty.

JOSEPH and CHARLES. Windsor consists of fifty men, and will furnish twenty or twenty-five.

MATTAHU. Miramichi and Rechibucto consist of eighty men, and will furnish ten.

JOHN BATTIS. Cumberland Beausejour consists of forty men, and will furnish fifteen, perhaps twenty-five.

PETER ANDRé. Lehève consists of sixty men, and will furnish fifteen.

SEBATTIS NETOBCOBUIT. Gaspee consists of fifty men, and will furnish twenty-five or thirty men.

PRESIDENT. How many can the other six villages furnish?

AMBROSE. We cannot tell. We would let you know it is not in our power to come this fall, except three, who are willing to go now. The rest say, they cannot come this fall.

PRESIDENT. If you cannot come yourselves this fall, perhaps some others of your Tribes can.

AMBROSE. When we go home, we will get all our people together, and advise with them, and we will certainly come in the spring.

PRESIDENT. General Washington writes he wants them now, as they are strong men, and his good brothers.

AMBROSE. We will endeavour to get them, and if it is possible, we will come this fall. We will get our men together, and come up, if it is possible.


PRESIDENT. Would the other six villages furnish any men?

AMBROSE. We are so far distant from each other, that it would bring it to Christmas before we could get together.

PRESIDENT. How long would it be before your people could get together?

AMBROSE. We are certain that we can all be here in the spring. It will be late before we can all get home, and it will be winter before our people will be able to get together.

PRESIDENT. Captain Shaw can carry you to Machias or St˙ John' s quick, and you can be in your own country in a few days after.

AMBROSE. Some of us, after we get to St˙ John' s River, have a great way to go, near two hundred leagues.

PRESIDENT. Those of the St˙ John' s Tribe are near; they come in a short time.

AMBROSE. When we came from home, our Captain of the St˙ John' s Tribe was gone to Quebeck to hear what news. He went to see the Boston people, not the King' s troops. Perhaps when we get home, our Captain may be returned, and may bring the same tidings we get here. If not, as soon as he does return, we will endeavour to get the men here as quick as possible.

PRESIDENT. Do you think your neighbours, the Passamaquoddy Indians, can furnish any men? They are near.

AMBROSE. We will send people to inform them, and endeavour to get as many of them as we can.

PRESIDENT. Do you think the Cape Sable Indians can furnish any men?

AMBROSE. They are too far off to send to from St˙ John' s.

PRESIDENT. Not if you can go across the Bay of Fundy to Cape Sable.

AMBROSE. We keep along the coast, except when we come across the rivers that are not too wide.

PRESIDENT. General Washington will depend on thirty men from St˙ John' s to come up soon.

AMBROSE. Yes, all we can get.

PRESIDENT. Who lives next to St˙ John' s?

AMBROSE. The Mickmacs are the nearest; they can' t come this fall, for want of provisions for their families, who will starve if they come away.

PRESIDENT. Tell Ambrose that we thank him for his readiness to engage his people to come here as soon as they can; and we should be glad the rest of them would get their people together as soon as may be, and come to Boston with as many as they can get.

INDIANS. We will do all that we can.

PRESIDENT. When you get home, inform your Tribes and the other Indian Tribes what has been agreed between us. Such of the Indian warriors as incline to engage must come to this place; and General Washington says they must bring their own guns with them. Remember to tell them they must not fail to bring their guns, as General Washington depends upon it.

AMBROSE. Those that have two guns will bring one with them, and those that have but one gun must leave it at home.

PRESIDENT. Besides their wages, they will have a dollar for the use of each gun; and if their guns should be lost in the service, they will be paid for them. Everything else that' s necessary will be supplied them when they come here. They must be very expeditious in coming. General Washington wants them immediately. Now you know what will be paid for your guns, you must prevail with your people to bring guns with them.

AMBROSE. Yes, we will all bring our guns, all that have any. We have all got guns, but they are not in very good order.

PRESIDENT. Bring the best you have got; you must come as quick as you can. We shall desire Major Shaw to procure you a passage up to Boston from Machias.

AMBROSE. If there was a vessel at St˙ John' s we could come much quicker. We want to know who will carry us to St˙ John' s now, for the sooner we can get home the sooner we can get together.

PRESIDENT. We shall desire Major Shaw to carry you to Machias certain; and if he can carry you to St˙ John' s he will. When Major Shaw carries you to Machias, you must let him know when he must go there again to bring you up.


AMBROSE. We will let him know.

PRESIDENT. Your pay will commence on the day you sail from Machias to come up to Boston; our Commissary will send provisions for your passage up. The companies will be formed when you come here. You must engage and inlist for so long a time as General Washington shall want you, not exceeding two or three years, unless General Washington and you agree for a longer time; and from hence you will proceed to General Washington.

AMBROSE. We are willing.

PRESIDENT. Several of you, viz: Joseph Donaquara, Sabattis Netobcobius, and Peter André, offered themselves to engage in the war immediately; we thank them; we are much pleased they show so hearty a disposition to engage. We accept of their offer, and, according to their desire, will send them to General Washington, who will inform them what to do. The St˙ John' s and Mickmac Tribes are now our brothers, and are become one people with the United Colonies. Those Colonies have lately, by their great Council at Philadelphia, declared themselves free and independent States, by the name of the United States of America. The certain news of it, and the Declaration itself, are just come to us; and we are glad of this opportunity to inform you, our brothers, of it. The said great Council, the "Representatives of the United States of America in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of their intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connexion between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do: and for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, they mutually pledge to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honour."

[Here the printed Declaration at large was produced to the Indians, and the Interpreter, Mr˙ Prince, fully explained it to them.]

AMBROSE. We like it well.

PRESIDENT. This is the Declaration of the United States of America. You and we, therefore, have now nothing to do with Great Britain; we are wholly separated from her, and all the former friendship and connexion with her are now dissolved. The United States now form a long and strong chain; and it is made longer and stronger by our brethren of the St˙ John' s and Mickmac Tribes joining with us. And rnay Almighty God never suffer this chain to be broken. In pursuance and in full confirmation of what has, in these conferences, been agreed upon between us, we now lay before you certain Articles of Alliance and Friendship which, if you approve of them, we propose should be mutually signed, viz: by you, in behalf of the St˙ John' s and Mickmac Tribes on the one part, and by us, in behalf of the United States of America on the other part.

The PRESIDENT then, holding out to them the Treaty, said, This is the Treaty to be read to you; if you approve of it, it will be fairly written and brought here again to be signed by you and us. I shall desire one of my brothers to read it to you, being obliged myself to go to Boston. Upon which the President, after shaking hands with the Indians, and bidding them farewell, retired.

The Honourable BENJAMIN GREENLEAF, Esq˙, then read the Treaty to the Indians, which was fully and clearly interpreted to them, and of which they expressed their entire approbation, and said they were ready to sign it. After mutual healths were drunk, the Conference was adjourned to the next day.