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Reverend Doctor Wheelock to the New-Hampshire Congress



Dartmouth College, June 28, 1775.

MUCH RESPECTED GENTLEMEN: Yesterday Mr˙ Dean returned from his tour to Canada, on which I sent him in the capacity of a Missionary, last March, with a view to Strengthen and perpetuate the friendship which has lately commenced between the Indian tribes in that quarter and the Seminary, to attach them to these Colonies, and secure these frontiers from an invasion from that quarter. And on hearing his narrative, the intelligence appeared so interesting, and the authority so good, that I thought best to send him forward immediately to the honourable Continental Congress, whose determination I thought would probably be governed in some important respects by his accounts.

The Tribes of Indians near Montreal and Quebeck are doubtless well affected towards these Colonies and the cause we are engaged in. But about forty savages from a


great distance, came into Montreal, with a profession of coming to a Congress or treaty, we understand, at the desire of the Governour, who ordered the Commissary to make provision for the entertainment of three hundred more, by which he supposed the number was expected soon. The neighbouring tribes will none of them join with the savages, excepting that the Caughnawagas, to save themselves from being distressed, have engaged to assist in defending him at Montreal, but to go no further, and gave the fullest evidence that this concession was only for self-preservation; and Mr˙ Dean is confident that the Governour cannot persuade an Indian there so much as to conduct those foreigners through the roads to our settlements. He further informs, that the inhabitants of Canada were much alarmed at our people' s taking the forts on the lake; and that upon it, they (the Regulars) exerted themselves much in preparing themselves for an attack from our soldiers; and that this appeared to be their grand object when he left the place. But my son, who comes on purpose, can give you a more full and particular account of this and of the present state of Oswego, &c. And I would humbly propose to your consideration, gentlemen, whether it be not expedient, and of the first and greatest importance to the safety of the whole, that all these frontier Towns be well and speedily supplied with arms and ammunition, and as much as they can, to put themselves into a posture of defence; and that in order hereto, some method to procure such stores be pointed out to them by the honourable Congress; and also some means be provided to make it practicable by such as are poor and unable to purchase for themselves.

I most heartily pray the Father of lights to direct you in your consultations and determinations on this most interesting affair; and am, much respected gentlemen, your most obedient and very humble servant,


To the Honourable Provincial Congress now sitting at Exeter.

P˙ S. My son can inform you of the measures used by the Canadian Indians to engage all their allies not to join against us.

Since I wrote the foregoing letter, I have seen a man direct from Albany, and late from Mount Johnson, who informs me that Colonel G˙ Johnson has lately received presents to the amount of three thousand Pounds, from the King, to be disposed of to engage the Indians within his jurisdiction against the Colonies; and that all his endeavours for that purpose have been fruitless. Not one of the Indians would go to receive the presents. That said Superintendent has withdrawn, with his family and presents, by the way of Oswego; but where he is going is not known. That the Mohawks and Oneidas are firm for the Colonies; which also agrees with other accounts.