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Preliminary Conference with the Indians


Thursday Evening, August 24, 1775.

A deputation of Sachems from the Six Nations having desired a conference with the Commissioners, they were accordingly met at Cartwright' s Tavern by General Schuy/er, Colonel Francis, Colonel Wolcott, and Mr˙ Douw.

When Senghnagenrat, an Oneida Sachem, informed the Commissioners that they had been called down to this meeting, by invitation from the Committee at Albany, previous to the appointment of Commissioners by the honourable Continental Congress; they thought they ought, in good manners, first address themselves to the Committee of Albany, and give the answers to the questions put by them to that body; but as this would take up very little time, they desired they might proceed to business with the Commissioners immediately after they had spoke to the Committee at Albany.

To this the Commissioners replied, that they were pleased with what had been communicated to them, and that it was perfectly agreeable to them that the Committee of Albany should be spoke to, previous to entering upon the great business upon which they were met.

The Commissioners desired they would appoint one of their Sachems as a speaker, to communicate to the Six Nations what they the Commissioners should lay before them; but the Indians leaving the choice to the Commissioners, they fixed upon Abraham, a Mohawk Sachem, for that purpose, which the Indians said was agreeable to them.

The Commissioners informed the Sachems, that if they had no objections, they would provide a guard to encircle the place of meeting, to keep the people from pressing in upon the Council, and to preserve silence and good order. This the Sachems thought right, and to which they had no objection.

Tiahogwando concluded the conference by saying that many of their kettles, axes, and hoes, were out of order, and wanted mending, and that they hoped the Commissioners would give orders to have them repaired, as had always been the case heretofore.

The Commissioners informed them that every thing of that kind should be, complied with, and appointed Mr˙ Gerardus Lansing and Mr˙ Bleecker to see it done.