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Report of the Committee appointed to confer with the Chief of the St. François Tribe


The Committee appointed to confer with the Indian Chief of the Tribe of St˙ François, reported as follows, viz:

"In Council, August 17, 1775.

"The Committee of both Houses appointed to confer with the Indian Chief of the Tribe of St˙ François, in Canada, now in this Town, have attended that service, and beg leave to lay before the honourable Court the following account of the conference they held with him, and humbly report, as their opinion, that it is advisable that the four Indians who came down with him should remain at Cambridge, under the direction of his Excellency General Washington; and that the said Chief, with his Interpreter, should return with one of our Stockbridge Indians, by way of Ticonderoga, to wait upon General Schuyler, where he will have an opportunity of making the tender of his services to him, for which we have no immediate occasion; and that a letter be sent by the said Interpreter to General Schuyler, informing him hereof.

"W˙ SEVER, per Order."

Read and concurred, and Mr˙ Hopkins and Dr˙ Baylis, with such as the honourable Board shall join, be a Committee to report a Letter to General Schuyler, as above.

Sent up for concurrence.

Questions asked the Indians of the ST˙ FRANÇOIS Tribe.

Q. What occasioned your coming this way?

A. Being informed you were in a state of war with Great Britain, I came to offer you our assistance, if wanted.

Q. Has the Governour of Canada proposed to you to take up the hatchet against the English?

A. Yes; frequently.

Q. Has the Governour sent any agents among you for that purpose?

A. Yes; two persons, who offered us presents. Only four or five of our young men went to Quebeck, and took blankets.

Q. Why did you refuse to comply with the proposals of Governour Carleton?

A. As our ancestors gave this country to you, we would not have you destroyed by England, but are ready to afford you our assistance.

Q. If Governour Carleton should know you offered us your assistance, are you not afraid he would destroy you?

A. We are not afraid of it. He has threatened us; but if he attacks us, we have arms to defend ourselves.

Q. Would your Tribe in general be disposed to assist us?

A. We some time ago made peace with General Johnson, and buried the hatchet, but are now in general ready to take it up again in your behalf.

Q. Do you know whether any of the Tribes near you are disposed to afford us assistance, if wanted?

A. There are five Tribes that are of one heart, and ready to assist you.

Q. How many men are there in the five Tribes fit to bear arms?

A. About two thousand young men; and more, if wanted.

Q. When was you at Montreal?

A. This Spring.

Q. Had any number of your and the other Tribes a meeting with Governour Carleton?

A. Some from the St˙ François, and five other Tribes.

Q. Where did you meet the Governour?

A. We had two meetings; one at Montreal, the other at Quebeck.

Q. Do you know of any meeting of your Tribes with French Officers at Oso?

A. There was a meeting, but they took nothing.

Q. Do you know whether any Tribe has agreed to take arms against us?

A. All the Tribes have agreed to afford you assistance, if wanted.


Q. Do you know the disposition of the Tribes far West and Northwest?

A. I don' t know; they are far off.

Q. Have any Tribes joined General Johnson?

A. No.

Q. Are your Tribe in alliance with the Indians?

A. Yes.

Q. Have you a French Priest in your Tribe?

A. Yes.

Q. Has he given you any advice with regard to this dispute?

A. Our Priest is no Warriour, and does not concern himself about it.

Q. What is the disposition of the Canadians as to taking arms?

A. They are afraid, and are not disposed to take arms.

Q. How do you like the military appearances near Boston?

A. Very well.

Q. Would it be as agreeable to join General Schuyler at Crown Point as the Army at Cambridge?

A. Yes.

Q. Should General Schuyler proceed into Canada, to take Montreal and Quebeck, would you assist him?

A. Yes, heartily.

Ordered, That the Indian Chief from St˙ François have a good Blanket presented him, and that Colonel Otis, Captain Batchelder, and Mr˙ Hopkins, be a Committee to procure and present the same, and lay their accounts before this House.

Ordered, That Mr˙ Hopkins and Dr˙ Baylis, with such as the honourable Board shall join, be directed to write a Letter to General Schuyler, at Ticonderoga, in behalf of the Indian Chief from St˙ François.