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Letter from the Rev. Samuel Kirkland


The copy of the Letter from Mr˙ Kirkland, therein enclosed, was read and filed, and is in the words following, to wit:

"Cherry Valley, June 9, 1775.

"GENTLEMEN: This acknowledges the receipt of your favour, with an enclosed paper, the authenticity of which I have no doubt. I am much embarrassed at present. You have doubtless heard Colonel Johnson has orders from Governmen to remove the dissenting Missionaries from the Six Nations, till the difficulties betwixt Great Britain and the Colonies are settled. In consequence of which he has forbid my return to my people at Oneida. He has since given encouragement that I may revisit them after the Congress; but, to be plain, I have no dependence


at all upon his promises of this kind in particular. He appears unreasonably jealous of me, and has forbid my speaking a word to the Indians, and threatened me with confinement if I transgress. All he has against me I suppose to be this: a suspicion that I have interpreted to the Indians the doings of the Continental Congress, which has undeceived and too much opened the eyes of the Indians for Colonel Johnson' s purposes. I confess to you, gentlemen, that I have been guilty of this, if it be any transgression. The Indians found out that I had received the abstracts of said Congress, and insisted upon knowing the contents. I could not deny them, notwithstanding my cloth, though in all other respects I have been extremely cautious not to meddle in matters of a political nature.

"I apprehend my interpreting the doings of the Congress to a number of their Sachems, has done more real service to the cause of the Country, or the cause of truth and justice, than five hundred pounds in presents would have effected. If you think proper, you may acquaint your Provincial Congress with the contents of this, but you must be cautious in exposing my name; you cannot but be sensible my situation is extremely difficult. You may expect either to see or hear from me again very soon; wishing you the blessings of peace, and that we may all be disposed to acquiesce in the Divine Government.

"In utmost haste subscribe, gentlemen, your obedient and very humble servant,


"To the Committee of Albany.

"A true copy:

JOHN BAY, Sec' y pro tem."