Papers of the Continental Congress
Copy: Samuel Kirkland Letter to General Schuyler 1/25/1777
National Archives & Records Administration M247-173 pg. 21
Transcribed by Billy Markland
Transcriber's Note: This is a letter received by General Schuyler, which he had copied, and then forwarded to the Continental Congress. The following transcript is of the copy received by Congress.
Oneida 25th Jany. 1777
To Major General Schuyler
The last Time I did my self the Honor to address by Letter, Informed that Teyohagweande was at Oneida with a private McPage from Col. Butler & Joseph Brant. This day the Sachems communicated to me the Import of his Belt-Viz. That Col. Butler had invited a Number of the Chiefs & Head Warriors of Such Tribe of the Confederacy to repair to Niagara by the second Week in February. The three Chiefs of this tribe are Niklasko, Kanaghgocaseo & Tekcugahoare, alias Jimmy, & the only three Tory Chiefs the Oneidas have & their Influence is not Great. They are requested by Butler to bring as many of their Young Warriors with them as should be disposed to come.-
Joseph Brant subjoined to this Belt, a Request that the following persons, on account of Family Connection would also Visit him at Niagara, Vizt. Shenonden, Thayendalongwe, Thomas & his Brother Peter.- Those invited by Joseph Brant, reject the Invitation utterly decline Going, what the former will do is yet utterly uncertain.
Teyohagweande affermed [sic] that Col. Butler had no other [view?] in this Conference, but the peace & Union of the six Nations. That the King of Britain was much Grieved to hear, they were divided in their political Sentiments, & feared that it would prove their Ruin. However this Pretext was answered by the Oneida Chiefs, with some severe Remarks & a great Deal of Humour.- Teyohagweande further reported that Fort Schuyler would not be Attacked this Season on account of its being in the Vicinity of the Oneidas & Mohawks. That Col. Butler was averse to spilling of Blood in the Territories of the six Nations lest they should thereby be brought into Difficulty.
That a General Treaty would be held with the six Nations & Other Indian Tribes at Oswego, Early in the Spring when Young & Old were to give their Attenda[nce?] & receive the Kings Bounty.
That a Winter Expedition was intended against Tyconderoga, which would not in the least Effect the Kings Friends this Way.
The Oneida Runners which were sent with Your Honors speech to the sixNations, returned last Evening. I have now the pleasure to inform you from Good Authority, that Your Speech & presents were joyfully & thankfully, received by the Senekas [sic].- Forty of their Chiefs & Warriors were present, their Conduct & Expressions of Joy upon the Delivery of the Both, were such as very sensibly affected the Messengers & made them forget Fatigues of their March.- They observed to me, that Kayengueleaghte, in Returning their answer, closed every sentence with Thanks to General Schuyler. They particularly mentioned Your opening Trade at Fort Schuyler at this Season, as being What they scarcely Expected from the Situation of our affairs & the Reports our Enemies have propagated among them.-
Also, Your sending is so direct & particular Account of the Victory of Your ChiefWarrior & the present of a Barrel of Rum as a Confirmation of it & to let them know you still remember them & the ancient Covenant. Lastly, returned many Thanks that You requested the Oneidas to find some of their Wise Men to deliver Your speech from Tribe to Tribe till they reached the Senekas, By which Means they now know what to depend upon for Truth.- They then desired that they might frequently hear from You, whenever any Thing Important takes place your way, promised that You should hear from them-that they had sent off two Men to Niagara, to know the Real design of Col. Butler's intended Conference with a particular Number of the Indians-there had been Various Reports concerning this Meeting since Teyohagweande passed their Village on his Way down to the Oneidas, with which they were not well pleased, had therefore determined to know the Truth of the Matter before they concluded to go. Upon the return of these Men, they would immediately forward an Express to the Oneidas and request them to acquaint General Schuyler. Thayanqueleaghtea gives his Compliments to General Schuyler & informs that he intends a Visit to the Gen'L pretty soon, if Nothing takes place at Niagara to prevent it.-
Your Honor will excuse for not Writing the Speech in form, I have been here then five Days past & Continuously thronged with Indians.- The Oneida Messengers tell me that one John Johnson (formerly an Indian Trader) now resides at a Seneka Village about ten Miles from Kayengueleaghte, he is supported there by Col. Butler to convey Intelligence, he was present at this Meeting, the Seneca [sic] Sachem is not well pleased with his being amongst them.-
They also there met with Old Isaac of Onohoghqwagu & his Party returning from [?].
Joseph Brant is soon expected at Onondago & will probably take Oneida in his way to Onohoghguaga, 'tis said, he is to return to Lord Howe.-
A trusty Indian was sent to a particular person residing in the Upper Mohawk Castle for Intelligence. This Person reports that no Attack is designed by the Enemy on this River or Quarter for the present Season, till the Mohawks are removed. That a General March upon Ticonderoga is designed towards the Close of February by Regulars, Canadians & Indians.-