Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Isaac Norris, 25 July 1758

From Isaac Norris

Letterbook copy: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Pensyla. July 25th 1758

My Dear friend (B F)

If I Could hear the News by this Days post, I might Possibly Send Some Intellegence from our Westren Expedition and Ticonderoga, but there is no probability of transmitting from hence, any thing Relateing to Cape Breton, which will not be Sooner known by A direct Conveyance from thence.5 The Politicians in Town are in full Expectation of Success in that Quarter and with great reason. Our forces under General Forbes Seem to fortify Themselves At particular places to perserve a Communication and Secure A Retreat in Case of Necessity, and by moveing forward Slowly, to Ensure Success against fort DuQuesne, or at least to preserve themselves in the Neigh[bor]hood of the Enemy and guard the frontiers of These Colonies, except against Some Small Indian excursions, which will probably Continue during the War, unless we Can find Some means of Reconcileing them to our Interests. The Delawares of Vinango and About the Ohio, I realy believe are well dispos’d to a peace, and to Come into our alliance Cordialy, if they Are not prevented by our New Politicks,6 Tho’ I am informd that General Forbes has Interested himself in Indian Affairs and been of Good Service. I shall enclose a late Message from the Cherokee’s to the Delawares, As I received it from Chas. Thompson about a Month ago, Since which a Deputation from the Ohio has been in Philadelphia, who held a Treaty There in Company with Several Delawares who accompanied them from Wyoming.7 Chas. Thompson offerd his Service on their return but was refused by the Governor, by which means, one Post A Moravian went alone.8 ’Tis Clear, that uncommon endeavors are used to Induce the Indians to forego their Complaints Concerning the Injustice done them on Account of their lands. What Success they may meet with, by perseverance, I cannot Say, but the lands Cannot be easily Eradicated from the Minds Of those Tribes who have been Disposess’d of them, as they Think, Iniquituously. The Committee bro’t me your last letter to them A few days Since, but I have forgot the Date.9 It will give me great Pleasure to hear the Summer Contributes to the Return of a Good State of health, which we all Sincerly wish you, pray remember me kindly to Billy, and I Must Also desire My Complements to My friend R C1 and his good family, My Brother2 Shiped him a pipe of Wine by —— Suppose the Committee will Send a Copy Of the Votes So far as they are printed. I am your Assured friend


B Franklin recd ackd 7br 16 17583

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5The three main British military campaigns in North America in 1758 were against Fort Duquesne (captured Nov. 25, 1758), Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island (captured July 26, 1758), and Fort Ticonderoga, where the British under Abercromby were repulsed in a bloody engagement, July 8, 1758. News of the last event was known in Philadelphia (and so by Norris) by July 20, but the full extent of the defeat was not yet realized.

6See above, pp. 69–79, for Indian affairs. The “New Politicks” may have been efforts by proprietary officials to suppress Indian complaints about land purchases or efforts to have outside Indians (Cherokee or Iroquois) subdue the Delaware and other Pa. tribes.

7The Cherokee message to the Delaware, June 20, 1758, peaceful but condescending, is in Pa. Col. Recs., VIII, 135–8, and minutes of a conference in Philadelphia with Teedyuscung and other Indians, July 8–12, 1758, are in I Pa. Arch., III, 456–69. After the conference, 30 Quakers and assemblymen protested the “very general and uncertain terms” Governor Denny used in speaking about Indian grievances.

8See above, p. 77 n.

9Probably that of May 13, 1758; see above, p. 69 n.

1Robert Charles.

2Charles Norris.

3See below, pp. 157–9.

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