George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Connolly, 9 February 1775

From John Connolly

Winchister Feby 9th 1775.

Dear Sir.

I was this far determined to proceed to Williamsburgh, to lay before His Excellency some matters which concerned the interest of this Government, & the Frontiers in particular; but finding that my immediate return to Pittsburgh was indispensably necessary, I have dispatched my Servant Express to my Lord, by whom I now write you.

As His Lordship in the late treaty with the Indians,1 acquainted them, that He would, by a preparative Message let them know at what time it would suit Him to meet the Chiefs in the Spring at Pittsburgh, to settle every minute matter; & the distracted affairs of Government will now (I fear) put it out of his Power to attend personally, I have requested, that His Excellency would let me know, how I should deport myself towards the Indians, & in what manner, I am to act with the prisoner Mingoes now in my Cusdy, as they begin to think their Nation rather more severely dealth with, than the Shawanese, & without some proper measures are pursued, these troublesome People may again disturb our settlements—If I have proper orders how to proceed, every thing may be extremely well adjusted, & I think much to the honor of Government.2

I have desired my Man to leave this letter in the office at Fredericksburgh, to be conveyed to yo⟨u⟩ as expeditiously as possible; & I hope I shall be favored3 with an Answer, & your opinion by the Return Express.

I have transmitted a Copy of the Treaty to His Excellency, & should have sent you one also, only as I have desired the Journal of the expedition to be printed, Including the whole, I deemed it unnecessary.4 I am Dr Sir your most obedt Servt

Jno. Connolly


1For the treaty ending Dunmore’s War, see William Crawford to GW, 14 Nov. 1774, and note 1 of that document.

2Connolly met with the Indians on Dunmore’s behalf to make a final peace treaty in June 1775 at Pittsburgh. Although the Shawnee were absent from the meeting, the members of the West Augusta Committee were in attendance to monitor events, for by this time there was some suspicion that Connolly might try to influence the Indians against the colonists. While the treaty was being negotiated, the rival Pennsylvania faction, in retaliation for the arrest of two Westmoreland County justices, carried Connolly off to jail. For the dispute between Virginia and Pennsylvania, see Connolly to GW, 1 May 1774, n.1. The West Augusta Committee finally persuaded the Pennsylvania faction to release Connolly so that he could continue his conference with the Indian chiefs, and in early July Connolly concluded a peace (see Valentine Crawford to GW, 24 June 1775, and note 3 of that document). The Mingo prisoners were undoubtedly the ones William Crawford had captured in his expedition against the Mingo towns (see William Crawford to GW, 14 Nov. 1774).

3Connolly plainly wrote “fuvored” here.

4Connolly evidently never had the journal printed. He did mention the expedition briefly in A Narrative of the Transactions, Imprisonment, and Sufferings, of John Connolly, an American Loyalist, and Lieutenant-Colonel in His Majesty’s Service, printed in London in 1783.

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