Message from the Six Nations
[c.16 May 1776]
Brothers I hope you are all well & that we are met together to smoke our Pipes like Friends.
Brothers we would go to Philadelphia to the Congress we have no Shoes to walk upon we hope the Genl will find a Sloop to carry Us over the Water to Amboy, & in Waggons to Philadelphia—& find Us a Dram in the Morng & in the Eveng & Provisions. We would be very glad if the General would do so much for Us.
Brother We were at the great Meeting at Albany with General Schyler who told Us we might go to Boston, N. York or Philadelphia & see the Country We have heard that the British Troops are drove from Boston, this we know by two of the Mahawks who were at Boston, & now we Chuse to go to Philadelphia—if the General will find us a Sloop we will go on monday.
Brothers Don’t let us suffer as we did on the Way from Albany w[h]ere we Could not get any Liquors & had Nothing but salt Meat, we are quite tir’d of salt Meat. If we could have fresh meat on the Way to Philadelphia we should be very glad. We like a little Liquor in the Morng & in the Evening.
Brothers One Thing I would beg of You the young Warriors like to be dress’d, I should be very glad if you would let Us have a little Paint—Brother this is all we have to say at this Time.
Brother General Scyler gave us leave to see the Country, if the General will let Us see the Works this Afternoon we should be very glad.
Phillip Unity ⟨illegible⟩
D, DLC:GW. Robert Hanson Harrison docketed this document “May 1776.” The fact that the Indians that Schuyler sent from Albany arrived in New York City on 16 May suggests that this document was written about that date (New-York Gazette: and the Weekly Mercury, 20 May 1776; see also Schuyler to GW, 10 May [second letter], and GW to Schuyler, 15 May 1776).
These Indians reached Philadelphia by 25 May when they requested an audience with Congress. That audience was held at 11:00 a.m. on 27 May, and preceding it at 9:00 a.m. Congress staged a military review “in order,” as one delegate candidly remarked, “to give those savages some idea of our strength and importance” (Joseph Hewes to Samuel Johnston, 26 May 1776, in Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 4:77–78; JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 4:392–93, 396–97). “Coll. Dickinson’s, Coll. Robertdoe’s, Coll. Cadwallader’s, Coll. Mckean’s and Coll. MatLock’s Battalions [of associators], three companies of Artillery & the Light-horse of the Militia; and Coll. Shee’s and Coll. Magaw’s Battalion’s of the Continental Troops Were all Reviewed,” Caesar Rodney wrote Thomas Rodney on 29 May, “the day before Yesterday, on the Common, by the Congress, Generals Washington, Gates and Mifflin accompanied by a great number of other officers, most of the Assembly, the Presbiterian Clergey who were here at the Sinod—and 21 Indians of the Six Nations, who gave the Congress a War-dance Yesterday” (Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 4:99–100). The Indians appeared in Congress again on 11 June when a speech pledging American friendship and various gifts were delivered to them (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 4:410, 5:421, 430–31, 471).