George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Massachusetts Council, 26 November 1776

From the Massachusetts Council

State of Massachusetts Bay Council Chamber
[Boston] Novr 26th 1776

May it please your Excelley

The Bearer, Major Shaw, has at Length arrived here with a few Indians, Inlisted into the Continental Service,1 we are Sorry he has met with no better Success in this Business, however the few there are we Conceive, Will be of this Service if no other, to keep the Tribes from whence they came in a State of Amity—The Indians when here, were fond of Returning back again to their Families, but were Informed that We had no Power to grant them any such leave—But they must Attend Upon your Excellency; And as they made some Objection to Travelling so far on Foot a Waggon and Horses have been purchased for the Sole purpose of Conveying them along.2 In the Name & by Order of the Council I have the Honor to be Your Most Obedient Humble Servant

Jer: Powell President


1Maj. Francis Shaw, Jr., had gone to Nova Scotia the previous summer to recruit Indians for the American army (see James Bowdoin to GW, 30 July 1776, and note 4, and GW to Bowdoin, 14 Aug. 1776).

2The council on 20 Nov. authorized Shaw “to purchase one waggon and three horses to carry the ten St John’s Indians to General Washington at, or near New York, and to hire a man to drive the same,” and three days later it appropriated £482.11.7. for that purpose (“Mass. Council Journal,” Oct. 1776-Feb. 1777 sess. description begins In Journals, Minutes, and Proceedings, State of Massachusetts Bay, 1775–1780. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records.) description ends , 199, 219).

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