George Washington Papers

Enclosure: Timothy Pickering to Henry Knox, 8 October 1794

Timothy Pickering to Henry Knox

Kanandaigua [N.Y.] October 8th. 1794


On the 23d Ulto I sent Horatio Jones the Interpreter1 to Buffaloe Creek to hasten the departure of the Indians and to give them any necessary assistance on the way. I thought also that he would be able to remove any little obstructions which the British Agents might continue to throw in the way.

He went directly to their principal village, assembled the Chiefs and delivered my message. The Farmers brother immediately gave orders to prepare for the Journey and fixed the time of departure which was the first instant. The whole assembly appeared well pleased.

Jones then went to one Winneys, a Trader, at the Mouth of the Creek, where Travellers usually get entertainment. There he found Johnson the British Interpreter and a Colo. Powell, who dwells within four Miles of Fort Erie, but who formerly lived on Mohawk river, talks the language of that tribe was an Officer under Col. Butler in the late War and now appears to be his Agent in his intercourse with the Six Nations.2

When they had enquired of Jones his business at Buffaloe Creek and received his answer, they manifested some surprise on finding that the Indians were actually preparing to attend the Treaty at Kanandaigua and had fixed the day of their departure. Colo. Powell replied “Well damn them let them go.”

Jones says the Indians worked with uncommon zeal to get in their harvest of Corn; the Men and Boys (which is not usual) assisting the women and girls, that it might be accomplished in time and that all might go to the Treaty.

On the 5th Jones returned hither and on the 6 went with Captain Chapin to Genesee river to hang on a Kettle for the Indians, according to my promise.3 He expected they would arrive there that evening or the next day. I am Sir Your most obedient Servant

signed. Timothy Pickering

P.S. Yesterday Genl. Chapin informed me that the number of Indians now here were about 450.

Copy, DLC:GW.

1Horatio Jones (1763–1836), originally from Pennsylvania, was captured by the Seneca Indians during the Revolutionary War and subsequently adopted by a sister of Cornplanter. After the war, he served for many years as an interpreter, and in 1798 the tribe gave him a plot of land in acknowledgment of that work.

2Cornelius Winney, a Dutch trader, had established a trading post on Buffalo Creek by 1791. He apparently left the area around 1798. William Johnston (c.1742–1807) built a blockhouse near Winney’s post in 1794 and remained in the area until his death. His half-brother John Powell, who served as a volunteer in the British Indian Department from 1775 to 1784, resided on the Niagara River near Frenchman’s Creek.

3Israel Chapin, Jr. (1764–1833), a militia captain, was a son of the Indian agent Israel Chapin, Sr. He succeeded his father as agent in 1795 and served in that post until 1803.

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