George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Daniel Brodhead, 18 August 1780

Fort Pitt Augt 18th 1780.

Dear General

The Lieutenant of Mongalia County informs me that ten men were killed on friday last above the forks of Cheat. They were quite off their guard when the Indians attacked them, and made no resistance.

The Troops are suffering for want of bread, the waters being too low to grind the Grain, and I am informed that the pack horse men have left the Service for want of pay &c.

I take the liberty to inclose the proceedings of the Genl Court Martial on the trials of Captn Thomas Beall, Peter Davis & David Gamble, and shall be happy to receive your Directions respecting them. The Genl Court Martial has addressed a Letter to your Excellency which is inclosed with the proceedings.

I have lately received two Letters from the Delaware Towns, copies of which I likewise take the liberty to inclose. It appears by the Contents, that the Delawares & Wyondats & their Numerous allies, might be speedily involved in a War against each other Provided we were possessed of the means to reward the Delawares for bringing in Wyondat Scalps & Prisoners.

The Forts in the new Country were taken by about two hundred whitemen & seven hundred Indians. Encouraged by their Success its highly probable they will attempt Carrying these Garrisons, which in their present circumstances, to superior Numbers must inevitably fall a prey, unless timely Supplies can be obtained. But the best exertions in my power shall not be wanting to prevent so fatal an event. I have the Honor to be with the utmost respect & esteem your Excellencies most obedt Hble Servt

Daniel Brodhead

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Salem July 19th 1780

Capn John Killbuck & others the Councellers Cooshocking to Colo. Brodhead as follows.

Brother Mahingwe Geeshuch

I will acquaint you that Captn Pipe & Wingenum are came back again from the Council which was held at Detroit. Geyjahshuta was gone back already when they came there, but the Speeches was shewn unto them, namely a large Belt of 36 rows from the King of England with the name of the Indian Agent mark’d therein. Again another Belt with 12 Rows and a Tomhawk, likewise the agents name thereon Again another belt of 12 Rows with 8 spots, again another black belt which is said to be a speech from the Chipwas. The contents of the large belt was not fully understood, on account of the chief Interpreters not being present, but part of the speech was thus: That the King of England desires the 5 Nations to speak to all Nations & desire them to be strong in being one People, so as had been concluded on from the beginning That it was true the 5 Nations had divided themselves, the one half having gone over to the Americans, but that no other Nation should follow their Example, for those who had done so should never again come in favour with him, he had thrown them away intirely.

With the 2d Belt the English says to the Nations: That as the Tomhawk they had hitherto used, had been but a small one, they therefore supposed it was worn out by this time. Now they would give them a large Axe which was strong made, very sharp and well hardened, so that it could not wear out so soon—The 3d belt with the 8 spots is a speech from the Mingoes, in which they tell all nations, that now they are 8 Nations who were one, & had joined themselves to strike the Americans with all their might & not to give way to them on any account. That as before they had been of different minds, they had been backward, but now the time was come, where they would do all that lay in their Power in fighting the Americans. After the speech was delivered the Major rose with the Belts in his hands making much noise and great talk, then handing the Belts first to the Chipwas, & from them to the Wyandats the Axe was sharpened over & over again. After this all was over (Captn Pipe & Wingenund present, at the time) they was breaking up, when the half Kings brother rose desired them to stay and hear a speech from the French (Major Lenkto’s Speech) This Wyandot delivered the Speech with great Courage then laid it down in the middle of them, opposite to the Wyandot Chieff, who taking it up very chearfully, put it under his Arm, then after smoking a Pipe laid it on the ground before him, but soon taking the Belt up again he put it in his Breeches till he had smoaked another Pipe being silent all the time but very glad when at last he put it on the ground again on which immediately the English Major arose took the Belt and threw it on the Ground Tramping thereon, saying, I do not know from whence the Speech of such an ugly Bird comes, It is impossible that the Bird whom I destroyed but of late & mashed him against the Ground, should have recovered again, and be so impudent as to sing again &c. The French present began to speak boldly thereon & a Quarrell between them & the English arose. At last the Wyandot Chief took the Belt up again, rose and made a long Speech, then threw the Belt to the English Major, who taking it spoke in the French Language to the French present, & then threw it out of doors again, an other House standing close by, where a Man seeing it took it away with him so that nobody knows what is become of the Belt.

This Brother is all I can tell you of this Matter from over the Lake When Captn Pipe & Wingenund had returned to Sandusky the half King made a speech to the former desiring him not to force his People to go to live at Coochocking, saying that they might go and see one another and return here again.

Then he (the half King) spoke to the People of Coochocking in the following manner, Cousin you that live at Coochocking hearken unto me, Cousin I tell you that as you told me what I desired of you. You would do I therefore now desire of you not to listen any more to the Virginian Devils. The reason that I tell You this is because I find you are become too great with the Virginians by which I lost two of my Women. This Cousin what has been done unto me I don’t mind yet, but I desire you now to leave off and do so no more I now further say unto you Cousin that if you don’t leave off soon to be so great with the Virginians you will find yourselves in a miserable condition, I will set up Bark between you & them. I also say unto you, make haste and fetch all your People away from among the Virginians, free yourselves [   ] be together at Coochocking, make great haste [   ] will otherwise soon be too late for you. Cousin at Coochocking We are old Friends together there is not a Scar to be seen on you caused by me, neither is there a Scar on me made by You. Cousin it is enough I desire you now to leave off stealing my Horses do it no more. Likewise Cousin I desire you to fetch me my friends back again their number is four, two White men, and two Women of my Coulour. These my Friends I love equal, the White as much as the others. Cousin I will tell you more There came a party of Wyandots (Warriors) over the Lake lately among which was the Uncle of one of them Women which was taken away: the same was ready to go and Watch the Road at little beaver Creek there to kill any one of you my Cousin that he might meet with on the way. I stop’d him for the present, thinking to speak once more to you my Cousins first Captn Pipe & Wingenund saw when at Sandusky a party of Sixty Warriors, several others of Ten marching for to watch the Roads about little Beaver Creek in order to kill every Delaware they came across the half King made a speech to them to stay a little while yet upon which they agreed to divide in smaller parties about little Beaver Creek & cross the big River for to do mischief about Fort Pitt. We also hear by a Relation of John Montours who went to War with the English & Shawnese against the settlements of Kentuck that these have burnt Two Forts & taken 340 Prisoners Men, Women & Children.

Now Brother Maghingwe Geeshuch

This is what I had to inform you. I have heard a great deal more than what is wrote down here, but think part of it must be Lies; yet my Boys will tell you all what I know.

Brother believe me that I am very busy a working here at Coochocking but I begin now to be astonished.

Brother I assure you that nobody shall break our Friendship We are one Man Brother—In a very short time Brother You shall hear me—As soon as these my two Boys return again Two of my Captains shall go up to you and then you will hear me Take care of these my Two Boys that they return safe, Guard them to Fort Mcintosh. send me a Flag whereby you may know when I come—My Boys are very Naked I beg you may give them a shirt apiece—All my Captains remember their Compliments to You. I am your Friend & Brother

John Killbuck


Salem July 26th 1780

Dear Sir

I wrote a long Letter for the Chiefs of Coochocking to You a few days ago, but understood since that the Messengers out of fear for a number of Warriors whom they tracked turned back again, but as now others are sent, I suppose the Letter will come safe to hand; At present I know of no other news concerning the Enemy, than what is mentioned in the Letter. It seems to me by conversation I and several of the head Men from Coochocking had the other day, that the Delawares would willingly join you in a Campaign against the Enemy for they think themselves in great danger of other Nations who begin to threaten them again, but I can hardly believe it to be so bad as they think. Out of a Letter from Mr Zeizberger I see that some of his Men who had been out Hunting tracked a great number of Warriors who were turned back and gone by Tuscarawas to sandusky again. Whether there be still any between this & Fort Mcintosh I cannot tell. Not one Warrior has passed through our Town here this Spring. The French Major, Captain & Company are gone to Coochocking their Business I cannot tell, It is indeed my Duty Dr Sir to return you my most hearty thanks for your kind services to the Reverd Mr Grubs & Company when at Fort Pitt, & I wish to have the pleasure of making a more fully acknowledgment to You for this and all your kind services to Us. I am indeed Sir with great regard Your sincere friend & most Obedt humble Servt

Jno. Hackenwelder

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