Benjamin Franklin Papers

Henry Bouquet to John Penn and the Provincial Commissioners, 4 June 1764

Henry Bouquet9 to John Penn and the Provincial Commissioners

Copy: British Museum1

Philadelphia 4th. June 1764


There being too few of His Majesty’s Regular Troops in this Department to act offensively against the Enemy, till they are joined by the Thousand Men granted by this Government, I request that you will please to give the necessary orders to compleat, arm, and Cloathe these Troops as soon as possible.2

The king’s Arms formerly lent to this Province having not been returned, There must be a sufficient quantity for present use, when put in repair.

I would also recommend to provide each man with a good Hatchet made in the form of a common Axe, in lieu of a Bayonet.

The difficulty of Supplying the Troops with shoes out of the Settlements, obliges me to mention that Two Pairs will be necessary for Each man besides the Two Pairs he is to have with him; Carriages will be furnished for those Spare Shoes, and the men must pay for it.3

In the Campaign of 1758, This Province granted to General Forbes, Two Troops of Light Horse, which were found of good service, and as I am of opinion that we might employ Horses with success against the savages, I request that you will grant me and equip one Troop; and in case that additional Expence Should be an objection, rather than to be deprived of the Service I expect from them, I would be satisfied to have Fifty men less, whose Pay for the Campaign would amount nearly to the Expence of Horses &c.4

I think the Horses would be fitted for that Service, if bought on the Frontiers of Virginia where they are commonly bred in the Woods.

I can not omit to Submit to your Consideration the use that might be made of Dogs against our Savage Enemies; It would be needless to expect that our Foot Soldiers can overtake an Indian in the Woods, and their audacious attempts in attacking our Troops and settlements may, in a great Measure, be ascribed to the certainty of evading our Pursuit by their flight: a few Instances of Indians Seized and worried by Dogs, would, I presume, deter them more effectualy from a War with us, than all the Troops we could raise, and as we have not in this Country the Species of those animals, which would best answer this Purpose, I beg leave to recommend it to you, to have Fifty Couples of proper Hounds imported from Great Britain, with People who understand to train and manage them.5

They might be kept on the Frontiers, and a few given to Every Scouting Party, to discover the Ambushes of the Enemy, and direct the Pursuit: This requires that the men intended to follow the Dogs should be well mounted.

As soon as the Troops (which I must suppose inlisted to the End of December next) are compleated; Equipped, and ready to take the Field: I beg that they may have orders to assemble at Fort Loudoun, where they are to join the Regulars, and from that time they will be supplied with Provisions at the Charge of the Crown.6 I have the honor to be with great Respect Gentlemen Your most obedient, and most Humble Servant

Henry Bouquet

NB. All the Articles mentioned in the above Letter have been agreed to by the Governor and the Commissioners the 4th. of June 1764.

H. B.

To the Governor and Commissioners

Endorsed: Copy of Coll. Bouquet’s Letter to Govr. Penn and the Commissioners at Pensilvania 4th June 1764

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9On Col. Henry Bouquet, see above, VII, 63 n. At the time of this letter he was in command of one of two prospective expeditions planned by General Amherst and carried forward by Gage to march westward and compel the submission of the hostile Indian tribes. Col. John Bradstreet (above VIII, 344 n) was to lead one force through the Lake region to Detroit; Bouquet, with parts of the 42d and 60th Regiments and the Pa. provincial regiment of 1000 men authorized the previous December (above, X, 405 n, 408), was to move westward to Fort Pitt and from there advance into the Ohio Country against the Delaware and Shawnee. Bouquet had been in Carlisle and Philadelphia since the latter part of April, making preparations and fuming at the delay caused by the failure of the Pa. Assembly and Governor Penn to agree on a supply act to finance the colony’s contingent of Bouquet’s army. Sylvester K. Stevens, Donald H. Kent, and Leo J. Roland, eds., The Papers of Col. Henry Bouquet, II (Harrisburg, 1940), 279–96.

1Printed here from a photostat in Lib. Cong.

2A memorandum in Bouquet’s hand of about the same date as this letter indicates that his available force, other than the Pa. regiment, consisted of 1050 men: 400 of the 42d Regiment, 250 Royal Americans (the 60th), 200 friendly Indians, and 200 drivers. Bouquet Papers, XV, 147.

3Bouquet ordered that 2,000 pairs of spare shoes be procured for the Pa. troops, I Pa. Arch., IV, 179.

4Bouquet’s marching orders, Sept. 15, 1764, indicate that his force included two troops of light horse, but how many of the men were Pa. provincials is not indicated. Bouquet Papers, II, 319.

5For BF’s suggested use of dogs in campaigning against Indians, as early as November 1755, see above, VI, 235. Bouquet’s proposal that dogs be imported from Great Britain came rather late for use in connection with the campaign he was planning for that summer and fall. Governor Penn and the commissioners, however, offered 3s. per month to soldiers, not exceeding ten to a company, who would procure strong dogs to take with them on this service. I Pa. Arch., IV, 180–1.

6The troops were very slow in assembling; they left Carlisle about August 10, reached Fort Loudoun (14 miles west of Chambersburg) on the 13th, and Fort Pitt on September 17. [William Smith], An Historical Account of the Expedition against the Ohio Indians in the Year MDCCLXIV, under the Command of Henry Bouquet, Esq. (Phila., 1766), pp. 3–4.

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