George Washington Papers

Enclosure: William Trent to Adam Stephen, 21 January 1756


William Trent to Adam Stephen

Mouth of Conicochig [Md.] 21st January 1756

Dr Sir

I received yours by Mr Fraser at Carlisle as I was returning from Philadelphia as you don’t acknowledge the receipt of one from me dated at Carlisle makes me imagine it miscarried[.] In that Letter I acquainted you with the reason why I could not procure the Indians then—I have now engaged three, Crissopia to goe to Kittannen and Fort Du Quesne and two others to goe to the Twightwees provided you choose to send them—Crissopia asks Twenty Pounds and each of the others Twenty five pounds—I thought it a great deal of money therefore did not choose to agree with them Punctually till you were acquainted with their demands—If you choose to send them if you’ll draw out your Instructions and send any Officer with them to Fort Littleton about Twenty Miles from Stoddards1 first giving me Notice of the time you intend to send there I will send to Mr Croghan to bring the Indians there against the time, he promised to bring them if I wrote to him that you wanted them and I will send any goods or Wampum you will have occasion for—This was the best mannor I could manage it for you[.] Should I have carried them to the Fort, & they would not goe without a White Man with them & you have thought it too high Wages they would have been affronted unless they had been paid as much allmost as they were to have had to gone to the Fort so I thought this the most prudent way & am in hopes you will be of the same way of thinking[.] I parted with Governour Morris & the Commissioners at Carlisle the 19th—there was no Indians at the Treaty except those that keep with Mr Croghan[.]2 Either the 22d or 23d of this Month General Johnston is to meet the Six Nations at his House to demand the Reason why they suffer the Delawares and Shawnesse to kill the English and to demand their Assistance and to insist upon a positive answer[.]3 General Shirley has given orders for a Treaty with the Southern Indians, the Governments of Pennsylvania Virginia and Maryland are to send Commissioners and he has wrote to the Governours of the Carolinas to assist at the Treaty and appoint the place where it is to be held.4

The Pennsylvanians have Raised three Hundred Men in Cumberland County who are building Four Forts to be Garrisoned with 75 Men each, the Forts about 20 Miles distant each from the other, One at the Sugar Cabbins called Fort Littleton Commanded by Capt. Hance Hamilton, One at Aughwich Capt. Geor. Croghan called Fort Shirley, One at Kishequochillas called Fort Granville Capt. James Burd, One at Mockingtongs called Pomfret Castle Capt. James Patterson[.]5 They give their Men 45/ Pr Month the Capts 7/6 Lts 5/6 Ensigns 4/6 Pr day though it’s thought they’ll raise the Capts. pay to 10/ pr day.

By the Last Accounts from England they expect an Invasion and are fortyfying the Coast, they had then 343 Sail of Vessels lying in the Harbours which they had taken from the French I am Dr Sir Your most Humb. St

William Trent

PS You’ll oblige me to send me the Ballance of that Accot by the first oppertunity



1Fort Lyttleton, built at the Indian town of Sugar Cabins on Aughwick Creek, was on the road that James Burd built for General Braddock, between Shippensburg and Raystown. Northeast of Fort Cumberland, it was the southernmost of the string of forts and stockades being built in Pennsylvania with the £60,000 the legislature finally raised in response to the Indian raids beginning in Oct. 1755. Lt. Thomas Stoddert (d. 1761) of the Maryland forces had in Sept. 1755 by Governor Sharpe’s order built a small fort on Tonoloway Creek. This creek flows into the Potomac River from Frederick County, Md., a few miles west of the mouth of Sleepy Creek in Virginia.

2Only six or eight Indians showed up at Carlisle to meet with Gov. Robert Hunter Morris, James Hamilton, William Logan, and Joseph Fox. These included Old Belt, a Seneca chief and a spokesman for the Indians, and his son-in-law Aroas (Silver Heels). The meeting was originally scheduled for New Year’s Day, but after several postponements it was finally held on 15–17 Jan. Conrad Weiser and George Croghan also attended and served as interpreters.

3Sir William Johnson did not hold his meeting with the Six Nation Indians at Fort Johnson, N.Y., until February.

4For Shirley’s plan for dealing with the southern Indians, see John Robinson to GW, 27 Jan. 1756, n.2.

5After the Pennsylvania Assembly reluctantly appropriated £60,000 for the defense of the colony at the end of November, Governor Morris promptly set about erecting a series of forts on the frontier. The line along which the forts named here were built was on the western slopes of the Kittatinny and Tuscarora mountains and ran in a northeasterly direction from Fort Lyttleton (see note 1) to Fort Shirley at Aughwick, from there to Fort Granville on the Juniata River, and ended at Pomfret Castle, “at a River calld Matchitongo, about twelve miles from the Sasquehana” (Morris to Horatio Sharpe, 29 Jan. 1756, in Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 1st ser., 2:556). Kishacoquillas Creek flows into the Juniata River at present-day Lewistown, Pa., and West Mahontango Creek flows into the Susquehanna at Richfield. Capt. Hance Hamilton, sheriff of York County, Pa., in 1749 and 1750, led his company in Col. John Armstrong’s expedition against the Indians at Kittanning in the summer of 1756. Capt. James Patterson’s homestead in the Juniata Valley was the site of Pomfret Castle, and it was often called Patterson’s fort. James Burd (1726–1793) and George Croghan were both prominent frontiersmen. Burd rose to the rank of colonel in the Pennsylvania forces, and Croghan shortly became Sir William Johnson’s invaluable deputy superintendent of Indian affairs.

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