George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Crawford, 14 November 1774

From William Crawford

Stewarts Crossing [Pa.] November 14th 1774


I yesterday returd from our Late Expedition against the Shawnees, and I think we may with Propreity Say we have had Great Sucksess as we have maid them Senceable of there Veleny and weekness, and I hop maid peace with them on such a footing as will be Lasting if we make them adhare to the tinner of the agreement which is as follows.

First they have to give up all the Prisoners taken ever by them in war both white People and Negro’s and all the horses Stolen or taken by them Sence Last war, and farther no Endien for the futer is to hunt on the East side of the Ohio nor no white man one the West Side as that Seems to have bin the Cause of Som of the Disturbence between our people and them, and for the performence of the Same the[y] have given up four Chief men, to be Keept as Hostages for there futer behaviour Which is to be Retened yearly or as they may Chuse They Shawnees has Complyd with the Terms but the mingoes Did not Like the Conditions and had a mind to deceive us but Lord Dunmore discoverd there intentions which was to Slip of, while we was Setling matters with the Shawnees the mingoes intended to Slip of to the Lakes and take there Prisoners with them and horses which the[y] had stole.

Lord Dunmore ordred my self with 240 men to set out in the Night which was to march to a Town about 40 Miles Distant from our Camp & up Siotha, where we understood the hole of the mingoes was to Rendevous at the Day following in order to persue there Journey This intelegence came by Johney Mounture Son of Captain Monture hom you formerly Knew.

from the number of Endiens then in our Camp, we marched out of camp under Pretence of going to Hockhaken for more Provision few new of our Seting of any how and none new where we was going to (till the Next day) our march was performd with as much speed as Posable and arived at a Town calld the Salt lick town they ensuing night and at day break we got round the Town (or half) and the remaind was Sent to a small town at half a miles distance, but unfortunetly one of our men was Discoverd by the Endiens ho Lay out from the town at a distance at a Log which the man was Creeping ⟨up⟩ which oblidged they man to Kill the Endien as he was discovered by them this hapned before day light which did us much Damage as Chief part maid there Eascap in the dark but we got 14 Prisoners and Killd 6 and wound Saveral more, got all there bagege and horses 10 of there Guns and ⟨two⟩ white Prisoners, the mount of the Plunder sold for £400 be sids what was returnd to a mohake Endien that was there the hole was ready for to Start and was to have set of on that morning the we attackd them, Lord Dunmore has got 11 Prisoners and has Returnd the rest to the nation, and the reast is to be returnd upon Complyence with his Lord ships Demand⟨e⟩ for other Perticqualors I refair you to Majr Connallys Letter.1

I have Run your Land at the round bottom Again and will Send you a new Draft of it, by Vale Crawford ho is to be at your house in a few Days at or before Christmuss I would send it now but the Bearer cannot wait as he is on his Journey2 Them Drafts of Land on the Litle Kahaway I shall send them to you and Leve you at your Choyce to do as you Like.3

One faviour I would ask you if it did sute, when those Negros of Mercers are Sold and they are Sold at Creadit (12 months) I would be Glad to Purchess a boy and Girle about 14 or 15 years old Each or older if Such are sold Tho. I would not have you put your Self to any Trouble more for me than Sutes you.4

I spooke to Lord Dunmore about your Land at Chartees and the round bottom and it hapned that Mr Cresap was present when we spooke of it Cresap was Laying Down his Claim and I was walking by Cresap wanted it run for him by a warrent which he had Purchest and then told his Lord ship the nature of your Claim before Cresaps faice upon which he Said no more at that time but wanted me to Survay it for him also and return it.

I told him I cold not at any rate do such a thing as I had survayd it for you.5

We have Built you a house at your Land oppesite the mouth of Hockhaking and Cleard a bout 8 acres of Land of all the Small Timber6 my Brother Val Crawford Says if you Proceed on in improving your Land next Summer he would Still do it for you as usel he has had the Misfortune to Loose his son Moses he Died with the Biles fever I am Sir your most Hume Sarvant

W. Crawford


1Lord Dunmore, with about twelve hundred men including Maj. William Crawford’s command, was at Fort Gower on the Great Hockhocking from which place he sent messengers to Andrew Lewis with instructions to join him near Chillicothe rather than at Point Pleasant at the mouth of the Great Kanawha as originally planned. Before Lewis could comply with the new orders his division of the army was attacked on 10 Oct. at Point Pleasant by the Shawnee chief Cornstalk and a large force of Shawnee and Mingo warriors. After a hard-fought battle the defeated Indians crossed the Ohio River, headed for the Shawnee towns. The Shawnee chiefs came to Camp Charlotte on the Pickaway Plains where Dunmore was encamped and agreed to a peace treaty, although some of the chiefs were bitterly opposed. The treaty set the Ohio River as the boundary between Indians and white settlers. Shawnee hostages were taken to ensure compliance with the treaty. For Dunmore’s proclamation regarding the treaty and his instructions to protect the Indians, see the Virginia Gazette (Dixon and Hunter; Williamsburg), 28 Jan. 1775. On 17 Dec. Col. Angus McDonald arrived in Williamsburg with the four hostages and their interpreter. “Three of them are Warriors, viz. Imcatewhawa, or the Black Wolf; Wissecapoway, or Captain Morgan; Genusa, or the Judge; and the other is a young Man, called Neawah, who is the Snake’s Son, a principal Warrior of that Nation” (Pennsylvania Gazette [Philadelphia], 4 Jan. 1775). An Englishman who saw the four hostages in Winchester in December on their way to Williamsburg described them in detail as “tall, manly, well-shaped men, of a Copper colour with black hair, quick piercing eyes, and good features.” They were dressed as white men except for loincloths instead of “breeches which they refuse to wear” (Cresswell, Journal, 49–50). The Point Pleasant victory kept the frontiers relatively free from Indian threats during the early years of the Revolution.

Andrew Montour was a mixed-blood Seneca guide and served as a captain with the British forces during the French and Indian War. See Papers, Colonial Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Colonial Series. 10 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1983–95. description ends , 1:122. John Montour’s mother was the daughter of a Delaware chief, and so John Montour was considered a Delaware. He was educated in Philadelphia and adhered to the side of the colonists during the Revolution, although his loyalty was sometimes in question. Another John Montour, called Stuttering John, fought with the British in the Revolution and took part in the Wyoming Valley massacre.

The town of Seekonk, or Salt Lick Town, was a Mingo town on the west bank of the Scioto River near present-day Columbus. Crawford, with about two hundred and fifty men, was sent against the town, and Dunmore assured him that “if any plunder was taken it should be equally divided among the captors.” The sale amounted to “35ol. 15s. halfpeny, when the captains of each company became responsible for the purchases made by their men.” However, the commissioners settling the expenses of the war stopped this amount out of the officers’ pay. It was not until 1776 that the legislature agreed that the men were indeed entitled to the money from the sale of the plunder and ordered each officer on Crawford’s expedition to give in a list of men who served on the expedition and to pay to each his share of the money (House of Delegates Journal, 1776 description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of Virginia. Anno Domini, 1776. Williamsburg, Va., [1776]. description ends , 118, 123). For another account of the attack on Salt Lick Town, see William Christian to William Preston, 8 Nov. 1774, in Thwaites, Dunmore’s War description begins Reuben Gold Thwaites and Louise Phelps Kellogg, eds. Documentary History of Dunmore’s War, 1774. Madison, Wis., 1905. description ends , 301–7. For other contemporary accounts of the Point Pleasant campaign, see William Fleming’s Journal, William Christian to William Preston, 15 Oct. 1774, Dunmore to Dartmouth, 24 Dec. 1774, and William Fleming to William Bowyer, n.d., ibid., 281–91, 261–66, 368–95, 254–57. No letter from Connolly regarding the Point Pleasant battle has been found, but on 9 Feb. 1775 he wrote GW regarding the treaty with the Indians.

4For the sale of George Mercer’s property, see GW to John Tayloe, 30 Nov., n.2. There is no indication in GW’s accounts with Crawford or Mercer that any slaves were purchased for Crawford (Ledger B description begins General Ledger B, 1772–1793. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , 36, 129).

5For the dispute between GW and Michael Cresap over the Round Bottom tract, see GW to Thomas Lewis, 5 May 1774, n.4, and references.

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