George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Massachusetts Council, 5 October 1776

From the Massachusetts Council

Council Chamber, Watertown, Octor 5. 1776


In consequence of the measures taken by this Government to Engage a number of Indians of the Penobscott, St Johns and Mickmac Tribes in the Service of the united States of America agreable to the desire of your Excellency, Seven of the Penobscott Tribe have Inlisted for the Term of one Year, and have arrived here on their way to New York. As they were very poorly Cloathed, and would not proceed without some supply; We have furnished them with a few necessary Articles, amounting to twenty pounds, four shillings & 4d., Lawful Money, which must be stopped out of their Wages. And their Subsistance while here amounts to Fifteen pounds, sixteen shillings & 5d., And We have advanced Mr Andrew Gilman, who has the care of them Twenty pounds, Lawful M[one]y in order to subsist them in their way to New york.1 These were all that could be obtained from that Tribe, and whether you can depend upon any from the St Johns, or the Mickmac Tribes, we have not as yet any certain Intelligence. In the Name and behalf of the Council I am with great respect Your Humble Servant

John Winthrop Presidt

LS, DLC:GW; Df, M-Ar; LB, M-Ar.

1In a letter to the Massachusetts General Court that apparently was written sometime later this month, GW says: “This will be delivered you by Mr [Andrew] Gilman who conducted 7 Penobscot Indians into this Camp & expects to meet a larger number on his Return, as he desired my Instructions with Respect to the latter I have given them founded on the Advancement of the Season, & the little Probability of deriveing any essential Benefit from them at this Time, when both Armies are most probably retireing into Winter Quarters, My Directions to him are not to have them advanced farther at present but to return with them and take such further Orders from You with Respect to their future Destination as you from your Knowledge of their Circumstances & Situation shall think best. Whatever Expence has or may accrue on their Account will certainly be brought into the Continental Account, & I make no doubt but such gratueties will be also allowed as you may think proper & necessary, should there be any other Disposition of them ariseing from Circumstances not now known I must beg leave to observe to you that this Army is so unprovided with all kinds of Woollens, that I have not the most distant prospect of supplying them with those Necessaries here, & it is much to be feared that any Disappointment would make the most unfavorable Impressions on their Minds, Should they therefore proceed to this Camp I flatter myself they will be furnished with the Articles necessary for the Season before they proceed hither.

“If they are to be put into service the next Season in Consequence of any Engagements already entered into or which may be done I would suggest the propriety of keeping them collected together in some proper place rather than suffering them to disperse into their several Towns from which it may be difficult to gather them when wanted” (DfS, in Samuel Blachley Webb’s writing, CtY: Webb Family Collection).

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