George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Philip Schuyler, 24 April 1779

From Philip Schuyler1

Albany April 24th 1779

Dear Sir

On the 21st Instant I received two Letters from Mr Deane, Copies whereof I have the Honor to inclose to your Excellency.2

Some Oneidas, Tuscaroras and an Onondaga Sachem now in Town inform me that the Cayugas mean thro’ the Oneidas to beg peace of us—Should that really be the Intention of their Journey to Oneida, the Commissioners will be at a Loss how to act, until either your Excellency’s Sentiments or those of Congress are obtained—I wish therefore that they should be furnished with Instructions for their Direction, should the Cayugas or any other of the hostile Tribes propose Terms of peace.

I am informed the Batteaux to convey the Troops intended for the Enterprize against Onondaga reached Fort Schuyler on Sunday last, If so, I believe Colonel Van Schaick will probably have reached the place of his Destination as last Night.

Information has been received here that a few people have been killed and others made prisoners in Tryon County and some Settlements destroyed: that a Body of about four hundred from Canada had been discovered near Stony Arabia3—If this Account is true the Settlement will be destroyed before the Troops and Militia marched to its Relief can reach it. I am Dear Sir most affectionately & sincerely Your Excellency’s obedient humble Servant,

Ph: Schuyler


1Congress accepted Schuyler’s resignation as major general on 19 April.

2Schuyler enclosed copies of letters that James Deane wrote to him from Oneida, N.Y., on 1 and 10 April. The letter of 1 April reads: “The Parties who were sent from this among the hostile Tribes of the six Nations are both returned—The last arrived this Day—They have not been able to make any particular Discoveries—They agree in their Accounts that those Tribes are pretty still at present and dont design any Invasion of our Frontiers unless they are sent out by Colonel Butler, who has desired them to remain quiet, until he shall hear from the Commander in Chief in Canada—That provision is very scarce and dear among them and that they have no promise of a Supply from Niagara—That Sagayoans a principal Warrior among the Senecas was lately killed by a British officer at the place above mentioned—That those Tribes as they are made to believe that the united States are upon the point of being conquered were under no Apprehensions of an Invasion.

“One of the party returned this Day has a Relation at Quiyoga who informed him the Quiyogas were determined to hold a Conference with the oneidas very soon, and that they would set out for that purpose in a few Days—The party last arrived also inform that the Onondagas seem determined to make peace with the united States—That they have intercepted three Letters, between Niagara and Buck Island which they will bring to this place in a few Days—Since I forwarded you a rough Draught of this Country I have had an Opportunity to enquire of an Indian, who pretends to know the Distances upon the Susquehannah, who inform that from Kanakalo to Teyoga is about half a Days March, from thence to Wyoming is about two Days March mostly through a fine open Country and the River navigable by Batteaux the whole of the Way” (DLC:GW).

The letter of 10 April reads: “⟨Mutilated⟩ of the Onondaga Sachems are ⟨mutilated⟩ those antient Conne⟨mutilated⟩ Friendship which heretofore ⟨mutilated⟩ the Oneidas, and as a ⟨mutilated⟩ delivered up a Number of large Silver ⟨mutilated⟩ had been given them by the Agents of the King of Britain—The Oneidas propose shortly to wait on the Commissioners of Indian Affairs with the Medals and the Belt of Wampum when they will give a full and particular Account of the present Disposition of the Onondagas—Their Journey is for th⟨e pres⟩ent deferred on Account of the Quiyogas, who are shortly expected here, Old Attalonwanne and his party being already on their Way to this place—The intercepted Letters mentioned in my last have been received—The one wrote in English I transmit—The other two are both wrote in Indian and contain Nothing of any Importance” (DLC:GW).

3For an account of the depredations that Mohawk Indians had committed around Stone Arabia, N.Y., see Hastings and Holden, Clinton Papers, 4:770–72.

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