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From Holt's New York Journal and General Advertiser, January 25, 1776. “ A letter from Westmoreland, dated the 27th of December, mentions that a body of six or seven hundred tories, under one PLUNKET, had assembled in arms, with two cannon, threatening destruction to all that opposed them. They were met on the 21st by Colonel with about two hundred of his regiment, who, after a short but brisk firing, which killed a number of them, drove one wing into the mountains, and obliged the main body to retreat. On the 23d, they, the Tories, attempted to cross the river, and destroy the settlements there; but a party was prepared to receive them, who, when they came near the shore, fired upon, and killed fifty or sixty of them, when all the rest retired precipitately, and will hardly return this winter. On the other side, there were but three killed and two wounded."
[Remark. The fifty or sixty stated to have been killed, was probably an error of the press. We have never previously seen the number estimated at half that amount.
Opprobious party names were applied to opponents at that day, with as little regard to fairness, as they had been for ages before, and have been for half a century since. Though the designation was applicable to Col. P., yet there is no reason to doubt but nine-tenths of his followers were as zealous whigs as their Yankee opponents.]
A THIRD NOTE.
For the following I am indebted to a literary friend. It is highly curious and will be read with interest.
From the Gentleman's Magazine, of September 1750.
“Several highway robberies having been comnitted on various persons on Hounslow Heath, among others on Lord Eglintoun; on the 27th July, James Maclean, who passed for an Irish gentleman of fortune, was apprehended, who afterwards confessed, he with one Plunket had committed the robberies.
In his defence on trial, he stated " that he had been in trade and had unhappily become acquainted with Plunket, an apothecary, who by his account of himself, induced me to believe he had travelled abroad, and was possessed of clothes and other things suitable thereto, and prevailed on me to employ him in attending on my family, and lend him money to the amount of 100 pounds and upwards. On giving up trade, I pressed Plunket for payment, and after receiving by degrees several sums, he proposed to pay me part in goods.
"These very clothes, with which I am charged, he brought there and made sale of towards paying my debt."
A MSS leaf states as follows :-"Plunket, the companion of Maclean, escaped, emigrated to America, reformed and became a very respectable character. He was for many years one of the Associate Judges of the Court of Coinmon Pleas, of Northumberland county, Pa., and died."
"By his own acknowledgment he was concerned with Maclean in the attack upon Lord Eglintoun on Hounslow Heath. They engaged in this scheme to rob him, without the intention of committing murder, knowing that Eglintoun had left a gambling house with a large sum of money, and was going to his country seat. They found him armed, and in self protection, Maclean discharged his blunderbuss into the chariot.
“ No injury was done, and they meeting with unexpected resistance, made off.
" Plunket was recognized in America by a person who had known him in England, and who kept his secret.
“He regretted this action, as one of his youthful crimes, and afterwards became a very useful member of society.”
Extracted from the 21st volume of bound Magazines, in the Library of the Athenæum.
A FOURTH NOTE.
In the foregoing letter, page 168, will be found a note signed“ Franklin." The following explanation is deemed proper.
Colonel Franklin's Book.–After the annunciation had been publicly made, that my history was ready for the press, a letter was received from my excellent friend, the Hon. John N. Conyngham, then on a circuit, holding courts in the upper part of his district, stating that Col. Kingsbury had placed in his hands a manuscript of Col. Franklin, in relation to the Wyoming claim and history. All the important papers of Col. Franklin had been, it was supposed, accidentally consumed by fire, occasioning universal regret. To his journal, obtained through Juuge Conyngham's politeness from the kindness of Col. Kingsbury, is now added this manuscript volume, leaving nothing (except personal reminiscences and anecdotes illustrative of individual character) that Col. Franklin knew, or could have thought worthy of being related, to be wished for. The book is a quarto of 106 pages, in his own hand writing, and signed with the often seen, and well remembered autograph of
It would seem that the first sixty pages were a syllabus of the Connecticut claim and settlement, made to be produced before Congress, or a new court (as petitioned for) if it had been raised, under the confederation, to try the private right of soil. For it begins with King James's Charter to the Plymouth Company, and runs regularly through all the documents, giving brief, but clear explanations or extracts, and to the marginal notes, or index, is added "a copy;" " we have a copy,"
;""Charter produced, etc.” Of the settlement of 1763, the massacre and expulsion, he says: Proved by the deposition of Wm. Buck, Parshall Terry, and other witnesses may be had." Being intended for some important public purpose, it seems full, and prepared with great care.
The forty subsequent pages contain an epitome of the history of Wyoming, down to the establishment of Luzerne county, the marginal notes and index being continued, (as in our printed laws) but the remark “a copy," " we have a copy,” or how proved, not continued. So that we infer it was intended as a memorandum for himself and friends, of the interesting events of the period he treats of. It has in no respect the form of a history written out for publication.
Having examined the venerable relic, with interest and care, the first remark we have to make is: An early possession of the manuscript would have saved us a year of patient labour. For here is gathered in a single sheaf, a vast variety of valuable facts, which we have been gleaning with solicitude and toil from a wide field, indeed, from almost innumerable sources. Our second remark is that we are surprised— pleased, yea, proud—that our researches had been so successful. At present it is thought that not a single alteration or addition need be made in the text of our book; but that all proper emendations or additions may be introduced in notes, indicating their source by adding the name of—-Franklin.
1776. -Alarm-Indians-Council at Wyoming— Indian Speech-Letter of Colonel But
ler--Second deputation of Indians--Proceedings—Danger apparent--Numbers and strength of Wyoming--Precautionary measures-Strange and unwelcome settlers-Alarm increases—John Secord-Tories arrested--Sent to Connecticut-Members of AssemblyForts built-County created— Enlistment of men-Important proceedings of CongressTwo Companies raised to defend the town—Immediately marched away.
The year 1776, was the most important to Wyoming both in immediate events, and ultimate consequences, that had yet been experienced.
Extreme anxiety had existed on the part of Congress and the country, in respect to the part the Six Nations and other Indians, would take in the contest between Great Britain and the Colonies. Every probable means suggested by prudence were adopted to conciliate their good will, and prevent them from taking up arms in favour of either party. Commissioners were sent among them with “ talks” carefully prepared, stating the grievances which we suffered from Great Britain, and urging the Indians to leave the buried hatchet in repose, and maintain a position of peace and neutrality. Delegations of chiefs were invited to Philadelphia, where councils were held, and presents made to them; but amid general professions of friendship, it was apparent that a more powerful influence inclined them to side with the enemy, and anxiety all along the frontier, ripened into alarm. So very important were our Indian relations to the quiet, if not the existence of Wyoming, that a further exposition of the matter, appears to be required at our hand.
So early as the 1st of June 1775, a petition was laid before Congress from Augusta county, west of the Alleghany, Virginia, intimating “ fears of a rupture with the Indians, on account of Lord Dunmore's conduct." In December of that year, Congress thought fit to publish an extract of a letter from General Schuyler, relative to measures taken by the ministerial agents to engage the Indians
in a war with the colonies. In June, 1776, Congress were informed .by a letter from the President of South Carolina, that the Cherokees had commenced hostilities, etc."
The ill temper of the savages is shown by the speech of Logan, a chief, to the commissioners at Pittsburg. “We still hear bad news. Connesdico and some of us are constantly threatened, and the Bear-skin, a trader from Pennsylvania, amongst others, says, a great reward is offered to any person who will take or entice either of us to Pittsburg, where we are to be hanged up like dogs by the Bigknife. This being true, how can we think of what is good. That it is true we have no doubt, and you may depend on it, that the Bear-skin told Metopsica every word of what I have mentioned.”
August the 19th, Congress Resolved, “ That the Commissioners be instructed to make diligent inquiry into the murder lately committed by Indians in the neighborhood of Pittsburg, on one Crawford; and that, as soon as they discover by whom the same was committed, they demand due punishment on the offender or offenders, which being granted, this Congress will not consider the same as a national act.”
Still the Chief Head, the Council at Onondago, were making hollow professions of peace, and endeavoring to lull the frontiers into security. An outrage had been committed on a person named Wil. son, who lived some distance up the North Branch, but within the limits of Westmoreland. Col. Butler, though not officially authorized to do so, thought proper on behalf of the people to send a messenger to the neighboring tribes, and ascertain their intentions. A chief returned with the messenger. His English name was John. We regret that his Indian name has not been preserved, for his speech is one of the most chaste, neat specimens of Indian oratory we have ever read. The Rev. Mr. Johnson acted as interpreter.
A Conference held at Wyoming, or Westmoreland, between Capt. John in behalf of the Six Nations, and Col. Butler of the Colony of Connecticut.
“ Capt. John :“ Brothers—We come to make you a visit and let you know we were at the Treaty at Oswego, with Col. Guy Johnson. We are all of one mind, we are friends, and bring good news.
“ Brothers—We are also come to let you know, the Six Nations have been something afraid, but now are glad to see all things look like peace, and they think there will be no quarrel with each other, and you must not believe bad reports, or remember times that have been bad or unfriendly.
“ Brothers-All our spirits are of one colour, why should we not be of one mind. Continue to be brothers as our fathers and grandfathers were.
“ Brothers—We hope and desire you may hold what liberties and privileges you now enjoy.
“ Brothers—We are sorry to hear two brothers are fighting with each other, and should be glad to hear the quarrel was peaceably settled. We choose not to interest ourselves on either side. The quarrel appears to be unnecessary. We do not well understand it. We are for peace.
Brothers—When our young men come to hunt in your neighborhood, you must not imagine they come to do mischief—they come to procure themselves provisions—also skins to purchase them clothing.
“ Brothers-We desire that Wyoming may be a place appointed where the great men may meet, and have a fire, which shall ever afterwards be called Wyomick, when you shall judge best, to prevent any jealousies or uneasy thoughts that may arise, and thereby preserve our friendship.
“ Brothers—You see but one of our chiefs. You may be suspicious on that account, but we assure you, this Chief speaks in the name of the Six Nations. We are of one mind.
“ Brothers—What we say is not from the lips, but from the heart. If any Indians of little note should speak otherwise, you must pay no regard to them, but observe what has been said and wrote by the chiefs, which may be depended on.
“ Brothers—We live at the head of these waters, (Susquehanna.) Pay no regard to any reports that may come up the stream or any other way, but look to the head of the waters for truth, and we do now assure you, as long as the waters run, so long you may depend on our friendship. We are all of one mind, and we are all for peace.”
A letter from Col. Butler to the Hon. Roger Sherman then a delegate in Congress, from Connecticut, will throw additional light on the subject.
“ WESTMORELAND, Oct. 1st, 1776. “Honored Sir :-In some of my last letters, you will recollect I informed you I had sent a messenger among the Indians upon the head waters of the Susquehannah, and thereby informed them of an assault made upon one of our people, whose testimony has some time since been sent to you. The Indians, you will see by the enclosed messages, are disposed for peace, and think it necessary that this