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INDIAN WINCHESTER CONFERENCE

INDIAN CONFERENCE IN WINCHESTER VA

SEPTEMBER 10, 1753

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Compiled by Jim Moyer 8/20/15, updated 3/18/2016

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indian reenactors

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As the Native Americans Approached…

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See tension in the following narrative of their approach?

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Note: There is a conflict in dates. This piece begins with the 16th of September and then states the next day is the 11th of September.

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“..about three o’clock P. M., Mr. Andrew Montour, the interpreter, brought intelligence that the Indians were on their march about four miles off. Colonel George William Fairfax, commanding officer, immediately assembled fifty of the militia armed with firelocks. Whilst they were preparing. Lord Fairfax and several gentlemen joined the commission and agreed to walk up the road to meet the Indians.

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About six o’clock they saw them coming on foot, their firelocks shouldered; on seeing the officers they saluted.

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The commissioners took the chiefs by the hand and they proceeded until they came to the shell of a building designed for a church and introducing the Indians therein they all settled themselves.”

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The Indians numbered ninety-eight men, women and children.

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Mr. Montour was directed to tell them that their brother Assaraquoa was going to speak to them. Assaraquoa signified a cutlass or sword. The name was given to Lord Howard, governor of Virginia, upon his presenting to the Indian chiefs one of those weapons and ever since it is the name they use in treating with the governor of Virginia, or any other that treat with them from that colony.

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A string of wampum was presented and the speech interpreted and explained by Mr. Montour. Monacatoocha, a chief of the Six Nations returned an answer, promising that they would acquaint him the next morning when they would hear him.

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“Then ordering some wine and rum to be brought, the gentlemen present, in a glass of wine, drank a good health to the Six Nations and their allies. The Indians in a glass of rum drank prosperity to their Father, the King of Great Britain  (note 1727-1760 was King George II’s reign)  and the English Nation, and upon delivering to each a pipe and a twist of tobacco, together with the appearance of a good supper of beef preparing for them, the Indians seemed pleased with their welcome. The next meeting was in the court-house at Winchester, 11th of September…”

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One more look at that name Assaraquoa  and again what Conrad Weiser tried to find out and what happened with that Governor Howard with the Iroquois Confederacy, showing that the native Americans had a long memory.

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Where did the Indians stay?

“… to the Shell of a Building formerly design’d for a Church, & which was rough Floor’d on that Occasion; and introducing the Indians therein, they soon stow’d away their little Baggage, & settled themselves….” writes William Fairfax.

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This was probably in the public square James Wood had plotted, in a building near the present day Court House.

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How many Indians?

“…being in number ninety-eight, Men Women & Children.” — writes William Fairfax.

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Where was the conference held?

“For a week the conferees met in the court house adjacent to the “church” to work out their differences. “

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Who were these Indians?

Oneida Chief, Monacatoocha, also known as Scarouady was there. The Oneida were one of the 6 nations in the New York area , the Haudenosaunee, or as we called them, the Iroquois. Two were Canuaguas,  presumed friendly to the French.

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…and sachems Shingas, Neuchyconer, Tomenebuck, Big Kettle, Raccoon and the warrior, Turtle…according to Fort Edwards website

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Contradiction in dates of September 16 followed by September 11 in this link, but here is a list of who was there

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Monacatoocha Juanetto Chiefs of the Delawares

King Shingess – Bearver, Pisquiten – George.

Chiefs of the Shawness – Newchycomer

Chiefs of the Wyandotte

Chiefs of the Twightwees

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The White Men there?

1. According to Source 1 listed in “Sources” below.

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Led by William Fairfax, Commissioner, and assisted by Lord Fairfax, George William Fairfax (commander of the Frederick County militia), James Wood, George Croghan, Andrew Montour  (interpreting for the whites, Andrew Montour was Métis)and others …

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2. according to Fort Edwards website:

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Lord Fairfax, Col. William Fairfax, Capt. William Trent, George Croghan, Christopher Gist, John Carlyle, interpreter Andrew Montour, Col. James Wood of Winchester, Capt. Thomas Bryan Martin (nephew and agent for Lord Fairfax), Capt. William Gilpin and William Cocke. Lt Gov. Dinwiddie did not appear because Half King was not able to come due to his trip to the French.

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3. There is a contradiction in dates of 16 September  followed by 11 September in this link, but here is a list of who was there

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The Honorable William Fairfax -Commissioner,

The Honorable Thomas Lord Fairfax,

Colonel George W Fairfax,    ]

Major John Carlyle,

Colonel James Wood,

Captain William Trent,

Captain Bryan Martin,

Captain William Gilpin,

Mr George Croghan 

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This link  left out Christopher Gist, William Cocke per the Fort Edwards website cited above.

Andre Montour is mentioned as greeting the Indians approaching

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What was decided?

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1. Weapons and Ammunition were promised:

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The attendees at the Indian Conference in  Carlisle PA  next month were informed  “by Mr. Croghan, that the Ohio Indians had received from the Virginia Government a large Number of Arms in the Spring, and that at their pressing Instances a suitable Quantity of Ammunition was ordered in the Treaty at Winchester to be lodged for them, in a Place of Security, on this Side the Ohio, which was committed to the Care of three Persons, viz.  Guest, William Trent, and Andrew Montour, who were impowered to distribute them to the Indians as their Occasions and Behaviour should require. That all the Tribes settled at or near Allegheny would take their Measures from the Encouragement which these Indians should find in the Province of Virginia…”

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2. Release of some Warriors of the Shawonese Nation held in Charleston SC:

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“We have been informed by Andrew Montour, and George Croghan, that you did at Winchester, in publick Council, undertake to go to Carolina, to sollicit the Release of some Warriors of the Shawonese Nation, who are said to be detained in the publick Prison of Charles-Town, on Account of some Mischief committed by them, or their Companions, in the inhabited Part of that Province;…”  See link.

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… but, the Whites at Carlisle PA counter offered  to help to do this for the Indians …. “the Release of these Prisoners will be sooner and more effectually procurd by the joint Interposition of the Governors of Pennsylvania and Virginia, than by your personal Sollicitation; in as much as our Governor, to whom we shall very heartily recommend this Affair, can send, with greater Dispatch, his Letters to Carolina, than you can perform the Journey; for at this Season, Opportunities present every Day of sending by Sea to Charles-Town; and an Express by Land may be dispatched to Governor Dunwiddie,2 as soon as we return to Philadelphia.”

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3. Indians protest French presence.  See Source 1 in Sources listed below.

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…and Monacatoocha (aka Scaroudy) stated …”As to the French, We have sent to warn them off our Lands, & if they will no hear us, We are ready to make them feel Our Hatchets, for We intend to turn our Hatchets against them.”

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The Chief Half King was sent on this mission to the French.

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4. Indians protest English settlement and protest strong house.  See Source 1 in Sources listed below.

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“…Monacatoocha (aks Scaroudy) announced, “We now request you may not build that Strong-House, for we intend to keep Our Country clear of Settlements during these troublesome time…”

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5.  Hope that they could still sway the Indians to their cause.  See Source 1 in Sources listed below.

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Commissioner Fairfax, reported, “Though the Indians did not positively, in Answer to my Speeches, give a Concession to the Lands on Ohio, agreeable to the Grant given last year; the Reasons then were, There were two Canuaguas, or French Indians in their Company, of whom they as Suspricion, & were not willing to declare their strong affection to the English in their Presence, but I am convinc’d the Indians incline We shou’d have those Lands.”

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What caused this Conference in Winchester VA?

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1. Ohio Company of Virginia pushing settlement

2. Pickawillany 1752, Chief Old Briton being boiled and eaten

3. English goods cheaper than French goods

 

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The Indian Conference at Carlisle

26 September to 1 November 1753

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Indians arrive 26 September 1753 in Carlisle PA

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There is much study and observation of the addiction of alcoholism and its manipulative use by the Whites:

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See link.    The Indians complained of this prohibition until the commissioners assured them that if they stayed sober during the treaty they would get plenty of rum afterwards. The treaty was concluded in orderly fashion, and the Indians claimed and received their liquor. That night they were all drunk; they quarreled and fought, built a great bonfire in the town square, and chased one another with lighted firebrands, yelling hideously. At midnight a number burst into the commissioners’ rooms, demanding more rum. Next day three of their old men apologized, but justified the Indians’ conduct by saying that the Great Spirit, who made all things for a purpose, had made rum for Indians to get drunk on. Par. Text edit., pp. 304–6.

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Official start of conference: October 1753 Indian Conference in Carlisle PA

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Navigable street view of the marker in above link

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The result of the October 1753 Indian Conference in Carlisle PA is this  treaty

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Meanwhile what is Washington doing?

Dinwiddie writes to Washington on 30 October 1753  to go to Logstown

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Washington’s journal of this trip to Logstown

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Also Meanwhile,

Maryland Virginia Pennsylvania Border Dispute

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Maryland Governor Horatio Sharpe to Lord Fairfax

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and for same letter above see this link on Md Gov Horatio Sharpe’s letters

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Lord Fairfax to Maryland Governor Horatio Sharpe, September 24, 1753

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Still debate persists after the 1746 Fairfax Stone 

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Penn-Calvert Dispute, Mason Dixon Line not settled during this time

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Sources:

1. Winchester Frederick County Historical Society Journal, Volume XIII, published 2001, article by Richard W Stephenson, The Life and Times of Colonel James Wood, Survey and Founder of Winchester VA, pages 75-76

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2, Josiah L Dickinson, The Fairfax Proprietary [Front Royal VA 1959] pages 136-148  and a supplementary to this book

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3. Stuart E Brown, Jr., Virginia Baron: The Story of Thomas 6th Lord Fairfax (Berryville VA 1965) pages 124-128

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4. History of Colonel Henry Bouquet and the Western Frontiers of Pennsylvania, 1747-1764, Mary Carson Darlington, Privately printed, 1920 – Indians of North America – 224 pages … see Page 13

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5. Preliminary Conference with the Indians, 26 September 1753 at Carlisle PA

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6. Treaty of Carlisle, 1 November 1753

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Other Links

George Washington’s 1753-1754 Journal Top Seller

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Dinwiddie held a British vessel, the Speedwell, in port pending GW’s return from the Ohio

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Christopher Gist’s Journals

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A Fairfax estate – Gooney Manor area

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Maryland Archives

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Mount Vernon Lord Fairfax sources

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The Fairfax letters

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More links

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Council of Maryland 1761-1770

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Logstown commemoration

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https://journals.psu.edu/wph/article/download/1895/1743

Meanwhile

In 1753, a 21-year-old member of the Virginia militia by the name
of George Washington traveled on the stretch of road preserved at
Claude Moore Park on his way to Fort Boeuf near Lake Erie in
Pennsylvania.

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