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The Proceedings of Meetings with members of the English and First Nations
As Recorded in the Baxter Manuscripts
Source: James Phinney Baxter, The Baxter Manuscripts: A Documentary History of the State of Maine, Vol 23 Portland ME: Fred L. Tower Company, 1913. Collections of the Maine Historical Society
1713 January 23
Letter signed by Ascumbuit, Saguadommameg and Mowemets to Governor Dudley of Massachusetts
May it please your Excellency we are come now on purpose to settle matters betwixt your government and us and to make a perpetual Peace with you. We did indeed come to a conclusion of peace which indeed since has broke out in wars but not by any means of us (or any in behalf of whom we address your Excellency for) but purely through the cunning and crafty means of the French and some other towns who was made privy to it. For indeed it was not made known to us til several captives was brought in, two of which I did redeemed and brought to Saco fort in order to be informed more fully of the occasion which was purely by the French who having got the consent of all the other adjacent towns obliged us being hemmed in on every side to join for our own security.
But now hearing of that Peace which is universally proclaimed in the world and we not yet proclaimed subjects of such as peace do heartily desire it now and that it may be firm and lasting assuring your excellency that no persuasions whatever or hopes of interest shall ever prevail with them to break your peace but that we will at all time be ready to defend the subjects of the crown of England with the hazard of our lives.
And if your Excellency should scruple us and be willing to treat with any more of our place that we will give you a meeting at any time when your Excellency should think fit.
And if your Excellency should think fit to do this and to make a firm and lasting peace we entreat that there may be a trading house built at Salmon Falls here there may be all supplies kept fit for our trading and that some good man might keep the same who will think it no other than right but that we should and ought to have full value for our goods delivered them and not as it has been a custom for many of your traders to trick and defraud us of them which indeed has been a great reason for many of us to have a greater value for the French than the English, seeing the difference of their dealing but hope all those reasons will be removed by setting one in that place who will do justice to every one.
And further that they may be an interpreter allowed for the better understanding of each other which is what offers and what’s much desired by them who ever promise to be true subjects in behalf of all.
1713 TREATY OF PORTSMOUTH
FIRST DAY --1713 Saturday, Jul 11
Governor Dudley and members of the Massachusetts and New Hampshire Councils meet at Portsmouth with Kirebenuit, Ileansis, and Jackoit of Penobscot; Josep and Ineas of St. John’s; and Warrancansit, Wadaeanaquin and Bummaseen of Kennebec.
Governor Dudley says Capt. Moody extended the request of the gathered sachems to meet. Gov says “therefore now you see me here attended by the gentlemen of her Majesties Councill of the provinces of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.” Also says “I am incouraged to give you liberty to speak freely to me because I see some amongst you with whom I have had formerly a friendship.”… “Your having given me in a list of your names and places from whence you came assured me that you were delegated by your several tribes. I shall treat you as such and proceed accordingly. I have ordered Quarters and Entertainment for you in this town and commanded all her Majesties subjects to treat you with due respect during your attending me here."
SECOND DAY -- 1713 Monday Jul 13 Meeting continues.
GOV “I shall by and by tell them of their faults but it is to make friendship as a father chides his children; out of friendship and respect to them I come to do it.”
These papers in my hands contain Seven Treaties:
1st [you] made with Sir William Phipps and broke it. Next with the Council of Boston Mr Stoughton Lt gov and they broke it. Next with Earl of Bellomont and broke it. Two treaties with me [1702 & 1703] and broke them. Must put away all breaches and faults and come into state of friendship for ever.
Answered: They would be glad to put them away with all their hearts and very joyful to hear his Excellency's proposal
GOV asked if they all said so even though only one spoke.
Interpreter’s Answer: He spoke for himself and his Brethren that stood by him were all of the same mind. We wish and hope that the Governor over us and the Earth will stand firm and strong under us that the peace made may be lasting.
GOV Well said. Ask what method shall be taken to make the cessation and pacification strong that they may no more be broken. They must speak the truth in sincerity. I shall soon be brought into a beliefe of them but it will be the hardest thing to persuade the Queen of Great Britain to take them into friendship for that her subjects have been hardly dealt with by their ill treatment in breach of all those articles and covenants which I showed them just now. They may see now at their leisure how Great and Superior the arms of the Queen of Great Britain are to the French kings, they may always perceive it and I shall recite them:
In former wars twenty or thirty years ago what lands and fortifications we then took from the French king we returned them again but now all that we have got from him we hold and also some thing we demanded of him: Port Royal, Nienis Seneclica, Cape Sables, Placentia, St. Peters in Newfoundland. .. No more French are to live in those places unless they become subjects to the Crown of Great Britain. Tell them they can have no friendship with the French short of Quebec but upon their good behavior they may have good men of the English nation to live with them and supply them for the future.
They know how equally and justly they have been treated by the English in their trade, having had goods at cheap prices. If they proceed with me to conclude this Treaty I shall order trading houses for whence where I shall order such persons of credit to reside and I will answer for their friendship and capacity at all times. But they must always take care that they do not entertain any trade with fishing men sloops, boats etc for they are poor men and some evil will happen.
“I shall discourse them further in the afternoon and in the mean time shall prepare articles for them ready to be signed to morrow and shall return them in the same form to carry by the hands of these two gentlemen who shall go along with them and distinctly read the articles to all their brethren Indians to the eastward.
Interpreter: The Indians with abundance of good manners answered that we were well pleased and liked it extraordinary. Brought His Excellency a little letter [that said?} which was sent to him eight beavers.
Then they desired to speak a few words in thanks to his Excellency for his great and good expressions to them and so danced and sang two songs taking several of the gentlemen by the hand, one after another in the time of dancing and when they left off they said they had expressed their love and joy to his Excellency and all the honorable gentlemen as her Majesty Queen Anne’s servants.
Adjourned to 4 pm
THIRD DAY -- 1713 Tuesday July 14
GOV I am well pleased to see how sensible you were that you had broken those several contracts and articles without reason and I was glad of the assurances that you gave by your expressions that this should be an everlasting peace, And I labor to persuade myself to believe and depend on it.
Since you have gone so far with me in your duty, I will show you that the government is now coming to meet you and I do declare that I will restore you to your former state and to the benefit of those articles with her Majesty’s leave and favor,
I shall proceed to read the articles to you take your subjection and your hands to them as formerly and shall appoint commissioners from this board of her majesty and council of both provinces to proceed to Casco Bay and publish the articles there.
When the indians here come to hear the articles they will see that I have taken care to confine them at Saco River that they come no nearer .. for it is so lately that they have done mischief that its necessary to keep oft that they may be cool; and in he meantime there shall be all things needful at Casco and Saco. It is not to stir them to any displeasure but to quiet the English people… nor is it to restrain them from coming on this side of the Saco to the hunting places but that they keep at a distance from the English at present.
Answered: They hope they shall within a few months have repose and quietness between us and their Allies and the kind people will bring them to quietness and kind affections one to another. It must have time to cool when the iron doth lye a great while in the fire. It must have time to cool.
Discussion of how to gather people at Casco – English told to fire a great gun to draw those who might be at Saco fishing.
Tell them that we take their men to be sufficiently qualified to make peace with me but it is necessary that the people should understand it. So I treated them in the years 1702 and 1703, That they may not forget I treated with the sachems and all the people.
Answered: If you please to send some of the Council there it wold be all one as if your excellency were there present. We were sent and ordered to see much but to keep it in our hearts to speak when we came to them. They do not object against it but submit to it with all freedom.
Interpreter: They have brought a small matter. Each of them a skin to buy some nick nacks with it,
GOV Gyles [John Gyles, the interpreter], do you write down upon a piece of paper what they would have and I will send gentlemen with them and tell them after the Treaty they shall walk the town and buy what they please.
After the Indians being clothed they addressed themselves to his excellency with their thanks and said what we have heard we will keep it in our hearts to spread it abroad among our people.
1713 July 14 Treaty of Portsmouth signed at Piscataqua
Report of the Journal of Commissioners at Portsmouth, Wheelright, Wentworth, Redknap, Vaughan, Jaffrey on Their Return to Portsmouth, July 23, 1713
1713 Wed Jul 15
Commissioners Wheelwright, Redknap and Phips for MA; Wentworth, Vaughn and Jaffrey for NH depart Portsmouth for the Fort at New Castle (pictured below) where they spent the night until embarking on Capt Bob Carver’s sloop for Casco Bay at 3 am.
1713 Thurs Jul 16
Saluted by English ship; returned salute. Arrived off Saco at 3pm and fired three guns as signal for Indians to assemble. Fort fired one gun. Arrived at Portland at midnight and fired one gun as further signal.
1713 Fri Jul 17
Canoe with four came on board. Sent away 2 of the men who had come to Portsmouth, with one of the Casco Bay to give the others around the islands of Casco Bay “intelligence of our arrival.” Departed the sloop with firing guns and were received at the Fort with the like complement. Soon after the Indians disembarked and were sent for to come to the Fort. When settled the Commissioners confirmed the Governor’s promise 1) that by the blessing of God, He would set you down safe at Casco to your principles and people “which is now performed” 2) You promised you would lay up all the terms of pacification in your hearts and at your return declare them to your tribes and make em sensible of your submission to the Queen of Great Britain and of the Governors reception of you and your people to his favor, which we now expect is done. 3. We doubt not of the readiness of your sagamores to meet us, that we may publish the articles of pacification to them and their people. 4. We desire you to repair to em and inform em that we expect their coming together with all readiness that we may publish the terms of your reception to the governor’s friendship and favor. They replied that they would repair to their people and with all expedition return and inform when they were all come together.
1713 Sat July 18
First assembly at Casco Bay with Commissioners. “We suppose your sagamores and principal men are here. We desire you would make your sagamores known to us by name (which were as follows): Moxus and Teramaugous of Kennebec, Wunungonet and Nudagumboin of Penobscot; Surragonet of Amoscoggin and Pierre of St. John’s. Gathering of 180 men of the tribes to hear Treaty. 460 women and children at a distance, English have set up a booth, with Forms for the Sagamores and their principal men to set on, a “pistol shot” from the Fort.
There has been a long difference between the English and Indians and you have addressed the Governor for pacification. He is pleased (by us) to see you here on this occasion and we shall further acquaint you with our business,
Terranaugons the orator of the sagamores of Kennebeck answered that they were well satisfied and it was the same as if the Governor was there himself.
Commissioner: The Governor had considered your address and upon your submissions did order Capt Moody to inform you of it and gave you leave to meet him at Piscataqua. You chose several gentlemen who waited on the Governor and further prayed his excellency favor who was willing notwithstanding former breaches to receive you as her Majesty’s good subjects and yet to experience your good behavior.
Read the Articles as detailed by Governor in his presentation to the signing delegates and repeated the requests not to trade with fishermen and to stay north of the Saco River. “We would not have you presently go among our inhabitants for the people have been angry and their blood heated and they must have time to cool but in a little time we shall all be good friends. If you have anything to say to the Governor we shall take care to acquaint him with it.
Your honors are kind gentlemen and therefore we came to meet you. When we heard it was peace between England and France we were very glad and hoped we should soon have a peace here. If the Queen at home makes this peace contained in these article as strong and as durable as the earth, we for our parts shall endeavor to make it as strong and firm here. We are told that your Governor should say that the King of France had surrendered all the land on this side Placentia up to the Queen of Great Britain. We desire you would inform us how it is.
Replied: The Queen of Great Britain‘s arms were superior to those of the King of France and he has surrendered up Newfoundland and the land on this side.
The sagamore replied:
The French never said anything to us about it and we wonder how they would give it away without asking us, God having at first placed us there and They have nothing to do to give it away.
We had nothing to do to dispute the rights of crowns but the English will in a little time come to resettle their plantations.
We should be glad to see the English settling their antient plantations and should never be disturbed in their rights and privileges there by us. And added that they would be very careful to observe that article of keeping in the northerly side of Saco River at a distance from the English plantations; but they hoped the Governor wold in a little time give em more liberty.
“All that has been done and said all and every man here fully consents and agrees to,” proclaimed the former sagamore with an audible voice.
We drank to the Queen’s health and the Governors, with a discharge of the cannon at the fort, returned with three huzzas from the Indians, “they in their acclamations of joy heaving their caps into the air.”
Next day, Sun 19 July, was observed at the Fort as the winds were contrary.
Commissioners sailed on Monday July 20 but due to contrary winds did not arrive back at Portsmouth til the 23rd at 10 am.
Commissioners letter, Portsmouth July 23:
The day after we had finished several of the indians came and prayed that if we had any captives in our hands they might be returned to them as soon as possible – also that necessary supplies might be sent with all dispatch to Casco at present and Penobscot before winter with prices set to the English and Indian commodities – also liberty for three or four of their principal men to wait on the Governor at Boston by the first opportunity.
Signed: John Wheelwright, J. Wentworth, J. Redknap, Geo Vaughan and Geo. Jaffrey.
1714 Mon January 11
Massachusetts Council with Gen Nicholson, Gov Dudley, Lt. Gov Wiliam Taylor, Council members Elisha Hutchinson, Sam Sewall, Eliakim Hutchinson, Pennm Townsend, Andrew Beltcher, Edward Bromfield and Isaac Addington met with “five of the Eastern Indians come to town this day”
Querabannity* and Quarrexis of Penobscot and Abomasun,* Warraquassit* and Ossamewanes of Norridgewoc “about 150 miles up Kennebeck River. Pemenduit left sick at Piscataqua. John Gyles acting as interpreter.
GOV: Are you all well?
GOV Have you been well entertained since your coming to Town.
Answered: Yes. and thanked the Governor.
Gov notes As there are three* of you here that were concerned in the pacification lately made so too receive you as friends and as you have voluntarily undertaken this journey the General and myself are ready to hear what you have to say.
Indians: We are by the chiefs of the two several plantations of Noronjawoke and Penobscott and have to pay their respect to the Gov and the General and have an errand to them from the sachems.
Gov When do you desire to speak or deliver your errand or message?
Answer: When you please. Tis now late in the day. We speak tomorrow if the Gov please.
GOV I will be here again tomorrow when you may speak.
Gen Nicholson then gave Quarabannit and Bombaseen each a new Queen Anne guinea to wear “to show their chiefs by whom they were sent in token of their being kindly received.”
1714 Tues January 12
GOV We are now ready to hear you.
ABOMASEIN When we attended your excellency last at Piscataqua you told us if there were anything omitted we should have free recourse to your Excellency. You also proposed that places shall be fixed for Trade and your English should return to their former settlements and dwellings at the Eastward which we were glad to hear of yet we might rejoice together as formerly, And proposed to have a place for truck farther eastward form Casco Bay. If the truck masters like not their beaver they kick it away. The Indians are very much grieved that the price of beaver is so low that its very little worth and desire the Governor to put forth the price what it should be sold at and they will be content." Then he laid down a pack of beaver saying it was his letter from the sagamores that sent him.
QUERABANNIT I desire to tell what is in my heart. The present made me yesterday by the General (the Queen Anne guinea) I wear here upon my breast and upon my return shall acquaint the sagamores yet sent me thereof. (Bomasein also showed his guinea hanging on his breast.) I have something to repeat of the passage when the indians last waited on your excellency at Piscataqua. The Indians do not understand why when there has been so long Peace there has been no more correspondence with us. We are very desirous that Friendship should be reposed for ever etwist us and the English as was in our Grand Fathers Day and much Better. And if it were possible the traffick might be the same as the prices as formerly we should be very thankful. That we should rejoice that all the English that dwell in the Eastern Parts return to their former settlements there. And as Capt Gyles father lived there formerly so that now Capt Gyles return to his place which is the request of our chiefs. I have spoken all I have to say about settlements and pray that if any Indian prisoners be in these parts I might see them.
Our country is large but I have made inquiry in the several parts for English prisoners there but hear of none. If I could have understood any were there I would have brought them with me to have showed them to your Excellency."Then he laid down a pack of beaver saying it was his letter he had brought from the sagamores and said several Indians of their part were waiting at Pemaquid for his return who desired they might have supplies this winter.
GOV I take well your plainness and openness in your speech and proposals and you shall have my answer thereto tomorrow in this place.
Then Gen Nicholson showed them a New England shilling with a pine tree saying they and the English should be like that tree with one root and several branches. “The pine is always green an emblem of truth and if the root be cut the branches die.”
ABOMASEIN I forgot before – we called at Casco Fort and desired Lt. Bane to accompany them to Boston to meet the Governor. The general said he would speak with his captain but the captain was not willing he should come,
GOV To prevent any misunderstanding. I had instructed Capt Moody to divert the Indians coming to me this winter projecting to see them my self at Casco Bay in the spring. So he could not allow Lt Bane to come with you without my further directions.
Gen Nicholson them put a New England shilling with the pine tree in each of the Indians hands and mouths, telling them they must now never speak with their mouths of lift up their hands against the English. He gave three shillings apiece to Querabannit and Abomsein to pay for the ribbons and loops about their necks where they had strung the guineas.
1714 Wed January 13
GOV In answer [to statements made the previous day] I am well plased to perceive you are now sensible of the inconveniences and mischiefs you have drawn upon yourselvesd by the defection and departure from your allegiances and duty to the crown of Great Britian to which you have often repeated your professed subjection and obedience and renewed the same in your late attendance upon me at Piscataqua. Thereupon been received to her Majesty’s grace and favor so that you renounce and withdraw yourselves from the French interest by whom you have been reduced and led into these mischiefs and inconvenience which have proved so ruinous to you and injurious to the English her Majesty’s subjects and your good friends and neighbors, The Rupture having been made on your side by influence of the French. I now assure you that upon your sincere and faithful observances and performance of your late recognition and steady adherence to her majesty and her interests you shall be acknowledged and treated as her subjects and be restored to our friendship as in time past.
As to your proposals referring to the English returning to their former plantations and settlements, that matter is under consideration of proper committee for the directing the regulating of the same to be brought forward after the winter is over and the necessary preparation can be made for the same.
As to the Places of Trade and regulating of same and stating the prices of beaver, that matter will have its consideration in the great and General Court of this Province at their meeting appointed to be in the next month, so far as this concerns her Majesty’s government. [Gen Nicholson to address the same issue in Nova Scotia, Arcadia and Newfoundland when he visits Annapolis Royall which will be as soon as conveniently can be.
It being her Majesty Royal’s will and pleasure and agreeable to her royal instructions to her Governor in these her several plantations that upon the Indian natives firmly adhering to their allegiance and obedience to the crown of Great Britain and utterly forsaking and renoujncing the French interests and being influenced by the French government or missionaries they may be trusted as her majesty’s subjects and with all friendship.
1714 Saturday January 16
GOV After the General Assembly of this province you shall hear from Gen Nicholson and myself referring to the establishment of more places eastward for the trade and shall make the prices as low as possible. Until the Assembly comes, I cannot acquaint you either the time or place of our meeting to see and receive you but you shall hear from us early in the Spring with direction how to proceed in your attendance of the General and myself.
Gyles will take care to discharge your quarters coming hither and abiding here and returning home and desire that your sagamores may know how kindly you have been here received.
In the mean time I desire and expect that your sagamores get together any English prisoners in your hands and send them into Casco agreeable to your articles signed at Piscataqua. And we shall do the like if any be found amongst us particularly we are informed that there are eight English persons at Noronjewoke.
Further we expect you will draw your remaining indians from Canada into their own places upon English grounds where they shall be well dealt with, And you will let the sachems know that they must receive no further orders from the French Governor of Canada nor instructions from the priests but steadily adhere to English interest and the Governoment of her majesty the queen upon whose land and country they are established. And that in all things they show themselves Englishmen and assure them they shall be dealt with accordingly. And we wish you a good journey.
After which the Articles of Pacification made at Piscataqua were shown them and Abomasein, Querabannit and Woroquassit, three of the signers, acknowledged their marks.
ABOMASEIN prayed that a meeting house might be built for them at Norridgework by English men they would pay for it.
Gov I will consider it.
As they had but a few days before they were expected at home they desired they might have the assistance of horses.
Capt John Gylees interpreter made oath that these questions and answers are truly rendered as spoken on either side allowing only for idioms of speech necessary for the understanding.