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There have been several French Indians in this town lately, particularly one Tom Wildman, who, as he speaks both Dutch and Eng. lish is very fit to get intelligence, and on Captain Bradstreet's arrival went away in haste last Sunday morning. More are expected here, to-day or to.morrow
It is said that the garrison at Crown.point is four hundred men ; and that the French in Canada have no apprehension of any attack from the English this summer. But of these matters, I suppose Colonel Johnson gives your Excellency a more particular account, by this conveyance, than can be collected in this town, as I hear there is a French gentleman just arrived at his house from Montreal.
The people of Burnetsfield, whom I engaged to go and clear the upper part of the Mohawk river and Wood creek, are, I hear, already at work. Wood creek is what most wants mending, and as it is a narrow, winding creek with great numbers of large trees hanging over it, it is in the power of a few Indians to fell as many trees into it, in two or three days, as would require a month to clear out again ; where. fore I believe it would be of great use that one company of Pepperell's regiment encamp at the further end of the great carrying place; and it would be still better if a company be encamped at each end; it would not only secure the Wood creek and carrying place, but, as they might guard the batteaux at each end, it would save the trouble and expense of transporting a great number of batteaux over; besides, some of those men might be employed in making the road over, and the passage down Wood creek still better. It will also render it much more safe for the troops to go to Oswego in small par. ties, which I must beg leave to advise, for besides the many inconveniences that will attend their going in large bodies, and losing time in passing the carrying places, a great deal more time will be saved if they immediately begin to march off in companies, as they can get ready—at a distance of a day or two from each other. If your Excellency approves of this, it will be proper that Colonel Mercer has your orders to begin to send up the men of Sir William Pepperell's regiment in that manner, as soon as possible, and that they take a proportion of provision, and such other things as from time to time may be ready to go under their protection.
I find it absolutely necessary to have two, or at least one man in a batteau, that understands the management of them. Captains King and Bradstreet are both provided in that manner, and there are very few now left, either here or at Schenectady who are fit for the purpose; 80 that it will be impossible to get enough of these people if the troops go altogether; but if they go in parties, the same persons may return and go two or three trips.
In my letter of the 10th, I mentioned to your Excellency that I had picked out seven pieces of brass cannon, which Governor Delancey had given me leave to try. They were tried that afternoon, and stood the proof extremely well. I should be very glad if your Excellency could prevail on Governor Delancey to let you have all seven, and that we could have his leave to send them up here directly, for I would willingly have every thing ready at Schenectady to embark when you arrive there.
I have not yet seen Colonel Johnson; but it appears to me absolutely necessary to build two or three strong storehouses between this and the great carrying place to Crown-point before the provisions and stores are sent up. I can't help acquainting your Excellency that I think it will be very proper that such of the forces designed for the enterprise against Crown-point, as are ready, do, as soon as possible, march to cover the execution of that work. What renders their com. ing here soon the more necessary is, that by some unaccountable panic got into the people to the northward of this town, they have all left the plantations on that side to within three or four miles of the town, and there is no getting any body to do any thing that way but under strong guards.
I am, &c.
THE SAME TO CAPT. JOHN BRADSTREET.
ALBANY, May 26th, 1755. SIR,
The foregoing is a copy of what I wrote by the five batteaux that set out from Schenectady the 21st instant. This I expect you will receive with twelve or fourteen batteaux more, which I desired Messrs. Van Eps and Visscher at Schenectady to send with provisions to you for the use of the two American regiments, as soon as they procure steersmen sufficient.
Herewith I send a bundle of garden seeds, and have desired Mr. Petrie of Burnetsfield to send you a quantity of turnip seed. I need not request you as a favour to order them to be immediately sowed and planted, the produce being agreeable to your friends, I know will be a sufficient inducement.
I have also desired Mr. Petrie to send you six or eight good strong working horses, which you will order to be employed in drawing tim. ber; and I have contracted for a number of working oxen in New England to be sent to Oswego; I expect them here soon.
Sir William Pepperell I hear is at New York. The Captains and Lieutenants for the two Schooners to be built at Oswego are there also ;--the latter, I expect, will be with you soon. I shall start for New Yorkto-morrow—where I expect to see Governor Shirley soon, and I don't suppose it will be long after that, when we shall begin our march to Oswego. With my compliments to Captain King,
I am, &c.
THE SAME TO THE SAME.
ALBANY, May 26th, 1755. SIR,
Since writing the letter herewith of yesterday, Joseph Glidden, master builder, and five more ship.carpenters, arrived here from Bos. ton. They have Governor Shirley's instructions as to the size and shape of the vessels. Your assistance will be much wanted in providing the necessary timber, and I am sure, you will do all in your power to forward the work. There are, no doubt, among the men under your command, many who can serve for borers, rough-heyers, &c. As many as possible if these should be employed.
I just now hear that a ship has arrived at New York in twentyeight days from London ; and that there is no likelihood of an accommodation about American affairs yet.
Courtlandt Schuyler has this morning received an Ensign's commission in your regiment.
THE SAME TO WILLIAM SHIRLEY.
ALBANY, May 27th, 1755. SIR,
Your Fxcellency's letter of the 20th by Joseph Glidden I received yesterday afternoon. He and the other five ship.carpenters set out this morning for Schenectady, where they are to embark to-morrow morning for Oswego, in company with twelve batteaux which I send there with provisions. Each of these batteaux have two men in them, who in general are provided with firearms. This is all the guard it is possible to get for the carpenters,—for there are no troops left hereand I am in hopes it will be sufficient, for the people of this country are daily passing between this and Oswego, without any apprehension of danger that way.
The stores sent by Commodore Keppel, and most of the other necessaries for the two vessels are already in proper storehouses at Schenectady; also the greater part of the provisions which your Excellency ordered to be provided for your own and Sir William's regiments; and stores are there provided to receive all the other necessaries which shall be sent there as fast as they arrive here.
I have viewed all the grounds about Schenectady fit for encampments, and three places which I think most convenient I shall have plans of ready to lay before your Excellency at New York : Colonel Glese’s house, which is the most convenient about Schenectady, will be proposed for your Excellency's own quarters. I have also engaged for you a convenient house in this town. A number of people are at work in Wood creek, and on the carrying place to mend the passage there, which was the most needful, to Oswego. Others are employed in making passages in the most shallow rifts in the Mohawk river. I have directed two storehouses to be built,-one on each end of the carrying place-of strong logs covered and floored with bark, thirty. five feet long, and twenty feet broad. These will be sufficient and the cost of them trifling; but it will be of great use that some men encamp at each of these houses, until all the stores are carried over.
The batteaux are in great forwardness; the whole number of them that your Excellency ordered will be ready at Scenectady within twenty days from this time; and everything else which you have ordered, I think
be there before that time, and I must take the liberty of saying that I heartily wish your Excellency with the troops could be there about that time, as many things make it necessary that no time should be lost. The water in the Mohawk river and Wood creek grows shallow about the middle and latter end of the summer, which makes the passage tedious.
The French in Canada are not in the least apprized or apprehensive of any attack from the English, but on the Ohio, and to the Eastward. The troops going to Oswego is looked upon only as a rein. forcement of that garrison; and Colonel Johnson's enterprize will be looked upon only as a design of building a strong fort on the carrying place,-a report of which they have had for some time. The Governor of Canada has acquainted the Caghnawagas, that he has nothing against it, if they do not come over the middle of the carrying place; so far he allows the English to have right, but if they do, he is determined to oppose with force. This is what all the Caghnawagas lately here, and the French gentleman mentioned in my last, agree in.
I have obtained an actual survey of Oswego and the fort there; also an actual survey of the greatest part of the way between that place and this, the maps and plans of which I shall have ready at New York. Several of the principal India traders have promised me that if your Excellency chooses it they will attend you to Oswego, or wherever else you please ;-some of them may be of great use.
There are no sailors to be had here, and I believe but few at New York. If you can get about twenty good ones at Boston, we may I be. lieve make up the remainder at about fifty shillings sterling per month. * By a sloop just arrived from New York I have an account of the arrival of a vessel there in twenty-eight days from London, which brings advice that war is speedily expected. If the wind be fair I shall set out for New York this afternoon.
I am, &c.
THE SAME TO THE SAME.
NEW YORK, June 6th, 1755. SIE,
The last letter I wrote to your Excellency was of the 27th of May from Albany. That day I left Albany, and came here last Friday. Since that time I have been employed in despatching from hence the stores and provisions for the Niagara expedition. I hope the whole of those will be from hence by the end of this week.