|Crosswicks Meeting House, Scene of Indian Treaties
is the text from the Treaty of Crosswicks held on Jan. 8 & 9, 1756 as an attempt by the Province of New Jersey to stop the hostilities on its borders.
There are many interesting facts in the document, including references to NJ Indian towns, Native prisoners handed
over to the Crosswicks Indians, the fact that Weekping was considered as Indian land, etc.
The conference was held one week after Teedyuscung and his
brothers led a raid on the PA side of the Delaware Water Gap. One of his brothers, Tom Evans, who took part in the raid, was
id'd as a Raritan Indian two years later at the second conference at Crosswicks (Teedyuscung was there too).
I googled this treaty and found no hits...
the text is to be found in the Iroquois Documents microfilm series.
Between the Government of New-Jersey,
the several Parts of said Province,
In the County of
On Thursday and Friday the eighth and ninth Day of January, 1756
Printed by WILLIAM BRADFORD, Printer
to the Province of
between the Government of New-Jersey,
Thursday the eighth Day of January, 1756.
THE Commissioners and the following Indians being met.
The Names of the Indians.
Cranberry Indians, who pass by the English Names.
Jo. Mikty, [taken as POW, 8/9/1757, Fort Wm. Henry]
Totaney, [died of gunshot wounds, near Allentown, PA, 8/9/1757]
Sam. Gosling, &c. In all 27 Men, sundry Women and Children.
Quaiquias taken as POW, Ft. Wm. Henry, 8/9/1757]
Lolocks taken as POW, Ft. Wm. Henry, 8/9/1757]
In all 16 Men,
sundry Women and Children.
Pompton [Minisink] Indians.
Mytop, [died in military service, 1762]
all 23 Men, besides Women and Children.
A Commission from his Excellency JONATHAN BELCHER, Esq; Captain General and Governor in Chief,
in and over the Province of Nova-Caesarea or New-Jersey, and Territories thereon depending in America, Chancellor and Vice
Admiral in the same, &c. was published, impowering the Honourable Richard Salter, Lewis Morris Ashfield, Charles Read,
Robert Lawrence, Samuel Smith, Barzilla Newbold, and Joseph Tart, Esqrs; or any three or more of them, to treat with the Indians
of the Colony of New-Jersey, and to agree upon such Things, as they should esteem conducive to the Peace and Welfare of the
Howlings, Esq; and Stephen Calvin, Interpretors attended, after which the Commissioners spoke to the Indians as follows.
WE are g’ad to see you here in Health, and hope those
you have left behind you in your Towns are in Health also.
The Reason or our meeting you at this Time, is, that we might have an opportunity of talking
freely with each other as Brethren ought to do.
We are appointed by the Government, to give you the strongest assurance of the Affection
your Brethren of this Colony, have and will always retain for our Brethren the Indians.
If therefore any Thing you know of, that may on either side
destroy the good Agreement that has continued for near one Hundred Years, between your Fathers and ours, you will now have
an Opportunity of mentioning it. And we hope you will do it in such
a manner as that nothing may hereafter remain to give us or you any Occasion of Uneasiness, therefore we hope you will open
your Minds freely.
We grieve for the Sufferings of our Brethren in Pennsylvania, who have suffered much by
Indians misled by bad and wicked Peoples Advice, but we hope an end will soon be put to their Murdering your Friends and ours,
and believe the Indians will by the trouble they will bring themselves into by hearkening to this wicked Advice, be made to
repent of their bad Actions.
We hope none of our Friends and Brethren of this Colony are joined with the Wicked Indians who have been destroying
the People of Pennsylvania.
And expect you will let us know all you have heard of the Intention of the Indians, and if any of the Enemy Indians,
or any strange Indians should come among you, to put evil and false Things into your Heads, you will do well not to believe
them, and that you will deliver them to us, as dangerous to our Peace and yours.
As we have heard some of the Enemy Indians have been in the
upper Parts of this Province, and Murdered one Man, and wounded another, this and the Murders on the other side of the River,
has made our People who live in the upper Parts of this Colony so Angry, that it is become dangerous to any Indians to go
there, as they will not in the hurry know Friends from Enemies. Therefore we would have you seriously consider with yourselves,
that it will be necessary for you to contrive some Bounds for your own Security, where you may be safe, and our People easy
with it. And as you are our Brethren, we would have your Advice in this Matter, and if you have any request to make for your
own ease and both our Security’s, you will do well to let us know it, and we shall give it due Consideration.
Then the Indians withdrew.
Friday Morning, January the 9th 1756.
Indians came into Council, and having appointed Ohiockechoque, to speak for them; he delivered in their Names the following
of our Men can remember when the English were weak and few, and the Indians strong and many. We then nursed them up in our
Bosoms and treated them as Friends.
We are glad our Friendship hath continued so long, and hope it will always endure.
Since our Fathers have sold so large a Part of their Lands
to the English, we find it much more difficult to maintain ourselves and Families by Hunting, which is at least one half our
a worse evil than that has come to us, which is the Use of strong Liquor, to which the Indians are too much addicted, and
by which they are made Weak, Idle, and Quarrelsome, and for strong Drink often sell those Skins, and other Things, which would
provide themselves and Families with Cloaths and Bread, and for this some of the English are much to blame.
We beg you will take care to put a Stop
to this wicked practice, which tho’ it may offend some of our foolish People at first, yet it will at last be best liked,
and be more for the Health of Soul and Body.
The bringing in the blessed Gospel, we esteem the greatest advantage we have received
by the English coming among us, and we trust it hath been a means in the Hand of GOD to reform the Minds and Manners of a
Number of us, and we prefer the Enjoyment of it and living with our Brethren the English even to Life itself. It gives us
a real concern, that any of our Acquaintance are joining with the French and their Indians. The Reason of their going to them,
we believe was, that they were seduced by Lies and Falsity’s, because the same Methods were used with us, but without
effect. As Times of great Distress are come on us, as well as you, we are willing to agree as Brethren, upon any Methods for
our mutual Peace and Security.
We propose the following, which we hope may be effectual.
We who live on this side Rariton River, will not on any occasion, go to the Northward
of Rariton River at Brunswick, and of the great Post Road that leads from Trenton to Brunswick, except in those Town spots,
but confine ourselves between the said Post Road and the Delaware River, to the Sea Shores of this Province, while the War
continues, in which Bounds we hope shall always have the free Liberty of Hunting, and beg that good care by taken, that no
Traps shall be sett there, which is of late very frequent and is very dangerous both to you and us.
If any of our Young Men go to War with
you, we hope you will put them upon the same footing with the English, and that when our Married Men go to War, you will make
some Provision for their Families.
As several of us are obliged to leave our Habitations in this time of general Distress, we pray that some Releif may
be provided for such. As it is the Misfortune of some of us to be in Debt, and we, for the publick Peace, are willing to deprive
ourselves of several advantages we formerly enjoy’d, we pray that care may be taken that our Creditors may not be two
pressing, and we promise as soon as we can, we will honestly pay our just Debts. We pray that all abusive Words and Actions,
which destroy Love, may be punished in both Indians and English. We think we have still some Peices of Land, for which we
have received no Consideration, if it should prove so, and we could get the Money for them, we hope we should be able, with
some Assistance from our Brethren the English, to purchase a Peice of Land sufficient for us all to settle together, and have
the Gospel among us, which is our great desire.
And we Pompton Indians, and others, living beyond Rariton, will confine ourselves within
a Line to be drawn from that Part of the Sound between Staten Island and the Main, which is nearest to John Jolines, to go
the nearest Course to the said John Jolines House, and straight three Miles further into the Woods, and so by a Line to be
drawn thro’ the Woods, at three Miles distance, back from the great Road that leads from John Jolines to Elizabeth-Town,
Newark, Wezel, and John Jerolimans Mill, near the Falls of Passaic, and from the said Falls near Jerolimans Mill to the Fork,
and then to Pompton, and then on the nearest straight Line thro’ Bergen County to the Jersey Line on the Shore of the
North River or Hudsons River, and so by the Waters to where it began on the Sound.
We have to complain to our Brethren, that ill minded Persons
are apt to take Advantage of the Indians when they are Drunk, and buy their Lands for a trifle, and often
from the Indians who does not own it.
And we pray our Brethren, that for the future no Indian Deed or Lease may be allowed to be good, but what is made and Signed
before the Governor, or two of his Council, who are to have a Certificate from six Indians, that the Indian who sells the
Land, is Owner of it, under the Hand of some Magistrate, who sees the six Indians Sign it, and the Deed to have it wrote on
the back, and signed by the Governor, or two of his Council, that they saw the Certificate of the six Indians, Signed by the
Justice, and that the Indian who sells the Land, understood the Deed, and had a reasonable Price as common for it.
As some bad People have got a long Lease
from a Drunken Indian for the Indian Lands at Wepink, and for which they pay mostly, or all in strong Drink, we beg that they
may be removed from that Land, and we hope care will be taken that no loose People to settle on our Lands, without buying
heartily promise our Brethren, that if any strange Indians shall come among us, we will immediately give Notice thereof to
the next Justice or Captain, that they may be satisfied for what end they come; And if any Indian should attempt to come among
us, to draw us back from our Brethren the English, we will immediately secure them, and deliver them to our Brethren. And
as this is our fixed Resolution, which we desire may be made publick, we hope our Brethren will not give Credit to reports
of strange Indians being among us, when such Stories are told by ill minded People.
An if any of our own People should be unruly or abusive, we
will deliver them up to the English to be punished.
The Commissioners then spoke to them as follows.
WE have here three Men and some Women and Children, in all Seventeen, which were taken
in the upper Parts of the Province, where they have lived for some Years, and sent them down to Trenton Gaol, for both theirs
and our own Security, from whence they have been escorted here, and are now in the Guard House, we shall order them to be
delivered to you, to be examined, and if after due Care and Consideration of this Matter, you think you can safely take them
among you, and Answer for their Good Behaviour, we will shew the Confidence we have in you our Brethren, by releasing them
to you; but if you suspect them, you must deliver them back to the Guard. There still remains in Gaol in Trenton, one Phillip
an Indian, whose conduct has given us great reason to suspect him, and whose Family is at Wiomen, and we shall detain him
there till something more appears in his favour. We shall wait your Answer till the Afternoon.
The Commissioners and Indians being met.
spoke to them as follow.
acknowledge the Kindness your Forefathers have shewn to ours, and we shall always Act kindly to you, as we hope you will always
deserve it, as long as the Waters run down Delaware.
We are glad to find you acknowledge that your Fathers have
sold the Land we now possess to our Ancestors, and we hope you have received Advantages by the rising Price of your Skins,
and furs, and buying what you wanted at a reasonable Rate, equal to the Loss you have suffered by the scarcity of Deer and
are pleased to hear that you are sensible of the Evils that arise by the too great habit of drinking spirituous Liquors among
the Indians, and we shall lay that Matter before the Legislature of this Province, and shall endeavour to get a Provision
made against that Evil.
It is agreeable to us, to hear that you so much Value the Blessed Gospel, and that it has amended the Lives of so
many of you, and the more you practice the Precepts of it, the better it will be for you.
We are glad that the Lies and Falsities of our and our Enemies,
have not been able to draw you off from us, your Brethren, for your true Interest is fast bound to ours.
As to the Bounds you have proposed for
yourselves, we agree with you as to them, and shall take care that you shall be secure in them.
We hope none of our Brethren will distress
you, unreasonably, on Account of any Debts you own them. And we recommend it to you to be Frugal and Industrious till you
can pay them.
will lay it before the Legislature, to provide against your being deceived or defrauded in any Bargain, Grants or Leases of
Land, that you may make hereafter.
As to your Lands at Wepink, we shall make a Report about it, and you may depend upon amble Justice being done to you.
kindly the hearty Declarations you make to us, that you will give immediate Notice to the Officers of Government, when any
strange Indians come among you, and that you will secure such as are your and our Enemies. Let this lay deep in your Hearts,
and your fulfilling it punctually, will give us sure Proofs that you are our hearty Brethren.
We will make these your Intentions publick,
and make no doubt but this Declaration, which we believe comes from your Hearts, will make your Brethren Love and Esteem you,
and make them unwilling to believe any false Reports to your disadvantage.
All manner of rude and bad behaviour of the English and Indians
to each other shall meet with proper Discouragement.
As some of our Brethren, have sustained Losses by Attachment and Love to their Brethren
the English, We are willing to assist such of them as have left their Places of abode in their present Necessity, and shall
lay the Affair before the Legislature for their Consideration.
As to such of our Brethren the Indians, as will go out to War with our People, which we
hope they will cheerfully do, when there is occasion, they will always be put upon the same footing with their Brethren the
English, as they have been heretofore.
The Indians by Ohiockehoque return’d the following Answer, to what the Commissioners delivered
to them this Morning.
WE have considered what you said to us respecting the Indians who were bro’t from the back Parts of the Province.
We have strictly examined them, and according to the best Judgment we are able to frame, we verily believe they had no bad
designs against the English; but considering the deceitfulness of Man’s Heart, we dare not engage for any but ourselves,
we would be Willing to take them to our Town at Cranberry, and do our utmost to Watch over them, but the Fears and Jealousies
of our English Neighbours, are so great, that (as we are informed) it would not be for their or our safety to have them among
us, and therefore do not choose to have any Connections with them, at least for the present.
The Commissioners afterwards enquired of the Indians, if they
had the same Objections to the taking them to any of their other Towns, and informed them, that the Commissioners would make
allowance of some Indian Corn towards their support this Winter, as they were removed from their own Habitations. Upon which
Quish and the Chiefs of the Indian Town in the Branches of Croswicks, agreed, as nothing appeared against these Indians, but
that they were brought from their Habitation for their own Security, and the Peace of the upper Inhabitants, and that they
could not return there again as being out of the Bounds the Indians had prescribed to themselves, that they would take them
home, use them as Brethren, and have a careful Eye over them.
And the Indian Prisoners promised to keep with the Croswick Indians, and to be have orderly.
were delivered to them, whose Names were Abraham Lewis, John Price, John Phillip, and Twelve Women and Children.
And the Commissioners informed them,
that they would Order some Corn for the relief of those who have suffered by their Love to us, and by being drove from their
the Treaty broke up, and the Indians next Day went in an orderly Manner to their Towns.
What follows is added by Order of the Commissioners.
IT appeared to the Commissioners in the
Course of this Treaty, that the Indians of Susquehannah, have for three or four Years past, used many Endeavours to carry
of[f] to Susquehannah all the Indians from this Province, and have brought Belts of Wampum, in the Name of the Mohocks, to
Order them to remove, tho’ the Indians never believed them to have been sent by the Mohawks, and have refused to leave
Commissioners are convinced of the Sincerity of the Indians of this Province, and recommend it to the Inhabitants to use them
kindly, to be careful not to supply them with strong Drink, whereby many disorders may be prevented.
They also request the Inhabitants not
to use aggravating Language to the Indians, whereby rude and threatening Expressions may be drawn from them in their Drink,
and those improved into Tales to alarm weak, People and raise ill Blood between the Inhabitants of the Colony and the Indians,
which ought to be suppressed by all Means.
They recommend it to the Inhabitants to consider whether any Thing but their Love and Friendship
to us, could have prevented their being new among our Enemies, and for this token of their Affection for us, they are intitled
to our Friendship.
As the spreading of reports, without a good Foundation, can only serve to give the Inhabitants uneasiness, they request
them carefully to suppress all Idle Stories, as they will tend to destroy their own Quiet and Repose.
* Research note: In April, 1753, Moravian Indian convert Augustus traveled to Cranberry
to bring a message from the Six Nations to the Cranberry Indians. Source: Moravian Archives, Box 122, Folder 3.
Note should also be made that on Jan.
1, 1756, just before this conference, Teedyuscung, his family and other warriors, attacked Pennsylvania setters in Lower Smithfield
Twp., Monroe County, PA, near the Delaware Water Gap. His brother was Tom Evans, who was listed as a Raritan Indian at the
1758 Crosswicks conference.