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imported, It is therefore my duty, to Represent, to His Majesty's Ministers, the Propriety, of sending out Four Hundred, Puncheons, of Rum, for the use of the Army under my command, as otherwise, the Price of that Article, may be raised, upon The Crown, at the Discretion, of the Persons Who, may be have engrossed itI have the honour to be &c. &c.
Your most obed't &c (signed)
F. H. [B 56 p 32]
MAJOR DE PEYSTER TO BRIG. GEN. MACLEAN.
DETROIT 21st November 1782 SIR, I am this instant honoured with your letter of the 10th covering one to me from His Excellency the commandr in chief-As His Excellency thinks that much depends upon early Intelligence from this part of the country, I have thought proper to order the Felicity off immediately to take down the Intelligence just received from Alexr McKee Esq. Depy Agent for Indian Affairs—I am also in hopes the Sloop will bring an assortment of Indian presents, having been too long without the necessary articles to answer the demands of the Indians, resorting to this Post. You will see Sir, How determined the Virginnians are to destroy the Indians who have our promise of support, now therefore to manage this matter without a strong reinforcement of Troops, and a supply of Indian Goods, is beyond my comprehension.
-For the present the season is too far advanced for me to pretend to take any essential steps to support the Indians.
- The Detachment of Rangers under Capt. Caldwell (who is himself indisposed) can scarce turn out six and thirty men fit for service; and the King's Regiment, the most excellent soldiers, are not altogether calculated, nor properly equipped for a Winter's campaign in the Indian country, exclusive that the five companies are absolutely necessary for the works and duty of this important post-Light troops are therefore what we want, and believe me there will be amusement for a good number of them the ensuing campaign without acting on the offensive.
You desire to be informed of my Ideas on the method of stablishing a correspondence during the winter season-I have to inform you, that during my command at the upper Posts, I have frequently found it necessary to send
expresses, which can be done with ease, and with the greatest safety, by employing two Indians, and sometimes adding an Interpreter-We generally equip the Indians for the Journey, and promise them a small present of Silverworks at the Post they are sent to, provided they travel with dispatch, and, on their return, they receive their payment, which they chuse to have mostly in Rum.
-Lieut. Col. Butler and Mr. Dease are quite au fait, of those matters. I shall soon send of the letters for Michilimackinac, and not fail to put Captain Robertson in the way of it. Should anything extraordinary happen to require it, you shall not be long unacquainted with some of our Detroit copper coloured Gentry.
AT. S. DE PEYSTER Brigr General Maclean [B 123 p 338]
MAJOR DE PEYSTER TO GENERAL HALDIMAND.
DETROIT the 21st Novr 1782 SIR, I am honoured with your Excellencys letter of the 21st UltimoYour Excellency may depend that nothing shall be wanting on my part to promote a strict observance of the present mode of carrying on the war on the defensive-A late incursion of the Enemy will nevertheless throw great obstacles in my way, which the inclosed letter from Mr Alexr McKee will evince-This will convince your Excellency that the back settlers are determined to Exterminate the Indians, which If they are suffered to do, or even to make a peace with them, their next tryal will be this Settlement.
The advanced season, and the sickness which prevails amongst the few Rangers at this Post, prevents my doing any thing Essential for the relief of the Indian Villages, it is therefore to be hoped that when the Enemy have done all the mischief possible they will retire. I must beg to repeat what I have formerly said, that I have and ever shall pay the strictest attention to a proper occonomy of the public money, and I can safely assert that I have saved Government ten thousand pounds at least, notwithstanding which, unless befriended by your Excellency I see I shall be liable to refund the perquisites at this Post, which have ever been looked upon by my predecessors as their due—I have therefore looked upon the Lots et Vents as my perquisite and have lived up to them in support of the dignity of a british commandant. It is true Sir! I have not received them all, but I am neverthe
less liable to the debts which I have contracted upon the strength of themI shall order a true state of them and the quit rents, to be made out during my command, and transmit it by the first opportunity agreeable to orders. If His Majesty's Minister was acquainted with the losses I have sustained during the rebellion, and the extraordinary trouble I have been at, and am still like to undergo, He would if in his power to grant, and consistant with a British officer to accept, assign me the Exclusive right of trade at this post as was formerly granted to the French commandants.
The Indian goods are not yet arrived nor do I expect them this fall-a dismal prospect-It however gives me great satisfaction to hear that your Excelly proposes sending your decisive orders, and instructions for the ensuing Campaign, which I hope to receive during the course of the Winter, in the mean time I shall not fail to exert my poor abilitys to the utmost..
The list of people imployed in the Indian Department. I reduced upon the breaking up of the Campaign, and shall in future attend to your Excellency's instructions thereon. I have the honour to be with the greatest respect Sir, Your Excellency's Most Humbl & Most Obedt Servt.
Ar. S. DE PEYSTER His Excelly. Genl Haldimand Endorsed :-No 20.-From A 1782 Major De Peyster 21st Novr Rec'd 7th Decr Entd B No 3 fol 33 [B 123 p 342]
MAJOR DE PEYSTER TO CAPTAIN MCKEE.
DETROIT 21st Nov. 1782. DEAR SIR, I am just favour'd with your Letter of the 15th Inst., and am very sorry to hear that the Shawaxese of the Standing Stone Village have kept so bad a look out—had they attended to your advice as the other Villages have done, it would not have happen'd and I should have been appraised of the Enemy being on their March in time to have sent assistance, the want of which information made me conclude that the Enemy had given over thoughts of an Expedition this fall, and in Compliance with repeated Orders from the Commanding Officer of the District, I sent Captn. Bradts Detachment to Niagara. Capt. Caldwell is himself very weakly and his Detachment of 70 men cannot turn out above half the number for Service, owing to the sickness they contracted at Sandusky, so that it is not in my power to send a force sufficient at this advance season to be of aid to my Children, who must necessarily avoid the Enemy if they prove too strong in numbers to cope
with, and this they may early do as they are acquainted with their being in their Country-It would therefore be imprudent in me to sacrifice those few Troops which may be of use to them in the Spring.
The Enemy no doubt have left the Indian Country before this reaches you. I have nevertheless sent the Strings of Wampum as desired to the several Lake Indians, but they too, I fear are too much dispersed.
Should the Enemy contrary to my expectations fortify themselves with an Intention of remaining in the Indian Country, I shall proceed to take such steps as will enable the Indians to dislodge them early in the Spring.
Brigadr Genl McLean commands the District, he acquaints me that the orders relative to act in the defensive only, are still in force-I herewith inclose you an extract from the Commander in Chief's Letter which will inform you of his sentiments and of what we have to expect. We have nothing else worth communicating than that the Indian Presents have passed Niagara, but I fear we shall not see them till Spring.
I hope soon to have the pleasure of your Company at Detroit, for should this Body of the Enemy have retreated, none other can be expected this Winter. Your friends here all sincerely joyn in Comts to you, wishing you Success. I am Dr. Sir With the greatest Esteem Your most obedt huml. Servt.
AT S. DE PEYSTER P. S. Eight Delawares just arrived from Niagara have agreed to join the Shawanese. Capt McKee
Indian Affairs M. G. III