Philip Schuyler to John Hancock, referred to Wythe & Committee, 24 February 1776

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James Dean grew up around the Oneida Indians and served as an Indian missionary and Indian agent for the United States during the Revolutionary War[1]. He wrote to Philip Schuyler from Kanonwarohare, an Oneida tribe village. Dean told Schuyler that the Indians who went to a meeting at Fort Niagara said that Mr. Butler spoke of peace. He expected that there would soon be a meeting of the Six Nations at their central Council House. Governor Penn invited the Iroquois to Pennsylvania but Dean said that the Oneida tribe held off on answering Penn until they heard from Schuyler and learned whether he knew anything of the affair or approved of it. Schuyler forwarded the letter to Congress' Committee of Indian Affairs asking for them to help him make a decision on how to answer Governor Penn's request for the Indians to meet in Pennsylvania. George Wythe, Philip Livingston, and Edward Rutledge were referred to because they were members of the Committee of Indian Affairs[2].

"Philip Schuyler to John Hancock, 27 February 1776, pg 1." Image from The Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789.

Letter text

Page 1

Kanonwarohare Feby. 24, 1776


The Indians who went to attend the Meeting lately held at Niagara are returned, and say that Mr. Butler spoke Nothing to them but of peace. I expect there will be a general Meeting of the Six Nations held very soon a their central Council House. The Oneidas are already sent to, to hold themselves in Readiness to attend The Onandagoes have advised to postpone sending for. Mr. Butler till after the Meeting at Onondaga, when it is proposed to send two or three from each Tribe on that Errand, and the Oneidas willing to gratify them have agreed to the proposal.

Thus, [?] Gov. Penn has sent to the six Nations inviting them down to Philadelphia in the Spring and particularly inform them that he calls them down in his own Name without Respect to any one else. The Oneidas have determined the Message until they shall hear from you, and learn whether you know any Thing of the Affair or whether it has your Approbation. If you know Nothing of the Matter they desire that you would take an opportunity to send to Philadelphia and learn the Truth of it. And whenever they have a Return from you they will forward Anus’s Message if it be agreeable to you. The Indians are much at a Loss to comprehend Anus’s Design in calling them down to Philadelphia as they say that Albany is the place appointed for the six Nations to treat with their Brethren the white people upon all Matters whatever I am Sir your most

Page 2

"Philip Schuyler to John Hancock, 27 February 1776, pg 2." Image from The Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789.

Obedient and very humble Servant
James Dean

The honorable Philip Schuyler Esq.

P.S. Sir,

This Instant a Messenger is arrived here from Onondaga desiring the Oncidas to give their immediate Attendance at the Central Council House. An Express will be dispatched directly to the Mohawk Castle.

J. Dean

Sir, The above is Just now delivered me, I beg the direction of Congress what Answer to give with respect to Governor Penn’s request as It is a Matter I dare not decide upon alone,

I am respectfully
Sir Your most obedient Servant
Ph. Schuyler
Albany Feb: 27 1776

The Hon. John Hancock &c. &c.

Copy Letter from Mr. James Dean to General Schuyler Inclosed in Gen. Schuyler
26 Fey. 1776.

Referred to Mr. Rutledge
Mr. Wythe
Mr. Livingston

See also


  1. James Dean (1743-1823) [1]
  2. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, Volume 6 (page 1065) [2]