Joseph Johnson, letter, to the Indians at Niantic, Mohegan, Groton, Stonington, Narragansett and Montauk, 1773 December 24


abstractOn behalf of himself and six other Indian signatories, Johnson strongly urges each tribe to send a delegate to confer with the Oneidas and Sir William Johnson on the subject of lands.

handwritingJohnson's hand is small and crowded, yet mostly formal and clear. He appears to use periods as commas. The trailer along the left edge of two verso appears to be in Occom's hand.

paperLarge sheet folded in half to make four pages is in good-to-fair condition, with light-to-moderate staining, creasing and wear.

inkDark-brown ink is faded in spots.

noteworthyAn editor, likely 19th-century, has added the note "Dec. 1773 from Farmington” after the trailer on two verso. This note has not been included in the transcription.

signatureThe letter is signed by Johnson and six other Indians.

Modernized Version Deletions removed; additions added in; modern spelling and capitalization added; unfamiliar abbreviations expanded.

  Our dear. and well beloved Brethren. 
we wish you all well.  your good. as well as our own. lies near at heart and we wish  you and yours the same prosperity. as ourselves. —  But not to be tedious in our Introduction. we will let you  know our design. and desire. in Sending to you this once more.  Our dear brethren. seeing that the time is nigh at hand. that  those chosen men. or others in their room. should go forth.  into the Western Country. according to the appointment of  his Honour Sir William Johnson. Baronet. and the desire  of the Oneida Indians. We say that the time is almost Come.  seeing then it is so nigh. we thought proper. to send to you  our dear Brethren this once more. humbly, and earnestly  desiring that ye would consider of things. and by all means  Let one out of each Town. or Tribe go up to the Mohawk Coun‐  ‐try. what can we say more. we have used all proper means  yea we have been much concerned concerning you our  dear Brethren. and we are Sorry. to See. So much cold‐ ness. lukewarmness. and indifference. amongst you. as ye  have discovered. since last march. 1773. what shall we  think of you. if ye do not send one out of Each Town. or Tribe.  Yea. what will General Johnson think of you. and what  will the Indians under his Special inspection think of you,  who hath, by the Great Influence of his Honor Sir William  given us great. and unexpected Encouragement. We pray  you to consider of things Seriously.
True. it is. that we are under a great disadvantage by  such a great body of Snow. which is upon the face of the Earth.  which Will hinder us. from making a proper observation  on the Land given to us. yet let not the present Snow Stop  you by no means. though we cant See the Land as we wish  we could. yet we can converse with our Western Brethren  the Oneidas. about the Land. yea it is highly necessary  that we go. and talk with our distant friends. and hear  for ourselves. and See how those Indians are disposed toward  us. and receive further orders or advise from our Great friend  the Honorable. Sir William Johnson. Baronet. Yea we think  we could do much. by this Winters Journey. we could do so  much as that we need not go up again. until we go to Set‐  ‐tle the Land. Yea, we could have the Land Secured to us. or  rather. So much Land made over to us. and ours after us. as  the Indians will think proper. to grant us. be it more or  less. Our friends. if ye had not Agreed to Send one out of each   
Each Tribe last Spring. we would not have Sent to you  So often. but we are hoping that ye will not be angry  with us. Seeing that we have acquainted General Johnson,  Several times. what we agreed last Spring. at Mohegan.  and Sir William doth certainly expect you. or one out  of Each Tribe by all means at this time. he told us when  we were at his house. the Indians would think Strange if  only two or three come up to the Congress. when Six, or  Seven were expected. General Johnson told us. that he  Sent a word to them Indians telling them. that one  out of Each Tribe was Coming to converse with them. and  they Expect us. all. by the 10th Day of January next. So how  can ye help yourselves. Can ye deny that ye promised  to Send one out of Each Tribe. must we let the World know  that we are Indians by Nature. and by Practice. but we  must End. begging. entreating. and humbly beseeching you  all Our dear Brethren to do those things which are right.  which are praiseworthy. Do those things which become  men. do those things which become Christians.
So fare you well. we wish you well. and We expect   at least Some young men from Each town. by  the first day of January next. Which will be on Saturday.  So on the first Monday. of January we propose to Set off.  but with what face. can we go alone again. O friends we  hardly dare to go alone again. Consider us. Consider yourselves  consider of General Johnson. Consider of the Mohawks. etc.:   
thus much at present from us your Brethren    at Farmington. Joseph Johnson.  Solomon Massuck}  Elijah Wympy}  Daniel Massuck}  Andrew CoComp}  Solomon Adams}  David Robin.} 
To all Indians at Nian‐ tic. Mohegan. Groton.  Stonington. Narragansett.  and Long Island. or at  Montauk.— — —   
Blank page.  
To the. Indians  Concerning Oneida  Lands — 
To—  All, Who are truly  Engaged in the Mohawk  Affair.