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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 85,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World through the end of the twentieth century.

Ingoldesby, Richard (d. 1719) Propositions to the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, and Cayugas

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03107.02090 Author/Creator: Ingoldesby, Richard (d. 1719) Place Written: Albany, New York Type: Manuscript document Date: 1709/07/14 Pagination: 11p. + docket 30.4 x 19 cm Order a Copy

Ingoldesby asks the Indians for their full support in a land expedition against the French in Canada, who have shown themselves time and again to be the enemies of the 5 Nations. He also expresses his concern over the absence of the Senecas, who have fallen under the influence of the Jesuits. The document then gives an account of various Indian Sachems singing war songs and clasping the hands of the English as a sign of their commitment to the expedition. Marked as a true copy and signed by Robert Livingston, Secretary of Indian Affairs.

Although the popular retrospective view emphasizes whites or Europeans fighting to dispossess Indians of their land, in the crucial colonial years, when European colonists could have suffered devastating defeat, various Indian nations were allied with France or England or Spain. One of the key goals of England's "forest diplomacy" was to forge alliances with Indian peoples against the French.
The struggle between Britain and France was motivated not only by the prospects of economic profit, but also by religion, national honor, and dreams of empire. A major battleground in this contest took place in upstate New York, where the English formed an alliance with the Iroquois to disrupt French trade in the interior.

I have sent for you upon an Extraordinary occasion, to assist in an Expedition for ye Reducing Canada, wh. you have So much Long'd for, That neighbourhood you know hath been of a long time Very Troublesome to you, & many of her Majestie's good Subjects In these Parts.
We will not now Enumerate the many Perfidious and base actions they have been guilty off, we have whole Volumes full of Complaints which you have made to us of their Treacherous dealings. The French of Canada have killd, Imprison'd, Carried away, and Transported your People, burnt your Castles, and usd all means which lay in their Power to Impoverish you, and bring you to a low and miserable Condition.
They have not only Seducd your People, and Enticd them away from your Country, but Incourag'd even your own Brethren to make war upon you, on purpose to weaken you.
They have Set ye Farr Indians upon you and furnish'd them with arms and Ammunition in order to DeStroy you, The Pains they have taken to accomplish your Ruin hath been Indefatigable.
They Incroached upon your rights and Libertyes by building Forts upon your Land against your wills, Possessing ye Principall Passes and hunting Places, whereby all your hunting (your only Support) was rendred not only Precarious, but dangerous.
Their treacherously murthering of Montour one of your Brethren, before your Faces, in your own Country this Summer is an Evident mark of their Insolence and how they Intend to use you. Most of these and other things having been truly Represented to ye Greate Queen of Great Brittain (who is victorious over ye French King in Europe) she hath taken them into her Royall Consideration and has been Graciously Pleased (notwithstanding ye vast Expence her Majestie is dayly at in Carying on this necessary just war against France in Europe) to Send over at a great Charge a Considerable Fleet, with men, Ammunition, Provision, and Artillery and other things necessary for ye Effectuall Reduceing of Canada, to Redeem you from that Bondage and Slavery The French deSigned to bring you under. I must therefore Earnestly Exhort you to be Cheerful and Resolute in joyning with all your Strenth with her Majesties Forces which goe by Land on this Expedition....

This will be the only and Effectual means to Procure a firm and durable Peace and quiet Possession of our Settlements for us, and for you and your Posterity for ever...

Ingoldesby, Richard, -1719

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