Military operations in eastern Maine and Nova Scotia during the revolution, chiefly compiled from the journals and letters of Colonel John Allan

That the letter sent by Washington to the St Johns Tribe was written on the eve of the crossing of the Delaware, December 24th 1776, adds so much to the symbolism of these communications.

“In the autumn of 1852, the compiler with a few friends made an excursion to the Schoodie Lakes to enjoy a few weeks in hunting and fishing in that region. Here a part of the Passamaquoddy tribe has for centuries made its home, and it was while recording by fire-light in a tent the recollections and traditionary legends of this people and their fathers, that he first heard of their services in the revolution, and of the name and exploits of John Allan. And here too he saw the documents which have been preserved with great care and fidelity by the tribe.”

“Friends Brothers & Countrymen,

In the Spring of the year we received with Joy and Gladness, a very kind letter from our friend and brother His Ex’y George Washington. What he said therein gave us great satisfaction and Determined we were to continue in that friendship, with the same faith as he professed towards us and to keep the chain bright forever. A few days ago an alarm was spread among as that another paper was come, to require us to take up the hatchet. We met thereupon and found that some of our young men had been with you in the Character of Chiefs and made a treaty to go to war, contrary to our desire, and as we understand from them was not rightly understood.

Our situation and circumstances being such at present, our natural inclination being peace, only accustomed to hunt for the subsistence of our family, we could not comply with the terms – our numbers being not sufficient among other objections. And as it was not done by our authority & consent of the different tribes we are necessitated to return it. Still depending upon the promise of our brother Washington, and relying upon the friendship of all our brothers & friends your way we hope & trust no offense in sending it back. And protesting at the same time that the Chain of Friendship is still subsisting between us on our side & that we hope for ever – a further account of our situation will in our name be delivered our brothers & countrymen by John Allan Esq bearer of this – our love and friendship be with you all.

We are, your friends & Brothers: Joseph Sapsarouch, Chief of Miramichi, Jean Baptist Alymph Chief of Richibouctou, Augsutin Michel of Ricchibouctou, Thomas Athanage Chief of Chediac and Cocaga, Jerome Athanage of Chediac, Baptist Arguimon Chief of Chiguenictou, Jean Neol Arguimon of Chiguenictou, Charles Aleria of Cape Sable, At Coquen, September 19th 1776.”

“Brothers of the St Johns Tribe,

It gave me great pleasure to hear by Major Shaw, that you kept the chain of Friendship, which I sent you in February last from Cambridge bright & unbroken. I am glad to hear that you have made a Treaty of peace with your brothers and neighbors of the Massachusetts Bay, who have agreeable to your desire established a Truck House at St Johns out of which they will furnish you with everything you want and take your furs in return – My good friend & brother Gov Pierre Tommar and the Warriors that came with him, shall be taken good care of, and when they want to return home, they and our brothers of Penobscot shall be furnished with everything necessary for their journey –

Brothers, I have one more thing to say to you, our enemy, the King of Great Britain, endeavored to stir up all the [indigenous people] from Canada to South Carolina against us. But our brethren of the Six Nations and their Allies the Shawnese and Delawares would not listen to their advice, but kept fast hold of our ancient Covenant chain. The Cherokees and the Southern tribes were foolish enough to hearken to them and to take up the hatchet against us, upon which our warriors went into their country burnt their houses destroyed their corn and obliged them to sue for peace and to give hostages for their future good behavior – Never let the Kings wicked Counsellors turn your hearts against me and your Brethren of this country, but bear in mind what I told you last February what I tell you now – In token of my friendship for you I send this from my army on the banks of the great river Delaware this 24th day of December, 1776.

George Washington”

“So universal was the sympathy for the Americans in the county of Cumberland, that in the townships Truro, Onslow and Londonderry only five persons would take the oath of allegiance to the British government, and therefore their members were excluded from the house of assembly. In King’s county N.S., a large liberty pole was cut and made to be hoisted, when the arrival of a detachment of rangers [the King’s Orange Rangers] put a stop to the movement.”

“On the 18th (of August, 1782) arrived at my quarters, Michel Augustine, Chief of the Village of Enechebucto a Principal Sachem of the [Mi’kmaq] Tribe, also a chief of Cape Briton with other young men, the former well known in Nova Scotia for his sagacity as a Politician & abilitys as a Warrior. The business they are upon is to know the certainty of news & state of matters between America and France; as also to make complaint against the small boats for plundering the traders that live among them. “They say they would rather choose to trade with the Americans than the English, if any came among them would defend them against the English to the last, but necessity compels them to trade with somebody, and before their eyes, have seen property themselves had a right to, taken away, but from a principle of friendship to America has made no opposition.”

Allan, John, 1746-1805, Frederic Kidder, and George Hayward Allan. Military Operations In Eastern Maine And Nova Scotia During the Revolution. Albany, [N.Y.]: J. Munsell, 1867.