Transcription of notes of a conference between Governor William Shirley and the Chiefs of the Penobscot Indians, 3 and 8 December 1741 (3 small, folio sheets).
Conference between His Excellency William Shirley Esq. Captain General and Governour in Chief of His Majesty's Province of the Massachusetts Bay and Coll. Lewis and Capt. Sam. Chiefs of the Penobscot Tribe of Indians, in presence of the Council and House of Representatives at Boston on Thursday the third of December. 1741.
After Mutual Salutations
Gov. - I am [...] to See you at Boston and hope you left your Tribes in health.
Chiefs - Yes very well.
Gov. - As His Majesty King George has done me the Honour to make me His Governour of this Province I am determined to observe all the Treaties as long as your Tribes shall maintain them on their parts: and if you have anything to lay before me from your Tribes I shall willingly hear it.
Chiefs - We rejoice at this opportunity of waiting on Your Excellency in behalf of Our Tribe and those adjacent, who now Salute Your Excellency and the great Council by us. We all rejoiced when we heard your letter read, and desire that Friendship may continue between us, and that no ill grounded Reports may be taken Notice of: but when any stumbling block lies in the Way that it may be removed. The Difficulties in Our Trade are the Scarcity of Provisions, Tobacco, Powder & Shott, and the Truck Masters not understanding Our Language, which things We desire may be reformed: We also desire We may Chuse Two Men twice a year to View the Truck house.
Gov. - Is [...] wanting.
Chiefs - No [...] is too much of that which has ruined many of our [...] young m [...] We heard lately that Corn is Scarce with us: If there is none [...] to be got here we desire Flour may be [...] in the room of [...] In the Spring we expected a good Crop, but being deceived in that we went to the Truck houses where we found [...] but a small Quantity of Provisions, and we have sometimes been obliged to give as much for that which was moldy as at other times for that which is good.
Gov. - What Truck matter did you chiefly refer to, when you Spoke of their not understanding your Language.
Chiefs - Mr. Noyes.
Gov. - Have you related all the Grievances.
Chiefs - All at present.
Gov. - I'll Consider of what you have [...] I will speak with you again in three or four Days, And [...] (God willing) to See you and your Tribes near your own [...] in the Spring, at which time I shall endeavour that everything [...] that is wrong be redressed.
Chiefs - We lay this up in our hearts and shall inform our Tribes of your Excellency's Intention which will be very agreeable to them. We met some of the other Tribes by the way who said they had no notice of your Excellency's giving leave to the Tribes to Send Delegates to Boston.
Gov. - I wrote to the Truck Masters to inform them of it.
Chiefs - They heard it first from us which was too late to call their Tribes together.
Gov. - I drink King Georges Health to you.
Chiefs - We also drink King George's Health in behalf of our Tribes.
Gov. - I drink your Health & that of the other Chiefs of your Tribes.
Chiefs - We drink your Excellency's Health & the health of the great Council.
Tuesday December 8. 1741.
Gov. - I am glad to see you here again, and hope you have been entertained to your Satisfaction since you have been in Boston.
Chiefs - Yes.
Gov. - I have considered your Complaints relating to the Scarcity of Powder, Shot, Provisions and Tobacco, and [...] you said relating to the Truck matters and to Viewing the Trucks [...] twice a year and will take care to have those grievances [...] , and as I purpose [...] to see you in the Spring, if you have anything to lay before me then I shall consider of that also.
Chiefs - We rejoice at what your Excellency Says, and shall repeat it to our Tribes when We get home.
Gov. - What I Say, I say in the Name of the Council & Assembly here present.
Chiefs - We desire a copy of the Conference.
Gov. - You shall have it.
Chiefs - We desire that an account of the Price of Bever, ? and of other Goods may be posted up in the Truck houses.
Gov. - It is a reasonable? Request, & I shall give orders accordingly.
Chiefs - We speak in? the name of our Tribe? & all the neighbouring Tribes.
Gov. - I understand you do?, & what I speak to you, I say to all those? Tribes: and if you have had injustice done you in anything it was as great an abuse of this Government as of you.
Chiefs - We have nothing further but to thank your Excellency.
Gov. - I drink King Georges Health to you.
Chiefs - We also drink it to in behalf of ourselves & Tribes.
Gov. - I drink your and the Tribe of Penobscotts health and the healths ? the other Chiefs & their Tribes.
Chiefs - We also drink your Excellency's and the other members of the Government in behalf of our Tribes.
Gov. - These Presents are given to you by the Government.
Chiefs - We thank your Excellency and the Government.
Gov. - There are also some ? on board the Sloop for you, and the Government has sent the Penobscot Tribe a present in token of their good Will to them.
Chiefs - They will heavily rejoice when they See it. We desire Sanders may go with all speed to Georges, and stop as little as possible by the Way.
Gov. - I shall order accordingly, & with you a good Voyage and all health & happiness.
Chiefs - We hope to See your Excellency in the Spring, and if any ? happens in the mean time, hope it will be then ?
Gov. - ? my Desire.