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|Collection Reference Number
|From Archive Folder
|The Henry Knox Papers  January-August 1786
|Extract of a letter from David Duncan to Thomas Hutchins Esqr.
|28 March 1786
|Duncan, David (fl. 1786)
|In this letter, David Duncan, a former Indian trader appointed to work at Fort McIntosh, writes to Thomas Hutchins, the Geographer of the United States. After a four-month tour of Detroit and the surrounding areas, Duncan reports to Hutchins about the Indians he encountered. First, he says that evidence indicates the British will not be giving up their post at Detroit any time soon, as they seem to be settling in there. He describes the dispositions of the Indians he encountered, providing detail about the nations he came upon, including the Shawnee, Ottawa, and Delaware. Is highly critical of the way Congress has handled negotiations with the Indians: "I am of opinion that we ought not to have treaties with the indians until we had full possession of the western posts." Adds, "Had Congress sent out a few men as messengers with a few horse loads of goods and those men to have convened the indians in the most central towns and then have told them that they were sent by Congress to take them by the hand, and that it was now peace and for them to mind their hunting there wou'd not have been one white man killed to this day." Believes that Congress has gotten very little benefit from the treaties, and also fears that the British are making friendly overtures to the Indians. A copy, written in the hand of war department secretary Robert Pemberton.
|American Indian History Frontiers and Exploration Global History and Civics Fortification Government and Civics Continental Congress Congress Treaty Diplomacy Death Military History
|Duncan, David (fl. 1786) Hutchins, Thomas (1730-1789)
|Foreign Affairs; Government & Politics; Native Americans; Westward Expansion
|The Henry Knox Papers
|The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
|Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859