Education

Letter Schuyler to the Chairman of the General Committee of the County of Tryon, March 11, 1778


Historical Context
Prior to the American Revolution, Great Britain had adopted a policy of minimal interference with Native American tribes. After the French and Indian War, the British imposed the Proclamation Line of 1763 on the American colonists. This line restricted the colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains, thus minimizing conflicts with Native American groups. Many Native American groups sided with the British during the American Revolution because colonists had repeatedly attempted to settle in Native American territory. The British appeared to be the party more willing to restrict westward movement and preserve the territory of the Native Americans. However, there were some tribes that did side with the Americans.

 
Essential Question
Why were some Native Americans willing to help the Americans during the Revolutionary War?

 
Check for Understanding
Students should be able to answer the essential question using evidence from the document.
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Letter Schuyler to the General Committee of Tryon County , New York State Library, NYSL_SC19811_B1_F13_004
Document Description
Letter from Philip Schuyler to the Chairman of the General Committee of the County of Tryon about Indian affairs, March 11th, 1778.
Questions
  1. Why do you think some people wanted the Indians act against Tories?

     
  2. Why were some Indians concerned about some of the inhabitants?

     
Historical Challenge
Have students analyze both letters from Schuyler. - What has changed from the first letter to the second?

 
Transcription
Caghnawaga March 11th 1778

Sir

            Complaint hath been made to us that some of the Inhabitants of Tryon County have Instigated some of the Indians in alliance with the United States to commit depredations on the property of some of the Inhabitants under pretence of their beings Tory’s. You and the Gentlemen of the Committee will Easily perceive that such Conduct tends to Create Anarchy and Confusion, and is dangerous to the property even of the [      ] friends of the Country, as bad men may from private [      ] be led to Encourage Indians to [     ] the most worthy of the Community, the board of Commissioners therefore Intreat the Committee to take the matter into their serious consideration, to Enquire for and take measures to apprehend every person that has Instigated the Indians to Commit the depredations aluded to, that they may be dealt with according to law. We have also had Information that Several persons in this Country have taken away sundry effects from the Mohawks of the upper Castle[. A]s such a conduct has a tendency to allienate the affections of the Indians and is in itself unjust we beg you will also take measures to prevent the like in future and to oblige the people who have taken any of the Indians effects to restore them or [       ] the value. Inclose you a list of persons names whom the Indians inform us have been concerned.

                                                            I am Sir Your Hum Serv

                                                                        Ph. Schuyler

                                                                        President of the board of Commissioners      

                                                                        for Indian affairs

To the Chairman of the General Committee of the County of Tryon