JOHNSON, Sir William (1715-1774), as Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Autograph letter signed (hereafter ALS) to Major General James "Abercrombie" or Abercromby (1706-1781), dated Fort Johnson [near Johnstown, NY], 13 October 1757. 1 full page, folio, possibly a draft, with several emendations in the text.
A fascinating letter, written during the early phases of the French and Indian war, passing on intelligence from an Indian warning of French interest in water routes into Pennsylvania: "This day an Oneida Indian, who had lived these 12 years in the Seneca Country came here, &...tells me that he was asked by a French Indian whom the commanding officer at Niagara employed; what kind of navigation it was down the Cayuga Branch, which empties into the Susquahanah near Tiaago." He had been asked if it were navigable by "Battoes with some Cannon," though "it was impossible, the water being generally very low in that River, & told him, that Juniata River was the best for that purpose. On his asking what the intention of the French was, He said they were resolved to take that Fort at Shamokin about the time the leaves were all of the Trees. He also tells me that the Severall Nations of Indians who were assembled at Fort Duquesne [Pittsburg] are dispersed, and gone mostly Home..."
Provenance: Sold at Christies Printed and Manuscript Americana, NYC, 9 June 2004 as lot 394 for $1673Condition:Dimensions: