Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The Orderly Book of Sir John Johnson
During the Oriskany Campaign
Annotated by Wm. L. Stone
With an Historical Introduction illustrating the Life of Johnson by J. Watts De Peyster, and Some Tracings from the Foot-Prints of the Tories, or Loyalists in America by T. R. Myers.
Joel Munsell, 1882


Note to the reader, the pages numbers are given, but there is no way to reconcile this with the book on the web. Sorry! ajb typist.


Page 3, note 2, add: La Chine also derives an additional and melancholy interest from the fact that it was the scene of a most shocking massacre in the summer of 1689, in consequence of the incapacity of Gov. Denonville. During the night of the 5th of August, of that year, amid a wild hail and rain storm, 1,400 Iroquois warriors crossed Lake St. Louis, and before daybreak had surrounded every house at La Chine within a radius of several miles. At a given signal the invaders raising the dreadful warhoop fell upon the sleeping inmates of the little hamlet, and dragged the sleepers from their beds. Those houses that could not be forced were fired and the terrified settlers rushed forth to escape the flames, only to be stricken down by the tomahawks of the savage incendiaries stationed at the doors. Unborn infants were torn from their mother's wombs, and fathers were compelled to throw their children into the flames. Two hundred persons were literally roasted alive; others died under prolonged tortures; while many more were carried away prisoners to be reserved for a lingering and horrible death at a future time. "The fair island upon which the sun shone brightly erewhile," says the historian M. Garneau, "was lighted up by fires of woe; houses, plantations and crops were reduced to ashes, while the ground reeked with blood up to a line a short league apart from Montreal city. The savages crossed to the opposite shore, the desolation behind them being complete; and forthwith the entire parish of La Chine was wasted by fire, and many of its people massacred." The year that this tragical incident took place, has ever since been known in Canadian annals as "The year of the Massacre." The massacre at Schenectady, six months later, was done in reprisal for that of La Chine, which was attributed to English instigations.

Page 11, note 1. The following letter is to be read in connection with the above note:
4th September, 1882.
Dear Sir: Mr. Bond [the librarian-in-chief] is on vacation, but I have lost no time in having a search made, both in the department of MSS., and that of Printed Books for the information you desire.

Mr. Scott, of the department of MSS., reports that the information has been already sought for in vain; and that fresh researches prove equally fruitless. Mr. Bullen, keeper of the department of Printed Books, has caused the "London Gazette " and the "Gentleman's Magazine" to be consulted for the particulars, but without satisfactory result.
I am,
Dear Sir,
Yours faithfully,
MR. WILLIAM L. STONE. Assistant Secretary."

Page 13, add to the note on Lieut. George Singleton, the following: Lieut. Singleton was sent by Col. Willett to Schenectady, where he remained many months upon parole, but when sufficiently recovered, he broke that and ran off with some Tories.-Bonney's Historical Gleanings.

Page 20, note I, add : Although I give in my Burgoyne's Campaign, a sketch of Gen. Fraser, I omitted a well authenticated anecdote of him, which should be preserved, as showing one of that officer's many noble and admirable qualities. The anecdote is thus told by Jonathan Eastman in his memoir of Gen. Stark, published at Concord, N. H,, in 1831. Mr. Eastman says : "Two of the American officers taken at Hubbardstown relate the following anecdote by him [Fraser]. He saw that they were in distress, as their continental paper would not pass with the English; and offered to loan them as much as they wished for their present convenience. They took three guineas. He remarked to them, "Gentlemen, take what you wish -give me your due bills, and when we reach Albany I trust to your honor to take them up; for we shall doubtless overrun the country, and I shall probably have an opportunity of seeing you again.' Gen. Fraser fell in the battle of the 7th of Oct. , the notes were consequently never paid; but the signers of them could not refrain from shedding tears at the fate of this gallant and generous enemy."

Page 64, add to note on Buck (Carleton) Island : "The celebrated Jemima Wilkinson," says Rochefoucault," in 1794, thought of removing her family and establishment from Bluff Point on Crooked Lake, N. Y., and of settling in Carleton Island on the Lake of Ontario, where she would enjoy the satisfaction of living under the English Government, which, by her account, had proffered her a grant of land."

Page 84, note I, add: Fort Bull was a blockhouse surrounded by palisades and furnished with loopholes; " but formed in such a strange manner," says Garneau, "that the latter served as a protection to assailants, who could fire under cover at the defenders within, and whose persons were completely exposed." The palisades having been cleared away with hatchets, the fort, as stated in note on page 84, was taken by assault, and the entire garrison, except thirty, put to the sword.

Page 85, as a note to "Missisagues," read: "The Missisagues," writes the Hon. Wm. C. Bryant to the author, "were Algonquins. They composed the Eagle Tribe of the Ojibawa nation, and resided on the western shore of Lake Ontario near the site of the present city of Toronto. Their descendants occupy a Reserve on the Grand River, given them by the British Iroquois." Speaking of -this tribe, the Duke Rochefoucault Liancourt, who visited it in 1795, says : "About forty miles from Kingston are some villages of the Missasogas [Missisagues]; and wandering tribes of the same nation are constantly rambling about the banks of the Lake [Ontario], pass a few nights in one place and a few in another, cross the river on the confines of the United States, and stop in the islands, hunting and fishing are their only employments. They are the filthiest of all the Indians, I have hitherto seen, and have the most stupid appearance. They are said to live poorly, to be wicked and thievish, and men, women and children all given to drinking. The uncommon severity of the winter in this country, occasions not the least alteration in their mode of living. In their small canoes they carry with them some rolls of the bark of soft birch, which serve to cover the huts built in the form of a cone, wherein they sleep, and which are supported merely by some slight props, on which rest these portable walls, that at the top leave a passage for the smoke." Now contrast the above description of this tribe as given by that kindly and faithful chronicler, Liancourt, with its present condition.

On the 13th of September of this year (1882), a large body of Red-men met to dedicate the council-house which the Missisagues have erected on their reservation. The Missisagues, who now number only 220 persons, own 2,000 acres of land divided into fifty-acre farms, and all under cultivation , they maintain a church and a school, and have $200,000 in the government funds. Thinking that their prosperity entitled them to the convenience of a council-house in which to transact their business, they erected a neat and comfortable building, and asked their friends to help them dedicate it. About 1,500 members of the Six Nations and Indian delegates from remote points were present. Songs, speeches, dances, the music of brass bands and an abundant dinner made up the regular programme, and the afternoon closed with the formal adoption of the wife of Dr. P. E. Jones, chief of the Missisagues. Mrs. Jones is a white lady, and her husband a regularly educated physician, is a gentleman of many accomplishments. She was received into the tribe under the name of Wabunooqua, " Lady of the Morning." This incident illustrates in a striking manner the good fruits of Canada's Indian policy compared with the shameful and rascally one pursued by the United States.

Page 91, in a note to " a signal for [illegible] anything white in the bow." I have said I thought that in the MS., the word that seems illegible looks like the Charity, i. e., the sloop Charity. My friend, General de Peyster, however, thinks otherwise, and I confess his explanation is the most plausible. He writes me as follows: "I think I have discovered the meaning of the illegible word on page 91. You thought it was "Charity." I think it was a signal to Charier, which was the old French maritime term (according to a French dictionary published in 1799), signifying 'to carry all sail that the masts will bear.' In this case, therefore, it meant a signal to hurry up or to make all possible speed ; and the sentence would then read 'a signal for Charier [i. e., a hurrying up], anything white in the bow.' "

Page 96, as a note to St. Leger's letter to Lieut. Bird, read: St. Leger's fears of a "carnage " was not unfounded, though he probably did not foresee that this "carnage" would be - as the event proved - perpetrated upon his own troops. "I learned from General Simcoe," says Rochefoucault Liancourt, writing in 1795, "that on St. Leger's retreat, the English troops lost more men from the Indians firing on them, than from the pursuit of the Americans." Neither is this testimony that of one friendly to the Americans. On the contrary, Gen. Simcoe was most bitterly hostile to the colonies, cherishing his animosity long after they had gained their independence. "The hatred of the governor [Gen. Simcoe] against the United States," writes in 1796, Rochefoucault Liancourt, occasions him, on the slightest occasion, to overleap all the bounds of prudence and decency, which he carefully observes in all other matters. He was a zealous promoter of the American war, in which he took a very active, yet very unfortunate part. The calamitous issue of the war has still more exasperated his hostility, and it was with the sincerest grief I listened to his boasting of the numerous houses he had fired during that unfortunate conflict, and of his intention to burn a still greater number in case of a rupture. In short, the whole of his intentions on this subject was such as the most violent party rage alone can inspire * * * His hatred against the rebels is so violent: and his displeasure, occasioned by the surrender of the forts is so strong; that the charge preferred against him by the United States, of his having last year assisted the Indians as much as he could, without making himself openly a party in the dispute, seems not devoid of foundation."

Page 52. The note, containing a description of Fort (Castle) Johnson, should be read in connection with the engraving of Fort Johnson, one of the illustrations of Col. Myers' article on the Tories or Loyalists in America.

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