Envisaging the West: Thomas Jefferson and the Roots of Lewis and Clark



Instructions for the Treaty of Logstown
William M. Darlington. Christopher Gist's Journals: With Historical, Geographical, and Ethnological Notes and Biographies of His Contemporaries. (Pittsburgh: J. R. Weldin & Co., 1893), 231-234.
Instructions given Christopher Gist, Gentleman, by the Ohio company, April 28, 1752. Christopher Gist served as representative for the Ohio Company of Associates at the Logstown treaty meeting in the colony of Pennsylvania held in May 1752. Gist's instructions directed him to inform the several tribes of Indians expected at the meeting, including the Six Nations, the extensive grant of land on the Ohio to the Ohio Company for establishing colonial settlements and increase of trade in the region. The point of the meeting was to create a stable frontier environment for extension of commerce and settlement along the Ohio. For Gist's part, he was to emphasize the benefits to the Indians of expanded trade and increased white settlement.

Instructions given Christopher Gist Gent. by the Ohio company, April 28, 1752.

Whereas the governor has been pleased to grant you a commission, empowering and requiring you to go, as agent for the Ohio company, to the Indian treaty, to be held at Loggstown Maps: on the 16th of May next: You are therefore desired to acquaint the chiefs of the several nations of Indians there assembled, that his Majesty has been graciously pleased to grant unto the Honourable Robert Dinwiddie Esq. governor of Virginia, and to several other gentlemen, in Great Britain and America, by the name of the Ohio company, a large quantity of land, on the river Ohio Maps: , and the branches thereof; thereby to enable and encourage the said company, and all his Majesty's subjects, to make settlements, and carry on an extensive trade and commerce, with their brethren the Indians, and to supply them with goods at a more easy rate than they have hitherto bought them: And considering the necessities of his children, the Six Nations, and the other Indians to the westward of the English Settlements, and the hardships they labour under for want of a due supply of goods, and to remove the same, as much as possible, his Majesty has been pleased to have a clause inserted in the company's grant, obliging them to carry on a trade and commerce, with their brethren the Indians, and has granted them many privileges and immunities, in consideration of their carrying on the trade, and supplying the Indians with goods. That the said company have accordingly begun the trade, and imported large quantities of goods, but have found the expence and risque of carrying out the goods, such a distance from the inhabitants, without having any place of safety, by the way to lodge them at, or opportunity of getting provisions, for their people, so great, that they cannot afford to sell their goods, at so easy a rate, as they would willingly do, nor are they, at such a distance, able to supply their brethren, the Indians, at all times when they are in want; for which reason the company find it absolutely necessary immediately to settle and cultivate the land, his Majesty has been pleased to grant them, which, to be sure, they have an indisputable right to do, as our brethren, the Six Nations, sold all the land to the westward of Virginia, at the treaty of Lancaster, to their father, the king of Great Britain, and he has been graciously pleased to grant a large quantity thereof to the Ohio company; yet, being informed that the Six Nations have given their friends, the Delawares, leave to hunt upon these lands, and that they still hunt upon part thereof themselves, and as the settlements to be made by the English in those parts may make the game scarce, or, at least, drive it farther back, the company, therefore, to prevent any difference or misunderstanding, which might possibly happen, between them and their brethren the Indians, touching the said lands, are willing to make them some farther satisfaction for the same, and to purchase of them the land on the east side the river Ohio Maps: and Allegany Maps: , as low as the great Conhaway Maps: , providing the same can be done at a reasonable rate, and our brethren, the Six Nations and their allies, will promise and engage their friendship and protection, to all his Majesty's subjects settling in that country: When this is done, the company can safely venture to build factories and store-houses, upon the river Ohio Maps: , and send out large cargoes of goods, which they cannot otherwise do. And to convince our brethren, the Indians, how desirous we are of living in strict friendship, and becoming one people with them, you are hereby empowered and required, to acquaint and promise our brethren, in the name and on behalf of the company, that if any of them incline to take land and live among the English, they shall have any of the company's lands, upon the same terms and conditions, the white people have, and enjoy the same privileges they do, as far as is in the company's power to grant: and that you may be the better able to acquaint our brethren the Indians, with these our proposals, you are to apply to Andrew Montour the interpreter, for his assistance therein, and the company hereby undertake and promise, to make him satisfaction for the trouble he shall be at.

If our brethren, the Six Nations, approve our proposals, the company will pay them whatever sum you agree with them for, and if they want any particular sort of goods, you are to desire them to give you an account of such goods, and the company will immediately send for them to England, and, when they arrive, will carry them to whatever place you agree to deliver them at. If our brethren, the Indians, do not approve these proposals, and do refuse their protection and assistance to the subjects of their father, the King of Great Britain, you are forthwith to make a return thereof to the said Ohio company, that they may inform his Majesty thereof.

You are to apply to Colonel Cresap for what wampum you have occasion of, on the company's account, for which you are to give him a receipt. You are also to apply to him for one of the company's horses, to ride out to the Loggstown Maps: .

As soon as the Treaty is over, you are to make an exact return of all your proceedings to the Company. Given under my hand in behalf of the said Ohio Company the 28th day of April 1752. GEORGE MASON Treasurer

As soon as the treaty is over, you are to make an exact return of all your proceedings to the company. George Mason, Treasurer