Original Document
Original Document
Delaware Chief Shingas Explains Why the Indians Abandoned General Braddock, 1755.

Charles Stuart was a Pennsylvanian taken prisoner by Delaware Indians in October 1755. During his two years of captivity, he witnessed the Ohio Indians' participation in the Seven Years' War, including this speech, in which the Delaware chief Shingas explained why the Ohio Indians went to war against the British.

... king Shingas made a speech to the English prisoners to the Following Purpose-

Riseing up From his seat with Appearance of Deep Concern on his Countenance he addressed his Prisoners with Great Solemnity Telling them that he was sorry For what had happened Between them and the English But that the English and not the Indians were the Cause of the Present War-he then Proceeded to give Account of those Causes and said-That he with 5 other Chiefs of the Delaware Shawnee & Mingo Nations (Being 2 from Each Nation) had applied to General Braddock and Enquired what he intended to do with the Land [the Ohio Country] if he Could drive the French and their Indians away To which Braddock replied that the English Shoud Inhabit & Inherit the Land, on which Shingas asked General Braddock whether the Indians that were Friends to the English might not be Permitted to Live and Trade Among the English and have Hunting Ground sufficient to Support themselves and Familys as they had no where to Flee Too But into the Hands of the French and their Indians who were their Enemies (that is Shingas' Enemies). On which General Braddock said that No Savage Should Inherit the Land. On receiving which answer Shingas and the other Chiefs went that night to their own People-To whom they Communicated General Braddock's Answer And the Next Morning Returned to General Braddock again in hopes he might have Changed his Sentiments and then repeated their Former Questions to General Braddock again and General Braddock made the same reply as Formerly, On which Shingas and the other Chiefs answered That if they might not have Liberty To Live on the Land they would not Fight for it To which General Braddock answered that he did not need their Help and had No doubt of driveing the French and their Indians away.

On which Shingas with the other Chiefs went away from General Braddock To their People To whom they Communicated what had Passed Between them & Braddock, at which they were very much Enraged and a Party of them went Immediately upon it and Join'd the French But the Greater Part remained neuter till they saw How Things wou'd go Between Braddock and the French in their Engagement, And they made it their Business to draw nigh the Place where the Engagement Happened that they might see what Passed at it and were still in hopes that the English wou'd Be Victorious But after the French had ruined Braddocks Army they immediately compelled the Indians To join them and let them know that if they refused they wou'd Immediately cut them off, On which the Indians Joined the French for their Own Safety-They However sent Captain Jacobs [another Delaware chief] with some other Indians to Philadelphia to hold a Treaty with the Government But on their returning home From Philadelphia without meeting with the necessary Encouragement the Indians agreed To Come out with the French and their Indians in Parties to Destroy the English Settlements.

Credit: Beverly Bond, "The Captivity of Charles Stuart, 1755-57," The Mississippi Historical Review 13 (1926): 63-64.
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