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new countries in unknown seas, under the conduct of that most celebrated navigator, Captain Cook; an undertaking truly laudable in itself, as the increase of geographical knowledge facilitates the communication between distant nations, in the exchange of useful products and manufactures, and the extension of arts, whereby the common enjoyments of human life are multiplied and augmented, and science of other kinds increased to the benefit of mankind in general; this is, therefore, most earnestly to recommend to everyone of you, that, in case the said ship, which is now expected to be soon in the European seas on her return, should happen to fall into your hands, you would not consider her as an enemy, nor suffer any plunder to be made of the effects contained in her, nor obstruct her immediate return to England, by detaining her or sending her into any other part of Europe or to America, but that you would treat the said Captain Cook and his people with all civility and kindness, affording them, as common friends to mankind, all the assistance in your power, which they may happen to stand in need of. In so doing you will not only gratify the generosity of your own dispositions, but there is no doubt of your obtaining the approbation of the Congress, and your other American owners. I have the honor to be, Gen tlemen, your most obedient humble servant.
Given at Passy, near Paris, this 10th day of March, 1779.
United States to the Court of France.
BOSTON INDEPENDENT CHRONICLE.
Notwithstanding Dr. Franklin's various and important occupations, while minister plenipotentiary in Paris, he occasionally amused himself in composing and printing, by means of a small set of types, and a press he had in his house, several of his light essays, bagatelles, or jeur d'esprit, written chiefly for the amusement of his intimate friends. Among these were the following, printed on a half-sheet of coarse paper, so as to imitate, as much as possible, a portion of a Boston newspaper. The repeated accounts received from America of the horribly cruel manner in which the Indian allies of Great Britain prosecuted the war against the peaceable inhabitants of the United States, murdering defenceless farmers, with their wives and children, and carrying off their scalps for the reward promised in proportion to the number, (said already to have amounted to two thousand,) was the foundation of the first fictitious article in this pretended “Supplement to the Boston Independent Chronicle."
The other article is a jeu d'esprit of a gayer turn, originating from a memorial of the British ambassador, Sir Joseph Yorke, reclaiming the King's ships, the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough, prizes carried into Holland by the American squadron under Commodore Jones; whom Sir Joseph in his memorial designated “the pirate, Paul Jones of Scotland, a rebel subject, and a criminal of the state."
The deception intended by this supposed “ SUPPLEMENT,” (which was very accurately imitated with respect to printing, paper, the insertion of advertisements, &c.,) was, that, by transmitting it to England, it might actually be taken for what it purported to be. W. T. F.
It is not known, however, that any other use was ever made of the paper, than merely to amuse the author and his private friends
The humor of the piece consists chiefly in its exact imitation of the style of such compositions, and of the typography and other characteristics of a Boston newspaper. – EDITOR.
Boston, March 12th, 1782.
Extract of a Letter from Captain Gerrish, of the New
England Militia, dated Albany, March 7th. The peltry taken in the expedition (see the account of the expedition to Oswegatchie, on the River St. Lawrence, in our paper of the 1st instant,] will, as you see, amount to a good deal of money. The possession of this booty at first gave us pleasure; but we were struck with horror to find among the packages eight large ones, containing scALPs of our unhappy country-folks, taken in the three last years by the Seneca Indians from the inhabitants of the frontiers of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and sent by them as a present to Colonel Haldimand, governor of Canada, in order to be by him transmitted to England. They were accompanied by the following curious letter to that gentleman.
“ Teoga, January 30, 1782. “May it please your Excellency, “At the request of the Seneca chiefs, I send herewith to your Excellency, under the care of James Boyd, eight packs of scalps, cured, dried, hooped, and painted, with all the Indian triumphal marks, of which the following is invoice and explanation.
“No. 1. Containing forty-three scalps of Congress soldiers, killed in different skirmishes; these are stretched on black hoops, four inches diameter; the inside of the skin painted red, with a small black spot to note their being killed with bullets. Also sixty-two of farmers killed in their houses; the hoops red; the skin painted brown, and marked with a hoe; a black circle all round, to denote their being surprised in the night; and a black hatchet in the middle, signifying their being killed with that weapon.
“ No. 2. Containing ninety-eight of farmers killed in their houses; hoops red; figure of a hoe, to mark their profession; great white circle and sun, to show they were surprised in the daytime; a little red foot, to show they stood upon their defence, and died fighting for their lives and families.
“No. 3. Containing ninety-seven of farmers ; hoops green, to show they were killed in their fields; a large white circle with a little round mark on it for the sun, to show that it was in the daytime; black bullet-mark on some, hatchet on others.
“No. 4. Containing one hundred and two of farmers, mixed of the several marks above; only eighteen marked with a little yellow flame, to denote their being of prisoners burnt alive, after being scalped, their nails pulled out by the roots, and other torments; one of these latter supposed to be a rebel clergyman, his band being fixed to the hoop of his scalp. Most of the farmers appear by the hair to have been young or middleaged men; there being but sixty-seven very gray heads among them all; which makes the service more essential.
“ No. 5. Containing eighty-eight scalps of women; hair long, braided in the Indian fashion, to show they were mothers; hoops blue; skin yellow ground, with little red tadpoles, to represent, by way of triumph, the tears of grief occasioned to their relations; a black scalping-knife or hatchet at the bottom, to mark their
being killed with those instruments. Seventeen others, hair very gray ; black hoops; plain brown color; no mark, but the short club or casse-tête, to show they were knocked down dead, or had their brains beat out.
“ No. 6. Containing one hundred and ninety-three boys' scalps, of various ages; small green hoops ; whitish ground on the skin, with red tears in the middle, and black bullet-marks, knife, hatchet, or club, as their deaths happened.
“No. 7. Two hundred and eleven girls' scalps, big and little ; small yellow hoops; white ground; tears; hatchet, club, scaļping-knife, &c.
“No. 8. This package is a mixture of all the varieties above mentioned, to the number of one hundred and twelve; with a box of birch bark, containing twenty-nine little infants' scalps of various sizes; small white hoops; white ground; no tears ; and only a little black knife in the middle, to show they were ripped out of their mothers' bellies.
“With these packs, the chiefs send to your Excellency the following speech, delivered by Conejogatchie in council, interpreted by the elder Moore, the trader, and taken down by me in writing.
Father, •We send you herewith many scalps, that you may see we are not idle friends.
A blue Belt.' • Father, We wish you to send these scalps over the water to the great King, that he may regard them and be refreshed; and that he may see our faithfulness in destroying his enemies, and be convinced that his presents have not been made to ungrateful people.
• A blue and white Belt with red Tassels.'