My good friend, Jim Hamilton sent me this letter written by Captain Henry
Bird to an unknown person, probably Gen. Haldimand, and a letter written to Maj.
De Peyster in 1780.
Aug 16th 1780, Detroit
Much to the satisfaction of the captors and captivated, we were met by Capt.
Graham the 2d of this month at Roche de Bout under his command was attending
us at the River’s mouth and that Major De Peyster had been very liberal in
refreshments for my little family. A specimen of which Capt. Graham produced
fifteen baskets [of flour] in his boat.
Our men were much reduced by the weeks of fatigue and their feet so severed
that many were obliged to be carried to the place where they sit Centry.
The fifth of this month we arrived at Detroit where as the song directs a
Bottle & Kind Landlady rewards our labours.
Baby, the Director of Indian matters in the honourable Department (- and
indeed we were tolerably well convinced that little dependence can be but on his
Countrymen in the military one) says he is greatly surprised so great a body of
Indians as were with us under your directions should go through the campaign
with it being supplied with provisions from government.
A Belief still prevails that Clark will assemble the militia of Cantuck and
visit the Towns – should he do it I shall be very sorry I did not conform to
the little plan we once agreed to adopt at Licking and which indeed the number
of prisoners and fatigue – worn situations of our People only prevented –
I hope shortly to have the pleasure of seeing you at Detroit, I suppose the
Chiefs will take that opportunity to attend you to reap the unsung benefits
which follow their Services.
No news prevails here of sufficient foundation to trouble you with.
I beg dear Sir you will
Believe me to be with respect
Your most Obed’t Servant
[Claus Papers, Public Archives of Ontario, MG 19, Vol. 2, pp. 243-4.]
I send the salt you requested and the Colours - Do pray send me George Girty.
There is a French man here who makes the Savages act very ridiculous - so
much so that I have told some Indians here, to bring me nothing - & to ask for
nothing - they expect for their Impressment a very capital Posie ("posy" or
brief sentiment) from us - When they fill the French tents for trifles - having no
inclination to disgust the guards, I allow them to buy what they can - He
(the frenchman) sends the Indians four or five times a day to plague me for every
thing and for what I have not. James Girty is sulky, Simon useless - George
if you could spare him, will be the man the Indians want, Sir, to day - nothing
material since Mr. Lorimers departed for the Towns.
I am Dr. Sir
[Claus Papers, Public Archives of Ontario, MG 19, Reel C.-1478, Vol. 2, pp.