Letters from Home: Period Accounts

Francis Goring to Edward Pollard on Newton battle

Niagara, Sept. 12th, 1779

Dear Sir,

Your favor of the 26th July I received per Mr. Forsyth of the 26th ultimo; also a letter from Lieut. Harrow which I took care to forward. Prior to the receipt of yours, I had already credited you for the 170 lbs. oatmeal at 6d per pound. You have also antoher credit for 2,000 lb. flour, which is charged to Wm. Lyons, the baker, at 40s per cwt; that quantity, he informs me, you paid him for, the morning you left this. I have waited on Mr. Bliss several times, in order to settle the butter account, but have been always put off by his saying he has not time at present to weigh it, nor will not take it by invoice. Indeed, he is a very litigious, troublesome gentleman to deal with, but hope in a few days to bring him to a settlement. - I have been very busy drawing up another Indian account for L5, 808. There is like to be a very great change in our house in a short time, having once more taken an account of stock, etc. but everything is kept entirely secret from me.

Yesterday came in Captain Powell from Canawagoris, where he left Col. Butler two days before in perfect health and spirits. He informs me their first attack with the Rebels was about fifteen miles from Shimango, where Col. Butler made a breast-work, which the Rebels observed, and with two six and four three pounders and small mortars, in half an hour, obliged Col. Butler to retreat. On the same day, a few miles from this, Col. Butler attempted again to stop them, but in vain. In this attack, the Colonel lost four rangers killed, two taken prisoners and seven wounded; - three Senecas and one Cyugo (Cayuga) killed. Your son John Montour, (not Roland) was shot in the back, and the ball lodges in him; however, he is likely to do well, for in a few days after, he, with twenty Indians, stopped the pass of the advnced guard of the Rebels, which was upwards of one thousand, and obliged them to retreat. In this action Col.. Butler and all his people was surrounded, and was very near being taken prisoners. The Indians here all run away, being struck with a panic, and has not been able to gather till very lately. The Colonel retreated to Canadasagoe, but since that is now come to the last village which is Canawagoras. The number of the rebels is not known for certain. Young Clement, from the top of a tree on a hill, counted upwards of 500 tents and seven pieces of cannon, and a great quantity of live cattle
which they drive with them, and keep such close order that a prisoner cannot be taken, though the Indians are often very close to them, which they no sooner see when a whole Regiment fires, even at one man. The Rebels has since been joined by 2,800, three large parties from Crokin's
lake slope-house and the whole of their army is thought to be about six thousand, under the command of three Generals - Sullivan, Markfield and Hands. The Indians are determined, to a man, to dye with Col. Butler, and have requested of Col.. Boulton to send all the men he can, which a few days ago, he sent sixty men, mostly the light infantry, with Lieuts.. Coote and Pepyat, and two grass-hoppers, and by the next vessels expects one hundred from Carleton Island and as many more from Detroit, which are to go immediately to join Col. Butler, as they mean once more to try their fait. Live or die - is the word all through their Camp. Lieuts.. ST. Magin and Harkimer are expected in every day from the Colonel's with ninety Rangers, who are all sick, which is a great loss to Col. Butler at this critical juncture. Lieut.. Docksteder writes from the Ohio that a party of Rebels has destroyed several Indian villages, with all the corn. He also informs me that a party of Indians going on a scout in three canoes, was fired on by a scout of Rebels from the shore, which killed three, among which was a son of yours, the eldest and handsomest of the white boys, that was formerly married to your daughter, Belle Montour.

Published source: "The History of Buffalo", p. 346 (incomplete citation)
Kindly submitted by Maggie Parnall

send any comments to Greg Ketcham
All Material 1997 - 2003 Gregory F. Ketcham, except where noted.
Contributing authors retain all rights.
No part of this website may be reproduced, either in print or electronically,
without the express written permission of the author.
K-12 and higher education institutions are actively encouraged to use this material.
No prior consent is required for this purpose.