1755 Stuart

Stuart was captured by Indians in Great Cove, Pennsylvania October 25, 1755. He was taken to Fort Duquesne, Sandusky, Detroit, and Montreal before being exchanged and sent to England. He returned to New York in 1757. Stuart apparently make this statement to military authorities on what he had seen during his captivity.

The French have a Settlement abt 5 days Travel From Detroit on a Part of Lake Huron wch must Lay Far Towards Oswego For Capt Jarvis who Owns a Saw Mill There Told Mr Stuart that he Cou'd go from his Saw Mill to Oswego, Crossing Lake Ontario, in 3 days or 3 1/2 days - The Wondot at Detroit Told Mr Stuarat thaty they Coud go from their Town in Canoes Along the North Side of Lake Erie Till they got Between Briskell & Fort Niagara and then Cross the Lake in their Canoes and after Crossing the Lake, Travel the Rest By Land and In this Method they Coud go from their Town to Oswego in 10 Days & return again wth Loaded Canoes in the Same Time - Mr Stuart Was Told By Capt Jarvis That the French and Indians had Two Forts at the Settlement where His Say Mill was, But he CantTell what Nation the Indians Belongd to nor The Number of them or the French there, Only he Knows in general the the French Settlement was Small But that there was a French Commander there - On the DeTroit or West Side of the Strait that Emptys Lake Huron there are no Inhabitants Either French or Indians Till you come within abt l 1/4 [miles] of Fort De Troit or abt 16 3/4 miles From Lake Erie and at sd Distance of 1 1/4 miles from the Fort Stands an Outotoway Town Containing abt 32 Houses the Cheif of wch are Small, and Contains in the whole abt 70 Warriours Besides Young Boys - this is the Town that Peter Looney Lived in who Can Tell the Number with Greater Certainty But he Thinks the above Number Cannot be For Wrong - the Above are all the Indian Towns that are any Way near De Troit -

The next Nearest Indian Town that he Knows anything about Is an Outotoway town at Fort St Joseph 7 days Travel Westward from De Troit. It was at this place Capt Smith was Prisoner who was brot there from Voss's Fort when taken in 1756, Capt Smith Told Mr Stuart that these Indians appeared disposed to Join the English if they Coud geta Proper Opertunity to do it and its Certain that while Capt Smith was at De Troit the Outotaway Indians Both of Detroit and the Town on Lake Huron Appeared very Fond of Conversing with him while at De Troit wch was From Decr 1756 Till Apr 1757 wch gave the French Commandant at De Troit So much Dissatisfaction that he Ordered Capt Smith to Keep to his own Room, For he did not Like his Making so Free with the Indians But Capt Smith did not obey the Commandants Orders But Still Continued Useing his Influence with the Indians to Brings them over To the English, Telling them of the Great Advantages they woud Be under In Tradeing & liveing wth the English who did not desire the Indians to go to War for them But only to Live in Peace and deal with them, and what Disadvantages they were under in dealing with the French, & the Indians themselves are Sensible that the English Supplies them much Cheaper than the French wch the Indians Feel more Sensibly Since the Loss of Oswego than Before, and those Indians who Assisted the French most in Takeing Oswego are reproachd By the other Indian Nations for doing it who had But Small Parties Engaged in that affair But were obliged By the French To Send some - The Takeing of Oswego Open'd the Eyes of the Indians to See their own Folly in Assisting the French in Takeing it -

The French oblige their Indians to go to War against the English by Threatening the Nations that Refuse with Bringing Another Indian Nation on them To Cut them off, and they Credt these Threats the more By Seeing the Success the French have against the English and by Knowing that the French Formerly at Settleing De Troit Cut Off Great Part of the Wondot Nation and obliged the Rest to Submit To them and Turn Papists - a party of abt 18 OutOtaways were Forced To go out Against the English But Returnd Back Again the next day and Went to their Hunting Camps and Sent Two or Three of their People to Fort Detroit When the Govr Enquired the Reason of their not going to War and was answerd that as he had Threatened to Cut off their Town By Bringing the Tawas on it they did not Know but he might do it in their Absence and therefore Thot Proper to Come Back to Take Care of it - the OutOtaways even of DeTroit are still Heathen and have not Embraced the Popish Religion - Mr Stuart Says he is certain that the Outotaways in Genl woud Be very glad of an Opertunity of Turning to the English and Even the Tawas who have Warrd most For the French against the English had Several Times Attempted to Destroy the French Fort and Cut off the French Entirely But were Discover'd and Prevented

The Fort DeTroit is a Stockade, Its a Square with Bastions and the Side next to the Water had Three Bastions, But they have no Cannon In the Fort or Settlement Except a Small Mortar wch its said they have in one of their Stores - The Fort Takes in abt 4 (or 5) Acres of Ground and Contains abt 70 Houses wch are Built of Loggs & Coverd with Boards of abt an Inch Thick, Cut at a Saw Mill But have No defence agt Bombs and the Side of the Fort Next the Water is Very Weak and may be Easily Thrown Down By Mens Pushing against it, they have no Earth Thrown Up agt the Stockades nor Liners for the Seams Except some Small Stakes of abt 5 or 6 Foot high and People with Small Arms from without may Easily Kill those in it thro' the Openings between the Stockades - the Houses in the Fort are Built in Streets and are a much better defence than the Fort itself - The French have 18 Familys Settled Between De Troit Fort and the Outotoway Town and their Settlements On the North of the Fort Extend abt 6 miles up to Lake Huron. Settlements off of the river - Mr Stuart Thinks the whole Number of French Familys In the whole De Troit Settlements will Amount to But abt 360 Familys, and he has seen their Militia under arms at their general Muster wch Amounted to Only abt 220 Men -

Mr Stuart got to Sandusky Decr 21st 1755 and Continued there Till Christmas and then he was Carried to the Popish Preists House on the Little Lake where the Indians Had a great Council at wch the Priest and the Head Indian Traders Assisted and it was determind that Mr Stuart and his Wife was to be carrd By the Indian Traders To the Place where they Lived wch he Supposed was at Fort St Joseph, But by the next Morning the Indians alterd their determinations & Concluded to Keep him among themselves wch they did Till Apr 27, 175[6] and then they Carrd him & his Wife wth them To the Wondot Town at De Troit where They Lived and the 25th of June 17546 They were Sold to Two Popish Preists One of wch was a Jesuit who Lived at the Wondot Town, and with these Preists they remaind Till they had Workt Out their Ransom money wch amtd To abt 24 Pennsylva Moneys Worth of European Goods as they sell at retail Price in the Country Stores, the Ransom Meoney was wor'd Out By the 1st of March 1757 After wch they workt one month for 30 French Livres and on the 13th of Apr they wth Capt Smith, Richd Joyce Thos Millakin Wm Brattin and John Gill were Sent off By the Govr of De Troit to Montreal...

The Constant Orders given By the French Govr & French Preists at De Troit To the Indian Parties thy Send agt the English Is To Kill Burn and destroy all, Save none Unless it be one for their Own Use - At De Troit they have two Saw Mills & 2 Grist Mills go By Water, 2 Grist Mills By Wind and one by Horses - It Takes abt 10 Days Paddleing in a Canoe From Sandusky Round the West End of Lake Erie To Fort Detroit and will Take Two or 3 Days more to go by Land, there Being a Small Lake or Bason that Puts out from Lake Erie wch Takes Two or 3 days to go round it and may Be crossd at its Mouth wch Joins the Main Lake in an Hour or Two ...

The Land about De Troit in Genl is Entreamly rich and Great Quantitys of Bottom Land along the rivers Fit for Grain and Considerable Quantitys of Summer Wheat there wch is exceedingly Good and an Acre of their Ground will Produce as much as 2 Acres of our Common Land - They have But one Smiths Shop at De Troit and He Is Chiefly Employd in mending of Guns, They are Furnishd with most of their Smith Work from Montreal and almost Every thing they Wear Comes from France they are not allowd To made Linnen nor hardly Any thing Else there - De Troit Furnishes Du Quesne wth a Considerable Quantity of Provisss they Raise a Great Deal of Peas But Little Indian Corn & Oats and very Little Barley and Mr Stuart Saw no Rye - nor any Flax or Hemp, Almost Every Planter of Note Has a Small Cart wch goes with one Horse and some wth Two Horses -

From: Bond, Beverly W. Jr. The Captivity of Charles Stuart, 1755-1757. The Mississippi Valley Historical Review 1926 13 (1) 58-81. Pp 75-80.