108 | To Cadwallader Colden

    Boston 1 May 1762__


    I have receivd an account from Stockbridge of a notorious murder that has been lately perpetrated at Kenderhook by one Abraham Hunkamug of Stockbridge upon Chineagun another Indian of the same Tribe, and that the Murderer is taken and committed to Goal in this Province. And Although it has been the antient and constant usage of the Indian Nations in such cases for the Relations of the persons slain to avenge themselves on the Murderer, yet in this Instance they have applyed to the Civil Magistrate for Justice to be done agreeable to the English Laws; and as the Murder was committed in the County of Albany, the Trial must of course be had within your Government. It seems to be a matter of importance that strict Justice should be done in this case, that the Indians may be brought to acquiesce in the legal execution of Justice for the future, and be thereby brought off from seeking their customary private Revenge, so contrary to the Laws of the Land.

    I must therefore desire that you would be pleased to give orders to the Sherriff of the County of Albany to receive the supposed Murderer upon the Borders of the two Governments in order to take his Trial and that You would recommend it to the Judges and the Attorney General to be very exact in inquiring into the Fact. When I am informed of the time you shall set for receiving the Indian in custody I will give orders for his delivery. If the Sherriff was to apply to Joseph Dwight Esqr. of Sheffield, or to Timothy Woodbridge Esqr. of Stockbridge, they will either of them take proper care to forward him on to your Government.

    I am, with great regard, Sr Your most obedient humble Servant463

    Fra. Bernard.

    Honble. C. Colden Esqr464

    LS, RC Colden Papers.

    Abraham Unkamug was a Stockbridge Indian who had recently returned to the community after being held captive by “Canadian Indians.” His victim may have been a relative. He was tried at Albany in June and subsequently released (the verdict is unknown). Patrick Frazier, The Mohicans of Stockbridge (Lincoln, 1992), 172-173.