492 | From William Williams


    The inclosed Letters must serve as an Apology for my Troubling your Excellency at this Time; and as an introduction to what I am about to offer. Upon my receipt of Mr Woodbridges Letter1 which was in the night I orderd my Company under arms and so to remain till further order, not knowing what Occasion I might have for them. And set out myself before day with design to see the Commander of the party and prevent our and Noble Town people, who had taken Sanctuary among us, from running themselves & us into worse Situation than they were. Upon my Arrival at Stockbridge I recd: more favourable Accts: than I expected, vizt. That it was an inadvertant excursion of some of the party that did the Mischief at Egremont, which when the Sherriff of Albany percievd, rode after them and informed them that they were over the Line, upon which they desisted, & retreated to Noble Town. And soon after to Livingstons Mannor2 and at his Landing Embarked for New: York; Before they had gone far Livingston with a Speaking Trumpet informs Captn. Clark (the Commander of the party)3 that there was a Letter just arrived for him upon which he came to, and possessed himself of it__ Which contained a Challenge that if he and his men would meet Him at Such a place he would give him (Clark) such a Drubing, (or dressing) as he never had in his Life, Signed Noble.4 Upon which they all came on Shoar, and repaird to the mentiond place in Noble Town, but found none to Oppose them, And has there continued ever Since, and parceld out his men in divers parts of the Town; and from them Arise the Complaints Contained in Captn. Dwight & Esqr. Hopkins Letters.5 Those people are truly pittyable and want releif, and it seems none can be afforded them from this quarter without we are cloathed with more Authority than our parchments contain. And its with difficulty that I and Others, keep back the people from the most severe Resentment, which if once entred upon none knows when, where & how it would End. As the Father of this Province, the Head, & Captain General of the same I address your Excellency, for Orders how to demean myself in this affair. Officers & men look to me for Orders. And are impatient I don’t give them; And were we at open War with an Avoued Enemy I should be able to give Orders; but the Case is now such I know not how to behave, nor what to say to them that look to me. For which Reason I look to your Excellency__ And, Sir, If you would not look upon it as impertinent I would inform your Excellency what has been the Basis of Livingstons & Ranslairs invenom’d treatment of these People__ Concious of the weakness of their Tittles to these Lands, and that they never obtaind the Indian Tittle in a just & Equitable manner, And that Jacob, Solomon, & John6 ^who were^ the proper Owners of the land are gone Home with Mr Griggs, nephew to Genl: Conway;7 They imagine they shall not hold any of these lands unless they so distress The present occupiers who have bought the Indian Tittle to come in & take Leases under Them. I am bold to say this is the Stimulus that Actuates them at the present Day.

    Such Diabolical Treatment, such cursed Oaths, and such Forgery, as that of Nobles Letter to Captn. Clark; who in all probablility had Complyed with his orders and was returning to his Command; Is enough to make one Ashamed of Himself and that he has any relation to beings that will perpetrate such Facts.

    Supposing others are of the same sentiments with myself, this gives no relief to the poor Distressed People. I humbly conceive it would not be disagreable to your Excelly to inform you that Majr. Williams8 & Captn. Dwight went to Nobletown to Sollicit the officers of the party for Liberty that Sheffield & Barrington people might come & reap & Secure the Grain that was not destroyed, and were refused; and that the next day Colo. Ashley9 went over upon the same Arrand and was refused, and had the Addition of many Curses that he would not renew the Warrant for Apprehending Nobletown people. I would likewise inform your Excelly. that Captn. Clrark10 is in Nobletown, Govr. More is this Week at Pohkipsie and will be next Week in Albany, if you should see cause to Write to Them.

    The difficulty that attends me in writing from a parilittick disorder, that is hereditary to our Family and the Numbers that stand around me at this present time, I hope will excuse me from Copying this Letter how much soever in an hurry it was wrote

    I am May it please your Excellency, Your Excellencys Most Obedient most Humble Servant

    Wm. Williams11

    Pittsfield August 16. 1766.

    P.S. It may be the modesty of the Bearer may prevent his asking pay for his time & Expence in coming on this Affair which he is deserving off as he has no manner of Business but to bring This.

    ALS, RC      Mass. Archs., 56: 492-493.