Indian Commissioners’ receipts  1776
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History

This collection contains receipts generated by the American Indian Commission in Western Pennsylvania in 1776. Three commissions were set up by the continental congress in 1775 in order to secure Indian neutrality during the American Revolution. These commissions were responsible for distributing arms, ammunition, clothing, jewelry, and supplies in exchange for peace with the Six Nations. In July of 1776, George Morgan (1743-1810) was appointed the head agent for the Middle Department and was expected to negotiate a treaty with the Indians of Western Pennsylvania and Ohio. He purchased presents and supplies that were necessary for such negotiations. Morgan, along with John Harvie (1742-1807), Jasper Yeates (1745-1817), and trader William Wilson, among others, were the commissioners who helped establish the treaty at Fort Pitt in November 1776, which ensured Indian neutrality. Congress, however, did not back up the treaty and by 1777, the Indians had shifted their loyalty to the British; the Shawnees and other Nations believed that England would prevent the colonists from encroaching further upon their lands.