GAGE, Thomas (1721-1787), General, British Army. Autograph letter signed ("Thos: Gage"), as British Commander-in-Chief, TO SIR WILLIAM JOHNSON (1715-1774), New York, 4 May 1764. 1 full page, folio, integral blank docketed by Johnson. Fine condition.
THE SUPPRESSION OF PONTIAC'S REBELLION, WHICH WILL "PUT A FINAL END TO ALL OUR INDIAN QUARRELS, AND PROCURE US A SAFE & LASTING PEACE WITH ALL THE INDIAN TRIBES"
In Spring 1763 most of the British-held posts in the Northwest had fallen to a sudden, concerted campaign led by chief Pontiac of the Ottawas. In response, Gage organized a force of over 1000 men, commanded by Col. John Bradstreet, for its suppression: "The Jersey troops having passed this for Albany...I judge it can't be long before Colonel Bradstreet will be in the Field, with all the Force he will be able to collect. I am therefore to beg of you to furnish him with a Body of Faithful Indians, to join the Forces under his command in the operations of the Campain [sic]. The success of which, I am to hope will put a final end to all our Indian Quarrells, and procure us a safe & lasting Peace with all the Indian Tribes. I have ordered Colonel Bradstreet to correspond with you, & give you notice of all the Indian Intelligence which shall come to his Knowledge. I don't know the exact time he would have the Indians to join him, but this he can settle with you. I have wrote to Mr. Stuart to represent to the Cherokees, that the Retreat, it's reported, they have promised to the Shawnese is a Breach of Friendship with us. I wish we are not hurried into a war in that Quarter which we don't seem at present, in a Condition to support to any advantage..."
Bradstreet's campaign was successful, to a degree, but at Detroit on 7 September he "was duped into signing a premature peace without sufficiently drastic terms" (DAB). Gage's "safe & lasting peace" with these tribes would prove a mirage.