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Portsmouth Indian Treaty 1713

Portsmouth Indian Treaty 1713

July 13, 1713

Although the Seacoast region was settled and remained generally at peace with the local Indians, war evolved at the end of the 1600s. From 1702 to 1713 another wave of fighting crashed over the New England coast. Some Indians sided with the French in their war against the British, but the British won.



Following Queen Anne’s War, the "Eastern Tribes" signed a treaty with the British at Portsmouth, NH on July 13, 1713. Representatives from the Mass Bay and New Hampshire tribes agreed to cease hostilities against the King’s subjects in America and never to conspi8re against them with another nation. The Indians also gave up land, control of trade and personal freedoms.

The treaty printed below, requires that the signers apologize for the actions, for breaking past treaties and for the "folly" of their actions while confessing forgiveness. They are required to give up all rights to their ancestral lands with the exception of a few places set aside for their use, and are banned from even entering populated and commercial areas. The signers are required to admit they, in turn, have been well treated by Europeans and take responsibility for preventing all actions of all Indians against all whites for all time. At the same time, they agree not to respond to any injuries inflicted on them by settlers, but are required to take those grievances to an English court. All this is presented in a rich and complex legal language to native tribes speaking a variety of dialects over a wide geographical area in New England. – JDR

SOURCE: The document is part of the Levi Woodbury Papers at the Library of Congress. Levi Woodbory was a prominent Portsmouth, NH lawyer.

The Portsmouth Indian Treaty of 1713

At Portsmouth, in Her Majesty's Province of New
Hampshire, in New England, the twelvth day
of July, in the thirteenth year of the Reign of our
Sovereign Lady Anne, by the Grace of God, of
Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Queen,
Defender of the Faith, &c.

Whereas for some years last past we have made a breach of our fidelity and loyalty to the Crowns of Great Britain, and have made open rebellion against Her Majesty's subjects, the English inhabitants in the Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and other of her Majesty's territories in New England, and being now sensible of the myseries which We and our people are reduced thereunto thereby, we whose names are here subscribed, being delegates of all the Indians belonging to Norrigawake, Narrakamegock, Amascontoog, Pigwocket, Penecook, and to all other Indian plantations situated on the Rivers of St. Johns, Penobscot, Kenybeck, Amascogon, Saco, and Merimack, and all other Indian plantations Iying between the said Rivers of St. Johns and Merrimack, parts of Her Majesty's Provinces of the Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire, within Her Majesty's Sovereignty, having made application to his Excellency, Joseph Dudley, Esq., Captain General and Governor in Chief in and over the said Provinces, that the troubles which we have unhappily raised or occasioned against Her Majesty's subjects, the English, and ourselves, may cease and have an end, and that we may enjoy Her Majesty's grace and favor, and each of us respectively, for ourselves and in the name and with the free consent of all the Indians belonging to the several rivers and places aforesaid, and all other Indians within the said Provinces of the Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire, hereby acknowledging ourselves the lawfull subjects of our Sovereign Lady, Queen Anne, and promising our hearty subjection and obedience unto the Crown of Great Britain, doe solemnly covenant, promise, and agree to and with the said Joseph Dudley, Esq., Governor, and all such as shall hereafter be in the place of Captain, General and Governor in Chief of the aforesaid Provinces or territories on Her Majesty's behalf, in manner following. That is to say:

That at all times forever, from and after the date of these presents, we will cease and forebear all acts of hostility toward all the subjects of the Crown of Great Britain, and not to offer the least hurt or violence to them or any of them in their persons or estates, but will honor, forward, hold, and maintain a firm and constant amity and friendship with all the English, and will not entertain any treasonable conspiracy with any other nation to their disturbance.

That Her Majesty's subjects, the English, shall and may peaceably and quietly enter upon, improve, and forever enjoy, all and singular their rights of land and former settlements, properties and possessions, within the eastern parts of said Provinces of Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire, together with all the islands, islets, shoars, beaches, and fisheries within the same, without any molestation or claims by us or any other Indians and be in no wais molested, interrupted, or disturbed therein. Saving unto the said Indians their own grounds, and free liberty for hunting, fishing, fowling, and all other their lawful liberties and privileges, as on the eleventh day of August, in the year of our Lord God one thousand six hundred and ninety-three.

That for mutual safety and benefit, all trade and commerce which hereafter may be allowed betwixt the English and Indians shall be in such places and under such management and regulations as shall be stated by Her Majesty's Governments of the said provinces respectively. And to prevent mischiefs and inconveniences the Indians shall not be allowed, for the present, and until they have liberty from the respective Governments, to come near to any of English plantations or settlements on this side of Saco River.

That if any controversy or difference at any time hereafter happen to arise betwixt any of the English or Indians, for any real or supposed wrong or injury done on the one side or the other, no private revenge shall be taken by the Indians for the same, but proper application shall be made to Her Majesty's Government, upon the place, for remedy thereof, in our course of justice, we hereby submitting ourselves to be ruled and governed by Her Majesty's laws, and desire to have the protection and benefit of same.

We confess that we have, contrary to all faith and justice, broken our articles with Sir William Phipps, Governor, made in the year of our Lord God 1693, and with the Earl of Bellomont, Governor, made in the year of our Lord God 1699, and the assurance we gave to his Excellency, Joseph Dudley, Esq., Governor, in the years of our Lord God 1702, in the month of August, and 1703, in the month of July, notwithstanding we have been well treted by the said Governors. And we resolve for the future not to be drawn into any perfidious treaty or correspondence, to the hurt of any of the subjects of Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain, and if we know of any such we will seasonably reveal it to the English.

Wherefore, we whose names are hereunto subscribed, delegates for the several tribes of the Indians, belonging unto the River of Kenybeck, Amarascogen, St. Johns, Saco, Merrimac, and parts adjacent, being sensible of our great offence and folly in not complying with the aforsaid submission and agreements, and also of the sufferings and mischiefs that we have thereby exposed ourselves unto, do, in humble and submissive manner, cast ourselves upon Her Majesty's mercy for the pardon of our past rebellions, hostilities, and violations of our promises, praying to be received unto Her Majesty's grace and protections. And for and on behalfe of ourselves, and of all other the lndians belonging to the several rivers and places aforesaid, within the sovereignty of Her Majesty of Great Britain, do again acknowledge and profess our hearty and sinceer obedience unto the Crown of Great Britain, and do solemnly renew, ratify, and confirm all and every of the articles and agreements contained in the former and present submission.

This treaty to be humbly laid before Her Majesty, for her ratification and further orders. In witness whereof, we, the delegates aforesaid, by name Kireberuit, Iteansis, and Jackoit for Penobscot, Joseph and Eneas for St. Johns, Waracansit, Wedaranaquin, and Bomoseen for Kennebeck, have hereunto set our hands and seals, the day and year first above written.

(Frederic Kidder, "The Abenaki Indians, Their Treaties of 1713 and 1717 . . . ," Collections of the Maine Historical Society, 1st ser., 6 [1859]: 250-53.)

Photos from the Levi Woodbury Collection at the Library of Congress in the American Memory web site.

Portsmouth Treaty 1713

Portsmouth Indian Treaty

Portsmouth Indian Treaty 1713



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