The Indians of the Northern and Southern Districts of North America: Levenshtein comparisons of the tribe lists from the 1764 "Plan for the future management of Indian affairs"

Charles D. Bernholz, Love Memorial Library, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68588[*]

Brian T. O’Grady, Love Memorial Library, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68588[**]

Abstract

The Northern and Southern Districts of the British government in America contained tribes of Indians that were specifically enumerated prior to the preparation of the 1764 Plan for the future management of Indian affairs. That Board of Trade policy reassigned the responsibility for Indian affairs to the imperial government, rather than leaving it to be mediated by the individual colonies. Fourteen variants of those lists, from official and public sources, were compared with Levenshtein’s edit distance algorithm to assess similarity and provenance.

“This Plan has for its object the regulation of Indian Affairs both commercial and political throughout all North America, upon one general system, under the direction of Officers appointed by the Crown, so as to sett aside all local interfering of particular Provinces, which have been one great cause of the distracted state of Indian Affairs in general….”

Lords of Trade to Sir William Johnson, 10 July 1764 (O’Callaghan, 1856, pp. 634-635)

Indian affairs have been an issue within the organization of North America since the arrival of the European invaders. Over time, functional control passed from local management to areas entailing single colonies, and then to geographic divisions bisecting vast areas. Britain, as the victor in the French and Indian conflict and of the global Seven Years War (1754-1763), faced a difficult future, especially when it came to imperial relationships with the tribes of this continent. Among the prerogatives contained in the Royal Proclamation of 1763, specific forthcoming changes regarding interactions with Indians were imposed. Prior to France’s defeat, the indigenous peoples of North America had skillfully played off Britain against France, thereby achieving through the general absence of French supervision substantial concessions and levels of independence in the area west of the Appalachian Mountains. The War had changed these dynamics, and the convenient freedoms and allowances were now to disappear under British control. Indeed, Nester (2000, p. vii) declared in his study of Pontiac’s War of 1763 that Britain’s military success “terrified virtually all Indians east of the Mississippi River.”[1]

The much criticized boundary line implemented by the Proclamation that demarcated Indian country west of the highlands of the Appalachians was executed precisely to demonstrate that Britain understood the needs of those tribes and that she was prepared to enforce such structure within her colonies, even if this decision led in time to the onset of the American Revolution in 1775 at the Battles of Lexington and Concord (Coburn, 1922). The Proclamation (By the King, a Proclamation, 1763) was the vehicle that made public royal sentiment about the tribes, and served as the map to present the new formula for America:

  • “And whereas it is just and reasonable, and essential to our interest, and the security of our colonies, that the several nations or tribes of Indians with whom we are connected, and who live under our protection, should not be molested or disturbed in the possession of such parts of our dominions and territories as, not having been ceded to or purchased by us, are reserved to them, or any of them, as their hunting grounds,” and
  • “And we do further declare it to be our royal will and pleasure, for the present as aforesaid, to reserve under our sovereignty, protection, and dominion, for the use of the said Indians, all the lands and territories not included within the limits of our said three new governments, or within the limits of the territory granted to the Hudson’s Bay Company, as also all the lands and territories lying to the westward of the sources of the rivers which fall into the sea from the west and north west as aforesaid.”
Endless misbehaviors on the part of the colonies along the Atlantic Ocean had placed Britain at the very threshold of accelerated Indian turbulence that erupted, in one form, as Pontiac’s War. Livermore (1939) proposed another irritant: early American business organizations, precursors of modern corporate development, which spawned aggressive land companies both before and after the American Revolution. These entities conducted a remarkable array of political and financial interactions between businessmen and the Crown, and then later with the new developing American administration following Independence. One of Livermore’s exemplars was the 1748 Ohio Company (pp. 75-82) that attempted to acquire lands subsequent to the 1744 treaty with the Six Nations.[2] Initially, 200,000 acres were secured from the Crown, surveyed in preparation for new settlement, and further encouraged by the Crown as a means to provide a barrier to French interests in the west.[3] Supplementary lands — in the form of another 100,000 acres — were promised if the initial grant was appropriately secured and developed within seven years by just one hundred families. Better and more intense trade with the nearby tribes was an expected outcome of such apportionments; these prospects were further reinforced by the Treaty of Logstown, 1752 with the Six Nations (The treaty of Logg’s town, 1752, 1906).

All of these activities concerned the French, who claimed the Ohio valley themselves. In a series of escalations, the roads built by the Ohio Company to explore and safeguard the grant from the Crown were counterbalanced by a suite of new French fortifications designed to secure their own communications between Quebec and the areas of the Mississippi. The colony of Virginia reacted to this solidification by sending a young military officer — George Washington — to challenge these developments; the ensuing confrontation in May 1754 heralded the French and Indian War. Washington and his half-brothers Lawrence and Augustine were members of the Virginia-based Ohio Company. These, and later, land-grabbing activities infuriated the tribes, especially since they had participated in treaties that defined the very reserved areas that began to be violated under such speculation. Del Papa (1975, p. 408) declared that “[f]rom the date of its inception, the Ohio Company grant was a constant source of irritation and discontent to the Indians of the Ohio Valley. In his correspondence with the Board of Trade, Peter Wraxall, secretary to Sir William Johnson [the Superintendent for Indian Affairs for the Northern District] pointed out the Indian ‘jealousies & uneasiness at the claim made by the English upon the Ohio — that of the Ohio Company in particular.’” Attempts by representatives of the Ohio Company to convince the Crown to sustain their endowment failed to obtain that goal, and these maneuvers were in turn made moot by the Royal Proclamation of 1763. As Del Papa noted: “The effective checkmating of the Ohio Company’s plans for settling its lands west of the Appalachian Mountains represents but one example of the success of the Proclamation of 1763 in preventing collective, organized settlement in this region” (p. 409).

Nevertheless, the vision of a more permanent separation between the colonists and the native groups beyond the mountains required a far better approach than had been developed in the first part of the eighteenth century. Such a plan was postulated, discussed, and then installed to pass control of Indian affairs from those settlements to imperial representatives. The latter would regulate the tribes along the lines of royal prerogative, and ameliorate the “great cause of the distracted state of Indian Affairs in general” that was attached to the uncoordinated — and fundamentally selfish — enterprises of the colonies. The Plan for the future management of Indian affairs (henceforth, the Plan) was thus designed to convey fully in forty-three articles the new far stricter parameters under which such supervision would now take place. Its creation was founded upon a considered understanding of the past and of the unfolding current events. In a phrase, “Pontiac’s rebellion of 1763 confirmed the need for imperial supervision of the wilderness” (Sosin, 1961, p. 77).

In actuality, the Plan was a scheme with a substantial history. Sosin’s presentation on British activities between 1760 and 1775 clearly tied together the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the Plan (pp. 52-78). It was observed that solutions to the problems addressed during and after the French and Indian War could only be expanded and reinforced by a clear path forward: “The various components of the program incorporated into the Proclamation — at least those relating to the North American interior — were already in operation. But when the definite Treaty of Paris confirmed the retention by Great Britain of Canada, Florida, and the Ohio Valley, the ministers [of the Board of Trade or Privy Council] had to give legal sanction to the ad hoc measures of the war” (p. 53; emphasis added).[4]

The Superintendents of Indian Affairs

There were men in America to implement such directives, and the observations by Peter Wraxall, as secretary to Sir William Johnson (Figure 1), highlight the effectiveness of the British administration among the tribes (Alden, 1940). Beginning in 1755, Johnson was responsible for conducting the Crown’s business with all tribes north of Virginia (Richter, 2004). This Superintendency for the Northern District was paralleled in the south by one assigned in 1756 to Edmund Atkin and then in 1762 to John Stuart (Bickham, 2004; Shaw, 1931, pp. 18-20).

Figure 1. Sir William Johnson, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Northern District. (Source: Library and Archives Canada/Claus family portraits/C-083497)

Jacobs (1953, p. 313; emphasis added) stated that Atkin’s “chief claim to historical recognition lies in his writings, the most important of these being a 34,000-word master plan for imperial control of the Indians which was handed to the Board of Trade in the spring of 1755," and that “it is certain that Atkin’s design for Indian management was the earliest scheme that worked all previous ideas of Indian administration into one coherent plan. The essay by Atkin was followed by the creation of the office of southern superintendent, and Atkin was honored with an appointment to that position” (p. 320).[5] General Edward Braddock, who sent the Superintendency commission to Johnson in April 1755, apparently had been less enthusiastic to offer the southern position to Atkin. Alden (1940, p. 208) commented that “[t]he actual decision of the home government, however, to employ an agent for the southern Indians no doubt followed from its decision to appoint Johnson for the northern Indians. This was a logical step, for such an official was almost as badly needed in the South as in the North. But Braddock never exercised this power,” and so the actual offer was delayed until February 1756, almost a year after Johnson had been installed “with the dividing line at the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania and along the Ohio River” (Nester, 2000, pp. 12-13).[6] Atkin discussed his position as Superintendent in the south with Johnson and members of the Six Nations, over several days in November 1756 at Johnson’s home (Conference between Edmund Atkin, Esq., and the Six Nations; O’Callaghan, 1856, pp. 211-215). This bonding strengthened the position of the Superintendents among their own charges, and with the tribes in the other’s district as well.

The imperial expectations may be understood from the statement by General Braddock, Commander in Chief of British forces in North America, when he delivered Johnson’s commission on 15 April 1755: “By Virtue of the Power & Authority to me given & granted by His Majesty to appoint a proper Person or Persons to have the sole Management & direction of the Affairs of the Six Nations of Indians & their Allies, to the end that the said Indians may be heartily engaged in & attached to the British Interest, I do hereby appoint you the said William Johnson in the Name & behalf of His Majesty to superintend & manage the Affairs of the said Nations & their Allies, giving you full Power & Authority to treat & confer with them as often and upon such matters as you shall judge necessary for His Majestys Service & as shall be agreable to the Instructions herewith given you or which you shall hereafter receive from me” (Sullivan, 1921, pp. 465-466; misspellings original).[7]

The input from America, through the pens of Johnson and Stuart, was especially critical in the creation of the Plan. These men were on the ground and in the midst of the tribes. They were wedged among the tripartite interests of the colonists and of the Indians and of the Crown, and they were expected to serve fully all three entities. In addition, they had seen how the increasing reluctance to continue the tradition of gift giving to the tribes — implemented fully by Amherst during the years 1760 through 1763 — embarrassed, deprived, and distanced the Indians from the British (Jacobs, 1950, pp. 66-67). As Alden (1944, p. 140) summarized, “[w]hile the office existed, the superintendents, in theory if not always in practice, conducted the political relations of the English with the Indians. They were at least partly responsible for the protection of the Indians themselves against lawless land speculators and other evildoers. After 1763 the duties of the agents also included the formation and maintenance of the Indian boundary lines.”[8] Further, their individual lives mirrored, and were incorporated into, their surroundings. The title for Flexner’s Lord of the Mohawks promptly announced Johnson’s unique position within the wilds of New York (1979), while Alden (1944, p. 165) said of Stuart that even though he “had failed, as a merchant, he had established for himself a place in Charlestown life….” Absent these worldly differences, their responsibilities included answering many inquiries from London: both were asked their opinions on Indian affairs; both submitted analyses of their districts; and both assessed the final Plan following the machinations of the politicians back home. Their identification of the affected indigenous peoples, upon which their employment rested and with which the finances of England were to be revived, led to the compilation found in Johnson’s 1763 Enumeration of Indians within the Northern Department (henceforth, Northern; O’Callaghan, 1856, pp. 582-584), and to Stuart’s list that was delivered in his letter to the Board of Trade (Southern; Stuart, 1764).

The development, contents, and withdrawal of the Plan

Even with this immense issue before them, the mechanics of creating a new program for Indian affairs in North America, and then weaving an effective policy, was addressed in only a handful of Board of Trade gatherings. The first of these events took place on 6 December 1763, just two months after the Proclamation had been distributed (“Their lordships made a further progress in the consideration of a plan for the management of Indian affairs;” Ledward, 1935a, p. 418), and after the receipt in November of a letter on the subject from Superintendent Johnson (p. 409 and O’Callaghan, 1856, pp. 559-562). This was followed by a pair of meetings on 13 and 16 January 1764. In June, activities increased again, especially so with a session on the 7th that included the grilling of George Croghan, deputy to Johnson. A summary of this event appeared in the Journal of the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations:

“Their lordships took into consideration the state of Indian affairs in North America, and the following papers were read and considered, vizt.,

  • Letter from Sir William Johnson to the Board, dated November 18th, 1763, containing a state of Indian affairs within the Northern District, with proposals for the future management of them upon one general plan.
  • Present state of the Northern Indians comprehended under the Six Nations and Ottawa Confederacies.
  • Letter from Sir William Johnson to the Board, dated January 20th, 1764, relative to the present state of Indian affairs within the Northern District.

Mr. Croghan, deputy to Sir William Johnson for the Southern tribes in his district, attending, their lordships had some discourse with him upon the subject matter of Sir William Johnson’s letters” (Ledward, 1935b, pp. 65-66).

On 11 June, “[t]heir lordships resumed the consideration of a plan for the future management of Indian affairs in America, under one general direction, mentioned in the minutes of the 6th of December last, and made some progress therein;” and continued their evaluation on each day through the 15th, with the conclusion that “[t]he heads of a plan or scheme for the future management of Indian affairs, were further considered, approved and ordered to be transcribed, and copies made thereof to be transmitted to the Superintendants of Indian Affairs for the Northern and Southern Districts.” It was also “[o]rdered, that draughts of letters to the said superintendants, containing the Board’s observations upon the said plan, be prepared” (Ledward, 1935b, pp. 69-71). The Plan and accompanying documents were approved for distribution to North America on 10 July 1764: “The draughts of letters to the Superintendants of Indian Affairs for the Northern and Southern Districts of America, inclosing copies of the plan approved by the Board for the future management and direction of Indian affairs, and containing the Board’s observations thereon, and also draughts of letters to the Governors and Commanders in Chief of Quebec, Nova Scotia, Massachusets Bay, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and East and West Florida, inclosing copies of the said plan and copies of the Board’s letters to the Superintendants, were approved and signed” (p. 98; emphasis added).

It is necessary, however, to praise both Superintendents again, since their understanding of tribe dynamics was very much needed by the Board of Trade that had on occasion received tainted data through the British military presence in the colonies.[9] Johnson and Stuart instead were conscientious observers; Nester (2000, p. 14) believed that “Stuart and Johnson worked closely to coordinate their diplomacy. They agreed on the broad outlines of British policy, though at times they differed over details.” As an example of this united approach, Farrand (1905, pp. 785-786) related that both Johnson and Stuart felt so positive about the prospects of the forthcoming Plan that they began unauthorized negotiations with the tribes so “[t]hat proper measures be taken, with the consent and concurrence of the Indians, to ascertain and define the precise and exact boundary and limits of the lands, which it may be proper to reserve to them, and where no settlement whatever shall be allowed” (Article 42; In the matter of the boundary between the Dominion of Canada and the colony of Newfoundland in the Labrador peninsula, 1927, p. 845). Individually, Johnson “proceeded cautiously,” while Stuart “acted more boldly and without reservation” in these activities (Farrand, 1905, p. 786). Their tribe inventories served as an important element to set the stage for the Board. Indeed, the final List of Indian tribes in the northern district of North America contained in the Plan (O’Callaghan, 1856, p. 641) was based upon Johnson’s 18 November 1763 Northern (pp. 582-584) and on Stuart’s similar Southern materials (1764). The order of the names for the northern tribes corresponded exactly, save for the Board’s addition of the Micmacs, Norwidgewalks, Arfsegunticooks, Penobscots, and St. Johns as announced in their letter to Johnson on the day of the release of the Plan. In that transmission the Board remarked that “[t]he making the River Ohio the boundary line, or line of division between the two districts seemed to us at first the most precise distinction; but finding upon examination that several of the northern nations had not only claims and interest, but possibly actual possession and residence to the south, of some parts at least, of this river, we thought proper to relinguish this proposition and to have recourse to the expedient of distinguishing each district by naming the several nations to be comprehended within each[.] You will observe however that we have added to the tribes contained in the list you have transmitted to us those which inhabit the borders of New England, and in Nova Scotia, which tribes must necessarily be comprehended in the northern district” (p. 635; emphasis added).[10]

Stuart also received a similar communiqué that used the same acknowledging text, to which was added the proviso that “[y]ou will observe, however, that we have thrown the Piankishaws, Wawiaghtonos, and other nations which reside upon the Wabache and other rivers to the north of the confluence of the Ohio with the Mississippi, into the northern district, to which it seems to us they do more properly belong” (Hazard, 1853, p. 190). The previous presentation by Atkin in 1755 — his Plan for a general direction & management of the Indian affairs throughout North America, under one uniform regulation of their commerce, for retrieving & establishing the British interest among the Indian nations, & thereby the future security of our colonies against the designs of the French (Jacobs, 1954, pp. 77-95) — encompassed in a single paragraph many of these provisions that foreshadowed those in the Plan. Atkin had stated: “That all the Indian nations or tribes be divided into two districts; the northern district from Nova Scotia to Virginia inclusive, comprehending the Six United Nations of N. York with their immediate dependents chiefly on the waters of the Ohio, & those commonly called the eastern Indians, or any others to the westward; And the southern district of North Carolina, South Carolina, & Georgia, comprehending the Cherokees, and all the other nations, particularly the Catawbas, Chicasaws, Creeks, & Chactaws, living independent of each other, to the south of the Hogohegee or great Cherokee River, (which is a kind of natural boundary from east to west between the two districts) and to the westward thereof so far back at least as the Missisippi” (p. 77; misspellings original).[11] In doing so, Atkin had marked off the northeast corner of the colonies that contained those nations that the Board later added to the 1764 Plan’s list of tribes for the northern district, i.e., for “those which inhabit the borders of New England, and in Nova Scotia” (O’Callaghan, 1856, p. 635; emphasis added). Further, Atkin’s remark concerning “the Cherokees, and all the other nations, particularly the Catawbas, Chicasaws, Creeks, & Chactaws” previewed Stuart’s later roster for the southern tribes and stressed the importance there of these five specific tribes.[12] For his part, Stuart submitted thirteen names to the Board, beginning with the five major tribes that Atkin had detailed (1764, p. 459) and bolstered these with eight more entities described in a paragraph dedicated to “Of the nations on the Mississippi” (p. 488). Stuart stated in his report that “[t]he Indians who are become inhabitants of the British empire within this district, by the cession of Canada and Louisiana and with whom we never had any communication, are the following small tribes, inhabiting the eastern shore of the Mississippi below the confluence with the Ohio, vizt. the Beluxis, Humas, Attucapas, Bayuglas, Tunicas, Peluches, Ofugulas, and the Querphas” (p. 489; emphasis added).[13] The Keskeskea, Illionois, Twightwees, Piankishaws, and Yaughtanous were later identified in his statement as other potential tribes for the southern collection, all living “on the Wabache” River. The critical aspect of these two primary lists from the Superintendents is that the Board of Trade promptly collated these two arrays after removing redundancies from Johnson’s list and adding to it “those which inhabit the borders of New England, and in Nova Scotia,” and following the decision, as proposed by Johnson in his presentation, to allocate all of Stuart’s Keskeskea-Yaughtanous subset to the northern district.[14] Confirmation of the sources of the tribe name order in the final Plan — separated for each of the Northern (N = 36) plus a few additions (N = 6: Keskeskea, Micmacs, Norwidgewalks, Arfsegunticooks, Penobscots, and St. Johns), and for the Southern Districts (N = 13) — demonstrates the confidence that the Board placed in their Indian officials in America, and the exact mechanisms employed to establish the future for these specific tribes. Based on O’Callaghan’s document for Northern, that allegedly came from the Colonial Office records (1856, pp. 582-584), and on Stuart’s letter to the Board (1764), there were four spelling errors introduced into the final Plan text: Tuteeves in Colonial vs. Tutecoes in Northern; Canassadagas vs. Canasadagas; Arundacks vs. Arundacs; and Keskeskias vs. Keskeskea in Southern in Table I (Download Excel File). In the twentieth century, Hodge (1906a and b) adjusted these names to Tutelo, Oka, Adirondack, and Kaskaskia.[15] See the “Tribe spellings” tab in Table I (Download Excel File) for the full family of old and new names.

In its final form on paper, the Board of Trade immediately announced in the first article of the Plan that “trade and commerce with the several tribes of Indians in North America under the protection of his Majesty shall be free and open to all his Majesty’s subjects under the several regulations & restrictions hereafter mentioned so as not to interfere with the charter to the Hudson’s Bay Company” (O’Callaghan, 1856, p. 637, and see Appendix II below). In actuality, the prerogative to regain influence with the tribes was directly at the expense of the colonies, which were clearly recognized as self-centered bodies taking full advantage of the indigenous peoples. Thus, Article 4 promptly declared “[t]hat all laws now in force in the several colonies for regulating Indian affairs or commerce be repealed,” reiterating at the same time the additional desire to gather as much excise as possible through the development of stronger commercial links with the tribes. Other sections spoke of the responsibilities of the Superintendents and/or their agents to stimulate the interaction between themselves and their native charges. Careful accounting was required — Article 21 required that “Commissaries shall keep exact and regular accounts by way of a journal of all their transactions and proceedings and of all occurrences in their respective departments” (p. 639) — and causes of aberrant behavior on the part of the tribes were to be kept to a minimum by forbidding traders to “sell or otherwise supply the Indians with rum, or other spirituous liquors, swan shot, or rifled barralled guns” (Article 38; p. 640).[16]

The earlier illegal business methods and the constant demand for Indian lands had been well identified in the Proclamation, and in the strongest of terms: “And whereas great frauds and abuses have been committed in the purchasing lands of the Indians, to the great prejudice of our interests, and to the great dissatisfaction of the said Indians…” (By the King, a Proclamation, 1763). Similar words were therefore included in the Plan’s Article 23 ordering “[t]hat for the better regulations of the trade with the said Indians, conformable to their own requests and to prevent those frauds and abuses which have so long and so loudly complained of in the manner of carrying on such trade, all trade with the Indians in each district [will] be carried on under the direction and inspection of the agents or Superintendents, and other subordinate officers to be appointed for that purpose as has been already mentioned” (O’Callaghan, 1856, p. 639)

These endeavors were synchronized at all times with an eye on expenses that reached well beyond the simple provision for record keeping in Article 21. The final paragraph of the Plan, placed just before the list of tribes allotted to the two districts, summarized the expected costs — and the ways to counterbalance these outlays — by declaring that “[i]t is estimated that the annual expence of supporting the establishments proposed in the foregoing plan providing presents for the Indians and other contingent expences may amount to about twenty thousand pounds and it is proposed to defray this expence by a duty upon the Indian trade, either collected upon the exportation of skins and furs (beaver excepted) from the colonies or payable by the traders at the posts and places of trade as shall upon further examination and the fullest information be found most practicable and least burthensome to the trade” (p. 641; misspellings original).

Ultimately, the costs associated with the Plan — more so in terms of political capital than financial — turned the tide against the implementation of these proposals. After much consultation among government officials in England, and with agents and Indian Superintendents in North America, the Earl of Hillsborough sent the Board of Trade’s conclusions regarding the Plan’s viability to King George III on 7 March 1768 in a document titled Representation of Lords of Trade on the state of Indian affairs (Alvord and Carter, 1921, pp. 183-204). The Board advocated that control for Indian commerce should be returned to the colonies, reversing their position that such interactions between the colonies and the Indians were detrimental: “For these reasons therefore and under these circumstances, we are humbly of the opinion, that the laying aside that part of the present plan which relates to the Indian trade, and intrusting the entire management of that trade to the colonies themselves, will be of great advantage to your Majesty’s service, as a means of avoiding much difficulty, and saving much expense both at present and in the future” (p. 192, and O’Callaghan, 1857, p. 24; emphasis added).[17] These decisions were conveyed to the colonial governors in North America by Hillsborough in his letter of 15 April 1768: “His Majesty has thought fit that it shall be laid aside that the regulation of trade shall be left to the colonies whose legeslatures must be the best judges of what their several situations & cercumstances may require” (Alvord and Carter, 1921, pp. 245-247; misspellings original). The independence of the two Superintendents was reserved however, so that they might carry on “such matters as are of immediate negotiation between H. M. [His Majesty] and the savages, and cannot therefore be regulated by provincial authority, and that the boundary line between the Indian and the settlement of H. M. subject, (every where negotiated upoun and in many parts settled and ascertained), shall be finally ratified and confirmed” (pp. 245-246; misspellings original).

Variants of the List of Indian Tribes

The earlier creation of two Superintendents to represent the Crown in Indian affairs for the Northern and the Southern District was a vital part of the development of the Plan. The document’s second article defined the new universe by stating “[t]hat for the better regulation of this trade and the management of Indian affairs in general the British dominions in North America be divided into two Districts to comprehend and include the several tribes of Indians mentioned in the annexed Lists A and B” (O’Callaghan, 1856, p. 637; emphasis added). These lists are the foundation of this investigation and they identify the true players in this later battle for North America. Any understanding of Crown-Indian dynamics pivots upon the consideration of the partitioning of the continent and the distribution of these indigenous peoples — and then the redistribution of some of them through removal in the 19th century. Their names, and the manipulation of those appellations, are integral to this consideration.

One rationale for delving more deeply into these tribe lists centers on observations by the Library of Congress that there exists a dozen and a half spelling or exclusion errors between their reading of the Plan manuscript held by the Colonial Office (Plan for the future management of Indian affairs, 1764) and the one created by O’Callaghan (1856, pp. 637-641). For instance, the former declared in its seventh article “[t]hat there shall be a commissary interpreter, and smith appointed by his majesty to reside in the country of each tribe in the southern district and at each post in the northern District” while the same passage in the latter stated more briefly “[t]hat there shall be a commissary interpreter, and smith appointed by his majesty to reside in the country of each tribe in the southern district” (Plan for the future management of Indian affairs, 1764, p. 684 and O’Callaghan, 1856, p. 637; emphasis added). This exclusion — and the various other deficiencies in O’Callaghan’s reproduction — diminished the accuracy of the Plan variant most used in North America during the last 150 years. This shortfall is similar to that found in the text of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, as published in the editions of Commager’s Documents of American History (1934), and which failed to include several hundred words of the original pronouncement regarding aspects of the land bounty system for British military personnel who served in the French and Indian War (see Bernholz and O’Grady, 2012). In brief, such historical documents should be carefully replicated but many are not. Collectively, this slate of problems instigated the present, more focused examination of the tribe names in a larger selection of Plan renditions.

Thus, sixteen documents were gathered and are ordered below by publication date. Each citation is accompanied by a unique identifier that is used in the remainder of this discussion and in the data tables. The assembly consists of two parts. First, there are the two fundamental lists of tribes names for the Northern and Southern Districts provided to the Board of Trade by Johnson and Stuart. Second, there are fourteen later instruments, composed of the register from the Board’s final Plan that collated names from those Superintendents’ letters and also contained its own adjustments or additions such as the five tribes “which inhabit the borders of New England, and in Nova Scotia.” These are followed by the remaining inventory of other pertinent sources. All published rolls, subsequent to the Plan, were issued in the same name order as that initial document, save for the pseudo-alphabetically arranged identifiers in Washington, Institute, and Boundary. These latter data were rearranged to match the Plan’s contents in order to expedite comparison testing. As will be seen, Colonial and Quebec served as the two “standard” lists from which the second group of variants was derived:

    Group I (N = 2)

  • Johnson’s 1763 Enumeration of Indians within the Northern Department (O’Callaghan, 1856, pp. 582-584) — [Northern] — that entails 36 tribes; and
  • Stuart to the Board of Trade, 9 March 1764 (Stuart, 1764) — [Southern] — that presents the array of entities described by Stuart. Note that his Twightwees, Piankishaws, Yaughtanous, Keskeskea, and Illionois entries are italicized in Table I (Download Excel File) (line number 30 and 33-36) to show that the Board of Trade allocated those names to the Northern District in their final Plan. Besides the addition of the Keskeskea to the Board’s final list, there are also 13 other groups, identified in bold to differentiate these from Johnson’s compilation.

    Group II (N = 14)

  • Plan for the future management of Indian affairs (1764, pp. 704-705) — [Colonial] — that shows the final compilation of the Board of Trade, including the five tribes — the Micmacs, Norwidgewalks, Arfsegunticooks, Penobscots, and St. Johns (in line number 38-42 of Table I (Download Excel File)) — that were added by the Board to the combined Superintendents’ lists;
  • Papers Relative to the Province of Quebec (1792, pp. 60-61) — [Quebec];
  • Pennsylvania Archives (Hazard, 1853, pp. 188-189) — [Pennsylvania];
  • Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York (O’Callaghan, 1856, p. 641) — [New York];
  • History of Washington County From Its First Settlement to the Present Time (Creigh, 1870, p. 39) — [Washington];
  • Annual Report of the Canadian Institute (1888, p. 72) — [Institute];[18]
  • Report Concerning Canadian Archives for the Year 1904 (1905, p. 247) — [Archives];
  • Documents Relating to the Constitutional History of Canada, 1759-1791 (Shortt and Doughty, 1907, p. 437) — [Canada1];
  • Fourth Report of the Bureau of Archives for the Province of Ontario: 1906 (Fraser, 1907, p. 79) — [Ontario];
  • The critical period, 1763-1765 (Alvord and Carter, 1915, p. 281) — [Critical];
  • Documents Relating to the Constitutional History of Canada, 1759-1791, second and revised edition (Shortt and Doughty, 1918, pp. 619-620) — [Canada2];
  • In the matter of the boundary between the Dominion of Canada and the colony of Newfoundland in the Labrador peninsula (1927, p. 846) — [Boundary];
  • Canadian Indians and the Law: Selected Documents, 1663-1972 (Smith, 1975, p. 12) — [Laws]; and
  • The Official Papers of Francis Fauquier, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, 1758-1768 (Reese, 1983, p. 1117) — [Fauquier].

Levenshtein’s edit distance metric

There is an effective tool to examine differences between resources like these tribe name registers. Vladimir Levenshtein proposed in 1966 an algorithm to assess information transfer, using three operations of deletion, insertion, and substitution to correct errors embedded in a transmitted string. Soukoreff and MacKenzie (2001) made use of the strings quick brown fox and quixck brwn fox as models of such presented and transcribed texts. Even though as many as a half dozen individual errors may be contained in this message — resulting from the failure of the xck br substring to mirror the initial ck bro material — the simplest differences appear as the insertion of the character x into the original token quick and by the exclusion of the character o from the element brown. Comparing these tokens with Levenshtein’s edit distance algorithm (LED) would produce a calculated score of 2, or the total byte cost required to first delete the x, and then to insert the o. Identical strings would, by definition, produce a computed LED score of zero, and any calculated LED must be less than or equal to the maximum length of the two strings, since replacing an entire absent sequence of length k would require no more than k operations. The Levenshtein metric is both robust and adaptable, and it has been employed in diverse settings, including spell checking software (Kukich, 1992) and testing processes to detect plagiarism (Zini, Fabbri, Moneglia, and Panunzi, 2006). However, in text analyses of proper nouns like these Indian names, LED scores are especially intuitive since any string comparison that supports an LED of zero means that the compared elements are identical, while any non-zero returned value immediately identifies any disparity as well as its magnitude. A cumulative score acquired from a comparison of two lists may then be directly compared to that derived from other similar analyses.

To expedite these examinations, each list of tribe names was placed in a vertical array. When two or more text renditions are collected in this manner, there is on occasion the need to impose blank lines in one version to assure alignment with another. Further, normalizing the text to lowercase reduces text differences based solely upon capitalization. Both of these remedial applications were employed in this study.

Initial observations

Table I (Download Excel File) offers the first opportunity to compare the list of Indian names. This preliminary perspective delivers an immediate insight into the provenance of all data: Johnson’s data (Northern) and Stuart’s (Southern) were combined in the order submitted to the Board of Trade, supplemented only by the five names for entities in the extreme northeast — the Micmacs, Norwidgewalks, Arfsegunticooks, Penobscots, and St. Johns (line number 38-42).

Similarly, a path may be detected for the renditions Archives, Canada1, Ontario, Canada2, Boundary, and Laws that are missing the term for one of those southern tribes, the Humas (now Houma; see Campisi, 2004). As indicated at the end of each of these six source documents, the name list was taken from the “Instructions to Governor Carleton,” as sent in January 1775 by the Board of Trade. Article 32 of those orders for this British administrator contained the stipulation that “[t]hese and a variety of other regulations, incident to the nature and purpose of the Peltry Trade in the interior Country, are fully stated in a Plan proposed by Our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations in 1764, a copy of which is hereunto annexed” (see, e.g. Papers Relative to the Province of Quebec, 1792, p. 48; emphasis added). It is from that “annexed” material that the tribe name rosters for Archives, Canada1, Ontario, Canada2, Boundary, and Laws were taken. Without access to the original 18th century compilation from the Board of Trade, it is impossible to assign a cause for the absence of the token Humas (but see the discussion below). Further, the deficiency in these documents may be nothing more than the reproduction of an exclusion committed in the first publication: Canada1, Canada2, Boundary, and Laws may be nothing more than reliable copies of Archives. Ontario, on the other hand, had an additional title exclusion of a northern tribe, the Onondagas, thereby positioning that document as a distinct version since none of the others suffered this deficit. The loss of both Humas and Onondagas would suggest that Ontario is instead a damaged copy of one of the earlier five variants with the original Humas issue, but that it then was later confounded with the additional loss of Onondagas. By sharing the same Humas difficulty, however, these half dozen documents uniquely partitioned themselves from the rest of the renditions presented here and, simultaneously, suggested a common publishing provenance for this group.

There is, however, additional data within almost every variant that ultimately points to that document’s source. In this manner, it is clear that there are only three text sources under consideration here, as defined by the notes supplied with the respective lists. First, the fundamental text denoted as Colonial was obtained from a microfilm collection of British Colonial Office documents. By definition, this is the source of the tribe names list, since it is a component of the text for the Plan. However, there is no assurance that the specific copy acquired for this study is anything other than another manifestation of that register, even if it might have been produced in the 1760s. Thus, this Levenshtein examination of the Indian tribe list from the Plan begins from a base that is not as solid as that available in the Proclamation study, where a copy of the widely read and distributed broadside of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 was used to guarantee that the original form of that imperial declaration was used as the cornerstone of those text analyses.

Second, each publication in the Canadian cluster of Quebec, Archives, Canada1, Ontario, Canada2, Boundary, and Laws — henceforth the Canadian group — identified as its source the instructions sent on 3 January 1775 by the Board of Trade to Guy Carleton, the Governor of Quebec.[19] The very delay between the original Plan publication in 1764 and its redistribution a decade later might cause some concern regarding the faithfulness of the later text. However, the connection among these seven examples forces the decision that the Humas exclusion in Archives, Canada1, Ontario, Canada2, Boundary, and Laws probably began with Archives, since Quebec’s list contains that tribe’s name, thereby supporting the contention that the tribe catalog was intact when delivered to Canada. To signal this source, Archives (Report Concerning Canadian Archives for the Year 1904, 1905, p. 247) and Laws (Smith, 1975, p. 13) have the notation “Instructions for Guy Carleton, Esq. Gov. of Quebec, Dated 3rd Jany 1775,” while Canada1, Ontario, Canada2, and Boundary have “Instructions for Guy Carleton, Esqr Govr of Quebec, Dated 3d Jany 1775,” conveying through the employed printing style that Canada1, Ontario, Canada2, and Boundary are very highly correlated (Shortt and Doughty, 1907, p. 437; Fraser, 1907, p. 79; Shortt and Doughty, 1918, p. 620; and In the matter of the boundary between the Dominion of Canada and the colony of Newfoundland in the Labrador peninsula, 1927, p. 846, respectively). Only those materials with a foundation in the Canadian Archives, or indirectly from the Bureau of Archives in Ontario, are damaged by this exclusion, but this shared fault appears to reflect a succession of document copying from the Canadian Archives’ material, beginning with that error in Archives. Boundary supplied columns of names, just as in the other renditions, but the order of those terms was not the same as in the original roster in Colonial. In addition, Institute declared that “the foregoing is from Papers relative to the Province of Quebec, ordered to be printed 21st April, 1791;” thus, that tribe enumeration came from Quebec (Annual Report of the Canadian Institute, 1888, p. 72). This faithful reproduction means that there was a Canadian source with the correct original tribe listing that was formed after — indeed, a century after — the arrival of Quebec. The renditions of Institute, Quebec, Archives, Canada1, Ontario, Canada2, Boundary, and Laws are highlighted in Table II (Download Excel File) with the same color to show their common provenance.

Third, New York, Washington, Critical, and Fauquier all refer to Colonial as their source, while Pennsylvania was the result of the direct transmission on 10 July 1764 of the Plan to Governor John Penn from the Board of Trade (see Lords of Trade to Gov. Penn, 1764 in Hazard, 1853, p. 182). New York declared its source as “(Plantations General Entities, XLV., (M.) p. 428),” which points directly to Colonial; Washington provided clues that it was part of the original materials delivered along with the Plan on 10 July 1764 (Creigh, 1870, pp. 38-39); and Critical indicated “Plan of the future management of Indian affairs. No 10. Bundle A” (Alvord and Carter, 1915, p. 281; emphasis added). Fauquier remarked “C.O. 324/17, pp. 428-43. Enclosed in the Board of Trade’s circular letter of 10 July 1764 to the American Governors” (Reese, 1983, p. 1117), thus pairing its origin with that used for New York. Based on this common past, Colonial, New York, Washington, Critical, and Fauquier share the same column name color in Table II (Download Excel File) to illuminate their textual relationship.

As noted above, two documents — Washington and Institute (Creigh, 1870, p. 39 and Annual Report of the Canadian Institute, 1888, p. 72, respectively) — presented the Indian names in an approximately alphabetic fashion, as opposed to the list format used in Colonial. Institute furnished several insights into the collection of its materials by mentioning that in the instructions to Carleton, “there is a ‘Plan for the future management of Indian affairs.’” It also cited Article 2 of the Plan that required “for the better regulation of this trade and the management of Indian affairs in general the British dominions in North America be divided into two districts to comprehend and include the several tribes of Indians mentioned in the annexed Lists A and B” (O’Callaghan, 1856, p. 637; emphasis added), and thereafter it tallied those names.

Finally, the Plan statement referencing these “annexed Lists A and B” was a prototype used in the later reproductions of the Plan roster. Only one out of the fourteen renditions in Table I (Download Excel File) — just the aberrant Washington — did not make use of these two alphabetic list indicators or of the titles “List of Indian Tribes in the northern district of North America” and “List of Indian Tribes in the southern district of North America” in their texts. Instead, Washington itemized the tribes in two normal text paragraphs. The critical issue, however, is that virtually all of the variants used the original Plan as its kernel, either directly or indirectly, and carried that original information forward. There is no indication in this subset to indicate the availability of some other modified tribe collection. It would appear that the Humas exclusion error in Archives, Canada1, Ontario, Canada2, Boundary, and Laws is evidence of a publishing error, not of a direct replication of a damaged source for the Plan.

Levenshtein testing results

Levenshtein edit distance (LED) comparisons were made between the Indian tribe names found in the fourteen variants in Table I (Download Excel File). All ninety-one possible combinations were tested, even though the presence of the Humas token exclusion in Archives, Canada1, Ontario, Canada2, Boundary, and Laws — and then the additional loss of Onondagas from Ontario — promptly terminated the possibility of the use of these versions during the construction of later but intact lists.

The line numbers in Table I (Download Excel File) are highlighted to reflect those tokens that are different in one or more contrasts. Thus, the terms Mohocks and Oneidas (line number 1-2) were unchanged across comparisons, whereas Tuscaroras and Onondagas (line number 3-4) did vary, e.g. Tuscarosas in Quebec. Note immediately that Mohocks, instead of today’s Mohawk, was an acceptable name in 1764 (Hodge, 1906a, pp. 921-926). Other well-known tokens — such as Wiandots — populated these lists, even if their spellings have been modified over the last two and a half centuries.[20] A summary of these 867 discrepancies may be seen in the “Names in error” sheet of Table I (Download Excel File), where these elements — taken from Colonial — are ranked by error frequency. A total of 21 names (or 38% of the entire array) passed unchanged through these publications, but Skaghquanoghronos and Arfsegunticooks — perhaps unexpectedly even today — did not.

Table II (Download Excel File) presents a summary of the number of errors and the cumulative LED scores from each of these examinations. These data show that those texts that are directly linked to Colonial, save for Washington — i.e., Pennsylvania, New York, Critical, and Fauquier — exhibited seven or less errors. Washington, it will be remembered, used an “alphabetical order” (Creigh, 1870, p. 39) to present these tokens that was observably not alphabetical in its arrangement; perhaps attention to tribe name spellings also suffered during its construction. Nevertheless, for each of the variants besides Colonial and Quebec — and except for Institute that specifically declared Quebec as its foundation — the number of name token errors was less in LED tests against Colonial than when tests were made relative to Quebec. This overall outcome is considered as a confirmation that all studied texts were ultimately derived from Colonial and that the subsequent application of Quebec as the list source for Institute was one manifestation of the loss of text integrity across iterations. The Colonial-Quebec divergence itself entailed nine errors and a cumulative LED of 14 bytes (see line number 3, 16, 24, 30, 32, 40, 46, 51, and 54 in Table I (Download Excel File)).

The very low error rates in the Archives column of Table II (Download Excel File) focuses attention upon the interrelationship within the Canadian group, i.e., between Archives and the five other Canadian documents of Canada1, Ontario, Canada2, Boundary, and Laws. It is apparent from the error occurrences that these materials were created from the same data. The differences found for Archives’ token Skaghquanoghronos, relative to each of these five renditions, corroborate this hypothesis. The initial use of Skaghquanoghronos in Archives and then much later in Boundary; of Skaghquanoghrônos in Canada1 and in Ontario; and of Skaghquanoghrōnos in Canada2 and in Laws accounts for the observed disparities induced solely by the deployment of a normal letter o, one marked with a circumflex, or one combined with a macron in the name for these people, who are currently known as the Nipissing.[21] Absent the chronological knowledge of the production dates of these variants — Archives was published in 1905; Canada1 and Ontario two years later in 1907, and Canada2 a decade later in 1918 — it is clear from the orthography that the Skaghquanoghrônos in Ontario was taken from Canada1 and not from Archives, let alone the impossibility of from Canada2. These small inconsistencies are precisely the reason for conducting text analyses with the Levenshtein edit distance metric: the discrepancies are fully brought to light and their detection provides insight into provenance inquiries, especially with such unfamiliar tokens as Skaghquanoghronos.

Conversely, even the high incidence of problems in the comparisons with Washington may offer two insights. First, the range in Table II (Download Excel File) of the number of errors across contrasts with other variants is quite stable, between 18 for Fauquier and 23 for Institute, Ontario, and Boundary. In most instances, this number is at least two times the observed errors for other pairings and suggests that the tribe name list in Washington was quite marred during production. This consistently elevated number of differences, however, instills confidence that none of the eight variants subsequent to Washington employed it as the source for the tribe enumeration. Second, Washington’s author, Alfred Creigh, was sixty years old at the time of its publication and the curious difficulty of declaring, yet not providing, the tribe names list “in alphabetical order” (1870, p. 39) might indicate a possible problem with the author’s vision that was made evident by so many faults. The spelling risk might have been compounded by a general absence of knowledge of these tribes at that time, but this option seems to be rather remote a century after the Plan’s original creation.

Conclusions

The bold decision by the British government to take full control of Indian affairs, and to circumvent the colonies’ difficulties that accompanied these responsibilities, was born from an understanding of the precariousness of Britain’s position following the French and Indian War and within the new global universe that emerged from the Seven Years War. The Plan for the future management of Indian affairs was to be a refined continuation of policies implemented during those times and solidified thereafter in the Proclamation. It was to serve in part to grasp from the past and create afresh the much stronger linkage that had been successfully developed by the French with the tribes prior to that conflict. The British now needed to be the leading regime in the thoughts and actions of the tribes.

The decision to defer the Plan’s program only a few years after its creation was caused by a combination of new political and financial difficulties. Indeed, the forthcoming American Revolution was the worst possible scenario for Britain’s financially, militarily, and psychologically weakened imperial government. However, the British must be credited for their sincerity in endeavoring to learn more about their aboriginal subjects. The establishment of the superintendencies for the Northern and the Southern Districts — and for the corresponding deployment of such proficient observers as Sir William Johnson and John Stuart — was an acute yet effective manner to connect the tribes directly with Britain. As the Plan declared, the underlying premise centered upon “the better regulations of the trade with the said Indians, conformable to their own requests and to prevent those frauds and abuses which have so long and so loudly complained of in the manner of carrying on such trade.” These guidelines were to be instilled by proscribing that “all trade with the Indians in each district be carried on under the direction and inspection of the agents or Superintendents, and other subordinate officers to be appointed for that purpose as has been already mentioned” (O’Callaghan, 1856, p. 639). There certainly was the underlying issue of revenue generation within the articles of that Plan, but all trade propositions were thought possible if conducted within a procedural envelope designed to “prevent those frauds and abuses.” The festering disturbances for independence in North America fully occupied the thoughts of developing colonial leaders. Their intense focus on political outcomes that might result from a break with Britain led to a lingering failure on their part to understand the Indian perspective of dealings with foreign governments, and this narrowness of vision contributed to a national evolution plagued by unsuccessful Indian affairs. The decision by the British to forego the Plan and to return tribal relations to the colonies therefore guaranteed an increase of discord and the later lack of a coherent federal strategy for administering aboriginal people.

In its letters to both superintendents, the Board of Trade repeatedly requested analysis and local intelligence. It likewise was thankful for the answers that it did receive, as evidenced in its letter of July 1764 to John Stuart that accompanied his new copy of the Plan: “[t]he letters which we have received from you and the Superintendent of the Northern District, in consequence of these orders, have fully answered our wishes and expectations on this head, have confirmed our opinion of the danger and disadvantage attending the present vague and uncertain administration of Indian affairs, and have enabled us to make additions to, and improve our plan” (Hazard, 1853, p. 189). It was without doubt that the British government’s desire to remedy “the present vague and uncertain administration of Indian affairs” was evident after the French and Indian War, and led to its demand for an accurate enumeration of the tribes in the two districts. These data were destined to identify for imperial consideration each sub-group under the Plan. In a sense, those fifty-five proper names were more important than the actual specifications of the Plan itself, because without such knowledge, the Plan had no foundation and no direction in which to develop the trade relationships that were so necessary to refill Britain’s coffers. Therefore, the collation of “the several tribes of Indians mentioned in the annexed Lists A and B” (O’Callaghan, 1856, p. 637; emphasis added) was sent to all colonial governors and military commanders to announce their new partners and responsibilities in North America.

It is clear now, though, that the spelling disparities observed in the names among these inventories reflect more than just simple printer error. Hodge (1906a and b) established that the spellings of tribe names changed frequently, even within the geographical area populated by each entity. Thus, the Skaghquanoghronos in Johnson’s 1763 Northern were called the Skighquan in a 1701 report by Robert Livingston, the Secretary for Indian Affairs in the Colony of New York between 1695 and 1728 (O’Callaghan, 1854, p. 899).[22] Of perhaps more interest is that the Skighquan label was accompanied in these observations by the terms Estjage, Assisagh, and Adirondax. These latter peoples are acknowledged today as the Chippewa, Mississauga, and Adirondack who, along with the Skaghquanoghronos/Nipissing and three other small tribes, concluded a recognized treaty with the United States (Treaty with the Seven Nations of Canada, 1796; Kappler, 1904, pp. 45-46).[23] The three larger entities were identified by Johnson, along with the Skaghquanoghronos, as the Chipeweighs or Mississagais and the Arundacks. Additionally, the title of Livingston’s report began with the phrase “The answer of the five nations of Indians the Maquase, Oneydes, Onnondages, Cayouges and Sinnekes,” i.e., the response made by the Indians identified them as the Mohocks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas, according to Johnson’s list for the northern district.

Given the extent of this token variability in the eighteenth century, it might be expected that there would be abundant dissimilarities among the spellings of the fifty-five Indian names on the registers from the fourteen diverse variants collected for this investigation. Instead and for the most part, the Levenshtein edit distance testing revealed that the designations did not change much, but rather that they remained stable within this array of Plan documents reproduced over more than two centuries. Further, their spellings adhered closely to those distributed in Colonial: Johnson’s titles for three of those five nations in New York — the Mohocks, Oneidas, and Senecas — were replicated without error throughout this period. When errors did occur in these token comparisons, as they did in the Washington instance, the effect was manifold, which suggests that the material submitted by Alfred Creigh for Washington was flawed, not that the source he employed to recreate that catalog was at fault. The inflated number of errors and cumulative LED score for the test between Colonial and Washington (Nerrors = 18 and LED = 33 in the Colonial column of Table II (Download Excel File)) quantitatively makes evident this fundamental textual separation of Washington from those of the other test materials. The same perception may be derived from examining the test scores in the Table II (Download Excel File) row for Fauquier: Washington clearly contributed a poor rendering of the Plan’s list of indigenous groups.

These Levenshtein calculations, though, were not quite on par with those found for the replication of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 in editions of the sixth volume of The Annual Register (Bernholz and O’Grady, 2012), primarily because the Proclamation series was based on only a few exemplars, wherein the creation of a subsequent edition was based most probably solely upon its predecessor. Consistent exclusions of Proclamation material across ensuing editions fully confirmed that no other variants other than from the Register were interrogated. Yet, this string of faithful reproductions by the publishers of The Annual Register was precisely what was desired, even if its impaired text was thereby carried forward over decades. The steady Proclamation exclusions from Register editions have an exact parallel in the Humas name deficiencies evident in the Archives, Canada1, Ontario, Canada2, Boundary, and Laws productions. As with The Annual Register’s Proclamation shortfalls that afforded the benefit of pinpointing a single provenance path, the loss of Humas from these later half dozen Plan texts confirms that they all originated with Archives, regardless of the source of Archives itself.[24] Thus, even with a number of similar variants in a text analysis investigation, examinations based upon the Levenshtein edit distance metric may create significant insights to help determine the true history of such material and may quantitatively contribute to an astute separation of provenance sub-paths for those tested renditions.

Absent the twenty-first century questions raised by the contents of these reproductions, the 1764 Plan — in order to be truly effective — needed a contemporary and accurate list of pertinent tribes that were to be addressed by the proposed new dimension of British Indian affairs. The data for these people were requested from, and furnished by, trusted British administrators in America, and the submitted spellings of the names of those entities were supplied in good faith, even if potentially marred by local variations or auditory misinterpretations. One need only consider Johnson’s inclusion of the Mohocks in Northern (line number 1) to convey this point. Hodge supplied a Handbook entry for the Mohawk that tallied over 300 name variants (1906a, pp. 921-926). His description is especially revealing for two reasons. First, the origin of the term Mohawks, i.e., the plural of the term used now (Fenton and Tooker, 1978), was determined to have been coined in a 1616 document entitled Captain Hendricksen’s report of his discoveries in New Netherland, which stated, in part: “He also traded for, and bought from the inhabitants, the Minquaes, three persons, being people belonging to this Company; which three persons were employed in the service of the Mohawks and Machicans; giving for them kettles, beads and merchandize” (O’Callaghan, 1856, pp. 13-14; emphasis added). Fenton and Tooker affirmed that “[t]he name Mohawk, in general use in this spelling since Colden (1747), continues that originally used by the seventeenth-century English settlers in southern New England” (p. 478). This reference by Fenton and Tooker was to Colden’s The History of the Five Indian Nations of Canada, which are Dependent upon the Province of New-York in America, and are the Barrier Between the English and the French in that Part of the World. Colden observed that “[t]he Five Nations (as their name denotes) consist of so many tribes or nations, joined together by a league or confederacy, like the United Provinces, and without any superiority of the one over the other. This union has continued so long, that the Christians know nothing of the original of it: the people in it are known by the English under the names of Mohawks, Oneydoes, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Sennekas” (p. 1; emphasis added). The last four elements are quite similar to the Oneydes, Onnondages, Cayouges, and Sinnekes ones in Robert Livingston’s 1701 remarks on the same confederation. These resemblances reinforce the contention that these spellings were quite fluid during the eighteenth century. Thus, Johnson himself may very well have misspelled Mohocks in his Board of Trade compilation. Alternatively, he may have written the term as it was spoken to him by his constant companions during his royal service. The second important aspect of Hodge’s description concerns his synonymy of more than 300 documented labels for the Mohawk, of which sixty-nine begin with the two bytes Mo. These characteristics are a clear indication that, over time, many observers were confused not only about the most appropriate title for this group, but also about the precise spelling of just a single subset of those numerous designations.

Setting aside the difficulties of standardizing tribe names, that was resolved for predominant tribes by the federal government only at the turn of the twentieth century, constant Board of Trade correspondence was transmitted to those in North America responsible for the implementation of the defined imperial prerogative. An exemplar in this study of such communications to the colonies would be Fauquier, one of the official papers of Francis Fauquier, the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia between 1758 and 1768, and it is safe to assume that he knew about each of the tribes listed in the Plan, regardless of the spellings sent from London. The evidence for this assertion lies in the Preface of Hodge’s Handbook of American Indians north of Mexico (1906a and b), the precursor to the modern Handbook of North American Indians series. These Smithsonian Institution publications have illuminated the histories of aboriginal entities on this continent, and the synonymy created by Hodge was immense because

“[d]uring the early exploration and settlement of North America, a multitude of Indian tribes were encountered, having diverse customs and languages. Lack of knowledge of the aborigines and of their languages led to many curious errors on the part of the early explorers and settlers: names were applied to the Indians that had no relation whatever to their aboriginal names; sometimes nicknames were bestowed, owing perhaps to personal characteristics, fancied or real; sometimes tribes came to be known by names given by other tribes, which were often opprobrious; frequently the designation by which a tribal group was known to itself was employed, and as such names were oftentimes unpronounceable by alien tongues and unrepresentable by civilized alphabets, the result was a sorry corruption, varying according as the sounds were impressed on Spanish, English, French, Dutch, German, Russian, or Swedish ears. Sometimes, again, bands of a single tribe were given distinctive tribal names, while clans and gentes were often regarded as independent autonomous groups to which separate tribal designations likewise were applied. Consequently, in the literature relating to the American Indians, which is practically coextensive with the literature of the first three centuries of the New World, thousands of such names are recorded, the significance and application of which are to be understood only after much study” (1906a, p. v).

In general, these Levenshtein edit distance results confirmed that the printers of the Plan texts reliably replicated its published sources, thereby affording today’s investigators — just as they had two centuries ago through the presentation of Quebec — with information that effectively provided a perspective of eighteenth century British political thought and a coherent blueprint to reshape Indian affairs in North America. This royal declaration was carefully packaged in an instrument accompanied by a contemporary name catalog for Indian tribes that were allocated after consideration to the appropriate northern or southern district in America designated under those proposals. Hodge’s concern with the myriad spellings was that of an ethnologist. Fortunately, this problem did not hinder the Board of Trade when they crafted an Indian affairs program to address better their responsibilities in North America following the French and Indian War.

The Plan for the future management of Indian affairs is just one important instrument in the history of North America. It is imperative to the understanding of such events to maintain the integrity of pertinent informative documents and to distribute them unaffected by needless error. Any faults, though, may be systematically detected and confirmed with Levenshtein’s edit distance metric, a process that can indicate the fidelity of these materials. The outcomes shown here, for a shared list of fifty-five tribe names taken from over a dozen sources of Britain’s Plan, demonstrate that this tool is both effective and useful even when employed with just a brief collection of proper nouns. Simultaneously, its application verified that most tribe names in these reproductions over the last two centuries remained true to the appellations found in the original document from 1764.

References

Alden, J. R. (1940). The Albany congress and the creation of the Indian superintendencies. Mississippi Valley Historical Review 27, 193-210.

Alden, J. R. (1944). John Stuart and the Southern Colonial Frontier: A Study of Indian Relations, War, Trade, and Land Problems in the Southern Wilderness, 1754-1775. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.

Alvord, C. W. and Carter, C. E. (1915). The critical period, 1763-1765. Springfield, IL: Illinois State Historical Library.

Alvord, C. W. and Carter, C. E. (1921). Trade and politics, 1767-1769. Springfield, IL: Illinois State Historical Library.

Annual Report of the Canadian Institute, Session 1886-87, Being Part of Appendix to the Report of the Minister of Education, Ontario, 1887. (1888). Toronto: Warwick & Sons.

Bernholz, C. D. (2010). Standardized American Indians: The “Names of Indian tribes and bands” list from the Office of Indian Affairs. Government Information Quarterly 22, 272-279.

Bernholz, C. D. and O’Grady, B. T. (2012). Insights from editions of The Annual Register regarding later variants of the Royal Proclamation of 1763: An application of Levenshtein’s edit distance metric. Available at http://annualregister1763.unl.edu/.

Bickham, T. O. (2004). John Stuart. In H. C. G. Matthew and B. Harrison (Eds.). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 53 (pp. 179-180). New York: Oxford University Press.

Brain, J. P.; Roth, G.; and De Reuse, W. J. (2004). Tunica, Biloxi, and Ofo. In W. C. Sturtevant and R. D. Fogelson (Eds.). Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 14: Southeast (pp. 586-597). Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution.

Bridgeman, R. A. and Wallace, P. S. (2004). Chickasaw. In W. C. Sturtevant and R. D. Fogelson (Eds.). Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 14: Southeast (pp. 478-495). Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution.

By the King, a Proclamation. (1763). London: Mark Baskett, King’s Printer.

Campisi, J. (2004). Houma. In W. C. Sturtevant and R. D. Fogelson (Eds.). Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 14: Southeast (pp. 632-641). Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution.

Cashin, E. J. (1986). Colonial Augusta: “Key to the Indian Countrey.” Macon, GA: Mercer University Press.

Cassell, F. A. (2005). The Braddock expedition of 1755: Catastrophe in the wilderness. Pennsylvania Legacies 5, 11-15.

Coburn, F. W. (1922). The Battle of April 19, 1775 in Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Arlington, Cambridge, Somerville and Charlestown, Massachusetts (Second edition). Lexington, MA: Lexington Historical Society.

Colden, C. (1747). The History of the Five Indian Nations of Canada which are Dependent upon the Province of New-York in America and are the Barrier Between the English and the French in that Part of the World. London: Printed for T. Osborne.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Bonnie B. Coles and Bruce Kirby at the Library of Congress for providing guidance with, and copies of, Colonial Office materials employed in this study. Interlibrary Loan at Emory University made available Colonial Office records for our use as well. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance during this project of Laura Weakly and Karin Dalziel of the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The image of Sir William Johnson (Claus family portraits/C-083497) was used with the permission of Library and Archives Canada.

Appendix I
By the King,
A proclamation.
George R.[*]

Whereas we have taken into our royal consideration the extensive and valuable acquisitions in America, secured to our crown by the late definitive treaty of peace, concluded at Paris, the tenth day of February last; and being desirous that all our loving subjects, as well of our kingdoms as of our colonies in America, may avail themselves with all convenient speed, of the great benefits and advantages which must accrue therefrom to their commerce, manufactures, and navigation, we have thought fit, with the advice of our Privy Council, to issue this our royal proclamation, hereby to publish and declare to all our loving subjects, that we have, with the advice of our said Privy Council, granted our letters patent, under our great seal of Great Britain, to erect, within the countries and islands ceded and confirmed to us by the said treaty, four distinct and separate governments, stiled and called by the names of Quebec, East Florida, West Florida and Grenada, and limited and bounded as follows, viz.

First — the government of Quebec bounded on the Labrador coast by the river St. John, and from thence by a line drawn from the head of that river through the lake St. John, to the south end of the lake nigh Pissin; from whence the said line, crossing the river St. Lawrence, and the Lake Champlain, in forty five degrees of north latitude, passes along the high lands which divide the rivers that empty themselves into the said river St. Lawrence from those which fall into the sea; and also along the north coast of the Baye des Chaleurs, and the coast of the Gulph of St. Lawrence to Cape Rosieres, and from thence crossing the mouth of the river St. Lawrence by the west end of the island of Anticosti, terminates at the aforesaid river of St. John.

Secondly — the government of East Florida, bounded to the westward by the Gulph of Mexico and the Apalachicola river; to the northward by a line drawn from that part of the said river where the Chatahouchee and Flint rivers meet, to the source of St. Mary’s river, and by the course of the said river to the Atlantick Ocean; and to the eastward and southward by the Atlantick Ocean and the Gulph of Florida, including all islands within six leagues of the sea coast.

Thirdly — the government of West Florida, bounded to the southward by the Gulph of Mexico, including all islands within six leagues of the coast, from the river Apalachicola to Lake Pentchartrain; to the westward by the said lake, the Lake Mauripas, and the river Missisippi; to the northward by a line drawn due east from that part of the river Missisippi which lies in thirty one degrees north latitude, to the river Apalachicola or Chatahouchee; and to the eastward by the said river.

Fourthly — the government of Grenada, comprehending the island of that name, together with the Grenadines, and the islands of Dominico, St. Vincents, and Tobago. And to the end that the open and free fishery of our subjects may be extended to and carried on upon the coast of Labrador, and the adjacent islands, we have thought fit, with the advice of our said Privy Council to put all that coast, from the river St. John’s to Hudson’s Streights, together with the islands of Anticosti and Madelaine, and all other smaller islands lying upon the said coast, under the care and inspection of our governor of Newfoundland.

We have also, with the advice of our Privy Council, thought fit to annex the islands of St. John’s and Cape Breton, or Isle Royale, with the lesser islands adjacent thereto, to our government of Nova Scotia.

We have also, with the advice of our Privy Council aforesaid, annexed to our province of Georgia all the lands lying between the rivers Attamaha and St. Mary’s.

And whereas it will greatly contribute to the speedy settling our said new governments, that our loving subjects should be informed of our paternal care, for the security of the liberties and properties of those who are and shall become inhabitants thereof, we have thought fit to publish and declare, by this our proclamation, that we have, in the letters patent under our great seal of Great Britain, by which the said governments are constituted, given express power and direction to our governors of our said colonies respectively, that so soon as the state and circumstances of the said colonies will admit thereof, they shall, with the advice and consent of the members of our council, summon and call general assemblies within the said governments respectively, in such manner and form as is used and directed in those colonies and provinces in America which are under our immediate government; and we have also given power to the said governors, with the consent of our said councils, and the representatives of the people so to be summoned as aforesaid, to make, constitute, and ordain laws, statutes, and ordinances for the publick peace, welfare, and good government of our said colonies, and of the people and inhabitants thereof, as near as may be agreeable to the laws of England, and under such regulations and restrictions as are used in other colonies; and in the mean time, and until such assemblies can be called as aforesaid, all persons inhabiting in or resorting to our said colonies may confide in our royal protection for the enjoyment of the benefit of the laws of our realm of England; for which purpose we have given power under our great seal to the governors of our said colonies respectively to erect and constitute, with the advice of our said councils respectively, courts of judicature and publick justice within our said colonies for the hearing and determining all causes, as well criminal as civil, according to law and equity, and as near as may be agreeable to the laws of England, with liberty to all persons who may think themselves aggrieved by the sentences of such courts, in all civil cases, to appeal, under the usual limitations and restrictions, to us in our Privy Council.

We have also thought fit, with the advice of our Privy Council as aforesaid, to give unto the governors and councils of our said three new colonies, upon the continent full power and authority to settle and agree with the inhabitants of our said new colonies or with any other persons who shall resort thereto, for such lands, tenements, and hereditaments, as are now or hereafter shall be in our power to dispose of; and them to grant to any such person or persons upon such terms, and under such moderate quit-rents, services, and acknowledgements, as have been appointed and settled in our other colonies, and under such other conditions as shall appear to us to be necessary and expedient for the advantage of the grantees, and the improvement and settlement of our said colonies.

And whereas, we are desirous, upon all occasions, to testify our royal sense and approbation of the conduct and bravery of the officers and soldiers of our armies, and to reward the same, we do hereby command and impower our governors of our said three new colonies, and all other our governors of our several provinces on the continent of North America, to grant without fee or reward, to such reduced officers as have served in North America during the late war, and to such private soldiers as have been or shall be disbanded in America, and are actually residing there, and shall personally apply for the same, the following quantities of lands, subject, at the expiration of ten years, to the same quit-rents as other lands are subject to in the province within which they are granted, as also subject to the same conditions of cultivation and improvement; viz.

To every person having the rank of a field officer, five thousand acres. To every captain, three thousand acres. To every subaltern or staff officer, two thousand acres. To every non-commission officer, two hundred acres. To every private man, fifty acres.

We do likewise authorize and require the governors and commanders in chief of all our said colonies upon the continent of North America to grant the like quantities of land, and upon the same conditions, to such reduced officers of our navy of like rank as served on board our ships of war in North America at the times of the reduction of Louisbourg and Quebec in the late war, and who shall personally apply to our respective governors for such grants.

And whereas it is just and reasonable, and essential to our interest, and the security of our colonies, that the several nations or tribes of Indians with whom we are connected, and who live under our protection, should not be molested or disturbed in the possession of such parts of our dominions and territories as, not having been ceded to or purchased by us, are reserved to them, or any of them, as their hunting grounds. We do therefore, with the advice of our Privy Council, declare it to be our royal will and pleasure, that no governor or commander in chief in any of our colonies of Quebec, East Florida, or West Florida, do presume, upon any pretence whatever, to grant warrants of survey, or pass any patents for lands beyond the bounds of their respective governments, as described in their commissions; as also that no governor or commander in chief in any of our other colonies or plantations in America do presume for the present, and until our further pleasure be known, to grant warrants of survey, or pass patents for any lands beyond the heads or sources of any of the rivers which fall into the Atlantick Ocean from the west and north west, or upon any lands whatever, which, not having been ceded to or purchased by us as aforesaid, are reserved to the said Indians, or any of them.

And we do further declare it to be our royal will and pleasure, for the present as aforesaid, to reserve under our sovereignty, protection, and dominion, for the use of the said Indians, all the lands and territories not included within the limits of our said three new governments, or within the limits of the territory granted to the Hudson’s Bay Company, as also all the lands and territories lying to the westward of the sources of the rivers which fall into the sea from the west and north west as aforesaid; and we do hereby strictly forbid, on pain of our displeasure, all our loving subjects from making any purchases or settlements whatever, or taking possession of any of the lands above reserved, without our especial leave and licence for that purpose first obtained.

And, we do further strictly enjoin and require all persons whatever who have either wilfully or inadvertently seated themselves upon any lands within the countries above described, or upon any other lands which, not having been ceded to or purchased by us, are still reserved to the said Indians as aforesaid, forthwith to remove themselves from such settlements.

And whereas great frauds and abuses have been committed in the purchasing lands of the Indians, to the great prejudice of our interests, and to the great dissatisfaction of the said Indians: in order, therefore, to prevent such irregularities for the future, and to the end that the Indians may be convinced of our justice and determined resolution to remove all reasonable cause of discontent, we do, with the advice of our Privy Council strictly enjoin and require, that no private person do presume to make any purchase from the said Indians of any lands reserved to the said Indians, within those parts of our colonies where we have thought proper to allow settlement; but that, if at any time any of the said Indians should be inclined to dispose of the said lands, the same shall be purchased only for us, in our name, at some publick meeting or assembly of the said Indians, to be held for that purpose by the governor or commander in chief of our colonies respectively within which they shall lie. And in case they shall lie within the limits of any proprietary government, they shall be purchased only for the use and in the name of such proprietaries, conformable to such directions and instructions as we or they shall think proper to give for that purpose; and we do, by the advice of our Privy Council, declare and enjoin, that the trade with the said Indians shall be free and open to all our subjects whatever, provided that every person who may incline to trade with the said Indians do take out a licence for carrying on such trade from the governor or commander in chief of any of our colonies respectively where such person shall reside, and also give security to observe such regulations as we shall at any time think fit, by ourselves or by our commissaries to be appointed for this purpose, to direct and appoint for the benefit of the said trade; and we do hereby authorize, enjoin, and require the governors and commanders in chief of all our colonies respectively, as well those under our immediate government as those under the government and direction of proprietaries, to grant such licences without fee or reward, taking especial care to insert therein a condition, that such licence shall be void, and the security forfeited in case the person to whom the same is granted shall refuse or neglect to observe such regulations as we shall think proper to prescribe as aforesaid.

And we do further expressly enjoin and require all officers whatever, as well military as those employed in the management and direction of Indian affairs, within the territories reserved as aforesaid for the use of the said Indians, to seize and apprehend all persons whatever, who standing charged with treasons, misprisions of treason, murders, or other felonies or misdemeanors, shall fly from justice and take refuge in the said territory, and to send them under a proper guard to the colony where the crime was committed of which they stand accused, in order to take their tryal for the same.

Given at our court at St. James’s the seventh day of October one thousand seven hundred and sixty three in the third year of our reign. God save the King.

*Source: By the King, a Proclamation (1763). [back]

Appendix II
Plan for the future management of Indian affairs[*]

1. That the Trade and Commerce with the several Tribes of Indians in North America under the protection of His Majesty shall be free and open to all His Majesty’s subjects, under the several Regulations and Restrictions hereafter mentioned, so as not to interfere with the Charter to the Hudson’s Bay Company.

2. That for the better Regulation of this Trade, and the Management of Indian Affairs in general, the British Dominions in North America be divided into two Districts, to comprehend and include the several Tribes of Indians mentioned in the annexed Lists A. and B.

3. That no Trade be allowed with the Indians in the southern District, but within the Towns belonging to the several Tribes included in such District; and that in the Northern District the Trade be fixed at so Many Posts, and in such Situations, as shall be thought necessary.

4. That all Laws, now in Force in the several Colonies for regulating Indian Affairs, or Commerce, be repealed.

5. That there be one general Agent or Superintendant appointed by His Majesty for each District.

6. That the Agent or Superintendant for the Northern District shall be allowed three Deputies to assist him in the Administration of Affairs within his District; and that the Agent or Superintendant for the Southern District shall be allowed two Deputies.

7. That there shall be a Commissary, Interpreter, and Smith, appointed by His Majesty to reside in the Country of each Tribe in the Southern District and at each Post in the Northern District.

8. That it be recommended to the Society for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts to appoint four Missionaries in each District, to reside at such places, as the Agent or Superintendant for each District shall recommend.

9. That the Commissaries, Interpreters, and Smiths in each District do Act under the immediate Direction and Orders of the Agent or Superintendant, who shall have a power of Suspending them in Case of Misbehaviour, and, in Case of Suspension of a Commissary, or of a Vacancy by Death, or Resignation, the Office shall be executed, until the King’s pleasure is known, by one of the Deputies to the Agent or Superintendant.

10. That the said Agent or Superintendant shall have the Conduct of all public Affairs relative to the Indians; and that neither the Commander in Chief of His Majesty’s Forces in America, nor any of the Governors and Commanders in Chief of any of the Colonies, or persons having military Commands in any of the Forts within each of the said, Districts, do hold any General Meetings with the Indians, or send any public Talks to them without the Concurrence of the Agent or Superintendant, unless in cases of great Exigency, or when the said Agent or Superintendant may be in some remote part of his District.

11. That the said Agents or Superintendants do in all Affairs of political consideration, respecting peace and war with the Indians, purchases of Lands, or other Matters, on which it may be necessary to hold any general Meetings with the Indians, advise and act in concert with the Governors, (or the Governors and Councils, as the Occasion may require), of the several Colonies within their respective Districts; And that the said Agents or Superintendants shall be Councillors extraordinary within each Colony in their respective Districts, in like manner as the Surveyors General of the Customs for the Northern and Southern Districts of America.

12. That the Governor or Commander in Chief of every Colony be directed to communicate to the Agent or Superintendant of that District, within which his Government lyes, all such Information and Intelligence, as he may receive respecting Indian Affairs; And that the Agents or Superintendants shall in like manner communicate to the Governors all Intelligence and Information, respecting the State of Indian Affairs, which may in any wise regard the Security and Interest of the said Colonies.

13. That no Order shall be issued by the Governor or Commander in Chief of any of His Majesty’s Colonies, or by any Officer having Military Command in any Forts within the Indian Country, for stopping the Trade with any Tribe of Indians in either of the said Districts, without the Concurrence and Consent of the Agent or Superintendant for Indian Affairs.

14. That the said Agents or Superintendants shall by themselves, or sufficient Deputies visit the several Posts or Tribes of Indians within their respective Districts once in every year, or oftener, as Occasion shall require, to enquire into, and take an Account of the Conduct and Behaviour of the subordinate Officers at the said Posts, and in the Country belonging to the said Tribes; to hear Appeals; and redress all Complaints of the Indians; make the proper Presents; and transact all Affairs relative to the said Indians.

15. That for the maintaining peace and good Order in the Indian Country, and bringing Offenders in criminal Cases to due Punishment, the said Agents or Superintendants, as also the Commissaries at each Post, and in the Country belonging to each Tribe, be empowered to Act as Justices of the Peace in their respective Districts and Departments, with all powers and priviledges vested in such Officers in any of the Colonies; and also full power of Committing Offenders in Capital Cases, in order that such Offenders may be prosecuted for the same; And that, for deciding all civil actions, the Commissaries be empowered to try and determine in a Summary way all such Actions, as well between the Indians and Traders, as between one Trade and another, to the Amount of Ten Pounds Sterling, with the Liberty of Appeal to the Chief Agent or Superintendant, or his Deputy, who shall be empowered upon such appeal to give Judgement thereon; which Judgement shall be final, and process issue upon it, in like manner as on the Judgement of any Court of Common Pleas established in any of the Colonies.

16. That for the easy attainment of Justice, the evidence of Indians, under proper Regulations and Restrictions, be admitted in all Criminal as well as civil causes, that shall be tried and adjudged by the said Agents or Superintendants, or by the said Commissaries; and that their Evidence be likewise admitted by the Courts of Justice in any of His Majesty’s Colonies or Plantations in Criminal cases, Subject to the same Pains and Penalties in Cases of false Evidence, as His Majesty’s Subjects.

17. That the said Agents or Superintendants shall have power to Confer such Honors and Rewards on the Indians, as shall be necessary; and of granting Commissions to principal Indians in their respective Districts to be War Captains or Officers of other Military Distinctions.

18. That the Indians of each Town in every Tribe in the Southern District shall choose a beloved Man to be approved of by the Agent or Superintendant for such District, to take care of the Mutual Interests both of Indians and Traders in such Town; and that such beloved Men, so elected and approved in the several Towns, shall elect a Chief for the whole Tribe, who shall constantly reside with the Commissary in the Country of each Tribe, or occasionally Attend upon the said Agent or Superintendant, as Guardian for the Indians and Protector of their Rights, with Liberty to the said Chief to be present at all Meetings and upon all Hearings or Trials relative to the Indians before the Agent or Superintendant, or before the Commissaries; and to give his Opinion upon all Matters under Consideration at such Meetings or Hearings.

19. That the like Establishments be made for the Northern District, as far as the Nature of the Civil Constitution of the Indians in this District, and the Manner of Administering civil affairs will admit.

20. That no person having any Military Command in the Indian Country shall be capable of Acting as Commissary for the Affairs of the Indians; in either of the above mentioned Districts respectively; nor shall such person having military Command be allowed to carry on trade with the Indians or to interpose his Authority in any thing, that regards the Trade with, or civil Concerns of the Indians; but to give the Commissary or other Civil Magistrate all Assistance in his power, whenever thereunto required.

21. That the said Commissaries shall keep exact and regular Accounts by way of Journal, of all their Transactions and Proceedings, and of all Occurrences in their respective Departments, and shall by every opportunity communicate such Transactions and Occurrences to the Agent or Superintendant in their respective Districts; which Agent or Superintendant shall regularly by every Opportunity correspond with the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.

22. That the Agent or Superintendant, to be appointed for each District, as also the Commissaries residing at the Posts, or in the Indian Country within each District, shall take an Oath before the Governor or Chief Judge of any of the Colonies within their respective Districts, for the due Execution of their respective Trusts; and they and all other subordinate Officers employed in the Affairs of the Indians, shall be forbid, under proper Penalties to carry on any Trade with them, either upon their own Account, or in Trust for others, or to make any Purchase of, or accept any Grants of Lands from the Indians.

23. That for the better regulation of the Trade with the said Indians conformable to their own Requests, and to prevent those Frauds and Abuses, which have been so long and so loudly complained of in the manner of carrying on such Trade, all Trade with the Indians in each District be carried on under the Direction and Inspection of the Agents or Superintendants, and other subordinate Officers to be appointed for that purpose, as has been already mentioned.

24. That all Persons intending to trade with the Indians shall take out Licences for that purpose under the Hand and Seal of the Governor or Commander in Chief of the Colony, from which they intend to carry on such Trade, for every of which Licences no more shall be demanded or taken than two Shillings.

25. That all persons taking out Licences shall enter into Bond to His Majesty, His Heirs, and Successors in the Sum of ____ with one Surety in the Sum of ____ for the due observance of the Regulations prescribed for the Indian Trade.

26. That every Person willing to give Security, and finding a Security willing, if required, to take an Oath, that he is possessed of property to double the value of the Sum he stands security for, shall be intitled to a Licence.

27. That every such Licenced Trader shall at the time of taking out the Licence, declare the Post or Truck house, at which or the Tribe of Indians with which he intends to trade, which shall be specified in the Licence itself.

28. That no Licence be granted to continue longer than for one Year.

29. That no Person trade under such Licence, but the person named in it, his Servants, or Agents, whose Names are to be inserted in the Margents; and in Case any of the Servants or Agents named in such Licence shall die, or be discharged, the same shall be notified to the Governor, by whom the Licence was granted, or to the Commissary of the Post, or in the Tribe, where such Trader carries on Trade, to the end that the Name or Names of any other Servants or Agents, employed by the said Trader in the place of those dead or discharged, may in like manner be inserted in the Margent of the Licence.

30. That all Licences be entered in the Secretary’s Office, or other proper Office of Record in each Colony, where they are taken out; for which Entry no more shall be demanded or taken than Six pence for each Licence; and all persons to have free Liberty to inspect such Entry, paying a Fee of Six pence for the same.

31. That persons trading with the Indians without a Licence, and without giving the Security above required, or trading at any other Posts or places, than those expressed in their Licences, do forfeit all the Goods they shall be found then trading with, and also pay a Fine of ____ to His Majesty, His Heirs, and Successors, and suffer ____ Months Imprisonment.

32. That all Traders immediately upon Arrival at the posts or Truck houses in the Northern district, or in the Tribes in the Southern district, for which Licences have been taken out, and before any Goods are sold to, or bartered with the Indians, do produce such Licences to the Commissaries appointed for the Direction and Inspection of the Trade at such posts, or Truck houses, or in such Tribes.

33. That all Trade with the Indians shall be carried on by Tariffs, to be settled and Established from time to time by the Commissaries at the several Posts, or Truck houses, or in the Countries belonging to the several Tribes in Concert with the Traders and Indians.

34. That the Commissaries appointed to direct and inspect the Trade at each Truck house in the Northern District, shall be empowered to fix and prescribe Limits round each. Post or Truck house, within which Limits all Trade with the Indians may be commodiously carried on in the most public Manner.

35. That all Traders have free Liberty to erect Hutts and Warehouses within such Limits, in such Order and Manner as the Commissary shall, with the concurrence of the Officer Commanding at such Post, Direct and appoint.

36. That no Trader shall Traffic, or have any Dealings with the Indians without the Limits prescribed by the Commissary or other Chief Officer appointed for the Inspection and Direction of the Trade.

37. That each Truck house or post of Trade in the Northern District be fortified and garrisoned; and that all Traders have free Liberty to retire into such Garrison with their Effects, when ever any Disturbance shall Arise, or the Commissary at such post shall represent it to be necessary.

38. That no Trader shall sell or otherwise supply the Indians with Rum, or other spirituous Liquors, Swan Shot, or rifled Barrelled Guns.

39. That in Trade with the Indians no Credit shall be given them for Goods in Value beyond the Sum of fifty Shillings; and no Debt beyond that Sum shall be recoverable by Law or Equity.

40. That all Disputes concerning Weights or Measures in the buying or selling Goods shall be decided by Standard Weights and Measures, to be kept in each Post or Truck-house in the Northern District, and in each Tribe in the Southern District.

41. That no private person, Society, Corporation, or Colony be capable of acquiring any Property in Lands belonging to the Indians, either by purchase of, or Grant, or Conveyance from the said Indians, excepting only where the Lands lye within the Limits of any Colony, the soil of which has been vested in proprietors, or Corporations by Grants from the Crown; in which Cases such Proprietaries or Corporations only shall be capable of acquiring such property by purchase or Grant from the Indians.

42. That proper Measures be taken, with the Consent and Concurrence of the Indians, to ascertain and define the precise and exact Boundary and Limits of the Lands, which it may be proper to reserve to them, and where no Settlement whatever shall be allowed.

43. That no purchases of Lands belonging to the Indians, whether in the Name and for the Use of the Crown, or in the Name and for the Use of proprietaries of Colonies be made but at some general Meeting, at which the principal Chiefs of each Tribe, claiming a property in such Lands, are present; and all Tracts, so purchased, shall be regularly surveyed by a Sworn Surveyor in the presence and with the Assistance of a person deputed by the Indians to attend such Survey; and the said Surveyor shall make an accurate Map of such Tract, describing the Limits, which Map shall be entered upon Record, with the Deed of Conveyance from the Indians. It is estimated, that the annual Expence of supporting the Establishments, proposed in the foregoing plan, providing presents for the Indians, and other contingent Expences, may amount to about twenty thousand pounds; and it is proposed to defray this Expence by a Duty upon the Indian Trade, either collected upon the Exportation of Skins and Furs, (Beaver excepted,) from the Colonies, or payable by the Traders at the posts and places of Trade, as shall, upon further Examination and the fullest Information, be found most practicable, and least burthensome to the Trade.

A.
List of Indian Tribes in the northern District of North America.

Mohocks Canassadagas
Oneidas Arundacks
Tuscaroras Algonkins
Onondagas Abenaquis
Cayugas Skaghquanoghronos
Senecas Hurons
Oswegachys Shawanese
Nanticokes Delawares
Conoys Wiandots
Powtewatamis Kickapous
Ottawas Mascoutens
Chipeweighs, or Missisagis Piankashaws
Meynomenys Wawaightonos
Folsavoins Keskeskias
Puans Illinois
Sakis Sioux
Foxes Micmacs
Twightwees Norwidgewalks
Tuteeves Arseguntecokes
Saponeys Penobscots
Caghnawagas St John’s

B.
List of Indian Tribes in the southern District of North America.

Cherokees Attucapas
Creeks Bayugtas
Chickasaws Tunicas
Chactaws Peluches
Catawbas Ofugulas
Beluxis Querphas

* Source: Boundary (In the matter of the boundary between the Dominion of Canada and the colony of Newfoundland in the Labrador peninsula, 1927, pp. 840-846). [back]

Notes

*Phone: 402-472-4473
Fax: 402-472-5181
E-mail: cbernholz2@unl.edu [back]

**Phone: 402-472-2522
Fax: 402-472-5181
E-mail: bogrady1@unl.edu [back]

1 Parkman (1933, vol. 1, p. 180) remarked that “[u]nder these circumstances, it behooved the English to use the utmost care in their conduct towards the tribes. But even when the conflict with France was impending, and the alliance with the Indians was of the last importance, they had treated them with indifference and neglect.” [back]

2 This transaction was A Treaty Held at the Town of Lancaster, By the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor of the Province, and the Honourable the Commissioners for the Province of Virginia and Maryland, with the Indians of the Six Nations in June, 1744 (Van Doren and Boyd, 1938, pp. 41-79). [back]

3 Del Papa (1975, p. 410) observed that “[b]y the summer of 1768, more than 200,000 acres of the company’s grant had been surveyed, sold, and largely settled. But all of this acreage was located east of the Appalachian Mountains. None of the company’s land west of the Proclamation Line of 1763 had even been surveyed.” [back]

4 See the Definitive treaty of peace between France, Great Britain, and Spain, signed at Paris, 10 February 1763 (Parry, 1969, pp. 279-345) for the transfer of lands in North America. [back]

5 Jacobs published Atkin’s so-called Plan of 1755 in 1954 (pp. 77-95). [back]

6 The geographic positions of many of the northern tribes alluded to by Johnson, and the vastness of, and undefined borders in, the southern colonies are illuminated by Map 1: Colonial Wars and Map 4: The Revolutionary War, respectively, in The West Point Atlas of American Wars (Esposito, 1995). [back]

7 Braddock died a few months later in July, following one of the early skirmishes between the British and the French with their Indian allies (Kopperman, 2004). Cassell (2005) noted that one of the few survivors of the British forces following this Battle of the Monongahela was George Washington, and that “[i]n the longer term, Braddock’s expedition enhanced Washington’s reputation and helped make him the logical choice for commander in chief of the Continental army in 1775. If nothing else, he knew that a British army could be defeated” (p. 15). [back]

8 Alden’s chapter on the “Evolution of the office of superintendent” (1944, pp. 139-155) is a succinct overview of the responsibilities and activities of these men. Note also that Article 10 of the Plan fully empowered the Superintendents to be assertive: “That the said Agent or Superintendant shall have the Conduct of all public Affairs relative to the Indians; and that neither the Commander in Chief of His Majesty’s Forces in America, nor any of the Governors and Commanders in Chief of any of the Colonies, or persons having military Commands in any of the Forts within each of the said, Districts, do hold any General Meetings with the Indians, or send any public Talks to them without the Concurrence of the Agent or Superintendant, unless in cases of great Exigency, or when the said Agent or Superintendant may be in some remote part of his District” (In the matter of the boundary between the Dominion of Canada and the colony of Newfoundland in the Labrador peninsula, 1927, p. 841; misspellings original). [back]

9 Indeed, the perspective of General Jeffery Amherst must have been reflected in the infamous statement “the only good Indian is a dead Indian” that allegedly first appeared during his command in America (Nester, 2000, p. xi). [back]

10 As the Historical Atlas of the United States (1988, p. 97) demonstrates, John Mitchell’s famous Map of the British and French Dominions in North America from 1755 showed how North America looked at the time of the French and Indian War, especially in terms of the blocks of land allocated to the colonies under royal charters. The extent of the range of the French presence is shown as well, along with notations for Indian tribes across these areas. Edney (2008) has more on this important cartographic gem. Most of these tribes were already well known by the mid-1750s. Many of the tribe names provided by Johnson and Stuart appeared on this so-called Mitchell Map, though frequently with different spellings (i.e., Wauwaughtaness vs. Johnson’s Wawiaghtonos, or Cherakees vs. Stuart’s Cherokees). [back]

11 The Hogohegee is today’s Tennessee River; “a large, beautiful, and navigable river of the State of Tennessee, called by the French Cherokee, and absurdly by others Hogohegee River, is the largest branch of the Ohio” (Thompson, 1970, p. 531). [back]

12 Volume 14 of the Handbook of North American Indians contains descriptions of the Catawbas, Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Creeks (Rudes, Blumer, and May, 2004; Fogelson, 2004; Bridgeman and Wallace, 2004; Galloway and Kidwell, 2004; and Walker, 2004, respectively). [back]

13 Cashin (1986, p. 18) attempted to reproduce a footnote taken from De Vorsey (1966, p. 23) that presented the two sets of spellings used by Stuart in his report to the Board of Trade in 1764 and by Swanton (The Indians of the Southeastern United States, 1942) to identify these eight tribes in the Southern District. In an investigation inquiring into the reproduction of these names across variant documents, it is of interest to note that Cashin misidentified the series and volume number of the Colonial Office records that contained Stuart’s remarks. Instead of CO 323-17 — part of the original correspondence of the Board of Trade for 1763-1764 — the notation CO 317-23 was used that denotes materials for the Virgin Islands for 1853 (List of Colonial Office Records Preserved in the Public Record Office, 1963, p. 315 and 309, respectively). [back]

14 As part of his geographical arrangements, Johnson had two entries for the Wiandots/Wiendonts, Ottawas, and Chipeweighs. For the tribes along the Wabash River, the spellings were different for three of the five names submitted by Johnson (as per O’Callaghan, 1856, pp. 582-584) and Stuart: Illinois vs. Illionois, Piankashaws vs. Piankishaws, and Wawiaghtonos vs. Yaughtanous, respectively. Twightwees appeared in both lists and Keskeskea only on Stuart’s. [back]

15 The synonym entry for the Plan’s Canassadagas in the Oka entry of Hodge (1906b, p. 113) is attributed to Colden’s The History of the Five Indian Nations of Canada which are Dependent upon the Province of New-York in America and are the Barrier Between the English and the French in that Part of the World (1747, p. 172), while the Canassadagas one is linked with Sir William Johnson’s Northern text. Colden’s volume was the one cited by Fenton and Tooker (1978) for the origin of the spelling Mohawk; the Oka reside today on one Mohawk reserve west of Montreal. [back]

16 Young (2008, p. 125) stated that “[t]he largest size of buckshot was swan shot… at least 0.2 inches (5 mm) in diameter.” Robinson Crusoe is perhaps the best-known user of these munitions: “In this place, then, I resolved to fix my design; and, accordingly, I prepared two muskets and my ordinary fowling-piece. The two muskets I loaded with a brace of slugs each, and four or five smaller bullets, about the size of pistol-bullets; and the fowling-piece I loaded with nearly a handful of swan-shot of the largest size” (Defoe, 1908, p. 243; emphasis added). Defoe published Robinson Crusoe almost half a century before this ban was proposed by the Board of Trade. [back]

17 Alvord and Carter acknowledged in a footnote to this declaration that it was “the first formal recommendation to this effect made by the board of trade.” [back]

18 The same list of tribe names was replicated without error in the Fourth Annual Report of the Canadian Institute (1891, p. 72). [back]

19 Besides the Papers Relative to the Province of Quebec option noted above, the Instructions to Governor Carleton, 1775 in Shortt and Doughty (1907, pp. 419-433) precedes the instrument entitled Plan for the future management of Indian affairs, referred to in the thirty second article of the foregoing instructions. The tribe name list from the second document is employed here as Canada1. [back]

20 De Vorsey (1966, p. 23) and Cashin (1986, p. 18) identified Swanton’s (1942) important compilation as a reference for contemporary spellings for eight of the entities in Stuart’s list for the southern tribes: Beluxis, Humas, Attucapas, Bayuglas, Tunicas, Peluchas, Osugulas, and Querphas. The use of Beluxis and Tunicas went unchanged across all fourteen sources employed here, even if the names are now noted as Biloxi and Tunica (Brain, Roth, and De Reuse, 2004). The “Tribe spellings” sheet in Table I (Download Excel File) links the Plan appellations to Hodge’s standardized compilation created by the Smithsonian Institution (1906a and b; and see Bernholz, 2010). [back]

21 Day (1978, especially p. 791) identified this Mohawk-based term from Johnson’s Skaghquanoghronos entry in Northern. The tribe continues to live near “lake nigh Pissin” in Ontario, as defined in the first article of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 (see Appendix I). [back]

22 Landsman (1999) has a biographical note on Livingston. [back]

23 Hodge’s entry for the Seven Nations of Canada states: “The 7 tribes signified are the Skighquan (Nipissing), Estjage (Saulteurs), Assisagh (Missisauga), Karhadage, Adgenauwe, Karrihaet, and Adirondax (Algonkins). The 4th, 5th, and 6th are unidentified” (1906b, p. 515). [back]

24 The one, two, or three errors found with tests for Archives against Canada1, Ontario, Canada2, Boundary, and Laws were consistent issues: the Skaghquanoghronos orthography trilogy; the missing Onondagas token from the Ontario set; the appearance of a letter transposition difference between Wawiaghtonos of Archives and Wawaightonos in Boundary; the absence of the possessive St. John’s in Archives and Fauquier; and Querphas vs. Querehas in Laws. [back]