Most illustrious sir and much honoured Gentleman.
We have received your several letters, perused your commissions, presented by your honoured agents, and seriously considered what hath been by them either in writing or conference, propounded, concerning those injurious and hostile attempts made by the Mohawks (Agniers) upon some of your neighbouring Eastern Indians, of whom (as we are informed) some are converted to the christian faith, and others are willing to be taught and may in time prove disciples to our saving Lord and master, and as such we pity them, but see not how we can protect or afford the help desired, without exposing the small English plantations and our own neighbouring Indians (of which some also profess christianity) to danger; we give due credit to your deputies, and can conceive you may have just ground for a war, but we have yet no just cause of quarrel with the Mohawks, nor is it safe for us to engage in a controversy which we neither do nor have means satisfyingly to understand, the Mohawks neither being in subjection to nor in any confederation with us; we are free to hold a neighbourly correspondance with you, and would have settled a free commerce betwixt the English and French colonies, but your agents thought it either unseasonable till matters were composed betwixt the Mohawks and your Indians, or else propounded such restrictions as would have taken away all convenience and freedom from the trade. What hath hindred our present closing, the enclosed writing will shew, but if a fitter opportunity be offered we shall not be wanting to contribute to a more satisfying issue. In the mean time we rest, &c.
Voici la substance de la réponse que les commissaires anglais firent aux propositions des envoyés du Canada. Elle est tirée de Hutchinson. Je l’ai vérifiée sur la réponse qui se trouve en entier dans la Collection des papiers relatifs à l’histoire du Massachusetts p. 240, et suivantes.
The commissioners having duly weighed the proposals, returned (in 1651) an answer, in substance as follows, viz:—
“ That they were willing to admit that the French and