Journal and Copybook of Abraham Yates, Jr.

The Journal and Copybook of Abraham Yates, Jr., 1754-1758" is a notebook sized manuscript document and part of the "Abraham Yates, Jr. Papers" collection at the New York Public Library. It encompasses 180 manuscript pages - with text written carefully, scribbled in, corrected, and annotated. Yates appeared to have kept a journal and then edited and added to the document over a period of years.

Yates's journal coverning the years he served as sheriff of Albany provides an intimate albiet biased perspective on conditions in Albany during the Seven Years War. It is an extremely valuable but largely overlooked historical resource.

In 1973, Stefan Bielinski transcribed the document and re-organized it chronologically. He also began researching the persons, places, and events appearing in the manuscript. At that time, he considered editing and annotating it for separate publication. It is now a line-for-line typescript of 112 pages and is on file at the project office. The transcription also retains original spellings and punctuation. That line-for-line version will be presented below but arranged in strictly chronological order! Paragraphing has been supplied for coherence.

This document is the quintessential community-based and community-biased resource!

1754 June And July - the Great Congress was held

July 3th The Corporation Gave Them a Dinner At the City
- the Corporation fund being Low
The Commonality [funded] the dinner, out of their Own Pockets

I Was Appointed Deputy Secretary of the Indian Affairs
In Which I Continued - for Ten Months When
they Were Superceeded by Coll. Johnson After
the Commissioners of the Indian Affairs had
done the drudgery And brought the Indians on
An Amicable footing - They renewed the Old
Covenent With the Foive Nations - Settled a
Neutrality With the Cagnewagoes & Annegungoes
I think Myself Oblidge to Declare that What I
have Observed in their Transactions has been
honest And honorable -

The Indian Affairs Was at this time in the hands of a Number
of our most principel men. like as it Were Became Netterel to their
Way by the friendship they had Contracted
in the continuance of their Travels Among them
They Acted by a Commission from our Governour, thus
And kept a Mintute Of All their preceeding Copies
Were Monthly Sent Down to the Governour and Council
Their Manutes Gives a Categorical Account of All
the Transactions With the Indians (if I Remember Wright)
from the beginning of our Settlement
it was there Business to treat with the Indians Receve their News
And had 170 New York Currency, to Distribute Among them
to Most Advantage

In Perusing their Records I think is sufficient to Shew
that they had a thorew Notion of the Affairs they Were entrusted
With - The Repeated Information they have from time to time given
of the Incroachment of the french, And their Intrigue to draw
the Affections of the Indians from us, is Sufficient to Shew
that they had the Wel being of their Country at heart, they Went by
the Name of Commissioners of Indian Affairs, I know of no
Interruption Until In Mr. Clintons' Troubles In the last
War the Whole Management Was Given to Mr. Johnson
Now Sir William Johnson, how fit Mr. Johnson Was for
this Business I Cannot pretent to Judge nor had an
Opportunity of proper Information, I was Under the Same
Disadvantages With a _______ Except for a Space of Ten
Months, have Acted As Deputy Secretary to that Board When
I have had An opportunity of the Records Which Consist of
4 Large folio Volumes With Some hundreds of Letters And other
papers, Some Very Usefull
from July 1754 to May 1755 When Mr. Johnson Supperceeded
them Again in the Sole Management, Why
these Short Revolutions I do not know - but the -
Commissioners Pretended to hardly Ever having been In the
Possession of their offices I think Less then two years
In which time they were gone throu the Drudgery of
Settling all the Affairs Since the Beginning of the Last -
- Concluded a Neutrality With the french Indians
that in Case a War Should Brake out Between his most
Gratious Majesty of Great Britain And the french king they
were to remain Neuter, to Which I think his honour Alludes
When Writes us not to Depend on the french Indians
An Other thing I Cannot help to Observe
(And for Which they Not only have been blamed
by Some of the Neibouring Colonies, but Even by Some of
our own Colony) these Gentlemen, Governed
themselves According to the following Maxime that
An Indian Will Either fite or trade And That the Only
Way to keep them from fighting is by tradeing With them,

The governor of the Jersies Seems to be of the Same opinion

1754 August 20th

Just As the farmars Were Busy In their harvest
Hosack Was Burned and Distroyd by a party
of the Enemy, - two men only Were Killed - This we Looked upon As a Sufficient
Warning to All our frontier places, Who made
the Best of their Way to Safe themselves And Effects
In the Same Manner As In the Other War, they
Came to this City for Shelter, With their Effect
Which In a Great Measure Doubled our families
At the Same time our fortifications Were In a
ruinous Condidtion, No fund to repair them With
upwards of 1,000 pounds Indebted Since the Last War
We Went by turns procured and Set the Stockadoes
his honour Liut. Governour Delancey
Sent us a letter as a Warning to procure Stockadoes And
repair the Blockhouses - -

The Corporation Answer th honours that We We already Busy
of procuring And Setting the Stockadoes


15th August 1757 [new p. 75] The Militia of the City & County Still remaining
at fort Edward (to Watch the Motions of Moncalm;
being Apprehensive that he Would
pay fort Edward a Visit) Under a Double Apprehension
first if the Ensuing did approach
to fort Edward, they would by Some Means or Other

[76] The Other Apprehension that A party of the
Enemy Would Set out right Away to this City
And Destroy it together With their Wifes adn Children
and properties Which might have been done, With Ease

In the Mean time the troups that
Were in fort William Henry When taken Were Sent to
the City of Albany and Quartered in the Peoples
Houses -- Among the Women and Children Who Were
Insulted and Abused at the Same time __arks Sufficient

At the Same time William Burch a man that Was in
the Wagon Employ One day being drunk and Very abusive
to some of his family Lying on the Smal Pox,
Was Committed by a Magistrate

Capt. Christy Came to me and Was Very Angry Insisted
up it that no Magistrate Should Commit a Man
In the Kings Imploy Unless he had Leave of his
Officer and insisted On MY Releasing of him

Which I Refused

The Same day I Met the Mayor and told him my
Adventure With Capt. Christy he told me he had been
Attacked in the Same manner by him -- As We Was
A Talking We Observed the Governour And Capt. Christy Coming
in our Way -- this Was Soon brought in --
Discause by Capt. Christy And After Some talk he Swore
he Would be Demd. if he Would not have a Burger
In the prove In a Short time, I With the Same
Compliment told him I Would Soon have him out -- and

[77] So they Walked Along -- few Minutes after I Went
to the Governour Who Seemed to Justify me, I then Went
to Capt. Christy told him that As the Man Was Now Sober I Could
release him He Answered me that he did not
not Car if the fella Was to Set there to Eternity
that he only Would not have a Magistrate to think
that he Should Commit any of his Men Without his orders

[77] I told him I thought the Justices Would At All times
doe their duty for All his Treats --- he Answered me

Our Spirits Were Willing But the flesh
Weak --

August 21th The Governour Set our for New York

2 __tes

Quere When Was the Fort Built
at Onita 2 __tes 581

In the Mean While

People Complain most Egregiously
of the __age Rd. ferm time to time from
the troups And Blamed the Aldermen And Common
Council for not reprecenting it: Who Again Layd:
the Blame on the Mayor, however he At Last Was


Do 25 [December 25, 1757]

It began to tan and to be dark weather
and continued So untill Wednesday the 28 it Consumed the Snow Entirely which Rendered the Riding with Either Slea or
Waggon next to Impracticable (Now those
That would think impartially were Convinced
I had been right) and Continued So untill
Between January the 9th & 10 we get a new

Do 26

I Rd: a Messuage by I take him to be
a Sergent that his officiers ordered him
To tell me I was to have a Guard at my
house to take Care of the wood in the
afternoon I was informed that there was
a Guard at my door who kept
a Sentry at the front of my house and
one in the Back of my Lot to hinder wood
From being Brought in at the Same time
Twelve Souldier in my house that behaved
Like So many divels that burned fires in
Two Different Rooms I was affraid Every
menute that they would Set my house afire

January 10th: [1758]

Some of the Souldiers billited on me came
In my room and Demanded Dry wood I
Told them their was in the Yard Good
Oak wood they Said they Could not make
the fier burn I told them to Split it
They threatend me that if would
not Give them Dry wood they would
Fitch it out of my Seller I was also
Treatned by the Sergant that they would
Bring there Cooking furniture in the room
I was and Cook there the only Room I
Then Possessed of all my house twelve
Souldiers in two Different Rooms and two
Mates of the hospital in the third and
one Remaining for my self family and
Servants this made me Very Angry and
Told them that the first that Came in that
Room again I would knock down this bruit
added to the former once vexd: my wife So
Much that in the Evening of the Same day
She could Support the hardship no Long
-er and abortion was the Consequence
Exclusive of this misfortune the thought
of being obliged to make use of the room
Which was Occupied by two mates of
The hospital by Virtue of a Billet made her
Very Uneasy Whoever whether their natural
Disposition or the knowledge of Such a
Misfortune I know not but they made
No Scruple of Yielding the room the
Situation of my wife was in for several
Days is Scarcely to be Concieved
At the Same time Messr: Abm Dow & Johannes Ten
Eyck they Received 6 Souldiers a piece for being of
Opinion that the price Was not Enough at7/6 that it
Ought to be Eight Shillings
Patrick fled Was Committed the 22th September 1757
Were he remaind for Some Time And after being
Discharged for a few days he Was again Sent
to Goal Upon a Mittimus Dated 28th December 1757
following Were he Remained for Upwards of a twelve
Month upon his Good Behaviour
the prisoner often Called out In the publick Street



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first posted: 9/02