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George Croghan letters

Identifier: VAULT box-Ayer-MS-195


A collection of four letters and one order primarily from Fort Pitt, Pennsylvania relating to Croghan's official duties between 1763 and 1770. In the first letter dated Mar. 1763 Croghan reports to Sir William Johnson that a draft (unidentified) was completed by his assistant Thomas Hutchins, future geographer of the U.S. In the second letter (copy) dated June 1766 to Gen. Gage, Croghan urges him to encourage the colonial governors to maintain peace with the Indians and mentions his plans for a trip to the Illinois country. A year later in June 1768, Croghan writes to Thomas Wharton, Philadelphia merchant, regarding his unsettled bills, the purchase and survey of 30,000 acres for Wharton et al, and the causes for the delayed negotiations at Fort Stanwix, N.Y. In the fourth letter dated Dec. 1770 to David Franks, another Philadelphia merchant closely associated with Croghan in the western trade, Croghan describes various options for the sale of certain tracts of land. Finally, there is one order to Major Funda (Jelles Fonda) dated June 1769 authorizing the payment of a bill.


  • Creation: 1763-1770


Biography of George Croghan

George Croghan, Indian trader, agent, and land speculator, was raised in Ireland and emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1741. For the next fifteen years, Croghan's home near Carlisle was the base for his trading operations throughout the upper Ohio country where he also became the leading English agent. In 1756 Sir William Johnson appointed Croghan deputy superintendent of Indian affairs for the western tribes. As such he conducted many important negotiations with the northeastern tribes and played a prominent role in the treaty of Fort Stanwix, 1768. Croghan was also sent on a mission by Johnson and General Thomas Gage in 1766 to open up the Illinois country to English occupation. Throughout this period Croghan was engaged in land speculation and involved in the formation of several land companies. However, the outbreak of the Revolution wrecked his extensive operations, and his last years were spent in poverty.


0.1 Linear Feet (3 folders)

Language of Materials


Ownership and Custodial History

Forms part of the Edward E. Ayer Manuscript Collection (Newberry Library)

Bibliographic References

Butler, R.L. Checklist of Mss. in the Ayer Coll., 195.

Processing Information Note

Letters 1766, 1768, 1769, 1770 formerly cataloged as Ayer MS 196-199.

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Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States