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Collection Scope and Content Notes

This collection contains the original letter written by Robert Stobo on July 28, 1754 during his captivity at Fort Duquesne to Colonel Innes. The letter, delivered to Innes by an Indian, describes the concerns of the Shanoe (Shawnee) Indians about the alleged imprisonment of two of their "kings and 300 warriors." Stobo communicates the plight of the Shanoe left in the villages who are vulnerable to raids from Cheroquees (Cherokees) and Cotabes. Stobo describes the competing English and French attempts to ally themselves with the Shanoe. At the time of writing, the Shanoe council is deliberating on the matter.

The remainder of the letter describes the number and movement of French troops at Fort Duquesne. On the reverse of the letter is a map of the fort and its environs. The map shows the Ohio and Monongahela Rivers with the Allegheny River drawn but not identified by name. A descriptive legend translates letters and numbers depicted on the diagram of the fort revealing the location of arms and embankments. The map indicates a half mile of cornfields and woods beyond the fort. Stobo closes with an optimistic assessment of the British position, stating that one hundred Indians could take the fort by autumn. According to author Walter R. Borneman, this letter was found in General Edward Braddock's trunk and returned to Fort Duquesne after the defeat of Braddock by the French and Indians on July 9, 1755. This proved to be an embarrassment to Major Stobo, rendering him now a spy rather than a "gentleman prisoner."

The collection also contains an undated manuscript copy of the 1754 letter, and transcriptions of the letter.

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