Captain Pryor Among the Wabash Indians?

In reading through the Founding Fathers’ papers on the National Archives website I found in”Minutes of a Conference with the Illinois and Wabash Indians, [1–4 February 1793]“. There are several references to a Captain Pryor.

Old crooked legs sends you this pipe (here he presented it) and he prays you to send him Capt. Pryor for his father, for he is old & you ought to do this for him.”

Now, father, I address you for our young people. but there remains not much to say; for I spoke to you through Genl Putnam, and you have what I said on paper. I have buried the hatchet for ever; so must your children. I speak the truth & you must believe me. we all pray you to send capt. Pryor to us, because he has been so very kind to us all.”

father, we gave to our friend (Pryor) who came with us, our name of Wiatonon, and he gave us his name of American. we are now Americans. give him then to us for a father. he has loved us & taken care of us. he had pity on our women & children & fed them. do not forget to grant us this request. You told us to live in quiet and to do right. we will do what you desire. then do you what we desire, & let Pryor come to us.”

I pray you all who are present to say, as one man, that our peace is firm, & to let it be firm. listen to us if you love us. We live on the river; on one side, & shall be happy to see capt. Pryor on the other, and to have a lasting peace.”

I found further documents on the War Department website. Check out this document: It’s a 1792 letter from General Knox, the Secretary of War. It mentions the Indians in the Wabash. It mentions Brigadier General Putnam and also mentions Lieutenant Pryor.

A letter written 26 December 1794 by Edward Carrington to Alexander Hamilton (see the National Archives Founding Fathers site Yes, the same Hamilton who’s on the $10 bill– he was the Secretary of the Treasury in 1794. The subject was paying troops for putting down an Indian rebellion and it references an October 12th letter Carrington had sent to Major Pryor. It’s like the old card game “Concentration”– we’ve met Edward Carrington and Major Pryor before! This Major Pryor was a Capt. Lt. in the American Revolution and is the Major John Pryor of Richmond.

I suspect that Major John Pryor is the Captain Pryor who became involved with the Wabash Indians. This is a much more interesting picture of him and his involvement in history than the over-weight, gout ridden, ex army officer who serially married much younger women who was jilted by Anne Beverly Whiting.