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Albany Congress

The Albany Congress was a meeting of representatives of seven of the British North American Colonies in 1754. Representatives met daily at Albany New York from June 19 to July 11 to discuss better relations with the Indian tribes and common defensive measures against the French. They did conclude a treaty with the tribes represented, but some of these failed to secure peace with the tribe during the French and Indian War.

Indian Negotiations

About forty representatives of the
Iroquois Confederation attended the conference, with Chief Hendrick of the Mohawk as their main spokesman. They did conclude a treaty to ensure peaceful relations, but the results were mixed. During the French and Indian War the Iroquois were split. The Mohawks sided with the British while the Onondaga took the French side. Besides the general treaty the Indians also sold land in the Wyoming Valley to John Lydius of Connecticut and to Conrad Weiser of Pennsylvania. This began the confusion of land titles that ultimately resulted in the Pennamite Wars.

Plan of Union

Benjamin Franklin proposed a plan for uniting the colonies that greatly exceeded the scope of the congress. However after considerable debate, and modifications proposed by Governor Hutchinson of Massachusetts, it was passed unanimously. The plan was submitted as a recommendation but was rejected by both King George II and the legislatures of the individual colonies since it took away some of their existing powers.

The Union would include the North American colonies, except Nova Scotia and Georgia. The plan called for a single executive (President-General) to be appointed by the King, who would be responsible for Indian relations, military preparedness, and execution of laws regulating various trade and financial activities. It called for a Grand Council to be selected by the colonial legislatures where the number of delegates would be based on the taxes paid by each colony. Even though rejected, some features of this plan were later adopted in the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.


In addition to the Iroquois, twenty-one representatives of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, and New Hampshire attended the Congress. William DeLancey, acting Governor of New York, as host governor, was the Chairman. Peter Wraxall served as Secretary to the Congress. Delegates included: