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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Petition from Jacob Brown concerning the annexation of the Watauga Settlement to North Carolina
Brown, Jacob
1776
Volume 10, Pages 885-887

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
The Petition of Jacob Brown to the Congress at Halifax about his Lands in the Watauga Settlement,

Humbly Sheweth,

That some time in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy one your Petitioner purchased of a certain John Ryon a Parcel of Land situated on the waters of the River Nonetluchky which Land your Petitioner as well as many other purchasers and adventurers in that part of America deemed to appertain to the Territory included in the Virginia charter. But some time after a Line being run and a Proclamation Issued by his Britanic Majesty's Superintendent of Indian affairs requiring all persons who had made settlements beyond the said Line to relinquish them, Your Petitioner altho' much sollicited by the Indians of the Cherokee Nation to remain on his settlement yet did remove himself with

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much trouble and disadvantage to Wattagaw, where he remained until the Chief of the said Nation by very pressing Intreaty and great Incouragement prevailed on him your said Petitioner to return to his former settlement whither a Considerable Body of the Indians of the aforesaid Nation Escorted your Petitioner and assisted in removing his Effects. Your Petitioner having not the least doubt but that the said Indians had every natural and Equitable Right to dispose of Lands which they were confessed to be the antient and undoubted owners did after his repossessing his former settlement purchase of them several other Tracts of Land for which he paid them a valuable bona fide consideration with which they were well satisfied as will appear by certain depositions taken before the Committee of Wattagaw to wit of a certain William Closin, and William Clark to which your Petitioner prays leave to annex to this Petition and to refer thereto. Your Petitioner also humbly shews that in order the better to provide for his family he entered into Trade to a considerable amount, and that in consequence thereof and of his several purchases of land aforesaid he has Expended Property to the amount of Eighteen hundred and forty pounds ten shillings for a considerable part whereof your Petitioner is yet Indebted. Your Petitioner also humbly shews that he suffered great Losses from the Ravages of the Indians in the late Inrodes, and upon that whole that if he should be deprived of his Property in the Lands and settlements aforesaid he and his Family would be reduced to utter ruin.

And whereas it is now certain that the Northern and Southern boundary Lines of the State of North Carolina being produced westward will include the settlements wherein your Petitioners said Lands are situated, and your Petitioner is of Opinion the said lands ought to be parcel of the said State and under the Protection and Dominion thereof—your Petitioner being always ready and willing to perform any conditions which the said State may require of Persons settled on the Lands aforesaid or others under the like circumstances humbly prays that his Title to such Lands as he has fairly purchased of the Indians and others claiming under them, and which have been bounded and ascertained by express contracts and Instruments may be confirmed to him your said Petitioner in Fee and Protected to him in like manner as the Lands of others the subjects of the said State, and whereas your Petitioner's absence from home leaves his Family and Property exposed to devastations, he most humbly prays that the Honorable Congress would take his case

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under consideration as soon as they can with Propriety and convenience and submitting himself entirely to their Justice Wisdom and Equity he humbly prays them to take such Resolution relative to his case as shall seem to them consonant to the Rights of Mankind.

And your Petitioner shall pray, &c.