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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Stuart to Wills Hill, Marquis of Downshire
Stuart, John, 1718-1779
January 03, 1769
Volume 08, Pages 1-2

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[B. P. R. O. Am: & W. Ind. Vol. 273.]
Letter from John Stuart Superintendant &c to the Earl of Hillsborough.

Charles Town 3rd Janry 1769.

In my letter which I had the Honor of writing your Lordship the 15th September I mentioned my Intention of visiting the Boundary Line; accordingly after having finished with the Cherokees I set out upon that Service accompanyed by some Indians and rode along that part of it which divides this Province from the Lands reserved by the Indians it is marked at least 50 feet wide the Trees within which Space are blazed on both sides.

The Country near the Line is very full of Inhabitants mostly emigrants from the Northern Colonies it is remarkable that in going hence to the Frontiers I rode at Times 30 & 40 miles without seeing any house or hut yet near the Boundary that Country is full of Inhabitants which in my memory was considered by the Indians as their best hunting Ground such is their rage for settling far back.

The people inhabiting the Frontiers of this Province carry on a trade with the Indians by bartering rum for Horses, the Chiefs complained of this as the source of many disorders their young men being thereby encouraged to steal horses from the neighbouring Provinces besides the danger of committing outrages when intoxicated which may envolve their Nation in trouble. These back Settlers pay little or no regard to Law or Government of which I beg leave to give your Lordship an Instance. One Mr Summerhall who had formerly been in the Commission of the Peace by which means he became obnoxious to his neighbours was about a year ago taken out of his House by some of them who having stripped and tyed him to a Tree opposite to his own door whipped him severely upon which he commenced a prosecution against them when the Term approached they again seized and chained

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him to a post he had been seven days in this situation when his Wife came and implored my assistance. I applied to a person that chose to attend the Congress with the Cherokees who I understood to be a Captain of Militia and prevailed upon him to go and rescue Mr Summerhall which he effected When I was at Augusta I received the enclosed Letter which I presume to lay before your Lordship as it may convey some Idea of the Magistracy as well as the People they govern in the back parts of this Country. Such is the state of the Police on the Frontiers of Carolina In Georgia I found it still worse People violently seized the Indians Horses in open day light the Magistrates were remiss in doing their duty I was obliged to send some persons who attended me to recover them by Force altho' I had no Authority.

The Indians detest the back Inhabitants of these Provinces which will account for the reluctancy with which they give up any part of their Lands being anxious to keep such Neighbours at a distance.

I beg leave further to observe to your Lordship that the Congresses being unattended by any of the Militia and there being no Patroles or guard any where in the Country through which such numbers of Indians passed had such an air of supineness and security as might have encouraged the Indians to execute their bad Intentions had they been possessed of any.

I have the honor of being &c