Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Stuart to William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth [Extract]
Stuart, John, 1718-1779
July 21, 1775
Volume 10, Pages 117-119

[B. P. R. O. Am. & W. Ind. Vol. 279.]
Letter from Mr Stuart, Indian Agent, &c., to the Earl of Dartmouth.

Saint Augustine 21st July 1775.

My Lord,

Since my letter of 20th May No 27, I have not been honoured with any of your Lordship's Commands.

-------------------- page 118 --------------------

About the time that my last letter was written I had information from several Friends of an Intention in the Leaders of the Opposition in Carolina to seize my person to prevent my making use of my Influence with the Indian Tribes in the Southern Department to counteract their views in case any orders I had already received or might receive should render my doing so necessary for the good of His Majesty's Service and in order to give a colour for their doing so a Report was propagated everywhere throughout the Province that I had sent to call down the Cherokee and Catawba Indians which so irritated the People as to render my Friends apprehensive that my person was in danger. At the same time it was given out that the Negroes were immediately to be set free by Government and that Arms were to be given them to fall upon their Masters. As nothing can be more alarming to the Carolinas than the Idea of an attack from Indians and Negroes, the Leaders of the disaffected Parties easily carried into execution their plan of arming the People and giving such a turn to their Disposition as might favour their views which were to receive the sanction of a Provincial Congress to meet the first of June.

Although I was then extremely ill and confined to my bed an Idea that my falling into their hands might prove detrimental to His Majesty's service determined me to remove to Georgia which I undertook and arrived there about the beginning of June. I begg your Lordship's permission to submit the inclosed Copies of my correspondence with the Committee of Intelligence (as they stile themselves) and of three other Letters which will shew your Lordship their Intentions and how narrowly I escaped falling into the hands of an incensed Mob at a time when my state of Health rendered me very incapable of bearing rough usage; my Family and Property are still in their Power, the latter they threaten to confiscate and I anxiously wish the former from amongst them altho' I hope their Sex and Innocence will intitle them to mild Treatment from a People among whom they have lived so long respectably. I begg leave to assure your Lordship that no consideration shall induce me to abandon the trust reposed in me. The Persecution I meet with is not for anything I have done but for what I may do.

My intelligence from every part of the District represents the Indians as extremely pacifick and well disposed. In the Cherokee Nation two Persons employed to carry Letters from Virginia were killed near their Towns. Mr Cameron demanded satisfaction which

-------------------- page 119 --------------------
the ruling Chiefs consented to give and the Murtherers will certainly be brought to Justice. From the Creek Nation we have Intelligence that a Party was actually set out for the Cherokee Towns to compleat the satisfaction stipulated by the Treaty of Savannah by putting to death the two Mutherers Houmackta & Sophia who had found means of escaping thither.

∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗
I have the honor &c.,