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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Rutledge to [Cornelius Harnett?]
Rutledge, John, 1739-1800
July 07, 1776
Volume 10, Pages 657-658

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
Letter from President Rutledge of South Carolina about the Cherokee Indians.

Chas Town, July 7th, 1776.


I am sorry to acquaint you, that, notwithstanding the most friendly Assurances, given at the late Congress, to the Continental Commissioners, by the Cherokee-Indians, these People have actually begun a War against the Colonies. The lower Towns, some Time ago, suffered Cameren, (Stuart's Deputy in the over-Hills,) to have two Men, Hamptons, who resided there, & were in our Interest, seized and carried to Cameren, but they would not permit any of our People, who were in the King's Interest, to be taken. They have made several Prisoners, plundered Houses, & on the 30th ulto proceeded to kill some of our People. These outrages must not go unpunished, but be instantly checked. Conceiving that the most effectual way of putting a Stop to them will be to march a considerable force, from this Colony & North Carolina, into the Heart of the lower & Middle Towns, & of the Valley-Settlements, & that, at the same Time, or as soon as may be, the Over-Hills should be attacked from Virginia from whence alone it can be done to Advantage, & may with great Ease, Genl Lee and our council, being of the same opinion. I have givn orders to Major Williamson, to proceed with what Men he has embodied & can raise, which I suppose may be about Eleven Hundred, & march against the lower Cherokees—then carry on a War against them, unless they will submit to reasonable Terms. He will set out in a very few days. I have wrote to the President of the Convention of Virginia, to order a Body of Men from that Coleny to attack the over-hill Cherokees. And, I hope, that as the object is of the utmost Importance, & there is not a moment to be lost in taking such Steps, as may effectually put a Stop to Apprehensions of danger from these Indians, & others, who may be intimidated by their Fate, that you will immediately cause a sufficient Force to march from North Carolina, with the utmost Expedition, to assist Major Williamson against the lower Cherokees, untill they shall be brought to such Terms as may be safe & honourable.

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I shall be glad to have your Answer as soon as possible, & hope to meet with no difficulty, delay, or disappointment on the part of your Colony.

I am Sir Yr obedt & very hble Servt