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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from the North Carolina Council of Safety to Samuel Johnston
North Carolina. Council of Safety
July 22, 1776
Volume 11, Pages 319-321

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]

Halifax 22nd July 1776


You will we hope pardon our not writing to you before. The only apology which can be made is that the Council have had so much public business before them that they had not a single moment to spare.

Inclosed you will receive Copies of two Letters from So. Carolina the one from his Excellency President Rutledge the other from Gen Lee with respect to Indian affairs—the Council have

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sent up an express to Brigadier Rutherford directing him as the Cherokee Indians both the lower Towns and over Hills had killed many White Men women Children within the line established by treaty to act in conjunction with Major Williams who commands the So. Carolina Troops agreeable to the President's1 instructions to the Major. Many of the parties were headed by White Men and they have done more mischief than ever was known in the time. Their attack on the Frontiers was made within a few days of the attempt made by the ministerial Army & Navy to carry the Works on Sullivan's Island. The Council had determined to adjourn to Salisbury to prevent if possible an Indian war thinking perhaps that many of our people who had settled on the Cherokee side of the line might have been desirous of precipitating the Southern Colonies into War in order that they might have it in their power to cut off the Indians and possess themselves of their lands. Shortly after this determination the Council received the inclosed Letters and then thought their presence not necessary there and by Letter directed to Brigadier Rutherford to embody such a number of men from the Salisbury Brigade as would be sufficient with the forces under the command of Major Williamson to attack the lower Cherokee Towns. The Council have left every other Matter to the Brigadier's discretion not doubting but that he will act for the best and recommend in the strongest terms to him frugality.

The Council have the greatest reason to believe that the Virginians will march immediately a sufficient force from their Western Country to attack the Overhill Towns about the same Time the Carolina Troops will in all probability enter into the lower Cherokee Country which it is hoped will put the finishing stroke to this business.

The Council thought it their duty to Attend here for the purpose of making a full discovery if in their power of the Counterfeiters of the dollars Bills of the Emissions at Hillsborough & this Town. The Council will enter on this business instantly. Five persons concerned in this affair are safely lodged in Williamsburg Goal one of them whose name is Benjamin Woodman a very great offender & and the very Man who assisted in cutting the plates—the Committee of Northampton County sent off the other day twenty five Men to take up many suspected persons. The Council have reason

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to believe some discoveries of importance to this Colony will be made.

Your letter inclosing particular papers by Mr. Jones came safe to hand and the first leisure hour the whole will be taken under consideration in full Council and be properly attended to

The Council most heartily congratulate you on the Continental Congress having declared the United Colonies of America Free and Independent States.

We have the honour to be
with very great regard & respect Sir,
Your Mo. obed Servts.
By order of the Council of Safety


1 President of S. C.