Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Waightstill Avery to [James Robertson?]
Avery, Waightstill, 1741-1821
September 15, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 763-764

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
Copy of Letter to the North Carolina Agent in Cherokee Nation.

Salisbury, 15th Sept. 1777.


A Copy of your Letter to Col. Lanier I rec'd the 2nd Instant by the hands of Drury Goodwin, and have detained him in order that I might confer with General Rutherford. Sir, I approve of your Care in collecting & faithfulness in Transmitting so many Articles of Intelligence proper to be communicated.

His Excellency the Governor & the Council of State have not yet appointed a Time & place for holding the intended Treaty with the Middle Settlements; and I am inclined to think that it may possibly be put off, until after the meeting of the General Assembly: However, at all Events, let the appointment happen as it may, the Middle Settlements and Overhills shall have due Notice thereof.

In the Mean Time have to renew our request that some of the Chiefs, of the Overhills about 15 persous would come down to see and make a visit to our Great beloved Man and Great Council, when met at Newbern the Seat of Government in Nov. next; And that there would come down in Company with some of the Chiefs about 20 persons from the Middle Settlements & Valley. Acquaint them that this Matter of Protecting and accomodating them hath been considered and agreed upon here. The Overhills who come on this Occasion must by no Means take the Path thro' Washington District; but must by all Means, take the Path thro the Middle Settlements, and at that place join the Chiefs from there and all come together, in by Cathey Fort on the Head of the Cataba River, so as to meet at Catheys Fort on the 20th Day of October next.

-------------------- page 764 --------------------

Sir, you must inform the Overhills that our Great beloved Man and Great Council have long ago appointed Brigadier General Rutherford to be the Head War Capt. over all the Warriors in the West End of North Carolina, and that the said General is still in Command, and that all other war Capts. and Warriors in these parts must obey him, agreeable to the power and Instructions that he from time to time receives from the Great beloved Man and Great Council; And that General Rutherford has this Day faithfully engaged and assured me that he will have one of his most faithful & trusty War Capts. and a Friend to their People, with a Guard of good Men, at Catheys Fort on the said 20th Day of October, to protect the said Chiefs and to guard them in Safety on their way to Newbern.

A Copy of this Letter, all Except the first Paragraph thereof, please to transmit to the Middle Settlements immediately by the earliest Conveyance. From your &c.


P. S. General Rutherford will also write a Line to you with this Assurance, if your Express will stay untill he comes into Town tomorrow Morning, having rode out Home immediately after the Conference.

W. A.

N. B. General Rutherford did not write a Line as above hinted and has never sent any Talkes to the Indians this Summer. The Indians were very anxious to receive a Talk directly from the Great Beloved Man of North Carolina before they ventured themselves down into this State.

Perhaps it might have a very good Tendency to send a Talk, to them to meet them at Catheys Fort-they imagine that your Excellency has neglected them.

Yours most respectfully

To His Excellency the Governor.

General Rutherford has showed the greatest Reluctance to appoint a Commissary and not being done when I came away I do not know but he may refuse, and the Indians be under a Necessity of Returning Home directly from the Fort, for want of Provisions for their March down.

W. A.

Additional Notes for Electronic Version: Although it appears that Avery sent a copy of this letter to Richard Caswell, the original recipient was most likely James Robertson, an agent for the state living with the Cherokees.