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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Proclamation by Richard Caswell concerning settlement in the Watauga District
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
May 05, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 115-116

[From Executive Letter Book.]

State of North Carolina:

By his Excellency Richard Caswell Esquire, Governor, Captain General and Commander in Chief of the said State.

A Proclamation

Whereas by an Act of Assembly passed in the late Session entitled an “act to amend an act entitled an act for establishing officers for receiving Entries of Claims for lands in the several counties within this State, and for ascertaining the method of obtaining Titles to the same and for other purposes therein mentioned.” Amongst other things it is enacted “That for the future no person shall enter or survey any lands within the Indian hunting grounds or without the limits of the land heretofore ceded by the Indians or conquered from them which limits westward are hereby declared to be as follows (that is to say): Beginning at a point in in the dividing line which hath been agreed upon between the Cherokees and Colony of Virginia, where the line between that Commonwealth and this State (hereafter to be extended) shall cross or intersect the same running thence a right line to the North Bank of Holston river, at the mouth of Clouds creek, being the second creek below the Warriors' Ford at the mouth of Carter's valley; thence a right line to the highest point of a mountain called the High Rock or Chimney Top, from thence a right line to the mouth of Camp Creek otherwise called McRamer's Creek on the south Bank of Nollechukee River about ten miles be the same more or less, below the mouth of Limestone and from the Bank of Camp Creek aforesaid a south-east course to the top of the Ridge of the mountains called the Great Iron Mountain being the same which divided the Hunting grounds of the Overhill Cherokees from the hunting grounds of the middle settlements and from the top of the said Ridge of the Iron Mountain a south course to the dividing

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Ridge between the waters of the French Broad River, and the waters of the Nollechuckee River, thence a southwesterly course along the said Ridge to the great Ridge of the Apallachian Mountain which divides the eastern and western waters, thence with the said dividing Ridge, to the line that divides the State of South Carolina from this State, and that all entries and surveys of land heretofore made or which hereafter may be made within the said Indian Boundaries are hereby declared to be utterly void and of no force or effect, and the Entry Takers for the counties of Burke and Washington are hereby strictly commanded immediately to refund to the proper persons all sums of money by them received for the purpose of any Entry within the Indian Limits aforesaid, their own fees for making the Entry included.”

And whereas I have received information that sundry trespasses have been committed on the lands within the Indian limits aforesaid by cutting and felling the trees, and killing the stock of the said Indians which trespasses are suggested to have been committed by persons who are subjects of this State. To the end therefore that no person within the State may be ignorant of so much of the said act of Assembly as is above recited, and to prevent further trespasses on the Indian lands and their property being committed, I have thought fit by and with the advice of the Council of State to issue this proclamation thereby promulging so much of the said act as is above recited and requiring all persons to pay due regard and obedience to the same, and also to require and command all persons within this State not to commit any trespasses whatever on the lands within the limits of the Indians as herein before described by cutting and felling trees or killing and destroying the stocks of the said Indians or otherwise in any manner whatever as they will answer the same at their peril. Given under my hand and the seal now used in the said State at Newington the 5th day of May in the second year of our Independence Anno Domini 1778.


By his Excellency's comd.