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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Talk by Richard Caswell to Raven of Chota concerning encroachments on Cherokee land
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
May 05, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 117-118

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[From Executive Letter Book.]

State of North Carolina.

His Excellency Richard Caswell Esq., Captain General and Commander in Chief of the said State,
To Savanuca or the Raven of Chola, Head Man of the Cherokee Nation.

Friend and Brother:

I received your talk of the 14th of last month, by your father and my brother Captain Robertson. It made my heart glad to receive a talk from your own mouth addressed to myself, for although you have held a treaty with the Commissioners appointed by this State who had authority from the people to speak to you and your people for me and for all the people in this State, yet your talk to me through them was not so powerful as that now delivered to myself.

The treaty you speak of appears to me and all the good people of this State only as of yesterday. I did not know of any public meeting at Long Island at the time you mention or I would have sent one at least of our warriors to meet you there, to strengthen the friendship and brighten the chain between our good Brothers your people and this State; you will do well whenever you propose a public meeting of your people in which you wish to have the presence or assistance of any of our people to give me notice, which you may always do by applying in time to your Father and my good brother Captain Robertson whom we sent to live among our good Brethren your people for that purpose, and whom I hope you have no cause to believe would do other than serve you and your people in the trust we repose in him.

I am sorry you should have cause to complain of the conduct of any of our people towards you or yours, and particularly in the matter you complain of regarding their marking and cutting your trees. I fear these people have been misled in supposing they had liberty from the wise men of this State (the General Assembly) to enter your lands and make them their own. Their conduct has been represented to our wise men who lately sat in Council

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here who disapproving the measures determined to prevent such mischief for the future, and have directed that no such trespasses shall be committed by our people on your lands nor are they on any pretence to go into your country or cross the boundary line for any other purpose than what is expressed in the treaty. This you have from my mouth, and whilst I am to speak for the people of this State as the Head Man thereof, you may rely on my promise to use my best endeavor to see that this resolution of the wise men of the State be put into execution, and I trust it will be properly observed by all our people. To that end I have issued a proclamation to let the people know this and forbid their trespassing on your property by killing your stock or otherwise. That if they do they will be punished in confidence that you will not suffer your people to do any injury to our people.

You say, “you give me but a short Talk for that in long Talks there generally are lies,” you say true, and therefore I follow your example.

You say, “there is a small speck of Rust on the Chain and hope I will help you to rub it off.” What I have now done, with what has been done by the wise men of the State, I hope will be sufficient for removing the Rust. If these do not prove effectual, no effort on my part shall be wanting to rub it off, and continue the chain bright. To confirm this truth, I send you a string of white Beads, and give my right hand to your Father Capt. Robertson, that through him I may touch your Flesh and salute you as my Brother.

Given at New Bern under my hand and the seal now used for the said State the 5th day of May, Anno Domini 1778, and in the second year of the Independence of the Said State.