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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Sharpe to Richard Caswell
Sharpe, William, 1742-1818
August 05, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 203-204

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Salisbury 5th August 1778.


Your favor covering a Commission which your Excellency honored Col. Lanier, Major Winston and myself with for holding a treaty with the Cherokee Middle and Valley Settlement Indians came to hand early in May, and was immediately communicated to the other two Gentlemen, who were of opinion with me that the proposed treaty could not be held consistent with the Honor of Government, unless the then Session of Congress made farther provision, and in consequence thereof that your Excellency would give us farther advice. However it appears that nothing was done, I therefore take the liberty to inform your Excellency that it was our opinion, that before another treaty is held, a penal law is necessary for the punishment of those who violate the articles, of the former: otherwise we may be upbraided by the Indians for giving what they call lieing Talks, on that occasion. If we are under such disadvantages as not be able to support the veracity and dignity of the Government, we think it better to refrain from treating.

-------------------- page 204 --------------------

Another circumstance that is discouraging is the small sum which Government hath proposed to enable your Excellency to hold the Treaty. Considering the present enormous price of Beef, Flour, Wagon Hire, Tobacco, Whiskey and many other things which may be necessary in order to support the character of Government with those people, if we had proceeded to hold a treaty our just and reasonable claims would have amounted so far above one thousand pounds which doubtless might have surprised the Legislature.

I can assure your Excellency on my own part that the sole motive for delaying the treaty is the preservation of the honor and interest of Government.

As the fall of the year is the most convenient season for holding a treaty, (which I conceive exceedingly necessary) and the Assembly has unexpectedly met, perhaps such measures may be adopted as may enable us or any that your Excellency may think proper to appoint to hold a Treaty. If so with due submission I mention the propriety of your Excellency's addressing a Talk to those people by way of introduction to the business and sending therewith a white Wampum Belt, that (according to their figure) may reach from you to their beloved men. Sir, your most ob. huml. servt.


Additional Notes for Electronic Version: A duplicate of this letter, found in Volume 22, indicates that the author was actually William Sharpe.