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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Alexander Martin to Benjamin Harrison
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
November 20, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 460-462

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Hillsborough, November 20th, 1782.


I am honored with two Letters from your Excellency respecting the Chickasaw, and Cherokee Indians. The humane sentiments you breathe towards those Tribes of Savages, are perfectly similar to my own; and it will give me pleasure to co-operate with your Excellency

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in obtaining a peace with them on some permanent principles; that the cruelties and horrors of Indian wars, intolerable among civilized Nations, may in future be prevented.

The Chickasaws have done us very little injury, with whom a peace may be easily concerted.—The Inhabitants of the over Hill Towns, and Valley settlements of the Cherokees have been rather neutral than offensive, and have not of late been the object of Public resentment; as those of the Middle settlements and Chickamogga Towns against whom an expedition hath been carried on this fall, under the Command of Brigadier-General McDowell and Colonel Sevier to punish them for the murders and barbarities they have committed on the Inhabitants of this State without provocation. The over hills & nearer towns who had the greatest cause of complaint have not been hostile, but have peaceably submitted as yet to the trespasses of our people, which I am sorry this Government could not prevent, from the late distracted situation of our public affairs; but I am taking every step in my power to quiet the friendly Indians until I can meet the General Assembly to take further measures with our refractory people. The Assembly have failed to meet at this time, to which they stood adjourned, but I flatter myself to have a Session the first of January next when I shall do myself the honor to lay your Excellency’s Letters before that body, and urge the necessity of treating with the Indians in the manner you propose, under Legislative authority. The Chickammoggys seem not disposed for peace, as no overtures from them have yet been made to the Officers commanding the Militia against them, or to me; in consequence of which some of their towns have been destroyed, and some few Indians killed; the principal body having fled, our Militia have returned, and wait further instructions. I shall delay all further hostilities against them until we have fresh cause of complaint, giving them, in the meanwhile, an opportunity to sue for peace; the other tribes of that nation having disclaimed their proceedings—I shall early communicate to your Excellency the transactions of the Assembly on this Subject, if I can obtain a Session; otherwise, the Executive will take up this business, of which you will have immediate notice.—The friendly disposition your Excellency is pleased to discover, in cultivating harmony, between the Sister States of Virginia and North Carolina, gives me

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the highest pleasure and satisfaction, whose interest are, and ought ever to be mutual, being nearly connected, with almost every tie. Be assured, Sir, that everything shall be effected on my part that the same may be continued uninterrupted, on a solid and lasting foundation.

I have the honor, &c.