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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Instructions to Charles McDowell, John Sevier, and Waightstill Avery concerning a treaty with the Cherokee Nation
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
September 20, 1782
Volume 16, Page 710

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Salisbury, September 20th, 1782.

Instructions and Directions to Brigadier General McDowel, Colonel John Sevier, and Waightstill Avery, Esquires, or any two of them, Commissioners appointed to treat with the Cherokees.


As soon as the Troops under the command of General McDowel, and Colonel Sevier have formed a junction in the Cherokee Country, first having complied with my instructions respecting the Chickammoggys as to the destruction of their Towns and other hostile Towns, &c., you will send out runners with Flags to invite all the Nation to a Treaty, or such part thereof as you shall judge necessary. That you require of the Chickammoggys for their late Hostilities and Murders Committed, &c., to return to the Cherokee Nation from whence they are emigrants, and relinquish their claim to those Settlements and that the Cherokees or whatever Tribe of the Nation by whom the same may be claimed cede to this State from thence, or such place you shall agree upon, all the Western Lands contained in the Chartered Bounds of the same to the Ohio and Mississippi; and that they surrender all our prisoners and deliver up all refugee Tories and British who may be among them, together with all Negroes and other property taken or plundered from the Inhabitants of this or any of the United States. You will then agree upon a Western Line by which they and we shall be sacredly bounded; which confining and contracting their settlements, they will soon be circumscribed by white Inhabitants, and their power be reduced to the harmless and inoffensive situation of the Catawbas.

That you demand on this side of the Cherokee Nation the Waters of the French Broad River in satisfaction for injuries done by their nearer Towns. That you act with such other Commissioners who may be appointed by any of the United States on the General Plan and Principles of a Peace; but the Territorial claims which you are

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to demand and contend for within the bounds of this State, you are alone Specially instructed with, and to conduct and manage with that address your prudence and wisdom will direct; and suffer no Cession to be made of Lands lying within the Bounds of this State to any other State or person whatsoever.

I would recommend the Treaty be not held where the Troops are stationed, but at some place where the Indians will not be under immediate fear and duress as constraint and fear would make all their contracts void; but the same be conducted in such a manner that the Indians have full power to exercise their liberty, &c. Upon the whole the above are the outlines of the proposed Treaty, to which you are not absolutely confined, as many inconveniences may arise in confining you to certain Limits. You will exercise your own discretion on the above preliminaries as to bounds, &c., which when agreed upon to the Westward and Eastward of the Nation, you are to assure them, shall most inviolably and sacredly be observed on our part, on the penalty, that the severest Chastisement shall be inflicted on the offender or offenders.

That the Indians are not to expect presents from the State as is usual at Treaties; their friendship is not to be bought. However this they must submit to the General Assembly.

I am Gentlemen, &c.,