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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Joseph Martin to Alexander Martin
Martin, Joseph, 1740-1808
January 11, 1784
Volume 16, Pages 924-925

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Sittico, January 11th, 1784.


Immediately after my return from the Chickasaw Treaty I set out for this quarter, and as I had reasons to suspect the Chickammoggas for the murders and robberies committed on the Kentucky path in the course of last Fall, at my arrival here, I dispatched one Springston here down, to demand the horses if they had stole them; he promised to be back in six days—this being the twelfth and no news of him leave me no room to suppose they have killed him—tho’ I shall wait until I get some certain accounts.

There is two Shawnee chiefs here with at least twenty weight of silver, in Gorgets, Brooches, arm bands, &c., on their way to the Creek nation to purchase negroes. It is said they brought with them the War hatchet, tho’ it is kept very private—there is to be a great Treaty at Chickammogga in the Spring, with all the Western Tribes. Those Shawnee chiefs informed these Indians that they had just returned from a Treaty with the British at the Falls of Niagara—the talks as they related is thus.


“We are glad to see so many of our friends the red people, we shall let you know every thing that is passing among us. We have the War-hatchet still in our hands, but we are agoing to lay it down, and we want you our brothers who have fought with us all this War to lay it down with us. We don’t expect it will lie still long, as we expect the long knife will be settling your Country shortly, if so we advise you to strike, but not before. We will then assist you, and you will want for nothing. In the mean time visit all your brothers the red people, and make every thing straight and strong, &c.”

The Hanging Maw with many others are yet a hunting, which puts it out of my power at present to hold a talk with these towns,

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but I can assure your Excellency, that in the course of the War I never saw greater confusion among the Indians than at present, on account of the people’s settling their Country. They are building cabins all over their Country, several are built between their Towns. I really dread the consequence, unless your Excellency will immediately send proclamations, subsiding all such proceedings—likewise write to Capt. Gist who lives on French Broad River to put a stop to it.

I must likewise beg that your Excellency will write to Colonels Sevier and Hardin to give orders to their Captains not to suffer any of their Companies to bring liquors to this Country without license from your Excellency. It is at present made a great trade off, to the great prejudice of the Traders who act agreeably to Law. There were two here a few days past, who are dealing out whiskey to the Indians whom I had business with; but was disappointed on that ac’t. I wrote to them to forbear, but they swore they would trade in defiance of the Governor or any other person—they came for skins and skins they would have.

I shall wait on your Excellency (or send express) immediately after getting all the intelligence I can.

I have the honor to be, &c.,