Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Alexander Martin to the North Carolina General Assembly
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
May 13, 1784
Volume 17, Pages 68-69

From Executive Letter Book.]


I am informed a Committee of the Assembly have agreed to recommend that the 12th section of the Act for opening the Land Office

-------------------- page 69 --------------------
&c., so far as the same respects the great Island in Holston River be repealed. I beg leave to lay before you the several Treaties late held with the Cherokees, where they have uniformly made a reservation of their right to that favorite spot of ground. If there appears to be a claim set up by any person under the authority of the State for the said Land how far it may be good is not my business to inquire, but this much permit me to suggest, if the same should be granted to any person these Treaties will be violated, and rather the faith of the State should be broken sacredly pledged to those Savages in said Treaties, and the said Act of Assembly of which I have given them full information; It would be much preferable that a compensation be given to the claimant or claimants of the said lands, than the public Peace should be embroiled about a private dispute of which if the State hath been the cause it must have been occasioned through the inadvertence of former Legislatures to the said Treaties.

As a Treaty is intended shortly to be held with this people for a cession of their claim to part of the Western Lands, I request the Executive be relieved from every embarrassment in this business, being confident should the said section be repealed, they will have very little faith in what may be urged to them in future from this State; as I shall not only falsify the assurances on this subject which I have already given them, and the State of Virginia, who hath interested herself in their behalf.