Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Sevier to Alexander Martin
Sevier, John, 1745-1815
March 22, 1785
Volume 17, Pages 623-625


Washington, Court House, 22nd March 1785.


Yours by Major Saml. Henderson of 27th Feb. came safe to hand, wherein you express your concern in regard to the measures taken in our Western Counties.

I had the honor to lay your Excellency's Letter before the Assembly who have undertaken to answer the same, and hope they

-------------------- page 624 --------------------
will give you full and ample satisfaction in regard to the proceedings of this Country and the reasons for so doing.

The people of this Country consider themselves illy treated, first being ceded without their consents, secondly by repealing the Act in the same manner.

Your Excellency well knows in what manner the lands was taken from the Indians. You also know that there was a quantity of goods to be given them as compensation; but as soon as the cession Act passed the goods was refused; and no sooner than the melancholy news reached our country the Indians were murdering on the Kentucky road and in some of our own counties, and have lately killed and taken several prisoners. I am sensible an Indian War will ensue this Summer, and it is the Western people alone that must suffer and undergo all the hardships and cruelties that usually attend a Savage and Bloody War. You cannot be insensible that North Carolina in opening her land Office tolerated all the lands on the North side of the Tennessee as far up as the mouth of Holston's river to be entered. Have you been informed that within this limit that there is several Indian Towns, and the greater part of all the corn plantations belonging to Chickamoggy lie on the north side of Tennessee, together with all the principal part of their hunting ground? If not, I can assure your Excellency it is the case, and this alone I have sufficient reason to believe is the principal reason why the Indians commit hostilities. As to the lands south of Broad river, where some few people are settled, I can't believe the Indians care anything about it and have expressed themselves to me in that light. For they have no hunting in that quarter, and consequently care little about those lands, especially when the people are allowed by Act of your Assembly to settle down to and on their towns, and are now settled and making great preparations for settling near one hundred miles below the upper settlements.

It gives me great pain to think there should arise any dispute between us and North Carolina, and I flatter myself that when Carolina states the matter in a fair light, she will be fully convinced that necessity and self preservation have compelled us to the measures we have taken, and could the people have discovered that North

-------------------- page 625 --------------------
Carolina would have protected and governed them, they would have remained where they were, but they perceived a neglect and coolness. And the language of many of your most leading Members convinced them they were altogether disregarded.

I beg leave to assure your Excellency that we have always had a most perfect regard to your administration, and had you came to the treaty I am satisfied all due deference would have been paid you, and further, no person here blame you for any past measures, but on the contrary believed you to be a friend to the Western Country.

I am, Sir, your Excellency's, &c.,
His Excellency
Governor Martin.