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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Blount to Richard Caswell
Blount, William, 1749-1800
October 19, 1786
Volume 18, Pages 767-768

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Martinborough, October 19th, 1786.


As I find it generally believed that I purchased a large quantity of Land of the Indians, who attended the Treaties at Hopewell on Keeowee last Winter, I think it necessary to declare upon my word & honor that I have not purchased any Land of any Indian, or Indians, nor been concerned in the purchase of any Land of any Indian, or Indians, directly or indirectly, since the Month of June one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five. And I further declare that I do not believe that any person who attended in a public capacity the Treaties before mentioned did purchase any Land of any Indian, or Indians, or that they were concerned in any purchase directly or indirectly.

That I signed the said Treaties as a Witness I am told has been made use of as a positive proof that I am perfectly agreed to the contents thereof. To this I answer, that previous to my signing as a Witness in my private capacity I had delivered to the Continental Commissioners my protest against the Treaties in my official capacity as will appear by their Journal; a copy of which is in your possession. And here I hope it will not be thought improper to remark that nothing more could be fairly understood by my subscribing as a Witness than that I saw the contracting parties sign the Treaties.

Nothing surely is more common than for people, of Every Grade in Life, to Subscribe their names as witnesses to Instruments of Writing, the contents of which they are totally ignorant of and all

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that is necessary for such Witnesses to know is, that they saw the Contracting Party or parties sign, Seal, &c. And this is the case with those in General who signed as Witnesses to the Treaties, tho' I do not mean to say that it was mine.

I am lately favored with a Letter from George Ogg, Esquire, dated at Augusta, July 17th, 1786, from which the following is an Extract:

“Mr. Ward has delivered some odd of 4,000 skins and has got as many more in the Nation, which the outrages committed by the Creeks on the frontier Settlements prevented him from bringing them down in time. Some of the Skins have come to hand and as there appears to be a small cessation of Hostilities at present, I have ordered the remainder to come forward immediately. And as soon as the weather permits shall prize and send them to Philadelphia, agreeable to your directions. Yet as War seems to be the General Voice of the People we may meet some disappointment.”

I shall set out from this on the 21st Instant for New York, so as to be there in Time to take my Seat in Congress on the first Monday in November.

I have the honor to be,
Your Excellency's
Most Obedient Humble Servant,