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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from David Campbell to Richard Caswell
Campbell, David
November 30, 1786
Volume 18, Pages 790-791

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[From Executive Letter Book.]

State of Franklin, Caswell County,
November 30th, 1786.

May it please your Excellency:

I have hesitated to address you on so delicate a subject as the present. I shall only state a few facts, and leave your Excellency to draw the Conclusion.

Is not the Continent of America, one Day, to become one Consolidated Government of United States?

Is not your State Connected with this part of the Country too extensive?

Are we not then one Day to become a separate people?

Do you receive any Advantages from us now or do you ever expect to receive any?

I believe you do not suffer us then to pursue our own happiness in a way most agreeable to our situation and Circumstances.

The plans laid for a regular and Systematical Government in this Country are greatly frustrated by the opposition from your Country. Can a people so nearly connected as yours are with ours delight in our misfortunes?

The Rapid settlements that are making and have been made out of the bounds prescribed both by your State and ours is a matter worthy your Consideration. Our divisions are favorable to those who have a mind to Transgress our Laws. If you were to urge us and it were possible we should revert back to you, in what a Labyrinth of difficulties would we be involved. Witness the many Law Suits which have been decided under the Sanction of the Laws of Franklin, the retrial of which would involve many persons in certain Ruin.

If we set out wrong or were too hasty in our separation this Country is not altogether to blame; your State pointed out the Line of Conduct which we adopted. We really thought you in Earnest when you ceded us to Congress. If you then thought we ought to be Separate, or you now think we ever ought, permit us to complete the Task that is more than half done. Suffer us to give

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energy to our Laws & Freedom to our Councils by saying we are a Separate and Independent people, and we will yet be happy. I suppose it will astonish your Excellency, to hear there are many families settled within Nine Miles of the Cherokee Nation. What will be the Consequence of those immigrations? Our Laws and Government must Conclude those people or they will become dangerous. It is vain to say they must be Retained. Has not all America extended their back settlements in Opposition to Laws & Proclamations? The Indians are now become More pusilanimous, and consequently will be more & more encroached upon, they must, they will be circumscribed. Some of your Politicians think we have not men of abilities to Conduct the Reins of Government. This may in some Measure be true, but all new States must have a Beginning; and we are daily increasing in Men both of Political and Law Knowledge. It was not from a love of Novelty, or the desire of Titles I believe, that our Leaders were induced to engage in the present Revolution but from pure necessity, we were getting into Confusion, and you know any Government is better than Anarchy. Matters will be differently represented to you, but you may rely on it a great Majority of the People are anxious for a separation.

Nature has separated us, do not oppose her in her works; by Acquiescing you will bless us and do yourself no injury. You bless us by Uniting the disaffected, and do yourself no injury because you lose nothing but people who are a Clogg on your Government and to whom you cannot do equal Justice by reason of their detached situation.

I was appointed to wait on your General Assembly to urge a Ratification of our Independence; but the misfortune of losing one of my Eyes and some other occurances prevented me. You will therefore pardon me for the Liberties I have taken, whilst I am endeavoring to serve a people whose situation is truly Critical.

I am, Your Excellency's,
Most obedient Humble Servt.,