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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Steele to Samuel Johnston
Steele, John, 1764-1815
February 19, 1789
Volume 21, Pages 527-529

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Salisbury, Feb’y 19th, 1789.


I would have done myself the honor of writing to your Excellency sooner, but nothing conclusive has been done by the Commissioners of the Indian Department until very lately.

I met by appointment the Superintendent and Commissioner of

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South Carolina at Ninety Six, in that State, on the 2nd Monday of the present month, at which time we arranged all the business that was necessary to be done previous to the Treaty.

For information I refer you to the papers enclosed, by which you will observe that we have agreed upon the time and place recommended by the Legislature of North Carolina.

The Treaty with the Creeks is not finally agreed upon owing in some measure to the poverty of Georgia, and indeed it is a doubt with me whether it will be held next Summer, unless the money can be raised by superscription, or a Loan negotiated from South Carolina.

The South Carolina Commissioner informed us at our last meeting that two Cherokees have lately been killed, and their hunting Camp plundered, but it is not known whether it is done by Citizens of North or South Carolina. He at the same time informed us that some of the people of Washington District have lately carried an Expedition into the Nation, surprised a Town, and brought off a considerable number of prisoners, but shed no blood, both of which have been done since the date of your Proclamation. This ungovernable Spirit of the White people will render it very difficult for the Commissioners to effect a permanent peace. Perhaps it might not be amiss or unnecessary for the Commissioners to be furnished with an order to the Commanding Officer of Washington District, requiring him to deliver those Indian Captives at the time and place appointed for the exchange; if your Excellency thinks so, please to forward it to me by the Bearer.

It will be necessary that I should be furnished with the Resolutions of Congress respecting Indian Affairs previous to the Treaty. If your Excellency has been served with them, I will be glad to have them forwarded also.

It is now time that I should know from whom I am to receive the 3,333½ dollars voted by the General Assembly in their last Session, pursuant to the Resolution of Congress. I suppose the Treasurer has not any Gold or Silver in his possession.

The Legislature have advised me to obtain an extension of the Boundary of this State as far as the dividing Ridge between Little River & Tennessee if possible. Congress, by private instructions, have absolutely forbidden the Commissioners, or any of them, to demand the Cession of a single foot of Land from the Indians. Will your Excellency be kind enough to direct me how to act?

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It shall be my care to furnish your Excellency with every information relative to Indian affairs, which may seem worthy your attention.

I have the Honor, &c.,