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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Sevier to Alexander Martin
Sevier, John, 1745-1815
March 22, 1785
Volume 22, Pages 640-642


Washington Court House, 22d March, 1785.


Yours by Maj. 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 Honour to Lay your Excellency’s Letter Before the assembly, who have Undertaken To answer same, & hope they will give you full and ample satisfaction in regard to the proceedings of this Country, & 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 knew 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 session act was passed the goods was refused, & No sooner than the Melancholy

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News Reached our Country the Indians were Murdering on the Caintuck Road & 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 & Cruelties That Usually attend a savage and bloody War.

You Cannot be insensible that No. Carolina, In Opening her land office, tolerated all the lands on The North side of the Tenesee as far Up as the mouth of Holeston River to be Entered. Have you been informed That within this Limits that there is several Indian Towns, and the greater part of all the Corn plantations Belonging to Chuckamauga Lye on the No. side of Tenesee, Together with all the principal part of their Hunting Grounds? If not, I can assure your Excellency it Is the Case, and this alone I have sufficient reasons To believe is the principal Reason why the Indians Commit Hostilities; as the lands on the South of Broad River, where some few people are settled, I cannot Believe the Indians Care any thing about, 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 allow’d by act of your assembly to settle Down to and in these towns, and are now settled and makeing greate Preparations for settling near one Hundred miles below their upper Settlements.

It gives me greate pain to think there should arise any Disputes between us and North Carolina, & I flatter myself 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 No. Carolina would Have protected & Govern’d them, They would 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, & had you Come to The Treaty, I am satisfy’d All due Deference would have been paid you, & further, no person here blame you for any of the past

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measures. But on the Contrary believed you to be a friend to the Western Country.

I am, Sir, your Excellency’s Most obedient Hbl. Serv’t,
His Excellency Governor Martin.


His Excellency Governor Martin of North Carolina.
Hon’d by Major Sam’l Henderson.
Governor Sevier, 22d March, 1785.
Registered & Examined.