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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Sevier to Richard Caswell
Sevier, John, 1745-1815
October 28, 1786
Volume 22, Pages 659-661


Mount Pleasant, Franklin, 28 Octo., 1786.


Our assembly has again appointed Some Commissioners to Wait on the parent State, who I hope will chearfully Consent to the separation as they once before did. It gives us inexpressible Concern to think that any disputes should Arise between Us, More Especially when we did Not in the first instance pray the Separation, but after the same was done by Act of your Assembly, We Humbly Conceived we should do No Wrong by endeavouring to provide for ourselves. Neither had we the Most distant Idea that the Cession Act would be Repealed, otherways Matters might Not have been Carried to the length they are. The propriety of the repeal we do not pretend to Scrutinize, as respecting the policy of your State, but permit us to say that in Our Opinions we discover many embarasments both parties Are likely to Labour Under in Consequence of the repeal. We cannot Suppose that Congress will Consider herself Well Treated By North Carolina, and we doubt thereby become in some measure Inattentive. The late Indian Treaties in the South Seems Deeply to Concern each party. Especially now we find Congress have Ratified the proceedings, and have Called on your State to carry the Same into effect so far as respected The Same. We do not pretend to discriminate the Motives that induced that body to enter into those measures, but beg leave to say that in Our Opinions, that had the deed or Deeds been Executed agreeable to the Cession Act, that then Our Lands in the West would have been secure under the Conditions of that Act. But under the present Circumstances the greatest part of our Western Country Lies in a very doubtfull and precarious Situation. I hope your assembly Will take Under there Serious Consideration our present Condition, and We

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flatter Our Selves that August body will not demerge into Ruin So Many of there late Citizens, who so often have fought and bled in behalf of the parent State and are still ready to do so again, Should there be an Occasion. Our local and remote Situation are the only motives that induce us to wish for a separation. Your Constitution and Laws we Revere, and Consider ourselves Happy that we have had it in our power to get the same Established in the State of Franklin, altho’ it has Occasioned Some Confusion among our Selves.

We do in the Most Candid and Solemn manner Assure you that we do not Wish to separate from you on any Other terms but on those that may be perfectly Consistant with the Honour and interest of each party. Neither do we believe there is any among us who would wish for real inconveniency in Consequence thereof but would be Willing to Stand or fall together Under any dangerous Crisis whatever. We cannot be of the opinion that any Real advantages Can be obtained by a Longer Connection. Our Trade and Commerce is Altogether Carried on With other States, Therefore Neither party is benefited on that head. And whether It Can be suggested that the benefit of the Government Can be Extended from five to eight hundred Miles distant, is a matter I leave to your Own good sense to Judge of. And further, it Can not be supposed that the inhabitants who reside at that distance Are not equally entitled to the blessings of Civil government as there Neighbours who live East, South or any other point, and not one-fourth of the distance from the seat of Government; besides the incomparable advantages of the roads and other easy Communications that you have on the East of the Apalachian.

How ever inconsiderable the people of this Country May Appear at this day, reason must inform us that the time is not far distant when they will become as Consequential In numbers, if not more so, than most of the Eastern States; And when your Excellency Will be pleased to View The many advantages ariseing from the fertility of our Soil and the moderate and Salutary Climate, you Can not, I presume, differ in Sentiments on this head.

We will admit that our importation is not so flattering, but our Exports equal to any. As to our present abilities, we must confess are not so greate as Could be wished for, but happy for us, we have the parent and many old and Experienced States to copy after.

As to my own part, I have always Considered myself happy while

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under the government of North Carolina, and highly Honoured with the different appointments they have been pleased to Confer.

I heartily wish your legislature had Either Not repealed or Never passed the Cession Act, for probably It may Occasion Much Confusion, especially should your Assembly listen too much to prejudiced persons, tho’ this I have no Right to Suggest, but fear we may have a Quarrel sufficient on our hands without any among our selves.

I am authorized to say there is no Set of people Can think more highly of your Government then those who Want the Separation, and they only wish it to answer There better Conveniency, and tho’ want to be separated in Government, wish to be United in friendship, and hope that mutual good offices may ever pass between the parent and infant State, which is the sincere Wish and Desire of

Your Excellency’s Most Obedient Huml. Serv’t,
His Excellency Rich’d Caswell, Esqr.


His Excellency Richard Caswell, Esquire, Governor of the State of No. Carolina.
Hon’d by Colo. Cocke.
John Sevier, Esq., 28 Octo., 1786. Rec’d 16 Novr., at Fayette.