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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Joseph Martin to Richard Caswell
Martin, Joseph, 1740-1808
March 25, 1787
Volume 22, Pages 675-676


Chota, ye 25th March, 1787.


At my arrival in this place I found the Indians in greater confustion than I had ever seen them before, Owing in part to Colonel John Logan’s Expedition against them, Together with daily Incroachments of the Franklinists on their Lands. They have actually opened a land office for Every Acre of Land that the Legislature of North Carolina Ceded to them North of the Tennessee, which includes Several of their Principal cornfields and part of their beloved Town, Chota and the whole Town of Niol, and Now Settling on the Banks of the River. About forty of their young men had Set out for the War before my arrival, as they say, to take Satisfaction for Some of their Friends that was Killed by Colonel Logan; Some of which has Returned. They Killed a family on Cumberland. Some attempts was made on the Traders, one of which was Killed. Several others lost their property. I this Day finished a talk With them, a Copy of which I inclose to your Excellency. Three Letters Have lately Been brought to the Different Towns and Read, from the French at the Muscle Shoals, Which inform the Indians the English, French and Spaniards have Actually Joined to carry on a war against America; that the Americans have Stopped their Trade From Detroit by Seizing Several of their Boats on the Mississippi; that they will not undertake to furnish them in future with anything but guns, Knives, Tomahawks and ammunition. Them articles

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they Shall have plenty. The Cherokees inform me the Creeks are now preparing for war; that a large number of the Northward Indians are Also preparing, which are to set out from Detroit this Spring. I yesterday Received a Talk from the Chickasaws, a copy of which I also inclose. Various are the conjectures of the Traders Respecting of war With the Cherokees. My Opinion is there will be a great deal of mischief done, if not an Open War, unless the Franklinists can be Removed off Their land; which I am well assured can not be done without an armed force.

Every occurence worth Notice I Shall send your Excellency without delay. I Set out to-morrow to take a Tour through the Different Towns, and try to lay hold of the above mentioned Letters, which I Shall Send Also. I have the Honor to be, with great Respect,

Your Excellency’s most Humble and most Obedient Servant,

N. B. The Tennessee business is laid over till July Next, at which time hope Colonel Glasgoe will Attend. I must Beg that your Excellency will write Colonel Cleveland on the occasion.

J. M.


His Excellency Richard Caswell, Esq., Governor of North Carolina. Colonel Joseph Martin, Superintendent Indians, Chota, 25 March, 1787.