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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Thomas Hutchins to Richard Caswell
Hutchins, Thomas
April 01, 1787
Volume 22, Pages 678-679


Hawkins County, the 1st April, 1787.


I received your Excellency’s of the 27th February, 1787, With the Inclosed papers and Others Forwarded. In Compliance with the Contents, I give you a State of the proceedings in the Quarters, as You Signified A desire to Know how the Laws and A return to the Old Government Set on the Minds of the people. I Find in the County of Greene the people are much Divided. In the Other three Counties About Two thirds much pleased With the Laws and A return to the Old Government, the Commissions and Appointments Generally Received. The people on the Indian Hunting Grounds I Learn Are Very Obstinate, and Suppose Will Pay Little or No Respect to your Excellency’s Proclamation for their Removal. The Franklin party yet persist and Seem to Impede the progress of Civilization and Retard the Operation of the Most Salutary Laws. They have Lately Held an Assembly and passed Several Acts and Seem Vigorous In Executing them. They have Opened an Office for all The Lands South of French Broad to the Banks of the Tennessee River. The Land is to be Sold at forty Shillings Per Hundred Acre in Furs, Ten Shillings in hand and Two Years’ Credit for the Other Thirty Shillings. This Unites the Inhabitants of those Lands to their party, and In order to Frighten Others Into A Compliance with Them Have passed an Act to Fine and Imprison Any person Who Shall dare to Act under The Authority of North Carolina for the First Offense five pounds. A Second Offense ten pounds and A Year’s imprisonment. The Court at Discretion to Summon a Guard over them, Which Guard are to be paid out of the property of the Offender. They have Also Impowered the Governor to Raise the Militia to Oppose the Operation of the Laws of North Carolina,

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Who are Now enlisting, and Giving 400 Acres of Land Bounty. This Is under A Color of Guarding the Frontiers. Should they Offer any Insults To the Civil Authority, I Expect it Will be difficult to prevent an Effusion of blood. I think your Excellency will Readily See the Necessity of the Interference of Government, and Unless those people are entitled to Exclusive and Separate emoluments from the Rest of the Community, they Ought Certainly to be Quelled. If we are in our Allegiance, protection Ought to be Reciprocal. I therefore Give it as my Opinion that it is highly Necessary that Notice Should be Taken of the Conduct of those people, as there are Many plans and matters Agitated by them which seem to have A Tendency to dissolve Even the Federal Bands. Several Letters I have in My possession, which Can be Spoken of No Other Way. A Few Lines From Your Excellency, with your Advice and Instruction how to conduct myself in this unhappy Dilemma, would be Most thankfully Received. I have the Honor to be,

Your Excellency’s Most Obedient and Humble Servant,


To His Excellency Richard Caswell, Esq., Governor, etc., of the State of North Carolina. Per Favor Mr. Wm. Armstrong. On public Service.