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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Anthony Bledsoe to Richard Caswell
Bledsoe, Anthony, 1733-1788
May 04, 1787
Volume 22, Pages 682-684


Sullivan County, May the 4th, 1787.

Dear Sir:—

When I last addressed your Excellency from this place I little expected to have dated a second from the same, though business of a private nature detained me a considerable time, and

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then being advised by your letter that Major Evans expected to be at the lower end of Clinch Mountain by the first of April, I delayed setting homeward till I could see him, thinking thereby I might render him some service, and am still impatiently waiting.

I have had several letters from the counties of Davidson and Sumner, giving a particular account of several hostile acts committed by the savages on the frontiers since I left that country. On the whole five persons have been killed, viz., one Price and his wife, a Cornelius Ruddle, A Bowman, a boy by the name of Ramsey, and as I am advised, scarce a week passes that they do not steal horses. The old Topsel writes to the inhabitants of Holston that the Creek and all the Northern tribes of Indians are determined on war this summer, and further adds that they are determined on breaking up the Kentucky and Cumberland settlements this summer. I judge from every appearance that they will harrass the frontiers greatly, though hope they will not be permitted to carry their threats into execution. I have stayed long enough in this part of the country to see the appearance of the long dreaded confusion; long enough to see and hear the lenient measures of the last session of the General Assembly treated with the greatest contempt. I have always been of opinion that without the greatest prudence it was to end in blood, and now am further convinced that without government acts a decided part, hostilities will shortly commence. The Franklin Assembly has been setting and has opened a land office from the French Broad to the Tennessee River, which from accounts gives a general disgust to the Indians, and I judge gives them cause to harrass the Cumberland settlements. Also an act to punish by fine and imprisonment any person that shall act under the assumed authority of North Carolina, by issuing or executing any precept on any of the inhabitants or citizens of the State of Franklin. For the first offense, the fine is five pounds; the second offense a fixed time of imprisonment, the Governor to order a guard and levy the expense of guard and safe-keeping on the estate of the offender. I have myself heard the Franklin party wish the period of the commencement of hostilities. To me it is a dread thought. Might I be permitted to request your Excellency’s addressing these people and advising them the necessity and advantage of returning to their duty once more and the danger and evil consequences of their persisting in the attempt of supporting an independence. I do assure your Excellency that it is

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my opinion that your address on that occasion would have a very great effect on the principal people in the revolted party.

I judge this will accompany a letter from General Shelby, addressed particularly on this subject. I should be particularly happy to be honored with a line from you acquainting me with the particulars done at the meeting of the deputies appointed to meet at Philadelphia, or any other matter you shall think proper to communicate. In conformity to your request, I shall all times advise you of everything I judge worthy your notice. Whilst I have the honor to be

Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble servant,

N. B. The friends to government seem to act with much calmness to avoid the effusion of blood if possible. Inded, I wish necessity may not compel them to act a different part or lose sight of government.

A. B.


His Excellency Richard Caswell, Esq., Governor of North Carolina. Honored by Mr. Perryman.