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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Sevier to the North Carolina General Assembly
Sevier, John, 1745-1815
October 30, 1788
Volume 22, Pages 697-699


Greene County, 30 October, 1788.


It is with inexpressable Concern I am Constrained to make a few observations to your honorable body. However trifling and insignificant the Author of this may appear in the eyes of your august House, yet from the patriotic and paternal spirit, that I hope do & ought to prevail in every Legislature, induces me to believe with a flattering expectation that some regard will be shown, at least so far as to suffer this to be read before your Honorable body.

In regard to the political divisions raging in the country, I humbly request you will be pleased to have reference to your own records & Journals, in which I presume you will readily find the foundation and Original Cause from whence all our Troubles Have Arisen: A long detail of Facts & Transactions here would be too tedious & unnecessary, as I am confident, the greater part of your House are fully acquainted with every particular circumstance.

The integrity, uprightness, and good disposition of your Government is not doubted or questioned, with the Greater part of the inhabitants of our Western Country; our peculiar situation & local Circumstances, is what induced the people to wish a separation, and are constrained to believe, that such a thing would have tended much

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to the advantage of each party. You are sensible and sufficiently acquainted how recently we were all employed and deeply engaged, to keep off the British yoke of slavery and tyranny, and in the days of your greatest extremity, the people who are now suffering for differing in political sentiments, were those who gave you the first relief, at the expence of their blood and loss of their dearest relations.

Is it not obvious to you, that the rigid persecutions now carried on is more to gratify the ambition & malice of an obscure and worthless individual, than to appease the Justice of the State. Is it not Contrary to your Constitution, and all the Laws made in pursuance hereof, to not only deprive a man of His liberty, but treat him with wanton cruelty and savage insults before Trial, or any evidence of the breach of the Laws adduced, borne off, out of the District, at a distance from his friends & neighbors who can only be the best Judges of his innocence or Guilt.

Has North Carolina forgot that for such acts America took up arms against the British nation? Has she also forgot that the man and party that now suffers, was her zealous defenders in the days of her greatest extremity? Can it be possible that North Carolina is so void of understanding as to think she is so permanently fixed as not to be shaken; has she not discovered, that there is formidable and inveterate enemies around her watching to take the advantage of our divisions, which I am sorry to say are too numerous? Have you not discovered that those people have it in their power to do as much at least, if not a great deal more, for the Western Americans, than you can yourselves? Have you not seen the most affectionate child become sour & inveterate against the parent, when the parental and tender ties of humanity have been refused?

Is it consistent with the honor and dignity of a Government, or any of her executive department, to call upon some of those miserable, detestable, miscreants, who were so lately sentenced to death in the Superior Court of Morgan District for being inimical to American liberty, to have it in their, power to put to death at pleasure any of your defenders, which your own records acknowledge to have been your faithful servants for a number of years past? Or can you think that any set of men, who are daily endeavoring to irritate and disaffect at least four fifths of the people in the Western Country, are in fact, your friends? Surely you cannot; neither can you

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suppose those men, who are daily wishing for a return of British government, and also making it a point to put it in thepower of those who was but the other day conquered by the American arms; now, to tyrannize over and treat with Barbarity & wanton cruelty, the warm and zealous friends to American liberty? It is not myself alone, that will be disgusted at such treatment; thousands have been engaged in the same Cause.

These observations may be worthy of Consideration, and hope I shall be thought Candid, when I assure the State of North Carolina, I have always wished her prosperity. I have fought and suffered in her Cause. It is consistent with my own honor, secret pride and satisfaction, that she, as well as the whole of the Union, may always flourish and become great.

I have the honor to be with due regard and consideration,
Your obedient & humble Servant,


The Honble. The Speakers of both
Houses of the General Assembly of North Carolina.

Letter from Mr. John Sevier.