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Letter from Alexander Spotswood to the Board of Trade of Great Britain [Extract]
Spotswood, Alexander, 1676-1740
May 08, 1712
Volume 01, Pages 839-841

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[B. P. R. O. B. T. Virginia. Vol. 41. P. 442.]
COLL: SPOTSWOOD TO THE LORDS OF TRADE.

May 8th 1712.

My Lords.

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As to the proceedings in settling the Boundaries with Carolina of which your Lordships desire an Account in your letter of the 22nd of November I have writ sundry times to the Governor of that province to appoint Persons for adjusting thereof, but he tells me he has received no directions therein from the Lords Proprietors so that your Lordships will be pleased to consider of some further means to quicken the Proprietors to put a speedy end to this dispute.

We continue still under the apprehension of being attacked by the Indians for notwithstanding the Government of South Carolina sent a body of 700 of their Indians commanded by some officers of that province to the assistance of the People of North Carolina, and that about the latter end of last January they fell upon some Towns of the Tuscaruros with pretty good success. Yet after this first rencounter near 500 of them deserted so that their commander did not find himself in a condition to improve the consternation into which that sudden eruption had put the enemy, and in his next attempt upon one of their Forts he was forced to draw off with considerable loss, however this seasonable succour put new life into the people of that Province and a new assembly being called, passed an Act to raise 4000£ for prosecuting the war against the Indian Enemy and because they could not raise a sufficient body of men in that Province where the Quakers make a great number of the Inhabitants, they made application to me for an assistance of 200 men from this Colony. The apparent danger to which her majestys subjects there were exposed, more especially by the Indians gathering fresh courage upon the repulse they had given the South Carolina Forces, together with the just grounds there appeared to believe that the whole Tuscaruro Nation were confederated with those concerned in the Massacre, not only from their failing to perform any one of the Engagements they had entered

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into with this Government; but the trifling excuses they made for that failure at their coming in to me in March last, and the discoveries of their intreagues to seduce our Tributary Indians to join with them, were sufficient motives for agreeing to the assistance desired by Carolina as the most probable means to divert the storm from our own Frontiers, so that upon a full debate in two severall Councils, I had the unanimous advice of the whole Council to send 100 men of our Inhabitants and 100 of our Tributary Indians to the assistance of Carolina: And because the Assembly had left me no Fund to answer such an occasion and that there remained nothing in Bank upon the Revenue of 2s per hhd. there was a necessity to defray the Charge of this Expedition out of her Majesty's Revenue of Quit Rents since the necessity was so pressing as would not admit of the Forms of calling an Assembly and the delays incident to their proceedings but it was also agreed to demand of the Government of Carolina to enter into a previous engagement in behalf of the Lords Proprietors, that whatever sum should be employed for this service out of her Majtys Quit Rents should be refunded by the Lords Proprietors, if her Majesty thought fit to demand it, as being more immediately employed for the protection of their Government. Upon this I proceeded to appoint the Rendevouze of the soldiers, and desired a conference with the Governor of North Carolina for the better carrying on this service, but at my meeting him he told me with great concern, that the Commander sent from South Carolina had without his knowledge clapt up a peace with the Indians upon very unaccountable conditions at a time when he had reduced one of their most considerable Forts to the last Extremity and could not have missed taking it in a few hours, nor of breaking entirely the power of that enemy, if he would have waited the arrival of the succours from hence, and the Force then raising in North Carolina to joyn him. This weakness in the conduct of their affairs together with a more unaccountable obstinacy in the Council of that Province in refusing to submit to her Majestys' Determination the repayment of the mony disbursed here for their assistance or of furnishing so much as Provisions for the Forces sent from hence is as great a discouragement to their Neighbours as tis encouraging to the Heathen who are not such fools as not to perceive their weak efforts in carrying on the war as well as their easiness in making Peace. And it happened very luckily on this occasion, that I had not entered any of the soldiers
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of this Government in Pay, before I knew of this event, so that all that expence is saved, and I have now nothing more to think of than the defending our own Frontiers against the inroads of the Tuscaruroes whereas they find themselves in a condition to break this peace, which nobody believes will be long lived.

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My Lords
Your Lordships
most dutiful & most obedient
humble servant
A. SPOTSWOOD.

Virginia. May 8th 1712.