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Letter from Alexander Spotswood to the Board of Trade of Great Britain [Extract]
Spotswood, Alexander, 1676-1740
February 11, 1713
Volume 02, Pages 12-14

[B. P. R. O. B. T. Virginia. Vol. 13. O. 137.—Extract.]
COL SPOTSWOOD TO LDS OF TRADE 11 FEB 1712-3.

Virginia 11 Feby 171⅔

My Lords

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The honour your Lordships have done me in approving my Conduct in relation to the Civil Dissentions in North Carolina is the Greatest encouragement I at present have for the continuance of my endeavours to assist that unhappy Country I wish I could have received from your Lordps Board directions for my better guidance in a matter of far greater consequence, I mean that of their Indian war which would have been so much the more necessary in regard to the difficulties I have to struggle with here: for such is the natural Disposition of the people towards aiding their neighbours, that I can very assuredly informe your Lordsps that I am the only person of the Government that ever proposes giving any assistance to North Carolina in its distresses, and must alone furnish the arguments to obtain the Councils concurrence or to procure any supplys from the Burgesses: besides that whatever I undertake in behalf of that distracted Country I am forced to push on with a great deal of trouble and expense to myself. On the other hand there reigns such stupidity and Dissention in the Government of North Carolina that it can neither concert any measures nor perform any engagements for its own Security.

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For upon a representation from the President Council & Assembly of that Province of their miserable Circumstances which I imediately laid before our Assembly with all the Exhortations I could use to move their pitty in their distressed Fellow Subjects (as your Lordps may find in the 29th page of the Assemblys Journal) All I have been able to obtain from our House of Burgesses is only the sum of a thousand pounds, and nine hundred yards of Coarse Cloathing for the poor people that have been plundered by the Heathen, and (as it was represented) would be obliged to ly out in the woods for the protection of the remaining part of the Province against their incursions in the Winter Season, Our Burgesses looking on that Province as the Author of its own Misery, by the continued Disorders in the Government and the Licentiousness of the People, and tho in the Address they say they have given the supply with cheerful hearts, yet the struggle with which it passed in their House is an evidence of their disinclination however it must be acknowledged that this inconsiderable Sum tho' unequal to the charge necessary for Subdueing that barbarous Enemy, is nevertheless the greatest Donative ever given by an Assembly here to be expended out of the Country. I am now Endeavouring to lay out this small supply to the best Advantage as soon as the season of the year will favour an expedition against the Indians and should have hoped by the assistance of the forces sent from South Carolina (which consist of eight hundred and fifty Indians and thirty three white men) to have reduced the enemy had the Government of North Carolina done their part. But notwithstanding the assurance given by their assembly in their Address (whereof I send your Lordps a copy) that they would supply with provisions and the charge of Transportation what Forces should be sent from hence to their Assistance: Upon a conference which I had with some Agents from that Governments about three week ago they plainly told me that they furnish neither: nor could they make any proposals to me either for helping themselves or enabling me to do it. And tho at their request I have supplyed 'em with the Cloathing which was intended for three hundred men to go out against the Indians they cannot now find one hundred in the whole province to go on that expedition. Some deserting the Country others absconding and the rest sheltering themselves under the Masque of Quakerism. Such gross mismanagements as these have in a great measure been the Occasion of their unhappy Circumstances & must entail on them further miserys if any accident should happen to the Gentleman who commands the South Carolina Indians. For as they are made up of a great many different nations and kept together by the sole
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Authority of that single person there is no question to be made but that if he should fall or receive any considerable disadvantage in his attempt upon the Tuscaruros all these Indians would imediately disperse and leave their friends in a much worse condition than they found 'em having already committed very great disorder in the Country through which they passed from which no authority of their officers could restrain them

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A SPOTSWOOD