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Letter from Alexander Spotswood to Thomas Pollock
Spotswood, Alexander, 1676-1740
May 1713
Volume 02, Pages 47-48

[From Calendar of Virginia State Papers. Vol. 1. P. 166.]
GOVERNOR SPOTSWOOD TO GOVERNOR POLLOCK ON INDIAN POLICY.

May 1713

>To Collo Pollock,

>Sr

I have recd yors of the 25th and 30th of last moneth, whereby I perceive you are fallen into the same measures, I proposed for establishing a peace with ye Indians, only with this variation, that you insist upon higher Terms, than I can think prudent at the Juncture: for as to the delivering up to you 20 of the Chief contrivers of the seizure of the Baron & Mr. Lawson, and of carrying on the Massacre, and those to be named by you, it will be fitt to consider how shocking this will be to all the considble men of that nation, who will without doubt, beleive that they themselves will be the persons pointed at, and rather choose to hazard their lives, by the chance of war, than submitt to a certain death, by yielding themselves your prisoners: the insisting likewise on the delivery of such of Blunts Indians, as have had any hand in the Massacre, will make them averse to this Treaty, and render Blunt, incapable of Executing what engagements he shall make to you—In my opinion,

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after so many have been made Captives and destroy'd, and that with such exquisite tortures (as I have been told), an Act of indemnity might very well be pressed for the rest—Not that I am pleading for any favour as due to those Indians. On the contrary, I think all that had any hand in ye Massacre deserve death: But in the present Circumstances of yr: Country (of which the Indians are not altogether ignorant) it seems very improbable they should submit to worse conditions upon a peace, than you are able to force them to, by carrying on the war: and notwithstanding Blunt may be induced to sign such a Treaty as you propose, yet you will be as far as ever from establishing a peace by that means—for the experience I have had of those very Indians, hath shown me that they are easily persuaded to promise any thing, but that there is no dependence upon their performance, except where they can find in it either their interest or their Safety. So that if a peace can be obtained with the delivery of two or three of the Ringleaders in ye Massacre, and those named by you before the Treaty, the rest will then imagine ymselves out of danger, will neither interrupt ye Treaty, nor be like to break ye peace after its conclusion—

As to the practices of the Northern Indians, I have formerly, and now again by the man of war, that carrys Mrs Hyde given Collo Hunter a particular accot thereof, and desired him to use his endeavours for prevention thereof for the future—The inclosed pr. ml: will informe you of the latest & most material piece of news we have here—