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Letter from Thomas Pollock to Alexander Spotswood
Pollock, Thomas, 1654-1722
November 16, 1713
Volume 02, Pages 73-75

[From Pollock's Letter Book.]

November 16th 1713

Yours of Oct. 16th came to hand last night, and as for the Meherrin Indians, you have had wrong information concerning them: for they have answered to our Courts, they have submitted themselves to this

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government, they have paid tribute here; so that they have not always been accounted in your government; but, on the contrary, have always here been taken to be in this; and it was only the convenience of trade that drew them to submit to yours, and the weakness of this government that suffered it. And moreover, they, living in the controverted bounds, are as much in our government as in yours, until the line determine under which they are.

And as the tributary Indians under this government are as much under Her Majesty as the tributary Indians of any other of Her Majestys plantations, so if I had endeavored to recover or presume and insure? the right to these Indians for the Lords proprietors, I can not see wherein it would have been any encroachment on Her Majestys rights, which I shall always study to preserve to the utmost of [my] power. As for your Honor's acquainting us that we may not expect any assistance of men from the Meherrins, and that you have ordered them not to acknowledge our government, all that I can say to it at present is that if Her Majesty's subjects under your government had laboured under the hundredth part of the difficulties and trouble that the poor people of this government have, I should not only not have hindred those Indians that you had any pretence of right to, but have allowed and encouraged all other tributary Indians here, and all other Her Majesty's subjects to assist what they could. I think it very hard you should blame me for not appointing Commissioners to lay out the bounds, when I never had any orders thereanent, either from Her Majesty or the Lords Proprietors.

I hope your Honor will take no exceptions at my lawful endeavors to maintain my masters, the Lords Proprietors, rights, so far as lawfully I can, it being my duty.

We have had nothing of moment worth communicating to you these several months last past, only that some scattered parties of our enemies do still distress us out of their swamps and lurking-places, killing many of our people.

But King Blount's men very often come up with some of them, having killed, taken and brought in the scalps of near thirty of them. And are in great hopes that, according to his promise, as soon as the people come from the northward that he expects that he will soon clear us of these straggling parties, which without his help we never shall be able to do ourselves. We have a report here that you are on some treaty with the Tuscaroras, and that there are intentions of drawing them in under your protection, and settling them in your limits; which seems to me so unjust, and the consequences so apparently destructive to Her Majestys subjects

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here, that I can never think, those that mind their own interest more than your Honor? or safety and prosperity of Her Majesty's subjects, can pursuade your Honor to consent to it. King Blount had been with you long before this, but his sickness and lameness hath hindered him, as for what orders Her Majesty hath given concerning the controverted lands, I know not, but can assure you, since I was confirmed in the administration, have given no allowance to the taking and settling lands there.

Hond Sir I have on my part earnestly endeavoured for a fair and friendly correspondence, which would be most acceptable.