I sett out the 17th of June to view my Lands, and at the same time the Western Frontier and fix a place to station our Frontier Company and proposed viewing the South Carolina Line, as formerly proposed by the Commissioners, at 35° and also the situation of the Catawba's Nation having taken with me a very good Quadrant of 18 inches radius, by which I could take the latitude accurately to a minute of a degree, I took my roote by the Heads of New River in Onslow County, called the rich Lands, which I found to answer the same all along the Banks of the several branches, I passed thence to the North East Branch of Cape Fear river, I found the Lands there tolerable, but upon the rising betwixt the rivers generally piny, after crossing it I proceeded to Duplin Court House, the lands there are generally pretty good; I hence went to the branch and the six runs, which falls into Black river to view some lands I had there the Bottoms I found
This convinces me that the whole flat Country along the Coast, has a free stone Bottom, near the highest rise of the tides or a little higher, along the rivers a shelley lime stone rock appears which makes a cement, above which lies the free stone, this free stone Bottom and the sands time out of mind washed by the freshes from the Banks, is the cause of all the low sandy grounds at the mouths of these great rivers, and the Banks in the great sound, and also all the small Islands which keep off the sea, and the perpetual burning of the underwoods, and all the shallow rooted kindly grass, has burnt all the top rich soil, and left nothing but the sand which can't be burnt, and is the cause of all the pine barren sandy land, so that nothing rises in the woods but deep rooted weeds and herbs, and some strong deep rooted grass, and this makes the great difference betwixt these Lands and the low wet Savannas and swamps, which are very rich, because so wet that the soil is not burnt, this Practice I think ought to be restrained at least the only pretence they have for it, is to destroy the Ticks which abound in the woods, and sometimes destroy their young Cattle, & that it is done by Indian and other straggling Hunters, and often by smoking Tobacco, in kindled fires in the woods, their fences are split rails and they choose to do it themselves, to preserve their fences, and burn the woods and leaves to get young grass for their Cattle; I thence proceeded some distance from the No. West Branch near 60 miles on the top of Sand hills, on which grew nothing but scrubby red and black oak scarce six inches diameter, and pine not exceeding 12 inches and mostly under 6 or 8, these hills divide the streams that fall into Pedee, and the north west of Cape Fear, and seem to be incapable of improvement, the farther I advanced northwestward, the rock grew coarser & harder on some of the Heights where it showed itself at 60 miles distance the lands lowered, and the rock changed into a hard firestone intermixed with white Marcasite or Spar, upon the Branch running into deep river, which enters into Cape Fear river, where the Saxapahaua and it join above which it is called the Sax
There are at present 75 families on my Lands I viewed betwixt 30 and 40 of them, and except two there was not less than from 5 or 6 to 10 children in each family, each going barefooted in their shifts in the
There was also produced to me near the Yadkin a mineral which is either antimony or tin, of which they have discovered veins along the Country near 25 miles, but they have not been able to extract any metal from it. The river from Winyaw is navigable to the Fork of Yadkin, & Rocky river, from whence they have all their salt and heavy goods, which makes it more reasonable than the north east of that river should be our Boundary with South Carolina I had ordered Capt Waddell with our Frontier Company to scout upon the edges of the mountain, and upon their return I set out to fix upon a proper and most central place for them to winter at, and erect a Barrack, and afterwards if found proper there to build a Fort; I went N. W. to the Catawba's river, which runs by the Catawba's Town into the Santee, and proceeded Northward to the Latitude 35°, 40' to third Creek which falls into the South Yadkin, where I found an Eminence and good Springs, and fixed upon that as most central to assist the back settlers and be a retreat to them as it was beyond the well settled Country, only straggling settlements behind them, and if I had placed them beyond the Settlements without a fortification they might be exposed, and be no retreat for the Settlers, and the Indians might pass them and murder the Inhabitants, and retire before they durst go to give them notice. As I was returning I was alarmed with a report of our Troops being defeated and Generl Braddock being killed, but that night having Letters by a Messenger acquainting me with an incursion of Indians near Potomack, who had murdered some families, and another incursion on New river near the Frontiers I was in hopes it was false, and raised upon account of these murders, and I proceeded to Rocky river with design to take the Latitude of the lowest corner of my Land, and to take the Latitude of the Catawba's Town to ascertain the situation when the Boundary Line would be taken into consideration, but that night received a letter express from the North West store with Extracts of Letters from Virginia which confirmed the news of our Defeat, upon which I set out next morning, but having taken the latitude where I was about 35°, 13', at a medium of 3 observations, the South West corner of my Tract must be in 35°, 1', and not more, and from the best Accounts I had of the northerly Catawba Town, it lay very near West of it, at the Distance of about 24 miles. As I came away I sent Expresses for the field officers of the Militia of Anson and Rowan to meet me at the Yadkin, and there ordered out a piquet to be chosen out of the most active men of the Militia of each County with a chosen officer at their head of fifty men each and a central place of rendezvous to be fixed for each to the northward and Southward of our Frontier Company, to be under Captain Waddell's command,th Instant.
I must beg leave to mention, to what I had wrote formerly in relation to the Boundary's being fixed by the river Pedee from the sea, until it reaches the latitude his Majesty may be pleased to fix it, as it seems still to appear more reasonable, since otherwise they may lay a tax upon all the necessary heavy goods which are wanted in the back Country, who have no other navigation but the Pedee, and to allow an equivalent to So Carolina beyond the Savanna towards the mountains. It will be also prudent in my judgment to fix the Catawbas in one or the other Colony being at present in the Verge of the proposed Line in 35°. And it is also I think necessary to have this decided soon for Mr. Glen to ingratiate himself with that Nation by Virtue of his old instruction, fixing the Line 30 miles west of the Springs of Cape Fear River, thinks he may dispose of these Lands as he pleases, and from a wrong Judgment has declared that he can grant Warrants within Lord Granville's Line, and has wrote to the Catawba King Haglar not to let any Englishman or European settle within 30 miles of his nation, and in his letter tells them that he has wrote to his Majesty upon it, who he is sure will make good his grant to them. This letter Haglar has produced to several of our Militia Officers of which I desired a Copy, but my unexpected sudden return prevented my getting it, this I can't conceive to be with any other View but to irritate them with the Planters of this Province, who have taken many hundred patents within that Bounds, because they won't admit the right of South Carolina, and taken out their Warrants from him, but these settlers had rather take out their rights from this Province if they could be supported, even South of 35°, because they don't like the Constitution of that Colony, for no person can commence or prosecute a suit, or defend a suit, altho' at 200 miles Distance from Charlestown, without prosecuting being heard in that Town, so that they rather choose to loose their debt, whereas we have County Courts four times a year to determine all Debts under £40 “ “ and all trespasses and small felonies, and supreme Courts by our last Law in 5 distant parts of the Province, yet Mr. Glenn would extend his power
I am persuaded your Lordships can never approve giving away 1,800,000 Acres, a circle of 60 miles diameter to a nation that does not exceed 300 Warriors, in the whole 1500 men, women and children, when before they were very easy, tho' some Planters took out Patents within 6 or 7 miles of them, and there are now many hundred families settled within that Bounds. But since I am now mentioning the Indians, I must relate what has happened last month betwixt him and these Indians and the Cherokees, and have Mr. Glen to justify what he has done at this critical Juncture, which he might have done four months sooner, and then probably our unfortunate defeat could not have happened. The Treaty he has made would have been of Vast benefit four months ago, for then he could have obtained a Vast body of Cherokee and Catawbas Indians, the want of whom was the loss of the Action, and Mr. Dinwiddie informs me that he promised to send a body of these Indians to Virginia, yet he choose the very time they were wanted to appoint a meeting for this Treaty, which most people imagine was to prevent their going and in case he could not make a merit of it when he arrived in England, he might probably choose to remove to a more southerly Country where he might make it a merit. The Treaty was carried on whilst I was in Anson, and Lieutnt Colo Clarke of the Anson Militia attended the meeting, and therefore did not come back, until I was upon my road hither, but followed & overtook me at the north west store on Cape Fear. He is esteemed to be a person of capacity and character, and he gave me the following Information of what passed and what he had heard, who is answerable for the truth of it.
He says the Catawbas were dismissed with the Letter I have already mentioned before he arrived there, but no solicitation for aid to Virginia; but as he was informed he had moved his Council to make a great present to the Cherokees, in order to procure what is granted by the Treaty; but they answered that what he intended was to be a benefit to himself, and to make a merit of it upon his return to Britain, in order to make his peace there, and as he had obtained great riches by the Indians, and in his Government, they thought he might well afford it out of his own wealth, upon this he prepared large presents summoned near 700 people to attend him at their own Expence, to make a shew, & thus went with a great parade to the place of meeting, where he was met by about 1100 Indians, these he treated with meat and liquour for several days, whilst the Carolinians maintained themselves. One of the Chiefs of the Cherokees as [at] a meeting gave him very gross words (which he bore with patience) and said he would not return to the Conference. He then gave the Interpreter presents to the value of £100 sterl: to gain him, and bring him back to the Conference who at last prevailed with him, he eat & drank with them, took off his laced cloths and changed them with the Chief, and put on his Indian dress, and gave a fine ring which he called a diamond, and said it was worth £60 to carry to his Queen, so that by repeated presents and liquour, he prevailed with them to sign a Treaty by which they gave up all Title to the Lands they claimed towards the Mississippi to the Crown of Britain, that he saw all the Indians sign their mark, and about 700 English, with which he returned in triumph, but did not hear that they mentioned going to assist our Troops in Virginia. How far this will be meritorious time must shew, but it seems he only regarded himself and not the Public Service in choosing the only time they could have been of service to us to be the time of meeting to keep them away.
I hope upon his extraordinary Letter to the Catawbas that I shall be empowered to have a Meeting to purchase the adjoining Lands to the Catawba's Town to quiet the Indians, and leave them such a reasonable District as may be agreed upon, and whether or not His Majesty will not allow a proper sum out of his Quit rents your Lordships will advise as it is in effect securing the Settlements, and payment of the Quit Rents around them There is an Indian begotten by an Englishman, a brave man, well beloved by the Indians, who they want to make their King, as they despise Haglar he calls himself Prince of Wales, and is a great friend to the Colony, he had been in the service against St Augustine, and behaved well and killed Spaniards. Coll. Clarke recommended him to me to be made a Captain in his Nation so I sent him a Commission
As I have had an opportunity of seeing a great deal of the Country and Settlements, I can the more fully mention to your Lordships how far it may be necessary to enforce the Instructions of the Grants, as to the Quantity and Cultivation and insisting upon Rights. It is not now as it has been, when many valuable Tracts were lavished away in great numbers of Acres in a grant, not with an immediate view of settling or cultivating but to raise it upon the next Planter who should want valuable Lands, which were scarce near navigable rivers, where the Lands were generally swampy or sandy, one not valuable the other not to be reclaimed without considerable expence, and were therefore thrown generally into the Patent without survey, as the surveyors to save trouble would never enter into miry marshes and Thickets, nor indeed, as I have observed, have they ever closed their figure, but beginning at the March near the river, went round the 3 or more sides, until they approached the river again and then conclude, and so on to the first station only entering what the course ought to be to close the figure, without ever knowing what curves were on that Line, or proving whether their survey was right, which if wrong as too often it was, would have obliged them by their Oaths if they valued them to go over it again to find the mistake, frequently they have only marked a corner tree, then formed a square which would take in the number of acres in their Warrant, laid down the courses and lines according to that plan and that was their survey, leaving it to the Planter to mark his Trees as he pleased, and take in what more land he pleased within his marks, which were never after enquired into, some indeed exceeded this, & enquired what sort of timber was upon it and at the fire side laid down their plan, if not joined to any neighbouring Plantation then named an imaginery Tree, a pine red white or black oak or hiccory etc and so enter beginning at a hiccory and so name imaginery Trees at any angle and conclude as usual so on to the first station, leaving the people when the patent was obtained to choose on the Creek proposed what Lands they pleased and to mark it for themselves according to the plan, if they knew it if not at random. You may judge what confusion that has & does create where several Patents interlock each other, and when these were not taken up other Warrants issued and patents granted upon the same Tracts, and how any Draughts can be made, had the surveys been preserved & patents regularly entered or audited, so that no Draught of the Kings part of the Province can be had without surveying the several Counties, and afterwards running the particular Plantations, and as many of them are not contiguous,
The instruction relative to cultivation I think cannot be put in execution with any prudence, and it is extremely difficult to know what true Cultivation is, for different parts of the Province require different kinds if it be chiefly intended to clear the Land of Wood this they already do as far as it is advantageous for them, to have land to plant and sow for their consumption when they are at a distance from the Market; their method upon entering their Lands is to cut down, where they build their Loghouses, all the Trees fit for logs near their Houses, lest they fall upon them, as many are blown up by the rocks every season, and as many as will make rails to fence their corn field, the others within the
I hope your Lordships have got my Letter about fixing the seat of Government about 40 miles higher up this river, to which I refer as it will be highly necessary to do it soon, as all our offices are in great confusion, & don't know where to fix them.
We are going on with the Battery at Core Banks to secure Ocacock Harbour, and if the War continue there will be an absolute necessity of Artillery and Stores for that Battery, and Fort Johnston at Cape Fear, for which I apply'd last winter. As I had applied to your Lordships, I thought it also proper at this Critical juncture to apply to Sir Thomas Robinson for artillery and stores both for the Fort and for the Battery at Ocacock, and also for 20 barrels of Gunpowder as we have none in the Colony, and our powder Duty can't be yet received in kind only in money until the masters of Vessels frequenting this Trade come to know it. I am with the greatest respect