powered by google
Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Advanced Search Options
Letter from Charles Wyndham, Earl of Egremont to Arthur Dobbs
Egremont, Charles Wyndham, Earl of, 1710-1763
March 16, 1763
Volume 06, Pages 974-976

-------------------- page 974 --------------------
[From MSS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
Letter from Secretary Lord Egremont to Governor Dobbs.


Whitehall 16th March 1763.

Sir,

As the Removal of the French & Spaniards from the Countries which extend from the Colony of Georgia to the River Mississippi, & which are now ceded to His Majesty, will undoubtedly alarm, & increase the Jealousy of the Neighbouring Indians, the King judges it to be indispensably necessary to take the earliest Steps for preventing their receiving any Impressions of this kind, & for gaining their Confidence and Good Will, without which it will be impossible for this Nation to reap the full Benefit of it's Acquisitions in that Part of the World.

The French & Spaniards in Florida & Louisiana have long, & too successfully, inculcated an Idea among the Indians, that the English entertain a settled Design of extirpating the whole Indian Race, with a View to possess & enjoy their Lands; & that the first Step towards carrying this Design into Execution would be to expell the French & Spaniards, the real Friends & Protectors of the Indians; In order to prevent the ill Effect of these Suggestions, which our taking Possession of those Countries will seem to verify, It is His Majesty's Pleasure, that You Should, in Concert with the Governors of Virginia, South Carolina, & Georgia, without Loss of Time, immediately invite the Chiefs of the Creeks, the Choctaws, Cherokees, Chickasaws, & Catabaws, to a Meeting with them, & the Indian Agent for that Department, at Augusta in the Province of Georgia, or any other Place equally convenient for the several Parties, At which these Chiefs are to be apprized, in the most prudent & delicate Manner, of the Change which is going to take Place. In doing This, the King judges it to be absolutely necessary, not only to avoid every Expression which might awake the Fears, or point out the Dependance of the Indians upon Us, but to use every Means to quiet their Apprehensions, & gain their good Opinion.

For this Purpose it would be proper to recur to the original Causes of the War with the French; To mention, & dwell upon, the several Cruelties they exercised, during the Course of it; The Arts they employed, the groundless Stories they propagated, among the Indians, in order to excite their Jealousies, to alienate their Affections from

-------------------- page 975 --------------------
this Nation, & to provoke them to commit Such Violences, as His Majesty was at length compelled to resent. That, by the same insidious Arts, they had so far wrought upon the Credulity of the Spaniards, as to involve them in their Quarrel, & it's Consequences. That, thro' the Special Favour of Providence, the Wisdom of the King, & the Courage of his Troops, all these mischievous Practices and Designs have been discovered & defeated.

In order to prevent the Revival of such Disturbances & Troubles, by Repetitions of the same dangerous Proceedings, His Majesty found himself obliged to insist in the Treaty of Peace, that the French and Spaniards Should be removed beyond the River Mississippi, to the End that the Indians, & his White People, may hereafter live in Peace & brotherly Friendship together; That the English feel a particular Satisfaction in the Opportunity which their Successes afford Them, of giving the Indians the most incontestable & substantial Proofs of their good Intentions & cordial Desire to maintain a sincere & friendly Correspondence with them. That these Proofs will consist, 1st, in a total Oblivion & Forgiveness of all past Offences, fully persuaded that they were entirely owing to the deceiving Arts of the French, & no ways to be attributed to any Ill Will in them; 2dly, In opening & carrying on so large a Traffick with them, as will supply all their Wants; 3dly, In a continual Attention to their Interests, & in a Readiness upon all Occasions to do them Justice; & lastly, in the most solemn Assurances, that those Forts, now ceded to Us, by means of which the French really did intend to subvert their Liberty, & accomplish those evil Designs, which they artfully imputed to Us, Shall never be employed but to protect & assist them, & to serve for the better Convenience of Commerce between the Indians & Us, & the Cultivation of Friendship & Good Will between them & the Subjects of His Majesty. And Should the Indians retain any Jealousy or Suspicion that the Forts situated in the heart of the Indian Country, such as Albama, Tombegbi & Fort Loudon, may be made Use for Purposes not favourable to them, & express a Desire, that they Should be destroyed, I make no Doubt but their Representations on that Head will be most graciously received by the King, & that His Majesty will readily comply with any reasonable Request, in order to give the most satisfactory Proofs of his Intentions to fulfill the friendly Declarations, which You Shall make in his Name, to the Indians, the Sincerity of which it is highly important they should be convinced of, in order to prevent those

-------------------- page 976 --------------------
Evils, which must necessarily happen, if a thorough Confidence in His Majesty's Government is not established upon a solid Footing.

I am, Sir, &c
EGREMONT

P. S.

I am to inform You, that in order to try every Method which may contribute towards so desirable an Object as that of gaining the Good Will & the Confidence of the Indians, His Majesty has thought proper to direct a certain Quantity of Goods to the Amount of £4,000, or £5,000, to be purchased & sent to Charles Town in South Carolina, to be distributed in such Proportion & in such Manner, among the Indians, as shall be judged proper, at the Meeting, directed by this Letter to be held at Augusta or elsewhere. A list of those Goods (which are actually bought, & will be soon embarked) will be sent with them to the Governor of South Carolina.