I arrived here on the 25th ult: and notwithstanding the dreadful & alarming information the Traders reported of the Indians, I found them in very good humor and their Talks very straight.
I upbraided them with the murder of poor Mr Boyd (who is without doubt killed with one Fields and Burk) but the Cherokees firmly deny to a man their having any hand in it, I am not however without some suspicion of them, from the many insinuations they dropt at different times in my hearing of the grudge they bore the Virginians in general since the murder of their friends in that Country.
I demanded a party of the Cherokees from their Chiefs, to go as far as Broad River, where Mr Boyd's horses were found, in order to search for his bones that they might be buried, they readily granted my request, but the many tracks of the enemy that they met with frightened them back.
They absolutely deny giving any encouragement to the Creeks in regard to their falling on the White People, and desire that you will not believe any such groundless reports of them.
The Cherokees with one voice return you their unfeigned thanks for all the good offices you do them, and if you could but settle a peace between the Norwards and them they would for ever acknowledge it as the greatest obligation to you.
The little Carpenter's brother brought in a scalp two days ago, and another was brought in by a Party off the great Island, two
It is shocking to express the tearing cheating & horse stealing that have been committed among the Indians by the Traders and Packhorsemen last winter in this Nation. Various and numerous are the complaints made to me against them, but I was too late to redress them, it is no wonder that the Cherokees should withdraw their affections from us, when we allow such villains to trade or reside amongst them.
The Indians seemed extremely satisfied with the appearance of Mr Ross, who arrived here a few days since from Virginia, he is Factor to the Public Trade to be carried on by that Colony with the Cherokees. He made them a proposal of settling a store fortified with stockade on Long Island on the Houlston; but they replied that his Talk was very good and agreeable to them, but that they would not allow any store to be fixed for the following reasons; that that was their best Hunting ground, and that their young fellows might steal some of their horses and kill their cows, and that the White People would be for taking some satisfaction; that the issue of this would be their breaking out in an open rupture.
The Assembly of Virginia have voted £30,000 South Carolina Currency for the support of this Trade, and to continue for seven years; it seems their views are not to make money but to supply the Indians on the cheapest terms possible. Mr Ross promises sending them ammunition in a couple of moons, if the Norwards will permit him, and he intends carrying all his goods by water. He sets off to-morrow for Keowee, from thence about to Virginia, as the path this way is very dangerous.