Letter from John Page to Cornelius Harnett
Page, John, 1744-1808
Volume 10, Pages 671-672
[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary State]
Letter from President Page of Virginia to the North Carolina Council of Safety.
Wmsburg, July 26th, 1776.
On your first application for Lead, we directed our manager to deliver two Tons to Mr Lock, or your Order; and, receiving a second Letter requesting five Tons, we ordered that all the Lead wch was not immediately wanted for the use of our own Troops on the Frontiers should be delivered to him. On the first Intimation of the hostile Disposition of the Indians, we sent up an Express to give Directions for the necessary Preparations for an Expedition against the Over-hill Cherokees. Our first Plan was to send 900 men; but on receiving your last Letter now before us, we thought proper to consult Col. Stephen, who had served on an Exped'tion against those Towns in the last war, & his advice we have adopted, which is to send out immediately 1200 Men from Virginia, & to desire about 300 from the Frontiers of your State, most convenient to ours, as the Colonel supposes that the Forces from So & No Carolina will easily force the Indians of the lower Towns & middle settlements to abandon them, and that they will then retire to the Over-hills
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joining their whole Force, which with their Confederates may be very considerable, & would make a formidable attack on the Troops on Holstan River. Assistance is required from you in that Quarter, as numbers of our regular Troops in the Continental Service were drawn from thence. The Place of Rendezvous for your Troops to be at Stalnackers or Holstein. The Distance between the lower Towns & Over-hills is so great that it is impossible to get any Intelligence from, or to keep up any Correspondence between the Forces acting in those Parts, as we once flattered ourselves might be done. We shall do all in our Power to lay in Provisions & Ammunition, but without assistance from you we shall be extremely distressed for want of Salt. We beg therefore that you will please to send us as much of that article as you can possibly procure & spare. The Mode of Payment shall be settled when we can receive your advice on that Head. His Excellency our Governor is not yet able to attend to Business, or he would have return'd you many thanks for your kind Congratulation on his Appointment. I have the honor to be Sir
Your most obedt hble Sert
JOHN PAGE, President.