Letter from John Carter to Richard Caswell
Carter, John, 1737-1781
Volume 11, Pages 608-610
JOHN CARTER TO GOV. CASWELL.
[From Executive Letter Book.]
Washington District, Sept. 7th, 1777.
After the Treaty with the Cherokees, I taking the premises into consideration, finding that seventeen of the young warriors did go with Nat. Gees to General Washington, at Head Quarters, and that seven more started with Maj'r Woommac to Mr. Sharp's, those I looked on as hostages, while among the white people: and also the Commissioners appointed a Gentleman from each State, as Superintendants, that is from Virginia and from this State, who resides in the Nation and will watch their motion, and can give notice occasionally of any alarming circumstances; under those circumstances I thought proper to discharge all our Troops, being well convinced there was no danger, and not willing to run the State
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into needless expences. But notwithstanding there has happened nothing alarming amongst us since the Treaty, the people on Nolechaga has sent a petition to General Rutherford, without acquainting me with the substance, or that they were under any doubts of any enemy: what they allege I am not able to judge, but they obtained leave to raise 25 horsemen to range. I fear the consequences: for there was a temporary line agreed on at the Treaty, and if these men goes over that bounds, I think it will give umbrage to the Indians, and as it is near their hunting season, there is no doubt but they and those Rangers will meet. I can't say who was at the bottom of this plan, but I fear they have deceived General Rutherford, and has asserted something to my disadvantage. For the General has not acquainted me with his orders, nor has he wrote to me any answer concerning ammunition I wrote to him for: as that article is very scarce here, and a small magasine would be highly necessary while these troubles continue. I mentioned to the General when I wrote for ammunition, of 4 persons being killed by the Indians on Clinch River, about sixty miles from us northeast. It is thought to be the Norwards. About that time there was an alarm of a considerable number of the Norward Indians coming on Clinch Settlement Col. Shelby raised a party of men on the Virginia side, and went in pursuit of them and found the alarm to be false. It is supposed to be raised by some transient persons to get the Militia under pay, and judge that to be the case in regard to the petition that was sent to General Rutherford. I would take it extreme kind to have your orders, or advise in the premises. Your Excellency may be assured that I will do every thing in my power for the regulating the Militia, and for the defence of our frontiers, and for the benefit of the United States: but if my dignity is to be sported with, under these circumstances; I have no need of your Commission as Commanding officer for Washington District. So I remain
Your Excellency's most obedient H'ble Serv't.,
N. B. I just received intelligence of the Little Carpenter being at the Log Island with 25 or 30 young warriors. They declare the greatest friendship, and say they have 500 young warriors ready to come to the assistance of Virginia or North Carolina,
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when called for: if to fight the English or any Indians that wants war with the white people of these two States.