Letter from Rawlins Lowndes to Richard Caswell
Lowndes, Rawlins, 1721-1800
Volume 13, Pages 204-206
PREST. RAWL. LOWNDES OF S. C. TO GOV. CASWELL.
[From Executive Letter Book.]
Charles Town August 6th 1778.
I had the honor to write to your Excellency on the 2d July last concerning the complaint of the Cherokee Indians on account of their lands being run out by some people from your State, since which I have heard from the Nation, that several of their people taken prisoners during the late War by the No. Carolinians have been sold for slaves, as they say from one to another like cattle. By the treaty which we concluded with these people, it was stipulated that the Captives on each side should mutually be
-------------------- page 205
given up, in consequence of which we have given up all the Indians which we took and they have released many of our people, which were in their hands. Two Poor unfortunate Girls excepted, of the name Smith and Right, whose Fathers were killed and themselves carried off are now at Pensacola. On my demanding these unfortunate creatures of the Indians they allege in their excuse for not bringing them, in, that many of their people are still in captivity, by which treaty they were to be delivered up and that we should not demand the literal execution of the treaty on their part while we commit a breach of it ourselves. This circumstance furnishes them with a plausible pretext for delaying the delivery of these poor wretches to their friends and relations and stops our mouths from urging it with such force as we might otherwise do. The poor Girls, one especially, is of a very reputable family, has Brothers in the Army, and they are entitled to every endeavour on our part to procure their enlargement. It is for that purpose that I now trouble your Excellency, with the first information which I have received which thwarts the recovery of these Girls or at least covers the Indians' excuses for not being more active in securing them from Pensacola. This State will pay any consideration to the holders of those Indian captives for their purchase in order to remove every just objection that may lie in the way of recovering these two Girls out of the hands of the enemy, English or Indian, being bound by every consideration of honor and humanity to redeem them.
You will be pleased therefore to settle with the proprietors the terms on which they will part with their possession, and also inform yourself of the number of Indians thus claimed in your State, as I flatter myself every man will give his utmost assistance in a matter that will be productive in its issue of the deliverence of such objects of compassion as must interest every one, in their favor who has the least sentiments of humanity, from which motive Sir, I am induced to trouble you and which I doubt not will be a sufficient apology for me to your Excellency.
Lieut. Col. Bonsteller has applied to me within these six days frequently, and notwithstanding my utmost endeavours to assist him, he has not yet been able to procure a wagon to carry on his Baggage. The unfortunate and fruitless expedition into Florida, has rendered wagons so scarce and difficult to procure that there
-------------------- page 206
are not in all about town a sufficient number for the ordinary demands of the State. The gentleman is extremely anxious to be gone, and has just left me to see what better success he can meet with, by an order I have given him. I will give him all the help I can, but our laws have not authorized pressing, indeed at another time they might have been procured by the ordinary means of hiring tho' at an extravagant price.
I have the honor to be with great regard Sir, your Excellency's most hume. Servt.