Treaty between Franklin [state] and the Cherokee Nation
Franklin (state); Cherokee Indian Nation
1786 - August 03,
Volume 18, Pages 696-700
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A TREATY HELD BETWEEN THE OFFICERS OF THE STATE OF FRANKLIN AND THE CHEROKEE INDIAN CHIEFS.
[From Executive Letter Book.]
Chota Ford, July 31st, 1786.
Brothers and Warriors:
We are sorry that you have drove us to the necessity of coming to your Ground to hold a Talk with you after the Grand Peace with our Great People, the Congress, & our own Treaty with you at Dumplin Creek last year. You have now broke thro' all your Talks and Murdered our young Men and stole our Horses from our own Settlement and Robbed and Murdered our Men in Kentucky and on the Kentucky Road and at Cumberland, and have always laid it on the Creeks, but now we have got proof that it is your Warriors that do the Mischief and lay it on the Creeks. We have now come down to talk plain and straight with you and to tell you that North Carolina has sold us all the Country on the North side of Tennessee and Holston; that we intend to settle on it and wish to do it in peace with you all and trade and live friendly with all our Brothers. And, agreeable to the Treaty you made with us, we in plain words demand the Murderers from you that killed our people and demand all the Horses you have taken from us and from the People on the Kentucky Road & Cumberland, on which Terms we will be Brothers with you all and continue so until you do more Murder on our frontiers, at which time we will come down and destroy the Town that does the Mischief and not let one of the Murderers live in the Towns that are peaceable and friendly. And if you are afraid of the other Indians, we will protect you and help you fight them, on which terms we will make peace with you & be friends. It not, we are Warriors, and it is what you will; if you love peace, give up the Murderers and you shall have peace.
ANSWERED BY THE TASSEL.
Now, I am going to speak to you Brothers. We have smoked; the Great Man above sent the Tobacco; it will make your Hearts straight; I come from Chota; I see you—you are my Brothers; I see
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what has been done is the Cause of your Coming. I am glad to see my Brothers and hold them fast by the hand. The Great Man made us both and He hears the Talk. The Great Man stopped you here to hear my talk. They are my people that spilt the Blood & spoiled the Good Talk a little. My Town is not so. They will always use you well whenever they see you. The Men that did the Murder are bad men and no Warriors they are gone, and I can't tell where they are gone. They lived in Coytoy at the Mouth of Holston. This is all I have to say, they have done the Murder. Now, I give you good Talk. I will tell you about the land. What you say concerning the land I will talk to Congress about, and the Man that sold it I shall look to for it. You say that North Carolina sold you the land over the River. We will talk to all Head Men about it. The Great Man above has sent you this white Talk to straight your Hearts through. I give you this Pipe in token of a straight Talk. I am very sorry my people have done wrong to occasion you to turn your Backs. A little talk is as good as much Talk; too much is not good.
Coytoy, August 3rd, 1786.
Brothers and Warriors:
We are now in Coytoy and going to give you a straight talk. You all well know that the Great Man over the Water, King George, once commanded us all, & then we were all Brothers. And that the Great Man, the King, got angry with us and came over the Water and killed our men and burnt some of our Houses which caused a War and all your people, the Indians, helped the Great Man over the Water; and we beat you all; and then the Great Man over the Water gave up all this Land to us, the White People, and made a peace with us; and then our great men, the Congress, made a peace with you and agreed to live as Brothers with you all, and gave you such a piece of Land to live on as they thought Right, and so did your brother John Sevier, (Governor of this Country) and his Commissioners at Dumplin last year; but now you have broke all the good Talk and your people have Murdered our young Warriors, Your Brothers at Kentucky, Cumberland and here at home, and have killed our people, as you did when you were helping
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the Great Man over the Water, and have always laid it on the Creeks; but now we know it is your People that does the Mischief, and to convince you that we are willing to live as Brothers, we have Marched a few of our Warriors into the Town that killed our young Men and burnt the Town House, where your people held the Council to kill our Men, and have burnt the bad Men's houses & destroyed as much Corn as we thought belonged to them; but have not Marched to any other Town where our honest Brothers live, but have sent for them all to come & Talk and Smoke and Eat with us and let them all see that we will not hurt any of their people, our Brothers, that are honest and will not kill our People. And we now tell you in plain words that if you kill any more of our people we will come down and destroy the Town that does the Mischief unless you bring the Rogues to us, and if our people has killed any of your People since we came down you must blame your bad men for it, for we do not know your bad men when they are in the Woods. You have killed our old commanders Colonel Donelson & Col. Christain, who were always your friends when you were Brothers, and were our great Warriors and Councillors. And as you may not be any more deceived, we now tell you plainly that our Great Councillors have sold us the Lands on the North side of the Tennessee to the Cumberland Mountain, and we intend to settle and live on it; and if you kill any of our people for settling there, we shall destroy the Town that does the Mischief; and as your People broke the peace you made with Congress and us and killed our Men, it was your fault that we came out to war. We have the Right to all the Ground we Marched over, but if you wish to live as Brothers and be at peace, we will let you Live in Coytoy as Brothers in your old houses, if you will agree to give up the Murderers when you can get them. And we only claim the Island in Tennessee at the Mouth of Holston and from the Head of the Island to the dividing Ridge between Holston River, Little River and Tennessee to the Blue Ridge and the Lands North Carolina sold us on the North side of Tennessee, which line and Terms we will agree to lay before our great Council. And if you will agree to live as Brothers & friends, notwithstanding our taking of it by the Sword, which is the best Right to all Countries, we will do our best endeavors to get our Council to give you all some goods in token of our second peace and asking friendship, altho' you refused to give
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up the Murderers at Chota Ford when we sent to you and demanded them of you, agreeable to your Treaty with us, before we did you any harm; which had you have done, we would not have Marched into your Town, but have taken you by the hand and been Brothers. Now, can you blame us when your people broke the good talks and spilt our Blood? We call upon the Great Man above to Witness, and you yourselves know that we have Acted agreeable to our former Treaty and only wish to punish the bad men and settle on the Land North Carolina sold us.
OLD TASSEL, his X mark,
HANGING MAN, his X mark.
August 3rd, 1786.
Yo have spoken to me. I am very thankful to you for it, my Brother William Christain took care of every Body and was a good Man; he is dead and gone. It was not me nor my people that killed him. They told lies on me. I loved Col. Christian and he loved me. He was killed going the other way over the big River. I never heard of your great Council selling you the Land you speak of. I talked last Fall with the Great Men from Congress, but they told me nothing of this. I remember what the Great Men and I talked of together last fall and did not think this Murder would have happened so soon. We talk good together now, but the great people a good way off don't talk so good as you. They have spoken nothing to us about the Land; but now you have told us the truth, we hope we shall live friends together on it and keep our Young
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Men at Peace, as we all agree to assign the above terms and live Brothers together, hereafter.
OLD TASSEL, his X mark.
HANGING MAN, his X mark.