Letter from Alexander Martin to Gilbert Christian
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
Volume 19, Pages 943-944
GOV. MARTIN TO COLO. GILBERT CHRISTIAN OF SULLIVAN COUNTY.
[From Executive Letter Book.]
By Colo. Martin I have sent you a Commission for the County of Sulivan pro Tempore, and make no doubt of your being Continued in the same by the Assembly. I have to request that you will make it your immediate business to have every person living on the Indian Lands west of Broad River, warned off the same by the middle of March, after which time if any person will be hardy enough to continue thereon you will order out such a number of horsemen under your own command, or some discreet person you judge proper, to pull down their Cabbins and drive those who inhabited them off. If they should appear refractory afterwards, you will then commit
-------------------- page 944
them to the Oyer and Terminer Gaol of the Western Counties, unless they give security for their good Behaviour, there to remain until the Oyer Court. You will also inform them that their stock will be given up as a free booty to the Indians should any be found on those lands after said Time. I am distressed with repeated complaints of these injured Savages against our unruly Citizens who are daily trespassing on their grounds, whose bounds as ascertained by Act of Assembly I mean to hold sacred, lest our Faith as a State be held in Contempt with them and all nations, especially with our late Enemies, who are daily instilling into the minds of the Indians in General that we intend seizing all their Lands and driving them off of the Continent; by such means they imbibe prejudices that may render them at last a desperate Enemy which is now to be prevented by our distributing to them the common Justice due to all men.
I am, &c.,
P. S. Should any person be in possession of any part of the Great Island, unless by the Indians’ consent, you will treat them in the same manner as those west of French Broad River; which Island by late Act of Assembly is confirmed to the Cherokees.