Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Advanced Search Options
Letter from Samuel Johnston to Hugh Williamson
Johnston, Samuel, 1733-1816
September 22, 1788
Volume 21, Pages 500-501

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Edenton, 22nd Sept., 1788.

Your Letters of the 1st and 6th of this month are both before me. I had before they came to hand issued warrants which were lodged with Capt. Collins in your favour for six months’ Salary, of which you will no doubt be advised before this reaches you. Mr. Hawkins was willing to decline in your favour, but I have heard nothing from Mr. Stokes. If he is desirous of coming forward, there is still room for him; if not, I think it is probable that he will is necessary. It is certainly necessary that North Carolina should be represented in the Federal Councils as long as Circumstances will admit.

I had information at Hillsborough of the conduct of some of our people to the Westward complained of by the Indians and in July last issued my Proclamation forbidding any of the Citizens of the State from entering on the Indian Territory or Committing Hostilities without the Order of the Commanding Officer of that Quarter. I at the same time gave orders to Brigadier General Martin to

-------------------- page 501 --------------------
use his utmost efforts, to restrain the people in his District from further outrages & by every means in his power to conciliate the minds of the Indians and to act altogether on the defensive. I also wrote a friendly letter to the Indians disavowing the Conduct of Sevier & his party & gave directions to the Judicial Authority to issue Warrants for apprehending Sevier & such of his Associates as appeared most criminal & gave orders to the Commanding Officer of the Militia to support the Civil Majestrates in the execution of their duty and in case Sevier could not be secured on that side of the Mountains, to furnish a Guard to convey him to Hillsborough to be confined in the Goal of that District, till he could be brought to a regular tryal for several acts of Treason committed against this State. These measures, if duly attended to & faithfully executed, I flatter myself would have gone considerable lengths in restoring Tranquility to that Country & given satisfactions to the Indians. It was however all which at that time Occurred to me in my power to do after having consulted the Council who advisel & approved of the measures. I do not know what effect the measures ordered by Congress may have; much will depend upon the discretion of the Officer who has the command of the Troops destined for that service. Should he pursue the Resolve of Congress literally he will ruin a very respectable Settlement of upwards of 1,500 Families Settled on the South Side of French Broad River. These people settled there I am informed, with the consent of the Indians & have had no share in the outrages that have lately been Committed by Sevier & others, but Have always lived in Amity with the Indians. They are avowedly within the Indian Boundary & have made an application which is to be laid before the next General Assembly for directions in what manner they are to proceed in order to obtain a regular title to their Lands.

The People Inhabiting the Lands on the Fork of French Broad and Holstein Rivers claim under Grants from this State; regularly issued from the Secretary’s Office & executed by the Governors, these people are therefore as much under the protection of the State as any other of her Citizens. For this reason as well as some others which I have heard, the Treaty of Hopewell will probably ever be reprobated by every good Citizen of this State.

I have the Honor, &c.,