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Talk by the Cherokee Nation to Samuel Johnston
Cherokee Indian Nation
February 16, 1789
Volume 22, Pages 788-789


At a Grand Talk held the 16th of February, 1789, on the Waters of Cusey River, at a Town Called Coosowothee, Being Present the Chief of All the Warriors Belonging to the Cherokee Nation, a Talk from His Excellency Samuel Johnston, Esq., Governor of North Carolina, Was Laid Before Them By Alexander Dromgoole, and Fully Explained to Them, in Answer to Which Letter, they Address the Following Talk:

Friend and Brother:—

Mr. Alexander Dromgoole, our beloved brother, arrived safe to our land with your talks, which give us great satisfaction to hear from you. We then sent all through the Nation to collect the head men and warriors to hear your talks. Your talks was so good that young and old repoiced at it. What you said about war, we are sure it is true, and for our part, I can assure you we never wanted war with our brother, the white people, but was totally drawn into it contrary to our own intentions by some bad people on the Western waters.

But Mr. Dromgoole has fully explained to us your good intentions towards our Nation, and what he says, we faithfully depend on. We have been at a loss a long time for somebody to come into

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our land to do something for us. You tell me you have ordered your people to lay down the hatchet, and you may depend I have done the same.

Now, brother, I hope the Great Spirit above will hear both our talks, and that he will do justice on both sides. You write you wish to treat with us, which we have all agreed to do, and as we have all agreed to lay still till the Great Talk is held, I expect you will stop your bad people on the Western waters from coming into our town or disturbing us any more. It is surprising to me that you can’t keep them from killing us, and I hope you will do everything in your power to keep these bad people from us and from encroaching on our hunting grounds. By these means I hope a lasting peace will be forever. It would give me pleasure to see our children raised in peace together, as we ought to do if things could be comraised for us with respect to our lands we would be very glad to return to our old town, Cowwee. You mention in your letter you wish to treat with us at French Broad River. But our people don’t wish to treat there; our desire is all to treat at Linekaa, where the last treaty was held between our people and the Commissioners before. When everything is ready for a treaty, you may write to us and let us know. I hope you will have provisions enough for us, so that we may not be hungry. We were informed by the proclamation of Congress that all the white people would be removed off our hunting grounds, and we find they are very slow about it. When they get a little scared we find them run off from their houses, but as soon as we return they come back to them again. We set out last fall in company with our brothers, the Creeks, in order to lay waste and burn the houses of all those people settled on our hunting grounds, but hearing the good talks of Congress, we done nothing but took one station, which we thought would answer in satisfaction for our beloved men killed on that quarrel, and our beloved warriors took pity to see the white people killed and desired all our young warriors to return home and set down to see if Congress would remove them, which we all expect will be done soon, and in consequence of this, we have all laid down the hatchet.

Now, this is our beloved women’s talk; they say they have heard our great talks, and they hope to live at home in their houses in satisfaction, and they have told their warriors to be at peace from this time out, that they may raise their children in happiness.

JAMES CAREY, Linguistor.