Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Advanced Search Options
Letter from William Bull to Arthur Dobbs
Bull, William, 1710-1791
May 31, 1760
Volume 06, Pages 259-262

[From MSS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
Letter from Governor Bull to Governor Dobbs

Charles Town, South Carolina 31st May 1760

On the 29th Instant I was favored with your Letter, dated the 10th day of May, which I should have Answered immediately, but I was too much Employed in Writing Letters to the Lords of Trade,—General Amherst, the Army at the Cherokees, and to Augusta, That demanded immediate dispatch, the Subject of which was upon the Important information I had received on the Twenty Eighth from the Officer commanding at Augusta and Others, that on the fourteenth Instant, the upper Creeks had murdered above Twenty of our Traders, only a few escaping to Pensecola, tis thought on a previous Notice from their Women and one to Augusta; The lower Creeks when News came to them doubted, but sent Runners who soon returned with Confirmation of the truth, on which they told the English Traders among them, they Expected the upper Creeks would soon be with them, to Execute the same Tragedy there; That they could not resist or fight against their own people, but gave the English Arms, and encouraged them to defend themselves, and gathered them all into one Town; But as the upper Creeks did not come then, the lower Creeks next morning appointed an escort of their own men to attend them all to Savannah being the nearest place of Safety, and each Trader left his Store in Charge of a Trusty Indian, As this Outrage was done by the Mortar and the Friends of the French, it is not doubted, but they have laid hold of the unhappy Opportunity of the Warr we are now engaged in with the Cherokees, to carry into Execution a plan, which the Governor of New Orleans

-------------------- page 260 --------------------
had formed, which as he Acquaints the French Ministry, Mettra la Caroline a deux doigts, de Sapert, which Letter was Intercepted in a French Ship taken by Captain Hood about three or four Years ago brought here. If this should be the Case, it will open a Scene, that will require all our United Address and power to conduct our Selves with Safety thro' it, For the French I am informed are now well Supplied with proper Goods for Indian Trade, and presents by the Diligence of some of the Northern Colonies, particularly Rhode Island; as it is possible you may not know the Number of the Indians to the West of us I shall just mention that the Cherokees are Two Thousand, the Creeks as manny, the Choctaws at least Five Thousand besides other Nations not known, who are under the Influence of the French at Mississippi. We cannot count the Chickesaws in our Numbers of English Allies, as their Situation and Small Number must make them either Joyn with, or be cut off by the General Alliance against us.

But I shall leave nothing unattempted to effect an Accommodation of this matter, which if not soon done, the lower Creeks will undoubtedly fall into the same Conduct of Acting against us.

One of the Men whom I had appointed to lead some of the upper Creeks, to make a Diversion against the Cherokees, was killed, and Captain Brown whom I had appointed likewise to head the Chicesaws and get Ammunition from the English Traders in the upper Creeks, was but two days off with one hundred Chickesaws for that purpose when this event happened. What is become of him and the Chickesaws we have not Learned.

Colonel Montgomery moved from Ninety Six, the Twenty Eighth with Two hundred and Ninety Five of our Rangers—and Forty picked Men of the New Levies which makes his Number about 1650 including a good Number of Guides. The rest of our Provincials are to cover the Country, against any small parties of the Enemy, by ranging in small Detachments from Savannah River to the Catawba River. I Expect that the Army will reach Keowee by the third or fourth of June at farthest.

With regard to the Creek commotion, I cannot take any Measure till I see which way the Storm will turn its course But have ordered the Militia to be ready to take the Field on the first Orders. I Do not think it advisable to draw them out before as Troops of that kind soon grow impatient and ungovernable after any time Spent in Inaction, tho' I doubt not but that they would behave well, if led on

-------------------- page 261 --------------------
immediately against the Enemy, all the settlers near Augusta are coming away, and many from Georgia.

Last night I received advices from Fort Loudoun Dated the 16th & 17th of this Instant, with a Talk from the little Carpenter to me desiring peace, and interceeding only for his Over Hill Towns, dated a few days before, But Captain Demere informs me that on the 16th they had advices that the Mortar who is the most powerful Man, and chief Friend of the French among the Creeks, had sent the Cherokees Word, that he with a large Number of Creeks would be at Chotee, pretend Friendship to the English and Surprize the Fort. That the Carpenter when he Discoursed with Captain Demere on that Subject, Assured him, that he would be at the Conference with a large Number of the Most Moderate Cherokees, and give Captain Demere Notice of it, and he hoped that Colonel Montgomery would Chastize the lower Cherokees Severely, who were the first Authors of all these Miseries to them, and that he would by two or three Engagements make the Over Hills smart also, and then the peace might hold. Captain Demere farther Informs me that on the 16th he had an exact Survey of Provisions, by which they at a pint a day, could hold no longer than a Month. I have taken the only means I could Devise, to throw in a Supply of Provisions, by Engaging two bold Fellows to carry Packetts of Gay Ribbons, and Paint to the Garrison, with which during the cessation of Hostilities and their Intercourse they may purchase Corn from the Cherokees. My Messengers with the Ribbons were met about Fifty Miles from Fort Loudoun on the 19th Instant, so I hope he will get safe in altho' the last Express Says, the Indians had Guards all round the Fort.

I am very sorry to see, that your Assembly are less Alarmed and less Jealous of Encroachments made by Barbarians to the Destruction of Life and property, than any, perhaps mistaken, rights which which they now contend for, and might be more properly the work of Peace, to the Interruption of the Publick Defence of their own and the Neighboring Colonies. I hope when you have Communicated the information concerning the Creeks, they will look on matters as more Serious, than they at present believe them. Tho' the march of your Troops will I fear be too late to relieve Fort Loudoun, yet it will have a happy Effect on the Indians to See themselves Attacked on two Quarters by different Provinces at the same time.

I have Sent to Governor Ellis your dispatches directed to him and have paid the Express as you desired. I think it Needless to Send a Messenger to Governor Fauquier with the return of his but have

-------------------- page 262 --------------------
requested him to Send me any resolutions which he may come to in the present State of Affairs as farr as New Bern, and I intreat you to Send them forward to me, and I will pay the Expence from New Bern hither.

I am with great Regard Sir &c