1757, June 12
The following data is extracted from Letterbooks of William Henry Lyttleton 1756-1760.
I took the Liberty of writing to your Excellency by the Last ______by whose dispatches the affairs of this Nation would appear in a pretty favourable light : and nothing happened here, Since he went away of any cosezuence till the 6th Instant in the morning when Captain Demere had Intelligence by the bearer Hereof, Thomas Smith, who lives at Chalugui, That on the 4th at night, Seven men and two wemen Savanah’s had come to Telizua from their town in the Creek Nation. Captain Demere Communicated this news to M. Howarth and mysef we were of oppinnion that the opportunnity which then offered fhould be laid hold of and that something to stop this intercource between the French and this nation Ought to be attempted, but we Likewise Judged it absolutely necefsary that the Cherokees fhould if pofsible be made parties in Exectuing our design, we immediatel concluded upon sending for Old Hop.Settico Warrour, call the small pox Conjirour, and the Standing Turkey, There was no Other Indian of any Consezuence at Home. Those who had not gone to war were hunting in the woods. In the afternoon the three men we sent for come to the fort, we made them as they delcared they had heard nothing of it before. We represented to them that the Savanah’s were our Enemmies, put them in mind of their behaviour last year, and told them that we could not be weasy whilest our Enemies were so Near us and desired to know what they thought of it.
Old Hop Evaded giving any direct answer by saying that it did not belong to him as beloved man to talk about war, his office was to govern His young men and to Edeavour to To pro__re them necefsaries in a peacable manner, but that he would not opose the Warriours to whom it belonged to Determine in Matters of war he then desired the Standing Turkey to answer us, who said that it was not their Custom to. Strike people who came to their town in a peacable and friendly was, neither could he think that it was the Gover. Meaning when he desired them to take up the Hatchet agains’t our Enemies. Here he was Interruted, and told, that they never Committed upbraiding with breach of promise if we forggott or omitted the Smallest trifle, but what could the Governour think of their lat professions of freindship for us and our nation, if they not only ommitted taking p the hatchet against our Enemies but received and entertained them ____their Towns, that it was Inconsistent with their promises to us to Harbour those who came to Look for our Scalps. That we were determined to go and find them out, and that this was a proper time for them to shhow their Sincerity of their professions and attatchemnt to us. That Teliqua was not far off and the goods to pay for the Scalps were in the fort and where could they go to make so good a hunt. That no time was to be Lost for Delay might Rescue them: that when they Intended last Year to have killed the Savanah’s by not carrying their design immediately into Execution they gave them time to Escape. To this the Standing Turkey replyed that we had used the Same Arguments he ws going to make use of, that the Savanah’s were Rogues and that it would be good to have them Killed, but desired the affair might be left to his management, and that nothing further might be determined on till he should Return next morning as he was obliged to go down the River a little way. Whilost he was away we insisted on Old Hop and the Small pox Conjurour’s starying with us, no time was lost in urging the Execution this affair, after supper they desired to Speak with M. Howarth and myself when the small pox conjurour told us that he was a warriour and would take the direction of the whole affair uon himself that he knew the Vilany of the Savanah’s and was well apprised of the bad consequences which might attend their frequent coming in here and Remembered the Confusion they had already been authors of , That Tallico was his Town and had been rackoned bad but it should not be said hence forward that they loved the Savanah’s that not he Said the word and they should be killed. Old hop make no objection but Exprefsed some concern for his Mefsengers who are gone to the Creek Nation.
Nothing now remained but to fix the Plan of Operation. It was Judged improper to attack them in Talliguo for fear of hurting any of the Inhabitants, it was determined to send Thomas Smith to gett what Information He could of the Route they intended to pursue and that some of our people should way say them. Smith According Sett out the morning following and returned again in the night with information that the intended to go home bythe road they came, and returned again in the night with information that they intended to go home by the road they came and would sett out the ensuing dy of four. Accordingly on the 8th curant in the morning Lieut. Adamson and Ensign Coytmore were Sent with a detatchm. Of Voluntiers from the Independent Companies and Provincialls. They were conducted by a young fellow from Tettico who came along with small pox conjurour and our interpreter was to call for the scalped fellow who was a nephew of Ol Hops at Tomatle in his way. Who likewise wwent with Lieutenant Adamson, all this was done with the Consent of the three old men the Standing Turey having Returned at the time he promised. It was promised. It was proposed by old Hop that the young Fellows of Tomate and Toqua Should Likewise be called, but this was Judged improperas it might have been the means of discovery. In the evening our people gott near the road by which the Savannah’s were to pafs. They were discovered by a Chatuqui fellow called the Black Dog, who seeing the trail of so many Horses pursued it till he came to their camp. Altho this allarmed our people yet it proved a very lucky incident for he told our Interpreter that several young men and wemen from Chalugui and Tellico proposed to accompany the Savanah’s back to their town, Our interpreter informed him of our peoples intentions and happening to have a string of whit whapum beads in his pocket gave it him as sent by the commander of the Fort to the Chalugui people as a token of His Friendship and desired that none of their people might be with the Savannah’s at same time recommending Secresy to him The Black Dog approved of their intention and promised to perform what was required of them which he punctually did. On the 9th in the morning our people having left their horses at a Convenient place where there was no Danger of being seen, took their Stations by the road side where the Scalped fellow thought propor to place them, here they stripped naked Blacked and painted their fkins, ala Sauvage, and lay pationtly broiling in he Sun till about One O Clock when they discovered five men and a women Coming along the path with their bundles on their backs. The Scalped fellow had placed a painted Stick and feather in a consicuous place on the Road, and gave directions that our people should Keep their fire till the formost Savanah should Stoop to take it up which they did, by their fire they killed three the other and the woman Made their Escape our people being but aukward at this sort of war. They returned the Same Evening to the Fort with three scalps. No person in the Nation had the least Suspicion of our intentions Except the three old men and the Two fellows immediately concerned till after the whole affair was over. The two Indian Fellows devided what things they found in the bundles of the dead in One of which they found a war belt of whampum, and the morning after their return they were paid for the scalps Exactly according to the resolution of the Afsembly only in Lieu of Guns they had matchcoats they received their Reward in presence of many Young fellows who all Exprefsed the Stongest Indication to be entitled to the Like at the Expence of the Savanah’s and Severalls who had been in Town with me regrated much that they had not been with our people. The old fellows who we had detained all the time at the Fort seemed chagreened at nothing but that any of them had been suffered to Escape.
I am in great hopes that this affair will be productive of very good consequences, and will put an End to the Negotiations of the Savannah’s, Expecially as the Cherokees are Equally concerned and were as much actors in the affair as we were. The Chalugui and Taliquo people came here for a Supply of Powder and Bullet they said we had begun the War, but as they were parties in it they were determined to pursue it Vigorously but that their dependance must be on us for Ammuintion and pain, which all of them will Expect whenever they go the war the Tellico warriour desired Captain Demere to write to Your Excellency for a Trader that may properly Supply them the whole nation Complain of being greatly in want of Guns there will be a Constant Demmnd at the fort for Powder ball and paint. The small pox Conjurour is rather to Kinalita and the Telliquo Mankiller, I think it a good thing that this affair has been Conducted with his Approbation & Consent the Indians seem very desirous that Your Excellency Should use Your influence with the Head men of the Creeks to engage them to second the blow that has been given.
I am afraid by this long Narration I have tired Your Excellency’s patience but I was willing to be as particular as pofsible, that your Exey. Might have a distict idea of the whole transaction I hae the honour of being with great Respect
Most obedient & most
Source: Letterbooks of William Henry Lyttleton 1756-1760