1759, August 28, Fort Loudoun
The following data is extracted from Letterbooks of William Henry Lyttleton 1756-1760.
Your Dispatches of the 31st of July, I recd. By James Holmes: I acquainted your Excellency by Charles McCuningham of the Little Carpenter being gone to Warr, with thirty Young fellows and Willi_awaw, with him. He was no sooner gone but I found great attentions in the Disposition and Mind of the Indians; for he kept them very quiet. Tho’ I thank God I live here very easy, in the Upper Towns, and I hear no bad Talks, tho I do not know how long it will continue.
I have Recd. Intelligence from the Lower Towns, that it is not so with them, and that they have very bad Talks, and bring White People’s Scalps every Day. They give out there (tho without any foundation) that the Little Carpenter is gone to the French Fort, to make a Peace with the French, and that as soon as he comes back, the Warr will Begin. They may say what they please, I do not believe it, and am almost sure of the company, for a little white before he went away he gave me all the Afsurance of Friendship for the English, and desird me not to mind what I was told in his absence that he was going for Fort Afsumption, to endeavour to a French Prisoner, that he might know what the French were about, and to go immediately to your Excellency that you might consult together, what was to be done afterwards.
A Little While ago, hearing that the Slave Catcher of Chotee, and severall other Cherokee Indians, had been to the Albama Fort; and being informed that a Woman was along with them, I sent for her privately, and after that I Promised her that I would keep secret, what she shou’d tell me, and having promised her likewise a good many Presents she told me she shou’d not stay there, for fear of being seen talking with Me, for (says she) I fear there is Spys after me; and if they knew that I had said any thing I shou’d be kill’d. but get a private place tomorrow Where I may not be seen and I shall tell you the truth of What I have heard. Accordinly She Came and related to us what she knew, and Inclosed I send to your Excellency what she has related.
A few Days ago, as some Indians of Tomaltey, and Toqua, were coming from hunting, and not above twenty Miles from this fort, they were obliged to encamp, by reason of very bad Weather: they were discover’d by Six French Indians, Who watched them all Night, and at break of Day fired at them, and killed two: the others ran immediately to their Arms but they were of no manner of Service because they were all wet. Our People thinking that the Enemy was gone, began to bundle up their Provisions, an which the other Sic Indians, (who were just by) fired a second time on them and wounded two, and jump’d into their Camp, and took five of their Arms and went off.
Seven Days ago I recd. A Letter from Lieut: Coytmore, wherein he informs me, that the Indians of the Lower Towns see to be very badly disposed, that they have a great many bad talks, and bring in every day White Peoples Scalps: an not knowing but the Indians of these Upper Towns are the same, he had stop’d the Amunition, that was coming to Sam: Behn____ for Chote, and some other Towns; likewise the Amunition of Cornelius Cokeley for’ Telliqu__ and Chatagu this News was no Sooner heard, but all the Indians were in an uproar. Saying that the English wanted to Strave them, by stoping their Amunition and so hindring them going a hunting and the next Day, and Indian Named Corn Tafsel ( who I always keep by me as a Friend, and who acquaints me when ever they have any bad Talks,) cam to know the reason why the Ammunition was stop’d, and if it was by your Excellency’s orders or Mine that the Warrior of Fort Prince George had done it; I told him, no; but say I to him, there is so many bad Talks in the Lower Towns, and they bring every Day White People’s Scalps, that he did not know but we might be the same in the Upper Towns. He then Said, a great many are going a hunting after the green_Corn Dance; I told him that shou’d not hinder them from going, because they might have it when they pleased: he told me he was very glad of it, because (says he) there is a great many begin to talk very indifferent about it; and I shall go to Night to the Town-House, and shall acquaint them with what you say.
Three Days ago the great Warrior cam alone; and said, he had a great many things to say to me, therefore he had come to Dine with me, you know very will (said he) that after the Little Carpenter was gone to Warr, you desired me to go no where, but to stay at Chote to endeavour to stop all bad talks, I have been no where, and I have Stay’d at Home, on purpose to oblige you, and every thing has been very quiet. I should be very glad to know (said he) if it was the Govenor’s orders, or yours, that our Hunting Amunition has been stop’d, at Keowee; to which I reply’d No: but the Commanding Officer there hearing every Day of bad talks, and white peoples Scalps being brought in constantly; and not knowing but the Upper Towns might be of the Same Disposition: therefore He had stop’d it. I am inform’s (said he) that they give it out yonder, the the Little Carpenter is gone to make Peace with the French, and that at his return the Warr will Begin. You know very well that before he went away he told you before me, not to mind the bad Talks and desired Me with my Brother, to stay with you and to afsist you. I know very well (says he) that there is many great Rogues in the Lower Towns, especially Esterfoe, and they are always for Mischief: but here every thing has been quiet for sometime, and I do not know how long it shall continue; because (said he ) the Slave – Catcher of Chote came last Night from Oechoise, and at the Albama Fort, and I am told he has brought a great many bad Talks; I know nothing of it, because I have not spoke to him yet, and the Head men of all these Towns that are at a Distance are expected if there is any bad Talks, I shall endeavour to present it, for I will not have any White Men hunted, and I shall acquaint you with every thing that pafses. But now (says he) I am sent in the Name of Chotee and other Towns, to desire you to give Orders, that our hunting Ammition may be sent over, to prevent a great many of our People from doing what I wou’d not willingly have done: for we must go a hunting to provide Many, and Cloaths for our Familys: and if that was hundred, a great many wou’d go with their Arrows to stop every thing that was coming over. Therefore to prevent, I desire you will give orders, to send the Ammition when the Horses go for it. I promised him that I wou’d he said it was very well. I expect (says he) to Night the Head Men of Tellique, and Chatugee and I shall tell them what you say. These two last Winters I have been at Warr, and my People are almost Naked, there-fore I intend to go a hunting, a little while after the Green Corn-Dance that they may be Cloathed: except you shou’d prevent me by any unforeseen Danger.
I beg you Excellency will be so good, to speak to the Comifsarys that they wou’d send Flour, for these is not above Eighteen Days Provision, in the Store: and if any thing shou’d happen, and the Path shou’d stop’d” the Garrison wou’d be in Great Danger. I hope the Comifsary Generall will send plenty of Knoves White Shirts, Flints, and Pain: for a great many Indians are gone already to Warr: and if every thing turns out well, a great many intend to go, after the Green Corn-Dance. J am.
and most humble Servant
P. S. this is not an Expres
Source: Letterbooks of William Henry Lyttleton 1756-1760