1758, February 20, Letter to His Excellency
The following data is extracted from Letterbooks of William Henry Lyttleton 1756-1760.
Your Dispatches of the 18th and 30th tell I received the 18th Just –f. James Holmes, The lak Affair of Sam Binn is Intirely forgot, and the Indians all satisfy’d, As to the Tellico People Jean Denture to Afsure you Excellency that they are Entirely Reformed, and behave Ex treamly well, and (Thank God) we at present live in Great Harmony, and Friendship with all the Nation. On the 15th selt arrived at this Fort the Little Carpenter, and the Great Warriour of Chotta, with their Party, they brought with them, two French men, and the Twighvee Indian woman Prisoner, Six Frenchmen, and Six Twighvee Indian Scalps, I received them with all the Marks of Honour and Friendship, I cou’d; by Saluting them with all the Fort Guns, and Having the Garrifson under arms, and provided some __ituals to Repreth them, The Young follower of the Gang Encampt Just by the fort, and the head men stay’d with me all Night in the Fort. I cou’d have wish’d to Rewarded them Accordingly to their Merritt, but as your Excellency must be Sensible of the Quantity of Indian Presents; now in the Fort, it is Uselfs to Acquaint you, that it was not in my Power, but as I obliged to make the best of the little I had; I presented them with only the few following Articles,
As the Gang Consisted of Forty two men; To Each I Gave a white Shirt af_ Books, a flap, and some paint, and a Gun to Each man that killed or took a prisoner, (___15) On the 16th in the Morning the Fort Guns (by the Little Carpenter desire) were fired, and they Proceeded well Satisfy’d, with their Usual Ceremony ( on such Occafsions) to their towns, two day afterwards the Carpenter came to see me And Acquainted me he had a Great desire to purchase one of the French Slaves of the Young fellow that took him, but that he had but little to Five for him, and begg’d me to Give him afs of Shouds, and a few Other things, He further desired me As his young fellow’s had been out along While, and undergone Much fatigue, that I would Give them Som Rum, which I did.
On the 18th Postant, a warriour and Twenty young fellows of the town of Selli_s, who Were Going to Warr, Cou’d here in their way, to the new settled French Fort. To whome I gave a bagg powder, & 2 baggs of bullets 50 flints, 21 large Knives, a pound paint, and a war hatchet, the Little Carpenter who was present gave them an Extream Good talk, Urging them as much as possible to Exert themselves Againft there Enemies, They Received it with Apuranies of their utmost Endevours, and took up the war hatchet with a Besotation/ as they said/ to make a proper use of it, againft the French and there Indians. They then proceeded on their Expedition.
As Your Excellency’s Dispatches Arrived that same day, while the Carpenter Wool in a wak, and many more Indians were in the fort, they were very desirious of hearing the news, I informed them of what news’ I thought Neccefsary, And the Carpenter seem’d verry much surprised, that he did not receive a letter from You. He desired me to Acquaint you Excellency, that he had many things to talk About with you, and therefore Intended to sell off from here with the Great Warriour, and all the Gang that was at war with him in about Twenty day’s to pay You a Visit in Charlestown. A little After I spoke to him Concerning purchafing the French slaves. (According to Your Instructions) which (by his talk) I found he was Quite Averse to, I dropt the discousse thin but Invited him to disc with me the day following, which he did, After dinner I again (before ate the Officers) talked to him about purchasing the French prisoners, he Answerd me, that he had considerd of it, As for one of them he was Given to an Indian Family in the room of one their Relations who was lost in the Engagement, and at the other belonged to himself he intended to take him to Charlestown with him, and that then he would talk with your Excellency concerning him, I then Mentioned to him the Affair of John Brown, as he is Vastly in his Favour, and all the Indians, he spoke much in his behalf, and Represented to me that he behaved well, I informed him (as you Authorised me in a former Letter) that you wanted him in town, to be Evidence Against Leiut. Wall, and Afsured him his Life shou’d not be in Danger, He reply’d that as Brown was not a Cattle Hunting, he could say nothing to it at present, that Brown is verry much afraid, but that as he had aregard for him he would talk to him at his return, Concerning going to Town.
John Brown Can Give no Accurate Account of the French fort, or its Situation, as he was not Quite within sight of it, What he knows of the River, Country I shall take down in writing at his return from the Woods and Transmitt it to you Excellency. The Mohawk Indian, Mr. Prtosh mentioned the Arrival at Kewoee, is not (as I hear of ) yet come into these parts, but as soon as he does I shall follow your Instructions, by Receiving him kindly and Endeavouring to find out the purport of the mefsags he is charged with.
Severall partys of Cherokees have Lately sell out from these upper towns to the Afsistance of Virginia. I did my Utmost Endeavour as did the Little Carpenter to present them (According to Mr. Atkins desire) but to no purpose. They came to me for Ammunition, paint, Knives __, which I refused them, as they were going where it was more plenty then at this place. On the 18th Instant Arrived here a half bred fellow belonging to Tomally, who was taken by the Enemy a little before my Arrivall here, he gives the following Account. That being in the woods, a little distance from the towns, he mett a Gang of Enemy Indians, who smell’d his horse and carried him off prisoner, they proved to be Twighvees, a Northern Nation of Indians In the French Interests on his Arrivall in their Nation, they beat him Most Unmercifully and used him with all the Marks of Cruelty, they were Severall days disputing whether he should be burnt or not and he surly Expected to die, but at last was Redeem’d by the women, he was some time Afterwards sent out a hunting, he then Embraced the Opportunity and came off. He was twenty-days on his Return to this place, He further Informed me that there were a Great Number of English prisoners in the Twightvee Nation, that they are treated worse then dogs, and ufsed the Utmost Barbarety, he say’s that by Signs & broken English he made known his design of Running off, to Seven English prisoner’s, and told them he was a Cherokee, and that there was, an English Fort in his Nation, and that if they wou’d wait till affair Oppurtunity offer’d, he wou’d conduct them safe to it, but he say’s they were so Impatient to get off, that they run off before him, and were making towards some of the Northern provinces, when they were mett by a body of Savannah’s, and all destroy’d. he brings an Account or the Six Twighvee’s that were kill’d by the Great Warriour, and of the Slave Gerle, he say’s the person that took him, was then killed.
Your Excellency does not mention any thing to me Concerning provifsions. In my Dispatches of the 30th December 1757 I Acquainted you that I had then but Eight Barrells of Beef which weigh’d about 460 weight Each, An I have one hundred & Twenty five people in the fort, in order to make it last as long as possible, I reduced the men’s Allowance to half a pound of Beef ____day Each man, and in li—of the other half pound I gave them half pound of flour, This beef was soon Expended, and I was obliged to send to all the traders, and Indian Towns, to purchase what provifsions I cou’d get, I gott about 400 wt Caceon & 400 wt of pork at an Exorbitant price, and there is not now half that Quantity left on this side the Mountains I have purchased all the hoggs from the Indians that they care to part with, and the white people who have a little provisions to Spare; are Unwilling to lett me have it, as some of my Certificates are not Excepted, and those that are, dye long unpaid, as most of them are poor here, they say they can’t afford to be long out of their money.
I lately heard of nine head of Cattle which wee to it Severall Months ago, and ( at the Recommendation of the Great Warriour) John Brown and Some Indians are gone after them 70 or 80 Mile off, I have now only Five days provifsions of flesh kind in the Fart, and when that is Expended (unlefs Brown brings in some of the Cattle,) I know not where to get an ounce more, I have hitherto observed you Excellency’s Order’s, in taking all possible care of the Cow’s, I have now Twenty, all with calf, I shall yet do all in my power to preserve them, till we come to the utmost Extremity, but I fear if no supply come’s soon, I shall be obliged to kill some of them. Thank God, I have about Fourteen or Fifteen undred Bufshell’s of Corn, or otherwife the Fort wou’d soon be Destitute of provifsions of any kind.
Inclosed I send you Excellency an Account of what Indian Goods I received on my Arrivall here from my Brother, and since from town, and what I have psid out on publick Services to the Indians, which you Excellency will find is much more that what I received, although I have always Endeavour’d to Observe the Strictest Rules on Oconomy and Frugalty.
Your Excellency will find by my Account that the Little Carpenter has had a Great many things; he behave’s Extreamly well, and he is always Employing his time, by either going to war, or a Other times doing his Utmost Endeavours to keep the Nation in Friendship with the English, he has no time to hunt and has little to cloath his Familly with, but what he gets from me. I likewife send you the Store Keepers Account of what provifsions has been Receive’d and Isue’d out since I took the command here. There has been severall Accounts by Runner’s from the Southward that the Savannah’s that now live in the upper Creeks are Intending to move verry soon Northesty to their own Nation So Great at present is the friendship of these people, that they are dailly talking of Going in a large body to Give them the A-iting and Destroy them, If they resolve on the Expidition. They will want a good deal of powder and ball which I am Incapable of Supplying them with, as you Excellency will see by the Gunner’s Return; which I send you Indorsed, Afewdays ago there came one of my Command, (an honest, harmlefs, young fellow,) to pafs a Fifty pound bill, shich in a short Examination I found to be counterfeited one I told the fellow, who Immediately declared his Innoncence and informed me that a Brother Soldier of his (who had received (Inclosed in a letter from a friend in Charles Town,) had desired him to pafs it, as I soon perceived he was Entirely Ignorant of the Affair, I send for his Comrade who told me he found it by the the Fort Gate wrapt up in a belt of toragg, as I was not at all satisfy’d with his allering his Story I Endeavoured to make him Sensible of the consequences of pafsing such bills, he long persisted that he found it but at last after many Threats of sending him in Irons down to Charles Town ___he confefs’d that he received it from on Samuel Terron, to whom he then Gave a thist & soa_ to Give him More things, on pafsing th eBill, This he declare’s was the way he came by the Bill, but say’s he knew not it was bad, as he pretended Great friendship to him. Your Excellency must have heard pf some bad 50 Bills some time ago, that came from this Nation it was Allways Suspected that this Terron was the forger of them which I reason to believe as he once confefsed to me, that he found some Fifty pounds behin an Indian house, but Afterwards said they were Given to him by an Indian torment, that he pafsed some of them but thought them to be Good, the Soldier is now Confin’d and I should have taken Samuel Terron Immediately but he was gone down with some horses to Ninety Six. I writt to Mr. McIntosh to take him up and Send him to Charlestown, but if he does not pafs by Fort Prince George, as there are two roads and Arrived in these parts I shall ___ him and send him down in a proper Manner. I send you Excellency the Bill Inclosed. I flatter my self that your Excellency is convinced that I do every thing in my power, for the Good of the province and the Safety of the Garfison under my Command, I us’ed my Atmost Endeavour’s to Obtain the little provifsion as I before inform’s you that was in these parts, it was verry Defficulte as I have no Commifsary here, and as my station wou’d not allow of my absence from the fort, I must confefs I was a little Discouraged from buying what provifsions fell in my way as I found some of my Certificates were not Excepted. An ny march to this fort from Keowwee with forty men, I gave Cornelius (Doharty a certificate)on he Publick for the sum of (only) Twelve pounds Currency for provifsions which he furnishe’d my Command with as they had no publick provifsions form either of the forts The Certificate is since Returne’d unHonoured.
On my first Arrivall here, at a Generall of all the towns by the desire of all the Officers then present I gave them Five Cagg’s of Rum, the Certificate for which is likewife return’d UnExcepted since the date of my leter the Weather has proved so bad the the Exprefs could not posibly pafs the reiver’s In the Intisim providence has thrown in my way Seven hoffs, but Exhavagantly dear, and am in hopes of Getting a few more.
I am Sorry that I ever wrote to your Excellency Concerning Elliot I am most sure he don’t use the Indians very well, they complain to me very much about him, when he Sells them Rum it is half water, and his Goods very Dear, and short Meafsure, I told them it was their faults, and that your Excellency had sent weights and Meassures, that they shouldnot be imposed upon. The little Carpenter told me, that he would Speack to you about it, therefore I begin first.
I am with great Respect.
& Most humble Servent
P.S. inclosed I send the Depostition Of the French Prosoners, I shall do My Endeavours to redeem the others Not wistanding they seem to be much Against it.
Source: Letterbooks of William Henry Lyttleton 1756-1760