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1757 July, Fort Loudoun
Posted By Dennis On In Native American,Tennessee | No Comments
By Dennis Hegan I was honoured with your Excellys Letter of 9th ultimate, I can with pleasure Afsure your Excellency that Since my arriavall here I have not been able to discover anything in the behaviour of the Indians but what denotes good humour & Freindship, and give me Reason to hope that the Machinations of the french & Their Emmifaries are Frustrated.
I shall now, Sir, From what Light I have acquired give your Excellency the best Idea I can of the State of the Trade in this Nation, when I said that he traders durst not go to Charles Town, I meant on Account of their debt. The Only personin these overhill Towns, who has for Some years past been able to Supply the Indians properly is Elliot, who’s character Your Excelly is no Stranger too. I am informed that his horses are now gone to Charles Town for Goods. M. McQueen can tell whether they will bring up any and what quantity, besides him there are two or three on this Side the Mountain who by importing Small Cargoes make a shif_ to Live but are very insufficient to Supply the Towns, Tallico wants a trader much, they have never been properly Supplyed Since Goudy left off Storekeeping there. Excepte Elliot I know of no Trader in this Nation that has Credit Enough to procure Goods from Charles Town all the Rest had their Cargoes last year from M. Goudy at Ninety Six or from Mefs. Rhea and Barksdale at Agusta, where they pay’d Twenty p Cent Advance on the Charles Town prices and made payments in Leather considerable under Market price in Town the Situation of affairs in this nation Last fall were Such, that none of the Indians went to their proper hunting Ground, So that they Gott but very few Skins, Consequently the Traders had but very bad payments, which renders them incapable of discharging last years engagements. Now Sir, as M. Goudy and the Store keepers at Agusta are well acqauinted with the Circumstances of the Traders and As Goods are much encreased in price by the high insurance and freight from Europe, it is much to be doubted whether they will choose to furniwh the Traders with the quantity of goods they usually intoduced here. Without they are publick Spirited enough to Support the Trade at the Risk of their fortunes Instances of which are rarely to be mett with in Such people. This is what I think there is Some Reason to Apprehend, and should it prove So in the Event would certainly be productive of very bad consequences.
Your Excellency is pleased to desire My Oppinnion of the properest Course to be taken to prevent a want of goods, I own I am much at a Lofs what to Say on that Subject. But at present no measure Occurs to me that would prove So Effectuate as that the publick should furnish such Traders as they shall think Trustworthy, with Credit for the ensuing _vinter’s Supply.
Since I began to write this letter the Carpenter and the great warriour with their Gangs are Returned, the former was done as far as the Concurse of this and the Ohio Rivers where he discovereda new French Settlement, about a mile & a half below the Fork as he had with him but 17 men, the Rest of his People having left him, he thought it best to return with all Speed as he had reason to immagine that he was discovered having heard three Gun’s fired. They seem to tak great umbrage at the near apprach of the French, Yesterday the Carpenter, the Great Warriour and His Brother with Severall other head men had a meeting here, the Carpenter Said that now he had told his Brothers what he had discovered and waited to Know their determination, that to us he Looked for afsistance to drive away French before they should become too Strong, he could find many men but they mostly unarmed and destitute of ammunition he desired to know what afsistance we could Immediately Afford them for that no time was to be lost, he added that perhaps many of his people might approve of the French Coming So near them and think their Designer Good, but he thougt otherways, and would endeavour with the help of his Brothern the English to drive them away upon Captain Demere’s answering that he could not Spare above 30 men laughed and Said that would never do, but desired your Excellency might, without Lofs of time be axquainted of their Request and that they depend upon you for afsistance & that they may soon know what they have to depend on.
The Great Warriour did no Execution, he brought in a Letter which he took out on the bundle of a Chactaw fellow to whom he gave chaoce., it is from the Commandant of Tumbeckbe Fort in the Chactaw Nation to the Captain of the Albama Fort, I suppose Captain Demere Sends it to your Excellency by this Conveyance, It shows that they Struggle with great difficulties in the management of their Indians as well as we and could we but fall in their way of conducting matters with the Savages in other Respects, the advantage of being better able to Supply them with necefsaries would certainly carry te day. It was Read & translated to the Indians & Seemed to have A very good Effect. Both the Carpenter and great Warriour have remarked upon the tate of trade here and repeated your Excellencys promise to them there are no goods of any Sort now in the Nation.
The Mefsengers Sent from this Nation to the Creeks are Returned, they bring no Difsagreanle news that we have as yet heard off. With them 2 Creeks from the ockchoy Town are Likewise come to Chote nothing of their Errand is as yet known, but it to be made known at a Generall meeting of the Towns 6 dayss hence at Chota Town house where the Officers of this fort are Invited to be present, and runners for The head men of the Towns in different parts of the Nation are dispatched. I forgott to mention that a Report has Spread amongst the Indians that Captain Pepper and the English Traders in the Creek Nation went away in a precipitat manner and that the Indians had Seised their Effects, we do not beleve this Reporrt & Severall Indians do not credit it.
In obediency to your Excellencys orders I send a muster Roll of my Company and an Account of pay due to Officers & men from the days of their repective entrances to the 25th day of march, having deducted money already received on that Account, the balance Remainihg due to that Day amounts to 1,6856.18.4 Currancy. Wich I hope will provided for I have already pafsed orders on Mefsrs Ogeloy & Ward for a Great deal of the money. The Carpenter talks of His Intended Vayage to England. Everyday, he is certainly much in our Interest at this time, and we Cultivate his present favourable disposition as much as Lyes in our power he Constantly talks of their want of goods and they all Excpect to be properly Supplyed.
An Exprefs from Captain Pepper to Captain Demere arrived here the 9th acquainting him with what intelligence the Creeks had given of these peoples designes against us. I was very plain with the Carpenter on this Subject yesterday, he made the Strongest protestations of freindship Exprefsed his Satisfaction at our being here and our behaviour Said that whilest he Lived no white man Shoud be hurt he said he once intended not to be at the Generall meeting but now he would be there & give a proper answer for he believes the talk this Creek fellow bringun is French time must Show whether or not he is Sincere.
As the time for the Expiration of the present afsembly is approaching It would be very convenient for Me to be in Charles Town a month before that period. If your Excellency thinks you can consistantly with the Good of the Service Indulge me SO far I hope you will.
I hope Your Excellency will Excuse my writing on Such paper but it is the best Fort Loudoun affords
I have the honour of being with the Greatest Respect
Most obed’ & most humble
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