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1760, January 25
Posted By Dennis On In Tennessee | No Comments
I received the 15th instant your Letter of the 29th Ult. I attempted severall times write to your Excellency, after the Little Carpenter went down, but I was always prevented by the treachery of our Indians. Sometimes by the path being way laid, that no Letters shou’d be carried down; finding all was in vain, I sent for the Seed, who had lately come from Warr, and had brought threejndians Prisoners, and five Scalps; and asked him whether he was going down to Keowee, he told me he shou’d be very glad to go to wait on your Excellency, and desired me to give him a Letter, and he wou’d set out next Day, which accordingly I did; but Old Hop who has his Spys every where, surmising that he was to go down Sent for him that Evening, and asked him, whether he was going to Keowee or no, he answer’d yes, on which Old Hop told him, what says he, do you want to steal yourself from me like a Rogue; you shall not go, til the Standing Turkey goes, and the nexct Day he brought me the Letter back again: as I cou’d not suceed that way , I sent for Charles Macklemore, and asked him, whether he wou’d carry a Letter to Keowee, and pafs in the Night by the Town; He told me, that he heard there was a great deal of Danger, but he wou’’ attempt it, to serve his Keing, and Country and said, that he wou’d go and hunt for a Horse in the Night, as he was boiling a piece of Meet for his Journey, a Young Indian who had a great regard for him and lives in the same House with him asked if he was going down, on which heanswer’d yes, the Young fellow told him that he heard at the Town House of Chota tge Night before, and heard that it was agreed among them that if any White People, shou’d pafs by the Towns they shou’d be searched and if they found any Letter to put him to Death, and that Orders were sent every where to that purpose; and on the 3rd Instant severall Indians from Highwafsee went to the House of one John Kelley of Motley and told him, that they were come to kill him, the Other Answer’d, that he had never done any harm to them, but was their Friend: they answer’d that he was a White Man; then they blacked his face, and carried him to the River Side, and there knocked him on the Head. I was Inform’d at the same time that Willeleway was come from Keowee, and was at his House, I sent for him, and asked him what News he had brought, he told me that every thing went on very well, and that he was sent b the Great Warrior, and the Little Carpenter, to summon the Head Men of all these Towns, to come to Echoy, wehre there was to be a great Meeting: but (says he) our Peole think there is some plot laid against them and they do not choose to go. In my Opinion, I think that he has himself said something to that purpose, to some of them.
The 6th Instant Arrived here the Little Carpenter, he came the Same Day to the Forst and said, that he had settled every thing with the Governor and hoped that for the future, there wou’d be no more such doings, and in all the Towns he pafsed through he had given his Talk, and that all the Head-men approved of it very much; and that when he come to Motley the Black Dog seem’d to be very angrey with his People, for their late behaviour and told them, that it was agreed; that if a White Man killed an Indian, the White Man must be put to Death, likewise if an Indian kill’d a White Man he shou’d suffer the same; but he cou’d not tell whether it was put in execution; but he is sure that the Black-Dog will do his utmost to give satisfaction. The next Day the Little Carpenter went to Chota, to give a Talk, and the Head men of all the Towns were ordered to be there, I was informed that he spoke very severly to them all for their late behaviour, and told Old Hop publickly, that he was the Occasion fo all these Doings: I am very sensible that the Little Man will do any thing in his Power to prevent Mischief and that he is very much attached to our Interest; but what can he himself do, when he has so many Barbarians agaist him, and always inclined for Mischief. The Day after he had given that Strong Talkat Chota, as some of our Men were bringing Wood to the Fort, and Others were gone with their Arms, to cut down Trees; an Indian jump’d from behind a Log, and said Savanah, and fired at one but luckily mifsed him, and went off ike a Deer over the Hills so that those with their Arms had no chance to shoot at him; I sent immediately to the Little Carpenter to acquaint him, with what had happen’d and he at that moment sent a great many Young fellows, on the Track some of them follow’d him so close that they reached him at Tiliqua River: he cou’d not denu that he had done it, but tht it was only to frighten the Men; and as he was coming along with them to the Fort, I suppose they gave him an opportunity to Make his Escape. I then said to the Little Carpenter, that this vexed me very much, and insisted on satisfaction; he sent immediately a Runner to Tennefey to enquire after the fellow, a little while after, he sent Willeleway and as it was prety late he said that he cou’d not not Receive any answer that Night but wou’d let me know it next Day. When he came, he said that the Young fellow’s Relations had sent him wor that he had absconded himself and promised, that he when he sou’d come back they wou’d punish him severly, and wou’d be Security for his better behaviour; you may Judge by this, what Satisfaction they intend to give. On the nineth he came again, and Said, that he was Surprized that the Hostages were not set at Liberty, I told him, that as they were not delivered the People who had been guilty of Murder, the Hostages cou’d not be set at Liberty. I know, says he, what has pafsed between the Governor, and I, and that he has left some People to act as if he was there, I am going to writ to them to demand the Hostages, and will send it to the great Warrior, to deliver it himself, I dare not go to Keowee because of the Small-pox.
Accordingly he sent a Runner, but went no further than Teliqua, because the Great Warrior was there, and was tired tof staying so long below as No body of the Upper Towns came near him, It was few Days before he came to the Fort and about sooner; and said the he had given Strong Talks at every Town, and that Chota, and I am afraid said he, that they will be some disturbances concerning the Hostages, because their Relations of those who have been Guilty, do not choose to deliver them up, and we cannot take them waway from them by force, besides a great Number of People are against it. He did not stay long, because the weather was very bad, and the River was so high next Morning occasioned by the great fall of Snow, and Rain that no Indian ever remembered to have seen the like; the Little Manb at Night said, that as he found, that great many of his People, were always sending Exprefses tp the French, he wou’d do his endeavours to disappoint them, by sending Party to Warr against them, and on the 22d. Instant, he brought a Gang of twelve Young fellows to the Fort, and after they were fot out for Warr, and given them a Warr Hatchet, he sent them toward For La Afsumption: they went away in high spirits.
On the 23d the Great Warrior and the Little Carpenter came and as a great many Indians had follow’d them, they did not choose to speak before them, til they were gone; I them asked them, how many-People guilty of Murder, they had to beliver to the Fort that I might Send to Keowee, to set so many Hostages at Liberty, for I wanted to see every thing quiet, and easy among us; they were severall minutes without saying any thing, at last the Little Carpenter siad, I am sorry to hear so many bad talks from all parts, and I am afraid, that if a Stop be not put to it soon the Consequences will be worse than it was before, especially at Notley and Highwafsee and all the Towns in generall. Complain very much that hteir beloved People are detained tooo long at Keowee, and they are ready to join to any thing that shall be proposed to them; therefore, said he to prevent it we are come to desire you to write a Letter to the Cammanding Officer there, to release them as soon as any Brother who carrys the Exprefs is arrived. I told him it was not in My Poweer to do such a thing, and that My Orders were to receive as Many People, that had been guilty of Murder as they sou’d bring to me, and them to send Certificates below that so many Hostages might b e set at Liberty, as they had all agreed by the Treaty; and that I was most certain tthat Lieut. Coytmore had the same Orders, that I had; he seem’d to be angrey at it and Said I do not want you to write but I shall send my Brother with a Talk to the Wrrior there, and I am most sure he will bdeliver them, after what has been told to me when I was there, and if he has no Orders, to send an exprefs to Charles Town to acquaint a Governor, with what I say, and to tell him, that as the Relations do not choose to deliver up their Friend to be put to Death, I will send them next spring to Warr, against the French and they shall bring Prisoners, and shall be sent ot Charles Town and delivered there; to make satisfaction, for those that have been kill’d . I asked him why the People of Notley did not put to Death one of those that kill’d John Keeley, he said that he had heard say that that man was in the room of the Indian that Sam; Ben kill’d a long while ago, and as you do not seem to be satisfied with it, I shall send any Exprefs to the Black _Dog, to put one of the Indians to Death, and to cut off his head, and send it to you; and the Governor will be satisfied with it, and you too. The Great Warrior had been Silent all that while, and seen’d to be very crofs, he said he did not know what to do in this occasion, that since he had been at Chota Runners had been to him from all parts complaining that their Friends were still confined, and that they were very uneasy about it, and that Rondeau who had always been a friend to the English, and always ready ot take their parts on all occasion, was always iamenting for his Two Children, and had sent word to the Head-Men of the Valley. That the was ready to join with them; and that the Head-Men answered, that he cou’d not do it ast present, that he must stay longer, that thing perhaps wou’d turn better. He wished that the People of the Upper Towns had met him at Echoy, and every thing shou’d have been quiet now, and that it was impofsible for them two, to do what they intended at first; and he gave me to underloose the credit of their Party; and that the Indians wou’d thinkg that they did not love their Brothers’ and that they were obliged to follow the Current, When they were going away, I told them, that I wou’d acquaint your Excellency with what had been said, they shook Me by the hand, and the Little Carpenter said, let us not part in Anger, I shall see you tomorrow morning. Accordingly he came and dseired that We shou’d write to Lieut. Coytmore, to release, if it was in his power, the Hostages; because says he, it will be in My Power then, to make every thing easy among our People, and that they shall never be guilty of the like again; because I shall stay with you, as I have promised the Governor; and I will send immediately the Young Fellow to Warr, to bring as many French Prisoners as they can, fi the Governor please to forgive them; otherwise I do not know what to do, as there is so many against me.
Supposing your Excellency was pleased to forgive them on these terms, I know that great Number of them wou’d go to Warr immediately and I shou’d not know what to do, to fit them out for Warr being Destitute almost for every thing, except Powder, and Bullets Guns and few Blankets,. Since I have been here, I have sent upwards of three hundred Indians to Warr against the French an never received from the Commifsary but 6 pounds & half of Bermition, which is the chief article; aand the Comifsary is indebted to me upwards of twenty pounds of it; and every body here knows, that I have borrow’d from every one as much as I cou’d besides what my Store keeper had. Very often the Warriors came for Paint, and I can not refuse them.
As Lieut. Coytmore has acquainted me, that he has great many Presents to send here, I have desired him, to send Hatchets, Shirts, Cloth and great deal Paint, as for Hatchest, I never received one, and the Indians cannot go to Warr without them; as they are obliged very often to make bark Canoes, when they have to Crofs a River, therefore I was always obliged to Order the Smith to make some, when I heard that the Indians were going to warr: as it has hapn’d that lately the Path ahs been very dangerous, and the Wreather very bad, I have not yet received your Excellency’s Letter from the Congarees, that Mr. Nutt had desired me to get Corn if I cou’d it hapn’d very well, that most all the Indians were hunting, and their Women being destitute of great many thing, (at the request of our Gentlemen, and some of our Soldiers) brought into the Store upwards of seven hundred Bushells, other wise I do not know what we sho’d have done: The Clothing and Salt are not et come but I hope they will be soon here, if the Indians do not prove treacherous.
Since the Date of this Letter, we have heard the Melancholy News, of Fort Prince George being taken, if ti si so, or not, I cannot tel; but I am well informed that upwards of twenty White Men, were Murdered at John Elliot’s House. I have not received from Keowee either flour, cloathing, or any thing else. I have upwares of four Months meat provision, and about10 or 11 weeks Indian Corn, the allowance of the Men is a pint a Day: they are (thank God) in high spirits and fully resolved to sell their Lives very dear if they are Attacked. They are constantly at work, to put the Fort in the best posture of Defence. Two White Men came yesterday from the Middle settlements and it is a miracle how they saved their Lives: thire is not a White man left in the ation, (I mean those men who have traded with the Indians.) the Little Carpenter, (since we have heard the News, that all the Lower Towns are at Warr against us, and that they had sent Partys every where to destroy the White men) has been with me severall times, and hath declared that he will protect us as much as lyes in his Pwer, and he has given Talks to all the upper Towns to that purpose and yesterday he came to the Fort, with the Head-men of these upper Towns, saying that their intentions were not like those of the Lower Towns, but they were resolved to stand by the White People, and to live in Peace with them. They further said, that the Indians below had sent an Exprefs to them, with a painted stick and a White man’s scalp as a token of Warr, and desirec them to take up the Warr Hatchet, and to destroy all the White Men, and joyn them; they said when they heard those proposals, they sent back the Exprefs, and gave them for Answer that as they had undertaken this Bloody Warr, they wou’d have nothig to do with them, and further said to the Exprefs, that they must not presume to come over the Hills, for they look upon them as Enemys: If they speak from the bottom of their Hearts, and pretend to be Sincere I cannot tell, but your Excellency may be well afsured. That I shall be upon my Guard, and aviod all Surprize for I distrust them all, yet shew them a good countinance, and receive them kindly.
As our Condition is very bad, I attempted yesterday to send Mclemore and anoter to Virgingia, they went upwards of thirty Miles, but finging fresh tracks, and at some distance some indians, they were afraid to go farther and came back: but notwithstanding wi have agreed with two resolute fellows, who are well acaquainted with the Woods; they will set off tis Night. ThePath from hence to Charles Town is the most difficult and dangerous, as all the Indians, are resloved to kill any Body, that go on the Path, and are watching it; I have offer’d great rewards to any Body that wou’d undertake it but all in Vain, at just I have fixed upon a Negro fellow and promised himhis freedom, if he wou’d undertake it. God grant that he may deliver you safe this Letter. I hope your Excellency will reward his al I have promised him. He is the only Man to bring me back an answer. I am Sir your Excellency’s most obedient Servant. Paul Demere
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