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Articles of a Treaty of Peace

As taken from "The Civil and Political History of the State of Tennessee from its Earliest Settlement up to the year 1796" by John Haygood. 1823


Transcribed by Mildred Collins Wasser


Made and concluded at Fort Henry on Holston river near the Long Island, July 20th 1777, between the Commissioners from the State of North Carolina in behalf of the said State of the one part and the subscribing Chiefs of that part of the Cherokee Nation, called the Overhill Indians of the other part.

 

ARTICLE I

 

That hostilities shall forever cease between the said Cherokees and the people of North-Carolina from this time forward, and that peace, friendship and mutual confidence shall ensue.

 

ARTICLE II.

 

That all white or negro prisoners among the said Cherokees, (if any there be,) belonging to said State shall be given up immediately to the person who shall be appointed to reside among the said Cheokees as agent for the said state, to whom also the said Cherokees are to deliver all the horses, cattle and other property belonging to the people of the said state which they have t aken away since the beginning of the late war, that can possibly be discovered and procured.

 

ARTICLE III

 

That no white man sall be suffered to reside in or pass through the said Overhill towns without a suffiecient certifucate signed by three justices of the peace of the same county of North Carolina or Washington county in Virginia or to higher authority of any of the United States to be produced to and approved of by the said agent; any person failing to comply herewith, shall be apprehended by the Cherokees, and delivered to the said agent, whom they are to assist in conducting such person to the nearest justice of the peace to be punished for the violation of this article, and the said Cherokees may apply to their own use of the effects such person shall then and there be possessed of at the time he is taken, in said towns or country, thereunto belonging.

And should any runaways negroes get into the Ovehill towns, the Cherokees are to secure such slaves until the agent can give notice to the owners, who on receiving them shall pay such reward as the agent may judge reasonable.

 

ARTICLE IV.

That all white men residing in or passing through the Overhill country authorised or certified as aforesaid are to be protected in their persons and property and to be at liberty to remove in safety. And the said state of North-Carolina shall have liberty to send one or more traders with goods into any part of the said Overhill country or towns for the purpose of furnishing the said Cherokees with necessaries. If any white man shall murder and Indian he is to be delivered up to a justice of the peace in the nearest county to be tried and put to death, according to the laws of the state. And if any Indian shall murder a white man, the said Indian shall be put to death by the Cherokees in the presence of the agent at Chota or two justices of the peace of the nearest county.

 

ARTICLE V.

 

That the boundary line between the state of North-Carolina and the said Ovehill Cherokees shall forever hereafter be and remain as follows, (to wit:) Beginning at a point in the dividing line which during this treaty hath been agreed upon between the said Overhill Cherokees and the state of Virginia, where the line between that state and North Carolina (hereafter to be extended) shall cross or intersect the same, running thence a right line to the north bank of Holston river at the mouth of Cloud’s creek, being the second creek below the Warrior’s ford at the mouth of Carter’s Valley, thence a right line to the highest point of a mountain called the high rock or chimney top, from thence a right line to the mouth of Camp creek, otherwise called McNamas creek, on the south bank of Nolichucky river, about ten miles or thereabouts below the mouth of Great Limestone, be the same more or less and from the mouth of Camp creek aforesaid, a south east course into the mountains which divide the hunting grounds of the middle settlements from those of the Overhill Cherokees. And the said Overhill Cherokees in behalf of themselves, their heirs and successors, do hereby freely in open treaty, acknowledge and confess, that all the lands to the east, north east and south east of the said line, and lying south of the said line of Virginia, at any time heretofore claimed by the said Overhill Cherokees, do of right now belong to the state of North Carolina, and the said subscribing Chiefs, in behalf of the said Overhill Cherokees, their heirs and successors, do hereby in open treaty, now and forever, relinquish and give up to the said state and forever quit claim all right, title, claim and demand of , in and to the land comprehended in the state of North Carolina by the line aforesaid.

 

ARTICLE VI.

 

And to prevent as far as possible any cause orpretence on either side to break and infringe on the peace so happily established between North Carolina and the said Cherokees, it is agreed by the commissioners and Indian chiefs aforesaid, that no white man on any pretence whatsoever shall build, plant, improve, settle, hunt or drive stock below the said boundary line, on pain of being drove off by the Indians, and further punished according to law, nor shall any man who may go over the line in search of any stray creatures be permitted on any pretence to carry a gun on pain of forfeiting the same to the informer.

 

In testimony of all and singular the above articles and agreements the parties aforesaid have hereunto set their hands and seals in open treaty the day and year above written.

Read, interpreted and ratified in the Great Island opposite to the fort.

Memorandum before signing, That the Tassel yesterday objected against giving up the Great Island opposite to Fort Henry, to any person or country whatsoever, except colonel Nathaniel Gist, for whom and themselves it was reserved by the Cherokees.

The Raven did the same this day in behalf of the Indians and desired that colonel Gist migh sit down upon it when he pleased, as it belonged to him and them to hold good talks on.

 

Waightstill Avery, {SEAL}

William Sharpe, [SEAL]

Robert Lanier, [SEAL]

Joseph Winston, [SEAL]

Oconostata, of Chota, his X mark, [SEAL]

Reyetaeh or the old Tassel of toquoe, his X mark, [SEAL]

Savanukch, or the Raven of Chota, his X mark, [SEAL]

Willanawas, of Toquoe, his X mark, [SEAL]

Ootosseteh, of Hiwassee, his X mark, [SEAL]

Attusah, or the northward warrior of the mouth of Tellico river,

his X mark, [SEAL]

Ooskuah, or Abram of Chilhowee, his X mark, [SEAL]

Rollowch, or the Raven from the mouth of Tellies river, his X

mark, [SEAL]

Toostooh, from the mouth of Tellies river, his X mark, [SEAL]

Amoyah, or the Pigeon of Natchey creek, his X mark, [SEAL]

Ootossetih, or the Mankiller of Hiwassee, his X mark, [SEAL]

Tillehaweh, or the Chesnut of Tellies, his X mark, [SEAL]

Quee lee kah of Hiwassee, his X mark, [SEAL]

Anna ke hu jah, or the girl of Tuskega, his X mark, [SEAL]

Annecekah of Tuskega, his X mark, [SEAL]

Ske ahtu kah or Citico, his X mark, [SEAL]

Atta Kulla Kulla, or the Little Carpenter of Nachey creek, his

X mark, [SEAL]

Ookoo nekah or the White Owl of Natchey creek, his X mark, [SEAL]

Ka ta quilla or Pot Clay of Chilhowee, his X mark, [SEAL]

Tus ka sah or the Terrapin of Chilestooch, his X mark, [SEAL]

Sunne wauh of Big Island town, his X mark, [SEAL]

WITNESS - Jacob Womack, James Robins, John Reed, Isaac Bledsoe, Brice Martin, John Reed, John Kearns.

Joseph Vann, Interpreter.

 

APPENDIX.

 

As an uncommon interest is taken at this day in all that is intimately connected with the times in which in a weak and infantine state the people struggled for independence and freedom from oppression ; and as the incidental occurrences of these times will give a lively view of the doings and sayings of the men who then acted on the side of the country, a succinct narrative of all that passed at this treaty can neither be unacceptable, nor uninstructive, and therefore it is briefly inserted.

 

This treaty was appointed by governor Henry to be holden at Fort Patrick Henry, near the Long Island on Holston some time in April 1777. The parties then met and appointed another time, the 26th of June 1777. The governor Caswell of Virginia gave notice of the appointed treaty to governor Caswell of North Carolina. The object of Virginia was to obtain an alteration of the boundary line run by Donalson, and to have the road to, and through the Cumberland gap included in a cession then to be obtained ; for that was the passage through which the people of Virginia travelled to Kentucky. Provisions were ordered to be supplied to the Indians who might be attending on the treaty, and goods, ammunition, salt and whiskey were ordered to be distributed amongst them. They were directed to procure two persons to reside amongst the Indians, or otherwise to engage two traders resident, in the nation to give the earliest intelligence in their power from time to time of occurrences which it was important to be informed of, and they were directed to employ a gun-smith to reside amongst the Indians for the purpose of dressing their guns. And they were further instructed should the treaty succeed according to expectation, to disband the troops who were stationed in Washington county of Virginia. These instructions were directed to colonel William Christian, colonel William Preston and colonel Evan Shelby or any two of them. Colonel Gist had been ordered by the government of Virginia to go into the Cherokee nation and bring to the traty to be held at fort Patrick a number of Indians.

On the 30th of June Oconostota andothers who accompanied him, came to the fort on Holston with colonel Christian; a few minutes afterwards came the commissioners from North-Carolina, Waighstill Avery, William Sharpe, Robert Lanier and Joseph Winston, esquires. Governor Caswell appointed commissioners and instructed them on the 12th of June.

On the 2d of July an Indian warrior called the Big Bullet was privately killed by some rash person, which nearly put an end to the intended treaty. The Indians were greatly alarmed and did not seem to have entirely recovered from their fears till after the lapse of some days, and the most solemn assurances from the commissioners, that the actor would be punished by death, could it be discover who he was, and they offered by proclamation a reward of six hundred dollars for his apprehension.

The 4th of July came on and was celebrated with considerable parade in presence of the Indians, and they were informed in a ritten address of the cause of the festivity, and of the nature of the dispute between Great Britain and the United States. The chiefs continued to come in slowly till the 10th, on which day arrived the Tassel from Chota; On the same day the Raven arrived, and Willenewas; in the evening old Tassel made a speech in which he professed a desire for peace. Atta kulla kulla was present as well as Ocnnestota. Some speeches were made by the Indians, and they still dwelt on the death of the Big Bullet, saying however, that they imputed no blame to any but the individula offender who committed the act. On 13th col. Christian opened the conferences; as usual on such occasions, he was greatly desirous of peace, attributed the late war to the bad advice which they had received from evil disposed white persons who lived in the nation and lamented the sufferings which they had experience in consequence of it. He invited them to open their hearts, and to lay before the commissioners unreservedly all the complaints they had. He spoke of a boundary to be made between them and the white people, and of the authority which he had received from the governor of Virginia to make it. He regretted the absence of Judge Friend, the Dragging Canoe, the Lying fish and Young Tassel; Mr. Avery followed in a speech of some length, which dwelt on similar topics. On the 15th various papers were introduced and read, and amongst others, a treath which the people of Georgia and south Carolina had made with the Cherokees on the 20th of May 1777, in which was contained the cession of an extensive territory. Oconnestota on this day informed the commissions that the Old Tassel and the Old Raven, were speakers for him and the whole nation. That to them he had resigned his power on account of his age, but if they should speak contrary to his sentiments he would put them right. The Raven then rose and delivered a speech; he rejoiiced in the prospects of peace, was grateful for the attention and good treatment which Oconnestota and his attendants had received from the governor and people of Virginia on his going and returning from Williamsburg. "My elder brother of Carolina, said he, will open the doors of peace as well as virginia, that we may see each other clearly, and that they may stand open everlastingly." He then adverted to the invitation he had received to make a free disclosure of his complaints, and then proceeded. "I believe that long before my remembrance, this land was first found out, the time you know as you have writings. But I do not know when the first settlements were made on these waters; I believe they were before my remembrance, bu the time these medals wre given to us, (shewing a medal.) Every since these have been amongst us, we have been more and more distressed, mu grievances have been for several years. He spoke of the bad advice which Cameron or Steward had given him, of his having followed it, and of the difficulties into which he had been led by it. He wished for a boundary to be fixed which could not be passed. He mentioned his own poverty and commiseration which now the white people seemed to bestow on him."

The Old Tassel rose and wished for peace of eternal duration, and again adverted to the death of Big Bullet. They were grieved at the proposal of colonel Williamson of North Carolina to have a considerable part of the lands which his people claimed, and he involked the pity of the great men of Virginia and North Carolina, and begged that they would do him justice. The provisions of the Indians, he said, were nearly destroyed and themselves stinted for room, because of the encoachments made upon their lands. Colonel Christian replied, and brought unequivocally into view the necessity for fixing a boundary between them and Virginia so as to prevent all future dissensions for want of known limits. He wished them to state who wre the people who had settled on their land, and by whom and where they had been injured, to the end that it might be in the power of the commissioners to give them an answer the next day, when the commissioners intended to propose a boundary.

On the evening of the 15th the Raven spoke again. He hoped for justice from the commissioners; "we have been trespassed upon, said he, by bodies of people upon our hunting grounds." He wished the Long Island of Holston to be reserved for holding their treaties and conferences with the white people upon, and after the boundary establised, he desired that the white people settled upon the Indian territory might not be removed till their crops were gathered in, and he proposed a boundary ; he specified the settlements which the white people had made upon the lands of the Indians, and when asked by Mr. Avery if the Indians in some instances had not consented to those settlements, he admitted the fact, but ascribed it to the fears they were under, and to an expectation of redress from the government. Oconostota denied an absolute sale of the lands to the people on Watauga and Nolichuky. He had told them before the war that he would send to the king, and if agreed to it they might stay where they were, but that his consent must be had. They gave us guns, said he, but as they made a great deal of grain, raised stock and destroyed our hunting ground, he had told them that he could not take pay for the lands, but the rent only.

On the 16th, colonel Christian spoke; ascribed the settlements to the orders formerly given by George the second ; he proposed a boundary from a point in the river to a point tow or three miles below Cumberland gap, for the convenience, ease and safety of the travellers to Kentucky ; he exhorted them not to agree to any thing they did not aprove of, and assured them that they had not been invited to that distance from their own settlements in order that advantages might be taken of their situation, and that although they should differ in opinion, that they should receive the most perfect protection and be conducted in safety to their homes. He pressed them to utter their sentiments without fear or reserve. The Old Raven shewed his great reluctance at the proposed boundary and wished for time to consul with his people. Mr. Avery spoke of the boundary established by the Big Wolf (governor Tryon.) and of the settlements on Watauga without the consent of the governor of North Carolina, and of their great displeasure on hearing that the Indians had bargained away their lands to these settlers, without consulting these governors, who were neither pleased with the Indians, nor with the settlers, and by this means place them between the inhabitants of Carolina and themselves. In the time of peace, he said, they were not driven away nor moved off, nor were they takien under protection by the governor of North Carolina. They were let alone, no officers were appointed for them by government, and no judge appointed to preside on seats of justice there. The Indians made no request to the governor and council to have them removed, and when the Cherokees began the late war, they broke over the line between them and the white people agreed upon and fixed by the Big Wolr (governor Tryon,) and they had killed our peopleon the head waters of the Catawba and Broad rivers. An army was raised and sent out upon the path which you had made dark and bloody, said he, and at the same time by the desire of these settlers on the waters of Watauga and Nolichucky, they were taken under the protection of North Carolina, and were supplied with money, ammunition, salt, &c. They were received and taken in as a part of our people. We promised to support them in that place, and by the assistance and power of North Carolina, they have lived there in time of war. Before the war this power was restrained and kept back beyond the line fixed by the Big Wolf, but now you have been the cause of bringing it to Watauga and Nolichucky ; and now our courts muct be established here. The power of North Carolina is able to remove this people as you request, but you made war, and then we took them for our people, you have made it very difficult for us to remove them, and it would be more agreeable to our governor and great council that they should stay. Should a line be now established, we desire for the future that you will not consent to any settlements of the white men on your side of the line, without the consent of our governor and great council, or commissioners by them appointed, and we desire from you a promise that you will not herafter sell, rent or make any agreement whatever with private persons, respecting lands on your side of the line, in our range, or privilege of hunting there, for fear of the disturbances which may thence arise. He promised that the commissioners would recommend to the governor and great council of North Carolina to make laws for the punishment of thos who should encoach on the Indian lands. He wished a boundary for the perpetuation of friendship. He invited them to act freely in accepting or rejecting the proposed bounday line and disavowed any intention to use compulsion. He proposed a boundary below the white inhabitants beginning at the ford on Holston, where the path crossed at the lower end of the valley, thence towards a point about three miles below Cumberland gap, until it intersects the line hereafter to be extended between the states of Virginia and North Carolina, and from the said ford a direct line towards Nolichucky river, five miles west of the mouth of Mc’Namas’ creek, thence south crossing Nolichucky to the souther bank thereof, and thence south east into the mountains which divide the hunting grounds of theOverhill towns from those of the middle settlements. The Old Tassel expressed very great reluctance to the proposed boundary and wished the commissioners to write a letter to general Washington by colonel Gist.

In a speech which he made the next day, the 17th or July, he approved of every thing the commissioners had said, except the boundary, which they proposed. He suspected from their asking for so much land, that the commissioners meant to entrap them, and draw them to a refusal so as to get an excuse for further hostilities. He doubted their authority to apply for a cession of so much land. He had not expected proposals for land, but only for peace. He was willing to leave the subject of the cession to the governor of Virginia. He alluded to much imposition which he had suffered on the subject of lands. And said he, if this and another house were packed full of goods they would not make satisfaction. He often in this speech repeated his dissatisfaction at the proposed boundary. It would spoil the hunting grounds of his people. I hope you will consider this and pity me; you require a thing I cannot do. He turned to the commissioners of Virginia, and expressed satisfaction at the appointment they had made of an agent to reside in his country, and promised him safety and kindness. Colonel Christian wished, that some of the Cherokee young men might accompany colonel Gist to congress, and the army of general Washington. In passing trough the country they would see its riches, grandeur, and population; the great council of America, and the greatest army which ever had been collected in America. The Old Tassel hoped that general Washington would give him some redress for the great injury done him in taking aways one of his principal towns, which he intimated had been done by the people of South Carolina. The commissioners of North Carolina would not agree as proposed by those of Virginia, to give any sums of money for lands, nor to any other boundary than that which had been already proposed, for that alone would include the inhabitants on both sides of Holston river. North Carolina, they said, had been at the expense of protecting these settlements during the war and that was consideration enough for the cession they suggested. Colonel Christian in a speech to the Cherokees, offered them for the small cession that Virginia wanted, two hundred head of breeding cows, and one hundred sheep. He promised to send an agent into their country, to reside at Chota to write them letters, and deliver tp them the communications from Virginia, and a gun-smith, to repair their arms. With a little variation the line proposed by Virginia, was agreed to by the Raven, after consulting with the othr Indians. He wished it to be as a wall to the skies, so that it should out of the power of all people to pass it. He agreed to this boundary, in confidence that no man would be permitted to pass it, and to the appointment of an agent to reside in the Cherokee nation, and to give intelligence of all that passed there. But upon the representation of colonel Christian, that the line as proposed by the Indians would leave out twenty of the white settlers, and that the line as the commissioners proposed it would include them, the Raven agreed to the line as proposed by Virginia. Mr. Avery spoke of the little disposition which the Indians seem to have had for some years past, to cultivate and improve the friendship existing between them and North Carolina, and instanced the small attendance upon the treaty they were invited to come to in April, 1776, when there was a person appointed to hold conferences with them and to make presents to them. He proposed an agent to reside at Chota. He declared the sincerity with which the commissioners of North Carolina were seeking for peace. But he said that the peace could not be lasting if they would not settle a boundary line with the people of North Carolina, for want of knowing how far to go. The governor of Virginia had nothing to do with the affairs of North Carolina, and no reference could be made to him ; and it was mysterious, he said that they had not expected an application for the establishment of a boundary, which was so necessary a part of the treaty. The voluntary withdrawal of the armies of the white people from the country of the Cherokees, when they might have remained there and have built forts, is full proof that the white people did not wish for an excuse to drive them away. the people of North Carolina wished to establish courts of justice on Watauga, to keep bad men in order, and to punish with death such of them as could not be reclaimed and governed. The people on Watauga and Nolichucky, could not be removed, since they had been under protection in the time of the war, which the Cherokees themselves by going to war had made necessary ; and that is was now unreasonable, for the Cherokees under such circumstances to demand their removal. You claim. said he, compassion for your distresses, and during the war you distressed the inhabitants of Watauga and Nolichucky ; you destroyed their substance, and endeavored to kill all of them ; North Carolina, seeing their distress, pitied them and fave them help and support. This you will allow to be right. The damages they received were very great, and they are still in distress and entitled to the pity and protection of North Carolina, which you must think it is right to afford them. He pressed upon them to be friendly in order to have friends. He mentioned the non-restoration of the horses they had taken from the white people, which they had promised to return, but had failed to do so. He then proposed another boundary which they agreed to, and is the same which is inserted in the treaty. The Tassel, after consultation with his people, agreed to the boundary, complaining at the same time that nothing was paid to them for it, and of the hardship of demanding their lands ; but, said he, I give them up. He wished, however, that the concession should not be considered as final till general Washington’s opinion could be obtained. This Mr. Sharp, in a speech made to them, objected to, as being a matter between North Carolina and the Cherokees, which none but themselves could settle. And he called upon them to remember that he promised them no reward but friendship. The Raven hoped that the governor of North Carolina would take pity on them and make compensation for the land, for it had always been customary when lines were run, to get something for the lands they included. He hoped for pity ; but the line should be made as he gave up the land. The commissioners of North Carolina appointed captain James Robertson, temporary agent for North Carolina, and in their written instructions directed him to repair to Chota in company with the warriors returning from the treaty, there to reside till otherwise ordered by the governor. He was to discover if possible, the disposition of the Dragging Conoe towards this treaty, as also, of Judge Friend, the Lying fish and others, who did not attend it, and whether there was any danger of a renewl of hostilities by one or more of these chiefs. He was also to find out the conversations between the Cherokees and the southern, western and northern tribes of Indians. He was to search in all the Indian towns for persons disaffected to the American cause, and have them brought before some justice of the peace, to take the oath of fidelity to the United States, and in case of refusal to dal with them as the law directed. Travellers into the Indian nation without passes, such as the third article of the treaty required, were to be secured. He was immediately to get into possession all the horses, cattle and other property, belonging to the people of North Carolina, and to cause them to be restored to their respective owners. He was to inform the government of all occurrences worthy of notice, to conduct himself with prudence and to obtain the favor and confidence of the chiefs ; and in all matters with respect to which, he was not particularly instructed, he was to exercise his own discretion, always keeping in view the honor and interest of the United States in general, and of North Carolina in particular. These instructions were dated on the same day the treaty was signed, the 20th or July, 1777. The commissioners addressed a letter to the chiefs and warrors of the middle, lower and valley towns, on the 21st of July, informing them of the treaty of peace which they had just signed, and of the intention of the commissioners, to recommend to the governor the holding of a treaty with them, of which he should give due notice to them of the time and place. they promised protection and safety to the chiefs and warriors who should attend it, and a suspension of hostilities in the mean time, and they requested that the messengers who should be sent from North Carolina to their towns, might be protected from insult, be permitted to perform their business, and to return in safety. The commissioners of Virginia earnestly advised them to be at peace, reminding them of the sufferings which war had brought upon them, and of the blessings which peace bestows; and they were urged to meet the people of North Carolina in treaty, and to settle all differences with them. the commissioners encouraged five of the Indians to gove into Rowan county, to visit some of their friends there who had been made prisoners in the late war, and to remain there until the traty with the middle settlements. They were placed under the care of major Wommack, and a written protection, with instructions for their safe conduct, was put into their hands. It stated the articles of peace which had been signed, and the names of these five Indians. The major was directed to conduct them in safety to the Quaker Meadows, and there deliver them to colonel Charles Mc’Dowel, who would have them safely conveyed to the house of William Sharpe, in Rowan county. They were recommended to the protection of all officers civil and military in the state of North Carolina, and to the kind treatment of all the good people thereof. The motives for this recommendation were stated to be that whilst these Indians remained with the white people, they would be a security for the good behavior of their people, and that good treatment to them would be the means of inducing others to come, who when the like measures shall be necessary, may answer the same valuable purpose. The commissioners wrote to the persons who had the three prisoners in their custody, to send them to the house of William Sharpe, that they migh all be collected at one place, and remain there till further orders from the governor.

Separate articles were made and signed by the commissioners of Virginia and the same Indians, on the same 20th of July, 1777.

 

...o0o...

 

Being about toi introduce into the appendix a document relating to the purchase of lands made by Henderson & Co. of the Overhill Cherokees, it is proper to preface it with the transactions of the company from the date of their purchase on the 17th of March, 1775. Soon after the purchase, Henderson & Co. in order to people the country they had acquired, and to which they gave the name of Transylvania, issued a proclamation offering favorable terms to settlers. By it every person who should settle in Powel’s valley, within the purcased territory and raise a crop in the year 1775, was to be entitled to five hundred acres in his own right, and each taxable person in his family to two hundred and fifty acres, and the company engaged to make the settlers good and sufficient titles for the quantities to which thy might be respectively entitled. Joseph Martin was appointed entry-taker to receive and make entries of the lands belong to the company. Each person on making the entry was to pay the entry-taker one dollar as his fee, and to pay the proprietors on receiving a grant at the rate of twenty shillings sterling per hundred acres. On the 31st of March, 1775, Richard Henderson for himself and company, gave Martin a power of attorny, authorising and empowering him to settle and people Powel’s valley in conformity with instructions then furnished. He was directed not to sell lands to any persons, except such as should make corn in the Valley that year, should be honestly inclined to become an industrious inhabitant, and to promote the felicity of the community. He was restricted from selling after that spring without further ordrs, and was authorised to determine all disputs between parties respecting their lands.

About the last of April, 1775, Martin arrive in Powel’s valley, and opened an office to receive entries of such lands as the settlers became entitled to.

On the 18th of November, 1775, John Williams, one of the partners, for himself and as agent for the rest, by advertisement requested such persons as were entitled to lands by the terms of the proclamation of the company, to come forward and make their entries properly located, that surveys might be made and deeds issued. He at the same time gave Martin further instructions, specifying on what terms lands in Transylvania should be sold until the first of June 1776. By the latter instructions no survey was permitted to contain more than six hundred and forty acres; purchasers were required to pay for entry aand survey two dollars, for surveying and a plat four dollars, for a deed with the plat annexed, two dollars, and to the proprietors at the time the title was completed, at the rate of two pounds ten shillings for each hundred acres, and an annual quit rent of two shillings for each hundred acres to commence in the year 1780. Any person settling before the first of June 1776, was permitted to take up on the above mentioned terms, six hundred and forty acres for himself, and three hundred and twenty acres for any taxable person belonging to his family. Surveys were to be run to the cardinal points, unless rivers or mountain rendered it inconvenient, and on a navigable river were directed to be not more than one third longer than wide, and on such water course they must extend two poles back for one in front, and surveys approaching within eight poles of each other were invariably to be join.

The company watched over their concerns with the greatest diligence, nor did they suffer any opportunity to pass without manifesting a determination to use all the means withing their reach for the support of their claim in all its parts. When the commissions appointed to make peace were holding a treaty at fort Patrick Henry, near the Long Island of Holston, in July, 1777, on the 18th of the month, they presented a memorial to the commissions, a copy of which follows.

To the gentlemen Commissioners appointed by the States of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, to negociate a

peace and settle a boundary between the Cherokee Indians and the white people.

The memorial of Richard Henderson, Thomas Hart, Nathaniel Hart, Joh Williams, William Johnston, John Luttrell, James Hogg, David Hart, and Leo. Hen. Bulloch, sheweth, that your memorialists did , on the 17th of March, 1775 purchase of the said Cherokee Indians in fair and open treaty, a large tract or territory of land, lying on the Ohio and the brances thereof, and immediately adjoining the line lately run by colonel donelson, as a boundary between the Virginians and the said Cherokees, which was at that time conveyed by two separate deeds from the Cherokees to your memorialists, by which said purchase and deeds, all the lands below or on the south east side of Kentucky or Luisa river up to the head thereof, or to where colonel Donaldson’s line strikes or crosses the same, thence along said Donaldson’s line to Holston river, six miles above the Long Island, thence down the said river to where the course of Powel’s mountain or the course thereof to a point from which a north west course will strike the head of the most southwardly branch of Cumberland river, thence down the said river including all its waters to the Ohio, thence up the Ohio to the mouth of the said Kentucky or Louisa river, were granted and conveyed to your memorialists with free liberty of forming immediate settlements thereon, without the least disturbance of molestation of them, the said Indians. And whereas, the settling and agreing on a boundary line between the said Indians and white people, seems to be a principal object under your consideration, and what we suppose you have full power to perform, we hope regard will be had to our said purchase, so far as not to permit the Indians to reclaim the lands, or any part thereof, which by consent of the whole nation they so fairly sold and willingly gave up.

Your memorialists conceive, with great deference to the gentlemen commissioners, that the Cherokees cannot, nor in justice ought they, to enter on the lands on the north side of Holston, nor hunt there, above where the course of Powel’s mountain intersects the said river, nor in any manner be permitted to enter on the land sold as aforesaid to your memorialists.

Your memorialists acknowlege that some of the good people of Virginia have given out speeches that the lands so bought of the Cherokees were not the property of your memorialists, but belonged to that state or commonwealth; that in consequence of such claim, the matter is to be heard on the third Monday in their next session of Assemby, at which time your memorialists have no dobt but that Assembly will disclaim all pretensions to the lands in dispute, and the title of your memorialists become firmly and indisputably established, as the treaty and purchase are matters of public notoriety, and the depositions respecting that matter are now in the possession of the Virginia assembly so that they cannot at this time be laid before the commissioners for treating and settling a boundary between the Cherokees and white people.

Your memorialists hope that the commissions will not proceed to run a line through their purchase, or yield any part of the lands contained therein to the Indians, as it will be a manifest injury to private property, and what no law or policy whatever can require; as the Indians voluntarily and for a valuable consideration, gave them up, and after a most deliberate consultation agreed forever thereafter to restrain themselves from reclaiming or demanding the lands in question.

This memorial was dated on the 18th of June, 1777, and was signed by all the members of the company.

The commissioners after the perusal of the memorial, unanimously accorded in the opion that as they had no instructions from their respective governments to enquire into the validity of private purcases from the Cherokees, and as they were fully satisfied that should the commissioners then interfere with the Indians to support the prive claims mentioned in the memorial, it would at that critical time be attended with bad consequences to the treaty of peace then carrying on with that nation, and as the matter did not properly come before them, that they ought not to take any notice of the memorial in any of their conferences with the Indians.

In the month of Mary, 1783, the company presented a lengthy memorial to the assembly of North Carolina upon the same subject, and procured the report of a committee upon it, which eventuated in the act of assembly above mentioned, that secured to them the two hundred thousand acres of land in Powel’s valley, before described.

The committee who were appointe to consider of their memorial, reported that they had purchased a large tract of country from the Indians, that the purchase was illegal, and that attempts to monopolise lands, were dangerous and injurous to society. But as a means of this purchase, peaceable possession of the country ought to be compensated for their trouble, and for the great expense and risk which they had incurred. This report being concurred with, the act was passed for giving them two hundred thousand acres in Powel’s valley, and pursuant thereto a grant issued for the tract which it specified.


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