Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Terror on the Frontier

Fear gripped the hills of the Carolina frontier during the summer of 1751, as revealed by this letter, written on July 24 of that year:

The Behaviour of the Indians here hath imprinted not small Fear in the Peoples Breasts, for some Time before I arrived home, which was on Saturday the 20th Instant, a Company of Cherokees viz., Estanaury People, came to a Plantation about five or six Miles from my House, and made a dreadful Havock therein, destroying a great Part of the Corn then growing, Potatoes, Colworts, Tobacco, and whatsoever they could detriment.

The leading Fellow of the Gang was the Little Warrior of Estanaury, who also came with two Fellows more with him, to my House about the same Time, asking for some Corn . . . they . . . were insolent in their Demands, the Head Fellow saying he was a Warriour, and would fill his Baggs, which they each accordingly did, each Man his Bagg and afterwards behaved very impudently.

About this Time also, two Calves were found dead, shott with Arrows not much above a Quarter of a Mile from the House. The Tongue and what they call the back Strop was taken from one, and only the Tongue from the other. At the same Time, if not the same Day, a poor Man that lives within three Miles of me had five Cows shott and killed within a Mile or two of his House, four of which were milking Cows, leaving young Calves in the Pen, which must inevitably die also. . . .

We therefore begg Leave with all due Submission to propose to your Excellency that we cannot expect Peace or Quietness here as Matters are brought to those Lengths they now are, unless a Fort is placed in the Frontiers of this Settlement, and a sufficient Number of Rangers to drive these Norwards, or French Indians, from molesting and destroying our Effects, which is our Livelihood. . . It is very certain that a Fort in the Cherokee Nation may be of great Service, on sundry Accounts, but in Relation to the present Preservation (which is absolutely necessary to prevent the breaking up of the Settlements) or future Establishment of these Parts, the People cannot allow it will be of any Service, unless a standing Company of Rangers are allowed to be continually ranging the Woods, where these Norwards or French Indians seem to have taken Possession.

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