Tennessee Documentary History
  Multiple Collection Search     View bookbag 
your bookbag has 0 items 

Title:[Letter] 1797 Jan. 12, Knoxville, [Tennessee to] warriors and Chiefs of the Cherokee Nation / John Sevier, Governor of the state of Tennessee: a machine-readable transcription of an image
Author:Sevier, John

This work is the property of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

Date: January 12, 1797
Extent: 4p
Summary: This document is a letter addressed to the warriors and chiefs of the Cherokee Nation, written by Governor John Sevier of Tennessee (1796-1801) and dated January 12, 1797. The letter was given to Cherokee agent Silas Dinsmore to be read aloud to the Cherokee. In his letter, Sevier accused some Cherokees of stealing horses and plundering wagons that had passed through the Cumberland road. Sevier laid the blame on "foolish young people" within the Cherokee Nation but hoped the chiefs and warriors were not encouraging such acts. Sevier urged the Cherokee leaders to work with Dinsmore in getting the stolen property returned. Sevier also expressed condolences for the murder of an Indian and stated that he doubted any of his people would do such a thing. The letter was initially ended on a note of warning to the Cherokee, as Sevier insinuated that if they continued their aggressive behavior, war would be option. However, the last two sections of the original letter were deleted from the final text.
Collection:Governor John Sevier Papers

Page [1]  view page image

Knoxville 12th January 1797

I have just now arrived at this place, and am Sorry to be informed that some of your foolish young people have been taking horses and plundering waggons [wagons] on the Cumberland road; such conduct will soon darken the bright chain of friendship that now so happily is joined to each nation. I hope you that are Warriors and chiefs, do not encourage such proceedings, and I have a better opinion of you, than to Suppose you would any longer Suffer it to be done. — You have no reason to think I wish any ill, neither does the great majority of the white people, in case your nation will be friendly. You know I have always advised you, not to let foolish young fellows destroy the good understanding between us. I request you will proceed to make inquiry after the

Page [2]  view page image

horses and other property that have lately been taken by your people and if you can find any [added: and] send the same into this place, in order that the owners may have it again, by which means our friendship will continue to be firm and Strong. I have wrote to Mr Dinsmore on this Subject, and hope you will pursue such measures as will enable you and him to recover the Stolen property.

[added: Your friend brother (Signed) J [John] Sevier ]Brothers I am Sorry to hear one of our red friends has lately been killed, and if I can find out that any of our people has been guilty of such a dark and unfriendly action I will have them punished, but I have great reason to hope and believe that it was not any of our people, altho [although] there is bad men in every nation, yet I am Sure it was not done by a person belonging to our State.

I have always told you , that I wished your nation to do well, and I hope they may always live in

Page [3]  view page image

peace, and raise their Children in friendship with their neighbours and brothers the white people. — My brothers you know if stealing of horses is Suffered to be done, peace [won't]wont [neighbors] last long, and you must be sensible your Situation will be dangerous; you are but few in numbers and war will ruin you if ever you engage in it again.

Our people lives very near you, and reason will teach you that they dont [don't] wish to have any disturbances or quarrel with you.

Your friend and brother
Warriors and Chiefs of the Cherokee Nation }

Page [4]  view page image

the Cherokees 12th
January 1797

No [Number] 14 (enclosed in a circle) [added: ― Recorded ―]

A product of DLPS
To comment or inquire about content, contact UTK Special Collections
To report errors, contact UTK Special Collections