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Title:[Letter] 1798 July 4, [to] James Robertson, James Stuart, Lochlen [i.e. Lachlan] McIntosh / John Sevier : 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: July 4, 1798
Extent: 4p
Summary:This document is a letter of instructions written by the Governor of Tennessee, John Sevier (1796-1801,1803-1809) to state agents James Robertson, James Stuart, and Lachlan McIntosh. The letter is dated July 4, 1798. Sevier stated that he appointed the agents to represent the interests of the state of Tennessee on the issues of a treaty to be made between the United States and the Cherokee. Among the issues Sevier noted for the three men to pay close attention to were the Indian boundary lines and the state districts in close contact with those boundaries. Sevier also commanded the men to examine the grounds of the Cherokee, to question the constitutionality of Cherokee land claims whenever possible, and to try to get more roads, rivers, and ports in the possession of the state.
Collection: Governor John Sevier Papers

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Messrs James Robertson , James Stuart and Lochlen [Lochlan] McIntosh

Having appointed you as Agents on the part of this State, to attend the insuing [ensuing] treaty now about to be held between the United States and the Cherokee indians.—

You will therefore please to repair to Tellico Blockhouse , at which place you will be on the sixth instant prepared to attend the negotiations, at whatever point they may open.

It will be impossible to instruct you in the minutia of those interests, to which you are called to attend; as an outline, you will understand the State to require as extensive an extension of the indian claim North of the Tennessee , as may be obtained.—

The communication of the Holston and Clinch with the Tennessee , and the right bank of the last river from our south east [southeast] boundary to its confluence with the Clinch , are points to which you will direct your attention, as also to secure from future molestation the settlements so far as they have progressed, on the northern and western borders of the State, the connecting the districts of Mero and Hamilton , now separated by a space of unextinguished hunting grounds of near eighty miles in wedth [width], will be considered by you Gentlemen as an object of great importance, as the inconveniencies resulting from the present state of our Settlements must be obvious to every mind conversant with the geography of the country, and is certainly too irksome to be continued when the facts are fairly represented.—

Among your duties will be an examination of [added: the]

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the ground of the Cherokee claim, either as derived from original rights, or founded on treaties, and if on investigation you shall find such right settle into a mere temporary use, antecedent to the Holston treaty, it may perhaps be proper to question the constitutionality of that measure, that prostrated the guaranteed rights of the whole people of the State, and to show the act of Cession operative on the government, prior to this treaty.— In all appointments however of this kind much must necessarily be left discretionary, and perhaps there is no instance where that disscretion [discretion] must be suffered to assume a wider range, than on the present occasion.

Accept the assurances of my belief, that it cannot be better placed, and will in no instance be used more to the advantage of the State you represent.— I trust it is unnecessary to remind you, that your duties, and your objects will be so connected with the Commissioners on the part of the United States ; that you will yield every thing [everything] short of the interest and dignity of the State you represent to preserve yourselves well with them; please advise me frequently of the features your negotiations assume.—

Roads opened from this State, to any of the adjacent ones, and to settlements in various parts of our own State, will be of much utility and convenience, and also to have the privilege of the unmolested navigation of all rivers, and waters within the chartered bounds of the State, and particularly to obtain where it may be necessary, suitable ports for deposit, and carrying places from river to river, so as to facilitate, and make easy as possible the importation and exportation of all the articles necessary for the commercial intercourse of the State.—

You will please engage some suitable person to supply you with necessary stores for your support, during your attendance at the treaty, and for the discharge of the same I will grant a [added: warrant]

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warrant or warrants on the treasury for the necessary sum to be expended on that occasion, which is to be understood, not to exceed in the whole expenditure relative to the objects of your agency, one thousand dollars.—

Wishing you every success compatible with the interest of the State.—

I have the honor to be respectfully
Your Mo Obedt and Huml. [Most Obedient and Humble] Servant

/ signed /;
John Sevier
Knoxville 4 July 1798

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/ Copy /
Letter of Instructions, from
the Governor, to the State
Agents — 4 July 1798

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