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William Tennent to the Council of Safety for South-Carolina



Long Cane, September 1, 1775.

This comes by Captain George Reid' s wagon from the Long Canes, where I am at present. I parted from Mr˙ Drayton on Monday morning; he steered his course to Augusta, and thence designed for the camp at Amelia. I thought it necessary to visit the settlements on this side of Saluda. Met a large congregation yesterday, and found the people divided in their sentiments. Spoke at least two hours to them, to good effect. The prevailing party here is for American measures, by the agency of some of our worthy members; but they need confirmation. I have therefore appointed three meetings, at which I expect to see the greater number of the disaffected. I shall then cross over into Fletchall' s Regiment once more, to be at an election appointed at Ford' s, on Enoree, where we expect great opposition, if not violence, from Cunningham' s party. Brown will bring them to blood if he can, but I still hope it may be prevented. I consider myself as running great risks, but think it my duty.

Our visit has given their party a great shock, divided their friends, and strengthened our interest much. One of their chiefs confessed to me, at Little River, that he brought up the thanks of the Governour to Mr˙ Cunningham, for what he had done and is doing. The Governour' s intrigue here is as evident as the light of the sun. The evidences of their design, by the Indians, is no doubt clear to the Council, from the papers sent down already.

The inhabitants here are in great terrour, as far as they have heard of their danger, and that because they have no ammunition. The leaders have frequently dropped in company that they intend to form a camp. I am sure they will find a smaller number ready to befriend them than they imagine. But their dependance is upon the savages to join their army, and that the rest of the inhabitants will be forced to join them, to save their families from a massacre. I am taking proper measures, in this District, to prevent the horrible conspiracy. Three volunteer companies are formed; one under Major Terry, who now seems animated in the cause; another under Captain Pickins; a third under Captain James McCall. More of the like kind is going on


as fast as may be. The great difficulty is the want of ammunition. They evidently have a design upon Fort Charlotte, and our friends cannot collect to defend it, unless they are supplied; I have therefore promised them a supply. If you, therefore, gentlemen, think it proper, it will be of the greatest utility to send up one hundred or one hundred and fifty pounds weight of powder, and some lead, by the bearer, Samuel Reid, who will effectually secrete it until delivered safe into the hands of the volunteer Companies, to be subject to the order of the Council in case it is not used for the defence of the Colony. It will be effectually secured, and a small delay may be greatly dangerous. The same measure will be necessary on the other side of Broad River.

I could wish that Virginia might be alarmed and ready, and that a categorical answer might be demanded of the Cherokees before the time of danger. The Creeks are in some danger from one Thompson, an emissary, now among them. I shall visit Fort Charlotte before I return, and hope to let you hear more particularly on these subjects next week.