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the royal sway; yet the fruits of his administration were distrust and discontent. The arbitrary manner in which he had suspended a councillor had even made it a matter of pride with the planters of Carolina not to accept appointments to the royal council; and their loyalty was requited by insolence, more grievous than oppression.
While victory protected the northern frontiers, the south would have enjoyed unbroken repose but for Lyttelton, who at once contended with South Carolina “to regain the powers of government which his predecessors," as he said, “had unfaithfully given away,” and awakened an Indian war by his zeal for reducing the native mountaineers to his own criminal code. He could not discern in the red man's morals the eternal principles which inspire all justice; and, as he brought the maxims of civilized society into conflict with the unwritten law of the Cherokees, the European rule proved the most treacherous and cruel.
The Cherokees had heretofore been in friendship with the English, as Virginia acknowledged in 1755 by a deputation with a present. In 1757, their warriors had volunteered to protect the frontier south of the Potomac; yet, after they had won trophies in the general service, they were disregarded by the state, and would have been left to return without reward, or even supplies of food, but for the generosity of Washington and his officers.
The parties which in the following year joined the expedition to the Ohio were neglected, so that their hearts told them to return to their cherished highlands. In July, 1758, the backwoodsmen of Virginia, finding that their halfstarved allies took what they needed on their way home, seized their arms; and, in three skirmishes, several of the 6 beloved men” of the Cherokees were slain and scalped.
The wailing of the women for their deceased relatives, at the dawn of each day and at the gray of the evening, provoked the nation to retaliate. “The blood of your beloved kinsmen calls for revenge,” cried the Muskohgees; and the chiefs of the Cherokees sent out their young men to take what they deemed such just and equal vengeance as became good warriors. The upland settlements of North Carolina
ceased to be safe ; of the garrison at Tellico, two soldiers fell victims.
In November, 1758, Tiftoe and five other chieftains came down from their mountains to Charleston, to reconcile differences and treat of an amnesty. The old covenant between them and the English, of which one of the clauses stipulated that murderers should be given up, was revived; they accepted presents to cover up their losses, and gave pledges of inviolable peace. Before the return of the delegates of the remote upper towns, warriors of Settico on the Tennessee and of Tellico had been out on the Yadkin and the Catawba, beyond the jurisdiction of South Carolina ; but the Cherokee chiefs interposed to recall them, and soothed their anger. Aggression and equal revenge having reciprocally done their work, harmony seemed to be restored.
The legislators of Carolina, meeting at Charleston in March, 1759, refused to consider hostilities with 1759. the Cherokees as existing or to be apprehended; but Lyttelton set aside their decision as an invasion of the prerogative, which alone could treat of peace or war. He next made a demand on the head men and warriors of the towns on the branches of the Tennessee, to give him satisfaction for the past,” “ by which,” as he explained, was “meant that a certain number of Cherokees guilty of the murders should be delivered up or be put to death in their nation.” “ This would only make bad worse," answered the red men ; “ the great warrior will never consent to it ;” at the same time they entreated peace. “We live at present in great harmony," wrote Demeré from Fort Loudoun; “ and there are no bad talks."
Tranquillity and confidence were returning; but, in obedience to orders, Demeré insisted on the surrender or execution of the offending chiefs of Settico and Tellico, while Coytmore, at Fort Prince George, intercepted all ammunition and merchandise on their way to the upper nation. Consternation spread along the mountain-sides; the hand of the young men grasped at the tomahawk; the warriors spoke much together concerning Settico and Tellico, and hostile
speeches went round. Still they despatched to Charleston a letter with friendly strings of wampum; while the middle and the lower settlements, which had taken no part in the expedition complained of, sent their belts of white shells. O But Lyttelton, dreading some concert of the Cher
okees with the Creeks, rigorously enforced the interruption of trade as a chastisement; and haughtily added : “ If you desire peace with us, and will send deputies to me as the mouth of your nation, I promise you, you shall come and return in safety.”
The Indians had become dependent on civilization ; and to withhold supplies was not only like a general embargo, but also like disarming a nation. The English, said they, would leave us defenceless, that they may utterly destroy us. Belts circulated more and more among the villages. They feared the worst, and narrowly watched the roads, that no white man might pass. “We have nothing to do,” said some among them, wild with rage, “but to kill the white people here, and carry their scalps to the French, who will supply us with plenty of ammunition and every thing else.” The nation was, however, far from being united against the English ; a large number of towns were even ready, if they had been encouraged, to fight on their side ; but the general distrust announced the approach of war.
Lyttelton, hurried on by zeal to display authority, and eager to gain the glory of conducting an unusual expedition against the Cherokees, instantly gave orders to the colonels of three regiments of militia nearest the frontier to fire an alarm and assemble their corps ; called out all the regulars and provincials in Charleston; asked aid of the governors of Georgia and North Carolina; invited Virginia to send re-enforcements and supplies to Fort Loudoun by the road from that province; sought the active alliance of the Chickasaws as ancient enemies to the French ; of the Catawbas, the Tuscaroras, and even the Creeks, whose hostility he pretended to have feared; and then convening the legislature, on the fifth of October addressed a message to the assembly for supplies. Aware of his intentions to make a declaration of war, they addressed him against so precipi. tate a measure, “ unanimously desiring him to defer it.” He readily consented, promising that “he would do nothing to prevent an accommodation ; ” on which the assembly made grants of money, and provided for calling fifteen hundred men into service, if necessary. The perfidious governor reproved them for the scantiness of the supply ; and breaking his promise, not yet a day old, he added that " he should persevere in his intended measures.”
On the twelfth of October, he ordered the alarm to 1759. be fired in all parts of the province where it had not been before; and “one half of the militia was drafted to be in readiness to repel any invasion or suppress any insurrection that might happen during his absence.”
But hardly had the word been spoken, when, on the seventeenth of October, a deputation from the upper and lower towns, Oconostata the great warrior himself, with thirty other of the most honored men, relying on their safe conduct from the governor, arrived in Charleston to deplore all deeds of violence, and to say that their nation truly loved peace. Bull, the lieutenant-governor, urged the wisdom of making an agreement, before more blood should be spilt.
“I am come,” said Oconostata in council, on the eighteenth, “ to hearken to what you have to say, and to deliver words of friendship.” But Lyttelton would not speak to them, saying: “I did not invite you to come down ; I only permitted you to do so; therefore, you are to expect no talk from me, till I hear what you have to say.”
The next day, the proud Oconostata condescended to recount what had been ill done; explained its causes; declared that the great civil chief of the Cherokees loved and respected the English ; and making an offering of deerskins, and pleading for a renewal of trade, he added for himself : “I love the white people; they and the Indians shall not hurt one another; I reckon myself as one with
Tiftoe of Keowee complained of Coytmore, the officer in command at Fort Prince George, as intemperate and licentious, but still he would hold the English fast by the hand. The head warrior of Estatoe would have “the trade
go on, and no more blood spilt.” Killianaca, the Black Dog of Hiwassie, was able to say that no English blood had ever been spilt by the young men of his village; and he gave assurances of peace from all the towns in his region. But the governor, in spite of the opposition of four of his council, went on. “I am now going with a great many of my warriors to your nation,” said he finally to the deputies, “in order to demand satisfaction. If you will not give it, when I come, I shall take it."
Oconostata, and those with him, claimed for themselves. the benefit of the safe conduct under which they had come down. And Lyttelton spoke, concealing his purpose under words more false than the wiles of the savage : “ You, Oconostata, and all with you, shall return in safety to your own country; and it is not my intention to hurt a hair of your head. There is but one way by which I can insure your safety; you shall go with my warriors, and they shall protect you.”
On Friday, the twenty-seventh, Lyttelton, with ce the Cherokee envoys, left Charleston to repair to Congaree, the gathering-place for the militia of Carolina. Thither came Christopher Gadsden, born in 1724, long the colonial representative of Charleston, dear to his constituents; at whose instance, and under whose command, an artillery company had just been formed, in a province which till then had not had a mounted field-piece. There, too, was the heroic Francis Marion, as yet an untried soldier, just six-and-twenty, the youngest of five sons of an impoverished planter; reserved and silent; small in stature, and of a slender frame; so temperate that he drank only water; elastic, persevering, and of sincerest purity of soul. Yet the state of the troops, both as to equipments and temper, was such as might have been expected from the suddenness of their summons to take the field, against the judgment of their legislature. It was still hoped that there would be no occasion to make use of them. Before leaving Congaree, Oconostata and his associates, though their persons were sacred by the laws of savage and of civilized man, were arrested; and, on arriving at Fort