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This webpage reproduces a chapter of History of the
Lost State of Franklin

by
Samuel Cole Williams

published by the
Press of the Pioneers,
New York, 1933

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

p348 Petition of the Inhabitants of the Western Country

The Honourable, the General Assembly of North Carolina now sitting:

The Inhabitants of the Western Country humbly sheweth:

That it is with sincere concern we lament the unhappy disputes that have long subsisted between us and our Brethren on the Eastern side of the Mountains, respecting our erecting a new Government. We beg leave to represent to your Honourable body, that from Acts passed in June, 1784, ceding to Congress your Western territory, with reservations and conditions therein contained; also from a clause in your wise and mild Constitution, setting forth that there might be a State, or States, erected in the West whenever your Legislature should give consent for same; and from our local situation, there are numberless advantages, bountifully given to us by nature, to propagate and promote a Government with us. Being influenced by your Acts and Constitution, and at the same time considering that it is our undeniable right to obtain for ourselves and posterity a proportionable and adequate share of the blessings, rights, privileges, and immunities allotedº with the rest of mankind, have thought that the erecting a new Government would greatly contribute to our welfare and convenience, and that the same could not militate against your interest and future welfare as a Government. Hoping that mutual and reciprocal advantages would attend each party, and that cordiality and unanimity would permanently subsist between us ever after, we earnestly request that an impartial view of our remoteness be taken into consideration; that great inconveniency attending your seat of Government, and also the great difficulty in ruling well and giving protection to so remote a people, to say nothing of the almost impassable mountains Nature has placed between, which renders it impracticable for us to furnish ourselves with a bare load of the necessaries of life, except we in the first instance travel from one to two hundred and more miles through another State ere we can reach your Government.

Every tax paid you from this country would render us that sum the poorer, as it is impossible, from the nature of our situation, that any part could return into circulation, having nothing that could bear the carriage, or encourage purchasers to come so great a distance; for which reasons were we to continue under your Government p349a few years, the people here must pay a greater sum than the whole of the medium now in circulation for the exigencies and support of your Government, which would be a sum impossible for us to secure, would we be willing to give you our all; and of course we must be beholden to the other States for any part we could raise; and by these means our property would gradually diminish, and we at last be reduced to mere poverty and want by not being able equally to participate with the benefits and advantages of your Government. We hope that having settled West of the Appalachian Mountains ought not to deprive us of the natural advantages designed by the bountiful Providence for the convenience and comfort of all those who have spirit and sagacity to seek after them. When we reflect on our past and indefatigable struggles, both with savages and our other enemies during our late war, and the great difficulty we had to obtain and with-hold this Country from those enemies at the expense of the lives and fortunes of many of our dearest friends and relations; and the happy conclusion of peace having arrived, North Carolina has derived great advantages from our alertness in taking and securing a Country, from which she has been able to draw into her Treasury, immense sums of money, and thereby become enabled to pay off, if not wholly, yet a great part, and sink her national debt. We therefore humbly conceive you will liberally think that it will be nothing more than paying a debt in full to us for only to grant what God, Nature, and our locality entitles us to receive. Trusting that your magnanimity will not consider it a crime in any people to pray their rights and privileges, we cal the world to testify our conduct and exertion in behalf of American Independence; and the same to judge whether we ask more than free people ought to claim, agreeable to Republican principles, the great foundation whereon our American fabric now stands. Impressed with the hope of your great goodness and benevolent disposition that you will utterly abhor and disclaim all ideas of involving into innumerable, disagreeable and irksome contentions, a people who have so faithfully aided and supported in the time of imminent and perilous dangers; that you will be graciously pleased to consent to a separation; that from your paternal tenderness and greatness of mind, you will let your stipulations and conditions be consistent with honour, equity and reason, all of which will be cheerfully submitted to; and we, your petitioners, shall always feel an interest in whatsoever may concern your honour and prosperity. Lastly, we hope to be enabled by the concurrence of your State to participate in the fruits of the Revolution; and to enjoy the essential benefits of Civil Society under a Form of Government which ourselves alone can only calculate for such a purpose. It will be a subject of regret that so much blood and treasure have been lavished away for no purpose to us; that so many sufferings have been encountered without compensation, and that so many sacrifices have been made in vain. Many other considerations might be here adduced, but p350we hope that what hath been mentioned will be sufficient for our purpose, adding only that Congress hath, from time to time, explained their ideas so fully and with so much dignity and energy that if their arguments and requisitions will not produce conviction, we know of nothing that will have a greater influence, especially when we recollect that the system referred to is the result of the collected wisdom of the United States, and, should it not be considered as perfect, must be deemed as the least objectionable.a

John Corson James English William Hannah
Peter McNamee James Shanks David Robinson
Robert Allison Isaac Davis James Mitchell
David Gewel Thomas Bell Thomas Rodgers
Anthony Kelly Thos. McMackin George Davies
Nathaniel Davies Samuel Davies John Lowe
Joseph Wilson David Brown William Brown
Jas. Henry Alexr. Potter William Reynolds
David Reynolds Aaron Been William Wilson
Thos. Thomson David Rankin John Lee
Sam'l Vance Rd. Kerr Samuel McPherson
Matthew Rue Joseph Lusk Andrew Jackson
Jos. Gest Jos. Newberry Joseph Blair
Thomas Williams Henry Styers
Thomas his Tadlock
X
mark
William McPick Botholmu Odeneal
Shadrack his Hale, Jr.
X
mark
Daniel Denny, Jr. John Wear Ashael Rawlings
Henry Earnest James Patterson Francis Hughes
Robert Hood
Wm. his Francis
X
mark
Patrick his Kirkpatrick
X
mark
John Tadlock James Davis Benn Brumley
Mary Webster (?) George Kirkpatrick Thomas Jones
William Jones Reuben Simmon Archibel Alexander
Moses Kelsay Robert McCall Joseph Alexander
Wm. Cocke Archibald Roan Elias Witt
Thomas Witt p351 Alex. Lowry Jno. McClelland
Solomon Reed Uriah McClellennon James Stinson
Alexander Street James McPherson John Prim
Jacob Smelser Joshua Kidwell Samuel Jameson
John Brumley William Davidson Wm. Boyd
Benja. Gist Thos. Bromley Hugh Beard
Samuel Beard James Millikin Robert Orr
Searling Bowman Rich'd Woods Robert McCall
John Galbreath (Illegible) James Watson
(Illegible) William Goings James Hays
David Carr Joseph Garrison William Gillehan
Stephen Strong Michael Rawlings Donnell Cremor
Nath. McMeno. William La''' (?) (Illegible)
Wm. Morrow Charles Ramsey (Illegible)
John R. ''' (?) Peter Nowels James Millikan
Thomas Millikan Thomas Dicson Redman McDaniel
Nathaniel Witt Rich'd Dunn Wm. Dunn
Thomas Call H. Call Joseph N. Newport
Wm. W. Newport John Greer Absolem Greer
Thomas Springer Levy Springer Thomas Wolfe
Conrod Wolfe Phillip Suibb Henry Easter
William Eatsterº Simeon Craine Harmon Nowel
James Patton Robert Patton John Fout
Peter Fout Harman Kennedy Moses Long
Coonnas Miller Thomas McKee And. Wray
Wm. Wood Gordon Potter Wm. Peck
Thomas Mosely Henry Mosely Phillip Rudolph
Wm. Stubblefield Thomas Baits John Keller
Moses Keller William Fergosen Adam Fergosen
Ralph Hogan William Hogan Richard Webb
Josiah Epperson Humph'y Montgomery Carmack George
Charles Willson John Johnston Samuel Gilbertson
Samuel McMinn p352 Auborn ''' (?) Anson Rit
Nuness Potter John Noman (?) Peter Nuless
James W. Begses (?) Dalton Ridgsº James Jack
John Adkins Adword Adword Henry Brumley
Simon Ridgsº Joseph Donn Allen Bellew
Rows Potter John Norton Aaron Norton
Aaron Rider John Jameson Dan'l Rawlings
William Jinkins Robert Smith Wm. Howard
Joshua Tadlock Robert Hayes Thomas Johnson
Francis Johnson
Js. his Huston
X
mark
John his Huston
X
mark
Lanry Armstrong William Hennidge John Armstrong
Andrew English Nathaniel Hayes Daniel Leming
John Williams
Robert his Miller
X
mark
(Illegible)
William his Hust.
X
mark
Wm. Magill Oton Clark
John Gibson Reuben Gibson William Adkins
Thomas Fryar John Lyon William Brownin
Rich'd Wood James Pickins Robert Bettey
George Black Reuben Riggs George Hayes
William Hill Henry Richardson Shiffell Goodlop
John Shane Miller Doget Christy Miers
John Miers William Owins Thomas Owins
John Jarrett Thomas Pickny James Stump
Leonard Hopkins Martha Gahee Patrick Gahee
Jeremiah Smith Robert Sample Anthony Moore
James McCammis Thomas McCammis William McCammis
Adam McCammis Henry H. Hammer Franses Castel
Jacob Meek Thomas Miller Robert Pain
Joseph Hamilton Robert Kerr John Sellars
Benj. Wray Wm. Moore Joseph Ray
Thomas his Baley
X
mark
Moses Moore Joseph Lachlen, Sen.
Joseph Lachlen, Jur. Edward Crunt (?) James Crunt

The following names are taken from the back of the petition:

Nicholas Hayes Sam'l Hayes Jno. Mitchell
James Hammer Henry Hokimer Geo. Martin
David Moore Henry Winterberger Jos. Winterberger
Sam'l Winterberger Joseph Lusk Thos. Wood
Joseph Gest William Gest Joshua Kidwell
Thomas Davie John Kidwell Charles Kidwell
Whaley Newby Craven Dunear Alexr. Lowrey
James Stinson Adam Guthrey Wm. Craige
Benjamenº Henslee Abel Morgan Thomas Vincent
Jno. Chester Patrick Morrison Stephen Easley
Jackal Light Robert Easley Henry Sullivan
John Light Moses Robinson William Light
William Light, Sen. Thomas Easley William Goad
Jesey Holland James Walb''' (?) William Wilson
Moses Kennedy Hermon King Joseph Screat
Lewis Tadlock Thomas Tadlock Joshuaway Padfield
Thomas his Bennet
X
mark
Moses Kelsay John Anderson
James Richardson David Taylor Benja. Gist
Joseph Huson Mikill Borders Alx. Pethrow
Oystan Hewtower Wm. Davies John Noris
Robert Hayes James Hayes William Sippard
Alexander Cavitt Moses Cavitt Jacob Jobe
Nathan Jobe Joseph Birdwell Geo. Birdwell
James Smith Moses Russel Conrad Shepley
John Comin Walker Barren John Bell
William Carson Robert Christian Abraham Tittsworth
Benjamin Walb''' (?) Green Chote John Goad, Jun.
George Vincent p354 Henry Heckey Owen Atkin
Nicholas Mercer Richard Mercer, Sen. Arch'd McHaughan
Edward Mercer John Black John Hunt, Jr.
Basset Hunt Reuben Hunt Thomas Tipton
Jonathan Hunt James Cooper Isaiah Waldrew
Lewis Hunt James Smart James Smith
Joseph Smith John Duncan Wm. Berry
Isaac White Samuel Cox James Wheeler
John Cottrell Hugh Gentry Valentine Rose
Eli Shipley Thomas Shipley William Childress
Joshway Hampton Christurphurº Cross Benjamin Aze
Reuben Hunt Ellecanderº Moore Martin Roller
John A. Caft D. Wright Adam Stake
William Shewmaker Gabriel Goad Peter Easley
Jacob Cox William Bucknell Haley Bucknell
Preley Bucknell Shadrick Haile Forrester Mercer
Bryce Russell, Sen. Bryce Russell, Jr. James Pickens
Phil. Grafford Pierce William Gewil Charles Parker
Antony Agee John Sawyer Joseph Moore
John Yancy Richard Shipley W. Cage
Timothy Huff George Christian Deness Murfee
Isaac Thomas William Massengill John Tulley
Thos. Easterlin William Copeland Rich'd Gamon
John Spurgin Thos. King Roger Gibson
James Adam Geo. Gabriel (black) John Yokley
John Woolsey James Arbutton (?) Martin Roller, Jr.
Joseph Blair David Arwin William''' (?)
Thos. Taylor Adam Stoaks Joseph Waldrep
Mattw. Caruthers Gilbert Christian John Pryor
Moses Looney Macajah Adams James McLern
Alexander Caright Benj. Burdwell John Dean
William Holland William Morrosonº John Morrosonº
James Morrosonº p355 Samuel Bofman David Merryon
Richard Morell Dudley Rutherford John Bradford
Peter Fin John Hunt William Bailey
George Smith Jacob Joab William Cooper
Wm. Jackson Ephraim Joab William Mehallm
Charles Bacon John French John Bilensy
William Combs William Combs, Jr. Henry Combs
William Stacey Adam Coumb Daniel Agee
John Comay James Peterson Jeremiah Taylor
Joseph Taylor Stephen Taylor Isaac Taylor
John Chisholm Edward Tule Nathaniel Tule

Endorsement:

Petition of the Inhabitants of the Western Country, December, 1787.

In Senate, December, 1787. Read and referred to Court on Public Bills. (N. C. St. Rec., XXII, 705‑714.)


Thayer's Note:

a In the print edition, the signatures that follow are disposed in two columns, with no comment as to their disposition in the original document, which I have not seen. I've taken the two‑column format as having no authority and being used to save space in the printed edition. I've therefore interpreted the signatures as following down each column to the bottom of each printed page, then to the top of the next column on that page, then to the top of the first column on the next page, and so on: in effect disregarding the columnar format as printed, and viewing the signatures as a single list.

For similar compactness in this Web transcription my own list is then also presented in columns, but the signatures follow each other from left to right across the page: i.e., in the top list the second signature is that of James English, not that of Peter McNamee.


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Page updated: 5 Aug 13