At a meeting of the subscribers, the 12th day of January, 1789, to consult on some plan to defend our frontiers from the common enemy, unanimously agreed that it is a voluntary plan, and not under the authority of any State, or the United States, but purely to defend ourselves from the savage enemy.
Present: Mr. Outlaw, Mr. Roddy, Mr. McCay, Mr. Gest, Mr. Buckingham, Mr. Gibson, Mr. Crosby, Mr. Weir, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Smith, Mr. Henderson, Mr. Lee, Mr. Coulter, Mr. Adear, Mr. Gillaspie.
Unanimously agreed that Colonel Gest be chosen chairman. Agreed unanimously that Henry Rowan be chosen clerk for said committee.
On motion of Mr. Crosby, seconded by Mr. Adear, the house adjourned till to‑morrow at 8 o'clock.
On the 13th of January, the council met agreeable to adjournment, and it appeared from the report of some members present the names of Mr. Buckingham and Mr. Gillaspie were not inserted in the list of members. On motion of Mr. Outlaw seconded by Mr. Smith, their names were entered on the list.
The members of the Assembly from Greene county, at the general request of the meeting, gave information that the General Assembly had made no provision to assist the frontiers in defending themselves from the savages, except a small station of 36 men, including officers, on the north side of Tennessee; that they declared the campaign ordered by General Martin in August last, was contrary to the orders of the Governor and Council, and, therefore, refused to pay any part of the expense incurred thereby, and resolved that the fines levied on any person for refusing to obey said Martin's orders should be restored. That an act was passed consigning to oblivion the supposed offenses and misconduct of certain persons among ourselves. That, agreeable to a requisition of Congress, and also from General Wynn, the Indian Commissioner for the Southern District, a commissioner was appointed to make peace and fix out a certain boundary between us and the Indians. That the treaty was to be held in May next, at the upper ford on French Broad, above the mouth of Swanano. That the committee was directed to purchase the land of French Broad, if possible, and that the people in that quarter were directed to continue in possession of said land until the treaty.
p357 Wherefore, after maturely considering the said information, and our present distressed situation, we conceive that our lives and properties are in continual danger until peace is made, as the Indians still continue their depredations, unless we agree on some plan to defend and secure ourselves from their inroads. We conceive also that General Martin is a person unworthy our confidence as an officer from the partial representation he has given of us; witness, his conduct at the treaty of Hopewell, from his not residing in the district, and from the declaration of the Assembly that he has not acted agreeable to the orders of the Government. In order, therefore to secure our lives and properties from the present dangers that threaten from the frequent incursions of the savage enemy, we unanimously agree to adopt the following plan, viz.:
1st. That we mutually lay aside all animosities and disputes that so much distract us, and unite against the common enemy, and make legal application for redress for grievances.
2nd. That we recommend it to the people to petition the next Assembly to divide the State at the Appalachian Mountains, or cede the territory west of said mountains to Congress, with such restrictions and reservations as will guarantee to us our just rights and privileges.
3rd. That, sensible of the disagreeable situation under which we labor by the rejection of the Federal Constitution by the State of North Carolina, we think it would be good policy, and of great advantage to the Western Country to raise a fund to defray the expense of sending some person to lay before the first meeting of Congress under the new Constitution, our present situation, and to express our earnest desire to be admitted into the Union as soon as possible.
4th. That the peculiar situation of the people of this country and laws of French Broad, require that the people should appoint a Council of Safety for the regulation of their affairs, and whose business it shall be to endeavor to hold talks with the Indians, to procure an exchange of prisoners and bring about peace whenever it is practicable; to make any contract or agreement with the Indians that they may think most advantageous for this country, and lay the same before the commissioners at the treaty of May, if they think proper. If the Indians do not agree to a peace or truce, they may keep out spies and call for assistance whenever it shall be necessary to defend the settlements, or pursue after any party of Indians who come in with a hostile intent.
5th. That John Sevier keep the command of the inhabitants on the frontiers, or any that may come to their assistance, when ordered to march for defense of the country; that we endeavor to raise by voluntary contribution a support for the commander and the spies and scouts that may be necessary until the peace.
6th. We also conceive that it would be good policy, and of essential service to this country if the Indians will agree to give up p358any of the country south of Tennessee river to our Council of Safety. That they agree to give them a compensation for the same in blankets and lindsey, and that the inhabitants pay the same by voluntary contributions, and lay the same before the Commissioners of Indian Affairs in May next.
7th. We are also of opinion that this plan, if justly carried into effect, will entitle our brave volunteers to a right of pre‑emption in a legal and constitutional manner, proportioned agreeable to their services and expenses.
8th. Theyº unanimously agree his Honor, John Sevier, by and with the advice of the Council of Safety, hold all the talks with the Indians.
9th. We also agree that every man in this Convention raise what cash he can by donations from the neighborhoods and deliver the same to the Committee of Safety in one month from this date, to raise a fund to defray the expense of a representative to Congress.
10th. Also recommend to the different Captains of companies in this country to divide themselves into three classes, in order to march with twenty days provisions, when called on by the Council of Safety, to the assistance of the frontiers.
11th. We also request John Sevier, Alexander Outlaw, Archibald Rowan [Roane], David Campbell, and Joseph Hamilton to draw a representation of our situation and our earnest desire to be in the Federal Union, and lay it before the Council of Safety for their revisal [so] as copies may be circulated as soon as possible, to be signed by all friends.
12th. We also agree to request William Nelson to wait on Congress with such instructions and powers in him invested as the Council of Safety think right to give him; and that he be furnished with two hundred silver dollars to defray expenses. And in case Mr. Nelson refuse to wait on Congress, we request Alexander Outlaw to attend the Honourable body.
13th. We also agree to request Joseph Hardin to wait on Cumberland Settlement with our plan of Safety and Redress of Grievances, and with such instructions and requisitions as the Council of Safety think it right to give him.
14th. We also agree to meet at Greene Court House on the first Tuesday in February next to consult with any number of gentlemen who shall attend from Washington and Sullivan Counties to consult on our voluntary plan of safety and that we send a request to the Inhabitants of said Counties to meet at the time and place above mentioned, and that each County, previously mentioned, elect five members on the twenty-third of this instant. Likewise, the settlements of Little Pigeon and South of French Broad elect three members to attend at the time and place above mentioned.
15th. We, the subscribers, agree to persevere in supporting the above plan and in recommending [it] to the people in general as the most likely method that we can devise at present for the safety and protection of our Country.
Joshua Gist, Chairman.
T. Rowan, C. C.
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