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In Their Own Words

February 18, 1793

Letter on White Encroachment on Indian Land

A frequent problem on Georgia’s frontier occurred when whites would either settle or graze their cattle on Indian lands, as in this case noted by Timothy Barnard at Buzzard Roost in a letter to Maj. Henry Gaither:

“… I have certain information that the inhabitants of the upper frontiers have drove over a number of cattle into the fork of the Tallapatche, which ground the Indians look upon as theirs. Therefore [they] are determined to go down and drive off all the stock they can find and, if they meete with any opposition, will kill those that oppose them, as you may be sure there will be a body large enough to execute their designs. I have prevailed on the head men to restrain them for twenty days and am setting off to the towns to do the same there and am in hopes they will be stopped that long till the people can get their cattle back. But there is a great probability that the hunters in the woods may collect and endeavor to drive them off. If so, these people that have put their cattle over must abide by the consequence, as they have no right to carry on such irregular proceedings. I am amazed at the headds of the country, that they will not opposed such measures at this critical junction. There is now ten Indians from the Northward Nations trying all they can to set the Creeks on the frontiers of Georgia and such proceedings as they will be the effectual means to make the Creeks take their talks, besides ever putting it out of the power of any person to have a boundary line… .

“…I can assure you if those cattle are not removed and soon the owners will lose them all and some of their lives, too. It is vain to strive to keep the peace when the white people go so headlone to work before the boundary line is settled.”

Source: Edward J. Cashin, A Wilderness Still The Cradle of Nature: Frontier Georgia (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1994), pp. 80-81.