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In Their Own Words

August 30, 1799

Frontier Dangers Expressed in Letter

From the Little Ohoopee River, Thomas Davis wrote to Gov. James Jackson about the dangers faced by white settlers on Georgia’s frontier:

“The people on the frontier of this country are very much alarmed and apprehensive that the Indians are determined to kill some of the whites… . I have just returned [from the frontier] and find the people are very much alarmed, and it is with great difficulty that many of them can be prevailed on to stay on the Altamaha and Oconee rivers. The inhabitants on those rivers are chiefly in forts, and the rest are now making every exertion for their defence. From every information that I can collect, there is about twelve Indians painted for war in the Dead River settlement. They conceal themselves by day and surround the people’s houses by night. They have made marks or signs on some of the doors which two friendly Indians that are in the neighborhood of Dead River have interpreted that the Indians intend to have twelve scalps in two moons (or months).

“Captain Embry has sent to Your Excellency for some rifle powder for the defence of those that are in forts and solicits the approbation and order from Your Excellency to raise a scout of ten or twelve men to ride up and down the river and drive away all the Indians that can be found on this side and to encourage the people not to break up and run away and also to prevent the white people from killing the Indians… .”

Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), pp. 63-64.