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In Their Own Words

December 06, 1738

Intricate Native American Relations

William Stephens received a letter on this day which showed the intricate nature of the relations with the Native Americans in colonial Georgia:

“… Received a Letter, by a trading Boat that came down the River, from Mr Willy, who is stationed at a small Fort in the Upper Creek Nation, in the Character of a Lieutenant, with two or three Men under him to observe the Motions of the Indians, and to give Intelligence, &c. The Letter was very long, and filled with many Circumstances; but the principal Matter to be noted was, that he had Information a while since of a Design among some of the neighbouring Towns, to cut off all the white People who lived among them; but upon his Enquiry into the Grounds of such Information, he found very little: What he chiefly learnt was, that the French, who lived at their Backs, frequently put about such Reports, in order to terrify our Traders, and drive them off, that so they might take their Places; but that the Dog King, who is on their Frontier, bid him be easy; for that they never would take Part with the French, but would always be true to us, whom they would die with. As soon as the General returned to us, which we looked for daily, I would not neglect to lay the Letter before him.”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, p. 241.