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In Their Own Words

April 26, 1802

Danger of Living on Frontier

Testifying to the danger of living on Georgia’s frontier, John McConnel, Sr. wrote Col. Buckner Harris:

“I have been informed by good authority that on the evening of the 23rd instant, a Cherokee Indian came to the house of Mr. Shelton near Reed’s Store on the north fork of the Oconee River about two miles from the boundary line [between Georgia and the Cherokee Nation], on this side [of] the said line. Mr. Shelton and his wife was at the cow pen when they heard the noise of the Indian killing the children: an infant killed and throwed in the fire, another wounded so that it is thought it will die, a small Negro also badly wounded. Mr. Shelton ran to a neighbor’s house and got a gun. And when he returned, he found the murderer in the house plundering and had just ripped the bed and was turning out the feathers. Upon which he killed the Indian and then took the infant out of the fire that all the time was burning. The truth of this circumstance you may rely on and, not knowing that you had been informed of the matter, I thought proper to write to you. The people are much afraid on the frontiers. Some are for moving away.”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), pp. 64-65.