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In Their Own Words

June 22, 1761

Apology for Killing of Trader

At a meeting of Lower Creek headmen at Coweta, the following message was prepared for delivery to Georgia governor James Wright over the killing of a white trader:

“Three Days ago three of our Town’s People came Home, and bring the bad News of having killed one White Man near Augusta, for which we are very sorry. It seems he had Pack-Horses and they wanted some Victuals from him and he would not give them any, although they say he gave them Punch until they got drunk, and one of them shot him. Then they took the Horses and Goods and were going to the Cherokees to stay there: but meeting another Fellow in the Woods he persuaded them to come home to their Town, and he would go and acquaint the Indians at Mr. Galphin’s , that were going to Charles Town. So we suppose you have heard of this unhappy Affair before we did. We are all very much concerned about this bad Accident; it is entirely against our Wills and Knowledge. They brought the Goods and Horses Home here, and we are going to gather them together and give them to some White Man that the owners may have them again. It troubles Us much that any of the White People’s Blood should be spilled by Us, but some of our young People are made and we cannot rule them.

“We hope you will not stop the Trade or Goods from coming amongst Us for we are so used to the White People and their Clothing that we should be very poor without them, and we hope all may be made strait [sic] yet. You need be under no Concern for the Traders among Us for they shall be safe to go down when they are ready. There are a great many of our People down amongst you at this Time, who may talk to you, and give you more Satisfaction on this Head. We here in the Nation will do every thing in our Power to keep Peace; and are now going to send good Talks to all the other Towns on this River to the end that we may all stand firm and true to our antient [sic] Treaties and Friendship with the English.”

John T. Juricek (ed.), Georgia Treaties, 1733-1763, in Alden T. Vaughan (ed.), Early American Indian Documents: Treaties and Laws, 1607-1789 (Frederick, Md.: University Publications of America, 1989), Vol. XI, p. 345.