Fire destroyed the War Department office in 1800. For decades historians believed that its files, and the window they provide into the early federal government, had been lost forever. This collection unites copies of the lost files in a digital archive that reconstitutes this invaluable historical resource. Read more about the restoration of the collection »

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Murders in the Cumberland Gap

Letter from Alexander Martin (Governor of North Carolina) to Joseph Martin

If Cherokee or Chickamauga Indians are responsible for reported murders in the Cumberland Gap, the Governor of North Carolina directed his Superintendent of Indian Affairs to demand that they be “surrendered up to the justice of the State.” If they refused he was to inform them that “an expedition will immediately be leveled against them for satisfaction.” Yet at the end of the letter he directed that squatters be forcibly driven off the Indians’ land. “I wish the Indians to have no complaints from our people,” he explained.