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Murder of Peaceful Indians

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionGeorgia Department of Archives and History: File I, Creeks view image
Document Information
Date November 12, 1795
Author Name Timothy Pickering (primary) Location: War Office
Recipient Name George Mathews (primary) Location: Augusta, Georgia
Summary News of Creeks murder relayed, details supporting the Indians innocence included. Demands murderers to be brought to trial.
Document Format Autograph Letter Signed
Document Notes [not available]
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups George Matthews; Timothy Pickering; Governor; Creek; Indians; Indian Nation; Jackson; Seagrove; Freeman; whites; murderers; ;
Related Places Augusta, Georgia; War Office; frontier; territory; settlement; ;
Keywords [not available]
Key Phrases [not available]
Transcription

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Letter -- Timothy Pickering [undecipherable] War Office
12 Nov. 1795
GAr
x Brown [undecipherable]
Indian Depredation
1795
War Department
T Pickering
His Excellency George Matthews
Governor of the State of Georgia
Augusta
[undecipherable] Murders
War Office Nov'r .12.1795
Sir
On the 7th instant I received from General Jackson, Mr. Seagrove and Major Freeman, severally, dispatches communicating the afflicting news of the murdering of seventeen Creek Indian men at or near barr's Bluff on the Oconee. I do not hesitate to call this slaughter of those Indians murders; because if they had come to the settlements of the white people for the purpose of doing mischief, some evidence of their intention would appear by the mischief actually done: but of this neither of the letters give the least intimation. Besides, Timothy Barnard's letter to Mr. Seagrove, forewarded to you by Gen'l Jackson, & by Mr. Seagrove to me, declares that of the five [undecipherable] who were killed, two (whom he names) were well known to Mr. Seagrove, to whom on a former occasion they had been sent as expresses, "and were as inoffensive men to the whites as any in the land, and the other three were as much so as they." Of Indians thus known to be friendly and well disposed, and whose persons and characters Mr. Barnard says were also well known to the people who killed them, no suspicion of their intending to do mischief could be warranted. These circumstances account for their coming into the settlement of the Whites
with that high confidence of safety which made them the unresisting victims of their atrocious murders. Perhaps you will think I am too precipitate in pronouncing this opinion. Truly I shall be happy to find it a mistake, & to retract an erroneous judgement upon the facts. But this I do not expect. I wish it was as certain that the justice of the laws would operate effectually as that my opinion is well founded.
All the letters, Sir, with their inclosures were laid before the President; and I have it in command from him, to intreat your Excellency to use the utmost diligence & to exert all the power with which you are invested, to bring the offenders to trial, and if guilty to punishment. This may possibly rescue from fatal retaliations many innocent inhabitants on your frontiers, or avert a still greater evil, a confirmed and general Indian war, from the Cumberland to the St. Mary's. To hand a small band of assassins would be showing mercy to thousands of innocent citizens exposed to the vindictive resentments of the injured Indians. But I trespass on your Excellency by beginning
a detail of the destructive consequences of these murders, which may be immediately felt, and the more serious and extended mischief to be apprehended, if they pass with impunity: you much have anticipated them already.
With extreme solicitude to learn the result of your enquiries and exertions, I remain, with very great respect,
Your Excellency's
most obedient servant
Timothy Pickering
His Excellency George Matthews Esq
Governor of the State of Georgia