Was it for such regulations and laws
as these, Oh Americans! you fought and bled? Congress of the United States,
learn to do justice, and we will reverence your laws. Suffer us to possess the
property we have legally
paid for. Permit us to hold lands in fee, without being tenants at will of
Legislators of the great American republic, is it nothing to you to see our
wives and children, who, by their industry, have hitherto lived in affluence on
their own farms, beggared by your unconstitutional laws? We say your laws are
unconstitutional because they deprive us of property for which we had a legal
right before the Treaty of Holston. Do you feel no remorse at our impending
ruin? Are you callous to our sufferings? Accustomed to wallow in luxury, you
cannot feel for the distresses of the poor.
Legislators and ministers of the American government, if you cease not your
monopolies, and other oppressive acts, a reform will take place, which, by its
convolutions, may involve you in its ruins. You are making large strides to
aristocracy. The name of landlord sounds harsh and grating to the ear of a
When any public business is to be transacted in this country, you neglect to
appoint citizens in our State. This is degrading, as if we had neither men of
virtue or business among us. In this you are mistaken. We have philosophers,
politicians, and soldiers.
In a matter which so dearly concerns us, as running the boundary line between us
and the Indians, you ought to have appointed commissioners, on our part, out of
the State of Tennessee. We cannot have confidence in foreigners, and perhaps
holding commissions in the Indian Department.
We have now, gentlemen, delineated to you the outlines of our claims. We
have also stated, in miniature, the wrongs we are about to sustain from
the operations of the general government. A volume would not contain the
reasoning we could advance on the justice of our claims.
The earth was created for the use of man. We could plead purchase,
occupancy, conquest, and relinquishment of the aborigines; but all these
reasoning we suppose would be in vain. Power is in the hands of the
general government, and we are disposed to obey her will for the moment.
[END OF LETTER]
George continues "The trouble about removal went on through John Sevier's term of office
until title to the Powell Valley lands was finally settled at the treaty
held with the Indians at Tellico Blockhouse in October, 1798."
"There is no doubt that present at that meeting at Fort Yoakum were men
named Yoakum, Davis, VanBebber, Hunter, Ausmus, Rogers, Cawood, Thomas,
Dunn, Russell, Carr, and Sharp-----all old family names in Powell
"Any one of these frontiersmen could best be described by a quotation
from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar:"
His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him That Nature might
stand up and say to all the world, "This was a man."