Proclamation of the Continental Congress

September 1, l788

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WHEREAS THE UNITED STATES IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, by their Commissioners duly appointed and authorised, did on the Twenty-eighth Day of November, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-five, at Hopewell, on the Keowee, conclude Articles of a Treaty with all the Cherokees, and among other things stipulated and engaged by Article fourth, "That the Boundary allotted to the Cherokees for their Hunting Grounds, between the said Indians and the Citizens of the United States, within the limits of the United States of America, is and shall be the following, viz. 'Beginning at the mouth of Duck river on the Tenesee; thence running north-east to the ridge dividing the waters running into Cumberland from those running into the Tenesee; thence eastwardly along the said ridge to the north-east line to be run, which shall strike the river Cumberland, forty miles above Nashville; thence along the said line to the river; thence up the said river to the ford where the Kentucky road crosses the river; thence to Campbell's line near to Cumberland Gap; thence to the mouth of Claud's Creek on Holstein; thence to the Chimney-Top Mountain; thence to Camp Creek, near the mouth of Big Lime Stone on Nolichuckey; thence a southerly course six miles to a mountain; thence south to the North-Carolina line; thence to the South-Carolina Indian Boundary, and along the same south-west over the top of the Oconee Mountain, till it shall strike Tugalo river; thence a direct line to the top of the Currohee Mountain; thence to the head of the south fork of the Oconee river." And by Article fifth, that "If any Citizen of the United States, or other person not being an Indian, should attempt to settle on any of the lands westward or southward of the said Boundary, which were allotted to the Indians for their Hunting Grounds, or having settled previously to concluding the said Treaty, and not removing from the same within six months after the ratification of the said Treaty, such person should forfeit the protection of the United States, and that the Indians might punish him or not as they please; provided, that the said fifth Article should not extend to the People settled between the fork of French Broad and Holstein rivers, whose particular situation should be transmitted to the United States in Congress assembled for their decision thereon, which the Indians agreed to abide by." AND WHEREAS it has been represented to Congress, that several disorderly Persons settled on the Frontiers of North-Carolina, in the vicinity of Chota, have, in open violation of the said Treaty, made intrusions upon the said Indian Hunting Grounds and committed many unprovoked outrages upon the said Cherokees, who by the said Treaty have put themselves under the protection of the United States, which proceedings are highly injurious and disrespectful to the authority of the Union, and it being the firm determination of Congress to protest the said Cherokees in their rights, according to the true intent and meaning of the said Treaty; THE UNITED STATES IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, have therefore thought fit to issue, and they DO hereby issue this their PROCLAMATION, strictly forbidding all such unwarrantable intrusions, and hostile proceedings against the said Cherokees; and enjoining all those who have settled upon the said Hunting Grounds of the said Cherokees, to depart with their Families and Effects without loss of time, as they shall answer their disobedience to the injunctions and prohibitions expressed in this Resolution at their peril: Provided, that this Proclamation shall not be construed as requiring the removal of the People settled between the fork of French Broad and Holstein rivers, referred to in the said Treaty: Provided also, that nothing contained in the Proclamation shall be considered as affecting the Territorial Claims of the State of North-Carolina."

Done in Congress, this First Day of September, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-eight, and of our Sovereignty and Independence the Thirteenth.

Cyrus Griffin, President

Charles Thomson, Secretary

(DePauw, l974, 184-85)