Virginia Governor Spotswood’s Letter Regarding the Tuscarora War

From the Preston Davis papers:

Found in these historic papers is a letter from Virginia’s Governor Spotswood to the King of England giving his perspective on the Tuscarora War – and who was involved.  It has long been speculated that the Seneca played a role in this event – which appears to be confirmed by Spotswood’s letter.


Febru: 27th 1711

Letter from Govr. Spotswood to his Excellency

You have no doubt heard of the Massacre committed last Fall in North Carolina by their neighboring Indians, since which they have very much distressed the Inhabitants of that province by burning their houses and destroying their Corn and stocks, and forcing the people to betake themselves to Garrisons for their own Safety: And all the news I can send you from hence, is that about the beginning of this month a body of 700 of the South Carolina Indians commanded by one Collo. Bamwell fell upon those Rogues, and cutt off six towns of the Tuscaroras, and are now in Search of the rest: They have taken abundance of prisoners and found among them a considble. Booty of English goods, and by this blow have I hope disappointed their designs of carrying on a formal War against the Province and us, in conjunction with the Senequas inhabiting your Frontier, who ’tis said prompted them to this Villany by promises of supplys of Arms and Ammunition from your Governmt., and of the Assistance of the whole Strength of that Nation. There were about thirty of the Senequas among them, some few days before Collo. Bamwell arrived, who its like have had the same Fate with the rest. I once expected to have had a share in cutting off those Indians. Our Assembly having voted twenty thousand pound for that service; but after consulting the means how to raise it they found it too large for their purses, and instead of going on as they began thought of nothing more than how to get off that hasty Resolution; In order to which they fell upon raising Funds prejudicial to the service of Great Brittain, which I could not consent to, and so that project dropp’d and I have been obliged to dissolve our Lower house, finding them runing into fruitless Contests with the Upper House about Points which they could not well defend. I am with great Truth & Esteem

Sir Your Most Obedient

Humble Servant

A Spotswood

Source: Mag of Va Genealogy Vol 36#2, page 145

About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
This entry was posted in Seneca, Tuscarora. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Virginia Governor Spotswood’s Letter Regarding the Tuscarora War

  1. Ron Clark says:

    Good find. Thanks. >

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