Watauga Petition

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Watauga Petition

Petition from inhabitants of Western North Carolina concerning a separate government[edit]

Cosson, John; Et Al. December 1787 North Carolina State Records. Volume 22, Pages 705-714


page 705

The Honourable the General Assembly of North Carolina now sitting— The Inhabitants of the Western Country Humbly Sheweth—That it is with sincere concern we lament the unhappy dispute that have have long subsisted between us, and our Brethren on the Eastern side of the Mountains, respecting the Erecting a new Government. We beg leave to represent to your Honourable body, that from Acts passed in June, 1784, ceding to Congress your Western territory with the reservations and Conditions therein contained. Also from a clause in your Wise and Mild Constitution, setting forth that there might be a State, or States, erected in the West whenever your Legislature should give consent for the same, and from our local situation numberless advantages, bountifully given to us by nature, to propagate & promote a Government with us. Being influenced by your Acts and Constitution, and at the same time considering that it is our undeniable right to obtain for ourselves and posterity a proportionable and adequate share of the blessings, rights, privileges and Immunities allotted with the rest of mankind, have thought that the Erecting a new Government would greatly contribute to our welfare and convenience and that the same could not militate against your interest and future welfare as a Government. Hoping that mutual & reciprocal advantages would attend each party & that cordiality


page 706

and unanimity would permanently subsist between us ever after. We earnestly request that an impartial view of our remoteness might be taken into consideration. The great inconveniency attending your seat of Government, and also the great difficulty in ruling well & giving protection to so remote a people. To say nothing of the almost impassable mountains, Nature has placed between us, which renders it impracticable for us to furnish ourselves with a bare load of the necessaries of life, except we in the first instance travel from one to two hundred & more miles through some other State ’ere we can reach your government. Every tax paid you from this county would render us that sum the poorer, as it is impossible, from the nature of our situation, that any part could return into circulation having nothing that could bear the carriage, or encourage purchasers to come so great a distance for which reasons were we to continue under your Government a few years, the people here must pay a grater sum than the whole of the medium now in circulation for the Exigencies and support of your Government, which would be a sum impossible for us to procure, would we be willing to give you our all, & of course, must be heholden to other States for any part we could raise; and by these means our property would gradually diminish and we at last reduced to mere poverty and want by not being able equally, to participate with the benefits and advantages of your government. We hope that having settled west of the Apalachian Mountains ought not to deprive us of the natural advantages designed by the bountiful hand of Providence for the conveniency & comfort of all those who have Spirit and sagacity enough to seek after them. When we reflect on our past & indefatigable Struggles, both with savages and our other Enemies during our late war, and the great difficulty we had to obtain and withhold this Country from those Enemies at the expence of the lives and fortunes of many of our dearest friends and relations, and the happy conclusion of peace have arrived, North Carolina has derived great advantages from our alertness in taking & securing a Country from which she has been able to draw into her Treasury immense sums of money, and thereby become enabled to pay off, if not wholly, yet a great part and sink her national debt. We therefore humbly conceive you will liberally think that it will be nothing more than paying a debt in full to us for only to grant what God, Nature & our Locality entitles us to receive. Trusting that your magnanimity and justice will not


page 707

consider it a crime in any people to pray their just rites and privileges, we call the world to testify our conduct and exertion in behalf of American Independency, and the same to judge whither we ask more than free people ought to claim agreeable to Republican principles, the grand foundation whereon our American fabric now stands. Impressed with the hope of your great goodness & benevo lent disposition that you will utterly abhor and disclaim all Ideas of Involving into innumerable, disagreeable and irksome Contentions a people who have so faithfully aided & supported you in the time of imminent & perilous Dangers; that you will be graciously pleased to consent to a Separation, that from your paternal tenderness and greatness of mind you will let your stipulations & conditions be consistent with honour, equity & Reason, all which will be cheerfully submitted to, and we, your Petitioners, shall always feel an interest in whatsoever may concern your honour and prosperity. Lastly, we hope to be enabled by the concurrence of your State to participate of the fruits of the Revolution; and enjoy the essential benefits of Civil Society under a form of Government which ourselves alone, can only calculate for such a purpose. It will be a subject of regret that so much blood and treasure have been lavished away for no purpose to us, that so many sufferings have been encountered without Compensation, and that so many sacrifices have been made in vain. Many other considerations might be here adduced but we hope what hath been mentioned will be sufficient for our purpose, adding only that Congress hath from time to time explained their ideas so fully and with so much dignity & Energy that if their Arguments and Requisitions will not Produce conviction, we know of nothing that will have a greater influence, especially when we recollect that the System referred to is the result of the Collected wisdom of the United States and should it not be considered as perfect must be esteemed the least Objectionable.

Signers[edit]

Page Num First Last
707 1 JOHN COSSON
707 2 JOSEPH BLAIR
707 3 JAMES ENGLISH
707 4 THOMAS WILLIAM
707 5 WILLIAM HANNAH
707 6 HENRY STYERS
707 7 PETER McNAMEE
707 8 JAMES SHANKS
707 9 THOMAS TADLOCK
707 10 DAVID ROBINSON
707 11 ROBERT CALLISON
707 12 WILLIAM McPICK
707 13 ISAAC DAVIS
707 14 BOTHOLOMU ODENEAL
708 1 JAMES MITCHELL
708 2 DAVID GEMEL
708 3 SHADRICK HALE, JR.
708 4 THOMAS BELL
708 5 THOMAS RODGERS
708 6 DANIEL DUNNY JR
708 7 ANTHONY KELLY
708 8 JOHN WEAR
708 9 THOMAS McMACKIN
708 10 ASAHEL RAWLINGS
708 11 GEORGE DAVIES
708 12 HENRY EARNEST
708 13 NATHANIEL DAVIES
708 14 JAMES PATTERSON
708 15 SAMUEL DAVIES
708 16 FRANCIS HUGHES
708 17 JOHN LOWE
708 18 ROBERT HOOD
708 19 JOSEPH WILLSON
708 20 DAVID BROWN
708 21 WILLIAM FRANCIS
708 22 WILLIAM BROWN
708 23 JAMES HENNEY
708 24 ALEXANDER PETTER
708 25 PATRICK KIRKPATRICK
708 26 WILLIAM REYNOLDS
708 27 DAVID REYNOLDS
708 28 JOHN TADLOCK
708 29 AARON BEEN
708 30 JAMES DAVIS
708 31 WILLIAM WILSON
708 32 BENN BRUMBLY
708 33 THOMAS THOMPSON
708 34 MARY WEBSTER (?)
708 35 DAVID RANKIN
708 36 GEORGE KIRKPATRICK
708 37 JOHN LEE
708 38 THOMAS JONES
708 39 SAMUEL VANCE
708 40 WILLIAM JONES
708 41 RD. KERR
708 42 REUBEN SIMMON
708 43 ARCHIBEL ALEXANDER
708 44 MOSES KELSAY
708 45 SAMUEL McPHERSON
708 46 ROBERT McCALL
708 47 MATTHEW RUE
708 48 JOSEPH ALEXANDER
708 49 JOSEPH LUSK
708 50 WILLIAM COCKE
708 51 ANDREW JACKSON
708 52 ARCHIBALD ROAN
708 53 JOSEPH GEST
708 54 ELIAS WITT
708 55 JOSEPH NEWBERRY
708 56 THOMAS WITT
708 57 ALEXANDER LOWRY
708 58 NATHANIEL WITT
708 59 JOHN McCLELLAND
708 60 RICHARD DUNN
708 61 SOLOMON REED
708 62 WILLIAM DUNN
708 63 URIAH McCLELLENNON
708 64 THOMAS CALL
708 65 JAMES STINSON
708 66 H. CALL
708 67 ALEXANDER STREET
708 68 JOSEPH N. NEWPORT
708 69 JAMES McPHERSON
708 70 WILLIAM. W. NEWPORT
708 71 JOHN PRIM
708 72 JOHN GREER
708 73 JACOB SMELSER
708 74 ABSOLOM GREER
709 1 JOSHUA KIDWELL
709 2 THOMAS SPRINGER
709 3 SAMUEL JAMESON
709 4 LEVY SPRINGER
709 5 JOHN BRUMLEY
709 6 THOMAS WOLF
709 7 WILLIAM DAVIDSON
709 8 CONROD WOLF
709 9 WILLIAM BOYD
709 10 PHILLIP GNIBB
709 11 BENJAMIN GIST
709 12 HENRY EASTER
709 13 THOMAS BROMLEY
709 14 WILLIAM EATS
709 15 HUGH BEARD
709 16 SIMEON CRAINS
709 17 SAMUEL BEARD
709 18 HARMAN NOWEL
709 19 JAMES MILLIKIN
709 20 JAMES PATTON
709 21 ROBERT ORR
709 22 ROBERT PATTON
709 23 SEARLING B OWMAN
709 24 JOHN FOUT
709 25 RICHARD WOODS
709 26 PETER FOUT
709 27 ROBERT McCALL
709 28 HARMAN KENEDY
709 29 JOHN GALBREATH
709 30 MOSES LONG
709 31 CONNAS MILLER
709 32 JAMES WATSON
709 33 THOMAS McKEE
709 34 WILLIAM GOINGS
709 35 JAMES HAYS
709 36 HENRY BRUMLY
709 37 DAVID CARR
709 38 ANDREW WRAY
709 39 JOSEPH GARRISON
709 40 WILLIAM WOOD
709 41 WILLIAM GILLEHAN
709 42 GORDON POTTER
709 43 STEPHEN STRORGE
709 44 WILLIAM PECK
709 45 MICHAEL RAWLINGS
709 46 THOMAS MOSELY
709 47 DONNELL CREMOR
709 48 HENRY MOSELY
709 49 NATH. McMENO
709 50 PHILLIP RUDOLF
709 51 WILLIAM LA(?)
709 52 WILLIAM STUBLEFIELD
709 53 THOMAS BAITS
709 54 WILLIAM MOROW
709 55 JOHN KELLER
709 56 CHARLES RAMSEY
709 57 MOSES KELLER
709 58 WILLIAM FERGOSON
709 59 JOHN R(?)
709 60 ADAM FERGOSON
709 61 PETER NOWELS
709 62 RALPH HOGAN
709 63 JAMES MILLIKAN
709 64 WILLIAM HOGAN
709 65 THOMAS MILLIKAN
709 66 RICHARD WABB
709 67 THOMAS DICSON
709 68 JOSIAH EPPERSON
709 69 REDMAN McDANEL
709 70 HUMPHRY MONTGOMERY
709 71 SAMUEL MacDANEL
709 72 CARMACH GEORGE
709 73 SAMUEL GILBERTS
709 74 CHARLES WILLSON
710 1 JOSEPH McMINTY
710 2 JOHN JOHNSTON
710 3 AUBORN MON(?)
710 4 WILLIAM MAGILL
710 5 ANSON RIT
710 6 OTON CLACK
710 7 NUNESS POTTOR
710 8 JOHN GIBSON
710 9 JOHN NOMAN
710 10 REUBEN GIBSON
710 11 PETER NULESS
710 12 WILLIAM ADKINS
710 13 JAMES W. BEGSES(?)
710 14 THOMAS FRYAR
710 15 DALTON RIDGS
710 16 JOHN LYON
710 17 JAMES JACK
710 18 WILLIAM BROWNIN
710 19 JOHN ADKINS
710 20 RICHARD WOOD
710 22 JAMES PICKENS
710 23 ROBERT BETTEY
710 24 REUBEN RIGGS
710 25 GEORGE BLACK
710 26 GEORGE HAYES
710 27 SIMON RIDGS
710 28 WILLIAM HILL
710 29 JOSEPH DONN
710 30 HENRY RICHARDSON
710 31 ALLEN BELLEW
710 32 SHIFFELL GOODLOP
710 33 ROWS POTTER
710 34 JOHN SHAM
710 35 JOHN NORTON
710 36 MILLER DOGET
710 37 AARON NORTON
710 38 CHRISTY MIERS
710 39 AARON RIDER
710 40 JOHN MEARS
710 41 JOHN JAMESON
710 42 WILLIAM OWINS
710 43 DANIEL RAWLINGS
710 44 THOMAS OWINS
710 45 WILLIAM JINKINS
710 46 JOHN JARROTT
710 47 ROBERT SMITH
710 48 THOMAS PINCKNY
710 49 WILLIAM HOWARD
710 50 JAMES STUMP
710 51 JOSHUA TADLOCK
710 52 LEONARD HOPKINS
710 53 ROBERT HAYES
710 54 MARTHA GAHEE
710 55 THOMAS JOHNSON
710 56 PATRICK GAHEE
710 57 FRANCIS JONSON
710 58 JEREMIAH SMITH
710 59 ROBERT SAMPLE
710 60 J.S. HUST
710 61 ANTHONY MOORE
710 62 JAMES McCAMMIS
710 63 THOMAS McCAMMIS
710 64 JOHN HUSON
710 65 WILLIM McCAMMIS
710 66 ADAM McCAMMIS
710 67 LANTY ARMSTRONG
710 68 HENRY HOHAMMER
710 69 WILLIAM HENNIDGE
710 70 FRANSES CASTEL
710 71 JOHN ARMSTRONG
710 72 JACOB MEEK
710 73 ANDREW ENGLISH
710 74 THOMAS MILLER
711 1 NATHANIEL HAYS
711 2 ROBERT PAIN
711 3 DANIEL LEMING
711 4 JOSEPH HAMILTON
711 5 JOHN WILLIAMS
711 6 ROBERT KERR
711 7 JOHN SELLARS
711 8 ROBERT MILLOR
711 9 BENJAMIN WRAY
711 10 MOSES MOORE
711 11 WILLIAM HUST
711 12 WILLIAM MOORE
711 13 JOSEPH RAY
711 14 JOSEPH LACHLEN SR.
711 15 THOMAS BAILEY
711 16 JOSEPH LACHLEN JR.
711 17 EDWARD CRUNT
711 18 JAMES CRUNT
711 19 NICHOLAS HAYES
711 20 WILLIAM WILSON
711 21 SAMUEL HAYES
711 22 MOSES KENNEDY
711 23 JOHN MITCHEL
711 24 HERMON KING
711 25 JAMES RANNER
711 26 JOSEPH SCREAT
711 27 HENRY HOKIMER
711 28 LEWIS TADLOCK
711 29 GEORGE MARTIN
711 30 THOMAS TADLOCK
711 31 DAVID MOORE
711 32 JOSHUA WAY TADLOCK
711 33 HENRY WINTERBERGER
711 34 WILLIAM PADFIELD
711 35 JOSEPH WINTERBERGER
711 36 SAMUEL WINTERBERGER
711 37 THOMAS BENET
711 38 JOSEPH LUSK
711 39 THOMAS WOOD
711 40 MOSES KELSAY
711 41 JOSEPH GEEST
711 42 JOHN ANDERSON
711 43 WILLIAM GEST
711 44 JAMES RICHARDSON
711 45 JOSHUA KIDWELL
711 46 DAVID TAYLOR
711 47 THOMAS DAVIE
711 48 BENJAMIN GIST
711 49 JOHN KIDWELL
711 50 JOSEPH HUSON
711 51 CHARLES KIDWELL
711 52 MIKILL BORDERS
711 53 WHALEY NEWBY
711 54 ALEXANDER PETHROW
711 55 HENRY W. NEWBY
711 56 OYSTAN HEWTOWER
711 58 WILLIAM DAVES
711 59 ALEXANDER LOWREY
711 60 JOHN NORIS
711 61 JAMES STITSON
711 62 ROBERT HAYS
711 63 ADAM GUTHERY
711 64 JAMES HAYS
712 1 WILLIAM CRAIGE
712 2 WILLIAM SIPPARD
712 3 BENJAMEN HENSLEE
712 4 ALLEXANDER CAVITT
712 5 ABEL MORGAN
712 6 MOSES CAVITT
712 7 THOMAS VINCENT
712 8 JACOB JOBE
712 9 JOHN CHESTER
712 10 NATHAN JOBE
712 11 PATRICK MORRISON
712 12 JOSEPH BIRDWELL
712 13 STEPHEN EASLEY
712 14 GEORGE BIRDWELL
712 15 JACKEL LIGHT
712 16 JAMES SMITH
712 17 ROBERT EASLEY
712 18 MOSES RUSSEL
712 19 HENRY SULLAVAN
712 20 CONRAD SHEPLY
712 21 JOHN LIGHT
712 22 JOHN COMIN
712 23 MOSES ROBINSON
712 24 WALKER BARREN
712 25 WILLIAM LIGHT JR
712 26 JOHN BELL
712 27 WILLIAM LIGHT SR.
712 28 WILLIAM CARSON
712 29 THOMAS EASLEY
712 30 ROBERT CHRISTIAN
712 31 WILLIAM GOAD
712 32 ABRAHAM TITSWORTH
712 33 JESEY HOLLAND
712 34 BENJAMIN WALB(?)
712 35 JAMES WALB(?)
712 36 GREEN CHOTE
712 37 JOHN GOAD JR.
712 38 SHADRACH HAILE
712 39 GEORGE VINCENT
712 40 FORRESTER MERCER
712 41 HENRY HECKEY
712 42 BRYCE RUSSELL SR.
712 43 OWEN ATKIN
712 44 BRYCE RUSSELL JR.
712 45 NICHOLAS MERCER
712 46 JAMES PICKENS
712 47 RICHARD MERCER SR.
712 48 PHL. GRAFFORD PEARCE
712 49 ARCH’D McHAUGHAN
712 50 WILLIAM GEWIL
712 51 EDWARD MERCER
712 52 CHARLES PARKER
712 53 JOHN BLACK
712 54 ANTONY AGEE
712 55 JOHN HUNT JR.
712 56 JOHN SAWYER
712 57 BASETT HUNT
712 58 JOSEPH MOOR
712 60 JOHN YANCEY
712 61 THOMAS TINTON
712 62 RICHARD SHIPLEY
712 63 JONATHAN HUNT
712 64 W. CAGE
712 65 JAMES COOPER
712 66 TIMOTHY HEUFF
712 67 ISAIAH WALDREW
712 68 GEORGE CHRISTIAN
712 69 LEWIS HUNT
712 70 DENESS MURFEE
712 71 JAMES SMART
712 72 ISAAC THOMAS
712 73 JAMES SMITH
712 74 WILLIAM NASENGILL
712 75 GABRIEL GODE
712 76 JOHN TULLEY
712 77 JOSEPH SMITH
712 78 THOS. EASTERLIN
713 1 JOHN DUNCAN
713 2 WILLIAM COPELAND
713 3 WILLIAM BERRY
713 4 RICHARD GARNON
713 5 ISAAC WHITE
713 6 JOHN SPURGIN
713 7 SAMUEL COX
713 8 THOMAS KING
713 9 JAMES WHEELER
713 10 ROGER GIBSON
713 11 JOHN COTTRELL
713 12 JAMES ADAM
713 13 HUGH GENTRY
713 14 GEORGE GABRIEL
713 15 VALLENTINE ROSE
713 16 JOHN YOKLEY
713 17 ELI SHIPLY
713 18 JOHN WOOLSEY
713 19 THOMIS SHIPLEY
713 20 JAMES ARBUTTON(?)
713 21 WILLIAM CHILDRESS
713 22 MARTIN ROLLER JR.
713 23 JOSHWAY HAMETON
713 24 JOSEPH BLAIR
713 25 CHRISTURPHER CROFF
713 26 DAVID ARWIN
713 27 BENJAMEN AZE
713 28 WILLIAM (?)
713 29 REUBEN HUNT
713 30 THOMAS TAYLOR
713 31 ELLECANDER MORE
713 32 ADAM STOAKS
713 33 MARTIN ROLLER
713 34 JOSEPH WALDRAP
713 35 JOHN A. CAFT
713 36 MATTHEW CARITHERS
713 37 D. WRIGHT
713 38 GILBERT CHRISTIAN
713 39 ADAM STAKE
713 40 JOHN PRIOR
713 41 WILLIAM SHEWMAKER
713 42 MOSES LOONEY
713 43 GABRIEL GOAD
713 44 MACAJAH ADAMS
713 45 PETER EASLEY
713 46 JAMES McLERN
713 47 JACOB COX
713 48 ALEXANDER CARITH
713 49 WILLIAM BUCKNELL
713 50 BENJAMEN BURDWELL
713 51 HALEY BUCKNELL
713 52 JOHN DEAN
713 53 PRELEY BUCKNELL
713 54 CHARLES BACON
713 55 WILLIAM HOLLAND
713 56 JOHN FRENCH
713 57 WILLIAM MORROSON
713 58 JOHN BILENSY
713 59 JOHN MORROSON
713 60 WILLIAM COMBS
713 61 JAMES MORROSON
713 62 WILLIAM COMBS JR.
713 63 SAMUEL BOFMAN
713 64 HENERY COMBS
713 65 DAVID MERRYON
713 66 WILLIAM STACEY
713 67 RICHARD MORELL
713 68 ADDAM COUMB
713 69 DUDLY BETHERFORD
713 70 DANIEL AGEE
713 71 JOHN BRAFORD
713 72 JOHN COMAY
713 73 PETER FIN
713 74 JAMES PETERSON
713 75 JOHN HUNT
713 76 JEREMIA H TAYLOR
713 77 WILLIAM BAILY
713 78 JOSEPH TAYLOR
714 1 GEORGE SMITH
714 2 STEPHEN TAYLOR
714 3 JACOB JOAB
714 4 ISAAC TAYLOR
714 5 WILLIAM COOPER
714 6 JOHN CHISOLM
714 7 WILLIAM JACTION
714 8 EDWARD TULE
714 9 EPHRAIM JOAB
714 10 NATHANIEL TULE
714 11 WILLIAM MEHALLM

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Sources[edit]