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CowKeeper Letter

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As I mentioned earlier, the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum is selling copies of the Cowkeeper letter from 1774. I often have to read or transcribe this stuff, so am familiar with the script. Pedro asked me about a couple words he could not figure out--I didn't recognize them at that moment, but once I got home and read the whole thing through, it came right away. Sometimes I need a running start instead of just jumping into it. Here is the entire letter:

Cowkeeper Letter 1774

Manifests to the Creek Indians
Gov. Moultrie

Talk to the Cowkeeper and other head men
and Warriors of the Creek Nation
Men and Warriors.

I send you bad news. I have heard that
some of your nation have struck the Great
King’s Children in Georgia, and spilt their
blood upon the ground. The white people
grew angry and have killed some of them.

You know that I have always told you
that I loved my people, and that I loved
your people, and that I wanted to see
them live like Brothers, and that our
Children should grow up together on
the same land. This is the great King’s
desire, who will be sorry and angry to
hear this bad news.

Let us like good
Men and wise men, and like men that
love our people, force the Hatchet
out of the hand of Madmen and fools.

When any of you have met me,
I have told you that I was your friend
and that I loved your people. You
told me that you were my friends
and loved my people.

Now is the time to try whither we spoke
truth or told a lye, and whither our
hearts, our hands, and our tongues went

If it is only some madmen
and young fools that have done this
mischief, they only are to blame, and
they only ought to suffer for it.

I will not believe that your
nation will go to war with us, unless
you tell me so. I send this talk to you
to know whither it is war or peace.

If you still hold your White
brothers by the hand, tell me so, and
let us try to cover the blood that has
been spilt, and let us make the path
clean, and safe to walk in again.

Untill I hear from you, or know whither
‘tis peace or war, I shall only take care
to guard my people. If any of you have
a mind to talk like a friend, come to me
you shall be safe, not a hair of your
heads shall be touched.

Given under
my hand and seal at St. Augustine this
9th of February 1774.
John Moultrie

Current Location:
a hardwood hammock
Current Mood:
tired tired
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