Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Edward Telfair, 3 October 1792

From Edward Telfair

State-house, Augusta, 3d. October 1792.


I have the honor of herewith enclosing a passport given to Mr. George I. Hull by Pedro Olivier, who stiles himself a Captain and assumes the title of Commissary for His Catholic Majesty in the Creek Nation; you will also receive a certified copy of the Deposition of the said Mr. Hull on the aforesaid subject, from which you will draw conclusions with respect to the conduct of Spain: I have for several months past had some vague information of the person above mentioned being in the Creek Nation; nothing, however has presented itself respecting him, until the present period, to afford sufficient matter for an official communication. I have the honor to be Sir Your most Obedt Servt.

Edwd. Telfair

RC (DNA: RG 59, MLR); in a clerk’s hand except for signature; at foot of text: “The Secretary of The United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 18 Oct. 1792 and so recorded in SJL; notated in pencil: “the passport retained by Mr. Jefferson.” PrC of Tr (DLC); in a clerk’s hand. Tr (DLC: William Short Papers); in the hand of George Taylor, Jr. PrC (same). Enclosures: (1) Passport issued by Pedro Olivier to George I. Hull, “Pequen̂o Talassee,” 15 July 1792, authorizing Hull to proceed to the upper towns to transact his business (Tr in DNA: RG 59, MLR, in Spanish, with notation at foot of text in part: “Original sent to Messrs. Carmichael & Short in a letter from the Secy. of 3d. Novr.”; PrC of Tr in DLC, in a clerk’s hand; Tr in DLC: Short Papers, in Taylor’s hand). (2) Deposition by George I. Hull, Augusta, Georgia, 3 Oct. 1792, stating that on or about 10 July he found a Spanish commissary, Pedro Olivier, in possession of General McGillivray’s new house in “the old Telassee” and assuming superintendence of the Creek nation; that Olivier, while issuing a pass to the deponent (Enclosure No. 1) to go about his business of recovering debts owed to Georgia citizens, said he was sorry they could not get their money but that “he could not distress subjects of the King of Spain”; that Olivier addresses the Creek nation to this effect: “That the Virginia people were daily encroaching on their lands and if a stop was not put to their progress, that the Virginians would soon have forts in their towns, that fifteen days should be granted them, to move over the old line, which if they did not attend to, they were to abide the most serious consequences”; that at “the Natches,” a town in the upper Creek nation, he saw Cherokees with guns and ammunition they said had been obtained from the governor of West Florida at Pensacola for the purpose of attacking white settlers; and that at the lower towns he saw orders for ammunition signed by Olivier and was informed by a trader that they amounted to “fourteen horse-load to the Cussata town, and so in proportion to the other towns” (PrC of Tr in DLC, in a clerk’s hand; Tr in DLC: Short Papers, in Taylor’s hand; PrC in same). Copies of Telfair’s letter and its enclosures were forwarded in TJ to William Carmichael and William Short, 3 Nov. 1792.

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