From John Blair
WmsBurg Jany 25. 1758.
We had a council here yesterday in which was considered a letter from Col. Clement Read of Lunenburg, advising his intelligence from an Indian Harbinger, that a large body of Indians to the number of 7 or 800, were on their march 5 days behind him to our assistance, and would take his house in their way to Fort Loudoun, notwithstanding the directions given by Col. Atkins for another route thro’ Augusta. The Council do not suppose their number can be so large as Col. Atkins had directed their coming in small parties; but whatever number com⟨es⟩ to you, we hope you will be able to employ them in small parties, as may be judged by you most beneficial.1 I understood by the Govr, who sailed the 12th inst. that there was I think £1000 worth of Indian Goods for presents left with Mr Gist who had directions from Col. Atkins for the proper disposal of them.2 I hope you will do all in your power for having it conducted in the best manner. I take the opportunity of Mr Binn Clark of Loudon to give you this intelligence of their coming. Sir, Yr most obedt Servt
John Blair, Prest
Sprague transcript, DLC:GW.
John Blair (1687–1771) as president of the council after William Fairfax’s death on 3 Sept. 1757 became acting governor on Robert Dinwiddie’s departure, 12 Jan. 1758, and served until the arrival of Francis Fauquier, 5 June 1758.
1. GW reported to John Blair on 9 April that about 400 Indians had already been at Fort Loudoun by the time GW arrived in early April and that 140 more were expected that day. Capt. Paul Demeré of the S.C. Independent Company at Fort Loudoun in the Cherokee country wrote Gov. William Henry Lyttelton on 2 April 1758 that despite his efforts to delay their departure 157 Cherokee in several parties had gone in March “towards the French Fort” and that even “greater Numbers are gone to the Northward” (McDowell, S.C. Indian Affairs, 1754–1765 description begins William L. McDowell, Jr., ed. Documents relating to Indian Affairs. 2 vols. Columbia, S.C., 1958-70. In Colonial Records of South Carolina, 2d ser., vols. 2–3. description ends , 455–56).