Chief Tassel Address to General Joseph Martin

Chief Tassel

     In recognition of the cordial relations that existed between that Indian Chief and General Joseph Martin for when this city – Martinsville was named, and in appreciation of the outstanding services for peace that these two distinguished citizens of their respectful races rendered their day and generation.

Address of Chief Tassel delivered

September 25, 1782

at a Conference with General Joseph Martin

     Brother I am going to speak to you.  I hope you will listen to me.  I intended to come this fall and see you, but there was confusion in our country.  I thought it best for me to stay at home and send my t?? by friend, General Martin, who promised to deliver them safe to you.  We are a poor, distressed people that is in great trouble and we hope our elder brother will take pity on us and do us justice.  You people from Nolichucky are daily pushing us out of our lands.  We have no place to hunt on.  Your people have built houses within one days walk of our towns.  We don’t want to quarrel with our elder brother; we therefore hope our elder brother will not take our lands from us that the Great Man above gave us.  He made you and he made us: we are all his children and we hope our elder brother will take pity on us and not take our land from us that our father gave us because he is stronger than we are.  We are the first people that ever lived on this land; it is our and why will our elder brother take it from us?  It is true, sometime past the people over the great water persuaded some of our young men to do some mischief to our elder brother which our principal men wre sorry for.  But you, our elder brothers, came to our towns and took satisfaction and then sent fur us to come and treat with you which we did.  Then our elder brother promised to have the line run between us agreeable to the first treaty and all that should be found over the line should be move off.  But it is not yet done.  We have done nothing to offend our elder brother since the last treaty and why should our elder brother want to quarrel with us?  We have sent to the Governor of Virginia on the same subject. We hope that between you both you will take pity on your younger brother and send Colonel Sevier, who is a good man, to have all your people moved off our lands.  I should say a great deal more, but our friend General Martin knows all our grievances and he can inform you.