Cherokees have historically occupied the southeast portion of the United States: AL, GA, KY, NC, SC, VA and WV. From as early as the 1750's, Virginia's Governor Robert Dinwiddie realized the necessity of retaining the friendship and securing active assistance from Virginia Indians, in particular, the Cherokee and the Catawbas. Governor Dinwiddie, as part of his negotiations in recruiting natives for the French/Indian War, instructed his esquires, Peter Randolf and William Byrd, appointed Commissioners to treat on behalf of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, "you are to exhort them [natives] not to be drawn away by deceitful empty speeches, the peculiar talent of that conning People, nor to suffer them on any pretense whatsoever, to erect any fort in their country. But in every attempt that shall be made to shake their duty to our common Father, let them consider what real Acts of Friendship have been done by them by the English, and what by the French; let them weigh these things well in their minds, and then determine who best deserves their esteem and regard, for it is not by vain unmeaning words that true friendship is to be discovered, but by its effects..."The key word here is friendship between the Virginia Indians and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Over the past 250 years, the Cherokee numbers may have dwindled, but we are here in Virginia, we always have been and we always will be. We only ask that the State of Virginia recognize our friendship now, just as we did over 200 years ago.
(A Treat: Between Virginia and the Catawbas and Cherokee, 1757) source: The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol 13, No. 3 (Jan, 1906, pp 225-264). Published by: Virginia Historical Society.