"The son of General M'Intosh, (an Indian chief), with the M'Intosh party, held a treaty with the government, and were induced, by promises, to remove to Arkansas. They were promised 'a home for ever,' if they would select one, and that bounds should be marked off to them. This has not been done. They were assured that they should draw a proportionate part of the annuity due to the Creek nation every year. They have planted corn three seasons--yet they have never drawn one cent of any annuity due to them! Why is this? They were promised blankets, guns, ammunition, traps, kettles, and a _wheelwright_. They have drawn some few of each class of articles, and only a few--they have no wheelwright. They were poor;--but above this, they were promised pay for the improvements abandoned by them in the old nation. This they have not received. They were further assured that they should receive, upon their arrival on Arkansas, _thirty dollars_ per head for each emigrant. This they have not received. But the acting sub-agent, in the spring 1829, finding their wants very pressing (indeed many of them were in a famishing condition), gave to each one his due bill, in the name of the agent, for the amount of bounty due them, and took their receipts for the amount, as vouchers for the agent, to settle his account by with the government. The consequence was, that the Indians, not regarding paper as of any real value, would go to the traders, and sell the due bills at what they could get for them. And the traders having no confidence in the promises of the government through its agents, united with the hazard of delay at all events, would not give the real value of the amount promised by the due bills. If the Indians attempted to trade them to the whites for cattle, or any thing which they stood in need of, the consequence was, that they were compelled to make a discount upon them. Not finding them worth as many dollars as they purported to be for, they were willing to let them go upon any terms, rather than keep them in their possession. The due bills amounted, in all, to about _twenty-one thousand dollars_, which due bills are now in the hands of the original holders, or the purchasers, but not lifted by the agent according to his promise. (Is not the government bound by the acts of its agent or attorney?). It is but fair to estimate the loss of the Indians at one third of the sum above stated, and this loss owing entirely to the government, by its agent's withholding the fulfilment of its contract with the M'Intosh party.
"Mr. Joseph Brearly was left here by his father, the agent, in charge of his affairs, and being apprised of a party of _emigrants_ about to arrive, was making preparations to obtain the provisions necessary to subsist them for one year; and for that purpose had advertised to supply six thousand bushels of corn. The day came for closing the contract, when Colonel Arbuckle, commanding Cantonment Gibson, handed in a bid, in the name of the Creek nation, to furnish the amount of corn required at _one dollar and twelve cents_ per bushel; the next lowest bid to his was _one dollar and fifty cents_; so that Colonel Arbuckle saved the government 2,280 dollars.
"Mr. Blake, the sub-agent sent by Colonel Crowell, had superseded Mr.
Brearly, and was engaged in giving his receipts for the corn delivered under the contract. A speculation was presented; and as the poor Indians were to be the victims of rapacity, why, it was all very well. The aforesaid Major Love, to secure the speculation, repaired to St. Louis, with _letters of credit_ from Mr. Blake, the sub-agent of Colonel Crowell, and purchased several thousand dollars' worth of merchandize, and so soon as he could reach the Creek agency, commenced purchasing the corn receipts issued by the sub-agent. It is reasonable to suppose that the goods were sold, on an average, at two hundred per centum above cost and carriage; and by this means the Indians would get about one third of the value of their corn at the contract price!--they offered to let the receipts go at twenty-five per cent. discount, if they could only obtain cash for them.
"The United States owe the Creeks money--they have paid them none in three years--the money has been appropriated by congress. It is withheld by the agents. The Indians are destitute of almost every comfort for the want of what is due to them. If it is longer withheld from them, it can only be so, upon the grounds that the poor Indian, who is unable to compel the United States to a compliance with solemn treaties, must linger out a miserable degraded existence, while those who have power to extend to him the measure of justice, will be left in the _full_ possession of _all_ the _complacency_ arising from the solemn _assurance_, that they are either the _stupid_ or _guilty_ authors of his degradation and misery.
"P.S. The Creeks have sent frequent memorials, praying relief from the War Department; also a delegation, but can obtain no relief!!"
_Extract from a Communication made by a Cherokee Chief._
"A company of whites was in this neighbourhood, with forged notes and false accounts to a very considerable amount upon the Indians, and forcibly drove off the property of several families. This, Sir, is the cause of our misery, poverty, and degradation, for which we have been so much reproached. This is what makes us _poor devils_. If we fail to make good crops, some of the white neighbours must starve, for many of them are dependent upon us for support, either by fair or foul means. Some of the poor creatures are now travelling among us, almost starved, begging for something to eat--they are actually worse than Indians. If they can't get by begging, they steal. To make us clear of these evils, and make us happy for ever, the unabating avarice of some of the Georgians, by their repeated acts of cruelty, point us to homes in the west--but as long as we have a pony or a hog to spare them, we will never go, and not then. This land is heaven's gift to us--it is the birthright of our fathers: as long as these mountains lift their lofty summits to heaven, and these beautiful rivers roll their tides to the mighty ocean, so long we will remain. May heaven pity and save our distressed country!
The following Extracts may serve to show the state of the country to which the Indians are compelled to emigrate:
[FROM THE KENTUCKY INTELLIGENCER.]
_Extract of a Letter, dated Prairie du Chien._
"January 15, 1830.
"There is a prospect, I think, that the Indian department in this part of the country will soon require efficient officers. There is little doubt that there will be a general and sanguinary war among the Indians in the spring. The outrages of the Sauks and Foxes, can be endured no longer.
Within a short time, they have cut off the head of a young Munomonee Indian, at the mouth of Winconscin river--killed a Winnebago woman and boy, of the family of Dekaree, and a Sioux called Dixon. The whole Sioux nation have made arrangements for a general and simultaneous attack on the Foxes; the Winnebagoes, and probably the Munomonees will join them."
"Little Rock, Ark. Ter. Feb. 5.
"_Murderous Battle._--A gentleman who arrived here yesterday, direct from the Western Creek agency, informs us that a war party of Osages returned just before he left the agency, from a successful expedition against the Pawnee Indians. He was informed by one of the chiefs, that the party seized a Pawnee village, high up on the Arkansas, and had surrounded it before the inmates were apprised of their approach. At first the Pawnees showed a disposition to resist; but finding themselves greatly outnumbered by their assailants, soon sallied forth from their village, and took refuge on the margin of a lake, where they again made a stand. Here they were again hemmed in by the Osages, who throwing away their guns, fell upon them with their knives and tomahawks, and did not cease the work of butchery as long as any remained to resist them. Not one escaped. All were slain, save a few who were taken prisoners, and who are perhaps destined to suffer a more cruel death than those who were butchered on the spot.
Our informant did not learn what number of Pawnees were killed, but understood that the Osages brought in sixty or seventy scalps, besides several prisoners.
"We also learn, that the Osages are so much elated with this victory, that another war party were preparing to go on an expedition against some Choctaws who reside on Red river, with whom they have been at variance for some time past."
_Extract of a Letter from an Officer of the Army, dated Prairie du Chien._
[FROM THE NEW YORK COM. ADVERTIZER.]
"May 6, 1830.
"_Indian Hostilities._--When coming down the Mississippi, on the raft of timber, a war party of Sioux came to me and landed on the raft, but did not offer any violence. They were seventy strong, and well armed; and when they arrived at the Prairie, they were joined by thirty Menominees, and then proceeded down the river in pursuit of the Sauks and Foxes, who lay below. This morning they all returned, and reported that they had killed ten of the Foxes and two squaws. I saw all the scalps and other trophies which they had taken; such as canoes, tomahawks, knives, guns, war clubs, spears, &c. A paddle was raised by them in the air, on which was strung the head of a squaw and the scalps. They killed the head chief of the Fox nation, and took from them all the treaties which the nation had made since 1815. I saw them, and read such as I wished. One Sioux killed, and three wounded, was all the loss of the northern party. The Winnebagoes have joined with the Sioux and Menominees, and the Potawatomies have joined with the Sauks and Foxes. We shall have a great battle in a day or two."