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[Senate Doc. 512, vol. 246, page 715]

War Department, Office Indian Affairs, June 12, 1833


Your letter of the l5th ult. was duly received, and I will answer the various questions it contains. 

In locating the reservations, you must take the census, as completed by the commissioners. If persons, not registered, put in their claims, you can only collect the facts in the case and forward them to the department for its action. 

That you may understand the views of the Government, the substance of the instructions given to the commissioners, upon the points you advert to is communicated to you. 

No persons will be considered heads of families who were not so at the time the treaty was concluded. A white man who, prior to that time, had married a Creek woman, and had an Indian family, and resided in the Creek Nation, must be considered the head of an Indian family. His marriage and residence constituted him one of the tribe. Free negroes, in the same circumstances, and who have been recognized by the tribe as members, must also be registered as heads of families. 

An Indian, having several wives living in different houses, and having inmates under their control, must be considered as the head of the several families, and entitled, on their account, to only one reservation.

Where improvements have been made on tracts less than a half section, the owner must, according to the general provision of the treaty, retain them; if, however, a single case should occur where the individual would prefer to take his full quantity of land; relinquishing his improvements, he may be permitted to do so. If there should be a number of such cases, the several owners will be required, under the second article of the treaty, to take their selections in one body.

In the instructions given to you, under date of June 24, 1832, you were directed to require the chiefs, and all others possessing improvements, to take the section, including the greater part of such improvement. You will observe this rule. The conversation alleged to have been held by a chief, with the President, will be communicated to him upon his return. If the statement made to you of its purport be correct, further instructions upon this point will be given to you.

The Indians will also be required to take the tracts upon which they lived at the formation of the treaty. The inconveniences to which the persons, whom you mention as having voluntarily relinquished their old and made new improvements, to settle disputed titles, will be subjected, can only be regretted; they cannot be remedied by the department.

The difficulties of your position are fully appreciated, and the efforts to render you unpopular with the Indians, are evidence of a faithful discharge of duty on your part.

I would refer you to the instructions of June 24th, and recommend you to consult freely with Col. Abert. Until copies of the census and of the plats of survey have been sent to you, you will recollect that you are not to commence the execution of those instructions.

Very respectfully, &c.,
Elbert Herring

Leonard Tarrant, Esq., Creek., Creek Agency