[Senate Doc. 512, vol. 247, page 197]
Pole Cat Springs,
May 2, 1833
I have the honor to report, that I have at length completed that portion of the census of the Creek tribe of Indians which pertains to that part of the nation denominated the Upper Towns which will be found in part first of the book or census roll.
I left my house, in Jackson county, Alabama, on the discharge of this duty, on the 17th day of July last; and proceeded immediately on to Fort Williams to meet Colonel Pickett, who, I had been notified, would be my coadjutor in the business. At this place I neither found Colonel Pickett, nor any letter or message from him which might apprize me of the reasons of has nonattendance. From Fort Williams I directed my course to the house of Colonel Pickett; a distance of more than one hundred miles, and there learned, for the first time, that he had declined the acceptance of his appointment, and would not; therefore, be connected with me in the performance of its functions. Here I found a letter from Colonel John Crowell, then agent for the Creek Indians, requesting Colonel Pickett and myself to come to the agency, which I immediately complied with. On my arrival, Colonel Crowell and myself notified the Indians of the time at which their annuity would he paid, and also of the council which the commissioners would hold with them.
Major T. J. Abbott having been afterwards appointed in the place of Colonel Pickett, on receiving notification of the same, repaired to the agency, at which, place he found me. On the day ensuing his arrival we set out together, in order to avail ourselves of the opportunity then afforded by the celebration of certain annual dances, called busks, which are attended by all the people of the respective towns belonging to the particular tribe; and by the Indians of the various tribes promiscuously, to present ourselves in our official capacity before the Indians thus collected, and thus in the best manner possible make ourselves known to, and our business understood by them. Shortly after our return from this tour, the other commissioner, General Enoch Parsons, my brother, reached Fort Mitchell; when, at the time appointed, we all, accompanied by the agent, Colonel Crowell, repaired to Wetumka, where we remained until the breaking up of the general council held there with the Indians. Of our proceedings on that occasion, the department has already been apprized, by the report forwarded last fall by the commissioners.
After the dissolution of this council, Major Abbott and myself no longer acted in conjunction, but separately; I discharging the duties devolving upon me in the district of the upper, and he in the lower towns. We were in this manner engaged until we all again met in council with the Indians, on the 8th day of January last, at Fort Mitchell, which, from the great quantity and tedious nature of the business transacted, did not adjourn until the 12th of February. After which, I again set out to finish the taking the census of the upper towns, and have been up to this date thus employed; with the exception of five days, which I spent in attendance on a council of the Indians of the upper towns at Tuck-a-batch-ee. Major Abbott was also, present at this council, and my brother, Enoch Parsons, notified and invited by the Indians; but owing to circumstances it was not in his power to attend. The object of this council was, to induce them to sell to the Government.
Major Abbott and myself, well knowing it to be the desire of a very great number of the common Indians immediately to emigrate, and to give such of the chiefs as were advocates for the same an opportunity of publicly expressing their sentiments, which they have hitherto been afraid to do, the extinction of their sovereignty over the country in which they lived, by the sale of their land to the United States, their reservations only excepted, and which were reserved to them as individual, and not as national property; the extension of the jurisdiction of the State of Alabama, and of the laws of the said State over them, together with the consequent extinguishment of their own law; and all other usages and customs connected with it, were carefully explained to them by Major Abbott, and probably would not have been without the effect of the object contemplated, but for the influence of a few of the principal chiefs, which again, together with the machinations of land speculators, prevailed. The time, however, I think, is not far off, ere they will regret and retract what they stated to be their intention, viz., of setting down and trying it a while.
On account of the continued fall of rain this spring, I have been much retarded by creeks and swamps, the creeks being in general swimming, and the swamps not unfrequently impassable. I had also to take the census of eight or ten of the towns a second time, in order to clear the rolls of the impositions which, by the connivance of the chiefs and the white men, (land speculators and their agents,) had been practised upon the Government, which was the cause of still further delay. It is more than probable, that there are many yet undetected, and which could not be found out without still protracting time, which, from the present late date, I did not feel warranted in doing.
Le Compere, the Indian youth, is not at school, and has no disposition to return to one: Barnard says he has education enough for him, and all attempts to alter their determination in this particular appear to be unavailing, and devoid of effect.
My account in form, together with receipts for money, & c. paid for interpreters, are enclosed; a draft for the amount of which, if allowed, be pleased to forward to the care of Captain William Walker, Montgomery, Alabama. All of which is respectfully submitted, by:
Your obedient servant,
B. S. Parsons
Hon. Lewis Cass,
Secretary of War