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[M234, roll 231, frames 372-76]

Letter from the Principal Chiefs of the Creek Nation to N.G. Taylor,
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, regarding the Creek Orphan fund,
Oct. 10th, 1867.

Council Ground of the Creeks
Oct. 10th 1867

Hon. N. G. Taylor
Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

The Creek Nation of Indians in General Council assembled respectfully represents that the Treaty of March 24th 1832 after providing a reservation of one Section of land fore each of ninety principal chief, one half section for each and every head of a family, further stipulated, in order to provide for such persons then living who being Orphans were not provided for by the reservations in favor of heads of families, that twenty other sections of land should be selected under the direction of the President for the Orphan children of the Creeks, and be divided and retained by them, or sold for their benefit as the President might direct.

The Creek Nation further represents that said twenty sections of land were selected according, and were afterwards sold under the direction of the President, and the proceeds amounting to ($108,713.82) One hundred and eight thousand seven hundred and thirteen dollars and eighty two cents, invested in stocks bearing interest. It further represents that the government of the United States of its own accord made one payment of the accruing interest; not to those who were Orphans at the date of the Treaty of 1832 and their descendants, as of right should have been done, but to those who chanced to be Orphans at the time of the payment; thus paying to those whose parents had already received reservations.

That the Nation having represented that this was erroneous, the Government then of its own accord, applied the interest to the support of schools in the Nation; which was a still greater diversion of the fund from its proper destination.

That the Nation has never entertained any doubt that this fund of principal and interest in law belonged exclusively to those persons, still surviving who were orphans in the Creek Nation on the 24th of March 1832 and the descendants of those of them who had died; the descendants of each who had died being entitled to the share of their ancestor; that accordingly the Nation has not and never? preferred any claim to it, but has at different times sought to have it paid over to the proper claimants and did so particularly on the occasion of the making of the Treaty of August 7th 1856, and by memorial to the Hon. Charles E. Mix, Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs in November 1858.

That supposing that this payment would surely be made the Delegates of the Nation consented to the provision in that Treaty that ($200,000) Two hundred thousand dollars of the money thereby provided to be paid this Nation, should be invested for school purposes in lieu of said Orphan moneys; and upon what they understood as a promise that the latter should be paid over; but after the Treaty was made, the then Commissioner of Indian Affairs declined to take any action in the premises towards paying over the said moneys; whereby the Nation continued to receive that which did not belong to it, and that to which it neither had nor pretended to have any claim; but on the contrary desired that it should be paid to those to whom of right and in law and justice it belonged.

That on the occasion of the making of the Treaty of June 14th 1866, the Hon. D. N. Cooley the then commissioner of Indian Affairs having insisted upon a provision by which the funds due the Creek Orphans of 1832 should be used for the erection and support of a manual labor school to be established among the Creeks, and it being understood that the refusal of the Delegates to acquiesce in this arrangement would threaten other and more important considerations, the provision was permitted to appear in Article VI of the Treaty as signed by the Delegates for transmission to the Senate of the United States; but that Honorable body having fully considered the question refused to accept it, and the whole Article was accordingly stricken out; and the Treaty was reaccepted by the Delegates with the amendments of the Senate; was so approved by the President and by him proclaimed.

The Nation further represents that those who were Orphans in 1832, have now all either grown up, or have departed this life, and they and their descendants are now the only person who have received nothing in the way of reservations or equivalents therefore for their interests in the lands ceded by the Treaty of 1832.

The Creek Nation therefore respectfully prays and urges that the Stocks in which said fund is invested must be sold and the proceeds paid over to the claimants. The United States having no pecuniary interest in the matter; the Creek Nation would earnestly --- --- the consideration of the Commissioner and the Government of the United States that the moneys justly belonging to these poor and unfortunate claimants has now been withheld from them for over one-third of a century; that many entitled to share therein have already gone to their graves without being benefited thereby and the others are rapidly following; that a very small proportion of the original claimants are yet living, and that the number of heirs are constantly, thus rendering proper discrimination more and more difficult; it therefore respectfully asks of the Commissioner prompt and energetic action in the premises as due to justice and good faith.

Done in General Council of the Creek Nation at the place and date before mentioned.

Samuel Checote
Oktarsars Harjo
Micco Hulley
Pink Hawkins
Principal Chiefs Creek Nation

G. W. Grayson
Natl. Secty.

Approved and respectfully forwarded with the recommendation that the prayer of the petitioners be granted.

J.W. Dunn
U.S. Indian Agent for Creeks

Creek Agency, Ind'n Terr'y
28th Nov. 1867