[M234, roll 238, frames 569-72]
Mobile Point, Ala.
17th June 1837
I have the honour to report my arrival at this place with one hundred and eighty Creek warriors; on furlough for one month, where they will return, if directed, by Genl. Jesup to Tampa Bay. All the sick of the first Battalion were embraced in the number specified above, fourteen women and children refugee Creeks that escaped to the Seminole Nation also accompanied the detachment, making the total number one hundred and ninety four. An unfortunate movement of Echo Harjo's people under the direction of Lieut. Slone were ordered to New Orleans from some representation made to Genl. Jesup. They became very sickly there. Genl. Jesup immediately ordered them back to this place again.
I shall leave here tomorrow for Mobile for the purpose of obtaining leave of the owners of Dauphin Island to remove those people to that place, they will there, all be secure; as we are now situated, the Indians will go out hunting and the people get alarmed; though there is no bad intention on the part of the Indian. If it is practicable, I will move to this Island and make them as comfortable as possible and then there can be no complaint from any citizen, as it is impossible for them to get from the island unless accompanied by an agent of the Government.
I enclose you a contract made with the Alabama and Georgia Emigrating Company, to supply the Indians with rations. As I passed through Montgomery I could not give but three days notice to supply those Indians with rations but no one would offer any price, unless I specified some particular period these people would be subsisted. This I could not do. The Emigrating Company's offer was the only bid that was made, there being but one of them present at the time I entered into writing for the moment until I arrived at the Point as I was on my way there. On my arrival here the contract was made out and signed by the Company but the Steam Boat arrived at the same time. I was compelled to go on board and did not sign it myself but took it with me, the copy furnished by Maj. Wilson was done for the moment to authorize the company to forward rations forthwith as the Emigrants were all on their way. It appears there has been some misunderstanding with Maj. Wilson and the contractors about the rations. A detachment of Indians between six and seven hundred, was ordered to New Orleans. It put the contractors to some expense as the movement was a sudden one and no time given them to make arrangements for feeding them.
Lieut. Slone required of them to furnish fresh beef while there, they complied with his requisition, though the market price for beef was 20 cents per pound, but they were unable to get it in the market every morning. Maj. Wilson required them to furnish fresh beef here, they attempted and made a contract and the beef was brought to the spot but the weather was so warm it spoiled and was lost, a second attempt was made and it spoiled and of course all was lost - to the contractors - Maj. Wilson contended that they were compelled to furnish fresh beef if it was a dollar per pound, the contract speaks for itself, what the ration shall consist of and when it shall be delivered. I consider they are bound to furnish a portion of fresh beef if it can be procured at any reasonable price. If it cannot be furnished, such as can be obtained of a good and wholesome quality, the beef must be killed in either Pensacola or Mobile and transported to this place. If from Pensacola it is forty miles, if from Mobile thirty miles. One of the Company has now gone to see if they can procure the beef at such a price as will not render the contract ruinous to them. They are willing to do anything required of them to fulfill their obligations and I assure you the rights and comforts of the Indians shall be strictly observed, and if I had remained here long enough to have arranged matters before I went to Tampa Bay there would have been no difficulty or misunderstanding in the business. When I received my instructions to remove the Indians to this place I worked night and day to comply with the orders. On my arrival here I found a letter from Genl Jesup requesting me to come forthwith to Tampa Bay for the space of ten days. I remained here about one hour when I embarked for that place. So, soon as I can get time I will give you a statement of my proceedings while there.
Capt. Bateman and myself arrived here the same day. There is a great deal of business to do here to keep the Indians under subjection, our number is augmenting every day. If I can locate them on Dauphin Island all will be quiet. I have a great many arrangements to make for the sick before I can remove them.
Mr. Dubois a half breed Indian arrived here a short time since to see about the second payment for the land and it is now ascertained the business can not be accomplished until the Creek warriors are discharged, there being a great number of them interested and Yeo poth le hola, Chief of the Creeks, will decline in acting until all are present, so the money can be divided in proportion of the value of each man's tract. The Creek warriors term of service will expire on the 14th of September. I think it doubtful if Genl. Jesup discharges them before that period. I will render my accounts for the last two quarters and require the other officers to do the same. They kept their accounts back in consequence of my absence, not being to render them until my arrival. I shall remain on duty here unless other wise ordered until the duties assigned me require my attention west. Maj. Wilson will shortly leave here for Tampa Bay, one officer will necessarily be detached most of the time with a few Indians to call in refugee Creeks where ever they can be found.
I have the honour to be
Your Obt Servt
Capt. & Supt of Creeks
C. A. Harris Esq.
Commissioner of Indian Affairs