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[M234, roll 238, frame 214-217]


Gunter's Landing N. Alabama
10th May 1837

To C. A. Harris Esq.
Commissioner of Indian Affairs

Sir,

Since I last had the honour to address you, there have been collected for Emigration, about 545, of the Refugee Creek Indians, and these are now encamped, and guarded, within four miles of this place.

Near a hundred of them, were apprehended in the mountains of N. Carolina, and were conducted by myself to Ross's Landing. Two other detachments, one from Red Clay, & the other from Coosawattie, were brought to the same point, and on the 2nd inst about 350 were there assembled.

I then had them removed by water to the neighborhood of this place, which they reached in safety on the morning of the 7th instant.

There had already been collected near this point, about 195, of which number, about 40 have been brought in by the Troops within the last ten days.

On the 5th instant I received your communication of the 24th March, but have as yet, received no answers to my letters addressed to yourself, since my arrival in the Cherokee Country.  Therefore under the instructions which I have at present, I had determined, to turn over for Emigration on tomorrow (the 11th), to the Agent of the "Alabama Emigrating Company", now present, all the above named Indians.  For the following reason however, I have determined, in order to ensure the health & safety of these people, to defer doing so, for a few days at least.  Within the last two or three days, a disorder has made it's appearance in the Camp, of the nature of a Dysentery, and has affected a large number of the children.  I immediately employed a Physician to attend them, and after due consideration find, it would be extremely hazardous to Embark the Indians on their journey until this disorder is checked.  The Physician is of opinion that this may be done effectively, in the course of a week, at the expiration of which time, at f-------, I hope the Party will be embarked to set out.

I am unable by any means to discover the number of Creek Refugees, still remaining at large in the Cherokee Country.  All those that could be heard of and found have been apprehended by the Troops, but I have doubt that there are still many of them scattered & secreted amongst the Cherokee People.  I think however, that those still remaining, are so well provided for, that they will not become a nuisance to the Citizens of the Country, as so many of those now in Camp have been.  Numbers of them were found in the most wretched condition, and, in some cases, naked & starving.

I hope to receive before leaving Ross's Landing on the 3rd instant, a communication from yourself, in answer to two of mine, the former dated New Echota 29th March, & the latter from the same place, enclosing an Estimate of Funds, on the 2nd April.  I may still have an opportunity of hearing from Ross's Landing by Express, before leaving this place.  That is the point to which I requested you, in my letter of the 29th March, to direct to me.

Provisions have been, and still are extremely high in this country.  Bacon from 12 to 15 cents per pound.  Corn from 75 cents to a dollar per bushel, and Fresh Beef not to be had in any quantity.

I still hope that I shall receive a communication in regard to funds, as I have not enough on hand at present, to discharge the expenses which I have necessarily increased in subsisting & collecting this Party for Emigration.

I think at present that it will be most expedient for it to perform the whole route by water, going as far as the foot of the Muscle Shoals in Flat Boats, & thence to Fort Gibson, by Steam, with large keels in tow.

I shall continue to report all circumstances of interest connected with this business as they may occure.

I have the honor to be
Your Obedt Servant

Edwd. Deas
1st Lieut. U. S. Army &
Disbg Agent in the
Creek Emigration.