[M234, roll 238, frames 239-44, barely readable]
Steamboat "Black Hawk"
near Helena, Arkansas
27th May 1837.
To C.A. Harris Esq'r
Commissioner of Indian Affairs
I have the honour to report to you that the party of Emigrating Creek Indians under my charge passed Memphis this morning, at 4 o'clock A.M. It was thought advisable to make no stop, at that place, least some of the Indians should succeed in escaping from the boats, for the purpose of visiting the Chicasaw country of which intention, on part of some of them, several intimations have been given.
On the 19th inst. the Party passed Decatur, Alabama as I then reported. Early the next morning the weather became stormy and the flat boats were compelled to land, before daylight, in the consequence of which, we were so unfortunate as to lose a number of the Indians by desertion. The boats were separated at the time of landing and immediately after some of the smaller ones touched the shore the Indians on board took advantage of the darkness of the night and the rain, to make their escape.
As soon as the other boats landed every exertions was made to bring them back. By offering a reward of one dollar, for each one should be returned, I succeeded in recovering 15. The other 56 in number could not be overtaken in time, and succeeded in making their escape to the mountains 5 miles distant.
On the 21st we passed thro' the Muscle Shoals without accident. On the 23rd the Party reached Waterloo, Alabama at noon, and re-embarked at 4 o'clock on board the steam boat Black Hawk, with a keel & two flats in tow. We have continued to run since that time in light and stopped the greater part of each night except last night. We shall probably enter the Arkansas River tomorrow, and will ascend that stream with two keels in tow. I have had every thing done to secure the health and comfort of the People under my care, and, they now appear well satisfied in all respects. Two deaths have occurred amongst the Indians since starting, one of those cause by imprudence; but it ---- the Indians are generally healthy. The weather has been extremely favorable, and the Removal of the Party, thus far, on the part of the Emigrating Company has been well conducted in all respects.
Nothing else of importance had occurred upon the Boats since I last had the honour to address you upon this subject.
I now --- directions for all your communications to be forwarded - therefore expect to receive at Little Rock all those that have not yet reached me.
I am Sir, very respectfully
your Obedient Servant
Lieut. U. S. Army &
Disburs. Agent in the
Steam Boat Black Hawk
(at) Little Rock, Ark.
31st May 1837
To C. A. Harris
Commiss. of Indian Affairs
On the 27th inst. I had the honor to report to you from Helena, Arkansas everything of interest up to that time relative to the Removal of the Party of Creek Indians under my charge.
We have just reached this place (7 o'clock A.M.) and will proceed immediately towards Fort Gibson which place I hope we shall be able to reach by water as the Arkansas is at present at a good stage, and on the rise.
Two deaths occurred on the 27th, but the rest at present is healthy and nothing else of particular importance has occurred since I last had the honour to address you upon this subject.
I am Sir, Very Respect. your obet. servant
Lieut. U. S. Army and Disb. Agent Creek Emigration.