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[M234, roll 238, frames 178-181]


Memphis, Tenn.
November 18th 1837

C. A. Harris
Comm. Indian Affairs

Sir,

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letters of the 23rd and 26th ultimo relative to the appointments of assistants Agents and advising me of funds transmitted to the disbursing officer for the Creek emigration.

When I received the appointment of superintendent for the collection and removal of these Indians I was informed by several gentlemen of respectability who have resided a number of years among the Chickasaws that there were scattered over the cession more than five hundred Creeks. Acting under this impression and considering the character of the Indians and their dispersed situation I entertained the fullest confidence that the Department would sanction the appointment I made. I consulted Col. Upshaw on the subject who concured with me in the necesity and propriety of the measure [that] the greater part of these Indians are outlaws have[ing] fled from [their] own tribe for murders and crimes they have committed on their people and taken refuge among the Chickasaws. They are afraid to return to their nation knowing Indian law life for life will be imposed. Since I have had them collected several savage and inhuman acts have been committed in cold water. One of them attacked another for killing his brother several years ago, cut his scull in several places and opened his lungs and would have finished him had he not been prevented by some friend of his victim and the other day within three miles of this place another was stabbed to death in the camp by the brother of an Indian whom he had killed and the same night they had another Indian to put to death who had been given up by his notation to reserve his sentence.  He was released by the Agents and a wagoner by the name of Miller. The next day two of the Indian came pointed to Miller and told him he had released the Indian who had killed their brother and prevented them from killing him, that if he did not return him to them they would take his life in fine. They are the most hostile and savage Indians I have ever known. I have been compelled to guard and take the most desire measure with them at this time. I have two in double irons and am fearful that I shall be unable to compel some of them to quit the Chickasaws as they have refused to come into camp.

I shall embark tomorrow with about 300 on board steam boat Itasca commanded by Capt. Buckner and shall send the Ponies with some ten or twelve through by land in charge of one or two assistants. The melancholy misfortune which occurred a few days since has had its effect upon this emigration. I have in compliance with your letter dispensed with the service of Mr. Owen.

In relation to the funds I did not make the proper and usual estimate supposing the Disbursing Officer would make the proper Disbursements should the sum transmitted exceed the amount required, the balance will be accounted for in the usual way.

In the accomplish of the emigration the Department may rest assured that every thing will be conducted to its satisfaction.

I have the honor to be
Sir your most obt servt
R. E. Clements
Supt. Creek Removal