[M234, roll 236, frame 681]
Septr 17, 1836
C. A. Harris Esqr.
Comr of Ind. Affairs
Since I had the honor of addressing you from Fort Gibson, I have had the contemplated meeting with the late Creek emigrants of which Nea ma thla and Neo micco were Chiefs; and with Rolly McIntosh the King or Chief of the Creek nation. I just visited them at their encampment, in their country on the Verdigris; and made the arrangement to see both parties at Fort Gibson. Genl. Arbuckle was present at the meeting and aided in bringing about a good understanding between the parties. The greatest fear I had, was that the late party would not consent to live under the laws now established by the McIntosh party, each of the Chiefs spoke upon subjects connected with their national affairs carefully passing by the main point as to whether the existing laws would be submitted to. I endeavored to explain to Nea mathla and Neo micco the two principal Chiefs their true situation, their extreme poverty; and what had produced it, that they were found in arms against the United States; and read to them the Act of Congress detaining the annuity from them, unless by the direction of the President of the United States. After I had spoken to them, one of the McIntosh Party, rose and stated that he had something to say by direction of the chief Rolly McIntosh; and went on to state that they had emigrated first to the west, had undergone many privations and dangers, that they were now comfortably situated - had plenty of corn and stock to subsist upon - that they had passed laws for their government which these people found to be wholesome and good laws for them - that now their brethren from the old nation had come over - that they had suffered much and were reduced to beggary - that they were willing to meet them as friends provided they would submit to the laws now in force - to this, Nea mathla's speaker replied; and after talking much about their sufferings and injustice in the old nation - went on to say that the laws they had passed were made for their good; and as they had prospered under them, they were willing to unite under them and by to live together peaceable - this settled the dispute; and I am happy to say that they separated, to all appearances friendly. It is the desire of the McIntosh party to be friendly; and their policy is to unite this party with them; and as the other parties arrive they will succeed with them in the same way - and thus retain their power. I do not at present apprehend, difficulties - there is think no settled design of hostility - yet with the insufficient force now at Fort Gibson, if any momentary excitement should be produced there is no force to allay it; and when it is remembered, that there is yet such a large number of Indians to emigrate who have no good feelings for the people of the United States; it will require great prudence with a strong military force to restrain them.
I have never seen so wretched and poor a body of Indians as this party of Creeks; they have really nothing; and at the urgent request of Genl. Arbuckle, together with the Indians, I supplied them with four dozen felling axes - the whole party had not a dozen with them and them worth nothing; and in order to scatter them and get them employed in building houses, I ventured to assume the responsibility of getting them the above mentioned axes - which I hope the Dept. will under the circumstances, sanction and order to be paid either from the appropriation for agricultural implements or any way they may direct. I am not in the habit of exceeding my known duties, but in this case, I hope the Department will be satisfied that the total destitution of the Indians, together with the object effected, of getting them employed; and thereby enable them to protect themselves from the approaching winter, will be considered a sufficient excuse. I also put the public Blacksmith to making a few frows to --- boards and some iron wedges, which appeared to satisfy the Indians very much. Nea mathla and Neo micco asked for guns, I told them that the circumstances under which they were brought over forbids it, that I was willing to aid them in getting anything else but guns - that at some future time we would talk upon that subject.
I do not see how these people are to get along unless they have a portion of the annuity - after they shall have had their subsistence for a year - they will be but little better off they have but very few ponies - not exceeding a dozen in the whole twenty three hundred; and unless they are permitted to participate in the annuity; and can make something of a crop, they must either be a tax upon their own people, or depredate upon other tribes - to prevent this, and to bring about a good understanding, I would respectfully beg leave to suggest the propriety of giving these people a proportion of the annuity. I will give them every attention personally, until an agent for them is appointed; which I hope soon will be done.
Your Obt. Servt.
Act. Supt. Western Tery.