[M234, roll 290, frame 179-80]
Head Quarters, Army of the South,
St. Augustine, September 22nd 1837
I received on the 15th instant, on my way to this frontier, your letters of the 25th and 30th of August, and the 2nd of September, and on the 18th your letters of the 6th. The last detachment of the Creek Warriors left Tampa for the Pass Christian on the 11th instant, and I gave orders at the same time that on their arrival there they should be mustered, discharged, and immediately moved westward.
The Creek Indians had been promised a reward for the captures they should make of Negroes belonging to citizens of the United States. Had compensation not been promised they would taken no prisoners, but would have put all to death. I compromised with them by allowing them twenty dollars for each slave captured. They were entitled, agreeably to the promises made to them before they entered the service, to all Indian Negroes and other Indian property captured by them. To end all difficulty on that subject, I have purchased the Negroes from them on account of the public for eight thousand dollars. There are about eighty of the Negroes besides Abram's family, and those who are free; some of them, perhaps, may be found on investigation to be the property of citizens. I respectfully ask that this purchase be sanctioned. The Seminole annuity, it seems to me, might be charged with the amount paid to the Indians for these Negroes, as well as with the reward for securing those who belonged to citizens.
It is highly important to the slave holding states that these Negroes be sent out of the country; and I would strongly recommend that they be sent to one of our colonies in Africa.
The sum paid to the Indians is entirely satisfactory to them though it is far less than the value of the Negroes.
I have the honor to be,
Yr. obdt. servt.
Thos S. Jesup
J. R. Poinsett,
Secretary of War