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[M234, roll 229, frames 522-31]

Memorial of the Western Creeks

The undersigned have been specially charged by the Western Creeks who emigrated to the country west of the Mississippi, prior to the year 1832, to make to the Hon. Commissioner of Indian Affairs in their behalf, the following representations:

By the treaty of Feb. 12, 1825 known as the Treaty of Indian Springs, made with the United States by Genl. William McIntosh and his adherents, the United States agreed to give in exchange for the lands thereby ceded, the like quantity acre per acre west of the Mississippi, between the Arkansas and Canadian, commencing at the mouth of the latter and running west for quantity.

Owing to the great dissatisfaction caused by this treaty, it was rescinded and annulled by that of January 24, 1826; by which the Creeks ceded most of their lands in Georgia.  And the United States agreed to pay therefore to the whole nation $217,600 to be divided among the chiefs and warriors and a perpetual annuity of $20,000.

By Act 6th the United States agreed to purchase, west of the Mississippi  for that portion of the Creek Nation known as the friends and the followers of the late General William McIntosh,  a country whose ---- should be proportioned to this number.

The United States also agreed to remove this emigrating party, and to subsist them for a year (as they agreed to do afterwards with regard to every other Creek who emigrated); to appoint for them an agent or subagent and interpreter; and to furnish them a blacksmith and wheelright.

And they also agreed to pay said McIntosh party in consideration of their exertions to secure a cession at Indian Springs; and of their past difficulties and contemplated removal, $100,000, if they should be in number 3000 persons; and in that proportion for any less number; and to pay those living on the lands ceded the value of their improvements.

No reservations  of lands were secured to them nor was any other consideration given for the lands they abandoned.  They received in lieu thereof, the lands west of the Mississippi, on which afterwards all the Creeks were placed with them.  The sum of $217,600 given for the ceded lands was divided among all; and the perpetual annuity was the property of the whole nation, all, like them, were removed and subsisted by the United States; and they received for themselves only the sum of $100,000 and the blacksmith and wheelright agreed to be furnished them.

Upon these terms, they, to the number of about three thousand souls, emigrated to their new country west of the Mississippi.

On the 24th day of March 1832 those of the nation who had remained East of the Mississippi, ceded to the United States all their land East of the Mississippi, having already on the 15th of November 1827 ceded a portion, and received therefore $42,491.

By the Treaty of 1832 large benefits were reserved to those Creeks who had remained and who made that cession, out of the lands in which those who had removed still had and retained, as they conceived a common interest;

For the following reservations of land were authorized to be selected, including the improvements of each reserve; and which he might sell, or, retaining his reservation for five years, receive a patent therefore; that is to say...

By ninety principal chiefs one section each
By every other head of a Creek Family one half section each
Besides 20 sections for orphan children; and 29 sections for such persons as the Creeks should designate.

And as a consideration for the land so ceded - The United States agreed to pay the Creek Tribe $100,000 and to pay the Creeks $12,000 per annum for five years and ten thousand dollars per annum for 15 years more and for ferries bridges and cause ways $3000, for judgments against the chiefs $8,570; $3000 per annum for 20 years, for purposes of education; and to furnish them two blacksmiths for 20 years with iron and steel.

So that over and above the consideration paid the Nation, each chief and head of each family retained a reservation of the common land; to wit, 90 chiefs one section each; every other head of family one half section each; and certain other persons 29 sections; besides 20 sections for orphan children.  And provision was made for the emigration of all the Creeks to the west of the Mississippi, to the lands already assigned the Old Settler Creeks; and these  lands described as "the Creek Country West of the Mississippi" were "solemnly guaranteed to the Creek Indians"; and it was agreed that a patent or grant should "be executed therefore to the Creek Tribe."

By the Treaty of Feb 14th 1833 the boundaries of the Country West were established; and it was agreed that it should be taken and considered as the property of the whole nation as well as those residing on it; as of the great body of the Nation then still residing east of the Mississippi; And that the Seminoles should also have a home upon it.  A valuable portion of the Creek Country was also given up to the Cherokees; and in consideration especially of this, certain small provisions were made in favour of the Old Settlers of the Creeks; but while it was stipulated that this Country should be taken in lieu of that provided by the Treaty of 1826,  no provision was then or ever afterwards made to compensate the Western Creeks or Old Settlers for their interest in the reservation given to individuals by the Treaty of 1832; or to place them upon a footing of equality with those who; by remaining, had secured such reservations.

By the Treaty of  Nov 23, 1838 the Unites States agreed to pay to the whole nation, for property and improvements abandoned or lost $50,000 and to invest $350,000; the former, and interest on the latter, to be distributed among the people of the several Towns in proportion to their losses, and also to pay the McIntosh Emigrants for certain claims $21,103.33 which sum of $350,000 has since been received by the Creeks and paid to the legal claimants.

And by the Treaty of Jan 4, 1845 $60,000 was agreed to be paid to the whole Creek Nation, chiefly to pay for the country taken from them and given to the Cherokees by the Treaty of 1833.

The said claims of the McIntosh emigrants, to pay which, the said sum of $21,103.33 was allowed, were wholly claims for property lost and abandoned, and had no reference whatever to their interest in the lands East of the Mississippi.

The Western Creeks or Old Settlers, to whom the country west of the Mississippi, was first given or ceded, desire most respectfully, in view of these facts, to represent, that, as appears by the Treaty of August 6th, 1846 between the United States and the Cherokees it was decided, in a perfectly parallel case with that which existed between the different portions of the Creeks, that the Western Cherokees had no exclusive title to the Territory ceded to them by their Treaty of the year 1828, but that the same was intended for the use of, and to be the home for the whole Nation, including as well that portion then east, as that portion then west, of the Mississippi (as is the case with the Creeks); and that therefore by the equitable operation of the same Treaty, the Cherokees then west of the Mississippi acquired a common interest in the land occupied by the Cherokees East of the Mississippi as well as in those occupied by themselves west of it; and ought, besides their interest in the lands west of it, and in the general funds of the nation to be paid for that interest in the lands East of the Mississippi in accordance with which decision they were paid more than $500,000.

And they respectfully represent, that, upon the self = same principal, they too retained a common interest in the Creek lands East of the Mississippi ceded by the Treaty of 1832, and retained by individuals of their people as reservations; in proportion to their numbers.  And that, to have given them the benefit and avail of this common interest, each of their chief should have had a reservation of one section of land, or it's value;  and each head of a family one half section, or its value; and also that they should have had an additional quantity of land, be---ing the same proportion to the 49 sections reserved for orphans and individuals, as their numbers bare to the number of Creeks then East of the Mississippi; or the value of such quantity of land.

They respectfully represent that they have always felt that they had been hardly dealt with in this respect, and had not received their just rights especially since the formal recognition of a like right in the Western Cherokees; and they have ever desired to bring this matter to the notice of the Government, and to pray that justice might be done them in the premises.

They therefore now embrace this opportunity of laying the matter before the Hon. Commissioner; and having thus simply and plainly, stated the case, they respectfully pray that in any Treaty that may be made with their Nation, this their claim may be considered and adjusted; and such sum allowed them therefore, as such reservations to them, as were given their Eastern brethren, would have been worth at the time; with interest thereon from that time; so that they may be as favorably dealt with as they would have been if they too had remained and received reservations, instead of first and earliest of all, complying with the wishes of the Government of the United States, and removing peacefully beyond the Mississippi; by doing which they submit they ought not to be the losers; especially as they retained, as was decided in favor of the Western Cherokees, an equal interest in proportion to their numbers in the lands East of the Mississippi; and as their brethren who remained, after receiving out thereof a larger interest than themselves, to the extent of their reservations afterwards sold and disposed of these reservations for their individual benefit, and then removed west and became equal tenants in common with them in all the Creek lands and country west.

The number of Chiefs who emigrated prior to 1832 is supposed to have been about fifteen and the number of heads of families about six hundred but it is presumed that the exact numbers can be ascertained by reference to emigration rolls.

We have the honour to be most respectfully your obt. servts.

D. N. McIntosh
Chilly McIntosh
G. W. Stidham

Hon George W. Manypenny
Commissioner Ind. Aff.

Washington City D. C.
May 26th 1856