[M234, roll 236, frame 326-9]
House of Representatives
April 16th 1832
On a critical examination of Book (H) which accompanied the report of Col. Full who was appointed a Commissioner to adjust the claims of the friends & followers of Genl. William McIntosh for the property taken or destroyed by the Creek Indians where that Chief was murdered, as provided for by the 10th Article of the Treaty concluded between James Barbour Secretary of War and a Delagation from the Creek Indian at Washington City in 1824. I find what is stated to be a "list of Negroes taken on the 30th April 1825" - this list extends to seventy four, and contains all the names which Susannah McIntosh presents as her claim, with two exceptions, to wit: Jupiter & Eady. Gipter and Eggy in the list of seventy four may have been intended for Jupiter & Eady. I take it for granted that this Book of accounts &c. was made out by the fugitives while in Georgia as Col Lott supposes in his report, and that therefore implicit reliance can not be placed on the statement which it contains especially as I find in another list on a second page "of Negroes and horses delivered to Chilly McIntosh & Benjamin Hawkins by the Agent" only fifty four Negroes in number, and some of them with names different from the names contained in the proceeding list. I presume that Book H contains the only exhibition of claims which was made to the commissioner by the fugitive Indians. The list of seventy four Negroes was no doubt intended as an exhibition of claim in favor of the family of McIntosh, for property which belonged to him at his death, and that the list of fifty four Negroes was intended to show a delivery of part of the Negroes which was taken from McIntosh, which delivery I presume was made subsequent to the adjudication of the claims by the Commissioner, as the entry appears in a hand writing and with ink totally different from all other entries in the book and especially as the delivery purports to have been made by the Agent. The list of seventy four contained the names of the Negroes claimed by Susannah McIntosh with the exception before expressed. There is contained in Book H an exhibition of the claim of several other individuals for Negroes. The Commissioner in his report takes no notice of any claim for Negroes which had been thus presented to him, with the single exception of the claim of Chilly McIntosh exhibited in Book H for these Negroes. This claim was founded in circumstances totally different from all the others. The Commissioner awarded a return of the Negroes or their value in money to be paid by the Nation under prescribed limitations; and by a sweeping decision, rejected all claims which had been exhibited to him, and which are not specifically admitted by his written report. This sweeping rejection founded the ground for the subsequent rejection of Susannah McIntosh's claim, by the National Council.
In addition to the testimony furnished by Mrs. McIntosh and heretofore presented to you in support of her claim; I enclose to you the affidavit of John Winslett, which shows Mrs. McIntosh's right to the Negroes claimed by her, how she was deprived of possession, where the Negroes now are, and that she is still deprived of her property. It being thus shown, that those Negroes were taken from her by the Creek Indians when her husband was murdered by which wrongful act she has ever since been kept out of her rightful property. This question arises - has not Susannah McIntosh a fair claim under the 10th Article of the Treaty of 1826 against the Creek Indians? To this question the answer must it seems to me, be affirmation. To what source then must she apply for relief? If she appeals to Congress she will be told that the 10th Article of Treaty of 1826 makes ample provision for the adjudication of her claim. Should it be urged there that the Commissioner who was appointed under the 10th Article, has rejected all claims which were exhibited to him; and which are no provided for by his report, the reply would be that the Commissioner could not have intended to include in that rejection the claims for Negroes taken by the Nation, as all the Negroes so taken were subsequently returned to the rightful owners, with the exception of those claimed by Mrs. McIntosh.
The power of the War Department, to cause this claim to be adjusted according to the provisions of the aforesaid Treaty, cannot I presume be questioned. I therefore respectfully submit to the Hon. Secretary of War, whether it is not the duty of the Department to institute an investigation of this claim forthwith.
Your obt. sevt.
I solicit the early attention of the Secretary of War to this subject, and an answer from him is respectfully requested.
E. Herring, Esqr
[Commr. Indian Affairs]