Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   

[M234, roll 290, frame 503b]

New Barracks
New Orleans Lou.
15th May 1838

Sir,

I arrived at this place from Tampa Bay with a party of Indians yesterday, was detained longer than I had anticipated in consequence of the absence of Genl. Jesup from Fort Brooke, arrangements are made for the embarkment of the party for Fort Gibson, with the exception of sixty seven Negroes who are claimed by persons from Georgia; the civil authority I understand require these Negroes be not removed, it appears that Genl. Gaines presented himself as defendant, and contended, as the Negroes were prisoners of war, the civil authority had no right to arrest them from the Government's hands.  The court however decided contrary, acknowledging the Indians alone as prisoners of war, and the negroes subject to attachment as the property of the Indians.  As the case will not come on for some time and deeming (from all that I have been able to learn) that the claim is fraudulent, it will be necessary that the owners and witnesses remain.  I do this at the instance of the U. S. District Attorney; the Indians and Negroes therefore, will remain in the Barracks until a decision be made.  I will take all necessary measure in having them subsisted and properly quartered. Major Clark informs me, that he has communicated to you, the situation of the Negroes alluded to.

I find that during the period of my absence an order emanating from Genl. Gaines appointing conductors, directing transportation & c. for the forthwith removal of Indians had been issued in consequence of which steam boats were ordered by the Quarter Master and subsistence provided, why this order was not fully complied with I am unable to say; one steam boat under this order, has been I am informed by Mr. Whitman (on whom the case for transportation was ---- has been ----- the Barrack wharf, for the last ten days, on demurrage.  I shall not recognize any claims made arising from this order.  I have referred Mr. Whitman to Genl. Gaines, the provisions of course I will receipt for, as they are untouched.

The strength of the emigrating party will be about 1160 Indians and Negroes.  I have been obliged in consequence of the increase to appoint additional assistance. 

I am Sir
Very Respectfully
Your Obt Servant
Jno. G. Reynolds
1st Lieut. U. S. M. C.
& Disbg. Agt. Ind. Dept.

C. A. Harris Esqr.
Comr. Indian Affairs
Washington City