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Fort Smith, Arkansas
August 15, 1850
I Eliza or Kith-loi-tsee niece of the Seminole Chief Ho-lah-too-chee and cousin to
William Bowlegs acting in my own right and that of my two cousins, neices of
Ho-loh-too-chee by name Toh-ko-ya-kee and Sai-yupah-soi-kee, do make the following declaration and in setting forth the facts, all of which can be substantiated by positive proof. We hope to obtain justice in regard to our property in Negroes, of a portion of which we have knowledge that efforts are being made to dispossess us by the chiefs of the Seminole Nation in conjunction with the Seminole Sub-Agent
Mr. Marcellus Duval. And we further declare that we are unable to obtain justice by application to them or the Seminole Sub-Agent
Mr. Marcellus Duval.
By the accompanying document a copy (the original of which is in my posession) is shown that I with my two cousins have a just and legal right to the posession of all the Negroes owned by my cousin Billy Bowlegs and in event of his death to their ownership
An effort has been made by the Seminole Sub-Agent to get posession of our Negro woman Katy and her daughter Fanny to satisfy a claim set up to said Negroes by Sally Factor claiming in right of her sister Nelly Factor.
Said Negro Katy was sold by her owner, a relation of Nelly Factor to General Geo. M. Brooke U.S. Army, then at Tampa Bay Florida, who retained possession of her for more than a year and was diposed of by him to Mr. Gad Humphries then Seminole Agent. Mr. Gad Humphries retained posession of her until she grew up and had two children, and no claim was ever set up to her by any of the Factor family until she came to the Western Country. Mr. Gad Humphries on being removed from his Agency settled a plantation about 15 or 20 miles from Fort King Florida, where he placed all his Negroes. Some time after this the Seminole War broke out and Mr. Humphries left his place leaving all his slaves on his plantation, who were carried off by the Seminoles. Mr. Gad Humphries received an order from the mother of Billy Bowlegs for money $2,400 coming to her for cattle sold by her in San Augustine, and Jumper a Seminole Chief and Lawyer to Micconopy became sucurity to her that the money would be delivered to her by Mr. Gad Humphries then Seminole Agent. During the war Jumper come in to General Jesup bringing in with him Katy and Fanny.
Gad Humphries wrote to General Jesup to send all his Negroes to him in San Augustine all of which were sent ecept Katy and Fanny who Jumper was allowed to retain to be turned over to the Heirs of the mother of Billy Bowlegs in part payment of the debt for which he was security, and this act was afterwards authorised by Mr. Gad Humphries in a letter to General Jesup, and said Negroes were brought by Jumper to the Western Country as the property of Billy Bowlegs.
Billy Bowlegs being the only heir of his mother became posessed of said Negroes Katey and Fanny and no other legal or just claim can set up to said Negroes.
I further declare that I am in my own right claim and was posessed of all the Negores of my uncle Ho-lah-too-chee, eight of which Negroes were adjudged by the Seminole Chiefs in conjunction with the Seminole Sub-Agent Mr. Marcellus Duval, to be taken from me and with other slaves to satisfy a claim against the Nation made by the heirs and executors of W. P. Duval deceased brother of the Seminole Sub-Agent Mr. Marcellus Duval. Five of these Negroes have been taken posession of by force and carried away, and the other three escaped. I do further declare, that I never was a party to, or had any notice of any bargain or contract made with the late Wm P. Duval, disposing of my Negro property, of which I was never out of posession, except a few who were at Fort Gibson by my permission and to work to get clothing. That I never had any information of any agreement between the late Wm. P. Duval and the Seminole chiefs until after the death of Micconopy, when I was informed by Jim Jumper, the present chief of the Nation, that the Governor Micconopy had made an arrangement with Mr. Wm. P. Duval to endeavor to reestablish the right of the Seminoles to the Negroes previously considered free under the proclamation of General Jesup, but I was not informed by him that such arrangement affected my slave property in any manner whatever.
The Governor Micconopy possessed in his own right but one slave, but was the guardian of his own friends for a large number who lived about him, and he was never authorised by me to take any action in relation to my slave property nor did he consult me on this subject.
That the Seminole Chiefs who have acted in concert with the aforesaid individuals to dispossess me forcibly of my lawful slave property have no claim or title whatsoever to said property and I have never understood that all the said chiefs together posessed more than three or four slaves in the own right.
All of which declarations I am prepared to prove and I desire to submit them to the United States Government in the hope that we may be secured in our property and from further molestation by injust and illegal claims.
And we further hope and expect that our slave property recently taken forcibly for our posession may be returned to us or that we may be remunerated therefor.
Fort Smith, Arks,
August 15th 1850
I certify that the above statement was made by the Indian woman therein named to the Brig. General Comdg., 7th Mil. Dept, taken down by me in writing and interpreted to her word for word.
Francis N Page
Asst. Adjt. Genl.