[M234, roll 241, frame 1198-1202]
September 5th, 1834
Notwithstanding the location of the Indians may be considered as having been brought to a close when the report was made out and transmitted to the department; yet there are cases that frequently occur in which we are compelled to ask the advice and instructions of the department. We think this the most safe course, as when the principle is once settled by the department all parties will acquiesce.
I will mention one of recent occurence - An Indian woman who had been enrolled on the census list had been refused land, but now puts up her claim and contends that she is entitled under the treaty - She was the wife of an Indian man who had another wife and lived at some distance from the former, but he would pay visits, and upon such visits would remain some time - He had children by both wives - He had his reservation assigned him - Now the question is, whether either of his wives are entitled to a reservation.
As it is common among the Indians for one man to have several wives, I have no doubt but similar cases will acrue, but if the principle is once settled by the department, we will hear no more of it. I must therefore ask the favor of the department to give its opinion on the subject.
I have the honor to be
your obt. svt.
Elbert Herring Esqr.
Office Indian Affairs