[Senate Ex. doc. 198, 50th Congress, 1st Session (June 1888)]
In response to Senate resolution of June 6, 1888, papers relating to certain claims of the Creek Indians.
JUNE 21, 1888.-- Ordered to be printed and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, June 20, 1888.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Senate resolution of the 6th instant, in the following words:
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Interior send to the Senate a copy of a report made by R. L. Owen, U. S. Indian agent for the Union Agency, relating to the claims of Indians of the Creek tribe for re-imbursement of expenses of travel and for a year's support when said Indians were emigrated to the Indian country west of the Mississippi River, and any other facts shown on the records or files of the Indian Bureau bearing upon the justice of such claims.
In response thereto I transmit copy of a communication of the 19th instant from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, to whom the matter was referred, inclosing a copy of the report requested, together with copies of such other papers from the records and files of that Bureau as contain information relating to the claims.
WM. F. VILAS,
The PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS,
Washington, D.C., June 19, 1888.
SIR: I have the honor to be in receipt, by your reference of the 7th instant for early report, of the following Senate resolution, dated June 6, 1888.
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Interior send to the Senate a copy of a report made by R. L. Owen, U.S. Indian agent for the Union Agency, relating to the claims of Indians of the Creek tribe for re-imbursement of expenses of travel and for a year's support when said Indians were emigrated to the Indian country west of the Mississippi River, and any other facts shown on the records or files of the Indian Bureau bearing upon the justice of such claims.
In compliance with the requirements of said resolution, I submit herewith a copy of Agent Owen's report, together with copies of emigrating list and twenty-three affidavits taken by him in support of the claims examined by him. I also enclose a list of the self-emigrating families, showing that two hundred and seventy-four individuals claim re-imbursement for transportation expenses, and one hundred and sixty for subsistence for twelve months after arrival in the Indian Territory.
These claims arise under the seventh article of the treaty with the Creeks of 1826 (7 Stats., 287) which provides that:
The emigrating party shall remove within twenty-four months and the expense of their removal shall be defrayed by the United States.
By article 12 of the treaty of 1832 (7 Stats., 367), under the provisions of which nearly all of the Creek emigrants were transported to the West, it is provided that:
As fast as the Creeks are prepared to emigrate, they shall be removed at the expense of the United States and shall receive subsistence while on their journey and for one year after their arrival at their new homes.
The greater part of said Indians emigrated in 1836, 1837, and 1838,
and parties of them continued to remove from year to year until 1852 at the expense of the Government or their own resources.
Those providing their own transportation and subsistence were subsequently paid the sum of $55 each by the United States as commutation therefore.
The last payment to self-emigrating Creeks was made in 1882, from the appropriation for "expenses of removing and subsisting Creeks, act of March 3, 1839," and a balance of $4,586.51 was carried to the surplus fund in September of that year.
The list now forwarded comprises, as before stated, 274, who claim transportation expenses at $30 per head, $8,220, and 160 subsistence for twelve months at $25 per head, $4,000; total, $12,220
Hon. SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.
UNION AGENCY, MUSCOGEE, INDIAN TERRITORY,
December 1, 1886.
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith the papers, sundry
enclosures, etc., in the matter of investigation as to certain Creeks, who emigrated themselves to the Creek Nation, Indian Territory, at their own charge and expenses and subsisted themselves for twelve months after their arrival, and who under treaties claim reimbursement
Through special delegate G. W. Stidham and otherwise, I gave notice that I would take the proof to establish any and all claims arising under said treaties, and such evidence as was attainable is herewith, in the form of depositions, submitted as a part of this my report covering said matter of investigation.
I had no funds for the purpose of the investigation, and had to rely upon the casual meeting with the Indians interested at this place and Ockmulgee.
The Indians are poor and conservative, and those who know anything of this matter of self emigration are old people and adverse to leaving their homes, even when able to do so but I can testify with pleasure that all who came before me, by their manner of testifying convinced me that they told what they knew to be true, or believed to be true, in every instance, and I regret that the evidence in all respects is not more satisfactory, but it was the best and only kind to be had under the circumstances. I trust at least enough was secured to justify the Department in recommending that Congress should take appropriate action in the matter of reimbursement.
I have, it will be seen, adopted the corrected list of G. W. Stidham, so far as it is applicable, and in every instance I refer in marginal note to the proof upon which any given family may rely in substantiation of their claim, and the exhibits will be found or identified by said marginal notes.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant
ROBT. L. OWEN,
U. S. Indian Agent
Per D. M. W.
Hon. J. D. C. ATKINS,
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.
P.S. -- I also append a list of names not included in Stidham's list, who submit proof as to their claims also.