[Senate Doc. 222, 18th congress, 2nd session]
[American State Papers, p.577-584]
Copy of a letter from Duncan G. Campbell to the Secretary of War, dated
WASHINGTON CITY, January 14, 1825.
I have received yours of yesterday, informing me of the removal of Captain Walker from the office of sub-agent of the Creek nation, and asking further information respecting the position assumed by the principal agent; and asking, also, an explanation of certain passages contained in the commissioners' journal.
I regard the impeachment of an individual of official delinquency as matter of delicate import. I did not, therefore, permit myself to become the accuser of Captain Walker, until, by actual observation, and from his own acknowledgment, I was possessed of direct and manifest proof of his guilt. Not possessing the like evidence against the agent, I cannot consent to be considered his accuser. My only allusion to this officer was upon the ground of his non-co-operation, and his omission to restrain his sub-agent in his adverse movements. This was in compliance with the course suggested by the Department, which required an enumeration of all the difficulties which we had encountered. As far as he has been brought into question by my report, on account of the negative course which he professed to pursue, and the neutrality which he assumed, the grounds taken have been fully sustained by the President and Department. In any proceeding beyond this, I decline an agency. It only remains for me, then, to give explanations to certain passages which you have cited in the journal, to limit or extend their bearings as the state of facts may require, and to answer certain questions which you have propounded.
I am asked " whether the agent received any instructions from the commissioners, directing his general or particular co-operation, which he refused or neglected to fulfill?" The power of the commissioners to control the agent was derived from their instructions; and the tenor of these instructions will show the extent of that power. The article connected with the subject is this:
" The probable amount of provisions that will be required to be issued to the Indians while treating with them, and the price at which they can be obtained, can be ascertained by a correspondence with the agent, Colonel John Crowell, who is instructed to obey your orders on all points connected with the proposed treaty, and to take such steps as may be necessary to prepare the Indians to meet the commissioners at the time and place which they may fix on for holding it, and of which he should be early apprized."
The construction given to this article was, that it limited itself to the provisions which might be needed at the treaty, and to the assemblage of the Indians. Our expectations that the agent would co-operate were formed from our convictions of his duty as the officer of the Government. If, as appears to be the fact, his convictions were otherwise, our order would have been an unavailing process. On reference to the journal, I find, in a letter which I addressed to the agent on the 5th September, this sentence:
" I shall attend Baldwin court on the fourth Monday in this month, when I shall be glad to be informed of any matter affecting our negotiation. We are greatly concerned for the result of our mission, and must beg you to prepare the nation for the issue we desire."
Whether this will be regarded as an " instruction," " directing his general or particular co-operation," I cannot undertake to say. It is most certain that the agent did not so regard it; or, if he did, then lie failed to " fulfill" it; for neutrality was his avowed course from beginning to end.
I now proceed to an explanation of the allusions contained in the letter of the commissioners to Governor Troup, of Georgia. The Legislature of that State being in session, and near a close, the Governor communicated with the commissioners by express. This happened at what we considered the crisis of the negotiation. The very day on which the express arrived was spent by the commissioners at Coweta, a few miles distant from the treaty ground, on business connected with the treaty. The absence of the commissioners, the despatch of an express to Georgia, the arrival of the Governor's express from Georgia, and the communication had by the commissioners on that day with some of the chiefs, had the effect of producing great confusion and alarm in the ranks of those who considered themselves our adversaries. This was manifested by the hasty departure of two messengers to the Big Warrior; one on the night of the 13th, and the other on the morning of the 14th December. One of these messengers was sent at the instance of the sub-agent himself. The Big Warrior was not present at the treaty, but seemed to be represented by a committee of four. With these, the sub-agent had constant intercourse; and, in council, they were the organ of the opposition. For these acts of interference he was called to account by the commissioners, and given to understand the danger to which he had exposed himself. The withholding of these facts was intended to have its operation upon Walker, and to be made the price of his co-operation. These are some of the " insidious" and " daily interferences" to which we had allusion; and this is the individual whom we intended to designate. The business of negotiation, always intricate when applied to Indians and their advisers, becomes peculiar, and is often influenced, by circumstances seemingly unimportant.
Thus, sir, have I answered the several points upon which the President required further information. In doing this, I have had reference alone to facts of a positive character; to none others did I consider myself warranted in resorting. Impressions, circumstances incidentally occurring, public rumor, or newspaper speculations, I have not considered as topics proper to be embodied in this report.
I have the honor to be your most obedient servant,
DUNCAN G. CAMPBELL.
The Hon. J. C. CALHOUN, Secretary of War.
DEPARTMENT OF WAR, January 18, 1825.
The President has deliberately considered the proposition submitted by the commissioners to treat with the Creeks, of holding a separate treaty with General McIntosh for a cession of that portion of the Creek territory lying within the limits of Georgia; and, although lie is very desirous of acquiring for the State of Georgia the land in question, he is of opinion that he cannot, with propriety, authorize the treating with General McIntosh alone, as proposed by the commissioners. There could be no objection to an arrangement with him to abandon the country which he now occupies, and to settle, with his followers, on such tract of country as might be assigned to him on the west of the Mississippi; but the President is of opinion that it is not in the power of General McIntosh to cede any portion of the land belonging to the Creek nation, without the assent of the nation itself. The principle on which such cession would be made, without such consent, would involve the idea that every individual in the nation would have a right to cede to the United States the particular portion of the country in which he might be in actual occupancy; and would, in effect, completely destroy that degree of independence which, under the laws, treaties, and usages of the Government, they have ever enjoyed.
Though a treaty cannot be made, for these reasons, with General McIntosh alone, for a cession of territory, yet the President can see no objection to a renewal of the negotiation, as proposed by your letter of the 11th instant, in order to obtain an arrangement with General McIntosh, with the consent of the nation, for the cession of the country in question; and you are accordingly, in conjunction with Major Merriwether, as commissioners, authorized to renew the negotiation. You will, however, distinctly perceive in the remarks which have been made, that whatever arrangement may be made with General McIntosh for a cession of territory must be made by the Creek nation, in the usual form, and upon the ordinary principles with which treaties are held with the Indian tribes.
In the renewed negotiation you will consider the instructions formerly given, of the 16th of July, as applying to the renewed negotiation, as far as they are, in their nature, applicable.
The agent has received instructions to give his hearty co-operation in the object of the negotiation, and to obey, in every respect, the orders which you may give under your instructions. A copy of the letter to the agent is herewith enclosed for your information.
I have the honor to be your most obedient servant,
J. C. CALHOUN.
To Colonel DUNCAN G. CAMPBELL, Commissioner, &c.
DEPARTMENT OF WAR, January 18, 1825.
I enclose, by direction of the President, a copy of a letter from this Department to Colonel Campbell, one of the commissioners to treat with the Creeks, and a copy of his answer to the same. The nature and object of the letter and the reply sufficiently explain themselves, and will require no particular remarks.
In communicating them, however, to you, I am directed by the President to state, that, although he sees nothing in the journal and report of the commissioners, or in the answers of Colonel Campbell, to impeach your motives, yet he does not approve of your conduct in relation to the late treaty. Though it is the duty of the agent to protect and cherish the Indians confided to his care, yet that duty never can be in conflict with the paramount one which he owes to the Government, and which, on all occasions, obligates him to give his hearty co-operation in effecting its views.
The Department did not suppose that any doubt was entertained on this point, and therefore did not particularly inculcate this duty in its instructions to you in relation to the Creek treaty. The extract, however, from the instructions to the commissioners, in which they are informed that you would obey their instructions on all points, which was communicated to you, is considered as sufficiently indicating the views of the Department in regard to your duties.
The President attributes the fact to a misconception of your duties that you did not report the meeting of the Indians at Tuckabatchee and the Pole Cat Springs, either to this Department or to the commissioners, and that you did not adopt decisive measures to control the conduct of the sub-agent in his opposition to the views of the Government.
The treaty is about to be renewed, and the President, feeling much interest in its successful termination, looks with confidence to your hearty co-operation with the commissioners. You will spare no pains in preparing the Indians for the meeting, and contributing to the successful termination of the negotiation; and it is also expected that you will cheerfully, and with alacrity, obey such instructions as you may receive from the commissioners in the fulfillment of their duties under the instructions of the Department; a copy of which is herewith enclosed.
I am, &c.
JOHN C. CALHOUN.
To Colonel JOHN CROWELL, Indian Agent, Creek Agency.
CREEK NATION, COWETA, January 25, 1825.
We, the chiefs of Coweta, Talladega, Cusseta, Broken Arrow, and Hitcheta towns, in council met, do take this method to lay before our father the President of the United States the most distressing difficulties that are existing in our nation, and have been for some time past, owing entirely to the existence of two parties in the nation, known and distinguished by the Red Sticks, (or hostile party,) and the other party friendly to the United States, and who were the warm supporters of the American war against said party of Indians, and also against the British. For further particulars, we most respectfully refer our father the President to General Jackson, who, can testify to the characters of the present bearers of this remonstrance. It is painful to us to acknowledge that there is an actual necessity of calling upon our father the President of the United States for protection, inasmuch as the Big Warrior, who is influenced by the hostile party, with the exception of a few, is calling his chiefs together, who consist of such Indians as were particularly opposed to the United States during the last American war. One of the most conspicuous chiefs of this council is Gun Boy, whom we took prisoner before Fort Gaines, during Jackson's campaign against the Seminole Indians - and passing orders and decrees without the consent of any of our towns, apparently for the destruction of our people, who are the friendly party - inasmuch as it certainly will create an internal war among ourselves; and we hope our father the President of the United States will never admit that his red children, who took his white children by the hand in the defence of the United States, in the last war with Great Britain, should be entirely excluded from having any voice in the nation, or, in other words, excluded from the benefits of their country, and for the Big Warrior and his party to have the entire prerogative of the nation. We are informed that the Big Warrior and his chiefs are now in council, and we expect are passing such decrees as are derogatory to the safety of McIntosh and the rest of his chiefs; for instance, it has been but a short time since they met in the grand council square, and passed an order for the execution of McIntosh, and any other of his chiefs who would make any proposition to the United States in favor of selling any part of the country which we now claim; therefore, we have been compelled to guard General McIntosh, since the treaty at Broken Arrow, for his safety. This is not all: there is no doubt but that said council, at the present meeting, will pass an order for the dismissing of General McIntosh, and many others of his adherents, and in all probability they have sent, or will send, a delegation from their council to that amount, although knowing, at the same time, that McIntosh and his chiefs have the superiority in the grand council of the nation; for reasons why, they were the only supporters and defenders of the nation in the last war; and that a number of the Big Warrior's chiefs forfeited their rights to their country, which they previously had, by their hostility to the United States during the last war. We do, therefore, deny that the Warrior's party has any right to enter into any such arrangements, and we do also deny that Gun Boy, and several others of the Warrior's chiefs, have any privilege in the national council, although we have heretofore permitted them to do so: for they did not defend our country from the foreign or domestic foe, but used their utmost exertions against the United States, and in favor of their enemies. We, therefore, head men of the nation, or of the aforesaid towns, assure our father the President that we have much trouble in our country, and much, too, in consequence of our agent's partiality to the Big Warrior's party; inasmuch as it appears to create a jealousy with us that the United States are failing to comply with what they once promised us - that is, protection. But we are conscious that it is unknown to our father the President. But hoping that our father will make the necessary inquiries of our delegation, and to advise accordingly for his red children's welfare, of which we will pray, &c.
WM. McINTOSH, Sp. N. Council.
SAM'L. HAWKINS, Interpreter.
CHILLY MCINTOSH, CLERK
CREEK NATION, January 25, 1825,
We, the principal chiefs of Coweta, Talladega, Broken Arrow, and Hitchetas towns, in council met, agreeably to a previous notice by General William McIntosh, whom we acknowledge to be our principal protector and chief, having full confidence in his patriotism, integrity, and great regard for his people, whom he represents, have unanimously recommended and appointed him, and seven others of the national council, to wit: Tomme Tuskenuggee, Othloe Tuskenuggee, Benjamin Derriso, Seah Gray, Arpifkee Tuskenuggee, Tuckeeparchee Haijo, and Coweta Emarlo, and Samuel Hawkins, interpreter, to meet the President of the United States, our father, and to make such arrangements as will be most conducive to the welfare of our people, and to receive such advice as our father the President may think proper to give; and should our father the President give it as his opinion that the claims of the State of Georgia to the land within her limits would prevent a fee-simple title from vesting in our people, then, in that event, General Wm. McIntosh, with the other delegates of our chiefs, are duly authorized, in behalf of our people, to make such arrangements with our father the President, or his commissioners for that purpose, in an exchange for lands west of the Mississippi, such as have been referred to the United States' commissioners, lately, at the Broken Arrow, assuring the President our father, at the same time, that any thing which the said delegates may do on the occasion will meet the approbation of the National Council in general, inasmuch as there are six of our principal council with General William McIntosh, who are authorized to sign any treaty of that kind which our father the President, and our delegates, may make upon the subject. Signed in open council, the day and date above written.
WILLIAM MCINTOSH, Sp. N. Council.
SAMUEL HAWKINS, Interpreter.
CHILLY MCINTOSH, Clerk of the National Council.
WASHINGTON, February 4, 1825.
We have received your communication of the 2d instant, and, in reply thereto, have the honor to state, that all the information which we have received, in relation to the causes which obstructed the treaty lately attempted between the United States and the Creek Indians, has been derived from conversations held by some of us with Colonel D. G. Campbell, one of the commissioners on the part of the United States, and who recently came to this place on business connected with the treaty. Of the ardent wish of the commissioners to procure an extinguishment of Indian title to lands in Georgia, we have no doubt. You will, doubtless, recollect that the grounds for the appropriation for holding a treaty with the Creek Indians were disclosed in a communication made by these same commissioners (then in treaty with the Cherokees) to the War Department, and last year laid before the House of Representatives. The causes of a failure to obtain a favorable treaty may be reduced to two.
1st. The indifference of the principal agent in affording his aid and co-operation to the commissioners. This indifference is discoverable from the following circumstances: As long ago as November, 1823, Colonel Campbell (then a commissioner to treat with the Cherokees) had a conversation with the agent at Milledgeville, in Georgia, soon after the election of the present Governor, Troup, in opposition to Captain Talbot. This conversation Colonel Campbell detailed to one of the undersigned, and is in substance as follows: Colonel Campbell inquired of the agent what prospect there was of obtaining a cession of land from the Creeks. The agent replied, that the time had been when he thought it very good; that he had had every thing arranged with the Indians, and their minds properly prepared to make a cession; but that then he was indifferent on the subject, and he should put himself to no trouble about it; that if their wishes had been accomplished, (alluding to the recent election of Governor,) he believed a treaty could have been made, but that it was then very doubtful; that he did not wish any friend of his to be injured by a failure of a treaty, and advised Colonel Campbell to resign, or to have nothing to do with it. His remarks were accompanied with various shrugs and allusions to the recent election, which left no doubt on Colonel Campbell's mind as to his meaning. Colonel Campbell very properly replied, that these considerations should have no influence on his mind; that, however favorable he had been to the election of Captain Talbot, he felt it his duty to promote the interests of the State, by every means in his power, without regard to such local political circumstances.
Colonel Campbell also detailed conversations held with the agent at or near Broken Arrow, the late treaty ground. They were, in substance, that, on inquiry as to the course which he should pursue in relation to the pending treaty, the agent replied that he should be neutral; that, although he would afford no special aid, he would throw no obstacles in the way; that he had collected the Indians, and the commissioners might then do the best (hey could; that he had not been instructed to co-operate with the commissioners; and that, without such instructions, he did not feel it his duty to take an active part. (It appears that this statement is true, and that he never had received any special instructions from the War Department on this subject.) Accordingly, he never did afford them any aid. On the contrary, Colonel Campbell stated, that, from a variety of circumstances that came under his own observation, he was impressed with the belief that the agent was not friendly to a treaty of cession.
2nd. The interference of the Cherokee Indians and others dissuading the Creeks from making a treaty. How this interference was made, the committee can be more distinctly informed by calling for the journal kept by the commissioners, (now believed to be in the War Department;) from which it will be seen that the Cherokee delegation in this city during the last session of Congress soon after its adjournment furnished to the Creek chiefs copies of all the proceedings and correspondence had last winter, and which were laid before Congress; that this led to one or two councils of the Creek chiefs, in which they came to the determination to cede no more lands, and published a manifesto to that effect in the Alabama papers. It appears that this document was in the handwriting of the sub-agent, Captain Walker, (who is married to a daughter of the Creek chief Big Warrior;) that this proceeding was known to the principal agent; and that lie made no communication thereof to the War Department, or to the commissioners, until they procured it by a peremptory order, (to be found on their journal,) to be produced by the sub-agent.
From conversations held by Colonel Campbell with some of the undersigned, there can be no doubt that Colonel Campbell was under the belief that the sub-agent had actively interfered to prevent a treaty; that this interference was known to the principal agent; and that he gave no information thereof to the Government, nor to the commissioners, until it was dragged out by their order above described.
From like conversations with Colonel Campbell, and from other sources of information, it appears that several brothers, relations, and connexions of the principal agent, have trading establishments in the nation, in which many believe he is more or less interested. Whether this be the fact, we cannot state. Colonel Campbell stated that all the conductors of these establishments were inimical to a treaty. He gave to one of the undersigned one remarkable case. He states that the commissioners determined to make the effort to enlist one of these (Mr. Henry Crowell, a brother of the agent,) in the cause. Mr. Crowell appeared at first not disinclined; but, subsequently, after consultation with his friends, (it is not remembered whether Colonel Campbell stated the agent was one whom he had consulted,) he returned, and said he had determined to do nothing; but insinuating, at the same time, that, were he to try, he could succeed in inclining the Indians to cede lands, but that, so long as the affairs of the State of Georgia were in the present hands, he would not do any thing to aid in establishing their popularity; and, finally, declined interfering on that account.
In relating these conversations, it is not pretended that more than their substance is given.
Colonel Campbell is distinctly under the belief that the Creek Indians within the limits of Georgia, over whom the chief McIntosh has influence, are inclined to cede their lands, and remove beyond the Mississippi; they form about one-half of the nation. The principal object of Colonel Campbell's visit here was to procure authority to treat with these separately. It has been withheld, as we understand. Colonel Campbell thinks McIntosh and his party in great danger. A quarrel is existing between him and the Big Warrior, and no good understanding exists between him and the agent. Unless sustained by the Government, McIntosh will be deprived of his power in the nation, and probably of his life. This is greatly to be regretted, as he enters fully into the views of the Government upon the removal of the Indians over the Mississippi. Colonel Campbell has been furnished with new instructions, (the tenor of which can be procured from the War Department,) and has gone to make another effort to procure a cession of land. Success is hardly probable, inasmuch as all the Alabama Indians are opposed to it, and as the commissioners will again have to encounter the intrigues of those who have heretofore interposed their influence to prevent it. It is true the sub-agent has been removed, and, as is said, the principal agent reprimanded; but the sub-agent is yet in the nation, with all the connexions and friends of the agent, who have trading establishments there, and whose opposition is well known. It is also doubtful whether the reprimand of the agent is calculated to excite in him any zeal, inducing him earnestly to co-operate with the commissioners in the object of their mission. Any explanations upon the matters contained in the foregoing communication, the undersigned will be happy to make, on the request of the committee.
We have the honor to be, &c.
THOMAS W. COBB,
EDWARD F. TATTNALL,
General JOHN COCKE, Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs.
INDIAN SPRINGS, February 7, 1825.
On this day the commissioners met at this place, pursuant to appointment; but few chiefs having arrived, no business was done. The following letter was received from the agent, Colonel Crowell:
INDIAN SPRINGS, February 7, 1825.
Having been informed by the War Department of the renewal of the negotiation with the Creek Indians for a cession of land, and being instructed to obey your orders in relation to the negotiation, I now have the honor to inform you that I will, in compliance with my instructions, obey such directions as I may receive from you in the fulfillment of your duties under the instructions of the War Department, and cheerfully co-operate with you in bringing to a successful termination the present negotiation.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
JOHN CROWELL, Agent Indian Affairs.
Messrs. MERRIWETHER and CAMPBELL.
The following reply was returned the next morning:
INDIAN SPRINGS, February 8, 1825.
We have received your note of yesterday, informing us of the instructions which have been communicated to you by the Department of War upon the subject of the negotiation now pending with the Creek Indians. A successful termination of the business in which we are engaged is every way desirable and important, whether viewed in relation to the policy and wishes of the General Government, the rights and interests of the State of Georgia, or the permanent advantage and prosperity of the Indians themselves. With these convictions, we enter again upon the discharge of our duties, with increased powers and enlarged Instructions highly favorable to success. Regarding your co-operation as an essential auxiliary, we are happy to be informed of a " cheerfulness on your part to cooperate with us in bringing to a successful termination the present negotiation." We shall recommence our proceedings as soon as the chiefs shall have arrived, and shall expect a free and unreserved intercourse with you during their progress.
We have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servants,
DUNCAN G. CAMPBELL,
Colonel JOHN CROWELL, Agent for Indian Affairs.
The commissioners, having discovered that the chiefs and headmen had convened to the number of near four hundred, prepared a large council room, and gave notice to the chiefs that they would meet them at twelve o'clock. The notice was answered by a message from the Tuckabatchee chiefs that they were not ready, and were not disposed to meet in the room prepared for the council, but were disposed to hold our meetings at their own camp. An order was then issued calling a meeting without delay, and at the room designated, when the chiefs were assured that all intrusions should he prevented, and that no white man should be present except the commissioners, secretary, and agent. A meeting was then had, at which the commissioners gave the chiefs a long and friendly talk; explained to them very fully the views of the Government in proposing their removal; pointed out the country which would be assigned to them in the fork of Arkansas and Canadian rivers, and explained its advantages. The late message of the President to the Congress of the United States was then translated to them and explained. They were cautioned against all other talks of interested and pretended friends, and told that they had no safe dependence but upon the President. The message was then put into their possession, and directed to be interpreted as often as was necessary. At the close of the commissioners' talk, the agent slated to the council that he was instructed by the War Department to tell them what was the wish of the Government on the subject; that what the commissioners had told them was all the talk of the President; that the President wished them to sell their lands, and go beyond the Mississippi; that it was his wish, also, because it was the President's wish; and that, if he was continued agent, he would go with them and be their friend. He stated, further, that the reason why he had not given them this advice at Broken Arrow was, because he was not instructed to do so, and did not, therefore, consider it to be his duty.
The propositions made at Broken Arrow were repeated: to exchange for the whole country, and give a difference of five hundred thousand dollars, which should be considered as a full indemnity for the loss of improvements and the expense of removal. The chiefs were then advised to consult among themselves, and give the subject a full and dispassionate consideration. The commissioners then retired. On the evening of this day, the Cowetas, Cussetas, Hitchetas, Soowagaloos, Taladegas, New Yorkers, Sand Towns, Thlecatchkas, and Big Shoals, met in a council of their own; there was a numerous representation from the Coweta and Cusseta towns. The subject of the treaty was fully discussed, as we are informed, and have no doubt; a vote was taken, and was unanimous, with the exception of two inconsiderable chiefs, in favor of a cession. Those who attended were free in their intercourse and communications with the commissioners, and seemed to feel no restraint or hesitation in the expression of their feelings and assent upon the subject of a sale and removal.
The following communication was received from the War Department, by express from Washington, Georgia:
DEPARTMENT OF WAR, January 21, 1825.
In my instructions to you of the 13th of September last, there was no designation of land made to be assigned to the Creeks in the event of their removal. Since you left here, the subject has been further examined into, in reference to a general disposition of the tribes west of the Mississippi; from which examination I find that a portion of the country lying in the junction of the Arkansas and the Canadian river, one of the principal branches of the Arkansas, and which limits the Choctaw possessions in that quarter, is the best, and may accordingly be proposed. Any arrangements, however, which may be entered into in relation to it must, of course, be subject to the extinguishment of the titles to those lands, according to the tenor of my instructions aforesaid.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient,
J. C. CALHOUN.
To Messrs. CAMPBELL and MERRIWETHER, Commissioners, &c.
The commissioners met the council at 12 o'clock. The chiefs were requested to give their reply to the talk of yesterday. The head chief from Tuckabatchee then addressed the commissioners to the following effect:
" We met you at Broken Arrow, and then told you we had no land to sell; I then heard of no claims against the nation, nor have I since. We have met you here at a very short notice, and do not think that the chiefs who are here have any authority to treat. General McIntosh knows that we are bound by our laws, and that what is not done in the public square, in general council, is not binding on the nation. I am, therefore, under the necessity of repeating the same answer as given at Broken Arrow, that we have no land to sell. I know that there are but few from the upper towns here, and many are absent from the lower towns.
"General McIntosh knows that no part of the land can be sold without a full council, and without the consent of all the nation; and, if a part of the nation choose to leave the country, they cannot sell the land they have, but it belongs to the nation. From what you told us yesterday, I am induced to believe that it may be best for us to remove, but we must have time to think of it; and, should the chiefs who are here sell the land now, it might create dissensions and ill blood among the Indians. I have received a message from my head chief, the Big Warrior, directing me to listen to what the commissioners have to say; to meet them friendly, and part in the same way, but not to sell the land. I am also instructed to invite you to meet us at Broken Arrow three months hence, when a treaty may possibly be made, and to return home. This is the only talk I have for you, and I shall return home immediately. I gave you but one talk at Broken Arrow, and I shall give you but one here: such is the message I have received from my head chief, and I am bound to obey; to-morrow I shall leave here. I have now said all I have to say; I will listen to any thing further you have to say, but shall give no further answer."
The chiefs who were in favor of cession, being vastly superior in grade and numbers, replied to this talk, and stated that the nation was fully represented-much more so than is usual at meetings without the nation; and that they were fully authorized to make a treaty; that they had come here for the purpose of making a treaty, and should do so. Finding that the subject was undergoing a discussion, the commissioners retired, for the purpose of removing the restraint which their presence might produce; and, after some further debate among themselves, the council broke up. Previous to retiring, the commissioners informed the council that they had been called together by the authority of the President, on business of importance; that the nation appeared to be fully represented; and that, if any of them thought proper to leave the place before the business was closed, they should conceive themselves fully authorized to carry on and conclude the negotiation with those who remained.
In the morning of this day, early, the commissioners were informed that, in the course of the previous night, a part of the Cussetas and Soowagaloos had broken up their encampment and started home. On inquiry, it was found that a part of the chiefs from those towns had secretly left their encampment after midnight, and retired, without giving the slightest intimation of their intentions either to the commissioners or to those chiefs of the other towns with whom they had acted in concert on Thursday evening, and in council on Friday. Being wholly at a loss to account for this sudden and mysterious movement, the commissioners instituted an inquiry into its cause. The only information obtained was derived from a half-breed Indian, who stated that the order for their departure came from Colonel Hambly, the interpreter. The following order was issued, and the messenger despatched: " The chiefs of the Cusseta towns having assembled at the Indian Springs, under the authority of the President, and then suddenly retired, under order, as is stated; the commissioners demand that they state to the bearers hereof the reasons of their leaving the treaty ground, and particularly that they state under whose order they are acting." At 2 o'clock, having prepared a treaty in conformity with the wishes of a large portion of the chiefs, the commissioners met the council, when the treaty, having been fully interpreted and explained, was signed by all the chiefs present, except the delegation from Tuckabatchee and one chief from Taladega. During the execution of the treaty, to which no objection had been made, the principal chief from Tuckabatchee, (Poyethleyohole,) addressed the council as follows: " I have received instructions from my head chief not to sign a treaty; but, perhaps, on seeing him, we may yet conclude to join you, and all be friends. I wish to part with you all in perfect friendship." The Tuckabatchee chiefs then took friendly leave of the commissioners and the council, and retired.
The commissioners met the council; when an additional article to the treaty was interpreted to, and signed by, all the principal chiefs present.
Soon after the treaty was concluded, Colonel Williamson returned, and made the following report:
" Wm. W. Williamson, having been despatched, under written authority from the United States commissioners holding a treaty with the Creek Indians, for the purpose of demanding of certain chiefs the reasons of their leaving the treaty ground, and of ascertaining under whose authority they were acting, reports to the commissioners the occurrences of his jaunt, and the information which he acquired.
"The informant states that, under the order of the commissioners, he set out from the treaty ground on Saturday morning, taking with him two intelligent half-breed Indians, one of whom speaks English correctly.
" Having progressed upwards of twenty miles in pursuit, he met a Coweta Indian, who, upon being questioned, stated that he met Tuckabatchee Hajo, a Cusseta chief, who told him that they had left the treaty; that Colonel Stedham had told him to go; that Hambly said so; and, if they did not go, they would ail be put in jail. (Colonel Stedham is a chief of Soowagaloo town, and Hambly is United States interpreter.) The informant then proceeded a few miles onward, and overtook the son of old Tuskenah, the head chief of Cusseta. Ho stated that, the over night, Colonel Stedham came to the camp, and took his father out; and that, in their absence, he fell asleep; and, when he awoke, he found that all were gone, and word left for him to follow. The young man then referred us to another Indian, who was travelling with him, who, he said, was riding Stedham's saddle. The person referred to was then examined, who stated that, in the night, a white man came to the camp and called out Stedham, and had a conversation of some length; at the close, Stedham returned to the camp and said he should be off, and would take the [examinant's] saddle, and examinant must bring on his. We then proceeded to Flint river, forty-five miles from the treaty ground. We there learned that the retiring party had crossed the river about the middle of the day, and observed that they were then out of danger, and could not be overtaken. We found that the party had stopped, and some were resting, and others amusing themselves. Search was made for Tuckabatchee Hajo, who, upon being questioned, acknowledged that he had made the statement to the young Indian as before related, and confirmed if; he added, that Hambly had told Stedham to go, and take old Tuskenah with him.
" Another old chief was next examined, (Ossa Pochce,) who stated that Stedham had come to the camp in the night, and called out old Tuskenah, and had a long talk, and told him that, if they did not all go, the white people would have them all in jail; that they must start that night, and ride all night, and get over the line, or they would be overtaken. They then broke up and set out.
" Another Indian stated that Stedham said that if old Tuskenah and his party were brought away, what were left could not make a treaty; and that was the reason they came off. These examinations were had during the course of Saturday night: next morning we sought an interview with old Tuskenah himself. He was found extremely indisposed to a full disclosure; but, upon being closely questioned, acknowledged that Stedham had come to him in the night, and told him to go; that he was one of the oldest chiefs, and that a treaty could not be made without him. Other Indians, standing by, observed to Tuskenah that he had told them a different story before. He then acknowledged that Stedham had said the orders came from Hambly, and that Stedham's information was as he had before stated. He said that he was a friend to the commissioners and the President, and had no notion of going off until Stedham gave him the talk. In the course of the examination, he implicated Poyethleyohole; and said that he had come to the camp and told them to go and break up the treaty for the present, and they would meet again, a few months hence, at Broken Arrow. Poyethleyohole is the head chief of Tuckabatchee attending the treaty.
" In our jaunt, we received certain information of the death of the Big Warrior, from different sources."
The commissioners then convened the chiefs; distributed some presents; ordered them furnished with rations to take them home; advised them to temperance and unanimity; and took friendly leave, and adjourned.
INDIAN SPRINGS, February 13, 1825.
In compliance, with instructions received from Colonel Campbell, while in Washington city, I notified the chiefs of this nation to meet the United States commissioners at this place on the 7th instant, for the purpose of treating with them for their lands.
Your letter of the 18th ult., enclosing a copy of the instructions to the commissioners, did not reach me until the 6th. On the arrival of the commissioners, 1 informed them that I was ready to obey their orders on all points touching the negotiation, and would cheerfully co-operate with them in effecting the object of their mission.
Yesterday a treaty was signed by McIntosh and his adherents alone. Being fully convinced that this treaty is in direct opposition to the letter and spirit of the instructions which I have a copy of, I feel it to be my bounden duty, as the agent of the Government, to apprize you of it, that you may adopt such measures as you may deem expedient as to the ratification; for, if ratified, it may produce a horrid state of things among these unfortunate Indians. It is proper to remark, that, with the exception of McIntosh, and perhaps two others, the signatures to this treaty are either chiefs of low grade, or not chiefs at all; which you can perceive by comparing them with those to other treaties, and with the receipts for the annuity; and these signers are from eight towns only, when there are fifty-six in the nation.
I beg you to be assured that I pursued strictly your instructions in relation to this negotiation; and, although the treaty has not been made in conformity with the instructions with which I have been furnished, yet I think it can be at no distant day, to the entire satisfaction of the Government. I have made these hasty remarks from a conviction of duty, to apprize you of the manner in which it was accomplished; and if it be thought necessary, I can give you all the particulars , pending this negotiation. A deputation of head chiefs are desirous of visiting Washington, to have a full and fair understanding relative to.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
JOHN CROWELL, Agent for Indian Affairs.
Hon. JOHN C. CALHOUN, Secretary of War.
WASHINGTON, (GA.) February 16, 1825.
On the 13th instant we had the honor of enclosing to you, from the Indian Springs, the copy of a treaty which had been concluded the day previously with the Creek nation of Indians. On Monday morning, the 14th, a supplemental article was added, which has exclusive relation to two reservations claimed by the Indian chief General McIntosh. I am gratified at the opportunity which I now make of transmitting to the Department, by our secretary, Major Hay, the original treaty and the commissioners' journal. On reference to this last document, you will discover under what circumstances the negotiation was renewed, and how it progressed and terminated. There is nothing of singular import in the whole proceeding, except the sudden and mysterious departure of the Cussetas, at night, after solemn assent to a treaty. The explanation given to this movement, by the report of Colonel Williamson, at the conclusion of the journal, I hope will be found satisfactory. The step was far from being voluntary. These chiefs, doubtless, were deluded by a wily and perfidious individual in the service of the Government as interpreter. His opposition to a treaty was notorious. His life and character have been too much diversified, and too strongly marked, to make him a fit officer of public trust.
The attendance of chiefs was a full one - much more so than is usual when chiefs only are invited. The opposition was feeble, and seems to have been dictated by the Big Warrior. The death of this chief, I conceive, puts the question at rest. That all opposition will now cease, and that the dissenting party will now treat and re-unite themselves with the majority, I have no doubt. To meet this expected contingency, a portion of the appropriation has been reserved.
Shortly before the notice was circulated for the meeting at the Indian Springs, the chiefs of the lower towns convened on Flint river, and adopted certain proceedings, which I now enclose. At these proceedings the Cussetas were fully represented, and the head chief actually signed them. The deputation had reached Milledgeville, on their way to the city, when I reached Georgia.
I have the honor to be, sir, with great consideration, your obedient servant,
DUNCAN G. CAMPBELL.
The Hon. JOHN C. CALHOUN, Secretary of War.
DEPARTMENT OF WAR, March 22,1825.
The treaty of the Indian Springs, of the 12th of February last, entered into by you, as commissioners on the part and in behalf of the United States, and certain chiefs and warriors of the Creek Indians, having been ratified in due form, I am directed by the President of the United States to carry the same into effect.
By the second article of the said treaty, it is provided that the sum of $200,000 shall be paid as soon as practicable after the ratification of said treaty; and by the fifth article it is stipulated, at the particular request of the parties of the second part, that the payment and disbursements of the first sum provided, viz: two hundred thousand dollars, ($200,000,) " shall be made by the present commissioners negotiating said treaty." To carry the provision for the payment of the $200,000 into effect, a requisition has been issued in your favor for that sum, which will be transmitted to you by the Treasury. In paying and disbursing it, the President directs that it, be in accordance with the following rule, viz: among all the chiefs of the tribe, heretofore acknowledged as such, and on the same scale that their annuities are distributed. The motive for this arrangement is founded in established usage, in the dictates of justice, and as furnishing the whole the means by which they may be enabled to transport themselves to the country destined for their residence. You will apply to the agent (Colonel Crowell) for a list of the chiefs, and their respective proportions of the annuities heretofore granted them, and act upon it as the basis of the distribution.
It is the wish of the President, before you distribute the money, that you should convene the chiefs, or have an interview otherwise with them, and explain to them the object of the payment; namely, that it is the first payment agreed upon in the treaty for the compensation for their lands. It is to be presumed that, when they are advised that the treaty will eventually be carried into effect, they will readily receive their respective portions: if not altogether, at least a large number; and, thereafter, those who may at first refuse, will successively acquiesce in the measure. In the disposition of the payment, you will look to this as a probable result, and retain as much money in your hands as that event may require. You will keep this Department regularly advised of your proceedings.
I have the honor to be, &c.
To Colonel DUNCAN G. CAMPBELL and Major JAMES MERRIWETHER, Commissioners, &c.
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