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[807-812]

CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA, THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT,
AND ITS AGENTS, IN REFERENCE TO THE LATE TREATY.

Index ... Part: 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4


Governor Troup to T. P. Andrews.

Executive Department, Milledgeville, June 28, 1825.

Sir:

I call your attention to a letter purporting to be yours, and addressed to the agent, in extenuation of your conduct for the act of suspension, and published in a paper here of this morning, called the Patriot. If this letter ,be authentic, you will consider all intercourse between yourself and this Government suspended from the moment of the receipt of this.

G. M. Troup.

T. P. Andrews, Special Agent U. S., Creek Agency.

[The following letter having been written after the act of suspension was made known to the special agent, was received as unofficial, and the publication authorized as any unofficial paper would be, to subserve the purposes of the writer.]


T. P. Andrews to Governor Troup.

Princeton, Indian Nation, July 4, 1825.

Sir:

I take advantage of the first possible moment from incessant and arduous duties to do myself the honor of receipting to your excellency your three last letters. Your letter of the 18th of June was received from the commissioners of Georgia on the 25th ultimo. It was my determination to afford the commissioners of Georgia (of whose appointment I had been previously apprized) all the attention which my duty to the General Government, and my respect for an important member of the Union, justified and demanded. I have done so, so far as my sense of duty permitted me; but regret to inform you that I have not had the pleasure of agreeing with the commissioners on several points of procedure.

You may readily imagine that my impressions of your great personal honor were not at all weakened by the receipt of the note of your excellency, dated the 27th ultimo, in which you so frankly "correct, without delay, an error into which you had fallen" on one particular point relating to the Indian agent; and regret exceedingly that a sense of justice will not permit me to make the admission which you appear, in the same letter, to expect from me. Your excellency may rest assured that I did not intend to call on you again for specifications, after you had expressed in your letter of the 20th June your determination not to furnish them. In my answer of the 23d instant, to your letter last referred to, I adverted to the circumstance merely with a view to show why I had, previously to the receipt of your letter, thought I had a right to expect them. Your declining to present specifications, which was a matter which you alone could determine on, settled the question; and I should have been wanting in the high respect which it is my duty to entertain, and which I sincerely entertain, for your personal character, as well as for your exalted station in society, if I had again requested them of you.

I acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 28th, which has given me pain as a man, but which causes no uneasiness on my part as an agent or officer of the General Government. It has given me pain as a gentleman, because I think I can perceive that you feel compelled (I presume, from a sense of public duty) to transfer the pursuit by the authorities of Georgia from the Indian agent to the special agent of the United States Government.

It causes no uneasiness on my part as an officer or agent of the Government, because I cannot suppose, for a moment, that my Government will censure me for doing an act of sacred duty to the Indian agent, at the same time that I performed, in suspending him from his functions, an act of courtesy to yourself and Government, which you thought necessary to the ascertainment of unbiased testimony.

Had I entered into feelings of denunciation against the Indian agent before his trial, or suspended him without doing him present justice by a frank expression of the reasons which actuated me in doing so, I should indeed have apprehended the disapprobation of my Government, (to which alone I look in the discharge of my duties,) because that Government is administered by men prominent for temperate and reasonable counsels, and who could not be induced, by any considerations, to violate the rights guarantied to every citizen, however humble, by its constitution, and by the immutable principles of justice.

Your excellency calls on me to avow or disavow the letter to the Indian agent, of which you appear to complain. With the exception of a few typographical errors, I avow it as my letter; I send you a corrected copy. It is such a letter as my sense of justice imperiously called on me to address him in performing a harsh act towards him; was approved of by my best judgment, such as it is; is approbated by a man who, for wisdom, stands inferior to few, and in honor to none; and such a one as, I confidently trust, will receive the approbation of my Govern­ment. It is such a letter as, from my letters of the 31st May, 8th, 18th, and 23d of June, to yourself, and our frequent verbal communications, as well as those verbal and written to your aid-de-camp and friend, Colonel Lumpkin, you ought, in my opinion, to have anticipated; and such a one as I was convinced, "for the honor of human nature," (to use your own eloquent expression,) you expected.

Your excellency informs me that "if the letter be authentic," I am to consider all intercourse between your Government and myself as "suspended." Be it so. I know of no intercourse between your Government and myself, which is at all necessary, which is not on your part perfectly voluntary and agreeable. Being an officer of the General Government, I can go on to discharge my duties fearlessly, according to the dictates of my conscience, and to the best of my judgment; and, if I am to be added to the list of the proscribed, for interposing the shield of my Government to prevent the destruction of a man doomed to be condemned without a hearing or trial, I wish that suspension not only continued, but made absolute and permanent.

As your excellency has thought it your duty to address me your letter of the 28th June, I have felt it my right to reply to it, and to inform you that I can now see, so far as the examinations have progressed, (and they have been both numerous and important,) no cause for the accusations against the agent, unless in his inflexible integrity and firmness in stemming a torrent of corruption, disgraceful, in my opinion, to the national character. A sense of duty compels me to say that, in using this expression, I have no allusion to 'your excellency; for I sincerely believe that the same persons who have caused the outcry against the Indian agent have abused that confidence which your excellency was compelled to repose, in consequence of your official station.

With high respect and consideration, I remain your excellency's most obedient servant,
T. P. Andrews, Special Agent.

To His Excellency George M. Troup,
Governor of Georgia, Milledgeville.


Governor Troup to the Secretary of War.

Executive Department, Milledgeville, June 15, 1825.

Sir:

I transmit, for the further information of the President, the gazettes of yesterday, and the affidavits of a respectable man who has an intimate knowledge of the Creeks and their affairs.

Very respectfully,
G. M. Troup.

Hon. James Barbour, Secretary of War, Washington City.


Governor Troup to the Secretary of War.

Executive Department, Milledgeville, June 15, 1825.

Sir:

Suffer me to call your attention to the manifest contradiction between the agent's official expose' to you, and the defence set up by himself through the hostile chiefs, whom he assembled for the purpose, as published in the Recorder forwarded today.

Very respectfully,
G. M.Troup.

Hon. James Barbour, Secretary of War, Washington City.


Governor Troup to the Secretary of War.

Executive Department, Milledgeville, June 28, 1825.

Sir:

A paper of this morning, published at this place, containing a letter purporting to be addressed by your special agent to the agent for Indian affairs, in extenuation of his conduct in suspending him from his functions under your instructions, is forwarded for the information of the President.

If, in writing such a letter, the special agent has so acted as to find himself within the letter or spirit of those instructions, it is obvious that the question which he was charged to investigate had been prejudged at Washington before his departure from that city; and that, consequently, the Government of Georgia can no longer, consistently with its dignity, hold intercourse with that officer, of which, as you will see by the enclosed letter, he has had due notice.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. M. Troup.

Hon. James Barbour, Secretary of War, Washington City.


Governor Troup to the President of the United States.

Executive Department, Milledgeville, June 13, 1825.

Sir:

la compliance with the request of the Legislature of this State, I forward a report and sundry resolutions adopted by them, with the evidence which supports them, and having relation to the conduct of the agent for Indian affairs, as connected with the late disturbances in the Creek nation.

I have the honor to be, with great respect and consideration,
G. M, Troup.

The President of the United States, Washington City.


C. Vandeventer to Governor Troup.

Department of War, June 25, 1825.

Sir:

The President of the United States directs me to inform you that he has received your letter of the 13th instant, enclosing a report of a committee and sundry resolutions of the Legislature of Georgia, relating to the conduct of the United States agent to the Creek nation of Indians in the late disturbances of that nation, and will give to them all the consideration which, coming from so high a source, they may merit.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
C. Vandeventer.

His Excellency George M. Troup, Governor of Georgia.


C. Vandeventer to Governor Troup.

Department of War, June 25, 1825.

Sir:

Your letter of the 3d instant to the Secretary of War has been received, and submitted to the President of the United States, who directs me, in the absence of the Secretary of War, to say, in reply, that if the Government of Georgia should undertake the project of surveying the lands ceded to the United States by the Creek nation of Indians, at the treaty of Indian Springs, before the expiration of the time specified by the eighth article of the treaty for the removal of the Indians, it will be wholly upon its responsibility; and that the Government of the United States will not in any manner be responsible for any consequences which may result from that measure.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
C. Vandeventer, Chief Clerk.

His Excellency G. M. Troup, Governor of Georgia.


Governor Troup to C. Vandeventer.

Executive Department, Milledgeville, June 25, 1825.

Sir:

I received this morning the note which, in the absence of the Secretary of War, the President of the United States directed you to address to me, and in which I am informed that the project of surveying " the lands ceded to the United States by the Creek nation of Indians, at the treaty of the Indian Springs, before the expiration of the time specified by the eighth article of the treaty for the removal of the Indians, will be wholly upon its (the Government of Georgia's) responsibility, and that the Government (viz: the Government of the United States) will not in any manner be responsible for any consequences which may result from that measure." A very friendly admonition, truly. So that whilst you referred your resistance of the survey to the evils already produced by the mere effort on the part of this Government to obtain permission to make the survey, and when the fact of that cause producing those effects is disproven, and it is made known to you that nebody here, either whites or Indians, ever conceived such a thing as possible before you had assumed it upon the representation of the agent as undoubtedly true; and that your own agent, to suit his own purposes, had fabricated it, to deceive and mislead you; nevertheless you continue to issue order after order forbidding the survey, as if you had predetermined from the beginning that, under no circumstances, should we proceed to the survey without your express permission first had and obtained. Nay, more: you repeat this order to General Gaines, who is charged to promulgate it to the hostile Indians; so that, whether there be any thing obnoxious in the survey or not, they may seize it as a pretence, under the authority and with the support of the United States, to scalp and tomahawk our people as soon as we shall attempt that survey; and that, in fact, you adopt for the Indians gratuitously an imaginary wrong done to them; persuade them, even against their will, that it is a real one; and then leave them to indulge in unbridled fury the most tempestuous passions: and this, I presume, is the meaning, in part, of the responsibilities which we are to incur if we disregard the mandate of the Government of the United States.

You will, therefore, in the absence of the Secretary of War, make known to the President that the Legislature, having, in concurrence with the expressed opinion of the Executive, come to the almost unanimous conclusion that, by the treaty, the jurisdiction, together with the soil, passed to Georgia, and, in consequence thereof, authorized the Governor to cause the line to be run and the survey to be made, it becomes me, in candor, to state to the President that the survey will be made, and in due time, and of which Major General Gaines has already had sufficient notice.

Whilst, in the execution of the decrees of our own constituted authorities, the Government of the United States will find nothing but frankness and magnanimity on our part, we may reasonably claim the observance, in like degree, of these noble qualities on theirs. When, therefore, certain responsibilities are spoken of in the communication of the President, we can rightfully inquire what responsibilities? Georgia, in the maintenance of her undoubted rights, fears no responsibilities; yet it is well for Georgia to know them, so far as they are menaced by the United States. If it is intended that the Government of the United States will interpose its power to prevent the survey, the Government of Georgia cannot have too early or too distinct notice; for how highly dishonorable would it be for the stronger party to avail itself of that power to surprise the weaker. If the Government only means that, omitting its constitutional duty, it will not pacify the Indians and make safe the frontier, while the officers of Georgia are in peaceful fulfillment of their instructions connected with the survey, it is important to the Government of Georgia to know it; that, depending on itself for safety, it shall not depend in vain. But if the Government of the United States mean (what is not even yet to be believed) that, assuming, like their agent upon another not dissimilar occasion, an attitude of neutrality feigned and insincere, it will, like that agent, harrow up the Indians to the commission of hostile and bloody deeds, then indeed the Government of Georgia should also know it, that it may guard and fence itself against the perfidy and treachery of false friends. In either event, however, the President of the United Stales may rest contented that the Government of Georgia cares for no responsibilities, in the exercise of its right and the execution of its trust, but those which belong to conscience and to God, who, thanks to Him, is equally our God as the God of the United States.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. M. Troup.

To C. Vandeventer, Chief Clerk, War Department, Washington City.


The Secretary of War to Governor Troup.

Department of War, July 21,1825.

Sir:

Your letter of the 25th of June, addressed to Major Vandeventer, has been received; the answer to which has been intentionally delayed till the result of General Gaines's interview with the Indians at Broken Arrow should be received, as the President had anxiously hoped, in the acquiescence of the Indians to the treaty, to have found the necessity of replying to your inquiries entirely obviated. But as the communications from General Gaines recently received here have entirely destroyed that hope, a reply has become necessary.

The Indians, to the number of eighteen hundred and ninety, including a large majority of their chiefs and headmen of the tribe, have denounced the treaty as tainted alike with intrigue and treachery, and as the act of a very small portion of the tribe against the express determination of a very large majority; a determination known to the commissioners. They urge that to enforce a compliance with an instrument thus obtained would ill become either the justice or the magnanimity of the United States, under which they claim to take shelter. These are allegations presenting a question beyond the cognizance of the Executive, and necessarily refers itself to Congress, whose attention will be called to it at an early day after the next annual meeting. Meanwhile the President, acting on the treaty as though its validity had not been impeached, finds, by reference to the eighth article of the treaty, the faith of the United States solemnly pledged to protect the Creek Indians from any encroachment, till their removal in September, 1826; he therefore decided that the entering upon and surveying the lands before that period would be an infraction of the treaty, whose interpretation and execution, should it remain uncancelled, are alike confided to him., I am, therefore, directed by the President to state distinctly to your excellency, that, for the present, he will not permit such entry or survey to be made.

The pain the President has felt in coming to this decision is diminished by the recollection that it interferes with no duty imposed on your excellency by the laws of Georgia, as a discretion is given you, by the late law of the Legislature, in prescribing the time when the lands embraced by the treaty shall be surveyed. Undjfr all the circumstances, the President permits himself to hope that you will acquiesce in his decision.

As General Gaines has been in communication with you on this subject, and as it is the wish of the President you should be in possession of every measure he may find himself constrained to take thereon, I am directed to enclose to your excellency a copy of General Gaines's instructions of this date.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
James BARBOUR.

His Excellency George M. Troup, Governor of Georgia, Milledgeville.


The Secretary of War to General Gaines.

Department of War, July 21, 1825.

Sir:

Yours of the 5th instant has been duly received, with the accompanying documents.

I am directed by the President to express his regret at the failure of your efforts to reconcile the Creeks to an acquiescence in the treaty made at the Indian Springs, as it was his sincere desire to have seen it carried into effect. But the determined opposition of the Indians to the treaty itself, on the alleged grounds of intrigue and treachery on the part of the portion of the tribe negotiating the treaty, as well as the smallness of their numbers, from which they argue its invalidity, and their solemn appeal to the justice and magnanimity of the United States, create such an obligation, that we should at least pause before we proceed, or permit others to do so, until these allegations can be thoroughly investigated, and their effect decided by the proper authority; the more especially as the eighth article of the treaty gives till September of the next year before the treaty is to be carried into effect, and guaranties them from encroachments till that time.

It is in this posture of affairs that Governor Troup insists he will survey the land. A collision, by overt acts, between the Executive of the Union and that of a State, is so against the theory of the constitution, and so re­pugnant to the feelings of the President, that he would determine only under a solemn sense of duty to do an act by which so serious a result would be produced.

If Governor Troup should, however, persevere in his declared purpose of surveying the land, against the repeated remonstrances of this Department, it will present one of the most unfortunate events which have yet occurred in our history.

Its possible occurrence has induced the President to weigh it with the deliberate circumspection made neces­sary as well by its serious consequences as its high responsibility. His decision thereon has been made and transmitted to Governor Troup, in a letter of this dale, a copy of which I enclose for your information, and by which you will learn the line of conduct the President has prescribed to himself.

It is still devoutly to be hoped that Governor Troup will abstain from any act that may make it necessary to have recourse to the steps suggested; yet, should he persevere in sending persons to survey the lands embraced within the treaty, you are hereby authorized to employ the military, to prevent their entrance on the Indian territory; or, if they should succeed in entering the country, to cause them to be arrested, and turn them over to the judicial authority, to be dealt with as the law directs.

I have only to add, that I have transmitted to Governor Troup a copy of this communication.

I have the honor to be, &c.
James Barbour.

To Major General E. P. Gaines.

I certify the foregoing to be a correct copy from the record of this office.

C. Vandeventer, Chief Clerk.


Governor Troup to the Secretary of War.

Executive Department, Milledgeville, August 15, 1825.

Sir:

I have received your letter of the 21st ultimo, giving the desired explanation of the former one of the 15th day of June last, in which you wrote of undefined responsibilities which this Government must incur if it attempted the survey of the lands acquired from the Creeks, and which results in the employment of the bayonet on your part, and of the tomahawk and scalping-knife on the part of the Indians, if the survey be attempted. I thank you for this explanation; for, whether your intent were good or evil, it equally became you to make it. You make known, at the same time, the resolution of the President to refer the treaty to Congress, on the allegation that intrigue and treachery have been employed to procure it. This at once puts a stop to the survey, and you will inform the President that, until the will of the Legislature of Georgia is expressed, no measures will be taken to execute the survey.

The Executive of Georgia has no authority in the civil war with which the State is menaced to strike the first blow, nor has it the inclination to provoke it; this is left for those who have both the inclination and authority, and who profess to love the Union best. The Legislature will, on their first meeting, decide what, in this respect, the rights and the interests of the State demand. In the mean time, the right to make the survey is asserted, and the reference of the treaty to Congress for revision protested against without any qualification. It is true, sir, that, according to my own opinion, if there be fraud and corruption in the procurement of the treaty, it ought to be set aside by the indignant expression of the nation's will; the taint of such corruption, according to that opinion, would suffice to render void an instrument of any kind purporting to pass a right of any kind. But of what avail is this opinion against your own established maxims and precedents? You would decry it as the visionary speculations of a wild enthusiastic, because you would refer me to all your Indian treaties. You would present to me in full relief the decision of your Supreme Court in the case of Fletcher and Peck, where, a feigned issue being made to settle the principle, the principle was settled, that the Legislature of Georgia having, by bribery and corruption, sold the inheritance of the people for a mess of pottage, the grant passed a vested right which could by no possibility be divested; and, therefore, that the Congress had no alternative but to surrender the territory of Alabama and Mississippi, or compromise the claims. They chose the latter, and gave five millions of dollars to the claimants, of which we paid our full proportion.

Whilst, therefore, I present my own opinion on the one hand, you have, on the other, my public and official protestation, in strict accordance and unison with your and all your constituted authorities' decisions, and which place the treaty upon such high ground, that, no matter by what execrable baseness it may have been elevated there, even the Congress of the United States cannot reach it.

It may be otherwise, hut I do sincerely believe that no Indian treaty has ever been negotiated and concluded in better faith than the one which is the subject of this letter. If it he otherwise, having been concluded by your own officers, against your instructions, without any participation of the authorities of Georgia, I sincerely hope that those officers may, so far as you have power, be brought to trial and punishment; but yet, according to your own doctrines, this does not impair the validity of the treaty. The Legislature of Georgia will, therefore, on its first meeting [be advised] to resist any effort which may be made to wrest from the State the territory acquired by that treaty, and no matter by what authority that effort be made.

The hostile Indians having resolved that they will never surrender it but with their lives; and you having passively acquiesced in this resolution, because of the appeal made to your magnanimity and generosity; and it being obvious that our right, if not asserted now, is lost to us forever; if the Legislature shall fail to vindicate that right, the responsibility will be theirs — not mine.

With great respect,
G. M. Troup.

Hon. James Barbour, Secretary of War, Washington City.


Governor Troup to the Secretary of War.

Executive Department, Milledgeville, June 22, 1825.

Sir:

The enclosed memorandum of testimony which Colonel White of Florida, Delegate from that Territory, may be able to furnish, is forwarded, that you may avail yourself of it by his presence there.

The well known character of Colonel White, if he can give you this testimony, will render any further trouble on this part of the subject unnecessary. If he should have left Washington, be pleased to request him to forward to you his affidavit, and permit me to ask the favor of you to transmit a copy of it to this Department.

With great consideration and respect,
G. M. Troup.

Hon. James Barbour, Secretary of War, Washington City.


Governor Troup to the President of the United States.

Executive Department, Milledgeville, July 26, 1825.

Sir:

In communicating the report of the commissioners of the State appointed under certain resolutions of the Legislature to take testimony in the case of the agent for Indian affairs, and to investigate the causes of the late disturbances in the Creek nation, it might be more satisfactory to you to receive it without comment. The report may, indeed, be said to carry with it its own commentary; nevertheless, a few remarks elucidatory of certain parts of it, not easily understood by persons removed from the scene of action, may not be deemed objectionable.

I think, from the context of the report, but one impression will be made upon every fair and unbiased mind —  that, whatever may have been the motives which governed the conduct of the agents on the part of the United States in making the late investigations in the nation, the results of those investigations have been such as to warrant a belief that, if the motives had been the suppression, and not the development of truth, no other results could have followed. The refusal of the missionaries (after much paltering and prevarication) to verify their statements by oath or affirmation is the more remarkable, for it is believed that these same missionaries, some eighteen or twenty months ago, were quite willing to subscribe a paper containing a long string of charges against the agent, which ought to have been sufficient to remove him from office, and which they would have substantiated by their oaths. Now that they are in danger of being ousted of their livings, if the treaty is carried into effect, they make common cause with the agent to rupture the treaty, and will swear or affirm to nothing against him. The terror of Lewis, induced by the menaces of the friends of the agent, and which determined him to withhold his testimony, and his eventual flight to avoid giving it after measures had been taken to coerce him, will be sufficient, perhaps, to satisfy you how very inauspicious to the views of the commissioners was the state of things prevailing in the nation; the same hope of breaking the treaty, and of maintaining their footing there, united one and all of them — the red man and the white man, the Christian and the heathen — in a common bond of interest and a common course of action.

The examination of Hambly, the interpreter and confidential friend of the agent, formerly reported to you by your own commissioners as a base and unworthy fellow, was distinguished for its irregularity. The object of that examination was to lay a broad foundation for the rupture of the treaty, by showing it to be the offspring of bribery and corruption, and the most enormously wicked contrivances, and to traduce the characters and discredit the testi­mony of some of the most respectable men among us. How bad must that cause be which would employ such an instrument to accomplish such a purpose!

When Yoholo, a principal chief in the council, made a talk detailing circumstances connected with the late negotiations at the Indian Springs, Colonel Williamson, one of the commissioners, who was present, and who had also been a close observer of occurrences at the Springs, said to General Gaines that he knew, of his own knowledge, the statements of Yoholo to be false; the general answered, that he would not believe the congregated world if it were to say so. Now you will have an opportunity of seeing that the statements of the Indian chief are in direct contradiction to the statements of the commissioners of the United States and their secretary, of Colonel Williamson himself, of all the friendly chiefs, and of every respectable white man who was present at the Indian Springs.

The refusal of General Gaines to permit a separate examination of the chiefs in his presence, as the only mode of extracting the truth, and after having more than once promised it, is as unaccountable as it was unexpected.

It is understood that the Indians could produce no law authorizing the execution of McIntosh; yet General Gaines must have taken for granted the existence of such a law, for he passes by the murder as justifiable homicide. The whole body of evidence, as you will see, completely disproves the existence of the law.

The refusal of General Gaines to admit the commissioners of Georgia, as such, to a participation of the Indian councils, in all matters touching the interests of Georgia, was a wrong done to the State, and an indignity offered to its constituted authorities.

The interdict put upon our commissioners by General Gaines, to announce to the Indians, according to their instructions, the resolution of this Government to make the survey, and to represent to them the harmlessness and irmocency of the act, whilst the general announced the resolution of his own Government to prevent it, was a further wrong done to the State, and a disrespect manifested of the authority which gave that instruction.

A gentleman of clear intellect, pure morals, honorable character, and great prudence, is selected by the Governor to hold a talk with the Indians; he performs that duty; makes his report, and that report is at once discredited on the naked word of the Indians. General McIntosh writes three several letters to the Governor, subscribed by his own proper hand, giving his assent to the survey of the country; the friendly chiefs, Marshall included, repeatedly assure the Governor that they, one and all, consent to the survey; a certificate is obtained from this same Marshall and a white man to prove that General McIntosh refused his assent; General Gaines immediately comes to the conclusion that this assent was never given.

The admission of free communication with the Indians to every other description of persons, and the denial of it to the Georgia commissioners, was a further wrong done to Georgia.

Indeed, sir, it would appear, from the reports of the commissioners, that all or any description of testimony would be willingly received on the one side, and particularly that description of it which would exculpate the agent, excuse the hostile Indians, prevent the survey of the lands, or effect the abrogation of the treaty; and that, on the other side, every thing was to be discredited; or received, at best, with many grains of allowance; and every act or proceeding of the commissioners of the United States, or of the constituted authorities of the State, resolved into corruption and depravity.

When General Gaines states, in one of his letters to the Governor, that the hostile party outnumber the friendly in the proportion of something like fifty to one, it is not easy to understand him. If it be true, as the general seems to believe, that he has pacified and reconciled the two parties, there is no longer any McIntosh party; but if the general means there was any such disproportion between the strength of the two parties whilst McIntosh lived, he is widely mistaken. If McIntosh had survived to this moment, the probability is his party would have been the strongest.

Suffer me to add a few particulars, which make the condition of the friendly party most pitiable. Independently of no atonement being offered for the blood of McIntosh, the money, according to the construction of the treaty, is taken from the pockets of the wives, children, brothers, and friends of McIntosh, and paid over to the hostile chiefs who murdered him, contrary to every principle of justice and stipulation of treaty, as if you intended it as the reward of gallant and meritorious acts commanded by yourselves; and this the friendly chiefs cannot but feel most deeply. Nobody acquainted with the Indian character can ever believe that General Gaines will ever make either a safe or permanent pacification, until the offering of blood for blood has fulfilled the law and the usage of the country. An ephemeral peace may be patched up by force or menace; but ephemeral it will be, making, in the end, the catastrophe the more bloody.

I had written you of a certain personage of South Carolina having intermeddled in this matter, according to information communicated to me and submitted to you. There is a strong chain of corroborative circumstances, as you will see, to establish the facts there alleged, and running through the entire mass of evidence. The object undoubtedly was the annulment of the treaty.

Whatever knavery or folly may suggest, with a view to disannul the treaty, will of course be unheeded at Washington. But indeed, sir, I very much doubt, unless you have looked with a scrutinizing eye to the history of this matter, whether some of the self-interested oppugners of the treaty may not lead you into error. The idea that the entire Creek nation is alone competent to make a treaty, is the most fallacious that could be entertained; it is so far from true in the general, that, unless by merest accident, it never happens to be true in any particular.

You have only to turn to the notes of Colonel Hawkins, whose authority you cannot dispute, to be satisfied that, according to the laws and usages of the nation, the most important public affairs, involving vital interests, are determined, not by a majority, but by a minority, and frequently a very small minority, of the nation. In the whole course of his long residence among them, he never knew the most popular war concurred in by a majority; and all authorities and all custom will prove to you that, with regard to the most important of their national acts, having relation either to peace or war, Coweta must take the lead. If a treaty be signed by the chiefs of Coweta, it is considered good; if not signed by them, good for nothing. Georgia was settled in 1732: in 1783 or 1734, the first treaty with the Creeks was held; then, I think, in 1736, and again in 1739. The Cowetas are always foremost; their councils are invariably holden on the Coweta ground, and General Oglethorpe paid them his first visit there. Hence it is stated in the evidence that McIntosh had the power to sell the whole country, and hence the great efforts made to prevail on the old Coweta chief (Etome Tustunnuggee) not to sell the country — efforts which succeeded at Broken Arrow; but this old and ill-fated chieftain came to me afterwards, as you read in the documents, to say he had been deceived by bad white men, and was opposed to the sale at Broken Arrow, but then his eyes were opened, and he would follow the advice of his father the President, and sell the lands.

Having made this recapitulation and commentary, permit me to subjoin, that, for the gratification of a few mer­cenary and sordid characters in the Indian country, you threaten the most flagrant injustice to Georgia.

In the country to be surveyed within the limits of Georgia, none, or very few, of the hostile party reside; and every one of the opposite party seeks the survey as a measure of convenience and interest. The survey will, in the first instance, extend no farther west than the Chattahoochie, the act of the Legislature leaving it discretionary with the Governor to run to that river before the boundary line between Georgia and Alabama shall have been ascertained.

Having corresponded with the Governor of Alabama upon this subject, and received his assurance that the Legislature of that State will immediately, on its first meeting in November, cordially cooperate with Georgia in running the line, and there being difficulty in ascertaining the precise point at which that line will commence, the running is postponed to meet the wishes and expectations of the State of Alabama.

The evidence which remains to be taken by the commissioners will be forwarded as soon as received.

Very respectfully,
G. M. Troup.

The President of the United States, Washington City.


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