Wednesday June 11, 1828
Volume I, No. 16
Page 2, col. 1-2
We publish the following letter to show under what terms the Chickasaws have agreed to remove to the west of the Mississippi.
COUNCIL ROOM, Oct. 9 1827.
Brother: we have opened our ears wide to your talk; we have not lost a word of it. We came together to meet you as an old friend, and to shake hands with you. We were happy, and our hearts grew big, when we heard you had come to our country. We have always thought of you as our friend; we have confidence in our; we have listened more close, because we think so much of you. We know well you would not deceive us, and we believe you know what is best for us and for our children.
Brother: Do not you forsake us- Our friends, as you told us, are few; we have none to spare; we know that. Brother, you think it will be better for us to take your advice. It has truly make deep impressions on our hearts. Without making a long talk, as you are to leave us in the morning, we will state our terms for an exchange of country. We have no objection to our country; if we could be let alone, we might do well; but we are great sufferers; everything seems against us, and we will agree to almost anything that can make our condition better. We believe if the Government of the United States is honest towards us, and wish us to be a people, and not outcasts always; that we may yet do better. We will now tell you what we will do.
Brother: You would not wish us to move away, and into a country where we could not live, and as well as we live here. Then, as you have pointed us out a country on the north of the State of Missouri, and between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, and speak well of it, we agree, first and foremost, to go and look at it, and any other country that we may choose. When twelve of our people, three from each district, have examined it, assisted by a scientific doctor, to see to our health, and by three good white men, to be selected by ourselves, and three of your men of science from Washington, or elsewhere; we say, when we have examined it, if we like it, if its soil is good and well wooded, if water is plenty and good, we will agree to exchange, acre for acre: provided you, on your part, will mark out the country, and divide it into counties, and leave a place in the centre [sic] for a seat of Government; and then drive everybody off of it, and guaranty [sic] it to us forever, and as soon as may be, divide it for us into farms, and give us a parchment for them to be recorded, with a right to sell to our brothers, with the consent of our Father the President of the United States, and provided, also that, in addition, you examine our houses, and mills, and fences, and our workshops here, also our orchards, and build and put up and plant as good there, at such places within the territory as we may choose; also, provided, you count our stocks here, and put an equal number, and of each kind, within their respective owner's limits there; also provided, you establish schools in all the counties, sufficient for the education of our children, and to teach our girls how to spin and manage household affairs; and provided, also you send a sufficient force there to ensure our protection, and organize our people into companies like your militia, to be commissioned by our Father, the President of the United States; and provided, that you establish a government over us in all respects like one of your Territories, Michigan, for example, and give the right of suffrage to our people, as they shall be prepared, by education to vote and act; and allow us, after the Territory is organized a Delegate, like your Territories enjoy, in Congress; and provided, there be allowed so some of our people, reservations, not exceeding twenty, to be surveyed and given to them on parchment, to sell if they please, like the white man.
Brother: Grant us these terms, better our condition as a people, give us the privileges of men, and if the country you point us to, or any other we may find, turns out to be acceptable to us, we will treat for exchange upon the above basis. We ask, also for a millright [sic], and three blacksmiths; they will be needed by us.
Brother: We are willing to go, next May, in steam boats, from Memphis to St. Louis, and thence over the line, and examine the country thoroughly, and on the following Spring, then we shall know all the seasons, and how the climate is. Should you think proper to take us at our offer, provide the means, and let us know in time, by the first of April next. The cost is to be yours, and everything, and each of our people who may go, must have a fine rifle, and horn, and powder, and lead, and plenty of things for an outfit, in provisioons [sic] and tobacco, and blankets, and the like.
Brother: Should our offer not be accepted, then we are done. We hope to be let alone where we are, and that your people will be made to treat us like men and Christians, and not like dogs. We tell you now, we want to make our children men and women, and to raise them high as yours in privileges. We will have inducements then to do so -now, we have not. Brother, understand nothing is done, unless the country we go to look at suits, and not then, unless all we require is agreed to on your part.
Brother: we shake hands with you, and our hearts go with you.
Tisho Mingo, his x mark
Wm. M'Gilvery, his x mark
Levi Colbert his x mark
Committee of the Nation
Stimoluet, his x mark
Pus-ta-la-tubbee his x mark
Ma-taash-to his x mark
Witness, PITMAN, COLBERT, Sec'y.
to Col. Tho. L. M'Kenney.
The following is a letter from the Choctaw Chiefs, to Col. Thos. L. M'Kenney.
October 17, 1827
BELOVED BROTHER: We rejoice to have taken you by the hand, and that the
Great Spirit above has given you health and strength to perform a long and tedious
road. Our hearts are proud: we have attentively listened to your talk,
and, after much thinking and consultation, we are sorry we cannot agree to your
proposition of yesterday. It was the talk of a friend. We are thankful
for your advice, but more than sorry that we have been unanimous in declining
to accept it.-- It always gives us pain to disagree to a friend's talk.
We are poor and blind people, and need much advice and indulgence. You
gave us much good advice. If you had the power to do everything, and it had
not to go into other hands, it might be different.- We have confidence in you.
We hope to part friends, as we met friends; and, although we do not agree to
your proposition for an exchange of country, we would have no objection, if
our Great Father would permit, although not with any view to exchange our country,
to let six of our people go with our older brothers, the Chickasaws, and return
home by the way of the Arkansas. We make this proposal because you suggested
it in council.
We now wish you a plain straight path home, and that health and happiness may attend you.
Your friends and brothers,
Tapena Homme, his x mark
Greenwood Leflore, &c &c