CHEROKEE PHOENIX, AND INDIANS' ADVOCATE
Saturday, July 31, 1830
Volume 3 No. 15
Page 1 Col. 5a
Page 2 Col. 1a-2a
From the Arkansas Gazette
THE CREEK INDIANS.
The son of Gen. McIntosh, with the McIntosh party, held a treaty with the Government, and were induced, by promises, to remove to Arkansas. They were promised "a home forever," if they would select one, and that bounds should be marked off to them. This has not been done. They were assured, that they should draw a proportionable part of the annuity due to the Creek Nation every year. They have planted corn three seasons-yet they have never drawn one cent of any annuity coming to them! Why is this? They were promised blankets, guns, ammunition, traps, kettles, and a wheelright (sic)--They have drawn some few of each class of articles, and only a few--they have no wheelright (sic). They were poor-but above this, they were promised pay for the improvements abandoned by them in the old nation. This they have not received. They were farther assured that they should receive, upon their arrival on Arkansas thirty dollars per head, for each emigrant.--This they have not received. But the Acting Sub-Agent, in the Spring of 1829 finding their wants very pressing, (indeed many of them were in a famishing condition,) gave to each one his due bill, in the name of the Agent, for the amount of bounty due them, and took their receipts for the amount, as vouchers for the Agent to settle his accounts by with the Government. The consequence was, that the Indians, not regarding paper as of any real value, would go to the traders, and sell the due bills at what they could get for them. And the traders, having no confidence in the promises of the Government through its Agents united with the hazard of delay at all events would not give the real value of the amount promised by the due bills. If the Indians attempted to trade them to the whites for cattle; or any thing which they stood in need of, the consequence was, that they were compelled to make a discount upon them. Not finding them worth as many dollars as they purported to be for, they were willing to let them go upon any terms, rather than keep them in their possession. The due bills amounted in all, to about twenty-one thousand dollars, which due bills are now in the hands of the original holders, or the purchasers, but not lifted by the Agent, according to his promise. (Is not the Government bound by the acts of its Agent or Attorney?) It is but fair to estimate the loss of the Indians at one-third of the sum above stated, and this loss owing entirely to the Government, by its Agents, withholding the fulfilment (sic) of its contract with the McIntosh party.
Last summer, a party of emigrating Creeks came over to unite with the McIntosh party on Arkansas. The government of the United States had promised to furnish them transportation and food on their way. On the route generally, it is not material how they were supplied or treated; but those to whom the care of them was confided, left a party, consisting of several families, on Illinois River, in the Cherokee Nation, as they were passing through it, destitute of provisions--sick, and in a miserable condition. They were dependent for subsistence on the few fish which they could catch in the river, and a field of corn belonging to Major Flowers, of the Cherokees, and such assistance as he, through humanity was induced to offer to them. They remained there some weeks-their sick in some instances not able to turn upon their blankets without assistance exposed to the weather, in a most unhealthy season. At the same time there were public wagons and teams not employed, within thirty miles distance, by which provisions could have been sent-relieved their sufferings and transported them to their friends. This party has been sent under the care of Mr. Thomas Crowell (a broker and merchant to the Creek Agent of the old nation) and Mr. Blake, at the rate of five dollars each per diem; nor are these the only persons engaged in the business of emigration. A gentleman in the old nation-a merchant-holding a large mail carrying contract has been, and now is, receiving five dollars per diem from the Government, for attending to his own business- for common sense and every day's experience will convince us, that, to attend to mercantile business and the management of a mail contract, by one individual, is as much as he can well get along with. But no matter-the Government has the money to pay, and a fat goose stands picking the best! It may have been an object with merchants in the old nation, to look out for mercantile prospects on Arkansas, and for one of the family to visit the country, when Government was to pay the expense. Mr. Blake was sent to the Agency on Arkansas, by the appointment of Col. Crowell; he had been employed by the family, in the old nation; a Maj. Love also belonged to the retinue; and remained in this country. Mr. Jos. Brearley was left here by his father, the Agent, in charge of his affairs, and being apprised of a party of emigrants about to arrive, was making preparations to obtain the provisions necessary to subsist them for one year; and for that purpose, had advertised to receive bids to supply six thousand bushels of corn.-The day came for closing the contract when Col. Arbuckle, commanding Cantonment Gibson, handed in a bid, in the name of the Creek Nation, to furnish the amount of corn required, at one dollar and twelve cents per bushel; the next lowest bid to his, was one dollar and fifty cents; so that Col. Arbuckle saved the Government $2,280. At the same time that he did not benefit himself one cent, he placed it in the power of the Creek Indians, to fill the contract, and obtain a liberal price for their corn. The surplus of their corn crops was all sufficient, and if any individual had but five bushels to deposit in the state house, he was entitled to his certificate for that amount of corn, amounting in value to five dollars and sixty cents. Col Arbuckle had encouraged the Creeks in industry, and noted their progress and success in agriculture. He knew, and daily saw and heard, their wants. Their necessities were pitiable--they had no credit, nor had they any money, for they had received none since they reached Arkansas, and the Agent had regarded them, as so many beasts of the field, only as they might furnish them means of speculation on a pretext of fraud upon the Government. This is susceptible of proof!!! The man of common calculation would suppose that, as the Indians had furnished the corn agreeable to contract the money appropriated by Congress to meet such contingencies would be paid to the Indians if other moneys due to them were withheld. This supposition is far from being correct. Mr. Blake, the Sub-Agent went by Col. Crowell, had superseded Mr. Brearley, and was engaged in giving his receipts for the corn delivered under the contract. A speculation was presented, and, as the poor Indians were to be the victims of rapacity, why, it was all very well. The aforesaid Maj. Love "to secure the speculation, repaired to St. Louis, with letters of credit from Mr. Blake", the Sub-Agent of Col. Crowell, and purchased several thousand dollars worth of merchandize, and, so soon as he could reach the Creek Agency, commenced purchasing the corn receipts issued by the Sub-agent. It is reasonable to suppose, that the good were sold, on an average, at two hundred per centum (sic) above cost and carriage; and by this means the Indians would get about one-third of the value of their corn, at the contract price! They offered to let the receipts go at twenty-five per cent, discount, if they could only obtain cash for them.
Now I do not charge the Sub-Agent with being in copartnership with Maj. Love, in the purchase of the goods, and the speculation consequent thereupon; but it seems strange that he would give letters of credit to a man (who came with him to this country, without capital,) to purchase goods, and retail them out, with his permission, to the Indians, without taking some pains to guard against the risk of loss, or, as an indemnity against suspecion (sic).
The United States owe the Creeks money.- They have paid them none in three years.-- The money has been appropriated by Congress. It is withheld by the Agents. The Indians are destitute of almost every comfort for the want of what is due to them. If it is longer withheld from them, it can only be so, upon the grounds, that the poor Indian, who is unable to compel the United States to a compliance with solemn treaties, must linger out a miserable degraded existence, while those who have power to extend to him the measure of justice, will be left in the full possession of all the complacency arising from the solemn assurance that they are either the stupid or guilty authors of his degradation and misery.
P. S. The Creeks have sent frequent memorials, praying relief from the War Department; also a delegation, but can obtain no relief!!