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Sequoyah Research Center

Creek Removal Chronicle, 1830-1838

Creek Removal Chronicle, 1830-1838 



1830

Chickasaw Delegation.-A Delegation, consisting of several Chiefs and Warriors of the Chickasaw nation of Indians, passed up through the Big Prairie, on Monday last, under the direction of Col. Reynolds, U.S. Agent for that nation. We saw and conversed, yesterday, with Mr. Ireland, one of the gentlemen attached to the party, and learn from him, that the object of the Delegation is to explore and select a country west of Arkansas, for the future residence of their nation, which is to be guaranteed to them by the Government, in exchange for the country which they have recently ceded to the United States east of the Mississippi. The country which they have in view, and which they will explore first, is that lying between the Arkansas and Canadian, and west of the tract set apart for the Creeks.

We are also informed, by the same gentleman, that a delegation from the Choctaw nation will set out soon, for the purpose of exploring the country which they own west of our Territory, preparatory to making arrangements for the general removal of that nation from the country which they have recently ceded on the east side of the Mississippi. The route of that Delegation will lie through the southern part of the Territory, and we presume that most of the emigration from that nation will ascend Red river. We were in hopes that an arrangement might have been made with the Choctaws, for the accommodation of the Chickasaws within the country belonging to them, which is abundantly large for the accommodation of both nations. But we understand that a proposition to that effect was made by the Commissioners on the part of the U.S., at the Treaty ground, and rejected by the Choctaws. Such an arrangement would no doubt have tended to mutual advantage and security of both parties, as it is understood that the most friendly and amicable relations subsist between the two nations.

Arkansas Gazette, November 3, 1830

 



1832

Removal of Indians. —The Secretary of War, in a Report lately communicated by the President to Congress, states that according to the best estimate that can be made, the number of Indians who have emigrated to the territory appropriated to them, west of the state of Missouri, and the Arkansas Territory, is 19 390—of whom 6,000 are Chocktaws, 3,500 Cherokees, 2,500 Creeks, 3,000 Delaware, 1,500 Shawnees, 800 Kickapoos, and the rest belonging to various smaller tribes. The number of Indians south of Michigan, who have not emigrated, he estimates to be 36,460, viz: Creek 20,000, Cherokees 11,000, Florida Indians 4,000, Miamis 1,000 and Wyandots, 450. —The territory which the Government proposes to assign to these tribes, is estimated to contain 100 millions of acres, of which about 50 millions have been already allotted to 8 tribes of Indians.

Boston Daily Adv.

Arkansas Advocate, May 9, 1832

A delegation of the Seminole Indians of Florida, under the direction of Maj. Fagan, came up in the steamer Little Rock, on their way to explore the country west of Arkansas, with the view of selecting a new residence, near the Creeks, to which nation they belong, for the future homes of their tribe. They purchased horses at this place, and left, yesterday morning, for the west, and intend proceeding direct to Fort Gibson.

Arkansas Gazette, November 7, 1832

 



1834

From the Report of the Quartermaster General

Road from Memphis, on the Mississippi, to William Strong’s House, on the St. Francis river. –An examination and survey have been made of the country between the two points above named, with the view to the location of this road; but the
reports and drawings thereon, not having been received, nothing has been done by this department. As soon as the reports shall be received, the location and construction of the road will be commenced without loss of time.

Arkansas Advocate, January 24,
1834

 

Notice For Proposals to Furnish Indian Rations.

Separate proposals, in writing, and sealed, will be received by the subscriber, until 12 o’clock M. of Thursday the 30th of October 1834, for furnishing and delivering of all Rations, more or less, that shall be required at the following places, from the 10th day of November, 1834, to the 31st day of March, 1835—each number forming one contract, viz:

No. 1.  For all Rations that shall be required at Wm. Strong’s, on the Memphis Road, near the St. Francis.

No. 2.  For all Rations that shall be required at John Buriss’—at the Ferry—north Bank, and at Rock Roe, south bank, of White River

No. 3.  For all Rations that shall be required at Mrs. Black’s, Grand Prairie; at James Irwin’s; and at Newell’s, near Palarm Bayou.

No. 4.  For all Rations that shall be required at Bentley’s, near Cadron creek ferry, west bank.

No. 5.  For Rations that shall be required at R.J. Blount’s, four miles west of Point Remove Creek.

No. 6.  For all Rations that shall be required at Dardanelle ferry, both banks of the Arkansas river, at the aforesaid ferry.

No. 7.  For all Rations that shall be required at J. Cravens’, near Shoal creek, and at J. Scott’s, near Six mile creek.

No. 8.  For all Rations that shall be required at Williamson’s, Illinois Bayou, D. Brown’s, Spadre creek, and at J. Sims’s, near White Oak creek

No. 9.  For all rations that shall be required at Col. Moore’s, Big Mulberry, and at Handcock’s near Frog Bayou.

ALSO—Proposals addressed to Lieut. S.W. Moore, Disbursing Agent at the Choctaw Agency, will be received until 12 o’clock M. of Wednesday, the 5th day of November, 1834, for furnishing all Rations, more or less, that shall be required at the following places, from the 20th November, 1834, to the 31st May, 1835, viz:

No. 10.  For all Rations that shall be required at Grigg’s, 8 miles east of Old Fort Smith

No. 11.  For all Rations that shall be required at McClellan’s, near the Choctaw Agency; at Sans Boin, Coffee’s Crossings; and at the Crossings of the Canadian, north bank, near the mouth of the North Fork.

 And  ALSO.–Proposals addressed to Lieut. J. Van Horne, Disbursing Agent for the Creeks, at Fort Gibson, will be received until the 5th November, 1834, and to furnish until the 31st of May, 1835, as above named, at the following places, viz:

No. 12.  For all Rations that shall be required at Skin Bayou Cherokee Nation.

No. 13.  For all Rations that shall be required at Mackey’s, Illinois river, Cherokee nation: and

No. 14. For all Rations that shall be required at Fort Gibson.

The Ration for the Indian Emigrants, as above-named, must consist of one pound of fresh Beef, three-fourths of a quart of Corn, and at the rate of four quarts of Salt to each hundred rations. For the Teamsters which are employed, one pound of fresh Beef. For the Team Horses and Oxen, eight quarts of Corn per day, each; and for each Pack-horse, one gallon of Corn per day. The Corn and Salt must be delivered by the measure of thirty-two quarts, dry-measure, to the bushel.  The quality as well as the weight and measure of  the component parts of the ration, will be inspected by an agent, on delivery. All risk, and every expense attending the delivery and distribution of the rations, must be borne by the contractors.

Bonds, with two responsible signatures, will be required as security for the faithful fulfillment of contracts; and payments for all furnishings under said contracts, will be made at Little Rock.

The privilege of rejecting bids deemed high is reserved.

No contract or bid can be transferred, without the consent of the undersigned, or such other person or persons, as shall be authorized to open the bids and make the contracts.

Bidders will be pleased to write on the envelopes of their communications, the words “Proposals to furnish Indian Rations,” and to attend on the last days of receiving bids, for the purpose of closing the contracts.

J. BROWN Capt. U.S.A.

Prin’l Disb’g Ag’t Ind. Rem’l

Little Rock, A. T.

Oct. 16, 1834

Arkansas Advocate, October 31, 1834

 

Memphis, Nov. 13. The Creek Indians, whose expected arrival at this place on the 20th inst., will be much sooner. They are now expected here every day. We learn that they have been at Pigeon Roost a day or two; if so, they will be here in one or two days.

Arkansas Gazette, November 25, 1834

 

Memphis, Nov. 15.–Indian Movement.–We learn that the Creek Indians, about 5,000 in number, on their passage to their new home, are now at the Pigeon Roost, and may be expected here in a few days. The steamer Harry Hill, is now at our wharf ready to take on board their old men, women and children, and such as are unable to perform the journey by land.

Arkansas Gazette, November 25, 1834

 

The Emigrating Indians.–A private letter to a citizen of this town, from one of the Agents for the removal of Indians, at Memphis, dated 24th ult., has been show us, which states, in substance, that the writer had, at that time, received no information in relation to the movements of the Indians. Hence we presume the rumors which we have recently published from the Memphis papers, that the Indians were daily expected there were premature.

No information has yet been received here by Capt. Brown, as to the time when the Indians may be expected at Memphis.

We saw a gentleman, last evening, who left Talladega, in the Creek nation in the early part of last month, who informed us that he there learnt from two of the Agents, that they found the Indians much disinclined to removal, and they expressed the opinion that the number who would emigrate would be much smaller than was anticipated–probably not more than 2500 or 3000.

Arkansas Gazette, December 2, 1834

 

We are informed that a body of emigrating Creek Indians, (numbering about five thousand) were at the Pigeon Roost, (near Memphis,) on the 15th instant, on their way to the lands assigned them by the Government, west of this Territory. The steam-boat Harry Hill was in waiting at Memphis, to receive the old men, women and children, baggage,  &c.

Arkansas Advocate, December 12, 1834



1835

 Emigrating Indians. A letter to Capt. J. Brown, was received by yesterday’s mail, from Capt. John Page, Special Agent for removal of Indians, dated 29th ult. Capt. P. was then at Tuscaloosa, Alabama, with 525 Creek Indians and near 200 ponies, on his way to the Indian country west of Arkansas, and is probably at Memphis by this time. The Indians were to be embarked on a steam-boat at that place, and landed at Rock Roe, on White river, from whence they will proceed by land to their destination. Their ponies were to cross the Mississippi at Memphis.

Arkansas Gazette, January 20, 1835

 

Emigrating Creek Indians.-The s.b. Harry Hill, arrived at this place, this morning, having on board near 500 of these sons of the forest, from Alabama, who will be joined, to-day or to-morrow, by another party, with upwards of 200 ponies, who came through by land from Memphis, and arrived at Mrs. Black’s, in the Big Prairie, some days since. The former party are under the charge of Capt. Page, U.S.A. and the latter under that of Mr. Beaty. They are expected to leave this vicinity in a day or two, by land, for their destination west of Arkansas.

Arkansas Gazette, February 24, 1835

 

The Emigrating Creeks, whose arrival at this place we noticed in our last, about 500 in number, left this vicinity, on Sunday last, under the charge of Capt. Page, U.S.A., on their journey, by land, to their new country on our western frontier.

Arkansas Gazette, March 3, 1835

 

It is high time, we think, that some other arrangement be made, to insure a more regular receipt of the mail from Memphis. There is defalcation and mismanagement somewhere in the present one. If a body of Indians, (men, women and children), with some 200 ponies, can pass through the Mississippi swamp in the course of two or three days, (which has been the case within the last two or three weeks), we can see no good reason why the mail cannot be carried through with regularity. But so it is-travelers daily pass through; and yet the mails cannot, because the swamps are impassable! The fact is, there is a lack of energy and perseverance on the part of those now engaged in carrying this mail, otherwise it would be more regular. The late contractor was discharged, in consequence of failing to perform his duty-but we do not perceive that his successor has mended the matter. The mail is just as irregular now as it was before his discharge. A new change, we imagine, will have to be made, before the public will be benefited. The route, we know, is a difficult one to perform; but, with ample compensation, (and no prudent man would undertake it unless well paid for his labor and risk), every obstacle can be surmounted, if energy and good management be used.

There have been so many failures of this mail latterly, that we do not know how many are due. They, however, we believe, amount to six or eight-enough, we hope, to authorize the Postmaster at Memphis to freight a steam-boat around with them.

One arrived on Saturday last, but brought nothing later than we received by that of the Monday previous. None arrived yesterday.

Arkansas Gazette, March 3, 1835

 

Proposal for Indian Rations

Sealed Proposals will be received by the subscriber, until Tuesday, the 31st of March next, at 12 o’clock M. for furnishing and delivering all the Indian rations—more or less—that shall be required in the Creek country, West, from the 1st day of May 1835, to the 31st day of March, 1836, inclusive.

The number of places for delivering the rations will not exceed four, none of which will be more than fifty miles from Fort Gibson.

The Rations for the Indians, consists of one pound of Fresh Beef, three-fourths of a quart of Corn—and at the rate of four quarts of Salt to each one hundred rations. The Corn and Salt must be delivered by the measure of thirty-two quarts, Dry Measure, to the Bushel. The quality, as well as the weight and measure of the articles composing the Ration, will be inspected by an Agent, on delivery.

Bidders will state in their proposals, the price for which they will furnish and deliver the Ration above mentioned. All risk and every expense attending the delivery and distribution of the Rations, must be borne by the contractor.

A portion of the meat part of the Ration, may be commuted for Cows and Calves, as well as for Breeding Hogs, should such be deemed expedient by the receiving Agent. —Bidders will therefore state in their proposals, at what prices they will deliver good merchantable Cows and Calves, and Hogs, under commutations, from time to time, as shall be desired—the Agent giving to the Contractor 30 days notice of the number of each required to be furnished, prior to the period of delivery.

The privilege of rejecting bids deemed high, is reserved.

Bonds, with two responsible signatures, will be required, as security for the faithful fulfillment of the contract.

No Contract or Bid can be transferred, without the consent of the undersigned, or such other persons as shall be authorized to open and declare the bids and make the contract.

Persons making Bids not known to the subscriber, will accompany them with satisfactory recommendations, as to their capacity to fulfill the contract.  They will be pleased to write on the envelope of their communications, the words “Proposals to furnish Indian Rations,” and will attend at Little Rock, A.T. on the last day of receiving Bids, for the purpose of closing the contract.

J. BROWN, Capt, U.S.A

Principal Dis. Agent, Ind. Rem.

Little Rock, A.T., Feb 20, 1835.

P.S. –Between five and six hundred Creek emigrants are now on their way for their New Country, West; and it is more than probable that large accessions to this number will be made before the period for contracting above named, shall have expired.  J. BROWN

Arkansas Advocate, March 6, 1835

 



1836

Emigrating Creeks.-The s.b. Alpha, with two large keel-boats in tow, arrived at this place, on Friday evening last-and, after anchoring in the stream about an hour, without permitting any of the Indians to land, proceeded up the river, having on board 511 emigrating Creek Indians, on their way to their country west of Arkansas. The party is under the direction of Mr. Beattie, Agent for the Contractor, and Lieut. Deas and Dr. Randall, U. States Army.

Arkansas Gazette, January 12, 1836

 

Proposals for Indian Rations

Proposals, in writing, and sealed, will be received by the subscriber, until 12 o’clock, (M.) of Monday, the 29th day of February next, 1836—for furnishing and delivering to emigrant CREEK  INDIANS, in their new country, west, all RATIONS OF SUBSISTENCE, that shall be required for them—be the same more or less, from the 1st day of April, 1836, to the 31st day of March, 1837, inclusive.

The number of places at which rations will be required to be delivered, in the new country, will not exceed four, and none of them will be over fifty miles distant from the Creek Agency.

Proposals must state the price of the entire Ration; which consists of one pound of fresh beef, three-fourths of a quart of corn, and at the rate of four quarts of salt to each one hundred Rations. The corn and salt must be delivered at the measure of
thirty-two quarts, Dry Measure to the bushel. The quality as well as the weight and measure of the articles composing the Ration, will be inspected by an Agent on delivery. All risk, and every expense attending the delivery and distribution of the Rations, must be born by the contractor.

A portion of the meat part of the Ration may be commuted and delivered in Cows and Calves, provided the receiving agent shall, at any time, deem such changes in the issues expedient; and provided, that the terms and conditions on which the changes of deliveries are to be made are acceptable to the contractor. But, in no case, must such
changes of furnishing increase the cost of the Ration above mentioned.

The privilege of rejecting bids deemed high is reserved.

Bonds, with three responsible signatures, will be required for the faithful fulfillment of the contract. Persons making bids will write on the envelope of their communications, the words,“Proposals to furnish subsistence for the Creek Indians;”  and will attend at this place, on the last day of receiving bids, for the purchase of closing the contract.

 J. Brown, Capt.

U.S. Army, Pr. Dis. Ag’t Ind’n Rem’l

Little Rock, A.T.

Jan 1, 1836

P.S. It is not now known what number of the Creeks will emigrate this year. But, from the best information received, it is confidently expected that a large emigration will take place—not less than five thousand. The greater portion of which will, in all probability, remove early the coming spring.  Over five hundred of the above tribe are now on the way, and will reach their new country early in February next, 1836.    J.B.

Arkansas Advocate, February 5, 1836

 

EMIGRATING CREEKS

We are informed by Mr. Willard, one of the conductors of the Emigrating Creeks, who reached here a day or two since, on express to Capt. BROWN, that 2300 Creeks had been landed at Rock Roe, White River, on the 29th ult. on the way to their new country, West. They are in charge of Messrs. Howell and Beatie, conductors of the firm of J.W.A. Sanford & Co. accompanied by Lt. Barry and Dr. Aberdy, U.S. Army. The Emigrants are healthy and subordinate-and appear anxious to reach their place of destination.

The party is accompanied by Neah Micco, Principal Chief, and Neah Mathla, the principal hostile Chief, and leader in the late disturbances in Alabama.

The emigrants were embarked at Montgomery, Ala. On the 15th July, and came by the way of New-Orleans, across Lake Ponchartrain-a route which has proved more expeditious than the one by land. They were less than 15 days from Montgomery to White River.

This party is composed almost exclusively of the hostile Indians.

Arkansas Gazette, August 2, 1836

 

Emigrating Hostile Creeks.

We learn that 2300 Creeks were landed at Rock Roe on the 29th ult. on their way to their new country. They are in charge of Messrs. Howell and Beattie, contractors of the firm J.W.A. Sanford & Co. accompanied by Lt. Barry and Dr. Aberdy, U.S.A.

The party is accompanied by Neah Micco, principal Chief, and Neah Mathla, the leader in the late hostilities. They came from Montgomery, Alabama, via New Orleans, across Lake Ponchartrain—being less than 15 days from Montgomery to White river.

Arkansas Advocate, August 5, 1836

 

 More Creeks.-We learn, from Capt. BROWN, that a small party (about 200) of emigrating Creek Indians, consisting chiefly of old men, women and children, arrived at the Mouth of White river, a few days since, and will be transported to their new homes, west, in wagons.

Arkansas Gazette, August 23, 1836

 

A small party of emigrating Creeks, chiefly old men, women and children, were at the Post of Arkansas a few days since, on their way west.

Arkansas Advocate, August 26, 1836

 

Meeting of the Creek Indians. —Extract of a letter to the Editor, dated

“Fort Gibson, Sept. 16, 1836.

“I was present a few days since, when Capt. Armstrong, Superintendent of the Indian Territory, met the two parties of Creeks—the old and the late emigrants—the one headed by Roly McIntosh, and the other by Nea-math-la and Nea-mic-co—and am happy to state that I see no reason to believe that any present difficulty is likely to take place
between them. Each party seemed friendly towards the other; and the main point, as to whether the new emigrants would submit to the laws of the McIntosh party, was happily adjusted and agreed to. Of course, this unites them, and; as the other emigrating parties arrive, I have no doubt they will submit to the same laws. The great danger to be apprehended is from the reduced situation of the garrison; and although no attack is contemplated, yet a momentary excitement might be produced, and lead to serious consequences, which the presence of a sufficient body of troops could restrain—whereas the present force can do no more than retain their position within the garrison. I regret exceedingly that there is not a sufficient regular force on this
frontier to keep the Indians quiet. The people of Arkansas are entitled to protection, as the Government is bringing on such large bodies of Indians, who have imbibed the most bitter feelings, not only against our government but our citizens on account of the wrongs they have suffered east of the Mississippi.

“Don’t understand me as saying that there is no danger on this frontier. No man can tell, with such a number of Indians and such a diversity of feeling among them, what a few days might produce.”

Another letter, of 14th ult. from another gentleman, speaking of the meeting of the Creeks, says—

“The Superintendent visited each party alternately, and then called them in General Council, where he informed them, in a candid and fatherly manner, that the law had deprived the hostile Indians of any of the treaty benefits, annuity, &c.  He saluted Roly McIntosh as King, and recommended the emigrants to submit peaceably to the present government and laws of the Creeks, and promised to request the President to allow them their annuity, &c. as usual, if they did so. They were in a destitute condition, and very gladly accepted his offer. He presented them some axes, &c. for immediate use.

“Gen. Arbuckle, as well as Capt. Armstrong, is satisfied of their peaceful intention, and has ordered the volunteers to remain at Towson a month, unless sooner ordered to Gibson.”

Arkansas Advocate, October 7, 1836

 

The Florence, (Ala.) Gazette of Oct. 6, says-

“A party of emigrating Creek Indians, (2500) passed through this county, last week, on their way to the far west. They were under the command of Capt. John Martin, of Montgomery.

Another party of 4000 in number have lately passed on the other side of the river, journeying west.”

Arkansas Gazette, October 18, 1836

 

THE EMIGRATING CREEKS
    Our town and vicinity have been filled and no little annoyed for the past two weeks by the emigrating Creek Indians. 

Eight thousand of them have crossed the Mississippi on their way to their new home, and five thousand more are around us.  In about two weeks the whole tribe, about 15,000 will be west of the Mississippi.  Lieut. Sprague leaves to day with his party
accompanied by the chief Tuckabatchehadjo, in steamboats to L. Rock, the Arkansas bottoms being excessively muddy—They are generally in good health.  Most of the chiefs opposed taking water, fearing sickness, but their greater dread was being thrown overboard when dead.  These wronged and miserable savages, notwithstanding their late hostilities, excite our generous sympathies.  They have been cheated out of their lands and driven from their homes by the civilized and Christian whites.  Tuckabatchehadjo wept like a child when Lieut. Sprague told him he had come to make his last talk, and the morrow was the time appointed for his departure from the home and burial place of his ancestors.  The poor chief wished to delay and avoid this day.  But the cupidity and avarice of our countrymen are inexorable; and the Creek tribe of Indians are swept away and their beautiful and rich country is now owned by a people less generous and noble than the savages just driven away.  The officers who accompany them are humane and kind, and hesitate not in commiserating their unfortunate wrongs.

Memphis Enquirer, October 25, 1836.

 

National Road—Arkansas.

We had the pleasure a day or two since of enjoying a delightful ride of 16 miles upon the National Road in Arkansas, and were much gratified with both the country through which it passes and the road itself. It is a herculean task , and in many places shows the mastery of man over the
most hideous frowns of physical nature. The road is nearly completed for 15 miles from the Mississippi river, and when it is worn by a little travel, will be smooth as the “unruffled bosom of a lake.” Maj. Bowman is a gentleman well adapted for the energetic prosecution of this great work, and would have progressed much farther
to its completion, but for the impossibility of acquiring a sufficient number of laborers. The other contracts beyond, we understand, are also progressing; and Arkansas ere long may rejoice in having one of the best roads in the West, if not in the Union; entirely free from any impediment save the last possible resistance of earth and air.

We were agreeably surprised at the “country” of Arkansas. An unbroken plain of rich level land, stretches on either side the road, we understand for some hundred square miles, and free of inundation. The price of property bordering the road, enhanced greatly in value since its construction. We should think the flatness of the country would deny its being healthy, although we believe it to be as much so as most parts of the western Districts of our own State. —Memphis Eng.

Arkansas Advocate, November 7, 1836  

 

 

The s.b. John Nelson arrived on Thursday, with about 900 Creeks, of Tuck-e-batch-e-had-jo’s party, in charge of Lt. J.T. Sprague, U.S. Marine Corps, and Dr. G. W. Hill, surgeon to the party. The party started westward on Saturday and Sunday by land. The J.N. returned on Saturday, to bring up about 900 of same party, who were left at the Post of Arks., and about 400 more of same party were coming through the Miss. Swamp, with horses, &c.
the whole to rendezvous at Lewisburg, and proceed from thence to their new homes.

There are from 13,000 to 14,000 now in the state, leaving about 3,000 in the Creek nation, the warriors of whom have gone to Florida, to assist in subduing the Seminoles. When that is accomplished, they will emigrate-which will complete the removal of the whole Creek nation.

Capt. Bateman’s party of 2500, and Lt. Screven’s of 3000, passed the cross-roads, 25 miles north of this place, for the west, on Thursday last.

Lt. Dea’s party of 2600, and Col. Campbell’s of 2800, are behind, and will pass up in 10 or 12 days.

The health of the Indians has generally been very good-no contagious or malignant diseases among them. The rumor that the small-pox was prevailing, and that men had died of that disease, is unfounded.

Arkansas Gazette, November 8, 1836

 

Proposals for Indian Rations

Proposals, in writing and sealed, will be received by the subscriber, until 12 o’clock (M.) of Tuesday the 10th day of January next, 1837, for furnishing and delivering to emigrant CREEK INDIANS in their new country, west, all RATIONS OF SUBSISTENCE that shall be required for them, be the same more or less from the 1st day of April, 1837, to the 31st day of March, 1838, inclusive.

The number of places at which Rations will be required to be delivered in the new country, as well as the quantity, will be designated by an agent, and twenty days notice, prior to each delivery, will be given.

Proposals must state the price of the entire ration, which consists of one pound of fresh beef, three-fourths of a quart of corn, and at the rate of four quarts of salt to each one hundred rations. The corn and salt must be delivered at the rate of thirty-two quarts, dry measure, to the bushel. The quality, as well as the weight and measure of the articles composing the Ration, will be inspected by an Agent, on delivery. All risk, and every expense attending the delivery and distribution of the Rations, must be borne by the contractor.

A portion of the meat ration may be commuted and delivered in cows and calves; provided the receiving Agent shall at any time deem such changes in the issue expedient; and provided that the terms and conditions on which the changes of deliveries are to be made, are acceptable to the contractor.  But in no case must such changes of furnishing increase the cost of the ration about mentioned. The privilege of rejecting bids deemed high, is reserved.

Bonds with three responsible signatures, will be required for the faithful fulfillment of the contract.

Persons making bids will write on the envelope of their communications, the words, “Proposals to Furnish Subsistence for the Creek Indians,” and will attend at this place, on the last day of
receiving bids, for the purpose of closing the contract.

J. BROWN, Capt.

U.S.A. Pr’l Dis. Ag’l Indian Rem’l

Little Rock, Ark’s, Nov. 15, 1836

P.S.—The number of Creeks to be subsisted will be from sixteen to eighteen thousand.

Arkansas Advocate, November  18, 1836

 

Little Rock, Arkansas, Nov. 20th, 1836.

To His Excellency, JAMES S. CONWAY, Governor of Arkansas,

SIR-I have the honor to inform you that to-day a detachment consisting of about three thousand and two hundred emigrant Creek Indians, under my direction, have arrived within one mile and a half of this place; and for reasons that will be obvious to your Excellency, have to request that you will use such means as you may deem most expedient, to prohibit said Indians from being passed from the opposite to this bank of the river.

I beg leave to assure your Excellency that had I not been confined to my room from sickness, I should have done myself the honor of calling in person.

I have the honor to be, Your Excellency’s most ob’t serv’t,

B.B.SCREVEN, 1st Lieut. 4th U.S.Infantry, Mil. Agent Creek Removal.

This is the third party of Indians which have passed our town within two or three weeks, for the west. About 15,000 of the tribe are now traversing the State, from east to west-making an almost continuous line from Rock Roe, to our western boundary. Although they are by no means hostile or threatening, yet they are, unquestionably, a
great annoyance to the public-and ought always to be sent with a strong guard.

This party suffered considerable privation for the want of corn and other supplies-and what they succeeded in procuring, was at enormous prices. The Indians lost several hundred horses, of an inferior kind.

Arkansas Gazette, November 22, 1836

 

It would appear, by the annexed extract from the Texas Telegraph, that the people of that province are not particularly in favor of having more Indian neighbors:

“Those tribes are the same which have been removed to the ‘far west’ by the government of the United States. We noticed, in a conspicuous paper, and which has always advocated the cause of Texas, that in speaking of the Seminole war, and its consequent disasters, it said it clearly pointed out the necessity of removing the Indians west of the Mississippi. If the Indians east of that river are sufficiently formidable to hold the citizens in dread, in a country, too abundantly furnished with every means of defence, the citizens of Texas and the western states of Mexico surely have reason to apprehend hostilities from all the Indian tribes which have, from time to time, been sent on to their borders, unless the government of the United States take precautionary measures for keeping them in check. This they are in duty bound by the treaty to do, as well as to protect its own citizen on the frontiers, and which, we consider, the only and primary object of the military movements under the direction of General Gaines on the eastern borders of this
country.”

Arkansas Gazette, November 22, 1836

 

Emigrating Creeks–the Steam-boat Daniel Webster, arrived here on Tuesday last, with a small party of Creek Indians, mostly women and children with wagons. They have encamped a short distance from this place, awaiting the arrival of the balance of their party, with horses, to convey them to their new homes in the west.

Constitutional Journal, November 25, 1836

 

PROPOSALS FOR INDIAN RATIONS.

Proposals, in writing and sealed, will be received by the subscriber, until 12 o’clock (M.) of Tuesday, the 10th day of January next, 1837, for furnishing and delivering to emigrant Creek Indians, in their new country, west, all rations of subsistence that shall be required for them, be the same more or less, from the 1st day of April, 1837, to the 31st day of March, 1838, inclusive.

The number of places at which Rations will be required to be delivered in the new country, as well as their quality, will be designated by an agent, on twenty days’ notice, prior to each delivery, will be given.

Proposals must state the price of the entire ration; which consists of one pound of fresh beef, three-fourths of a quart of corn, and at the rate of four quarts of salt to each one hundred rations. The corn and salt must be delivered at the measure of thirty-two quarts dry measure, to the bushel. The quality, as well as the weight and measure, of the articles composing the ration, will be inspected by an Agent, on delivery. All risk, and every expense attending the delivery and distribution of the rations, must be borne by the contractor.

A portion of the meat part of the ration may be commuted and delivered in cows and calves: provided the receiving Agent shall, at any time, deem such changes in the issue, expedient; and provided that the terms and conditions on which the changes of deliveries are to be made, are acceptable to the contractor. But in no case must such changes of furnishing increase the cost of the rations above mentioned.

The privilege of rejecting bids deemed high, is reserved.

Bonds, with three responsible signatures, will be required for the faithful fulfillment of the contract.

Persons making bids, will write on the envelope of their communications, the words, “Proposals to furnish Subsistence for the Creek Indians; and will attend at this place, on the last day of receiving bids, for the purpose of closing the contract.

J. BROWN, Capt. U.S.A., Pr’l Dis. Ag’t Indian Rem’l.

Little Rock, Ark’s, Nov 13, 1836.

P.S.-The number of Creeks to be subsisted will be from sixteen to eighteen thousand.

The Arkansas Advocate and Constitutional Journal, will publish the above till the 10th January-and the Missouri Republican, till the 31st December next, and forward their accounts, with duplicate receipts, to this office, for settlement.

Arkansas Gazette, November 29, 1836

 

From the Editor

Dear P—.

On my way to Crawford I have passed large numbers of the emigrating Creeks. They are scattered along the whole road, camping here and there like gypsies. The way they and their wagons have torn up the road in caution. Point Remove which has long been a terror and a nuisance to all travellers, is twenty-five times as bad as ever it was known to be before. I passed through it in great tribulation, and with much fear and trembling. It is a disgrace to Arkansas, and if Uncle Sam won’t fix the road in that section, why, the State should do it, and the sooner the better. No man who has not travelled through it, has any idea how bad it is. It is actually dangerous. But of the Indians. —Government is sending them on, under the care of contractors, who have no command of them, and are unable to restrain them or make them go on. They are scattered all along on the road in little predatory bands, killing hogs and stealing as they go. They are a perfect nuisance. One company which number 3200 when it started, now only number 2000. The remainder had separated into straggling parties, and fallen in the rear. Harsh and unjust as our Government has been to them, it is still not fair that they should be permitted to remain in the State all the winter, committing depredations on the people and their property. I think Governor Conway should order out a company of volunteers to follow in their rear and drive them on—make them leave the State and go to their homes. Tuck-a-batch-I-had-jo has stopped just above Potts’, and declares he will go no farther. He says he is west of the Mississippi, and can be compelled to go no further—and when threatened that force would be used to make him remove, he has ridiculed the idea. I saw Milly Francis, daughter of the Prophet Francis, she who saved a white man’s life in the Seminole war, 18 years ago. The readers of the Advocate have probably all heard the story. The Prophet Francis was hung at St. Marks. Our Government should have given his daughter a pension. As it is, she is traveling to her new home on foot.

Ever yours &c. P.

Arkansas Advocate, December 16, 1836

 

Tuck-e-batch-i-had-jo, with his body of Creeks, 2 or 3000 strong, has stopped above Potts’ it is said, and will go no further, until it suits him. He says he is west of the Mississippi; and there is no power to compel him to proceed.

Arkansas Gazette, December 20, 1836

 

Fort Coffee, Nov. 30, 1836

DEAR GOVERNOR-We arrived here to-day, with Capt. Phillips; company of Mounted Gunmen, all well. The roads were very bad, and our march slow and unpleasant. To-morrow we leave for Gibson. Capt. STUART, who is in command of this post, has extended to us his usual hospitalities. This morning, an express passed this post from Gen. Arbuckle to Col. Vose, directing Col. Howell to be placed in command of the regiment of volunteers, and the whole to be marched forthwith to Gibson. I presume now the unfortunate difficulty between Howell and Fowler will soon be settled. The gentleman who bears the express, informed me that the order was to arrest Col. Fowler if he refused to recognize Howell as the Colonel Commandant of the regiment.

A large number of Creek Indians are now in the vicinity of this place, just landed from the steam-boat John Nelson, now aground.

We passed the wreck of a keel-boat, belonging to the Bigelows, which had been blown up or destroyed by some individuals, and the goods scattered on the banks of the river. They had been ordered from the boat of B. and an affray was the consequence; one of them got shot. They then attacked, broke up, and destroyed the boat.

To Gov. CONWAY.

Arkansas Gazette, December 20, 1836

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICE, LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS, December 6th, 1836

SIR-Representations have been made to the Executive of this State, by respectable citizens, that the party of Creek Indians now encamped on the opposite shore of the Arkansas river, are daily, and perhaps hourly, committing depredations on the property of the citizens, by killing their hogs and cattle, burning their fence-rails, and stealing their core, vegetables &c. And the further fact is set forth, that said party of Indians have already been there encamped for a considerable number of days. These depredations cannot be tolerated. The length of time which this party has been halted, is evidently sufficient for every necessary arrangement to have been made, for the continuation of their march towards their country.

Therefore, I have to inform you, as the principal government agent in conducting said party, that they must, without delay, take up the line of march; and that they be not allowed again to halt within the limits of this State, for an unnecessary length of time.

This communication, and the requisitions here in contained, are intended for every agent of the government, who now is, or may be hereafter, engaged in conducting a party of any tribe of Indians through the State of Arkansas.

This communication will be published in the Arkansas Gazette, with orders to officers commanding regiments, battalions, and companies, of the militia of the state, requiring them to see that the requisitions therein contained are strictly observed.

Officers commanding regiments, battalions, and companies, of the militia of the State of Arkansas are required to see that the foregoing requisitions are strictly observed.

I am, sir, very respectfully, Your obedient servant, J.S. CONWAY.

Lieut. EDWARD DEAS,

Government Agent, Removal Creek Indians

Arkansas Gazette, December 20, 1836

 

ENCAMPMENT OF INDIANS, Opposite Little Rock, Ark, 8th December, 1836

To his Excellency J.S. CONWAY, Governor of the State of Arkansas.

GOVERNOR:

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 6th inst., upon the subject of the emigrating Indians, to-day handed to me by Mr. Irving.

From all that I can learn, by inquiry and observation, I am forced to believe, that the representations which have been made to you Excellency, charging our Indians with numerous depredations, such as the killing of hogs an cattle, the burning of fence-rails, and stealing of corn and vegetables &c., are very much exaggerated, if
not, in some cases, without any just foundation or proof. Since the party under my charge has been encamped in this neighborhood, their rations have been regularly issued, and they have, besides, killed an abundance of game, and were, therefore, by no means in want of subsistence. Also, the quantity of dead timber was so great in the surrounding woods, in which the Indians were encamped, as to render the use of fence-rails for fuel an act of wanton mischief, so unnecessary, and, if detected, so dangerous to the depredators, as to be scarcely worthy of credit, without some positive testimony in such case. Moreover, the fences in the neighborhood will, at this time, be found, on examination, to be in as good order as when our party arrived at its present encampment. I mention these particulars, as I am convinced your Excellency will find that the above charges have been made by pretext for the removal of the Indians from this neighborhood, and that the real cause of discontent has not been hinted at. It is the circumstance of the rise of the price of certain provisions, in the surrounding country, caused by the presence of a large number of Indians, which gives dissatisfaction to a few individuals. This partial evil, however, is far more than compensated to the community, by the large amount of money brought into and expended in the country by the emigration of the Indians, and, also, by the large amount of traffic carried on between the citizens and the Indians themselves.

The order which your Excellency’s communication contains, requiring the Indians in this neighborhood to take up the line of march without delay, had become unnecessary, as, previous to its reception, the authority which governs the movements of the party under my charge, had determined that the Indians should proceed upon their journey westward in a day or two. As your Excellency also directs, that the Indians be not again allowed to halt within the limits of the State an unnecessary length of time, a few remarks may not be improper, to show that this has not yet taken place in the case of the party which I accompany, as agent of the government. Many of the Indians have been detained between Memphis and this place by sickness, the miserably wretched state of the roads, and other circumstances, which rendered it impossible for them to reach this point sooner. Among their number, were several of the most influential Chiefs of the nation, and their people composing this party, would not proceed farther westward in a body, unless forced to do so, unaccompanied by their leading men.

Had we not encamped here, we must have selected a more unhealthy and inconvenient situation, liable to the same objections as these above urged. Had we attempted to remove sooner, the whole emigrating route would have been covered with straggling Indians, having no regular means of sustaining transportation and subsistence, and would consequently have been much more likely to commit depredations upon the property of citizens of the State than under the present arrangement-Almost all of our people have, at length, reached the neighborhood of the main party, and to-morrow we shall endeavor to break up our present encampment, and set out once more upon the journey towards the new homes of these unfortunate people.

I have the honor to be Your Excellency’s Most ob’t servant,

EDW. DEAS, Lieut. U. S. Army, And Disbursing Agent in the Creek Emigration.

Arkansas Gazette, December 20, 1836

 

ENCAMPMENT OF INDIANS, 3 miles N.W. of Little Rock, Ark’s, 11th December, 1836

To his Excellency J.S.CONWAY, Governor of the State of Arkansas.

GOVERNOR-In my communication of the 8th inst., which I had the honor to address you from opposite Little Rock, I stated that almost all of our people had at length reached the neighborhood of the main party, and that on the following day, we should set out once more upon our journey. We did so, and reached the present encampment; but yesterday certain information was received, that one of the principal Chiefs is still two or three days’ journey behind, with a considerable number of the Indians, from various towns.

As this was not known when I last had the honor to address you, I now mention it as the interests of emigration require, for reasons stated in my previous communication, that we should not proceed until those Indians overtake the main party. I have the honor to remain

Your Excellency’s most ob’t serv’t,

EDW. DEAS, Lieut, U.S. Army, And Disbursing Agent in the Creek Emigration.

Arkansas Gazette, December 20, 1836

 



1837

THE EMIGRATING INDIANS

Complaints have been made every where in the country against the emigrating Creeks, for depredations committed on their passage through the State. That these parties have caused much loss to many individuals, accompanied with much vexation, there can be no doubt. The injured parties have no redress that we know of, unless they appeal to Congress through our Senators and Representatives, or by an appeal to the Secretary of War.

We publish today an excellent letter, from one who has a pretty correct judgment on the plan of Indian removal, both by the general government, and by a company in Alabama.

Arkansas Gazette, January 3, 1837

 

FROM THE WEST

Extract of a letter, from a gentleman in the west, to his friend in this place:

December 25, 1836.

There is now arriving at Fort Gibson, and on the road between that place and the Mississippi river, near fourteen thousand Creek Indians, under course of removal, by the Government of the United States, to their new country on the Arkansas river. The removal is made by a company of contractors, who receive a stated sum per head, for each Indian delivered to the officers of Government appointed to receive them, at the line of their new country.

Those contractors are bound to subsist them on their journey, and the removal of the Indians is, to them, a matter of speculation. It therefore becomes their interest to rush them on, regardless of either comfort of convenience of the Indians. And, in fact, those contractors could not reasonably be expected to consult the comforts of the Indians to such extent, at their own individual expense. Therefore, the policy of removing them by contract, is a bad one, as is well known to every one who is at all familiar with Indian removals.

Those people have necessarily, from the impoverished condition of many of them, to move slowly; and perhaps more so, than was anticipated by the contractors previous to their starting; consequently, they may not be able, without incurring much individual expense, to extend to the Indians even the indulgence of time that common humanity requires; and whether they comply with their obligation in this case or not, I am not prepared to say; but be that as it may, no portion of American history can furnish a parallel of the misery and suffering at present endured by the emigrating Creeks. They consist of all ages, sexes and sizes, and of all the varieties of human intellect and condition, from the civilized and tenderly nurtured matron and misses, to the wild savage, and the poorest of the poor.

Thousands of them are entirely destitute of shoes or covering of any kind for the feet; many of them are almost naked; and but few of them have any thing more on their persons than light dress, calculated only for the summer or for very warm climate; and the weather being warm when they left Alabama, many of them left their
heavier articles of clothing, expecting them to be brought on in steam-boats, which has as yet been only partially done. In this destitute condition, they are wading the cold mud, or are hurried on over the frozen road as the case may be. Many of them have in this way had their feet frost-bitten; and being unable to travel, fall in the rear of the main party, and in this way are left on the road to await the ability or convenience of the contractors to assist them. Many of them, not being able to endure this unexampled state of human suffering, die, and it is said, are thrown by the side of the road, and are covered only with brush, &c., where they remain, until devoured by the wolves.

How long this state of things will exist, is hard to conjecture. It is now past the middle of December; and the winter, though cold, is by no means at its worst stage, and when the extreme of winter does fall upon these most miserable creatures, in their present suffering and desperate condition, the destruction of human life will be most deplorable.

The American people, it is presumed, are as yet unacquainted with the condition of these people; and it is to be hoped that when they do become acquainted with the facts, that the philanthropic portion of the community will not be found wanting in their efforts to alleviate, as far as practicable, their extreme suffering.-They are in want of almost every article in common use in a civilized community, particularly clothing, and any thing of that kind would be highly acceptable-such as coarse gowns, shirts, coats, pantaloons, shoes, &c.; which, if given during the winter, might be the means of saving many lives.

It should be borne in mind, that the Creeks, now on their way, have voluntarily removed from their homes in Alabama, before the time at which they could be positively required to move; and that on promises made to them, some of which have not, and, in all probability will not be complied with; and after agreeing to remove, they left their country in such haste, that many of them were not able to make sale of their property; and those who did effect sales, it is said, did not receive more than half value for the property sold.

It is thought, by many persons, that the Creeks now on their way, and arriving in this country, have been recently hostile to the whites, and that they have been removed by force of arms from the country east of the Mississippi–but such is not the fact. Apothlahola and his people, now under course of removal, have been, with but few exceptions, friendly to the whites, and aided them in the defeat and subjugation of Nehemathla and his 2,500 followers, who were brought on to this country early in the fall, and who are at this time hostile in feeling, not only to the whites, but to Apothlahola’s party. Furthermore, Apothlahola has with him the families of near a thousand of his warriors, now serving with the army in Florida.

If the removal of the Indians had been made by officers of the government, whose commissions would rest on a faithful execution of their duty both to the government and to the Indians, (as was the case in the removal of the Choctaws some year since,) the case would have been very different from what it has been in this case. The condition of the Indians would have been better, and the actual expense to the government would have been less; much more indulgence as to time could have been extended to them by the government, than could be given by private individuals; they would have been more comfortable, and consequently less liable to sickness and death, and to the terrible suffering which they at present have to endure.

I will here remark, that, to each separate party of four or five thousand of these Indians, there is attached, as agent of the government, an officer of the army, which officers have no doubt discharged their duty in the matter to the fullest extent of their power. At any rate, not the least complaint has been heard to have been made against any one of them; and they are said to stand high in the estimation of the Indians, and have had considerable turmoil with the contractors.

It is not my purpose to case any reflection or censure in any particular quarter, but there is a fault somewhere, and it is to be hoped that the inquiring community will look to the causes which have led to this great extreme of human suffering.

Arkansas Gazette, January 3, 1837

 

It will be recollected by some of our readers, that a few weeks since information was received here that a party of Creek Indians, under their chief, Tuck-I-batch-I-had-jo, had made a stand a few miles west of Potts’-and after remaining there a longer time than was necessary for them to recruit, were ordered away, on their march, by Mr. Potts, which they preemptorily refused-saying they were west of the Mississippi, and it was not in the power of any one to compel them to go on. They said the threats of the whites might alarm little boys-but they were men! Intelligence being conveyed to Col. TREVAULT, commandant of the Pope county militia, of the audacious language held by this chief, he, by authority of two proclamations issued by the Governor of this State, on the 22d of Oct. and 6th Dec.-made a requisition, dated Dec. 26 on the companies of his regiment, for an armed force-and in two or three days, upwards of 100 mounted men appeared under arms, for a forcible expulsion. But they were not needed-the Indians getting wind of the movement, decamped in the night about the first of January, and made a precipitate flight.

This circumstance, (unimportant of itself), has been noticed by us; merely for the example it affords-and as affording another proof of the promptness of our militia when called to duty.

Arkansas Gazette, January 17, 1837

 

By the following extract of a letter, which we copy from the last Gazette, it seems that the fears entertained by many, of a collision between the resident and the emigrant Creeks, on the arrival of the latter, were groundless. We rejoice to find it so.

Fort Gibson, 10th Dec., 1836

My Dear Sir—Ye-poth-le-ho-lo has arrived at this place, and there is to be no war, nor rumors of war. The two chieftains, Ye-poth-le-ho-lo and Rolla McIntosh, with their principal men, met yesterday—all was pacific. The pipe of peace was puffed, and a glass of old rye, (perhaps new corn) kindly drank by all to commemorate their union. The emigrating people will remain here until all the stragglers have arrived, (8 or 10 gangs), when they will separate and select for themselves, each their favorite portions of their new country, and occupy it without a murmur—unless there be a deficiency in the supplies promised them by the Government, which I do not anticipate.

Arkansas Advocate, January 18, 1837

 

 Lt. Sprague informs us that he left Tuck-I-batch-I-had-jo, and a small party of Indians, (his immediate suit and family,) at Potts’ merely on account of the illness of that chief. He says that no language of defiance escaped him, to his knowledge. After that officer left, however, the party was increased by the accession of the straggling Indians who were behind.

Arkansas Gazette, January 24, 1837

 

 Capt. Page, of the U.S.A. arrived here on Saturday evening last. He is engaged at present in superintending the removal of the Creeks, and has now the whole Creek nation, amounting to more than 3000, below Rock Roe, on White river. They will take up their line of march, through the country, immediately.

Arkansas Gazette, November 21, 1837

 

Another steam-boat Disaster.-The steamer Monmouth was recently sunk in the Mississippi, having on board several hundred Creek Indians, more than 200 of whom were drowned.

Arkansas Gazette, November 21, 1837

 

The steamer Fox passed up on Friday evening last, with a number of Creek Indians on board, bound for Fort Gibson.

Arkansas Gazette, November 21, 1837

 

Creek Emigrants.-The s.b. Itasca arrived here, from Memphis, on Friday evening last, and passed up, for Fort Gibson, on the following morning, with about 800 emigrating Creeks, who had been collected in the old Chickasaw country-all in good health and spirits. The officers in charge of them are, Capt. Morris, U.S.A. Disbursing Agent; R.E. Clements, Agent; and Dr. Mays, surgeon.

Arkansas Gazette, November 28, 1837

 

A late Mobile paper asserts, that not more than 25 Creek Indians were drowned from the steam-boat Monmouth.

Arkansas Gazette, November 28, 1837

 

THE EMIGRATING INDIANS

The vast and prodigious efforts made by the general government to rid the interior of our Union of the presence of its Indian tribes, have made our State for the present, nothing but a thoroughfare, a theatre, for the march of these tribes to their new homes in the west.-At this moment we have the Creeks and Chickasaws passing through the country-and it will be but a short period before the fierce and over-mastered Seminoles are to be added to the stormy elements in our vicinity. While the government continues to transplant these crushed spirits to our border, it must awaken in the bosoms of our rulers at Washington, a never-ceasing vigilance to defend us from aggression. From Mr. Poinsett’s comprehensive views as a public man, we have every thing to hope. We shall look to his expose to the President at the opening of Congress, with a more than common interest. It is very manifest that the military force must be increased at our forts. His plan of the public defense, will, in other respects, doubtless be on a scale equal to the emergency.

Arkansas Gazette, November 28, 1837

 

AWFUL DESTRUCTION OF HUMAN LIFE!

300 CREEK INDIANS DROWNED!

A slip from the office of the New-Orleans True American, dated on Friday, communicates the loss of the steam-boat Monmouth, with six hundred Creek Indians on board, on their way to Arkansas, THREE HUNDRED of whom perished! The American says:

The Drowned Indians.-Accident after accident seems to occur in every spot around us, as if to continue the chain of misfortune which has been running through all our affairs during the passing year. Link upon link is so constantly adding to its length, that the presses of the country ought to have a heading line of “awful calamities” stereotyped for daily use. The steamer Warren brought news yesterday morning of the loss of the steam-boat Monmouth, and the death of at least one-half of her infamously crowded passengers. This fatal, and most appalling, accident arose from a collision between these two boats; but from the best intelligence we can procure, the blame rests upon the Monmouth. But setting aside the decision as to which was right, or which was wrong, the fearful responsibility for this vast sacrifice of human life, rests on the contractors for emigrating the Creek Indians. The avaricious disposition to increase the profits on the speculation, first induced the chartering of rotten, old, and unseaworthy boats, because they were of a class to be procured cheaply; and then to make those increased profits still larger, the Indians were packed upon these crazy vessels in such crowds, that not the slightest regard seems to have been paid to their safety, comfort, or even decency. The crammed condition of the decks and cabins, was offensive to every sense and feeling, and kept the poor creatures in a state unfit for human beings.

Six hundred were jammed into this boat, the Monmouth, and three hundred have perished. Why is such a thing as this permitted?-Can owners and officers of boats, or contractors and agents for emigration reconcile to their consciences, such a risk to human life? We know not whether there be any legal ratio placed for carrying passengers in steam-boats, but this proportion is at least treble what would be allowed by law on board a ship, though there is not an engine there to occupy one-third of the space. The only reason we can assign for conduct such as this, is, that avarice had so blinded all parties concerned, that mere Indians were not considered passengers, but were stowed away as cargo, or thought of only as ballast for the boat.

Arkansas Gazette, November 28, 1837

 



1838

The Creek Removal.-The important task of removing this great tribe of Indians, has at length been completed, as we learn from Capt. Page of the U.S.A. This tribe, or nation of people, consists of 21,000 souls, and has been entirely transplanted to a district of country west of the American Union. The emigration was effected through a contract with a private company in Alabama, which caused, by the first parties transplanted, a good deal of dissatisfaction, not only to the whites, but the Indians themselves, on account of sundry molestations and depredations on our own citizens; but we understand that the last great party of 3000, which was under the immediate inspection of Capt. Page, was removed with the utmost harmony on all sides, and with infinite honor to the humanity and industry of Capt. P., as well as the other numerous officers engaged in the same laborious service.

Arkansas Gazette, January 17, 1838

Updated 5.18.2010