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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.. History of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Their Present Condition and Prospects, and a Sketch of Their Ancient Status. Volume 6. . Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co, 1857. [format: book; image], [genre: government document; report]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=schoolcraft6.html


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Chapter III. — Political and Social Movements Among the Cherokees, and Other Southern Tribes.

A GENERAL peace was concluded with the Cherokee nation on the 14th of September, 1816. 554

As early as the year 1808, the project of drawing a dividing line between the upper and lower bands of the Cherokees was broached in this nation. The idea promulged was, to erect lines of demarcation between the hunter bands and those who wished to pursue agriculture, and adopt a more regular form of government. A deputation of both parties was sent to Washington, to obtain an interview with the President, and, as they clearly foresaw the impracticability of effecting their object while they remained in their existing location, to procure his sanction to a proposal on the part of the hunter portion to emigrate to some part of the territory of the United States west of the Mississippi, where they would be able to find game in greater abundance.

On the 9th of January, 1809, Mr. Jefferson, who was then in the presidential chair, returned the deputation an answer, and gave his sanction to this plan, in these words:

"The United States, my children, are the friends of both parties, and, as far as can be reasonably asked, they are willing to satisfy the wishes of both. Those who remain, may be assured of our patronage, our aid, and good neighborhood; those who wish to remove, are permitted to send an exploring party to reconnoitre the country on the waters of the Arkansas and White rivers; and the higher up the better, as they will be the longer unapproached by our settlements, which will begin at the mouths of those rivers. The regular districts of the government of St. Louis are already laid off to the St. Francis.

"When this party shall have found a tract of country suiting the emigrants, and not claimed by other Indians, we will arrange with them and you for an exchange of that for a just portion of the country they leave, and to a part of which, proportioned to their numbers, they have a right. Every aid towards their removal, and what will

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be necessary for them there, will then be freely administered to them; and, when established in their new settlements, we shall still consider them as our children, give them the benefit of exchanging their peltries for what they will want at our factories, 555 and always hold them firmly by the hand." 556

This sanction to the emigration of a part of the Cherokees, may be considered as the initiatory step in the plan of a general removal of the tribes from the old States to the westward of the Mississippi; one, however, which required the national experience of sixteen years to guarantee and fully adopt.

At the Cherokee agency, on the 8th of July, 1817, this measure received the sanction of the commissioners 557 appointed to treat with the nation. 558 This treaty made provision for the proper distribution of the annuities of the tribes between the East and West Cherokees, and also for taking a full and perfect census of the whole nation, during the following year. Other stipulations and agreements were entered into, discords of opinion respecting the faithful and prompt execution of which, have been the occasion of the internal dissensions which have distracted that nation. From the treaty concluded by Mr. Calhoun with the nation, at Washington, on the 27th of February, 1819, 559 we learn that the census prescribed for the year 1818 was not taken. New boundary-lines were designated for the Cherokee territories lying east of the Mississippi; a fund was set apart for the use of schools; and a division of the national annuities made; it being agreed that one-third of the amount should be paid to the Cherokees west of the Mississippi, and the other two-thirds to those residing east of that river. The stipulation that white emigrants should be prevented from settling on the lands situate along the Arkansas and White rivers, was renewed. 560

The Creeks had been, after a hard struggle, subdued, rather than conquered in the war of 1814; but their disastrous defeat on the Tallapoosa, at the battle of the Horse-Shoe, March 27, was so discouraging, that they did not again venture to assume a warlike attitude. On the 9th of August, 1814, 561 they signed a treaty of peace, with a feeling of humiliation and disappointment. This treaty was, in the first instance, subscribed by Tustannuggee Thlucco, and thirty-six of the leading miccos and chiefs of both the upper and lower division of the nation. During the entire continuance of the war, considerable feeling had existed among the Americans against the Spanish and British authorities in Florida, and particularly against the traders who had furnished the Creeks with supplies of arms and ammunition. Those individuals of the nation who fled to Pensacola, after their final defeat on the Tallapoosa, did not present themselves in the council which formed this treaty, nor signify their submission by sending

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delegates to it. On the 6th of the following November, the southern coasts being then strictly blockaded by the enemy, the American army, as previously stated, appeared before the gates of Pensacola, and succeeded in storming that fortress. No further aid being furnished to the tribes from foreign sources, a general peace resulted. The stipulations of this treaty were subsequently carried out, and extended by another, formed March 28th, 1818, 562 and by that concluded January 8th, 1821. 563

The Chickasaws and Choctaws had maintained a position of neutrality during the war, but a few individuals of each tribe were present in the American camp during the Creek war; which circumstance furnishes a reason for the recital of the names of these two tribes, in the treaty of pacification with the Creek nation, signed August 8th, 1814. These tribes, as mentioned in preceding pages, lay claim to antiquity in the country; to which they migrated from the West at an early period, symbolizing the principal events of their history under the figures of a dog and a pole, or a prophet's rod. 564 The Chickasaw nation possess a tradition, which evidently refers to the landing of De Soto on the Chickasaw bluffs. 565

The treaty entered into October 10th, 1821, with the Choctaws, may be said to have inaugurated a new and important feature in the policy of the Indian removals. Heretofore, treaties had been made for temporary purposes only; the Indians consuming the principal of their annuities, and establishing no fund, which would be beyond the reach of agrarian distribution; paying also but little regard to their permanent welfare, or their intellectual advancement. This treaty would seem to indicate their apprehension that the pressure of the surrounding white population would render it impossible for them to reside permanently east of the Mississippi river. They stipulated that the same quantity of land which they held east of that river, should be given to them west of it, and its possession guarantied. This was exclusive of a tract in the east, to be temporarily retained by them, and divided into farms, on which they were to remain until they had attained a state of civilization and advancement in industrial arts, which would qualify them for beginning their western emigration. They were also to receive temporary aid while in their present location, and after removing to the West. The most striking feature in this treaty was the appropriation of the proceeds of fifty-four sections, each one mile square, of the ceded lands, to constitute a school fund. In the same treaty, provision was made for the support of the deaf, dumb, blind, and distressed of the tribe, and for the payment of an annuity to a superannuated chief of their nation, called Mushulatubbee. Power was granted to the United States agents, to seize and destroy all ardent spirits introduced into their country; and a police force, under the name of light-horse, was authorized to act as a posse cornitatus in maintaining order, and enforcing obedience to the laws.

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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.. History of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Their Present Condition and Prospects, and a Sketch of Their Ancient Status. Volume 6. . Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co, 1857. [format: book; image], [genre: government document; report]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=schoolcraft6.html
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