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EDMUND P. GAINES TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR

[NA:WD, SW, Lets. Recd., G1340ALS]

Head Qr Camp Montgomery M. T. August 25 1817

Sir, Having received several communications from persons settled upon the public land, within the tract of country acquired by the Treaty of Fort Jackson, containing general acquisitions against the Indians, that they had killed cattle and hogs, and stolen corn & c. from the inhabitants; and requesting the interposition of Military authority; I have uniformly refered them to the civil majistrtaes.-- Because I have in no case during the present year, heard of any thing like an assemblage of force among the Indians, in this quarter of the Territory. Nor could I see any reason why persons who had obtruded themselves upon the public land, contrary to law, should be allowed military protection against the petty offeces of which these people complained -- especially as it did not appear that the civil authority had been opposed; nor even resorted to by the complainants.

The enclosure, marked A, contains a copy of my reply to the Inhabitants of Murder Creek -- and in this you will find the substance of my other replies, bith written and verbal. Since the date of this reply, and as I have reason to believe, some days after it reached the settlement of murder creekm a M Glass, near that place, was killed by an Indian; who was said to be accompanied by three others.

On receiving this information, I immmediately dispatched a discrete officer L Leftwich, to ascertain the particulars of the outrage; with a view to send a party in pursuit of the offenders, in case they should not have been arrested by the civil authority.

But finding from the Lieutenants report (a copy of which I enclose, marked B), that some of the inhabitants had been in pursuit, and had not been able to find the offenders; I deemed it proper to employ two Indian countrymen to find out and report to me their lurking place, before i should detach a force in pursuit of them. I ahve not been able to hear of them, and am therefore of opinion they have taken refuge anomg the Seminola's -- whither they shall be pursued, if not delivered up with the murders of out citizens of the Georgia frontier; for whom I have made a demand, pursuant to the order of Major General Jackson.

I ahve taken the liberty to make this communication direct to the Department of War, in consequence of some complaints which I understand the citizens of the new settlements have been making, and which will probably reach the Presidnet, that I have not afforded them protection against the Indians.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Sir. your Obd Ser

Edmund P. Gaines


The Honnorable the Secretary of War, Washington City

[Addressed] To the honorable The Secretary of War Washington City Major Gen Gaines

[Endorsed] Head Quarters -- Camp Montgomery M. T 25 Aug 1817. Genl E. P. Gaines, In relation to certain depredations committed by Indians on Settlers at Murder Creek in the Alabama -- Nov 1817. Gaines -- letter

[Enclosure]

Edmund P. Gaines to the inhabitants of Murder Ceek

[A] Head Quarters, Camp Montgomery, M. T. July 12, 1817.

Gentlemen, I have received your communication of the 21st. of last month, stating that the Indians residing upon the Conaka had killed cattle and hpgs belonging to the inhabitants of Murder Creek; and had broke into their houses and taken from them some provisions, corn &c.

In reply I have to observe that all Indians within the lately acquired territory are amenable to our laws, and may be prosecuted for the offences of which you complain in the same amnner as if they were white inhabitants.

The lands culktivated by friewndly Indians within the ceded territory have been reserved and guaranteed to them by Treaty; and by a late Act of Congress the Agent of Indian affairs has been authorized to settle the respective claims to such rservations. Until this is effected there exists no where any sort of authority to drive off such Indians, settled upon the public land.

I am informed that Governor Mitchell, the Agent, will in a short time enter upon the examination and adjustment of those claims.

The disposition which you have manifested to abstain from "rash measures" towards those Indians, affords ground to hope that, viewing them as a part of the human family, posseeing the right of residing among us, you will make due allowance for their ignornace and their wants; which are calulated rather to awaken out commiseration than to excite in us a spirit of hostility towards them.

That you may have peace and prosperity throughout your settlement is the sincere wish of Your Obed Serv

(signed) Edmund P. Gaines


The Inhabitants of Murder Creek Alabama territory

Granville Leftwich to Edmund P. Gaines

[B] Camp Montgomery M. Territory July 28th 1817.

Sir, Agreeably to your instructions of the 26th Instant I proceeded to the Burnt Corn Spring near the place, where the recent murder was committed by an Indian, and from the best information received, I have the honor to make the following report.

1st It does not Appear that any misunderstanding existed between the Indians and the Citizen killed. (M. Glass)

2nd It appears that the Indian made the first assualt, and that without any provoaction on the part of the Citizen.

3rd From the information received, it appears that M Glass heard four guns fire Some Short distance from his house, he was under the impression that the Indians were doing Some Mischief, and went out for the purpose of assertaining what the firing was at; he had proceeded but a Short distance, when he discovered an Indian woman he went towards her, and asked if she knew who it was taht was shooting, she made him no answer; he asked her Several times, and received no answer, She said Something and an Indian that was concealed in the bushes not more than fifteen steps from M Glass, rose up and shot him through the body, he snapped his gun at the Indianwho immdeiately run off, he then fired at the woman as she was running but? the man dowes not know if he hit her or not, his wound being very painful he dropt his gun and shot-bag and attempted to return home, he had not proceeded mmore than 300 Yds when he --, and remained until found by a traveller, this was on Saturday he died Sunday morning, leaving a widow and eight Children to -- his untimely death, he was a man who supported a good character, in his neighborhood, though in limited Circumstances.-- the following day there was a cow found near the place where M Glass was shot with four balls Shot through her--

There was only one Indian man seen by M Glass, but from the circumstances of his hearing four gunsm and the Cow being found near the place with four balls shot through her induces a believe that he had Several companions with him although they were not seen by M Glass.-- From the report of the friendly Indians it is believed they were fifty or sixty in number and that they have returned to the Camp pine barren Creek occupied by them at the time they murdered Johnston & Magasky, as a part of them were met by several persons, in the pine barren Spring a few days after the murder was committed.

Samuel Dales party pursued them to their Camp on the Suppulgas found it deserted apparently several days, they several -- fields of Corn growing at that place, from the Sign left it is -- they have a number of Horses and some of the largest --- The Indian who acted as a guide States they have at this -- a Negro boy and a horse belonging to Johnston & Magasky (also seen as McGlasky); it appears to be the prevailing Opinion among the inhhabitants that they are to be found on pine barren Creek.

I have the honor to be Sir Respectfully Y

G Leftwich Adjutant 7th

Maj Gen E P. Gaines Command E. S. S. D.

[Endorsed] Report of Lieu Leftwich July 28. 1817 respecting the murder of M Glass, by a creek Indian. Rec July 28. 1817


JOSIAH MEIGS TO THOMAS FREEMAN

[NA: GLO, Lets. to SG, II]

General Land Office 8th April 1818

Thomas Freeman Esq. Surveyor General Washington Mississippi Territory --

Sir, Your letter of 27th Feb relative to the donation claim of Thomas H. Boyle and a letter from Gov Bibb on the same subject have been received: the letterswere submitted to the Secretary of the Treasury, with my opinion, that Boyle should be confined in his location to a tract embracing the residence or improvement he had during the war, and that the Register and Receiver should hear and decide on any evidence he may produce to shew where that residence was.-- The Secretary coincides with that opinion, and you will be pleased to communicate it to M Boyle, to the Register, and the Receiver. *

I am &c.

*Answered Post. By and large there are a good many documents relating to various classes of private land claims, which it has not seemed feasible to publish in this volume. For example, in the House Files (NA) 14 and 15 Congresses, there are found the following typical petitions: Samuel and David Hale (half-breeds), referred Jan. 9, 1817, re a plantation claim on the Alabama River; Edwin Lewis, referred Jan 30, 1817, on behlf of John Armstrong's claim west of the Tombigbee River; William Hargrave, referred Feb. 8, 1817, re his private claim on the Tombigbee; Absalom Johnson, referred Feb 11 1817 re his private claim east of the Pearl River; J. Malone and others, referred Jan 19, 1818, re a Spanish grant wast of the Tombigbee; Absalom Sizemore and others, referred Jan 20 1818, re a grant on the Alabama River in 1817; Arthur and Mary Sizemore and Peggy Bailey (half-breeds), witnessed and signed by Harry Toulmin, referred Jan 20, 1818, asking for a tract of land; heirs of John Baker, referred Feb.. 10, 1818, re private claims derived from Spain; Josiah Carney, John Trouillet, and Joseph Chstanag, referred Feb. 5, 1818, re claims on the Tombigbee; Marie Dupont, referred Feb. 5, 1818, re claims near Mobile. It must be added that with respect to the petitions cited in the foregoing statement, each one is accompanied by numerous documnets in proof of the alleged claim or claims.


JOSIAH MEIGS TO GOVERNOR BIBB

[NA: GLO, Misc. Lets. Sent, Bk. 8]

His Excellency W Bibb, Gov Alabama Territ S Stephens

Sir I had the honor to receive your letter of 28th Feb -- The Secretary of the Treasury is of the opinion that M Boyle should be confined in the location of his donation, to embrace the residence or improvement he had during the war; and that the Register and Receiver shall be judges of the evidence produced relative to his residence: of these facts i have informed the Surveyor General.

I am &c.


JOHN COFFEE TO JOSIAH MEIGS

[NA: GLO, Misc. Lets. from SG, Ala: MLS]

Sir, My Surveyors are now starting out to work, and are destitute of funds, will you have the gfoodness to order an advance made me for the present season, Say twenty thousand dollars for the first three months to end on the 31st June, and twenty thouasnd dollars more for the next three months, to end on the 31st of Sep. next, I expect to have at least, 150 townships Surveyed and Compleated during the present Season --

I ahve the honor to be Sir with great respect your Ob Serv

Jn Coffee

Josiah Meigs Esq Com G. L. office