From the National Intelligencer
THE CHOCTAW INDIANS
The following letters concerning these Indians have been handed to us for publication.
Choctaw Agency, 7th May 1830
Rev. C. Kingsbury:
Dear Sir: Your note requesting someone to give you a statement of the improvement of the Choctaws since I have been acquainted in the nation, has been duly received.
I have been the Agent for this Tribe since the year 1829 and have been most of the time since in the nation-- I have no hesitation in saying that the improvements in their general habits of life have far exceeded expectations, particularly within the last two or three years.
The nation began to live like white people, and they dress quite decently at public collections. They begin to raise plenty of stock of all kinds and have generally supplied in part their neighboring Whites with pork and beef. Much has been done for this nation by preventing Ardent Spirits from being brought into the nation, as most of the natives have strong propensity for drinking. It was common when I first became acquainted with them to have a drinking frolic at all public gatherings, but of late two or three thousand will be collected, and not one to be seen drunk.
I am respectfully,
Your obedient servant.
U. S. Agent for the Choctaws
I have lived in the Choctaw Nation of Indians five or six years and have travelled in the nation a good deal during that time. I see a very great change in the people for the better. Their condition is improving rapidly; they are spinning and weaving, and making their own clothing of good homespun cloth. I have myself brought many yards of cloth from full blooded Indians of their own make. Many of them raise plenty of cotton for their own use.
A great many of the full blooded Indians raise more corn than they use in their own families, and sell it to those who live on the great mail road to New Orleans. I have myself bought many hundred bushels of corn from full blooded Indians. These people have stocks of horses, cattle, hogs, &c. Some of them have large stocks, and appear to live plentifully.
Last Sunday I was at a Camp Meeting near the Agency, and saw a great many of these people. They appeared to pay great attention to the preaching, and as good order was observed among them, as among the whites, on similar occasions. I noticed the people much, and can say with truth they have improved more than could be expected. They were dressed many of them in cloth of their own making, some in calico, all clean and decent. Nearly all the men I saw at the meeting wore pantaloons. There was a large collection of red people, and many of them rode good horses.-
All this I have seen with my eyes.
STEPHEN WARD. Sub Agent.