DEPARTMENT OF WAR, OFFICE INDIAN AFFAIRS, 25 Jan. 1827.
TO JOHN RIDGE, ' DAVID VANN,
Friends ' Brothers--Your letter of the 14th ult. to Col. R. M. Johnson, on the subject of your claim for the sum of five thousand dollars, each, in lieu of reservations 'c. has been submitted by him to the Secretary of War.
The Secretary directs me to state that he well remembers the proposition that was made for a reservation of land for each of you; and that he answered, it could not be complied with, but to a commutation in money there could, he presumed, be no objection. He also remembers that five thousand dollars to each was named in lieu of the reservations referr'd [sic] to; and he has no doubt but the consideration money in the Treaty was increased by this much, and he had no reason to doubt but the Delegation who arranged this with you, having full powers from their Nation, would see to the application of the money thus provided.
You will at once perceive that the only point which connected the proposition with the Secretary, and on which he acted, was that of rejecting the proposition for reservations; and that his agency in what happened afterwards, was only an agency of acquiescence,(as he had no control over it, any way,) in what you, and the Delegation agreed upon- which was, as the Secretary understood it, that ten thousand Dollars more were to be added to the consideration money, as the terms of the purchase, and which the Delegation, it was understood, intended for you.
It appears from your letter that the distribution was made without regard to this obligation on the part of the Chiefs. Whilst the Secretary would be gratified that your views should be answered all round in regard to that transaction, he nevertheless has no power to interfere and require it of the Chiefs to make good that obligation. All that he could do, he has done. The price that was required for the cession was accepted, and the whole of it was included in the appropriation, and remitted. If this particular sum you claim were added, and formed part of it, the time of paying out the consideration money as provided for in the Treaty, was the time for the Delegation to have come forward, and made known that ten thousand Dollars had been included on their demand, for you, and for you to have received it.
Your good sense will satisfy you that your claim is on the Creek Nation, on a contract entered into between you and its Delegation, and not on the Government of the United States. If the Secretary could serve you in any way he would be happy to do so; but he does not see how it is possible for him to interfere in the matter which you have submitted through Col. Johnson, it being one which relates wholly to yourselves and the Creek Nation.
I am Respectfully, your friend and Brother.
THOS. L. McKENNEY.
DEPARTMENT OF WAR, OFFICE INDIAN AFFAIRS
Dec. 19th 1825.
TO OPOTHLE-YOHOLO, 'c. 'c. 'c.
DELEGATES FROM THE CREEK NATION,
FRIENDS ' BROTHERS- A letter has been addressed to the Secretary of War, calling his attention to a claim against your nation in favor of Houston ' Blackburn.
I am directed by the Secretary to call your attention to it, and to request such information in regard to it as you may be able to furnish. It is stated that Mad Wolf has some knowledge of the transaction in which the claim originated.
I am your friend and brother.
THOS. L. McKENNY.
WASHINGTON, 19th Dec. 1825
Thos. L. McKenney, Esq.
Sir- Your note of this day's date, calling our attention to a certain claim in favor of Houston ' Blackburn, has been received. This claim has been presented to our Nation and has been rejected. We believe that it has met the same fate from the Cherokee Nation. It is more than the Delegation believes, 14 years ago, a boat loaded with spirituous or intoxicating liquor descended the Coosa River. The Chiefs of the Cherokees objected to its passage without effect, and the Creek Nation made similar objections, ' informed their Agent Col. Hawkins, who ordered that it should be confiscated, as he was certain it was in violation of the Intercourse Law of the United States. When our citizens attempted to confiscate the whiskey agreeable to their laws, the owners of it opposed them by exhibiting a license, which they said had been given by our Agent, Col. Hawkins. This having been produced was submitted to the Agent who pronounced it spurious and issued an order to confiscate the property. The Big Warrior was supposed to be in possession of the order and search was made, but could not be found after the said claim was presented. Not expecting a claim would be made, the order of course was not much attended to. To explain the cause of the transfer of the claim from the Cherokees to our Nation we state this property was confiscated by the Creeks on the land now in the Cherokee Nation. At that time a boundary was not established between the two Nations, but the Cherokees and Creeks permitted promiscuous settlements to be made, in that quarter where the whiskey was taken. It or part of it was retailed to Creek Indians, and when it was taken, Mad Wolf being in company, the amount of the property was this, viz. 54 barrels whiskey-2 kegs of powder and the boat, nothing more.
You will be better able to determine whether it ought to be admitted, having in view the restrictions of the Intercourse laws of the United States imposed on the Introduction of property without license among the Indians, particularly whiskey, the loss of which is complained of; and if the claim is just, a legal claim authorised [sic] from the Agent, ought to be submitted with the account by the claimants, which we believe will be hard for them to do.
I am your friend and brother, in behalf of the Delegation,
By order of the Creek Delegation,
John Ridge, Sec'y