From the Observer and Telegraph.
INDIAN WRONGS AT THE WEST.
Maumee Mission, July 19, 1831
Believing you a friend of the Indians, I submit to your disposal the following communication from sister Newel, at Waugaughkanetta.
After repeated and earnest solicitations from the Shawnees, to assist in procuring the means of instruction for their children--early last spring we made arrangements to furnish them, for the present season, with a female teacher, whom they agreed to furnish with boarding in families near the school. Accordingly we took Miss Newel out there, and she opened a small school about the last of May, with flattering prospects of soon having it enlarged, and established on a more permanent basis. She had received encouragement from the present agent, who said he had several hundred dollars, at his disposal, to be appropriated for the support of schools among the Shawnees. Several ministers had also pledged themselves to support a large boarding school, if one could be put in operation. This was just what the Shawnees wanted, (for in their present scattered state they could not all be benefited by a district school.) an to the accomplishment of this desirable object, they had already begun to look forward with pleasing anticipations. Just at this important and critical moment the destroyer comes!
Mr. Gardner, without the consent or approbation of Congress, but commissioned and authorised by the President, makes propositions for their removal west of the Mississippi.
I will now transcribe Miss Newel's letter--she was an eye-witness of the scene. In the proceedings that follow, I think the good citizens of Ohio are basely slandered, and I feel as if they ought to know it.
Wauppaughkanetta, June 29th, 1831.
It is at all times our privilege to rejoice that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. In this I do and will rejoice, though his ways, be not as my ways; nor his thoughts, as my thoughts. To instruct the Shawnees children is not what He at present requires of me. You are informed I suppose before this that the Indians here have concluded to accept of the proposals of Mr. Gardner. Perhaps the Ottau was brave ere this. I heard his address both parts of the day. In the A. M. it was very interesting. He gave a history of the Indians from the time of the whites first coming among them; rehearsed all the probable evidences that ever came to my knowledge of their descending from the Israelites. This was to reconcile them to a removal. As they were once God's favored people, so according to prophecy they must be again; and the President wished for this reason that they might be in a large place, free from the contaminating influence of vicious whites. If he has not already visited you, I hope as many of you as can, will hear his speech. I believe he was sorry to have me hear what he had to say in the afternoon. I could but just stand it; I was almost ready to wish myself made of different materials. The fate of the Cherokees was rehearsed to them, and they were told, this was the last time the President would ever send an agent to them to make proposals. They appeared deeply affected, but thought they should perhaps come off better, to express no aggrievance, but stand it out, appear as brave as they could, and tell the President he had offered them a good bargain, and they would accept of his proposals.
One of the Chiefs said 'it was a tough, hard case, to give his people up to come under State laws without their being allowed to vote, or having their civil oaths regarded before a magistrate; it would be as bad as to give them up to have their throats cut; for he could easily conceive of their being driven to desperation, and immediately committing outrage which would bring them to the gallows; and it was a tough, hard case to decide to go; but as there was no alternative, they had better be reconciled to go.' I believe they have tried to keep up each other's spirits, and exhort each other to unanimity of feeling upon the subject. Their minds appear constantly in a state of excitement. Oh! that they might like their brethren at the south, be directed by the Holy Spirit to seek that rest which remaineth for the people of God. All business seems to be suspended, and they act as we might expect them to, if the final day of doom had come.
The old men sat in council, looking each other in the face, and mourning over their fate from Monday morning until Tuesday night. They sat and talked all night long, and parted with no better state of feeling than when they came together. They think their prospect of earthly good is blasted forever! They say they have nothing to hope for here, or beyond the Mississippi either. They had thought for years past, that there would be no hope for them; only by their conduct pleasing white people so well, that they would not wish them to move away. This they had endeavored to do, had made up their minds to encourage schools, attend to agriculture, and examine the religion of the Bible; but they now saw it would all be in vain. Those Indians that had learning, and had received the religion of white people were all hated and despised alike, and were now invited to take up their lot together. They said the President had offered to build them school houses and a meeting house beyond the Mississippi; but if they went they should abandon the whole, build their own council house and worship the Great Spirit in their own way.
The same agent has been here, but having no information, I was absent at the time. I think however, the Ottawas will not sell at present. If at any future period they are obliged to move, they will not place themselves again within the power of our government, but will flee to Canada, where they will be treated kindly.
ISAAC VAN TASSEL.
TREATY AT WAPAGHKONNETTA
A Treaty was concluded between James B. Gardner, on the part of the United States Government, and the Indian Chiefs at Wapaghkonnetta and Hogcreek, on the 8th inst. which resulted in the cession of the lands belonging to the Shawnees at those places to the United States in lieu of other lands west of the Mississippi River. The quantity of lands ceded is 92,800 acres.- The conditions of the Treaty are about thus-the lands ceded are to be sold by the United States as other vacant lands, and 70 cents per acre retained over the expenses of bringing it into market, and the overplus deposited in the United States Bank, subject to the order of the chiefs. The Government is to pay the Indians 13,000 dollars in advance for the improvements made on the lands; to be at the expense of removing them, and to furnish them with provisions for one year after removing; to give them 200 blankets, 50 ploughs, 50 horses gears, 50 hoes, and 25 guns. The amount to be paid them for their improvements, and the building of a grist mill, together for cross-cut and hand saws, augers, chisels, plains, gimlets, breast-bits, froes, drawing-knives and grind stones which are also to be furnished them, is to be deducted from the proceeds of the lands. One of the principal arguments used to induce the Indians to remove was the terror of our laws, which was threatened to be extended within their Reserve. Whether this treaty is calculated to ameliorate the condition of the Indians or not, is a query we are not prepared to decide, more than it rests entirely with the suitability of the country they are going to whether they have bettered their situation by the bargain.
Query- Did not the lands west of the Mississippi properly belong to the Shawnees tribe of Indians previous to the late treaty; and do not a large number of Shawnees at present reside
on them? If so, are they not badly cheated?'