Cherokee Phoenix

The Sac Indians, who were delivered up by their chief, Ke-o-kuk, to the civil authorities of Jackson

Published August, 3, 1833

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The Sac Indians, who were delivered up by their chief, Ke-o-kuk, to the civil authorities of Jackson County, Illinois, for the murder of Masten, have been discharged, the Grand Jury not having found a bill against them. The Jacksonville Banner gives the following curious history of this affair:- N. Y. American.

'When the agent went to Ke-o-kuk to demand the murderers, under instructions from the War Department, he informed the agent that they were out of his reach, but would consult with his tribe what course to take in the premises. He called them together, and having stated to them that their great father would send an armed force into their nation to take the murderers, which could cause strife and bloodshed, which it was his desire to prevent, four young men of the tribe (they who were discharged) proffered themselves as voluntary offerings to appease the vengeance of their great father, and consented that they should be given up to the agent as the offenders. They were accordingly taken by Ke-o-kuk to the agent, who had them immediately confined in jail to await their trial. At court, Ke-o-kuk and other Indians of his tribe appeared, and the old chief was made a witness on the part of the prosecution; and, before the grand jury, he stated that these young men were not the persons who committed the murder, that they were out of his reach, having fled from his tribe; and that the supposed they would be satisfied, if any four of his young men should be delivered up to their justice, not doubting but the same principles governed his white brethren that obtained among the Indians. This testimony, of course, discharged the prisoners. The people were much excited at this termination of the business; and the grand jury, in the exercise of their powers, handed to the court a presentment, the object of which was, as we understand, to request the President to take the necessary measures to procure the murderers, with testimony sufficient to convict them, and presenting the agent for accepting the men who were discharged, and requesting him not to accept any others than the real murderers, whose names were obtained from Ke-o-kuk, and bills of indictment found against them. The idea of Ke-o-kuk, and the young men was, that the judge would sentence them to be hung immediately-they ad no other expectation. In this view of the case, they showed more devotion to their tribe, and more firmness, than could be found, under similar circumstances, among the most enlightened and civilized portion of the community. It is needless to add, that they manifested great joy at their unexpected deliverance.

Messrs Gatewood, Field, and C. S. Hempstead, attended as counsel for the prisoners.