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Title: [Letter] 1838 Sep. 10, H[ea]d Q[uarte]rs Western Division, Steam Boat Platte, near Boonsville, [Arkansas] To His Excellence Lilburn W. Boggs, Governor of Missouri / Edmund P. Gaines : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author:Gaines, Edmund P.

This work is the property of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. For all other use contact the Tennessee State Library and Archives, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37243-0312. (615) 741-2764.

Date: September 10, 1838
Extent: 4p
Summary:This document is a letter dated September 10, 1838, from Edmund Pendleton Gaines, commander of the US Army Western Division, to Governor Lilburn W. Boggs of Missouri. Gaines writes from near Boonsville, Arkansas and informs Boggs of a council being called by the Cherokee in Arkansas to which several Native American nations of the frontier region were invited. He expresses concern as to the intention behind this council and gratefully reports that the Delawares and Shawnees have refused the invitation.
Collection:Gaines Papers

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Hd. Qrs. [Head Quarters] Western DivisionSteam Boat Platte, near Boonsville September 10th 1838._

I had the honor in the last month to notify your Excellency of the invitation given by the Cherokees to the chiefs and principal Braves of the Indian Nations, inhabiting the country near our Western Frontier North of Red river (excepting the Osages and Kanzas [Kansas] .) to attend a great Council to be holden about the 11th of the present month, at the Cherokee council house on the waters of the Arkansas .

Having intimated to the War Department my intention to visit the Council, I deemed it advisable first to ascertain whether the chiefs of the nations west of the state of Missouri would, or would not attend.

I have now the satisfaction to announce to your Excellency the fact that two of the most respectable of these nations_ namely- the Delawares and Shawnees , have positively refused to comply with the invitation of the Cherokees to attend the council; and that these nations have assigned for their non-attendance the very prudent reason that the cherokees, in their invitation had failed to explain to the nations invited, the object of the intended council. It was therefore inferred by

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the Delawares and Shawnees that the nation calling the council, had some sinister motive in this artful concealment, such as might give just cause of offence to the United States. They had therefore unanimously determined not to attend "the great Council."

Lt. [Lieutenant] Colonel Mason reports to me that he had not been able to ascertain whether the chiefs or Braves of any of the nations West, or Northwest of the state of Missouri had consented to attend; but he was under the impression that most of them would follow the praiseworthy example of the Delawares and Shawnees, and not attend the council. Such a determination would effectually prostrate any hostile schemes which the Mexican party of the Cherokees may have had in view against our frontier.

Believing the conduct of these friendly Indians upon this occasion, will operate as a salutary rebuke upon the restless and intriguing part of the Cherokee Nation, and their old friends the faithless part of the Creeks , and Seminoles ,- a rebuke well calculated to restrain effectually their spirit of intrigue and hostility; and deeming the moral effect of such a

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rebuke, coming from their Red neighbors, to be altogether better than if it had come from me, or [added: from] any other officer of the Government; I have determined not to pay so much respect to the "great council" as to make it the visit which I had intended.

Brigadier General Arbuckle , the commanding General of the 2nd Department of this Division of the army, is stationed near the spot where the council is to be held; and having been for some years past on duty near these southern Indians, is well acquainted with the Character of their Chiefs, and will not fail to inform himself of their designs and keep them in check. I expect soon to receive his report of their conduct in the great council, and should it contain anything particularly interesting to the state of Missouri, I will lose no time in sending to you a Copy.

I have the honor to be Very Respectfully Your Obdt. St. [Obedient Servant]
/Signed/ Edmund P. Gaines
Major General U.S. Army
To,His Excellency Lilburn W. Boggs Governor of Missouri
[added: A true Copy
H. Reid
A.D. Camp ]

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Majr. Genl. [Major General] Gaines
Recd. [Received]Sep. [September] 21/38

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