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Title:[Letter] 1838 Aug. 29, Georgetown [to] John Ross / [J.?] Mason Jr.: a machine-readable transcription
Author:Mason Jr., J.

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.

Date: August 29, 1838
Extent: 3p
Summary:This document is a copy of a letter from (J. ?) Mason Jr., in Georgetown to John Ross, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, dated August 29, 1838. Mason informs Ross that he has recently received information regarding the emigration of Cherokees to the Arkansas territory and expresses his desire to furnish mercantile goods, to be delivered through New Orleans.
Repository:The Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN
Collection:State Library Cherokee Collection
Box: 1

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To Col. John Ross . Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation

Georgetown D.C.
August 29th 1838
Dear Sir -

I received some days ago a letter from General Scott , stating that arrangements had been made with you & other principal men of your people, for their Emigration west & that my propositions in the matter were of course inadmissible. I was much gratified to find that you & your Indian friends had the entire disposal of this important matter- this arrangement will [unclear: resound ] equally to the honor of General Scott & the government & to the comfort & I trust, satisfaction of the Cherokees , under the trying & painful circumstances, in which, all have been placed. I congratulate you therefore & your friends, upon the happy determination of this branch of the subject.

I have now a proposition to make, to which I invite your serious consideration & that of your Cherokee friends. On establishing yourselves in the West, you will, besides subsistence, necessarily require for the use of all your people, a great quantity & variety of articles necessary to their comfort & well being- Such as woolens & cottons, for clothes- blankets- hardware of all sorts- glass- agricultural implements- mechanics tools- groceries- arms & powder &c &c [et cetera et cetera]- all these can in greater or lesser quantities, be doubtless bought, in the West, from Merchants & Traders; who foreseeing your wants may have goods ready to supply them. These goods will have been

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originally purchased in the Northern Cities, and probably, have passed thro [through] several hands, each charging a profit, before they reach your people, the consumers. of course under such circumstances they must be bought by the consumers at prices very far above the original cost & transportation to the point of delivery-& such goods would in all probability be generally of inferior qualities. Instead of relying upon such a source, would it not be better to make your purchases directly from this section of the Country? & to have the goods sent by way of New Orleans to such designated points, in your Arkansas Country, as might be accessible by water & most convenient to you? Should such [added: this] proposition meet the approbation of your friends & yourself, I have to offer my services to carry it into effect- as to the business part of it. I understand it perfectly & I trust you will believe that I will do it honorably & justly- & so far as protection from the Government may be required (should such be the case, as it may be) I think I can say, it will, at my request, be given when necessary to secure the safe transportation of [added: the] goods to your people. In all cases it will be necessary that your orders should state fully & in detail the quality & quantity of each description of goods wanted- the places to which they are to be sent & the time of delivery at those places- accomodating [accommodating] the time of delivery, of course, to the proper periods for navigating the rivers to be ascended. as to funds- with proper guarantee, I can raise any amount required- so that you need advance nothing- when I say proper guarantee, I mean such security as the

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Banks would be satisfied with - or should the goods, be bought on credit, as would probably be the case, such security as would satisfy the Importers from whom purchased- as for instance, orders [unclear] [added: or] drafts upon the Secretary of War Comsr [Commissioners]- of Indian affairs or other proper Officers accepted by him, to be payable on delivery of the goods at some designated point in Arkansas or elsewhere- or any other mode by which payment would be secured- I have to invite again your earnest attention to this subject not only in regard to the supplies that may be required by your own people, but by the Tribes around you, over whom, you and your friends, will undoubtedly exercise a great influence. Such an arrangement would, I am persuaded be highly advantageous to the Indians, by securing for them the articles they may want on the lowest terms & of the required quality- & highly beneficial to me from the greatest extent of the operations. The the percentage of profit would be small. I shall be gratified to hear from you soon in reply to this letter and have to subscribe myself with great respect-

your friend & ob.servt [obedient servant]
[unclear: J ] Mason Jr

1st Octo. [October] 1838
The original of this letter was forwarded by mail to the care of your Brother Mr. Lewis Ross - this goes thro [through] the war Department- your early answer will much oblige
[unclear: J ] Mason Jr.

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