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Title:[Letter] 1829 Jan. 29, Washington [to] P[eter] B. Porter, Secr[etar]y of War / Jno. [i.e., John] Ross ... [et al.] : a machine-readable transcription
Author:Ross, John, 1790-1866
Author:Coody, William S.
Author:Gunter, Edward
Author:Taylor, Richard, 1788-1853

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: January 29, 1829
Extent: 8p
Summary:This document is a letter from a delegation of Cherokee leaders, including John Ross, William S. Coody, Edward Gunter, and Richard Taylor, to Peter B. Porter, Secretary of War (1828-1829), dated January 29, 1829. The delegation informs Porter that none of the Cherokee claims for property loss have yet been paid, under provisions of the Treaty of Tellico (1804), nor have claims for improvements under the treaties of 1817 and 1819 been paid. In addition, they also discuss lingering questions regarding the continuing education of Cherokee children and the unauthorized payment of a portion of the Cherokee annuity to Cherokees in Arkansas.
Repository:The Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN
Collection:State Library Cherokee Collection
Box: 1
Folder: 23

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A copy-

Williamson's Hotel Washington City
Janry. [January] 29th.1829
Honble [Honorable] P.B. Porter Secry. [Secretary] of War.

Having paid you our respects, and apprized you of our appointment to transact business with the General Govt. in behalf of the Cherokee Nation , we shall now lay before you some of the subjects embraced in the subject of our mission.

We will first call your attention to the various individual [added: Cherokee ] claims for property stolen by citizens of the United States . By reference to the Treaty of Telico it will be perceived that a special provision is made for the indemnification of stolen property. Some of those claims are of long standing, were long since laid before the Department of War, and refered [referred]

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back to the U.S. agent to be further reported on, this he informed us had been done, and were now before you for adjustment; as they are particularly embraced in the provisions of the Treaty refered [referred] to We hope they will be disposed of without much further delay. We would next call your attention to the claims for improvements abandoned on the ceded lands under the Treaties of 1817 & '19. which have been transmitted to the Department by Colo. [Colonel] Montgomery , some reasons are assigned in the report of the agent why those improvements were not valued and paid for in the first place, but we will take the liberty to remark, that some excitement prevailed among the Natives in that particular section of Country arising from the Treaty, as the lands on which they resided had been ceded to the U. States . Mr. Starr [added: perhaps] apprehending some evil did not choose to visit the different habitations so as to make a correct estimate of the value of the improvements, but met with

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an Indian who informed him that the people in his Town did not wish to have their improvements valued and returned home without executing the business confided to him. It is evident that the failure to value the improvements at the time was owing to the neglect of the officer of the Government, consequently the claimants should not be deprived of the provisions provided for them in the Treaty that ceded their lands, nor do we consider their demands weakend [weakened] by the lapse of time. An arrangement was entered into [added: in] 1819 between the Secry. [Secretary] of War and the Cherokee Delegation then in this city that Twelve hundred & eighty dollars in money should be paid to the Cherokee Nation annually in lieu of the rations stipulated to be furnished. This sum was regularly paid until the year 1827 when for reasons entirely unknown to us it was stopped. We can see no just or reasonable grounds for discontinuing

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the payment of this money, nor has there been any explanation given, Therefore, we hope it will be resumed from the time of its discontinuance —. The Unicoi Turnpike Company having failed to comply with the requisitions of their agreement with the Cherokee Nation s for several years, the Agent was instructed by the Secry [Secretary] of War to institute a suit against the Company for the recovery of the annual stipend due the Nation, but has never complyed [complied] with the instructions nor assigned any reasons to the National authority for the delay in prosecuting the order issued from the Deptmt. [Department] We would request that he be urged to carry into effect the instructions, and to be informed of the causes which have occasioned this delay, if any have been reported, also, how far the Govt. will be bound for the expenses of suits instituted under its authority, as there are some important ones to which the agent cannot attend personally, & would therefore necessarily require the

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attention of a special agent.—

The lands reserved as a school fund under the Treaty of 1819 has not been disposed of as was anticipated from the assurance given to the delegation here in 1825— The subject was introduced by them, and were informed that the lands were surveyed and nothing remained but to bring them into market. The Nation has become deeply [unclear] engaged in the education of her youth & feel the want of sufficient funds to aid in this laudable object. We would earnestly solicit that the sale of those lands should be no longer [added: be] procrastinated. The sooner they are brought into market the better it will be for our people that they may apply the proceeds to the education of the rising generation, many [added: of] whom are growing up in ignorance for want of assistance — When Mr. Calhoun presided over the War Department in 1825 the payment of the sum due the Cherokee Nation by the

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ratification of the Treaty of 1804 became a subject of discussion between the Secry [Secretary] & the Cherokee delegation. It was his opinion that the Cherokees west of the Mississippi should receive one third of the amount arising from the Treaty to which the delegation protested. Mr. Calhoun at an interview with him afterwards observed that any arrangement the two parties might enter into on the subject would be satisfactory to the Government. A deputation of Cherokee from Arkansas being then in the city, a conference immediately took place, an arrangement entered into and submitted to Colo. [Colonel] Thomas L. McKenney who promised that it should be attended to, a copy of which is herewith enclosed, when Seven Thousand Dollars of the amount of this money was left in the possession of the Government to be disposed of agreeably to further arrangement,

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between the Cherokee Nation & those west of the Mississippi . A few days after the Delegations left the city Major Duval arrived, agt. [agent] for the Cherokees on the Arkansas and the whole amount of the Seven Thousand dollars was paid over to him, without any regard to the distinct understanding & agreement of the Delegations.

We can discover no right growing out of any of our Treaty stipulations whereby the Arkansas Cherokees are entitled to one cent of this money, and cannot but believe that injustice has been done in this payment — Therefore, compelled by a sense of duty, to present the case before you as a claim against the Government, in behalf of the Cherokee Nation — The running of the boundary line from the Unicoi Turnpike road to the nearest main source of the Chestatee , is well known to

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the Department as having created much dissatisfaction to the Cherokees , It had been a subject of much & and repeated complaint to the government as the stipulation of the Treaty was not observed and a larger portion of Country included than was ceded — In order that justice may be done we request and hope that the Department will direct a re-examination & Survey to be made — These several subjects are respectfully submitted for your consideration and decision

We have the honor to be Sir, Yr Ob [Your Obedient] Servants
Jno [John] Ross
Richard Taylor
Edward Gunter
Wm [William] S. Coody

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