In tracing the history of the Tuscaroras that migrated to the north and joined themselves with the Iroquois, we would not forget those few who remained with King James Blunt, a Tuscarora Chief, in North Carolina, who had a tract of land allotted to them on Pamplico river. The smallness of their number disabling them from resisting the attacks of the southern Indians, Governor Charles Eden, of North Carolina, and the council, on the 5th day of June, 1718, entered into a treaty, by which the land on Pamplico river was abandoned by the Tuscaroras and another tract granted to them, on Roanoke river, in the present county of Birtie, in consideration of which they relinquished all claims of any other land in the province, butted and bounded as follows, viz.: Beginning at the mouth of Quitsnoy swamp, running up the said swamp four hundred and 35 poles, to a scrubby oak near the head of the swamp, by a great spring; then north ten degrees east, eight hundred and fifty poles, to a persimmon tree on Raquis swamp; then along the swamp and Pacosin main course north fifty-seven degrees west, two thousand six hundred and forty poles, to a hickory tree on the east side of the Falling Run, or Deep creek, and down the various courses of the said run to Morattock; then down the river to the first station.
In the administration of the Governor, Gabriel Johnson, Esq., at a General Assembly held at New Bern on the 15th day of October, 1748, by virtue of an act, this same limit of land above was confirmed and assured to James Blunt, Chief of the Tuscarora Nation, and the people under his charge, their heirs and successors forever, any law, usage, custom or grant to the contrary notwithstanding.
At the time the Tuscaroras migrated to the north, King James Blunt was the Sachem of those that remained, and his successor in office, as we see in an act of the General Assembly of North Carolina, in the year 1778, was Whitmell Tuffdick. The last Sachem, or Chief, of that part of the Tuscaroras—Samuel Smith—expired in the year 1802, at which time Sacarrissa and Solomon Longboard, both being Sachems of the northern Tuscaroras, migrated the residue of the Tuscaroras from North Carolina to their Reservation in Niagara county, State of New York, where they were again blended together in one nation.
Concerning the land allotted to the Tuscaroras in Birtie—they have leased it several times; and I have selected a few of the laws of North Carolina that are now in force, concerning the Tuscaroras in that state, namely:
“A. D. 1748. Vol. I. Chapter 43, page 174; by Potter, Taylor and Yancy, Esqs. Anno Regni Georgii II, Vicessinio second.
“Gabriel Johnson, Esq., Governor.
“At a general assembly held at New Bern, the fifteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-eight.”
“An Act for ascertaining the bounds of a certain tract of land formerly laid out by treaty to the use of the Tuscarora Indians, so long as they, or any of them, shall occupy and live upon the same, and to prevent any person or persons taking up lands, or settling within the said bounds, by pretense of any purchase or purchases made, or that shall be made, from the said Indians.
“1. Whereas, complaints are made by the Tuscarora Indians, of divers encroachments made by the English on their lands, and it being but just that the ancient inhabitants of this Province shall have and enjoy a quiet and convenient dwelling place in this their native country, wherefore,
“Bounds of the Indians’ lands confirmed.—2. We pray that it may be enacted, and be it enacted by His Excellency Gabriel Johnson, Esquire, Governor, by and with the advice and consent of his majesty’s council, and general assembly of this province, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same that the lands formerly allotted the Tuscarora Indians by solemn treaty, lying on Morattock river, in Birtie county, being the same whereon they now dwell. Butted and bounded as follows, viz: Beginning at the mouth of Quitsnoy Swamp, running up the said swamp four hundred and thirty-five poles, to a scrubby oak, near the head of the swamp, by a great spring; thence north ten degrees east, eight hundred and fifty poles, to a persimmon tree, on Raquis swamp; thence along the swamp, and Pacosin main course, north fifty-seven degrees west, two thousand six hundred and forty poles to a hickory on the east side of the falling run or deep creek, and down the various courses of the said run to Morattock river, then down the river to the first station; shall be confirmed and assured; and by virtue of this act, is confirmed and assured, to James Blunt, chief of the Tuscarora Nation, and the people under his charge, their heirs and successors, forever, any law, usage, custom, or grant, to the contrary, notwithstanding.
“Persons having grants to enter on desertion of the Indians.—3. Provided, always, That it shall and may be lawful for any person or persons that have formerly obtained any grant or grants, under the Lord’s proprietors, for any tract or parcels of lands within the aforesaid boundaries, upon the said Indians deserting or leaving the said lands, to enter, occupy and enjoy the same according to the tenor of their several grants.
“Indians not to pay quitrents.—4. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall not nor may be lawful for the Lord Granville’s receiver to ask, have or demand any quitrents for any of the said tracts or parcels of land taken up within the said Indian boundaries, as aforesaid, until such time when the Indians have deserted the same and the patentee be in possession thereof, and only for such rents as shall from thence arise and become due, any law, usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding.
“Penalty on persons purchasing lands of the Indians.—5. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no person, for any consideration whatsoever, shall purchase or buy any tract or parcel of land claimed or in possession of any Indian or Indians, but all such bargains and sales shall be, and are hereby declared to be null and void, and of no effect; and the person so purchasing or buying any land of any Indian or Indians shall further forfeit the sum of ten pounds, proclamation money, for every hundred acres by him purchased and bought, one-half to the use of the public, the other half to him or them that shall sue for the same, to be recovered by action of debt, bill, plaint or information, in any court of record within this Government, wherein no possession, protection, injunction or wager of law shall be allowed or admitted of.
“Persons settled on the Indian lands to remove, and no others to settle there under a penalty.—6. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all and every person and persons, other than the said Indians who are now dwelling on any of the lands within the bounds above mentioned to have been allotted, laid out and prescribed to the said Tuscarora Indians, shall, on or before the twenty-fifth day of March next ensuing the ratification of this act, remove him or herself and family off the said lands, under the penalty of twenty pounds, proclamation money; and if any shall neglect or refuse to move him or herself and family off the said lands, on or before the said twenty-fifth day of March next, and if any person or persons, other than the said Indians, shall hereafter presume to settle, inhabit or occupy any of the said lands hereby allotted and assigned for the said Tuscarora Indians, such person or persons shall forfeit the further penalty of twenty shillings, proclamation money, for each and every day he, she or they shall inhabit or occupy any lands within the said Indian bounds after the said twenty-fifth day of March next, the said penalties to be recovered and applied in the same manner as the penalty in this act above mentioned.
“Surveyor’s fee for laying out the Indians’ lands.—7. And whereas, The said lands belonging to the said Tuscarora Indians have been lately laid out and newly marked by George Goulde, Esq., Surveyor General, at the request of the said Indians; therefore, be it enacted, that the said George Goulde, Esq., have and receive for the trouble and expense he hath been at in laying out and marking the Indians’ lands aforesaid, the sum of twenty-five pounds, proclamation money, to be paid by the public, out of moneys in the public treasury.
“Penalty of persons ranging stock on the Indians’ lands.—8. And whereas, the Indians complain of injuries received from people driving stock, horses, cattle and hogs, to range on their lands, for remedy thereof, Be it enacted, That persons driving stock to range, or stock actually ranging on the Indians’ lands, shall, and are hereby declared, to be liable and subject to the like penalties and forfeitures, and may be proceeded against in the same manner, and subject to the same recoveries, as by the law of this province stock driven or ranging upon any white people’s land are liable and subject to; and the said Indians shall and may enjoy the benefit of the laws in that case made and provided, in the same manner as the white people do or can, any law, usage, or custom, to the contrary notwithstanding.”
LAWS OF NORTH CAROLINA. A. D. 1878, CHAPTER 136, PAGE 359, VOL. I. BY POTTER, TAYLOR &YANCEY.
“An Act for quieting and securing the Tuscarora Indians, and others claiming under the Tuscaroras, in the possession of their lands.
“Indian lands secured to the Indians.—1. Be it enacted, &c., That Whitmell Tuffdeck, Chief or head man of the Tuscarora nation, and the Tuscarora Indians now living in the county of Birtie, shall have, hold, occupy, possess and enjoy, all the lands lying in the county of Birtie aforesaid, whereof they are now seized and possessed, being part of the lands heretofore alotted to the Indians aforesaid by solemn treaty, and confirmed to them and their successors by act of assembly, in the year one thousand seven hundred and forty-eight, without let, molestation or hindrance, clear of all quit-rents, or any public demands by way of tax whatever, to them the said Tuscarora Indians, and their heirs and successors: and that they, the said Tuscaroras, and their heirs and successors, shall forever be clear and exempt from every kind of poll tax.
“No purchases to be made of the Indians, nor their lands cultivated.—2. And whereas, the said Tuscarora Indians, by nature ignorant, and strongly addicted to drinking, may be easily imposed on by designing persons, and unwarily deprived of their said lands: Be it enacted. That no person, for any consideration whatever, shall hereafter purchase, buy or lease, any tract or parcel of land now claimed by, or in possession of the said Tuscarora Indians, or any of theirs; nor shall any person settle on or cultivate the said lands, or any part thereof, in his own right, or under pretence as acting as overseer for the Indians: and if any person shall hereafter purchase, buy or lease lands of the said Indians, or settle on or cultivate any part thereof in his own right or as overseer for the Indians, all such purchases, sales, leases or agreements shall be and they are hereby declared null and void; and the person so purchasing buying or leasing, settling on or cultivating such lands, or any part thereof, shall forfeit and pay the sum of three hundred pounds current money for every hundred acres by him so purchased, bought or leased, settled on or cultivated as aforesaid, one-half to the use of the Tuscarora Indians, the other to the use of him or her who shall sue for the same: to be recovered by action of debt, bill, plaint or information in any court having cognizance thereof. Provided that the said Tuscarora Indians may sell or dispose of their lands or any part thereof, with the consent of the general assembly first had and obtained.
“Former purchases from the Indians under the sanction of the Assembly, secured.—3. And whereas, the chieftains and head men of the Tuscarora Indians living in the county, did, on the twelfth day of July, in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-six, for the consideration of fifteen hundred pounds to them paid by Robert Jones, Jun., William Williams and Thomas Pugh, by indenture under their hands and seals, demise, grant and to farm let, unto the said Robert Jones, William Williams and Thomas Pugh, a certain tract of land lying in the county aforesaid, containing about eight thousand acres, more or less, bounded as follows, to wit: Beginning at the mouth of Deep creek, otherwise called Falling Run; thence running up the said creek to the Indian head line: thence by the said line south seventeen degrees east, twelve hundred and eighty poles: thence on a course parallel with the general current of the said creek to the Roanoke river and then up the river to the beginning, together with the appurtenances thereto belonging, to be held and enjoyed by the said Robert Jones, William Williams and Thomas Pugh their executors, administrators and assigns in serveralty for and during the term of one hundred and fifty years as may more fully appear by the said indenture, registered in the count of Birtie aforesaid and ratified by act of Assembly, passed at Newbern, in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-six: Be it enacted, That each and every of the persons entitled to claims under the demise aforementioned, or by grants from the persons claiming under the same, or either of them, and their heirs and assigns, shall and may have, hold, occupy, possess and enjoy the several shares, dividends or parcels of the said land to them belonging, in as full, free and absolute manner, and with the same legal privileges and advantages in every respect, and subject to the same taxes as if the said land had been originally granted to the said Robert Jones, William Williams and Thomas Pugh by Lord Granville or by this State.
“Regulations in regard to former demises.—4. And whereas, the said Tuscarora Indians, for good and sufficient reasons, and for valuable consideration, have, since the twelfth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and sixty-six, and previous to the first day of December last, demised, granted and to farm let sundry tracts or parcels of land lying in said county of Birtie to sundry persons, as by indentures duly executed may more fully appear: Be it enacted. That all the land contained in the last mentioned demises, if the said demises were fairly, bona fide and without fraud, made by and obtained from the said Tuscarora Indians since the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-six, and previous to the first day of December last past, shall not be deemed vacant lands, or be liable to be entered as such in the Land Office, unless the General Assembly shall hereafter so direct, but nevertheless shall be subject to the same taxes as other lands in this State are liable to.
“Method of trial for demises alleged to have been unfairly obtained.—5. And whereas, it is suggested by the Tuscarora Indians, that unfair dealings have been used in obtaining one or more of the demises aforementioned, and that they, the said Indians have at present no mode of obtaining redress in such cases. Be it therefore enacted, that the commissioners herein mentioned or a majority of them, shall and may, upon complaint of the said Tuscarora Indians, in court or meeting assembled, that a person or persons has or have unfairly or fraudulently obtained any grant or demise for lands to them belonging since the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-six, and previous to the first day of December last, summon the person or persons so complained against, or cause him or them to be summoned to appear before them on a certain day on the land in dispute (giving at best ten days’ notice previous to the day in such summons appointed), then and there to answer the complaint of the Indians for having fraudulently or unfairly obtained a grant or demise of the land in question; and shall also summon, or cause to be summoned, a jury of twelve men, being freeholders in the county of Birtie and not resident on or owners of any lands purchased of the said Tuscarora Indians; and the said commissioners, or a majority of them, shall attend at the time and place appointed, with the jury aforesaid, and having first sworn the jury to try and determine fairly between the said Indians and the person or persons complained against, shall and may cause witnesses to be examined on both sides, receive the verdict of the jury and return the same, with the panel, to the next County Court of the said county of Birtie, to be entered upon the record; and such verdict shall be as good and effectual as if obtained in any court of record; and if the same be general the said commissioners, or a majority of them, shall and may appoint one or more persons to carry the same into execution; but if special, then the court shall decide thereon, and cause the Sheriff of the county to carry such decision into execution.
“Commissioners for Indian affairs.—6. And whereas the said Indians are often injured by horses, cattle and hogs, driven on their lands by white people, the said horses, cattle and hogs breaking into the enclosure and distroying their corn and other effects, and are also frequently deprived of their property, and abuses by ill disposed persons; for remedy whereof, and also for recovery of suits or demands now due, or which may hereafter become due and owing to the said Tuscarora Indians; Be it enacted, that William Williams, Thomas Pugh, Willie Jones, Simon Turner and Zedekiah Stone, be, and they are hereby appointed commissioners for the said Indians, and they, or any three of them, shall and may inquire into the complaints made by the said Indians, summon the persons complained against, before them, and award such restitution and redress as to them shall seem just and necessary; and may appoint an Officer or Officers to serve subpoena as, and to execute such awards and determinations as they shall or may make in regard of the premises; and the court of said county of Birtie, is hereby authorized and required to fill up, from time to time, by new appointments any vacancies which may happen among the commissioners by death or resignations; and upon complaint of the chiefs or head men of the nation, and the rest of the Indians, in court or meeting properly assembled, against any of the commissioners for misbehavior, may inquire into the conduct of the person or persons complained against, remove him or them if necessary, and appoint another or others in his or their stead.
“Reversion of Indian lands.—7. And be it further enacted, that the lands leased by the said Tuscarora Indians to Robert Jones, Jr., William Williams and Thomas Pugh, and to other persons, shall revert and become the property of the State, at the expiration of the terms of the several leases mentioned, if the said nation be extinct; and the lands now belonging to, and possessed by the said Tuscaroras, shall revert to and become the property of the State, whenever the said nation shall become extinct, or shall entirely abandon or remove themselves off the said lands, and every part thereof. Provided, that no person shall have any preference of entry to any of the said lands by virtue of any lease or occupancy whatever, since December, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, whenever the general assembly shall declare the said lands to be vacant.”
Read three times and ratified in general assembly, the 2d day of May, A. D. 1778.
Signed by WHITMILL HILL, S. S. THOMAS BENBURY, S. C.
LAWS OF NORTH CAROLINA, A. D. 1780, CHAPTER 167. PAGE 406, VOL. I, BY POTTER, TAYLOR &YANCEY.
“An Act to amend an act, entitled an act for quieting and securing the Tuscarora Indians, and others claiming under the Tuscaroras, in the possession of their lands.
“1. Whereas, By the said act there is no penalty imposed on the jurors or witnesses duly summoned, and failing to attend.
“Attendance of Jurors.—2. Be it enacted, &c., That the commissioners by the said act appointed, or any three of them, assembled for the purpose of holding a court, shall, and may inflict fines on jurors or witnesses so failing to attend, not exceeding one hundred pounds, at their discretion; and unless sufficient excuse be to them afterwards shown, cause the same to be levied and applied towards defraying the county expenses of Birtie; and witnesses and jurors who shall attend on the trial of any dispute between the said Tuscaroras and others, shall have and receive ten dollars per day for their attendance, to be paid by the party cost with all other cost: and such trials may hereafter be had on the part of the lands belonging to said Tuscaroras, Birtie County, which commissioners shall direct.”
Read three times and ratified in general assembly, the 10th day of May, A. D. 1780.
Signed by ALEX. MARTIN, S. S. THOMAS BENBURY. S. C.
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LAWS OF NORTH CAROLINA, A. D. 1801, CHAPTER 608, PAGE 965, VOL. 2, BY POTTER, TAYLOR &YANCEY.
“James Turner, Esq., Governor.
“At the general assembly begun and held at Raleigh, on the fifteenth day of November, in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred and two, and in the thirty-seventh year of the independence of said State.
“An Act for the relief of the Tuscarora Nation of Indians.
“Whereas, the Indians composing the Tuscarora nation, have, by their chief Sacarrissa, and others, regularly deputed and authorized, requested the concurrence of the general assembly of this State, to enable them to lease or demise, for a number of years, the residue of their lands situated in the county of Birtie, in such a manner that the whole of the said leases shall terminate at the same period.
“Chiefs authorized to lease their lands.—1. Be it enacted, &c., That the said chiefs Sacarrissa, Longboard and Samuel Smith, or a majority of them, be and they are hereby authorized to lease and to farm let the undemised residue of the lands allotted to the Tuscarora Nation in Birtie County, for a term of years that shall expire and end when the lease made by the Tuscarora Nation to Robert Jones and others, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty-six, shall end and expire; and also extend the term or terms of the leases already made or granted for a shorter term, to a term or terms which shall expire at the same time with the said lease made in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-six, in such parcels and on such rents and conditions as may be approved by the commissioners appointed in pursuance of this act and which may best promote the interest and convenience of the said Indian nation.
“And, whereas, some difficulties have arisen respecting the receipt and payment on the rents of some of the present leases.
“To make alterations with respect to rents.—2. Be it further enacted, That the said chiefs, or a majority of them, be, and they arc hereby authorised to make such alterations, by covenant and agreement, respecting the payment and receipt of any rents due, or that may become due on any of the existing leases, as the commissioners appointed in pursuance of this act, or a majority of them shall approve.
“Whereas, the said Indian chiefs are ignorant of the usual forms of business, and may want advice and assistance in transacting the business respecting their lands, for remedy whereof and to prevent their being injured.
“Governor to appoint three commissioners to carry this act into effect.—3. Be it further enacted, That the Governor shall appoint three commissioners for the purpose of carrying the provisions of this act into effect; and no lease, grant, demise, covenant or agreement made by the said Indian chiefs as aforesaid, respecting said lands, or the rents thereof, shall be good or valid in law, unless the same shall be approved by the said commissioners, or a majority of them, and such approbation shall be expressed in writing and annexed or endorsed on such lease, covenant or agreement, and registered in the Register’s Office in the county of Birtie, together with said lease or agreement; and the said commissioners shall receive the sum of twenty shillings per day for their compensation and expenses, to be paid out of the monies received by the said chiefs on leasing said lands.
“Possessions of the tenants to be deemed the possessions of the Tuscarora Indians.—4. And be it further enacted. That the occupancy and possession of the tenants under the said lease, heretofore confirmed by act or acts of the general assembly, and such leases as may be made under this act, shall be held and deemed in all cases whatsoever, the occupancy and possession of the said Tuscarora Nation, to all intents and purposes, as if said nation, or the Indians thereof, or any of them, actually resided on said lands.
“Whereas, The said chiefs, Sacarrissa, Longboard, and Samuel Smith, being duly and freely authorized and empowered by the said Tuscarora Nation, have consented that the Indians’ claim to the use, possession, and occupancy of said lands shall cease and be extinguished, when the said lease made in the year one thousand seven hundred seventy-six, to Robert Jones and others, shall expire.
“The land to revert to the state.—5. Be it enacted, That from and after the twelfth day of July, which shall be in the year One Thousand nine and sixteen, the whole of the lands alloted to the said Tuscarora Indians, by act of General Assembly passed at Newbern, on the fifteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord One Thousand seven hundred and forty eight, shall revert to, and become the property of the state, and the claim thereto, from that time, be held, and deemed forever extinguished.
“If any of the lands be vacant it is not to be entered but by an express act.—6. And be further enacted, After the said lands shall revert to the State, if the same or any part thereto, shall be vacant, the same shall not be liable to the entry or entries of any person or persons, without an express act of the legislation to that effect; Provided always, That it shall not be lawful for any person or persons to make any entry or entries on the said lands, after the passing of this act. Provided always, That nothing in this act contained shall be construed so as to effect the title of any individual; Provided nevertheless, That no lot or parcel of lands laid off under the direction of said commissioners, shall exceed two hundred acres; And Provided further, That no lease shall be made but by public auction, of which due notice shall be given in the Halifax and Edenton newspapers.”
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ACTS OF ASSEMBLY FROM 1821 TO 1825, PAGE 13, CHAPTER 13, STATE LIBRARY.
“An act concerning the lands held under leases from the Tuscarora tribe of Indians.
“Whereas it is represented to this General Assembly, in behalf of persons holding lands under leases, for a long term of years from the Tuscarora tribe of Indians, that they are subject to great inconveniences from their estates being mere cattle interest: For remedy whereof,
“Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same.
“That the estates in lands now held by certain individuals, under leases for a term of years from the Tuscarora tribe of Indians, made in pursuance of certain acts of the General Assembly of this State, shall be hereafter considered real estate; shall decend to, and be devided among the heirs of any intestate, subject to dower and tenancy by courtesy, and other incidents to real estate, and its liabilitiy to execution, and its conveyance and devise, shall be governed by the same rules as are now prescribed in the case of real estate held in fee simple; Provided that nothing herein contained, shall be so construed as to give to the individuals holding the said term of years, a right to enjoy the same for a longer period than is designated in the leases executed by the Tuscarora Indians, in pursurance of acts of the General Assembly of this state, nor as to give to said individuals any right which by the constitution of this state, is exclusively confirmed to the freeholders.”
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LAWS OF NORTH CAROLINA FROM 1827 TO 1831, PAGE II, VOL. I, CHAPTER XIX, IN STATE LIBRARY. ACT OF NOV. 17TH, 1828.
“An act concerning the lands formerly occupied by the Tuscarora tribe of Indians lying in Bertie County, on the north side of Roanoke river.
“Whereas the Tuscarora Indians have for more than a century been the firm and undividing friends of the white people of this country, insomuch that the people of North Carolina not only render to them full and complete Justice, but also to exercise towards them that spirit of generosity which their conduct has merrited: Therefore,
“I. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, that William R. Smith of Halifax, Simon J. Barker, of Martin and William Brittin of Bertie, be, and they are hereby appointed commissioners for the purpose of advertising and selling in manner hereinafter directed, the above named tract of land bounded as follows, to wit: beginning at the mouth of Quitsnoy swamp; running up the swamp 430 poles to a scrubby oak, near the head of said swamp by a great spring; thence north 10 degrees east 850 poles, to a persimmon tree, on Raquis Swamp; thence along the swamp and Pocasin main course north 57 degrees west 2,640 poles, to a hickory on the east side of Falling Run on Deep Creek, and down the various courses of said Run to Roanoke River; then down the river to the first station.
“II. And be it further enacted, That the title so to be sold by said commissioners shall be understood to extend only to the reversion of the State in said lands after the expiration of the lease from the Indians, under which they are now held, and after the ratification of this act, and notice thereof to the commissioners, it shall be their duty to proceed forthwith to advertise in the newspapers most convenient to the premises, and also in five of the most public places in the counties of Bertie, Halifax and Martin, including the court houses in said counties, that a sale of said lands, according to the provisions of this act, will take place on Tuesday of the ensuing March term of the Superior Court of Birtie county, that is, on the 17th day of March next; and it shall be the duty of the said commissioners to attend to the aforesaid time and place, and offer in the court house yard, at public sale to the highest bidder, the said lands, according to advertisement, subject however to the lease aforesaid, and the commissioners shall have power to continue or postpone the sale from day to day until the end of the week, and should they, by unavoidable accident or otherwise be prevented from selling all or any part of the lands during the same week, it shall be their duty to advertise in like manner, for two months next preceding the following September term of the Bertie court, and to sell at said term, as is heretofore directed, at the March term, and said commissioners shall be empowered to put up said lands in such parcels as they may deem most advantageous for selling, and that they shall give the purchasers a credit of twelve months on one-half the purchase money, and a credit of twelve months on the other half; Provided always, that the purchaser shall deliver to the commissioners bonds with good and sufficient security for the same, payable to the Governor of the State.
“III. And be it further enacted, That should the commissioners upon offering said lands as aforesaid perceive that they were likely to be sacrificed, or to sell for an amount greatly below their value, it shall be their duty forthwith to discontinue the sale, and it shall be the duty of the commissioners after making sale, or if no sale be made, immediately after September next to make report to the public Treasurer of the State of all such proceedings that they may have had under this act and also to hand over to him all such bonds as they may have taken from purchasers; and it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State, upon a certificate from the Treasurer of payment of the purchase money and a certificate from the commissioners of the boundaries of the land so purchased, to grant a title of release from the State of North Carolina to such persons as may be reported purchasers by said commissioners under the act of Assembly.
“IV. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the public Treasurer to collect the money on said lands when they shall become due and hold the same subject to the order of the Tuscarora tribe of Indians; and whenever such order shall be presented, properly and duly authenticated, by said tribe or nation of Indians, it shall be his duty to pay the same over accordingly; Provided always that upon paying such monies, the Public Treasurer shall take from said Indians or agents, a full and complete release of all such claim, pretence of title, as they now make or ever may have to the aforesaid tract of lands.
“V. And be it further enacted, That the commissioners shall be allowed each the sum of three dollars for every day that they shall necessarily be employed in examining said lands, or in attending the sale of same, to be paid out of the funds arising from the sale.
“VI. Be it further enacted, That if it should appear at any time thereafter that the said Indians have parted with their claims, or contracted for the same, so that in fact the benefit of the sale shall, agreeable to the provisions of this act, revert to the State.”
Governor John Owen, Esq., appointed as commissioners, William R. Smith, of Halifax; Simon J. Baker, of Martin; and William Brittain, of Birtie; to sell the Tuscarora lands in pursuance to the lease effected by the help of the General Assembly, Nov. 17, 1823, of which they reported to William Roberts, Public Treasurer—in bonds the sum of $2977.87, payable in installments of one and two years from the 17th day of March, 1829, which are on file in the Public Treasurer’s Office. And on Nov. 21, 1831, William S. Mahon, the Public Treasarer, re-reported cash in bonds for sale of Tuscarora lands—
Principle…………………………. $1400.27. Interest………………………….. 30.74. Total…………………………….. $1431.01.
Another report of the same man January, 1832, that all has been collected, and remains in the treasury, subject to the order of the Indians. $3,220.71-1/4.
Paid on May 3ist, 1831, and found on file.
“For this amount paid Bates Cooke, being their agent to receive the same under the Act of Assembly of 1828, $3,220.71-1/4.”
In about the year 1818, the New York Indians, (which includes the Tuscaroras), were engaged in a stipulation, to buy a tract of land from the Menomonees and Winnebagoes, which was questioned in Congress about the validity of a contract on purchases of lands between Indian nations. But Congress did concur in the stipulation made between the New York Indians of the first part, and the Menomonees and Winnebagoes of the second part, for lands lying in Green Bay, Wisconsin, bought and paid for by the former according to the stipulation concluded in the year 1822.
For the payment of the said land above, I can only speak for the Tuscaroras. The precise amount paid I am unable to state. But a tax was made on the nation; children paid twenty-five cents each, adults paid more according to their ability; the amount obtained in this way I am unable to state. They also gave their annuities of two years, which they drew from the government, and also two hundred dollars in money which they loaned from the Oneida Indians (which they afterwards refunded).
All those goods and moneys were paid to the Menomonees and Winnebagoes, as their part of the Green Bay lands. These facts I obtained of the widow of Jonathan Printup, an honorable chief of the Tuscarara nation, by whom was entrusted with the goods and money for the payment of said lands, which he faithfully performed, and was accompanied as delegates by Dr. John Patterson and James Cusick, who were appointed to the honorable office of purchasing a tract of land for a future home of their people. I am indebted to the widow of Dr. John Patterson, and also his brother Harry, for information which corroborates with that of the widow above mentioned, and also of other old people.
In a short time afterwards, the Menomonees denied the contract in various ways, they denied the efficiency of the Chiefs who signed the treaty, and also denied of having received any payment, and also denied the boundary of the land ceded. This naturally created difficulty and discord between them, and kept growing worse from year to year. But the Winebagoes never denied any of the denials of the Menomonees.
In a treaty of the United States and the Menomonees and Winebagoes, of Feb. 6th, 1826, in Article 8th, it was acknowledged that there existed some uncertainty in consequence of the cession made by the tribes upon Fox River and Green Bay, to the New York Indians. Finally the Menomonees made their complaint before the President, concerning the New York Indians, which has reference to the case, in the treaty by the United States, with the several tribes of Green Bay on Feb. 23rd, 1829, in Article 2nd, which read as follows, viz:
“Much difficulty having arising from the negotiations between the Menomonees and Winebago tribes and the various tribes and portions of tribes of Indian of the State of New York, and the claims of the respective parties being much contested, as well with relation to the tenure and boundaries of the two tracts claimed by the New York Indians, west of Lake Michigan, as to the authority of the persons who signed the agreement on the part of the Monomonees, and the whole subject having been fully examined at the council this day concluded, and the allegations, proofs, and statements of the respective parties having been entered upon the Journal of the commissioners, so that the same can be decided by the President of the United States, it is agreed by the Monomonees and Winebagoes, that so far as respects their interests in the premises, the whole matter shall be referred to the President of the United States, whose decision shall be final. And the President is authorized, on the parts, to establish such boundaries between them and the New York Indians as he may consider equitable and just.”
And also in the treaty of Feb. 8th, 1838, we find, in enumerating the several reasons for effecting a treaty at the above date, the following, commencing at line 20,928, in the Revision of Indian Treaties, viz: “as well as for the purpose of settling the long existing dispute between themselves, and the several tribes of the New York Indians, who claim to have purchased a portion of their lands, the undersigned, Chiefs and head men of the Menomenees tribe, stipulate and agree with the United States as follows:
“First. The Menomonee tribe of Indians declare themselves the friend and allies of the United States, under whos parental care and protection they desire to continue; and although always protesting that they are under no obligation to recognize any claim of the New York Indians to any portions of their country; that they neither sold nor received any value for the land claimed by these tribes, yet at the solicitation of their Great Father, the President of the United States, and as an evidence of their great love and veneration for him, they agree that such a part of the land described, being within the following boundaries, as he may direct, may be set apart as homes for the several tribes of the New York Indians, who may remove to and settle upon the same within three years from the date of this agreement, &c.” Commencing at line 20,970, the President of the United States is hereby empowered to apportion the lands among the actual occupants at that time, so as not to assign to any tribe a greater number of acres than may be equal to one hundred for each soul actually settled upon the lands, and if, at any time of such apportionment any lands shall remain unoccupied by any tribes of the New York Indians, such portion as would have belonged to said Indians, had it been occupied, shall revert to the United States. That portion, if any, so reverting to be laid off by the President of the United States. It is destinctly understood that the lands hereby ceded to the United States for the New York Indians are to be held by those tribes, under such tenure as the Menomonee Indians now hold their lands, subject to such regulations and alternation of tenure as Congress and the President of the United States shall from time to time think proper to adopt.
“Second. For the above cession the United States for the benefit of the New York Indians, the United States consent to pay the Menomonee Indians twenty Thousand Dollars, &c.
“Also commencing at line 21,118, Article 6th, the Menomonee Chiefs request that such part of it as relates to the New York Indians be immediately submmitted to the representatives of their tribes, and if they refuse to accept the provision made for their benefit and to remove upon the lands set apart for them, on the west side of Fox River, that they will direct their immediate removal from the Menomonee county, but if they agree to accept the liberal offer made to them by parties of this compact, then the Menomonee tribe, as dutiful children of the Great Father, the President, will take them by the hand as brothers, and settle down with them in peace and friendship.”
First. It is agreed between the undersigned, commissioners on behalf of the United States and the chiefs and warriors representing the Menomonee tribe of Indians, that for the reasons above expressed, such part of the first Article of the agreement entered into between the parties hereto, on the 8th instant, as limits the removal and settlement of the New York Indians upon the lands therein provided for their future homes, three years, shall be altered and amended so as to read as follows: That the President of the United States shall prescribe the time for the removal and settlement of the New York Indians upon the lands thus provided for them; and at the expiration of such reasonable time, he shall apportion the lands among the actual settlers in such manner as he shall deem equitable and just. And if, within such reasonable time as the President of the United States shall prescribe for that purpose, the New York Indians shall refuse to accept the provisions made for their benefit, or, having agreed, shall neglect or refuse to remove from New York, and settle on the said lands, within the time prescribed for that purpose, that then, and in either of these events, the lands aforesaid shall be and remain in the property of the United States, according to the said first article, excepting so much thereof as the President shall deem justly due to such of the New York Indians as shall actually have removed to and settled on the said lands.
“Second, It is further agreed that the part of the Sixth Article of the agreement aforesaid, which requires the removal of those of the New York Indians who may not be settled on the lands at the end of three years, shall be so amended as to leave such removal discretionary with the President of the United States; the Menomonee Indians having full confidence that in making his decision he will take into consideration the welfare and prosperity of their nation: Provided, That for the purpose of establishing the rights of the New York Indians upon a permanent and just footing, the said treaty shall be ratified with the express understanding that two townships of land,” &c. which goes on and locates the different portion of lands to the several tribes or bands of the New York Indians which was proclaimed, July 9, 1832.
“Whereas articles of agreement between the United States of America, and the Menononee Indians, were made and concluded at the city of Washington, on the 8th day of February A. D. 1831, by John H. Eaton, and Samuel C. Stambaugh, commissioners on the part of the United States, and certain Chiefs and headmen of the Menomonee nation, on the part of the said nation; to which articles an addition or supplemental article was afterwards made, on the 17th day of February, in the same year, by which the said Menomonee nation agree to cede to the United States certain parts of their lands: and that a tract of country therein defined, shall be set apart for the New York Indians; all which, with the many other stipulations therein contained, will more fully appear by reference to the same. When said agreement thus forming a treaty, were laid before the Senate of the United States, during their then session, but were not at said session acted on by that body. Whereupon a further agreement was on the fifteenth day of March, in the same year, entered into for the purpose of preserving the provisions of the treaty made as aforesaid; by which it is stipulated that the said articles of agreement concluded as aforesaid, should be laid before the next Senate of the United States at their ensuing session, and if sanctioned and confirmed by them, that each and every article threof should be as binding and obligatory upon the parties respectively as if they had been sanctioned at the previous session; and whereas, The Senate of the United States, by their resolution of the twenty fifth day of June, 1832, did advise and consent to accept, ratify, and confirm the same, and every clause and article thereof, upon the conditions expressed in the proviso contained in their said resolution, which proviso is as follows: Provided, That for the purpose of establishing the right of the New York Indians on a permanent and just footing, the said treaty shall be ratified, with the express understanding that two townships of land, &c.,” as in article second above.
“Whereas, Before the treaty aforesaid, conditionally ratified, according to the proviso to the said resolution of the Senate, above recited, could be obligatory upon the said Menomomee nation, their assent to the same must be had and obtained.” Which was done after some modifications respecting the location of the portion of land for the New York Indians. And as the modifications so made and desired, was acceded to also by the New York Indians, which was as follows:
“To all to whom these presents shall come, the undersigned chiefs and head men of the sundry tribes of the New York Indians (as set forth in the specifications annexed to their signatures), send greeting:
“Whereas, a tedious, perplexing and harassing dispute and controversy have long existed between the Menomonee Nation of Indians and the New York Indians, more particularly those known as the Stockbridge, Munsee and Brothertown tribes, the Six Nations and the St. Regis tribe. The treaty made between the said Menomonee Nation and the United States, and the conditional ratification thereof by the Senate of the United States being stated and set forth in the within agreement, entered into between the chiefs and head men of the said Menomonee, and George B. Porter, Governor of Michigan, commissioners specially appointed, with instructions referred to in the said agreement.
“And whereas, the undersigned are satisfied and believe that the best efforts of the said commissioners were directed and used to procure, if practicable, the unconditional assent of the said Menomonees to the change proposed by the Senate of the United States in the ratification of the said treaty, but without success.
“And whereas, the undersigned, further believe that the terms stated in the within agreement are the best practicable terms short of those proposed by the Senate of the United States, which could be obtained from the said Menomonees; and being asked to signify our acceptance of the modifications proposed, as aforesaid, by the Menomonees, we are compelled by a sense of duty and propriety to say that we do hereby accept of the same. So far as the tribes to which we belong are concerned, we are perfectly satisfied that the treaty should be ratified on the terms proposed by the Menomonees. We further believe that the tract of land which the Menomonees in the within agreement are willing to cede, in exchange for an equal quantity on the northeast side of the tract of five hundred thousand acres, contains a sufficient quantity of good land, favorably and advantageously situated, to answer all the wants of the New York Indians and St. Regis tribe. For the purpose, then, of putting an end to strife, and that we may sit down in peace and harmony, we thus signify by our acceptance of the modifications proposed by the Menomonees; and we most respectfully request that the treaty as now modified by the agreement this day entered into with the Menomonees, may be ratified and approved by the President and Senate of the United States.
“Proclaimed March 13th, 1835.”