Treaty with the New York Indians as amended by the Senate, and assented to by the several Tribes 1838.
Articles of a treaty made and concluded at Buffalo Creek, in the State of New York, the fifteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight, by Ransom H. Gillett, a commissioner on the part of the United States, and the chiefs, head men and warriors of the several tribes of the New York Indians, assembled in council; witnesseth;
“Whereas, The Six Nations of New York Indians, not long after the close of the war of the Revolution, became convinced, from the rapid increase of the white settlers around, that the time was not far distant when their true interest must lead them to seek a new home among their brethren in the West: and,
“Whereas, This subject was agitated in a general council of the Six Nations as early as 1810, and resulted in sending a memorial to the President of the United States, inquiring whether the Government would consent to their tearing their habitations, and removing into the neighborhood of their western brethren, and if they could procure a home there, by gift or purchase, whether the Government would acknowledge their title to the lands so obtained in the same manner it had acknowledged it in those from whom they might receive it; and further, whether the existing treaties would in such a case remain in full force, and their annuities be paid as heretofore: and,
“Whereas, With the approbation of the President of the United States, purchases were made by the New York Indians from the Menomonees and Winnebago Indians of certain lands at Green Bay, in the Territory of Wisconsin, which, after much difficulty and contention with those Indians concerning the extent of the purchase, the whole subject was finally settled by a treaty between the United States and the Menomonee Indians, concluded in February, 1831, to which the New York Indians gave their assent on the seventeenth day of October, 1832: and
“Whereas, By a provision of that treaty, five hundred thousand acres of land are secured to the New York Indians of the Six Nations and the St. Regis tribe, as a future home, on the condition that they all remove to the same within three years, or such reasonable time as the President shall prescribe, and
“Whereas, The President is satisfied that various considerations have prevented those still residing in New York from removing to Green Bay, and among other reasons, that many who were in favor of emigration preferred to remove at once to the Indian Territory; which they were fully persuaded was the only permanent and peaceable home for all the Indians. And they therefore applied to take their Green Bay lands and provide them a new home among their brethren in the Indian Territory: and
“Whereas, The President, being anxious to promote the peace, prosperity and happiness of his red children, and determined to carry out the humane policy of the Government in removing the Indians from the east to the west of the Mississippi, within the Indian Territory, by bringing them to see and feel, by his justice and liberality, that it is their true policy and for their interest to do so without delay,
“Therefore. Taking into consideration the foregoing premises, the following articles of a treaty are entered into, between the United States of America and the several tribes of the New York Indians, the names of whose chiefs, head men and warriors are hereto subscribed, and those who may hereafter give their assent to this treaty in writing within such time as the President shall appoint.”
“Article 1. The several tribes of the New York Indians, the names of whose chiefs, head men, warriors and representatives are hereunto annexed, in consideration of the premises above recited, and the covenants hereinafter contained, to be performed on the part of the United States, hereby cede and relinquish to the United States all their right, title and interest, in the lands secured to them at Green Bay by the Menomonee treaty of 1831, except the following tract on which a part of the New York Indians now reside: Beginning at the southwesterly corner of the French grants at Green Bay, and running thence southwardly to a point and line to be run from the little Cocalin, parallel to a line of the French grants, and six miles from Fox river; from thence, on said parallel line, northwardly six miles; from thence eastwardly to a point on the northeast line of the Indian lands, and being a right angle to the same.
“Article 2. In consideration of the above cession and relinquishment on the part of the tribes of the New York Indians, and in order to manifest the deep interest of the United States in the future peace and prosperity of the New York Indians, the United States agree to set apart the following tract of country, situated directly west of the State of Missouri, as a permanent home for the New York Indians now residing in the State of New York, or in Wisconsin, or elsewhere in the United States, who have no permanent homes; which said country is described as follows: Beginning on the west line of the State of Missouri, at the northeast corner of the Cherokee tract, and running thence north along the west line of the State of Missouri twenty-seven miles to the southerly line of the Missouri lands: thence west so far as shall be necessary, by running a line at right angles and parallel to the west line aforesaid, to Osage lands; and thence easterly along the Osage and Cherokee lands to the place of beginning; to include one million eight hundred and twenty-four thousand acres of land, being three hundred and twenty acres for each soul of said Indians, as their numbers are at present computed. To have and hold the same, in fee simple, to the said tribes or nations of Indians, by patent from the President of the United States, issued in conformity with the third section of the act entitled, ‘An act to provide for an exchange of lands with the Indians residing in any of the States or Territories, and for their removal west of the Mississippi,’ approved on the 28th day of May, 1830, with full power and authority in the said Indians to divide said lands among the different tribes, nations or bands in severalty, with the right to sell and convey to and from each other, under such laws and regulations as may be adopted by the respective tribes, acting by themselves or by a general council of the said New York Indians, acting for all the tribes collectively. It is understood and agreed that the above described country is intended as a future home for the following tribes, to-wit: The Senecas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Tuscaroras, Oneidas, St. Regis, Stockbridges, Munsees and Brothertowns, residing in the State of New York, and the same is to be divided equally among them according to their respective numbers, as mentioned in a schedule hereunto annexed.
“Article 3. It is further agreed that such of the tribes of the New York Indians as do not accept and agree to remove to the country set apart for their new homes, within five years, or such other time as the President may from time to time appoint, shall forfeit all interest in the lands so set apart, to the United States.
“Article 4. Perpetual peace and friendship shall exist between the United States and the New York Indians; and the United States hereby guarantee to protect and defend them in the peaceable possession and enjoyment of their new home, and hereby secure to them, in said country, the right to establish their own form of government, appoint their own officers, and administer their own laws; subject, however, to the legislation of the United States, regulating trade and intercourse with the Indians. The lands secured to them by patent under this treaty shall never be included in any state or territory of this Union. The said Indians shall also be entitled in all respects to the same political and civil rights and privileges that are granted and secured by the United States to any of the several tribes of emigrant Indians settled in the Indian Territory.
“Article 5. The Oneidas are to have their lands in the Indian Territory, in the tract set apart for the New York Indians, adjoining the Osage tract, and that hereinafter set apart for the Senecas; and the same shall be so laid off as to secure them a sufficient quantity of timber for their use.
“Those tribes whose lands are not specially designated in this treaty are to have such as shall be set apart by the President.
“Article 6. It is further agreed that the United States will pay to those who remove west, at their new homes, all such annuities as shall properly belong to them. The schedule hereunto annexed shall be deemed and taken as a part of this treaty.
“Article 7. It is expressly understood and agreed that the treaty must be approved by the President and ratified and confirmed by the Senate of the United States, before it shall be binding upon the parties to it.
“It is further expressly understood and agreed that the rejection, by the President and Senate, of the provisions thereof, applicable to one tribe or distant branch of a tribe shall not be construed to invalidate as to others; but as to them, it shall be binding and remain in full force and effect.
“Article 8. It is stipulated and agreed that the accounts of the commissioner and expenses incurred by him in holding a council with the New York Indians, and concluding treaties at Green Bay and Duck Creek in Wisconsin, and in the State of New York in 1836, and those for the exploring party of the present treaty, shall be allowed and settled according to former precedents.”
SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR THE ST. REGIS.
“Article 9. It is agreed with the American party of the St. Regis Indians, that the United States will pay to the said tribe, on their removal west, or at such time as the President shall appoint, the sum of five thousand dollars, as a remuneration for moneys laid out by the said tribe and services rendered by their chiefs and agents in securing the title to the Green Bay lands, and in removal to the same, to be apportioned out to the several claimants by the chiefs of the said party, and a United States commissioner, as may be deemed by them equitable and just. If is further agreed that the following reservation of land shall be made to the Rev. Eleazar Williams of said tribe, which he claims in his own right and that of his wife, which he is to hold in fee simple by patent from the President, with full power and authority to sell and dispose of the same, to-wit. Beginning at a point in the west bank of the Fox River, thirteen chains above the old mill-dam at the rapids of the little Kockalin, thence north fifty-two degrees and thirty minutes west, two hundred and forty chains, thence north thirty-seven degrees and thirty minutes east, two hundred chains, thence south fifty-two degrees and thirty minutes east, two hundred and forty chains to the bank of the Fox river, thence up along the bank of the Fox river to the place of beginning.”
SPECIAL PROVISION FOR THE SENECAS.
“Article 10. It is agreed with the Senecas that they shall have for themselves and their friends the Cayugas and Onondagas residing among them, the easterly part of the tract set apart for the New York Indians, and to extend so far west as to include one-half section (three hundred and twenty acres) of land for each soul of the Senecas, Cayugas and Onondagas residing among them; and if on removing west they find there is not sufficient timber on this tract for their use, then the President shall add thereto timber land sufficient for their accommodation and they agree to remove from the State of New York to their new homes within five years, and to continue to reside there. And Whereas, At the making of this treaty, Thomas L. Ogden and Joseph Fellows, the assignees of the State of Massachusetts have purchased of the Seneca Nation of Indians, in the presence and with the approbation of the United States Commissioner, appointed by the United States to hold said treaty or convention, all the rights, title, interest and claim of the said Seneca Nation to certain lands by a deed of conveyance, a duplicate of which is hereunto annexed, and whereas, the consideration money mentioned in said deed, amounting to two hundred and two thousand dollars, belonging to the Seneca Nation, and the said nation agrees to receive the same, to be disposed of as follows, The sum of one hundred thousand dollars to be invested by the President of the United States in safe stock, for their use, the income of which is to be paid to them at their new homes annually, and the balance, being one hundred and two thousand dollars, is to be paid to the owners of the improvements on lands so deeded according to an appraisement of said improvements, and a distribution and award of said sum of money among the owners of said improvement, to be made by appraisers hereafter to be appointed by the Seneca nation, in the presence of the United States’ Commissioner hereafter to be appointed, to be paid by the United States to the individuals who are entitled to the same, according to said appraisal and award, and their severally relinquishing their respective possessions to the said Ogden and Fellows.”
SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR THE CAYUGAS.
“Article 11 The United States will not set apart for Cayugas, on their removing to their new homes at the west, two thousand dollars, and will invest the same in some safe stocks, the income of which shall be paid them annually at their new homes. The United States further agree to the said nation on their removal west, two thousand five hundred dollars, to be disposed of as the chiefs shall deem just and equitable.”
SPECIAL PROVISION FOR THE ONONDAGAS ON THE SENECA RESERVATIONS.
“Article 12. The United States agreed to set apart for the Onondagas residing on the Seneca Reservation, two thousand five hundred dollars, on their removing west, and to invest the same in safe stock, the income of which shall be paid to them annually, at their new homes. And the United States further agree to pay to the said Onondagas, on their removal to their new homes in the west, two thousand dollars, to be disposed of as the chiefs shall deem equitable and just.”
SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR THE ONEIDAS RESIDING IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK.
“Article 13. The United States will pay the sum of four thousand dollars, to be paid to Babtist Powlis, and the chiefs of the first Christian party residing at Oneida, and the sum of two thousand dollars shall be paid to William Day, and the chiefs of the Orchard party residing there, for expenses incurred and services rendered in securing the Green Bay country, and the settlement of a portion thereof; and they hereby agree to remove to their new homes in the Indian Territory as soon as they can make satisfactory arrangements with the Governor of the State of New York for the purchase of their lands at Oneida.”
SPECIAL PROVISION FOR THE TUSCARORAS.
“Article 14 The Tuscarora Nation agree to accept the country set apart for them in the Indian Territory, and to remove there within five years, and continue to reside there. It is further agreed that the Tuscaroras shall have their lands in the Indian country, at the forks or the Neasha River, which shall be so laid off as to secure a sufficient quantity of timber for the accommodation of the nation. But if on examination, they are not satisfied with this location, they are to have their lands at such a place as the President of the United States shall designate. The United States will pay to the Tuscarora Nation, on their settling at the west, three thousand dollars, to be disposed of as the chiefs shall deem most equitable and just.
“Whereas, The said nation owns, in fee simple, five thousand acres of land lying in Niagara county, in the State of New York, which was conveyed to the said nation by Henry Dearborn, and they wish to sell and convey the same before they remove west.
“Now, therefore, in order to have the same done in a legal and proper way, they hereby convey the same to the United States, and to be held in trust for them; and they authorize the President to sell and convey the same, and the money which shall be received for the said lands, exclusive of the improvement, the President shall invest in safe stock for their benefit, the income from which shall be paid to the nation at their new homes annually; and the money which shall be received for improvements on saidlands shall be paid to the owners of the improvements, when the lands are sold. The President shall cause the lands to be surveyed, and the improvements shall be appraised by such persons as the nation shall appoint; and said lands shall also be appraised, and shall not be sold at a less price than the appraisal, without the consent of James Cusick, William Mount Pleasant and William Chew, or the survivor or survivors of them. And the expenses incurred by the United States in relation to this trust are to be deducted from the moneys received before investment. And whereas, at the making of this treaty, Thomas L. Ogden and Joseph Fellows, the assignees of the State of Massachusetts, have purchased of the Tuscarora Nation of Indians, in the presence and with the approbation of the commissioner appointed on the part of the United States, to hold a treaty or convention, all the right, title, interest, and claim of the Tuscarora Nation to certain lands, by a deed of conveyance, a duplicate of which is hereunto annexed; and whereas, the consideration money for said lands has been secured to the said nation to their satisfaction, by Thomas L. Ogden and Joseph Fellows. Therefore the United States hereby assent to the said sale and conveyance, and sanction the same.
“Article 15. The United States hereby agree that they will appropriate the sum of four hundred thousand dollars, to be applied from time to time, under the direction of the President of the United States, in such proportions as may be best for the interests of the said Indians, parties to the treaty, for the following purposes to wit: To aid them in removing to their new homes, and supporting themselves the first year after their removal; to encourage and assist them in education, and in being taught to cultivate their lands, in erecting mills and other necessary houses; in purchasing domestic animals and farming utensils, and acquiring a knowledge of the mechanical arts.”
CENSUS OF THE NEW YORK INDIANS AS TAKEN IN 1837.
Number residing on the Seneca Reservations: Senecas…………………………….. 2,309 Onondagas…………………………….. 194 Cayugas………………………………. 130
Onondagas at Onondaga………………… 300 Stockbridge…………………………. 217 Munsees…………………………….. 132 Brothertowns………………………… 360 Oneidas in New York………………….. 620 Oneidas at Green Bay…………………. 600 St. Regis in New York………………… 350 Tuscaroras………………………….. 273
The above was made before the execution of the treaty.
R. H. GILLET, Commissioner.
The following is the disposition agreed to be made of the sum of three thousand dollars provided in the treaty for the Tuscaroras by the chiefs, and assented to by the Commissioner, and is to form a part of the treaty:
To Jonathan Printess, ninety-three dollars.
To William Chew, one hundred and fifteen dollars.
To John Patterson, forty-six dollars.
To Wm. Mt. Pleasant, one hundred and seventy-one dollars.
To James Cusick, one hundred and twenty-five dollars.
To David Peter, fifty dollars.
The rest and residue thereof is to be paid to the Nation.
The above was agreed to before the execution of the treaty.
R. H. GILLET, Commissioner.
SCHEDULE APPLICABLE TO THE ONONDAGAS AND CAYUGAS RESIDING ON THE SENECA RESERVATIONS.
It is agreed that the following disposition shall be made of the amount set apart to be divided by the chiefs of those nations in the preceding part of this treaty, anything to the contrary notwithstanding:
To William King, one thousand five hundred dollars.
To Joseph Isaac, seven hundred dollars.
To Jack Wheelbarrow, three hundred dollars.
To William Jacket, five hundred dollars.
To Buton George, five hundred dollars.
The above was agreed to before the treaty was fully executed.
R. H. GILLET, Commissioner.
At a treaty held under the authority of the United States of America at Buffalo Creek, in the county of Erie and the State of New York, between the chiefs and head men of the Seneca Nation of Indians, duly assembled in council, and representing and acting for the said Nation, on the one part, and Thomas Ludlow Ogden, of the city of New York, and Joseph Fellows, of Geneva, in the county of Ontario, on the other part, concerning the purchase of the right and claims of the said Indians in and to the lands within the State of New York, remaining in their occupation. Ransom H. Gillet, Esq., a commissioner appointed by the President of the United States to attend and hold the said treaty, and also Josiah Trowbridge, Esq., the superintendent on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, being severally present at the said treaty, the said chiefs and head men, on behalf of the Seneca Nation, did agree to sell and release to the said Thomas Ludlow Ogden and Joseph Fellows, and they, the said Thomas Ludlow Ogden and Joseph Fellows, did agree to purchase all the right, title and claim of the said Seneca Nation of, in and to the several tracts, pieces or parcels of land mentioned and described in the instrument of writing next hereinafter set forth, and at the price or sum therein specified, as the consideration or purchase money for such sale and release; which instrument, being read and explained to the said parties and mutually agreed to, was signed and sealed by the said contracting parties, and is in the words following:
This indenture, made this fifteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight, between the chiefs and head men of the Seneca Nation of Indians, duly assembled in council, and acting for and on behalf of the said Seneca Nation, of the first part, and Thomas Ludlow Ogden, of the city of New York, and Joseph Fellows, of Geneva, in the county of Ontario, of the second part, witnesseth:
That the said chiefs and head men of the Seneca Nation of Indians, in consideration of the sum of two hundred and two thousand dollars to them in hand paid by the said Thomas Ludlow Ogden and Joseph Fellows, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, have granted, bargained, sold, released and confirmed, and by these presents do grant, bargain, sell, release and confirm unto the said Thomas Ludlow Ogden and Joseph Fellows, and to their heirs and assigns, all that certain tract or parcel of land situate, lying and being in the county of Erie and State of New York, commonly called and known by the name of Buffalo Creek Reservation, containing by estimation forty-nine thousand nine hundred and twenty acres, be the contents thereof more or less. Also all that certain other tract or parcel of land, situate, lying and being in the counties of Erie, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus, in said State, commonly called and known by the name of Cattaraugus Reservation, containing by estimation twenty-one thousand six hundred and eighty acres, be the contents thereof more or less. Also all that certain other tract or parcel of land, situate, lying and being in the said county of Cattaraugus, in said State, commonly called and known by the name of the Alleghany Reservation, containing by estimation thirty thousand four hundred and sixty-nine acres, be the contents more or less. And also all that certain other tract or parcel of land, situate, lying and being partly in said county of Erie and partly in the county of Genesee in said State, commonly called and known by the name of the Tonawanda Reservation, and containing by estimation twelve thousand eight hundred acres, be the same more or less: As the said several tracts of land have been heretofore reserved and are held and occupied by the Seneca Nation of Indians, or by individuals thereof, together with all and singular the rights, privileges, hereditaments and appurtenances to each and every of the said tracts or parcels of land belonging or appertaining; and all the estate, right, title, interest, claim and demand of the said party of the first part, and of the said Seneca Nation of Indians, of, in and to the same, and to each and every parcel thereof; to have and to hold all and singular the above described and released premises unto the said Thomas Ludlow Ogden and Joseph Fellows, their heirs and assigns, to their proper use and behalf forever, as joint tenants, and not as tenants in common.
At the before-mentioned treaty, held in my presence, as superintendent on the part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and this day concluded, the foregoing instrument of writing was agreed to by the contracting parties therein named, and was in my presence executed by them, and being approved by me, I do hereby certify and declare such my approbation thereof.
Witness my hand and seal, at Buffalo Creek, this 15th day of, January, in the year 1838.
I have attended a treaty of the Seneca Nation of Indians, held at Buffalo Creek, in the county of Erie, in the State of New York, on the fifteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight, when the within instrument was duly executed in my presence, by the chiefs of the Seneca Nation, being fairly and properly understood by them. I do therefore certify and approve the same.
R. H. GILLET, Commissioner.
At a treaty held under and by authority of the United States of America, at Buffalo Creek, in the county of Erie, and State of New York, between the sachems, chiefs and warriors of the Tuscarora Nation of Indians, duly assembled in council, and representing and voting for the said Nation, on the one part, and Thomas Ludlow Ogden, of the city of New York, and Joseph Fellows, of Geneva, in the county of Ontario, on the other part, concerning the purchase of the rights and claim of the said Indians in and to the lands within the State of New York remaining in their occupation. Ransom H. Gillett, Esq., a commissioner appointed by the President of the United States to attend and hold the said treaty, and also Josiah Trowbridge, Esq., the superintendent on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, being severally present at the said treaty, the said sachems, chiefs and warriors, on behalf of the said Tuscarora Nation, did agree to sell and release to the said Thomas Ludlow Ogden and Joseph Fellows, and they, the said Thomas Ludlow Ogden and Joseph Fellows, did agree to purchase all the right, title and claim of the Tuscarora Nation of, in and to the tract, piece or parcel of land mentioned and described in the instrument of writing next hereafter set forth, and at the price or sum therein specified as the consideration or purchase money for such sale and release; which instrument being read and explained to the said parties, and mutually agreed to, was signed and sealed by the contracting parties, and is in the words following:
This indenture, made this fifteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight, between the sachems, chiefs and warriors of the Tuscarora Nation of Indians, duly assembled in council, and acting for and on behalf of the said Tuscarora Nation, of the first part, and Thomas Ludlow Ogden, of the city of New York, and Joseph Fellows, of Geneva, in the county of Ontario, of the second part, witnesseth:
That the said sachems, chiefs and warriors of the Tuscarora Nation, in consideration of the sum of nine thousand six hundred dollars to them in hand paid by the said Thomas Ludlow Ogden and Joseph Fellows, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, have granted, bargained, sold, released and confirmed, and by these presents do grant, bargain, sell, release and confirm to the said Thomas Ludlow Ogden and Joseph Fellows, and to their heirs and assigns, all that tract or parcel of land situated, lying and being in the county of Niagara, and State of New York, commonly called and known by the name of the Tuscarora Reservation, or Seneca grant, containing nineteen hundred and twenty acres, be the same more or less, being thelands in their occupancy, and not included in the land conveyed to them by Henry Dearborn, together with all and singular the rights, privileges, hereditaments and appurtenances to the said tract or parcel of land belonging or appertaining, and all the estate, right, title, interest, claim and demand of the said party of the first part, and of the said Tuscarora Nation of Indians of, in and to the same, and to every part and parcel thereof; to have and to hold all and singular the above described and released premises unto the said Thomas Ludlow Ogden and Joseph Fellows, and their heirs and assigns, to their proper use and behalf forever, as joint tenants and not as tenants in common.
At the above-mentioned treaty, held in my presence as superintendent on the part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and this day concluded, the foregoing instrument was agreed to by the contracting parties therein named, and was in my presence executed by them; and being approved by me, I do hereby certify and declare such my approbation thereof.
Witness my hand and seal at Buffalo Creek, this 15th day of January, in the year 1838,
J. TROWBRIDGE, Superintendent.
I have attended a treaty of the Tuscarora Nation of Indians, held at Buffalo Creek, in the county of Erie, in the State of New York, on the fifteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight, when the within instrument was duly executed in my presence by the sachems, chiefs and warriors of the said nation, being fairly and properly understood and transacted by all the parties of Indians concerned, and declared to be done to their full satisfaction. I do therefore certify and approve the same.
R. H. GILLET, Commissioner.
SUPPLEMENTAL ARTICLE TO THE TREATY CONCLUDED AT BUFFALO CREEK, IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK, ON THE 15TH DAY OF JANUARY, 1838, CONCLUDED BETWEEN RANSOM H. GILLET, COMMISSIONER, ON THE PART OF THE UNITED STATES, AND CHIEFS AND HEAD MEN OF THE ST. REGIS INDIANS, CONCLUDED ON THE 13TH OF FEBRUARY, 1838.
The undersigned, chiefs and head men of the St. Regis Indians, residing in the State of New York, having heard a copy of said treaty read by Ransom H. Gillet, the commissioner who concluded that treaty on the part of the United States, and be having fully and publicly explained the same, and believing the conditions of the said treaty to be very liberal on the part of the United States, and calculated to be highly beneficial to the New York Indians, including the St. Regis, who are embraced in its provision, do hereby assent to every part of the said treaty, and approve the same. And it is further agreed that any of the St. Regis Indians who wish to do so shall be at liberty to remove to the said country at any time hereafter within the time specified in this treaty, but under it the Government shall not compel them to remove.
The United States will, within one year after the ratification of this treaty, pay over to the American party of said Indians one thousand dollars, part of the sum of five thousand dollars mentioned in the special provisions for the St. Regis Indians, anything in the article contained to the contrary, notwithstanding.
Proclaimed April 4, 1840.
* * * * *
In the year 1846, on the 16th day of May, about forty of the Tuscaroras emigrated from the reservation to their new homes in the Indian Territory, and in one year about one-third of them died on account of the sufferings they endured. They were destitute of everything, and the Government was to have sustained them for one year, and to build houses for them, and provide all the necessaries of life, but they failed in fulfilling their promises on account of the misconduct of Dr. A. Hogeboom, the moving agent of the emigration party.
By reference to official documents in the Indian department it appears that a petition from a small party of discontented emigrationists at the Tuscarora village, dated March 4th, 1845, was sent to the President of the United States, expressing a desire to remove to the West. It also further appears that a letter had been received by the department from a certain D. G. Garnsey, dated May 8th, 1845, stating that a portion of the Senecas, and others of the Six Nations in western New York, were now ready to remove. The Government, justly fearing that there might be persons so anxious to possess themselves of the moneys appropriated by law for the removal and support of emigrating Indians, as to resort to fraudulent means for the purpose, by letters warned the Indian agent at Buffalo to be on his guard against such imposition. Afterwards, several petitioners from small fragments of the Senecas and other tribes, were prevailed on to sign memorials to the President, asking to be removed, and begging appropriations for that purpose. To those well acquainted with these movements, there was sufficient evidence that persons interested in their removal were at the bottom of all this business.
Of the Six Nations, once the owners and lords of the soil within the boundaries of the great Commonwealth of New York, there were many small remnants scattered over the western part of this State in a condition of wretched vagrancy; reduced by idleness and intemperance to poverty, and ready, for a trifling compensation, to have their names attached to any memorial, without regard to its objects, for a small sum of money they would lend themselves to the service of any artful intriguer whose designs were to defraud the Government.
By an act of Congress passed on the 3rd day of April, 1843, the sum of twenty thousand four hundred and seventy-seven dollars and fifty cents was appropriated for the removal of two hundred and fifty Indians to the countries west and south of the Missouri river.
This appropriation was granted in consequence of repeated assurances made to the Indian department that this number were anxious to emigrate. The glittering prize thus hung up in the face of the noon-day sun was so bright and alluring that a goodly number of hungry candidates were soon seen entering the lists and struggling for the prize. But, alas! for the conditions; unless two hundred and fifty Indians could be procured to enrol themselves on the emigration engagement, and actually embark for the West, the stakes could not be legally won. Here was the great difficulty. And yet one would suppose that out of four thousand eight hundred and eighty-five Indians, belonging to the following tribes, to wit: the Senecas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Tuscaroras, Oneidas, St. Regises, Stockbridges, Munsees and Brothertowns, by taking up all the poor, degraded individuals, and gathering together all the sincere emigrationists, such a small proportion of the whole might easily be procured; especially if these candidates for an agency had told the truth when they asserted that large bodies of the Indians were anxious to remove. By these movements the Government had been induced to believe that there really was an emigration party sufficiently large to meet the objects of the late appropriation, and to warrant the appointment of an emigration agent. Under this impression, the Secretary of War, by a letter dated Sept. 12, 1845, addressed to Dr. Abraham Hogeboom, appointed him to that office, instructing him, however, that no movement was to be made unless the full complement of emigrants should desire, in good faith, to remove to the West, and Hogeboom was also explicitly informed that “the Government would not undertake the emigration of these Indians unless two hundred and fifty of them, then residing in the State of New York, exclusive of the Canada Indians, should muster themselves and actually go with the agent.”
As if to leave no door open for misunderstanding, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs at Washington addressed a letter to Hogeboom, dated Oct. 2nd, 1845, in which it was expressly declared that “two hundred and fifty Indians is the smallest number that will be emigrated.”
On the 27th of that month, Hogeboom wrote to the department giving it information that two hundred and nine Indians had enrolled themselves, and some of their chiefs had assured him that at Buffalo, Cattaraugus and Alleghany there would be twenty more. Thus the utmost number that the Doctor could dare to hope for was two hundred and twenty-nine. If that letter was written in order to feel after the temper of the departmcnt, and to ascertain how far it was disposed to relax its determination to send no less away than two hundred and fifty, he was not long in suspense, for by a letter dated Nov. 4th the Secretary of War again reminded him that he, was “selected to act as emigrating agent only in the event that two hundred and fifty would go.” But on the 7th of that month Hogeboom again writes to him, dating his letter from Buffalo, saying he had ascertained that two hundred and sixty, Indians had enrolled themselves, and had fixed on the 20th of that month as the time for starting. This sudden and unexpected movement was not agreeable to the Secretary on account of the advanced state of the season; but, hoping they might get out before the lakes and rivers should be impassable on account of the ice, he immediately ordered provisions for their sustenance at their intended homes, to be procured and be in readiness at the time of their arrival.
Notwithstanding all these assurances on the part of Hogeboom, when the time for telling the truth came the whole scheme failed; a sufficient number of Indians could not be persuaded to go. The emigration was therefore indefinitely postponed.
It will be seen by the foregoing statement that on the 27th day of October Hogeboom wrote to the department that only two hundred and nine had enrolled themselves, and he then admitted that only twenty more could be hoped for in addition; of course there was no prospect of emigrating that season. Indeed the Doctor says in that letter, speaking of the Indians, “they do not think they will be able to obtain the number of two hundred and fifty to emigrate this fall.” Up to this time nothing had been done to induce the war department to advance any money to the agent. So, not only had the emigration scheme failed, but, so far as the Doctor had been moved by pecuniary motives, he had also failed. This was no doubt a trying circumstance, but the trial did not long continue, for only ten days after he had written to the war department that the Indians did not think they could emigrate this fall, he wrote again to the Secretary of War, under date of Nov. 7th, 1845, saying “I have ascertained that two hundred and sixty Indians have enrolled themselves for emigration, and have fixed the time for starting on the 20th inst.” The following is an extract from a letter from the department to Hogeboom, dated Nov. 14th, in answer to his of the 7th. It was no doubt a letter such as the Doctor much desired:
SIR;—I have received your letter of the 7th inst., informing the department of the enrollment of two hundred and sixty New York Indians for emigration to their western homes, and proceed, now that there appears to be no doubt of the movement taking place, to give you some instructions, &c. * * * A requisition for $10,000 has this day been issued in your favor, with which you will be charged and held accountable for, under the head of “removal, &c., of New York Indians,” per act March 3rd, 1843.
(Signed) W. MEDILL, Commissioner.
Thus the Doctor was put in possession of the sum of ten thousand Dollars, and we hear no more about the two hundred and sixty Indians, nor of any more trouble about Indian emigration during the remainder of the year.
The proceedings of Dr. Hogeboom; and other persons interested in removing the Senecas, necessarily produced great agitation, and a very unsettled state among those who had no idea of emigrating. The chiefs on the reservations of Alleghany and Cattaraugus, harassed and perplexed by this vexatious state of things, at length determined to address the President on the occasion. This application procured the appointment of the council which was held at Cattaraugus on June 2d, 1846.
In the spring of 1846 Dr. Hogeboom, hearing that the Government had called a council of the Senecas, for the express purpose of inquiring officially whether there was an emigration party among them, and, if there was one, what its number, made great exertions to push off his emigrants. Regardless of the positive instructions of the Government, and without its knowledge, he hastily collected as many of the Indians as he could bring under his influence, and with them embarked in a steamboat at Silver Creck, on Lake Eric, near Cattaraugus Reservation.
The circumstances and manner of the embarkation throws much light on the motives and conduct of this emigrating agent. The subject is graphically related in a speech of Israel Jemison, as made in a council of 1846, and addressed to the Commissioners of the United States, as follows, to wit:
“Brothers! The question relative to emigration being disposed of, I will explain the manner in which this removal of the Indians to the West has been effected. I believe it was irregularly conducted. Indeed, I may say, of this I am convinced. The agent who came to execute it was duly notified, that the Government had called the present council for the consideration and investigation of this matter. As soon as it was known that this had been determined on, great efforts were made to hurry off the emigrants and induce them to leave before the council would meet. I am satisfied that many were decoyed away by various contrivances and gross misrepresentations on the part of the emigrating agent and his emissaries. I myself remonstrated against these proceedings, and asked if it could beproper to inveigle and deceive the Indians in this manner. In reply I was desired to be silent, to which I rejoined that many of them whom they had decoyed on board were then drunk, and in a state of unconsciousness! These remonstrances availed nothing, and the whole were hurried away. If anyshowed an unwillingness to go they were told they might return if theychose, should they not like the place when they got there.”
The painful, and indeed the awful result of this inhuman conduct of Dr. Hogeboom will be seen by reference to the memorial of the Seneca chiefs to the President of the United States, invoking the aid of the Government to bring back the wretched surviving remnant of the poor duped people. It is as follows:
To His Excellency, James K. Polk, President of the United States :
The memorial of the undersigned chiefs and warriors of the Seneca Nation of Indians, residing in the State of New York, respectfully showeth,
That a party of the Seneca Nation, consisting, as your memorialists have been informed, of sixty-two persons, together with a portion of the Cayugas, Onondagas and Oneidas, residing with us, and a party of the Tuscaroras, residing near Lewiston, in Niagara county, left the State of New York last spring to settle in the country west of Missouri. That your memorialists have been credibly informed by letters received from individuals among them, and by the statements of such as have returned, that great distress has, from their first arrival there, existed among them, and does exist without mitigation, in consequence of the insalubrity of the climate; that twenty persons of the sixty-two Senecas were already dead some six weeks since, and about the same proportion of our friends of the other tribes; that many others were sick; that three of the leading Seneca chiefs, one of the Onondagas, one of the Oneidas, and a leading man of the Tuscaroras, were dead; that the remnant of the people, with very few exceptions, were very anxious to return, but were destitute of the means of doing so; that many of them have sent earnest requests to us for assistance to enable them to do so; but that only a few families among us are able to furnish efficient relief to their suffering friends. In view of all these facts, we would respectfully request the Vice President to furnish the necessary assistance to bring back the remnant of the party to their former homes, and to arrange for the payment of the annuities belonging to them, so that in future they may receive them here. Although they went out from us against our earnest remonstrance and entreaty, and some of them mocking our expressions of concern for them as we stood around the boat when they were going on board, still we shall rejoice to have them home again amongst us, for they are our brethren and their sufferings grieve us to the heart. Thirteen of the Senecas have already returned, and three others, we have heard, are on the way. This makes the condition of those unable to return the more lonely and wretched. We hope the President will not say it was their own fault that they went there, for even if they were to be blamed for doing so, they had already suffered a fearful punishment. But we think that if the President were acquainted with the circumstances he would pity rather than blame them for going. Notice had been repeatedly given from the War Department that unless a company of two hundred and fifty emigrants could be organized, none would be removed. Such a company having failed to be organized in the fall of 1845, we were told that the Department had required the removing agent to refund the money he had received for the purpose of removing them. In the spring of the present year certain men were running from house to house among our people saying that the agent still held the money in his hands, and would remove all who wished to go, upon the opening of navigation. Directly after, notice was received from the Government that commissionerswere appointed, and that a Council would be held on a specified day to ascertain if the requisite number wished to emigrate. When this became known it was immediately reported that the removing agent (Dr. Hogeboom) had already contracted for their passage—that the steamboat would take them in at Cattarangus Creek on a certain day, and it was not necessary for them to wait for the action of the Government. The agent soon after appeared, accompanied by two individuals from Buffalo, who, as we were afterward credibly informed, instigated him to practice this fraud upon the Government, and endeavored, by representing the country west as a paradise, to induce a large company to go on board their boat. Some of our friends, who had not disposed of their effects, were told not to mind their stuff, for the country to which they were going was so rich, and they would prosper there so rapidly that they would never feel the loss of it, and one family were hurried away from their table, leaving everything upon it just as it was when they arose from their dinner. We have reason to believe that the whole company, except a few leaders, most of whom are now dead, were deluded by these flattering but fate representations of those white men, and inasmuch as the removing Agent appeared on the ground, with the money in his hand, these simple people were made to discredit the orders received from the department, relative to the council of the 2d of June. Justice would indeed seem to require that these white men should repair the injury they have done to us, and not to us alone, but also to the government.
But we have no power to compel them. Our only resource is to appeal to the government in behalf of our afflicted and desponding brethren, who are perishing under the accumulated pressure of disappointed expectations —grief for the dead and the heavy hand of disease upon their own persons. We trust our appeal will not be disregarded. We think it is the dictate of humanity, and we confidently believe that the voice of the whole country would approve the course of the President if he would grant the needed relief. We would beg leave further to request the President to make known to us through our friend Philip E. Thomas, of Baltimore, who will present our memorial, the decision he may make in regard to it.
And your memorialists, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.
Cattaraugus Reservation, Dec. 16, 1846.
James X Shongo, Moses Stephenson, N. T. Strong, William X Jones, Robert X Gordon, Zachariah X L. Jimison, Daniel Two Guns, Samuel X Wilson, William X Johnson, John X Bolden, Benjamin Williams, George Lindsay, John Kennedy, Jr., George Greenblanket, David X Snow, John Huson, Solomon W. Lane, Jim X Junius, Henry Two Guns, Little X John, John Talor, John X Luke, Governor X Blacksnake, Israel X Jimison, William X Patterson, John X Greenblanket, S. M. Patterson, Moses X Pierce, James X Stephenson, Abraham X John, Jabez X Stephenson, Peter X White, Charles Graybeard.
In reply to this memorial, the following answer was received from the Indian Bureau at Washington:
WAR DEPARTMENT, OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, Feb. 23rd, 1847.
SIR:—The application for the removal of the Seneca Indians back to New York who emigrated West from there last summer has been duly considered. With every disposition to gratify the wishes of the Society of Friends, and of the New York Indians, so far as it could properly be done, I have to inform you that the Executive Department of the Government has neither the authority nor the means to justify a compliance with their desire. In this particular Congress only could authorize the measure and provide the requisite means for the expense it would invalue.
Respectfully your ob’t servant, W. MEDILL.
To PHILIP E. THOMAS, Esq., Baltimore, Md.
When the chiefs were made acquainted with the result of this application, they addressed the following communication to the joint committee of Friends:
CATTARAUGUS RESERVATION, March 22nd, 1847.
RESPECTED FRIEND, PHILIP E. THOMAS:—Permit us to address you a few lines, and, through you, the committee of the four-yearly meetings of the Society of Friends, in reference to the condition of our suffering friends and brethren still remaining in the country west of the Mississippi. We suppose the committee are already thoroughly acquainted with the means used to decoy those Indians off, in contravention of the instructions of the Government to the removing agent. They were flattered with prospects of almost unbounded prosperity. The country was described as a paradise; and they were told that there friends here, who might now refuse to accompany them, would soon be compelled to follow, and that it would be better to go now and get well started in their improvements, &c., as soon as possible. But, when they reached that country, instead of being a paradise, they found it rather a land of desolation, disease and death, and a large proportion of them are now lying beneath the turf. The survivors are discouraged and broken-hearted, in addition to the sufferings from the disease which has swept off their companions, and they are anxious to return. Application has been made to the Government in their behalf, without obtaining relief, and, from a recent letter from Dr. Wilson, we learn that a similar application to the Legislature of this State is likely to fail. We cannot make any appropriation from our national funds until the meeting of our national council, as a law has been passed which would forbid it, but if we delay till that meeting it will expose our friends to the horrors of the sickly season once more, and doubtless many more of them will perish in consequence. Under these circumstances we see no other resource but to look again to those kind-hearted friends who have done somuch already to relieve us in our distresses. Our obligations are already very great, and we cherish deep feelings of gratitude for past favors. We would not willingly burden your kindness now were it not for the peculiarly difficult and perplexing condition of things just at the present time. But we feel that humanity towards our own people demands of us to make this application in their behalf, as well as of ourselves, for we will always cherish a lively remembrance of your kindness.
Wishing you the reward of the benevolent in the great day, we subscribe ourselves your obliged and sincere friends,
In presence of Asher Wright,
HENRY TWO GUNS,
GEORGE X BUTTON,
JOHN X GREENBLANKET,
ABRAHAM X JOHN,
DANIEL TWO GUNS.
Notwithstanding the fact that these Indians were carried away without the knowledge or sanction of the Government, and consequently without the requisite preparation for their comfort and subsistence in the western country, yet the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, as soon as he was apprised of the movements of Dr. Hogeboom, anxious to afford them all the relief in his power, promptly ordered arrangements for their reception at the place of their destination, as will be seen by the following documents in the War Department, to wit:
WAR DEPARTMENT, OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, June 10th, 1846.
SIR:—Information has been receently received at this office that A. Hogeboom had started for St. Louis with a party of New York Indians, in number about two hundred. This act of starting with a less number than two hundred and fifty, in connection with the recent action of this office, looking to a suspension of the emigration for a time, was wholly unauthorized, and of course unexpected, but as the party are without the reach of the Department, measures must be taken to subsist them. I have therefore to request that you will give directions to the Osage sub-agent to invite proposals as contemplated in my instructions to you of the 14th November, 1845, to which you are referred.
To T. W. HARVEY, Esq., Supt. Indian Affairs, St. Louis, Mo.
Notwithstanding this humane effort on the part of the Commissioner to make provision for the reception and accommodation of these emigrants, it appears that from the hardships and exposures to which they were subjected, and from the unwholesome nature of the climate one-third of them perished within six months after their arrival at their intended residence. When their distressed situation was made known to the Department, the Commissioner immediately addressed a letter to the Indian Agent at St. Louis, calling his attention to their case, from which the following is extracted:
WAR DEPARTMENT, OFFICE INDIAN AFFAIRS. October, 29, 1846.
SIR:—I transmit herewith a copy of a letter just received from James Cusick, one of the party of the New York Indians removed west last summer by Dr. Hogeboom, from which it appears that there has been much sickness and mortality among those Indians, and that they are in a distressed situation. Mr. Cusick’s letter, supported by Capt. Burbanks, is calculated to excite much anxiety on account of these Indians. They were removed contrary to the instructions and expectations of the Department at the time, and their having gone west was not known until they were some distance on the route. There was, consequently, no opportunity for making the requisite preliminary arrangement for their comfort and welfare on their arrival west. After giving you the instructions of June 10th for their subsistance, such had to be left to the judgment and views of duty, under these circumstances, of yourself and the Osage Sub. Agent, under whose immediate supervision they came, in regard to what further required to be done for them. In my letter of the 30th ultimo your attention was especially called to their situation, and no doubt is entertained, that your answers to that communication will show you have done, or caused to be done, all that could be done, under the circumstances, for their relief. Should the amount now remitted not be sufficient to cover the expenses of what you have already done, or what it may be, in your judgment, further requisite to do for them in addition to their subsistance, for which there is a special appropriation, you will please report promptly accordingly, and the necessary funds will be furnished. Funds will also be remitted on account of their subsistance when this office is informed that they are needed.
THOMAS H. HARVEY, Esq., St. Louis, Mo.