Fort Gibson, Cherokee Nation:
Jesse Bushyhead, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, of lawful age, to me known to be a creditable person, after being by me first duly sworn, upon his oath says:
I am a member of the Cherokee Nation by birth. I am a merchant by occupation. I enlisted in the Third Regiment Indian Home Guards on the 23d day of April 1863. Was promoted to sergeant major of said regiment, and served as such until the close of the war, and was honorably discharged and mustered out of the service on the 31st day of May, 1865. Some time in the summer of 1865 I delivered to John W. Wright my discharge papers, and gave him a power of attorney to collect my bounty. In the fall of 1866 Wright paid me $100, charging me nothing. He charged many others $15, when the general understanding was, when he was taking up the claims that he was not to charge over $10. I also know that a great many who put their claims into his hands at the same time I did have not got anything yet. I also know that many of those who have got their pay or a part of it have had to take it in goods out of the stock of F. H. Nash, a trader in Fort Gibson, in which said Wright is generally understood to be a silent partner. I am informed and do believe that said Wright has charged all those he has paid or caused to be paid $15 on the $100.
Affiant further states that he was in Washington during the winter of 1866 and ’67; that soon after he arrived in Washington said Wright came to him and told he had the money to pay the bounties to the three Indian regiments-had it deposited with Jay Cooke & Co., First National Bank of Washington-and made a proposition to me to hold the money and furnish me with a list of names of those who had been paid or of those whose money was in his hands, so that I might buy them at a discount or trade goods for them at the amount of $85 for each name so furnished to me; and for giving me the names and the privilege of buying or trading goods for them I must pay 6 per cent to his son, John Brown Wright, on all the claims so bought or taken up and sent to him or delivered to his son or agent at Fort Gibson; and that I could draw on him “at sight” through Jay Cooke & Co. every night for the amount so bought or taken up, less the 6 per cent. He also told me that Nash had a list and was paying them off in goods, and that he (Nash) paid him or his son 6 per cent. Said Wright afterwards, in the month of February or the 1st of March, proposed to furnish me $10,000 worth of goods in New York, and to furnish me with a list as hereinbefore mentioned, if I would engage in buying up said claims and send the receipts to him until I had liquidated the debt of $10,000 and paid the 6 per cent. and then draw on him as hereinbefore mentioned. He said that Nash was paying them on these terms. When Wright was in Fort Gibson in the fall of 1866, he paid a portion of the claims and left a large number unpaid, many of whom, from actual necessity, have been compelled to take their pay in goods, and at Nash’s store, when it was the general rumor that Wright took a large amount of money back with him last fall, that he had collected and justly belonged to the soldiers, many of whom have not got their pay yet.
And further this affiant saith not.
Sworn to before me and subscribed in my presence this 21st day of September, 1867,
Clerk of Circuit Court.