Letter from Department of War, November 1, 1833

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DEPARTMENT OF WAR, November 1, 1833

SIR: I have received your letter of the 10th ultimo, and, in answer, have to inform you that it has already been decided that, in locating the reservations granted by the Choctaw treaty, when a section is granted, an entire surveyed section must be taken. When a hall’ section is granted, the surveyed half of an entire section roust be taken, and so with a quarter section. It is not, conceived that ally well-founded doubt can exist upon this subject, and the locating agent has been directed to execute his duties accordingly.

A copy of Mr. Felder’s letter has been transmitted to Colonel Martin, to whom I refer you for further information respecting it.

Very respectfully, &c., LEWIS CASS.

To THOMAS D. WOOLDRIDGE, Lowndes County, Mississippi.


DEPARTMENT OF WAR, Office Indian Affairs, November 1, 1833.

SIR: Your letter Of the 29th September last, addressed to the Secretary Of War, has been referred to this office, and, in reply, I have to state that your name is among the number returned by the agent as having signified their intention to become citizens of the United States within the period stipulated in the treaty.

The whole duty of locating the reservations under the Choctaw treaty has been confided to G. W. Martin, Esq., and copies of the registers have been forwarded to him. You can therefore obtain all the information you desire On application to him.
The name of Anthony Pariss appears on the register, and it is supposed he is the person to whom you allude.

Very respectfully, &c., ELBERT HERRING.

To Mr. JACOB DANIEL, Daniel’s Prairie, Alabama.
Extract of a letter from Samuel Gwin to the Secretary of War, dated at
CHOCCHUMA LAND OFFICE, November 8, 1833.

The agent for locating Indian claims is now at. Columbus attending to his duties, before the land sales come on at that place. He has completed all those in this district, but will not, as he informed me, make a report for some time, as he believed he had made reservations that were not contemplated by the treaty; and that he might have further time to examine and do justice to the claimants, as well as to the United States, he reserved the land from sale, but will at a future period examine the claims more minutely, and make a final decision. This course was deemed best, as it gave every opportunity to the Indian to make up his case.

“I would suggest to you the propriety of not acting on any claims until you have first heard from Col. Martin, the locating agent, and I would also suggest the propriety of ordering Col. Martin to Washington during the next session, as there is no doubt but what an attempt will be made to have allowances made to Indians for pretended claims under the treaty, that have no existence in fact. I only suggest the above for the information of the department and the President; and would refer you to the honorable Messrs. Bell arid Dickinson, of Tennessee, now here.”


COLUMBUS, November 8, 1833.

SIR: I arrived here this morning at 8 o’clock, having left Chocchuma on Tuesday night, 5th instant, having closed the business in that district at present; having, as I believe, located all claims as I believe justly entitled under the treaty, (when found on the register furnished me as my guide, &c.,) except, perhaps, some floating claims, which possibly may be held up by owner. I am happy to have it in my power to say that I believe I shall have the same success here from the great number of claims already located in this district.

I left Chocchuma on Tuesday, in the second week of the sale of the public lands. As I am extremely pressed with business at this moment, I shall write to the department again in a short time more fully, and after progressing further with matters here. I am happy to say to you I am in possession of the registers sent me from Washington. I received them a the 18th of October by an express from this place. Your esteemed favor of the 27th of September came to hand on the 18th of October, with regard to all of which I will write you more fully in a few days.

I have, &c., GEO. W. MARTIN.

Hon. LEWIS CASS, Washington.
P. S. The registers I received from Washington are deficient as regards the citizens or five years’ claims, as I find no such claims alluded to in any part of said registers. These claims are under the 14th article of the treaty. If there is any such register, I should like to know it. There are many complaints of the defects of the one furnished by Col. Ward.

Respectfully, G. W, M.

Extract of a letter front George W. Martin to Secretary of War, dated
COLUMBUS, November 19, 1833.

“I am as yet uninstructed in what manner the department will direct that clause of the treaty in which there is 960 acres of land allowed to Delila and her five children, and also to Peggy Trahern and her children, and to the widow of Pucktshe-nubbee, &c. I say I am uninstructed how these claims shall be located; that is, shall they be located on lands selected by me or by themselves? Shall they be located quarter sections, or in one entire tract? I am desirous to hear from the department, and know in what manner I am to view these claims.”


DEPARTMENT OF WAR, Office of Indian Affairs, October 2, 1833.

SIR: In reply to your letter of the 14th ult., I would, observe that copies of all the documents in this office which call facilitate Mr. Martin in locating the Choctaw reservations, had been forwarded to him previously to the receipt of your letter. Suitable instructions, growing out of the circumstances in which he is placed, have also been communicated to him.

Very respectfully, &c., ELBERT HERRING.
To Capt„ W. ARMSTRONG,
Choctaw Agency, Mississippi.


N. E. LAND DISTRICT, Mississippi, October 3, 1833.

SIR: I presume that Col. George W. Martin has apprised you of the course which he has taken in relation to the location of Indian reserves, viz : the appointing of an acting agent at each laud office for the purpose of registering Indian reserves; and, inasmuch as he has conferred the appointment on me for this district, I feel it my duty to consult you upon such subjects as are presented to me, about which I may be difficultied. The case which I wish to present to you is the following:

Col. David Folsom (a half-breed Choctaw), has purchased an Indian reserve of three-quarters of a section; he has also purchased another reserve of one-quarter section, making a whole section. Both of those Indians lived on the same section on which was a missionary establishment, where the Rev. Mr. Byington resided, and at present resides. The buildings and improvements are pretty good. The colonel has applied to me to register his reserves, covering that establishment. I have not thought proper to comply with his wishes, and he says he will contend.

You will please give me specific instructions in reference to this subject as soon as practicable. It is also in contemplation by a certain gentleman, I am informed, to sweep Mayhew in the same, or nearly in the same manner.

I entertain but little doubt of being able to register all the reserves within this district before the sales of the land.

You are aware of the importance of an early response to this, without a suggestion on my part.

Your obedient servant,
WM. Dowsing, Register

Hon. ELIJAH HAYWARD, Commissioner General Land Office, Washington City.


Mississippi, Lowndes County, October 10, 1833.

DEAR SIR: I am requested to write you as agent for John McGilry and Taner McGilbry, who have taken citizenship as Choctaws under the provisions of the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creekk agreeable to the fourteenth article of said treaty. Application was made through me to Mr. Dowsing, who is acting as agent for locating reservations of said treaty: the location was wished by the Indians to adjoin the parent by a connection of one-half mile, and connect one on the other in that way throughout. This was objected by the acting agent set contrary to his instructions from the principal agent, Col. Martin.

I have consulted several men, learned in law, who give it as their opinion that they were entitled to run their land in any way so as to adjoin the location of the parent. Is there any doubt as regards this location? If there is, is it not a well-founded doubt on the part of the Choctaws? I will refer you to that clause of the treaty where it is expressed, “that where any well-founded doubt arises as to the construction of the treaty, tile most favorable shall be given to the Choctaw:” this does certainly give this right claimed by the Choctaws.” If you are not the proper officer of the government that should be applied to on this subject for information, will you be so good as to lay this statement before them for instructions, and forward them to me as soon as possible.

There are a few settlers that have settled on this laud, who are endeavoring to prejudice the government against the Indians and their rights. It is understood by the Indians that one of them, Gabriel Felder, has written a remonstrance to your department against their locating their lands agreeable to the most favorable construction of said treaty, adding that it was only advantageous to a speculator. If this is the case, I can assure you it is without foundation, and should take it as a singular favor to be furnished with a copy of that letter. I have no fears that such would go to the prejudice of the Indians, as I have every confidence that ample justice will be dealt out to those unfortunate people; and that, as regards the location, no speculator will be benefited or injured. In that event be so good as to advise me on this subject as early as possible. There appears to be one more difficulty in this location: the State line between Alabama and Mississippi running, through the improvements, a part is wanted on each side, which we wish to be advised on. I hope that Mr. Felder will not be countenanced in his nullification notions, who not only wishes to nullify the laws and treaty, but the rights of those unfortunate Indians. The Indians urge me to press on you for a construction of the treaty, and to advise them, through me, as soon as possible, as they wish to know before the lands are sold.

I am yours, &c., THOMAS D. WOOLDRIDGE

Hon. LEWIS CASS, Secretary of War



MLA Source Citation:

Armstrong Roll of Choctaw, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. 1831. Document 512, Correspondence on the Subject of the Emigration of Indians between the 30th November, 1831 and 27th December, 1833 With Abstracts of Expenditures by Disbursing Agents, in the Removal and Subsistence of Indians. Furnished in answer to a resolution of the Senate of 27th December, 1833, by the Commissary General of Subsistence., Vol. III, printed in Washington by Duff Green, 1835. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 31 July 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/letter-from-department-of-war-november-1-1833.htm - Last updated on Mar 3rd, 2013


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