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Location: Fort Towson

Governor Houston’s Life Among the Indians

The year following his failure to secure the contract, Houston spent writing letters defending his acts and denouncing the officials who had been discharged. In addition to the Indian officials, he poured his wrath and denunciation on Colonel Hugh Love, a trader on the Verdigris whom Houston accused of being in league with the Indian Agent to rob the Creeks; Love replied to Houston with some spirited charges against the latter. Stung by the contents of an article appearing in a Nashville paper, in a burst of passion Houston gave to the press of Nashville a most intemperate letter, July 13, 1831, beginning:

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Western Garrison Life

Grant Foreman describes the early life in a Western Garrison; providing insights on some of the traders in the region, the deaths of Seaton, Armstrong, Wheelock and Izard, all soldiers obviously familiar to him. But he also shares the story of the elopement of Miss Sarah Knox Taylor, daughter of General Taylor, to Lieutenant Jefferson Davis… yes, THAT Jefferson Davis.

An interesting section of the chapter are the references to the punishments inflicted upon the soldiers in the event of their disobedience.

Painted by Catlin in 1834, the picture attached is of Clermont, chief of the Osage Tribe. Clermont is painted in full length, wearing a fanciful dress, his leggings fringed with scalp-locks, and in his hand his favorite and valued war-club.

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Colonel Dodge Reaches Villages of Western Indians

Trailing through broad and verdant valleys, they went, their progress often arrested by hundreds of acres of plum trees bending to the ground with tempting fruit; crossing oak ridges where the ground was covered with loaded grapevines, through suffocating creek-bottom thickets, undergrowth of vines and briars, laboring up rocky hillsides and laboring down again, the horses picking their way through impeding rocks and boulders, until on the twenty-ninth of the month, two hundred miles from Fort Gibson, General Leavenworth and his staff reached Captain Dean’s camp, a mile or two from the Washita, where there were quartered two companies of the Third Infantry from Fort Towson. Reports of sickness among the men were alarming. They were dying daily, and failure of the expedition was threatened. General Leavenworth, who had intended to send the command on from the Washita in charge of Colonel Dodge, announced that he himself would proceed in charge to the Wichita country. It was not until the first day of July that the regiment came dragging into camp with forty-five men and three officers ill from exposure, the surgeon said, brought on by marching through the heat of the day. A contributing cause was the strange diet to which these untrained, undisciplined men gave themselves, and the sudden and intemperate indulgence of their appetite in abundant buffalo meat. On arrival at the Washita, seventy-five horses and...

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Peace Attempts with Western Prairie Indians, 1833

What was known as the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was entered into in Mississippi with the Choctaw Indians September 27, 1830; 1Kappler, op. cit., vol. ii, 221. pursuant to the terms of the treaty, in 1832 the movement of the Choctaw to their new home between the Canadian and Red rivers was under way but they were in danger from incursions of the Comanche and Pani Picts 2Called by early French traders Pani Pique tattooed Pawnee, and known to the Kiowa and Comanche by names meaning Tattooed Faces. [U.S. Bureau of Ethnology, Handbook of American Indians, part ii,...

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Washington Irving at Fort Gibson, 1832

The McIntosh Creeks had been located along Arkansas River near the Verdigris on fertile timbered land which they began at once to clear, cultivate, and transform into productive farms. The treaty of 1828 with the Cherokee gave the latter a great tract of land on both sides of Arkansas River embracing that on which the Creeks were located. This was accomplished by a blunder of the Government officials, in the language of the Secretary of War, 1U.S. House, Executive Documents, 22d congress, first session, no. 116, President’s Message submitting the memorial of the Creek Indians. “when we had not...

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Establishment of Fort Gibson in 1824

By Act of Congress of March 2, 1819, Arkansas Territory was established July 4, embracing substantially all of what are now the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma; though the civil government of Arkansas Territory was limited to that section lying east of the Osage line, divided into counties, and embracing approximately the present state of Arkansas. That west of the Osage line was the Indian country, and in later years became known as Indian Territory. James Miller 1James Miller was born in Peterboro, N. H., April 25, 1776; entered the array as major in 1808, became Lieutenant-colonel in 1810,...

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Expeditions of Fowler and James to Santa Fe, 1821

When Pike returned from his western expedition and related his experiences in Santa Fe and other places among the Spaniards, his accounts excited great interest in the east, which resulted in further exploits. In 1812, an expedition was undertaken 1American State Papers, “Foreign Relations” vol. iv, 208. by Robert McKnight, James Baird, Samuel Chambers, Peter Baum, Benjamin Shrive, Alfred Allen, Michael McDonald, William Mines, and Thomas Cook, all citizens of Missouri Territory; they were arrested by the Spaniards, charged with being in Spanish territory without a passport, and thrown into the calabazos of Chihuahua, where they were kept for...

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Treaty of January 17, 1837

Articles of convention and agreement made on the seventeenth day of January, 1837, between the undersigned chiefs and commissioners duly appointed and empowered by the Choctaw tribe of red people, and John McLish, Pitman Colbert, James Brown, and James Perry, delegates of the Chickasaw tribe of Indians, duly authorized by the chiefs and head-men of said people for that purpose, at Doaksville, near Fort Towson, in the Choctaw country. Article 1. It is agreed by the Choctaws that the Chickasaws shall have the privilege of forming a district within the limits of their country, to be held on the same terms that the Choctaws now hold it, except the right of disposing of it, (which is held in common with the Choctaws and Chickasaws) to be called the Chickasaw district of the Choctaw Nation; to have an equal representation in their general council, and to be placed on an equal footing in every other respect with any of the other districts of said nation, except a voice in the management of the consideration which is given for these rights and privileges; and the Chickasaw people to be entitled to all the rights and privileges of Choctaws, with the exception of participating in the Choctaw annuities and the consideration to be paid for these rights and privileges, and to be subject to the same laws to which the Choctaws are;...

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