Letter From Creek Nation for Bounty and Back Pay
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No. 12 B.
Creek Agency, Cherokee Nation, May 11, 1867.
Sir: We have been notified by Mr., Nash, a merchant of Fort Gibson, Cherokee Nation, that he is authorized and ready to pay us our bounties, back pay, &c., due us from the Government of the United States for services rendered as soldiers during the late war.
Some of our men have gone to Mr. Nash for their money and have been informed by him that their names were there, but unless they would trade at least one-half of the amount due them out of his store they would not be paid. Our claims, with our certificates of discharge from the United States service, were placed in the hands of J. W. Wright near two years ago, in all good faith, with a promise from him that we should have our pay in at farthest three months. Since then we have received no money, but a very prompt renewal of the old promise as often as every three months; we did not agree to take our pay in goods.
We respectfully ask you, as our agent, to investigate the matter and ascertain on what or whose authority Mr. Nash is making or proposing to make these payments and why he does not pay the money? “Why he requires us to go to Fort Gibson, at considerable expense and loss of time, when he can pay us all in a few hours, by simply notifying us that he will be at some convenient point in our country with the money, and we can by far better pay his expenses to and from this place than twenty or thirty times as much, which the amount would be for each individual to go to Fort Gibson.
We pay our claim agent for getting our money and bringing it to us and we claim our right of being paid in our own country.
Again we earnestly ask that you will look into this matter. We cannot believe that it is the purpose of the Government that we should be kept so long out of the use of our money hardly earned in her service, and finally be obliged to take the one-half of our pay in goods to obtain the other half in money.
On behalf of the Creek colored soldiers who served in the seventy-ninth, eighty-third, and other colored regiments of United Stated volunteers during the late war, we are, very respectfully, your obedient servants.
Major J. W. DUNN,
United States Agent for Creeks, Creek Agency, Cherokee Nation.