Letter from Greenwood Leflore – February 18, 1834
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WASHINGTON CITY, February 18, 1834.
SIR: The undersigned respectfully represents, that in many instances complaints have been made of the course pursued by the present locating agent of the Choctaws, granted to them by the treaty of Dancing Rabbit creek, and particularly with regard to the 14th article, the 19th article, and the supplement treaty. He therefore prays that William Armstrong, whom he hereby recommends as a suitable person, may be appointed an agent to examine an adjust those -claims, consisting of the claims of Capt. Red Dog, or Offehoma, and Capt. James Shields, these claims having been sold by the government: the claim of Capt. Shields was located by the locating agent; afterwards the location was set aside by said agent and the land sold, which it is believed was done in violation of the provisions of the treaty.
The case of Capt. Red Dog, or Offehoma, was never located, though fully embraced by the treaty. It is believed that injustice has been done in the case of David Coconona, who was entitled to one section of land under the 19th article of the treaty, to be governed by sectional lines, and half of which has been awarded to another person. The case of Consha is also a claim requiring examination, being secured to her under the 19th article; but of which she has been deprived by the act of the locating agent, by giving preference to a claimant under the 14th article of the treaty.
The claim of George W. Harkins, embraced in the supplemental treaty, is also one to which I would call the attention of the proper department, out of which has arisen a difficulty as to the construction which ought to be given to the phraseology in regard to residence and cultivation. The case of Capt. Minta is one precisely situated as that of Capt. Sheilds, before referred to. These claims it is sought to ha re-examined and adjusted according to the true spirit and meaning of the treaty, and with particular instructions as to these cases, which have arisen under the several parts of the treaty above enumerated. I would respectfully suggest, if it be compatible with your sense of propriety, that the examining agent be clothed with power to decide upon any and all other controversies growing out of the action of the locating agent.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
The claims in the foregoing communication came under my personal knowledge, and the facts in relation to them are known to me. G. L.
To the Hon. LEWIS CASS, Secretary of War.
WASHINGTON CITY, February 19, 1834.
SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 18th instant, inquiring what knowledge, if any, Mr. Laud or myself has of the validity of the claim of John T, Harlan for reservation of land for himself and family, as members of the Choctaw tribe of Indians; and, in reply, I have to state for the information of your department, that at the date of the treaty of 1830e John T. Harlan was not a resident of the Choctaw country, having previously been ordered out of the nation by the United States agent, Col. William Ward, for the crime of murder; nor was he or his family ever recognized as members of the Choctaw nation.. He is a white man, and his wife a Cherokee from which nation he ran away for a crime similar to that committed on the Choctaw country.
I have therefore no hesitation in saying that his claim is altogether unjust, fraudulent, and unworthy of your consideration.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
To ELBERT HERING, Esq. Indian Bureau
WASHINGTON CITY, February 19, 1834
SIR: I have to state, in reply to your enquiries addressed to Colonel Leflore and myself, respecting the validity of John T. Harlan’s claim for reservations of land for himself. and family, as members of the Choctaw tribe of Indians, that I have known said Harlan since 1829; and during the year 1830 he resided within half a mile of my plantation in Yazoo county, Mississippi, which, at that time, was not within the limits of the Choctaw country. He moved into the Choctaw nation in the spring of 1831, and settled on the place that he now claims as his residence and improvement. These facts I give you from my own personal knowledge, and am,
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
To ELBERT HERRING, Esq., Indian Bureau, War Department.
WASHINGTON CITY, February 22, 1834.
SIR : I have read Colonel Leflore’s letter to you of the 18th instant, praying for the appointment of a competent person to re-examine the claims of Capt. Red Dog, or Offehoma, Capt, James Shields, David Coconona, Conch George W. Harkins, and Capt. Minta, to reservations of land under the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek of 1830. The facts set forth in Col Leflore’s letter respecting Capt. James. Shields, David Coconona, Consha, and George W. Harkins, came, under my own knowledge, and I know them to be true and beleve those set forth in relation to Capt. Red Dog, or Offehoma, and Capt. Minta, are also true although they did not come so directly under my knowledge as the others.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
To the Honorable LEWIS CASS, Secretary of War