Collection: Indian Home Guard

Department of Interior Reports 1A – 5A

No. 1 A. FORT GIBSON. C. N., August, 1, 1865. DEAR SIR: I have, been here for a month attending to business for the Cherokees and Creeks, particularly for bark pay of deceased soldiers and pensions for widows. The three Indian regiments were mustered out the 31st of May, 1865, and each company had a white lieutenant, and I am the attorney for them all. It is reported here that these lieutenants and others are now making out papers in Kansas to draw the pay of deceased soldiers and the bounty of those who were not paid, and that General Blunt is certifying to such claims as well as others. I write this to request you to withhold all action on any claims of these regiments of Indian Home Guards until my arrival in Washington, which will be about the 1st of October. My authority is derived from the Indians, officers, and soldiers, the chiefs, and the United States Indian agents. Judge Harlan, Dunn, and Coleman are here. and are well qualified to fill those places. As to Mr. Sell, I will say nothing until I see you. Yours, JOHN W. WRIGHT. Hon. JUSTIN HARLIN. No. 2 A. Department Of The Interior, Washington, D. C. July 11, 1866. SIR: It having come to my knowledge that it considerable number of Cherokees, Creeks, and other Indians have appointed you their...

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Letter, Department of the Interior

Department of the Interior, Washington D. C., April 30, 1872. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the following resolution, adopted by the House of Representatives, December 11, 1871: Resolved, That the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, directed to transmit to this House copies of all letters, telegrams, and reports of special agents and other official papers or records of the Department pertaining to the payment of bounties, back pay, and pensions to the First, Second, and Third Regiments of Indian Home Guards, together with copies of all letters in the ease taken from the pension agency at Fort Gibson, Arkansas, (Indian Territory.) The voluminous papers herewith transmitted, will, I trust, be a sufficient apology for the delay in forwarding reply. I have the honor to submit herewith copies of the documents called for, which for convenience of reference have been numbered. I also present, as briefly as the nature of the case will admit, a statement of the causes which led to the condition of things set forth in those documents, and the action of the Department from time to time relative thereto. Indian Troops During the war of the rebellion a number of the residents of the Indian Territory, members of the various tribes therein located, were organized into regiments for military service in the armies of the United States,...

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Alleged Frauds Against Certain Indian Soldiers

June 8,¬†1872.¬óLaid on the table and ordered to he printed. Mr. BURDETT, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, made the following REPORT The Committee on Indian Affairs to whom were referred the sundry papers, documents, and memoranda appertaining to certain transactions of John W. Wright and others with members of the First, Second, and Third Regiments Indian Home Guards, submitted to Congress by the Secretary of the Interior, with his letter of April 30, 1872, in response to the following House resolution: “Resolved, That the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, directed to transmit to this House copies of all letters, telegrams, and reports of special agents and other official papers or records of his Department pertaining to the payment of bounties, back pay, and pensions to the First, Second, and Third Regiments of Home Guards, together with copies of all letters in the case, taken, from the pension agency at Fort Gibson, Arkansas;” submit the following report: That from the voluminous papers submitted by the Secretary of the Interior, and the complicated nature of the transactions involved, they have not found it possible, in the limited time allowed for their consideration, to make such a critical examination of the case as to enable them to lay before the House a full report of their conclusions in the matters involved; nor do they think it necessary,...

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Bounty of James Taylor

Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, February 7, 1871. SIR: Enclosed herewith please find application for bounties, original and additional, of James Taylor, late a private in Company C, of the Second Regiment Indian Home Guards. If, as we believe, these claims have been already paid, it will be advisable to trace the money to its destination. Claimant insists that he has never received any penny of it, and the fact that he has for some time been in Arkansas furnishes some assurance of his veracity. As he speaks English fluently and is resolute in his determination to recover his dues, his case is well calculated to furnish an index of the manner in which bounty money was appropriated in this country. Otherwise it is by no means peculiar. The correspondence in our possession indicates that there was no hesitation in indorsing and receipting for claimants; and in most of the eases in which any bounty was received, the claimants were compelled to take store goods, after deducting $15 attorney’s fee and such debts as might appear on the books of any of the traders in the vicinity. Respectfully, yours, GEO. WEBSTER Special Agent Pension-Office. Hon E. B. FRENCH, Second...

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Bounty Declaration of OCTI-AH-CHEE-HARJO

Office Of Creek Agent, Creek Agency, Indian Territory, August 4, 1870. Some time since an application was made to Judge Wright by one POK-HEE for the back pay and bounty of her brother, whose name was OCTI-AH-CHEE-HARJO, and a private in Company G, First Indian Regiment, who died near Fort Scott, Kansas, about two years after his enlistment. Some Regiment, after the application the money arrived at Gibson, but in the mean time the girl Pok-kee had died, since which time a brother of the deceased soldier has applied repeatedly for the money, but he has been unable to get it. He now applies to me to know where the money is, so that he may make the proper application for it. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, F. A. FIELD, Captain, United States Army, Agent. Hon. E. S. PARKER, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington D....

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Declaration for Increase of Pension, Elizabeth Walking Stick

Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, February 7, 1871. SIR: Enclosed please find declaration for increase of pension in the case of Elizabeth Walking Stick, including pensioner’s affidavit relative to discrepancies between the documents of today and those of her original application. We also transmit herewith the original papers, and also the pensioner’s certificate. The identity of the pensioner was established by her witnesses, one of whom is known to us, and by Morter Vann, our interpreter. She speaks English freely. It would appear useless to hold claimants in this country responsible for any statements that may appear in their original declarations. They are ignorant of the simplest requisites to a reliable and truthful declaration. They were not even questioned as to the facts relative to which they were made to depose. After copying the contents of the adjutant general’s roll, Wright’s agents filled the remainder of the blank at hazard. The applications were kept until a number had accumulated, and then at judge was called to execute the batch, having never seen the affiants. Claimants were in most cases sworn by J. W. Wright, J. B. Wright, or one of their clerks, as Spencer S. Stephens. Of this fact we have evidence both direct and documentary. That the number of fraudulent claims in this nation were not multiplied is to be attributed to the reticence of the Indians, and an...

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Inquiry, Minor Children of Moses Varny

United States Pension-Agency, Fort Gibson, Cherokee Nation, February 10, 1871. SIR: I am referred to you by Rev. J. B. Jones, United States agent, for information relative to the case of the minor children of Moses Varny, late a private of Company A, Third Indian Home Guards. A pension was allowed to said minors on the 10th of June, 1868, and made payable to Jane See-kee-kee, their guardian, but no application has ever been made to this agency for payment. Children’s names are Tague, Anna, and Sawnee. Can you inform me if they are still living and are legitimate children of the deceased soldier; also the whereabouts of the guardian Respectfully, yours, GEO. E. WEBSTER, Pension-Agent, and Special Agent Pension-Office. Judge DUVALL, Webber’s...

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Double Applications for Certain Soldiers

Office Of Indian Affairs, August 9, 1870. Sir: I have the honor herewith to submit for your information and consideration, copy of a letter received the 5th instant, from Captain J. N. Craig, United States agent for the Cherokees at Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, explaining the cause of the double applications for pension in certain mentioned cases, and directing the attention of the Department to the manner of taking evidence, and making suggestions concerning the same. Especial attention is respectfully called to that portion of Agent Craig’s letter wherein he reports the manner in which, and by whom, a seal, purporting to be that of the clerk of the Cherokee district court, has been and is now being used. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, W.M. F. CADY, Acting Commissioner. Hon. H. VAN AERNAM, Commissioner of Pensions, Present. No. 44 B. Department Of The Interior, Pension Office, Washington, D. C., August 11, 1870. SIR: The facts set forth in the enclosed letter of Captain Craig, with reference of the Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs, seem to me to warrant suspension of pay, went of all the pensions, claims for which were prosecuted by J. W. Wright, and which are payable at the Fort Gibson agency for paying pensions, if not of all others prosecuted by him, which are payable elsewhere. But in the absence of the Commissioner of Pensions, I...

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Condition of Claims, Eliza Young Deer, widow of Young Deer

United States Pension Agency, Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, February 7, 1871. SIR: We are requested by the applicant to inquire the condition of the claims for original and additional bounty of Eliza Young Deer, widow of Young Deer, (on the Adjutant General’s rolls as David Young Deer.) Claimant has been allowed a pension, and has today established her marriage to our satisfaction; also the fact of her remarriage to Johnson Blythe, on the 20th of June, 1870. By Young Deer she had two children, both of whom are dead. Clapperton’s books show no allowance for bounty. If desired, we will, upon learning requirements and receipt of suitable blanks, endeavor to establish the claims without expense (or deduction) to the applicant. Respectfully, yours, GEO. E. WEBSTER, United States Pension-Office. Hon. E. B. FRENCH, Second...

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Inquiry, Jackson Walker, minor child of Nicholas Walker

United States Pension-Agency, Fort Gibson, Cherokee Nation, February 10, 1871. MADAM: We are referred to you by Rev. J. B. Jones, United States agent, for information respecting Jackson Walker, minor child of Nicholas Walker, late a private in Company I, Second Regiment Indian Home Guards. A pension was allowed to said minor child, and paid to Susannah Pickeotee, his guardian, to September 4, 1869. It is now reported that the child is dead. Can you inform me as to the truth of the report. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, GEO. E. WEBSTER, United States Pension-Agent. MRS. JANE SIX-KILLER, Cincinnati, Arkansas. [Frog Six-Killer says child died a year...

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Pension Peggy Wilson, Widow of Lacy Wilson

Fort Gibson, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory, December 21, 1870. SIR: In the case of Peggy Wilson, widow of Lacy Wilson, certificate No. 104,631, we have this day suspended further payment on account of discrepancies between the allegations of her original declaration and those of her deposition of this date. The appearance of the pensioner, her advanced age, quiet deportment, and the promptness with which she responded to our interrogations, indicate her honesty and enlist our sympathies. We are inclined to believe her entitled to pension, though not upon the declaration and testimony on which her certificate was issued. It is a case which probably illustrates the utter recklessness with which most Indian claims have been drawn and substantiated. Having every facility for attestation and verification of testimony, care was taken only to have statements correspond with the Government records, and truth was disregarded, even when it was easily attainable and would have been equally efficacious as the statements connected. A slight comparison of the two papers enclosed will satisfy you of these facts. The original declaration is represented as made before Judge “Crofford,” with his signature appended and the seal of the Cherokee Nation affixed. Such a thing as the signature of Judge “Crofford” does not exist. Robert Crawford is judge of this district, and is unable to write at all. The signature was written by Albert Barnes, who...

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