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Letter ot transmittal xv 

Iiitroductiou xvii 

Publications _ xviii 

Field work xix 

Mound explorations xx 

Work of Prof. Cyrus Thomas xx 

Explorations iu the Southwest xxiii 

Work of Mr. James Stevenson xxiii 

Work of Mr. Victor Mindelelt" xxiv 

Zufii researches xxv 

Woric of Mr F. II. Cushiug xxv 

Linguistic field work xxix 

Work of Mrs. E A Smith xxix 

Work of Mr II. W. Heushaw xxx 

Work of Dr. Washington Matthews, U. S. A xxx 

Work of Mr. Jeremiah Curtin xxxi 

Work of Dr. W. J. Hott'man xxxi 

Office work xxxi 

Work of Col. Garrick Mallery xxxii 

Work of Mrs. E. A. Smith xxxii 

Work of Rev. J. O. Dorsey xxxii 

Work of Mr. A. S. Gatschet xxxii 

Work of Mr. F. H. dishing xxxiii 

Work of Mr. J. C. Pilling xsxv 

Work of Mr. C. C. Royce xxxv 

Work of Mr. W. H. Holmes xxxv 

Work of Messrs. Victor ami Cosmos Mindeleff xxxvi 

Worlc of Prof. Cyrus Thomas xxxvii 

. Worlv of Dr. H. C. Yarrow xxxvii 

Work of Mr. Jeremiah Curt in '. xxxvii 

Accompanying papers xxxvii 

Burial monuds of the northern sections of the United States, by Prof. Cyrus 

Thomas xxxvi ii 

The Cherokee Nation of Indians, by Charles C. Royce xliL 

The Mountain Chaut: a Navajo Ceremony, by Dr. Washington Matthews, 

U. S. A xliv 

The Seminole Indians of Florida, by Clay MacCauley xlviii 

The Religious Life of the ZuQi Child, by Mrs. Tilly E. Stevenson 1 

Expenditures liil 






Introdiictoiy 9 

Buriiil mouuds of the Wisconsiu district J4 

Burial mouuds of the Illinois or Upper Mississippi clistrict 24 

Burial mounds of the Ohio district 45 

Burial mounds of the Appalachian district (ii 

The Cherokees probably monud-builders 87 

Concluding remarks lOi^ 

Supplemental note 110 

Burial ceremonies of the Hurons Ill) 

The solemn feast of the dead 112 


Introductory \->[) 

Cessions of laud— Colonial period l;{() 

Cessions of laud — P>deral period i:jl 

Treaty of November 28, 1T85 i:i3 

Material provisions 1;j:j 

Historical data 134 

De Soto's expedition I34 

Early traditions I31; 

Early contact with Virginia colonists 13-j 

Early relations with Carolina colonist's 138 

Mention by various early authors 139 

Territory of Cherokees at period of English settlement 140 

■ Population 142 

Old Chei'okee towns. 142 

Expulsion of Shawnees by Cherokees and Chickasaws 141 

Treaty relation with the colonies 144 

Treaty relations with the United States 1,')2 

Proceedings at treaty of Hopewell I.'i3 

Treaty of July 2, 1791 158 

Material provisions l.'iS 

Historical data KiO 

Causes of dissatisfaction with the boundary of 1785 IfciO 

Tennessee Company's purchase 1G2 

Difficulties in negotiating new treaty 162 

Survey of new boundaries 163 

Treaty of February 17, 171(2 169 

Material provisions Ili9 

Historical data 169 

Discontent of the Cherokees Kill 

War with Cherokees 170 

Treaty of June 26, 1794 171 

Material provisions 171 

Historical data 171 

Complaints concerning boundaries 171 

Cherokee hostilities 17.'i 

Intercourse act of 1796 171! 



Treaty of October 2, 1798 174 

Material piovisious 174 

Historical data 175 

Disputes reepcctiug territory 175 

Treaty of October 24, 1804 183 

Material jirovisions 183 

Historical data ISi 

New treaty autliorized by Congress 184 

Watford's settlemen t 160 

Further negotiatious authorized Ia7 

Treaty of October 25, 1805 18a 

Material provisions 189 

Treaty of October 27, 1805 190 

Material jjro visions 190 

Historical data respecting this treaty and tlie preceding one 190 

Continued negotiations authorized ISIO 

Controversy concerning Doublehead tract iy> 

Treaty of January 7, 1806 193 

Material provisions , 193 

Treaty of September 11, 1807 194 

Material provisions 194 

Historical data 195 

Controversy concerning boundaries 195 

Explanatory treaty negotiated 197 

Treaty of March 22, 1816, ceding land in South Carolina 197 

Material provisions 197 

Treaty of March 22, 1810, delining certain Ijoundaries, &c 198 

Material provisions 198 

Historical data 199 

Colonel Earle's negotiations for the purchase of irou-ore tract 199' 

Tennessee fails to conclude a treaty with the Cherokees 201 

Removal of Cherokees to tho west of tlie Mississippi proposed 202 

EB'orts of Soutli Carolina to extiiiguisli Cherokee title 204 

Boundary between Cherolvces, Creeks, Clioctaws, and Chickasaws 205 

Roads throngh the Clieroliee country 208 

Treaty of September 14, 1810 209 

Material provisions 209 

Historical data 210 

Further purchase of Cherokee lands 210 

Treaty of July 8, 1817 212: 

Material provisions 212 

Historical data 21+ 

Policy of removing Indian tribes to the west of the Mississippi River.. 21-1 

Further cession of territory by the Cherokees 216 

Treaty of February 27, 1819 219 

Material provisions 219 

Historical data 221 

Cherokees west of the Mississippi — iheir wants and condition 221 

Disputes among Cherokees concerning emigration 222 

Public seutimeut in Tennessee and Georgia coucerniug Cherokee re- 
moval 223 

Treaty concluded for further cession of laud 225 

Status of certain CheroKces 228 



Treaty of May G, 1828 .' 229 

Material jirovisions 229 

Historical data 231 

Return J. Meigs and the Cherokees 231 

Tennessee denies validity of Cherokee reservations 232 

United States agrees to extinguish Indian title in Georgia 233 

Cherokee progress in civilization .' 240 

Failure of negotiations for further cession of lands 211 

Cherokee Nation adopts a constitution 241 

Cherokee affairs west of the Mississippi 242 

Treaty of February 14, 1833 249 

Material provisions 249 

Historical data ; 2r>l 

Conflicting land claims of Creeks and Cherokees west of the Missis- 
sippi 251 

Purchase of Osage half-breed reserves 252 

President Jackson refuses to approve the treaty of 1834 252 

Treaty of December 29, 1835 253 

Material provisions 2.53 

Treaty of March 1, 1836 (articles supplementary to treaty of December 29, 1835) . 257 

Material provisions 257 

Historical data 2.58 

Zealous measures for removal of Eastern Cherokees 258 

General Carroll's report on the condition of the Cherokees 259 

Failure of Colonel Lowry's mission 262 

Decision of Supreme Court in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia 262 

F.ailure of Mr. Chester's mission 202 

Decision of Supreme Court in Worcester v. Georgia 264 

Disputed Ijoundaries between Cherokees and Creeks 266 

Cherokees jilead witli Congress and the President for justice 272 

Cherokees propose an adjustment 274 

Cherokees memorialize Congress 275 

Treaty negotiations resumed 278 

Keport of Major Davis 284 

Elias Boudinot's views 285 

Speech of General E. G. Dunlap 285 

Report of General John E. Wool 283 

Report of John Mason, jr 286 

Henry Clay's sympathy with the Cherokees 287 

Policy of the President criticised — speeck of Col. David Crockett 233 

General Scott ordered to command troojis in Cherokee country 291 

John Ross proposes a new treaty 291 

Cherokees permitted to remove themselves 292 

Dissensions among Cherokees in their new home 292 

Cherokees charge the United States with bad faith 296 

Per capita payments under treaty of 1835 297 

Political murders in Cherokee Nation 297 

Adjudication commissioners appointed 298 

Treaty of August 6, 1346 298 

M.aterial provisions 298 

Historical data 3U0 

Cherokees desire a new treaty 300 

Feuds between the Ross, Treaty, and Old Settler parties 301 

Death of Sequoy sih, or George Guess 302 


Treaty of August 6, 1846 — Continued 

Historical (lat.a — Continued. 

Old Settler and Treaty parties propose to remove to Mexico 302 

More political murders 303 

Negoti.atiou of treaty of 1846 304 

Affairs of the North Carolina Cherokecs 313 

Proposed removal of the Catawba Indians to the Cherolieo country .. . 317 

Financial difficulties of the Cherokees 318 

Murder of the Adairs and others 319 

Financial distresses — new treaty projiosed 320 

Slavery in the Cherokee Nation 321 

Removal of white settlers on Cherokee land 322 

Fort Gibson abandoned by the United States 322 

Removal of trespassers on " neutral laud " 323 

.John Ross opposes survey and allotment of Cherokee dinuaiu 324 

Political excitement in ISfiO 324 

Cherokees and the Southern Confederacy 326 

Cherokee troops for the Confederate army 328 

A Cherokee Confederate regiment deserts to tbe Uuiud States 323 

Ravages of- war in the Cherokee Nation 332 

Treaty of July 19, 1866 334 

Material provisions 334 

Treaty of April 27, 1868 .'. 340 

Material provisions 340 

Historical data 341 

United States desire to remove ludiaus from Kansas to luliuu Ter- 
ritory 341 

Couucil of southern tribes at Camp Napoleon 341 

General council at Fort Smith 341 

Conference at Washington, D. C 345 

Cession and sale of Cherokee strip and neutral lauds 348 

Ajipraisal of coufiscated jiroperty — census 3D1 

New treaty concluded but never ratified 351 

Boundaries of the Cherokee domain 3u4 

Delawares, Munsees, and Shawnees join the Cherokecs 356 

Friendly tribes to be located on Cherokee lauds west of 96- 358 

East and north boundaries of Cherokee country 365 

Railroads through Indian Territory 366 of intruders — Cherokee citizenship 367 

General remarks 371 


V. S. A. 

Introduction 385 

Myth of the origin of dsilyidje qafill 387 

Ceremonies of dsilyidje qafal 418 

First four day s 418 

Fifth day 419 

Sixth day 424 

Seventh day 428 

Eighth day 429 

Ninth day (until sunset) 430 

Last night 431 

First dance (uahikM) 432 

Second dance (great plumed arrows) 433 


Cereniouies of dsilyi'dje qaval — Coiitiuued. 
Last night — Coutinned. 

Third dance 435 

Fourth dance 436 

Fifth dance (suu) 437 

Sixth dance (staudiug arcs) 437 

Seventh dance i 438 

Eighth dance (rising sun) 438 

Ninth dance (Hoshkilwn or Yucca baccata) 439 

Tenth dance (bear) 441 

Eleventh dance (fire). 441 

Other dances 443 

The great pictures of dsilyidje qav^ll 444 

First picture (liome of the serpents) 446 

Second picture (yays and cultivated plants) 447 

Third ijicture (long bodies) 4."jO 

Fourth picture (great plumed arrows) 4.")l 

The tacrilices of dsilyidje qajal 451 

Original texts and translations of songs 455 

Songs of sequence 455 

First Song of the Daucers 456 

First Song of the Mountain Sheep 457 

Sixth Song of the Mountain Sheep 4.57 

Twelfth Song of the Mouutam Sheep 458 

First Song of the Thunder 458 

Twelfth Song of the Thunder 459 

First Song of the Holy Vouug Men 459 

Sixth Song of the Holy Young Men 460 

Twelfth Song of the Holy Young Men 4G0 

Eighth Song of the Young Women Who Become Bears 431 

One of the Awl Songs 461 

First Song of the Exploding Stick 462 

Last Song of the Exploding Stick 462 

First Daylight Song 463 

Last Daylight Song 463 

Other Songs and extracts 464 

Song of the Prophet to the San Juan River 464 

Song of the Building of the Dark Circle 464 

Prayer to Dsilyi' Neyani 465 

Song of the Rising Suu Dance 465 

Instructions given to the akaninili 466 

Prayer of the prophet to his mask 466 

Last AVords of the Prophet 467 


Letter of transmittal 475 

Introduction 477 


Personal characteristics 481 

Physical characteristics 481 

Physique of the men 481 

Physique of the w omen 482 


Personal characteristics — Continued. 

Clotbiug 48-2 

Costnme of the men 433 

Costu me of the Tvomeu 435 

Personal adornmeut 48(5 

Hair dressing 48g 

Ornamentation of clothing 437 

I'se of beads 437 

Silver disks 488 

Ear rings 488 

Finger rings 489 

Silver vs. gold 489 

Crescents, wristlets, and belts 489 

Me le 489 

Psychical characteristics 490 

Ko-nip-ha-tco 492 

lutellectnal ability , 493 


Seminole society 495 

The Seminole family 49.^ 

Courtship 496 

Marriage 490 

Divorce 495 

Childbirth 497 

Infancy 497 

Childhood 498 

Seminole dwellings — I-ful-Ioha-tco's house 499 

Home life 503 

Food 504 

Camp fire. ... 505 

Manner of eating 505 

Amusements 506 

The Seminole gens 5O7 

Fello whood 508 

The Seminole tribe 5O8 

Tribal organization 508 

Seat of government 508 

Tribal otiScers 509 

Name of tril)e ,509 


Seminole tribal life 510 

IiHlustries 510 

Agriculture 510 

Soil 510 

Corn 510 

Sugur cane 511 

Hunting 512 

Fishing 5I3 

Stocli raising 513 

Koonti 513 

Industrial statistics 516 


. Page. 

Seminole tribal life — Continued, 

Arts 516 

Industrial arts 51G 

Utensils and implements 510 

AVeapons 510 

Weaving and basket making 5! 7 

Uses of the palmetto 1 517 

Mortar and i^estle 517 

Canoe making 517 

Fire making 518 

Preparation of skius 518 

Ornamental arts 518 

Music 519 

Religion 519 

Mortuary customs 520 

Green Corn Dance 522 

General observations 523 

Standard of value 523 

Divisions of time 524 

Numeration 525 

Sense of color 525 

Education 520 

Slavery 526 

Health f20 


Environment of the Seminole 527 

Nature 527 

Man 529 


Brief account of Zuni mythology 539 

Birth customs 545 

Involuntary initiation into the KOk-ko 547 

Voluntary initiation into the Kok-kO 553 

Index 557 



Plate I. Group of eartliwoiks, Allamakee County, Iowtu 26 

It. Eularged figure and section of earthwork A, PI. 1 30 

III. Group of mounds and vertical section of bluff, East Dubuque, 

Illiuois 3G 

IV. Amouud. (FroraDeBry) 40 

Y. Plat of aucieut works, Kanawha County, West Virginia 54 

VI. Enlarged plan of part of the works shown in Plate V 58 

VII. Earliest map showing location of the Cherokoes. 1597 128 

VIIL Map ol the former territorial limits of the Cherokee Nation of In- 
dians, exhibiting the boundaries of the various ccssiousof land 

made by them to the colonies and to the United States. 1S84. (") 
IX. Map sliowing the territory originally assigned to the Cherokee 
Indians west of the Mississippi River; also the boundaries of the 

territory now occupied or owned by them. 1884 (*) 

X, Medicine lodge, viewed from the south 418 

XI. Medicine lodge, viewed from the east 420 

XII. Dance of nahikai 432 

XIII. Fire dance 442 

XIV. The dark circle of branches at sunrise 444 

XV. First dry painting 440 

XVI. Second dry painting 448 

XVII. Third dry painting 450 

XVIII. Fourth dry painting 452 

XIX. Seminole dwelling 500 

*XX. Zuni m,aslcs and KO-ye-me shi 1 546 

XXI. Group of Sii-lii mobi-ya masks 548 

XXII. Zuhi sand altar in Ki va of the North 550 

XXIII. 6h-he-i-que, Kiva of the East 552 

Fro. 1. Section of mound near Eacine, Wisconsin. (After Lapham) 14 

2. Section of burial mound, Vurn;)n County, Wisconsin 15 

3. Earthen pot from Wisconsin burial mound 16 

i. Section of burial mound, Crawford County, Wisconsin 17 

5. Section of burial mound, Crawford County, Wisconsin 18 

6. Section of burial mound, Vernon County, Wisconsin 20 

7. Section of burial mound, Davenport, Iowa 24 

6. Section of mound showing stone vault (Iowa) 31 

9. Plat of Indian burying-gronnd, Wapello County, Iowa 33 

10. Section of mound 4, East Dnbuqne, Illinois 36 

11. Section of mound 16 (Plate III), showing vault 37 

12. Plan of vault, mound 16 (Plate III) 37 

13. Pipe from Illinois mound. (After Smithsonian Report, 1884) 38 

14. Pipe from Illinois mound. (After Smithsonian Report, 1884) 38 

15. Pipe from Illiuois mound. (After Smithsonian Report, 1884) 38 

16. Group of mounds and hut- rings, Brown County, Illinois 40 

♦ In pocket at the end of volume. 



Fig. 17. IViruis of larger moimds of the group shown iu Fig. 19 41 

18. Gio\ips of mounds, Clarke County, Missouri 4li 

19. Oliio Ijurial mound. (After Squier and Davis) 4G 

20. Wooden vault of Ohio niouud. (After Squier and Davis) 46 

21. Copper gorget from mound, Kanawha County, West Virginia r)2 

22. Pipe from mound, Kanawha County, West Virginia 53 

23. Pipe from mouud, Butler County, Ohio ^ 53 

24. Mound with so-called " altar," Kanawha County, West Virginia 57 

25. Appearance of T. F. Nelson mouud after excavation fi2 

26. Burials in the T. F. Nelson triangle, Caldwell County, North Carolina. 63 

27. Engraved shell gorget from mound, Caldwell County, North Carolina. 64 

28. Cylindrical e(qiper bead from mound, Caldwell County, North Carolina. 65 

29. Bracelet of copper and shell beads from mound, Caldwell County, North 

Carolina 65 

30. Iron celt from mound, Caldwell County, North Carolina 65 

31. Iron implement from mound, Caldwell County, North Carolina 60 

32. W. D. Jones mound, Caldwell County, North Carolina 67 

33. I'lau of the R. T. Lenoir burial pit, Caldwill County, Nort'i Carolina. 09 

34. Fire-bed, Wilkes County, North Carolina 72 

35. Section of mouud, Henderson Count3', North Carolina 74 

36. Section of mound, Henderson County, North Carolina 75 

37. Mound ouHolstou River, Sullivan County, Tennessee 76 

38. Pipe from mound, Sullivan County, Tennessee 70 

39. Large mouud of Etowah group, Bartow County, Georgia 96 

40. Vortical section, small mouud, same group 97 

41. Plan of burials in small mound 98 

42. Copper plate from Etowah mouud, Georgia 100 

43. Copper idate from Etowah mound, Georgia 101 

44. Copper badge from Etowah mound, Georgia 102 

45. Copper badge from Etowah mound, Georgia 103 

46. Engraved shell from Etowah mouud, Georgia 103 

47. Engraved shell from Etc>wah mound, Georgia 104 

48. Copper plate from Illinois mound 105 

49. Copper plate from Indian grave, Illinois 106 

.'lO. Qastceiilvi, from a dry painting of the kledji-qafal 397 

51. The fobolfa, or plumed wands, as seen from tho door of the medicine 

lodge 422 

52. Akiiniuili ready for the journey 424 

53. The great wood pile 429 

54. Dancer holding up the great Illumed arrow 434 

55. D.incer "swallowing" the great plumed arrow 434 

56. The whizzer 436 

57. Yucca baccata 440 

58. Sacrificial sticks (kef an) 452 

59. The talking kethawu (kefan-yalf'i'} ' 4.52 

60. Map of Florida 477 

61. Seminole costume, men 483 

62. Key West Billy 434 

63. Seminole costume, women 485 

64. Manner of wearing the hair 480 

65. Maunerof piercing the car 488 

66. Baby cradle or hammock 497 

67. Temporary dwelling 502 

68. Sugar cane crusher 511 


Fig. G9. Koouti log r,ji 

70. Koonti pestles r,j^ 

71. Koonti mash vessel _ r;j_j 

72. Koonti strainer gj- 

7:i. Morlar and pestle 5j- 

"4. Hide .stretcher gjj^ 

75. iSeminoIehier j^.^q 

76. Semiuolo grave c^.ty 

77. Gieen Corn Dance r^.^S 


Smithsonian iNSTixunoN, Bureau of 'Ethnology, 

Washington, D. C, October 25, 1884. 
Sir: I Imve tlie honor to submit my Fiftli Annual Report 
as Director of the Bureau of Ethnolo^-v 

The first part consists of an explanation of the plan and 
operations of the Bureau ; the second part consists of a series 
of papers on anthropologic subjects, prepared by my assistants 
to illustrate the methods and results of the work of the Bureau. 
I desire to express my thanks for your earnest support and 
your wise counsel relating- to tlie work under my charge. 
I am, with respect, your obedient servant, 

Prof Spencer F. Baird, 

Secretary Smithsonian Institution. 




By J. ^y. PowELi., Director. 


The prosecution of ethnologic research among the North 
American Indians, as directed by act of Congress, was con- 
tinued during the fiscal year 1883-84. 

The general plan before reported, upon which the work has 
been prosecuted, remains unchanged. Specialists are employed 
to pursue definite lines of investigation, the results of which 
are presented from time to time in the publications of the Bu- 
]-eau. A summary account of the particular work upon which 
each of the special stndents was engaged during the year is 
presented below. This, however, does not embrace all of the 
services rendered by them, as it has often been found neces- 
sary to suspend particular lines of research in order to unite 
the whole force for the speedy accomplishment of an impor- 
tant general undertaking. From this cause unavoidable de- 
lavs have occurred in the publication of several treatises and 
monographs far advanced toward completion. In reference 
to monographs and other papers directly connected with lin- 
eruistic and ethnic classification, a further cause of delay has 
arisen from the necessity of solving new problems as they have 
arisen in the continued study of the data collected. Thus 
renewed expeditions to the field have several times become 

5 ETH II ^^'" 


necessary to verity or correct some particulars in treatises 
otherwise ready for the printer, and, indeed, in some cases, 
partly printed. 

Collaboration is constantly invited from competent explorers 
and writers who are not and do not desire to be official!}' con- 
nected with the Bureau. Some valuable results have been 
obtained and utilized through special applications to individ- 
uals and through voluntary contributions induced by interest 
in the publications thus far made. The liberality of Congress, 
it is hoped, will soon allow of the publication of bulletins espe- 
cially designed to make known without delay the discoveries 
and deductions of the scholars througliout the world who may 
tlius co-operate with the Bureau. By this means an effective 
impulse will be given to their researches. 

In order to set forth the operations of the Bureau with suf- 
ficient detail, the subject will be divided, as heretofore, into 
three principal parts, the first relating to the publications 
issued, the second to tlie work prosecuted in the field, and the 
third to the office work, this last being to a large extent the 
preparation for publication of the results of field work, with the 
corrections and additions obtained from the literature of the 
subject and by correspondence. 


The Second and Third Annual Reports were issued and dis- 
tributed during the year. 

The Second Annual Report contained pp. i-xxxvii, l-i77, 77 
plates, 403 figures, and 2 maps. The papers accompanying- 
the official statement of the Director are as follows : 

Zuui Fetiches, by Frank H. Gushing ; pp. 3-45. plates I-XI, figures 1-3. 

Myths of the Iroquois, by Ermiuuie A. .Smith; pp. 47-1 Ki, plates XII-XV. 

Animal Carvings from Mounds of the Mississippi V.alley, by Henry W. Heushaw; 
pp. 117-166, figures 4-:l5. 

Navajo Silversmiths, by Dr. Washington Matthews, U. S. A. ; pp. 167-178, plates 

Art in Shelj of the Ancient .\mericans, by William H. Holmes; p;i. 179-30.5, plates 

Illustrated Catalogue of the Collections obtained from the Indians of X"ew Mexico 
and Arizona in 1879, by James Stevenson ; pp. 307-42d, figures 347-697, and 1 map. 

Illustrated Catalogue of the Collections obtained from the Indians of New Mexico, 
in 1880, by Janv s Stevenson ; pp. 4'33-465, figures 698-714, and 1 maji. 


The Third Annual Rc-port contained pp. i-lxxiv, 1-GOG, 44 
phite-s, and 200 figures. In addition to the pureh" official state- 
ment of the Director, the introduction to the volume contained 
papers by him on kinship and the tribe, on kinship and the 
clan, on tribal marriage, and on activital similarities. The 
accompanying papers were as follows : 

Notes on Certain Maya and Mexican Manuscripts, by Prof. CyriisTbomas ; pp. 3-()5, 
plates I-IV, figures 1-10. 

On Maska, Labrets, and Certain Aboriginal Customs, with an inquiry into the bear- 
ing of their geographical distribution, by William H. Dall ; pp. 67-202, plates V- 
XXIX, with two unnumbered figures in test. 

Omaha Sociology, by Rev. J. Owen Dorsey; pp. 205-370, plates XXX-XXXIII, fig- 
ures 12-42. 

Navajo Weavers, by Dr. Washington Matthews, U. S. A. ; pp. 371-391, jdatcs XXXIV- 
XXXVIII, figures 42-59. 

Prehistoric Textile Fabrics of the United States, derived from Impressions on Pot- 
tery, by William H. Holmes; pp. 393-425, plate XXXIX, figures 60-115. 

Illustrated Catalogue of a Portion of the Collections made by the Bureau of Ethnol- 
ogy during the field season of 1881, by William H. Holmes; pages 427-510, figures 

Illustrated Catalogue of the Collections obtained from the Pueblos of Zufii, New 
Mexico, and Wolpi, Arizona, in 1861, by James Stevenson; pp. 511-594, plates XL- 


In this branch of duty facts are collected in archaeology and 
technology by means of explorations directed to ancient and 
modern material objects pi-oduced by tlie native tribes, and in 
philology, mythology, and sociology by means of examination 
of the members of those tribes, both as individuals and as 

Former reports have fully explained that without the au- 
thority and assistance of the Government little useful work 
can be done in the collection and preservation of material ob- 
jects. The purpose of private explorers in this direction is 
usually to procure relics or specimens for sale or merely to 
gratify curiosity, with the result that these are often scattered, 
and lost for any comprehensive study, while their receptacles,, 
whether mounds, graves, or ruins, are in many cases destroved 
without intelligent examination or record, by which students 
are forever deprived of needful illustrative and explanatory 
data. The trained explorers of the Bureau preserve all useful 


facts touching- the locahties concerned, and the objects col- 
lected, both ancient and modern, are deposited in the National 
Museum. Elxperience has also shown that individual travelers, 
unguided and without common system, have failed to obtain 
the best results in the ascertainment of Indian lanouaffes, 
^philosophies, and customs. The study of these subjects 
cannot be pursued from the accounts (however invaluable) 
of the early explorers and the precious vocabularies of pioneer 
missionaries without the interpretations and corrections to be 
obtained among existing tribes by the latest scientitic methods 
of research. For these but little time now remains. 


The division organized for the survey and exploration ot 
mounds and other ancient works in the territory of the United 
States east of the Rocky Mountains, which, as before rejiorted, 
■was placed in the charge of Pi'of Cyrus Thomas, continued 
work during tlie ^-ear with satisfactory results. 

Explorations were cai-ried on not only during the summer, 
autumn, and spring, but also throughout the entire winter. 

The regular assistants were the same as during the previous 
year, viz : Mr. P. W. Norris, Mr. James D. Middleton, and Dr. 
Edward Palmer. Messrs. John P. Rogan, John W. Emmert, 
and L. H. Thing were also employed for short periods as tem- 
porary assistants. 

The investigations of Mr. Norris were confined to the Kana- 
wha Valley, West Virginia, until suspended by extreme cold 
weather, when he went to Arkansas ; but he returned to West 
Virginia in the latter part of May and remained there during 
the first part of June, 1884. Through his explorations it was 
made manifest that one of the most extensive and remarkable 
groups of ancient works in the United States is contained in 
the section mentioned. There is probably no group exliibit- 
ing a greater variety of works. They comprise mounds of 
various forms from a few inclies to 40 feet in heig-ht, circu- 
lar and irregular inclosures, parallel lines of walls, elevated 


ways, basins a-nd ditclies, stone cairns, and rude stone struct- 
ures of an anomalous character. 

Although the exploration of this interesting group is far from 
complete, it is sufficient to indicate with great probability that 
the people who constructed the mounds within it built the 
Grave Oreek Mound or were intimately related to the authors 
of that celebrated tumulus. Some indications also appear that 
the builders of these mounds were related to the authors of the 
ancient works of the Scioto Valley. 

Mr. Middleton was engaged during the sunmier and fall in 
exploring the small circular tumuli found in Southwest Wis- 
consin, usually in connection with the effigy mounds. Although 
these tumuli are mostly simple burial mounds, of the ordinary 
type, the result obtained was of much importance, as it served 
to show not only that the burial mounds opened and described 
Ijy Dr. I. A. Lapham and Dr. P. R. Hoy were typical of the 
class throughout the effigy mound area, but that Dr. Lapham 
was justified in his conclusions in reference to the authors of 
these works. During the winter Mr. Middleton's operations 
were confined to Arkansas. 

Mr. Thing was engaged during a few months of autumn and 
winter in exploring mounds of the southeastern counties of 
ilissouri and the northeastern portion of Arkansas. The re- 
sults of the investigations made in this part of the Mississippi 
Valley will have an important bearing upon the questions re- 
lating to the objects for which the mounds were erected and 
the manner in wdiich they were used. Many additional data 
were obtained in reference to the forms, materials, and modes- 
of construction of the dwellings of the mound builders of this 
section and to the modes of burial adopted by them. The 
collection of mound pottery made in this section exceeds that 
of the previous year and is important on account of the differ- 
ent types procured and the number of whole and uninjured 
vessels obtained, some of which are supposed to present true 
facial types. 

Mr. Rogan was employed for some months in exploring the 
works in Florida and in Northern Georgia. In the former the 


results were almost wholly negative, ^except so far as they 
tended to show that iu Florida the mounds were chiefl}' domi- 
ciliary and that but few were built for burial purposes. In 
Northern Georgia his work was confined chiefly to an explora- 
tion of the well known and often mentioned Etowah group 
near Cartersville This examination brought to light the most 
remarkable and important mound builder relics so fiir dis- 
closed in the United States. These are very thin, evenly 
wrought sheets of copper, on which are impressed, as regularly 
as though done with metallic dies or by means of machinery, 
figures bearing a manifest resemblance to the typical forms 
noticeable in the ancient codices of Mexico and Central America 
and in the ruins found in those regions. The skill and art 
manifested in their manufacture are far in advance of anything 
hitherto discovered appertaining to the mound builders and 
raise a serious doubt as to their aboriginal origin. The condi- 
tions under which these articles were found clearly indicate 
that they were placed in the mounds when the latter were built 
and not subsequently. 

The explorations of Dr. Palmer were confined chiefly to 
Southern Alabama and Southwestern Georgia, and, though 
rewarded by no remarkable discoveries, still they have added 
much evidence concerning the construction and uses of south- 
ern works and have served to correct some errors in the 
published accounts of the noted groups in Early Count}', 

Mr. Emmert was engaged for a short time in examining an- 
cient graves in East Tennessee and works in "Western North 

The collections made exceed in number and value those of 
the preceding year, and the data obtained bearing on the ques- 
tions relating to the origin and uses of these works, and the 
liabits and customs of the people who constructed them, are 
very important and will serve to throw much additional light 
on these interesting problems. 



Mr. James Steveuson with a small party continued the ex- 
plorations in Arizona and New Mexico which had been before 
prosecuted as re])orted in previous years. He explored several 
large and important ruins in Northeastern Arizona, Avhere he 
made some valuable collections, including skeletons, skulls, 
ancient pottery, and bone and stone implements. At tlie ruins 
of Tally-Hogan the party discovered the ancient burial ground 
of the inhabitants This was in the sand dunes, a series of 
which surrounds the western side of the ruins. Heretofore it 
lias been supposed that the Indians buried their dead among 
the rocks on the mesa sides. Their mode of burial, as now 
ascertained, was to place the dead at the foot of a sand dune 
and to cover the body, together with some implements and 
other articles which had belonged to the deceased, with sand. 
Many vases and bowls and other small objects were found in 
the graves. 

Mr. Stevenson subsequently visited the seven Moki villages 
in Arizona, from which he obtained important information as 
well as a collection of their household and other utensils. The 
work of this party for the field season was concluded by an 
examination of two distinct classes of ancient ruins in Ari- 
zona, one about 10 miles northeast, the other about 15 miles 
southeast of Flagstaff. The former con.sisted of sixty or more 
cave dwellings, situated on the summit of a round lava-capped 
lilll. The dwelling's are close tog'ether and were carved 
out beneath the hard shelter rock of lava, under which the 
material was rather loose, readily yielding to the rude stone 
implements used in making the excavations. In these dwell- 
ings fragments of ornamented pottery were discovered resem- 
bling somewhat the ancient pottery so abundant in many por- 
tions of Arizona, and specimens of it were collected. Other 
objects, such as metates, stone axes, mullers, and corn cobs, 
were found in tlie excavations, and the seeds of several species 
of small grain were scattered throug-h tlieni Fragments of 


several kinds of bone were also found,' representing the elk, 
deer, wolf, badger, rabbit, and some other animals. 

The ruins about 15 miles southeast of Flao-staff are sim- 
ilar to those in Canon de Chelly. These ruins are extensive 
and are built on terraces in the side of Walnut Canon. They 
differ, however, from the cliff dwellings of Canon de Chelly in 
construction. The doors are large and extend from the ground 
up to a sufficient height to admit a man without stooping. Tiie 
rooms are large and the walls are 2 to 4 feet thick. The fire- 
places are in one corner of the room on an elevated rock, 
and the smoke can only escape through the door. The ma- 
sonry compares favorably with any employed in the construc- 
tion of the best villages in Canon de Chelly. Many objects of 
interest were found in the debris around and in these houses. 
Matting, sandals, spindle whorls, and stone implements of 
various kinds abound. The ruins in the vicinity of Flagstaff 
were ascertained to be of sufficient value to require further 


In the latter part of August a party in charge of Mr. Vic- 
tor Mindeleft' was ordered to the field, and camp was formed 
about the middle of September at the ruined pueblo of Kin- 
Tiel, 2J: miles south of Pueblo Colorado, Arizona. A large 
scale ground plan was made of this excellently preserved old 
pueblo, together with contours of the irregular site on which it 
is built, and a full series of photographs was obtained. While 
here several excavations were made in and around the ruined 
village, from wliicli a number of interesting specimens of bone, 
stone, and pottery were secured. One undisturbed burial was 
found, from which a skeleton and two bowls were taken. 
A noticeable object met with in excavating a marginal room of 
the pueblo was a circular doorway, made of a single slab of 
sandstone pierced by a large round hole. This specimen was 
taken out entire from its place in the wall and is now in the 
National Museum. A small ruin, known by the Navajo name 
of Kinna-Zinde, a few miles from Kin-Tiel, was examined and 


photographed. Its position on the edge of a long valley on 
an elevated bit of rock suggests its use in connection with 
petty agriculture. Several other ruins of small size occur in 
this vicinity, but the masonry is broken down and overgrown 
with grass and sage brush, so that the arrangement of rooms 
is not traceable. 

On finishing this work the party proceeded to Canon de 
Chelly, Arizona, entering the canon at its mouth. The entire 
caiion and all its branches, comprising a length of 85 miles, 
were explored and platted to a scale of 8 inches to the mile, 
a scale sufficiently large to exhibit clearly the relation of the 
ruins to the surrounding topography. Each ruin, after its 
position had been accurately indicated on this map, was drawn 
in detail, the ground plan being gi^■en whenever practicable. 
A few of these ruins were inaccessible and could only be drawn 
as seen from below. The canon and its branches contained one 
hundred and thirty-four ruins, of the greatest variety, both in 
size and in the character of the sites occupied. This work was 
finished early in December, the party returning to Fort Win- 
gate, New Mexico, and proceeding thence to the pueblo of 
Acoma for the purpose of making a collection of pottery. 
Twelve hundred pieces Avere secured, principally in the latter 
part of December. While the party was camped at tliis point 
an architectural survey of the village was also made. The 
gi-ound plans were drawn to a scale of 20 feet to the inch, as 
had been done previously in the cases of the Zufii and the 
Tusayan villages, with the ol)ject of preparing- a large model. 

Ml*. Victor Mindeletf reported at Washington early in Janu- 
ary, leaving the camp in charge of Mr. Cosmos Mindeleff until 
the shipment of the pottery, which it was not possible to com- 
plete until the end of January. 


Mr. Frank Hamilton Cushing- continued to supplement and 
extend the field work in Zuni referred to in the reports of his 
operations for the preceding four years. During the last six 


months of 1883 he successfully exerted liimself to increase his 
influence among the Zufii Indians with special reference to se- 
curing his com2:)lete initiation (begun by the seaside at Boston, 
in 1882) into their Ka-Ka or sacred dance organization. 

While awaiting the long deferred opportunity for recording 
the ancient epic rituals of the tribe, which he hoped to gain bv 
means of initiation into the Ka-Ka, he undertook, at intervals 
dui'ing the winter of 1883-84, systematic explorations of the 
sacrificial grottoes and native sln-ines of the Zuni in the main 
and tributary valley's of their pueblos. In and upon the mesa 
of Taai-yal-lon-ne (Thunder Mountain) alone he found eight 
of these depositorie.s, three of wliich proved to be entirely pre- 
historic. On the headlands, both nortli and soutli of Zufii, he 
traced eleven additional shrines, aud near both Pescado and 
Nutria he found otliers, all rich in ancient remains. More im- 
portant than an}' of these, however, were three caverns, or rock 
shelters, situated in two canons, one about nine miles east of 
Zuni, the other southeast and nearerthe pueblo bv three miles. 
Two of these caves were at a remote date used as receptacles, 
one containing a burial cairn, tlie other an extensive accumu- 
lation of well preserved idols of war and rain gods, symbohc 
altar tablets, sacred cigarettes, long aud short prayer wands, 
and numerous examples of textile, cordage, and plume ^^•ork. 
The latter depository was the more important in that it is still 
used and held sacred by the Zufii, and hence is clearly referable 
to their ancestry. Its contents evidently connected it with the 
crater and cave shrines discovered by Mr. Gushing on the Up- 
per Colorado Chiquito, in 1881, and described in the report of 
his explorations for that year. As, however, he was forced to 
visit these places either in conipau}- with Indians or by stealth, 
the objects could not be disturbed. 

Pursuing his explorations southward, he discovered, between 
twenty and thirt}^ miles from the central Zuili Valley, not onl}^ 
two caves containing sacrificial remains, l)ut also a number of 
cemeteries of undoubted ancient Pueblo Indian oriyin. These 
burial places yielded perfect crania and well preserved vessels 
of pottery and in all respects, save in extent, corresponded to 


those of Arizona examined and reported on by him durino- the 
spring of 1883. 

He thinks that the primitive house buihhng Indians, al- 
though the}- at first ]5racticed burial by interment, carried the 
remains of their dead (judging by the cemeteries under dis- 
cussion) to great distances from their permanent liomes. Tliis 
would partly account for the delay in discovering Pueblo burial 
places. He is further of the opinion that afterward, when the 
present methods of terraced communal architecture (induced 
by defensive considerations and productive of conditions and 
populations rendering interments impracticable) began to pre- 
vail, water sepulture came into vogue. According to Zuni 
tradition, this was perfoumed by cremating the bodies and 
carrying the remains to sacred springs, or lagunes, into whicii 
they were cast. 

In seeking later to locate the " Seven Cities of Cibola," Mr. 
Cushing made linguistic, geographic, and traditional studies 
relative to the succession of architectural types in the South- 
west, with the following re.sults. 

The ancestral Pueblos, of whom the Zuni are markedly the 
modern representatives, dwelt. 

(1) In conical, circular brush shelters or lodges (Hani-pon- 
ne, from ha-we, dried brush, branches, or leaves, and po-ne, 
placed converging!}- or covering over circularly). 

(2) In lodges of masonry of lava stones laid up dry, but 
plastered (He sho-ta-pon-ne, from he-sho, wax rock ; ta-we, 
wood, timber, and pu-ne), from wjilch rude circular struct- 
ures the rectangular shapes Avere developed, through crowding 
together on limited mesa sites many houses In rows, each 
most economically separated from those contiguous h\ straight 
partition walls. 

(3) In solitary hamlets or scattered houses, distributed ac- 
cording to the occurrence of water and accommodatin"- lim- 
ited fomilles or numbers engaged In horticultural operations. 
(Hence the name for a single house, K'ia-kw'in-ne, from K'ia- 
we, water, and kwln-ne, place of) 

(4) In cliff and canon houses, or cave buildings, resorted 


to from the scattered houses or agriculturcal hamlets for protec- 
tion. (Hence ( )sh-ten-u-thlan, an upper story room, from 
Osh-ten, a cave, rock shelter, and ii-thla-nai-e, built within 
or surrounded by, literally, "cave room.") 

(5) In mesa villages, composed of confedera,ted clans of the 
cliff hamlets. (Hence Thlu-ellon-ne, the modern name for a 
village, from tlilua, manv set up, and el-lon-a, standing to- 
gether — tliat is, "many built up in one.") 

(G) In great terraced (and often walled) valley villages, 
owino' their strength to the number of the inhabitants. In this 
last condition the Shi-wo-na or Cibola (Zufii) tril)es were 
found by the Spanish conquistadores in lo39-'40 

It will be observed that some of the etymologies given above 
present slight variations from etymologies heretofore given by 
Mr. Cushing in the Fourth Annual Report. 

Based upon tliese studies Mr. Cushing made others regard- 
ing the sociologic history of the Zuni Pueblos, &c., seeming 
to indicate that during the periods of the horticultural hamlets 
(third of the above) and cliff villages (fourth of the above) 
agnatic institutions, owing their origin to the segregation of 
the enatic clan ties or kins of the lava village period (second of 
the above), began to be developed Although the original 
enatic institutions (never thoroughly outgrown) seem to have 
been reverted to on the resumption of communal village life 
(fifth and si.xth of the a]:)Ove), still he finds what he regards as 
survivals of the other and higher social condition. For ex- 
ample, the brothers of a woman are no longer known as the 
"fathers" of her children, although more anciently they had 
been, as language shows, thus considered ; while the brothers 
of a man are called the "lesser fathers" of his children. Again, 
a child is considered as the property of both the father and the 
mother gens, and man-iage in the father clan, although not 
forbidden, is discouraged, and rarely if ever takes place. In 
this order may also be placed the father feasts, when children 
assemble to eat with their fathers and in their fathers' houses 
at the besrinning- of the year. Furtlier evidence in the cus- 
toms of inheritance, which in some curious ways vary from 
purely enatic institutions of descent, might be adduced as sur- 


vivals, judging by all which Mr. Gushing considers the Zufii 
to be intermediate between savage and barbaric stages of 
culture, }'et retaining distinctly the cultus of savagery in their 
social condition and in a large phase of their worship. 

Early in March it was found expedient to recall Mr. Gush- 
ing to Washington. This prevented his initiation into the Ka- 
Ka Still, by virtue of his membership in the Priesthood of 
the Bow, he was permitted, before leaving, to be present at the 
initiation of other candidates and to hear the protracted recital 
heretofore referred to by him (but unaptly, lie now thinks) as 
the "Zuni Iliad " This remarkable recitation, while in classic 
and metric and not unpoetic language, is, he leai-ned, a true 
ritual It gives many mythic details, stating the names of 
probably all the villages and resting places of the Zufii dur- 
ing their pristine migrations, and also the names of the whole 
council of gods of the KA-KA. It is, however, couched in 
such jargonistic or archaic tei'ms, so rapidly delivered and 
so extended (requiring more than six hours for its delivery) 
that he found it impossible to record it or even to write ver- 
batim the several shorter, though not less remarkable, rituals 
which followed it. The value of these rituals and the songs 
illustrating them — most of which it is incumbent on a member 
to memorize — will explain Mr.Cushing's long cherished desire 
to enter the KA-KA. He regards them, unvaried as they are 
from generation to generation, not only as important contribu- 
tions to unwritten American Indian literature, but also essen- 
tial to the right understanding of early Zuni migrations and 


During the summer of 1883 Mrs. Erminnie A. Smitli con- 
tinued her Iroquois investigations, taking up as a special study 
the Oneida and their dialect. To accomplish this the locali- 
ties occupied by them in New York State and their reserva- 
tions at Green Bay, Ganada, were visited by her and a com- 
plete chrestomathy of the dialect was prepared. 



During the niontlis of October iind November, 1S83, Mr 
Henry W. Henshaw was occupied in linguistic researches in 
Nevada and California. 

The Washo tribe was found to number about three hundred, 
with its center in the neighborhood of Carson, Nev., and a 
vocabulary of the language was obtained according to the 
method prescribed in tlie Introduction to the Study of In- 
dian Languages. Fi-om the fVagnientary vocabularies of this 
tongue before accessible the Waslio had been supposed to be 
the sole representative of a linguistic stock, a supijosition which 
the present vocabulary sustains. 

The Panamint Indians, whose language had before been un- 
known, were then visited and a similar vocabulary was ob- 
tained From it, this tribe is ascertained to belong to the Sho- 
shonian stock of languages. 

Notwithstanding the popular belief that the Panamint tribe 
is on the verge of extinction, a census obtained from an intel- 
ligent English-speaking woman of the tribe shows their num- 
ber, by actual count of individuals known to her, to be lOG, 
there being in her opinion about 50 more with whom she was 
unacquainted, making a total of about loG. 

These Indians live about the various mining camps and 
towns in the neighborliood of Death and Panamint Valleys, 
Inyo County, California. Their tribal cohesion is lost and 
their lives are parasitic, mainly dependent upon the bounty of 
the white citizens. Their ultimate extinction therefore seems 


Dr. Washington Matthews, assistant surgeon U. S. A., while 
on military duty at Fort Wingate, New Mexico, continued dur- 
ing the entire }-ear his collection of material for a grammar and 
dictionary of the Navajo language, and also obtained informa- 
tion, for future publication, regarding the ceremonies, myths, 
and folk lore of that tribe. An important paper was prepared 


by him on the "Xavajo names for plants," showing- tlieir 
mode of discrimination and classification of the flora of tlieir 


On September 1, 1883, A[r. Jeremiah Curtin went to the 
Cattaraugus Eeservation, New York, where he collected about 
one hundred and seventy mvths and some texts. Many of 
these myths are long and were written out with full details. 
The collection is valuable from its accuracy and completeness. 
From Cattaraugus Mr. Curtin went to the Indian Territory, 
where- he collected myths till June 30, 1884. The whole 
number obtained during the year was about four hundred, of 
which seventy-five were Modoc and the remainder Yuchi, 
Pottawatomi, Sak, Shawnee, and Seneca. Vocabularies of 
the Yuchi and Pottawatomi lanofuas^es were also collected. 


Di-. W. J. Hoffman, in the autumn of 1883, visited the Ot- 
tawa, Ojibwa, and Pottawatomi Indians of Northern Michi- 
gan and the Sisseton and Mdewakantanwan bands of Dakota 
in Minnesota and Dakota, with special reference to the study 
of pictographs and gesture signs, and collected additional ma- 


The collection and examination of materials fur future [)ub- 
lications considered to be fundamental to the study of Indian 
anthropology continued to engage the attention of the Director 
and other officers of the Bureau These projected publications 
are : (1) A series of charts showing the habitat of all tribes when 
first met by Europeans and at subsequent eras : (2) a diction- 
ary of tribal synononiy, Avhich should refer the multiplied and 
confusing titles, as given in literature and in varying usage, to 
a correct and systematic standard of nomenclature ; (3) a clas- 
sification, on a linguistic basis, of all the known Indians of 
North America, suryiving and extinct, into families or stocks. 


The importance of this under taking-, th6 manner in which it is 
being executed, and the diflficulties attending it were detailed 
in the hist annual report. It was also there explained that 
the determination and classification of" the linguistic families 
and stocks is an indispensable preliminaiy in this work. 

Col. Garrick jMallery continued to be engaged during 
the year in the study of sign language among the North Amer- 
ican Indians compared with that among other peoples and 
among deaf mutes — or, more generally, the gesture speech of 
man — with the purpose of publishing a monograph on that 
suljject. lie also prepared a paper on the pictographs of the 
North American Indians, designed to be an introduction to the 
study of pictographs which has been published in the Fourth 
Annual Report of the Bureau. In the whole of this work he 
was assisted, particularly in the illustrations, b}- Dr. W. J. 

Mrs. Erminnie A. Smith, on returning from the field, was 
engaged upon special studies in several Iroquoian dialects. 
The Mohawk words previously translated from the dictionary 
of Father Marcoux were all recopied and their literal meanings 
were given, as Avere also over 6,000 words in the Tuscarora 

She also prepared several studies upon pronouns and other 
parts of speech for use in the introduction to her Iroquoian 
Dictionary, work upon which was continued. 

Rev. J. Owen Dorsey was engaged dnring tlie year on an 
English- Winnebago vocabulary ; a Kwapa-English vocabu- 
laiy ; Osage and Kansa texts, local and personal names ; and 
the social organization of the Dakota. A paper on Kansa 
mourning and war customs, with charts, was prepared ; also, 
one on the migrations of Siouan tribes, Avith a map and charts. 
He examined and criticised a manuscript dictionary of the 
Musquito language. He also made 3,552 entries for an Osage- 
English Dictionary, 4,it70 entries for a Kansa-English Dic- 
tionary, and over 9,000 entries (from A to Ma) for a ^egiha- 
English Dictionary. 

Mr. Albert S. Gatschet was engaged during the first 
months of the fiscal vear in reading proof of his Klamath Die- 


tionary, being the second or Englisli-Klamath part. After- 
wards he began to correct and hirgely rewrite tlie manuscript 
of the Klamath Grammar, with great improvements derived 
from tlie copious notes which he liad made during the print- 
ing of the texts and the dictionary. At the close of the vear 
portions of the manuscript had l)een revised and the proof was 

Mr. Fkank Hamilton Gushing, on returning to Washington 
early in May, prepared a paper on Pueblo pottery as illustra- 
tive of Zufii culture growth, which was published in the Fourth 
Annual Report of the Bureau. 

He also prepared a paper on the Ancient Province of Cibola 
and the Seven Lost Cities, in which he not only identifies 
conclusively the "seven cities" with seven ruins in the Zuni 
Valley, but also furnishes examples of the permanence of In- 
dian tradition, and of its value, when properly weighed, as a 
factor in ethnographic and historic research. 

Mr. Cushing reports as the most important results of his 
studies during the year those relating to the mvths and folk 
tales abundantly recorded by him during previous years. Bv 
extended comparisons made between these folk tales and m3'ths 
and by the use of etymologic checks and suggestions, he is 
able to trace the growth of mere ideas, or of primitive concep- 
tions of natural or biotic phenomena, of physical or animal 
functions, into the personge on the one hand and the incidents 
on the other which go to make up myths. Further, he traces 
the influence of these realizations or formulations on the wor- 
ship of the Zuili. Two examples are presented, as follows : 

(1) The circle or halo around the sun is supposed to be and 
is called by the Zuni the House of the Sun-God. This Mr 
Cushing' explains by the analogies of the case. A man seeks 
shelter on the approach of a rainstorm. As the sun circle al- 
most invariably appears only with the coming of a storm, the 
Sun, like his child, the man, seeks shelter in his house, which 
the circle has thus come to be. 

The influence of this simple inference myth on the folk lore 
of the Zuni shows itself in the perpetuation, until within recent 



generations, of the round sun towers and circular estufas so 
intimately associated with sun worship, yet whicli were at first 
but survivals of the round medicine lodge. 

(2) The rainbow is a deified animal having the attributes of 
a human being, 3'et also the body and some of the functions of 
a measuring worm Obviously, the striped back and arched 
attitude of the measuring worm, its sudden appearance and 
disappearance among the leaves of the plants which it inhabits^ 
are the analogies on whicli this personification is based. As 
the measuring worm consumes the herbage of tlie plants and 
causes them to dry up, so the rainbow, which appears only after 
rains, is supposed to cause a cessation of rains, consequently 
to be the originator of droughts, under the influence of which 
latter plants parch and wither away as they do under the 
ravages of the measuring- worms. Here it will be seen that the 
visible ■ phenomenon called the rainbow gets by analogy the 
personality of the measuring worm, while from tlie measuring 
Avorm in turn the rainbow gets its functions as a god. Of this 
the cessation of rain on the appearance of the rainbow is ad- 
duced as proof, and the incidents of the myth history of the 
rainbow gods are, as might be shown by additional illustration, 
but further dramatizations of these functions of the measuring 
worm. So much indeed is this the case that the fading of 
flowers is attributed to the rainbow, who, consuming their 
imperceptible existences, thus derives his brilliant coloring just 
as it is believed that the measuring worm gets his green, yel- 
low, and red stripes from the leaves and flowers which he de- 
vours. The influence of all this analogic philosophy is shown 
in the Zuni theogony and worship by the way in which the 
rainbow is relegated to a place among the malignant gods of 
war — hence painted on war shields — and made a demon to be 
propitiated, j^et shunned. Therefore he is unhonored in the 
worship of the Zuni, turned from liy them when he appears 
in the sky, and covertly imprecated in set formulae. 

The general conclusions from these examples may be that 
in folk myths natural phenomena become personified, mostly 
by visible analogy, while functions become dramatized, but 


that the reverse may sometimes be the case, and both to a for 
more elaborate and complex extent than can here be illustrated 
by quotations from Mr. Cushing's abundant yet unfinished 

Mr. James C. Pilling continued the preparation of the Lin- 
guistic Bibliography, and proof-sheets of pages oGl-lOiO were 
received from the printer. Copies of these sheets were dis- 
tributed as heretofore, and much assistance was rendered by 
Senor Joaquin Garcia Icazbalceta, of the City of Mexico, and 
Drs. J. Hammond Trumbull, of Hartford, Conn., J. G. Shea 
of Elizabeth, X. J., and D. G. Brinton, of Media, Pa. 

During November and December, 1883, Mr. Pilling made a 
trip to Hartford for the purpose of visiting the library of Dr. 
Trumlnill, where a number of new titles and much interesting- 
information were obtained. On his way to Washington a very 
profitable week was spent in the library of Dr. Brinton. The 
valuable linguistic material relating to that portion of North 
America lying south of the United States which had been col- 
lected with much labor by Di*. Berendt had fallen, by pur- 
chase, into the hands of Dr. Brinton, and proved to Ije one of 
the richest of the repertories utilized by the compiler of the 

Mr. Charles C. Royce continued his work upon the His- 
torical Atlas of Indian Affairs, the character of which has been 
set forth in former reports and also appears in the introduc- 
tory pages of his paper on the "Cherokee Nation of Indians'* 
in the present volume. 

Mr. WiLLiAxM H. Holmes, in addition to his charge of the 
preparation of illustrations for the publications of the Bureau, 
has continued the archfeologic studies begun in previous years, 
confining his investigations more especially to ceramic art and 

In the latter part of 1884 he was assigned to the duty of 
preparing- an ethnologic and archpeologic exhibit for the 
World's Industrial Exposition at New Orleans. This work 
was supplemented by the preparation of minor displays for 
the expositions at Cincinnati and Louisville. 


Mr. Holmes has liad charge of such collections of the Bui-eau 
as were not under tlie direct supervision of Mr. James Steven- 
son or Prof. Cyrus Thomas. Detailed catalogues of these col- 
lections have not been prepared for publication, but a short list 
of tlie acquisitions of the year is as follows: 

From Mr. George Hurlbut, of Belvidere, 111., an additional 
part of a very valuable collection of articles from the ancient 
burial places of Peru has been received. A portion of the 
same collection was presented to the Bureau in 1882, and 
was described, and to some extent illustrated, in the Third 
Annual Report of the Bureau. This second installment com- 
prises a variety of utensils and art products of the ancient 
peoples, the most important being a series of woven fabrics of 
elaborate construction, rich colors, and elegant designs. Illus- 
trations of these will be published. Gifts of shell beads found 
in the possession of the Abnaki Indians, of Maine, were made 
by Mrs. W. W. Brown, of Calais, Me. Fragments of ancient 
pottery were presented by Mr. Joseph D. McGuire, of Elli- 
cott City, Md., and a large amount of material has been 
brought in from various sections of the country by the agents 
of the Bureau. The most important of these is a large collec- 
tion of vases and other articles from the Pueblo of Acoma, 
New Mexico. 

Messrs. Victor and Cosmos Mindeleff, after their return 
from the field, were occupied in the preparation of a map of the 
Canon de Chelly and its branches from the material obtained. 
A number of the plans of the larger ruins, whose positions and 
I'elations to the canon are shown on this map, were redrawn 
from the field data. While this work was being done and the 
field notes and material were being arranged and classified, 
the work of modeling the Tusayan villages, which had been 
suspended for the field trip, was again taken up by Mr. Cosmos 
Mindeleff and continued until June, when all other work was 
laid aside for the preparation of the diagrams and working 
drawings necessary for the construction of a new series of 
models illustrating the ancient pueblos and cliff ruins. These 
models formed part of the Government exhibit at the New 
Orleans Exposition. 


Prof. Cyrus Thomas, in addition to the general direction of 
the movtnd explorations described under the head of field work, 
was personally engaged in marking and arranging the collec- 
tions obtained and in preparing catalogues of them for the 
Bureau and the National Museum. 

The system of cataloguing adopted has been carried out 
with accuracy. Archaeologists may therefore rely with confi- 
dence on the statements in these catalogues, as care has been 
taken, wherever there exists au}^ doubt as to the locality where 
or conditions under which a specimen was found, to expressly 
state the fact. These catalogues are not intended for publica- 
tion, but will be retained in the National Museum for refer- 

The collections and tlie arrang-ement of data for an archae- 
clogic map of the eastern half of the United States were begun 
during the year and some progress Avas made. The paper on 
"Burial mounds of the northern sections of the United States,'' 
published in the present volume, was also substantially com- 

Dr. H. C. Yarrow continued research and correspondence- 
for a monograph on the mortuary customs of the North Amer- 
ican Indians, and arrangements were made to enhance its value 
by his personal expeditions in the field. 

Mr. Jeremiah Curtin, during the months of July and 
August, before his departure for the field, continued his studies 
upon Seneca folk lore and the linguistic material in his charge. 


The papers presented in the present volume exhibit studies 
in several fields of research. A large amount of space is de- 
voted to prehistoric arcluTeology, but no less attention is given 
to definite history as ascertained from records, literature, and 
reliable tradition, while the special treatises and incidental dis- 
cussions connected witli mythology and sociology offer, prob- 
ably, more popular interest. Separate mention of the several 
papers follows iir their printed order. 



Throughout a hirge part of the territory now embraced in the 
United States several varieties of workings ujion and imme- 
diately beneath the surface of the earth are found wliich were 
made by the population existing at the time of the European 
occupation or prior thereto. For the moment it is not neces- 
sar}^ to inquire whether the works mentioned were all made 
before the Columbian discovery or whether some of them are 
not much later ; or, again, whether their authors were confined 
to the tribes, variously and loosely styled "aboriginal" and 
"Indian," which were found within the region by its first white 
explorers, or whether they are to be attributed to a people 
more ancient than the historic Indian. Considering, for the 
present, the works themselves, several of their varieties, such 
as the pyramidal mounds and raised inclosures, sometimes ap- 
parently erected for defensive purposes, others being more 
probably mere ruins of village sites, give evidence of the num- 
hevs, distribution, and, to some extent, of the habits and the 
■.stage in culture of their builders. But the mounds raised in 
connection with the burial of the dead are far more important 
than all others. They indicate, both by their modes of con- 
struction and by their contents, the sociology, philosophy, and 
art of their authors. The nearly universal custom of deposit- 
ing with the corpses or skeletons articles of property formerly 
belonging to the deceased, and other objects of ceremonial re- 
lation, with such care that some of them are still preserved, 
now enables us to gather from the sepulcher a life histor}^ of the 
persons buried and of those who paid to them the funeral rites 

The present paper, by Professor Thomas, is devoted to the 
last mentioned class of mounds, in connection with which, how- 
ever, it has been necessary for him to discuss other classes in 
the investigation of evidentiary and illustrative details. The 
j^aper shows the large amount of work done by the division of 
mound exploration of the Bureau, both in the collection of facts 
and in their comparison. It also exhibits the fruitful results of 
the general study of all varieties of mounds, as well as the 


more restricted field of those connected with burial. In the 
presentation of his views Professor Thomas exhibits care, can- 
dor, and accuracy, and the ilh.strations presented are amply 
sufficient to explain the text when needed, while the quotations 
from and references to the literature of the subject la^^ress 
the reader with a sense of its thorough study. 

The pa,)er, from considerations relating both to space and 
to the completeness of research, does not embrace all of the 
territory of the United States in which burial mounds l.ave 
been found, but is confined to the northern portion, ihi.s is 
divided into districts, established from typical characteristics, 
which are described. They are — 

m The Wisconsin District, comprising the southern halt 
of Wisconsin, a small portion of Northern Illinois, and the 
northeastern corner of Iowa. _ 

(2) The Illinois or Upper Mississippi District, embmcmg 
Eastern Iowa, Kortheastern Missouri, and Northern and Cen- 
tral Illinois. f 

(3) The Ohio District, including Ohio, the western part ot 
West Virginia, and tlie eastern part of Indiana. 

(4) The New York District, including, together with the 
northern and western parts of New York, the lake region of 

its central portion. ttt . , v^,.t1i 

(5) The Appalachian District, comprising Western Noith 
Carolina, Eastern Tennessee, Southwestern Virginia, and part 
of Southeastern Kentucky. 

The method of reasoning pursued by Protessor 1 homas, 
after his presentation of facts, may be illustrated by a con- 
densation of his conclusions respecting the AVisconsin District, 

as follows: i „,. 

The evidence in regard to these unstratified mounds ap- 
pears to lead directly to the conclusion that they are all the 
work of the Indians (or of their ancestors) found occupying 
the country at the time it was first visited by whites. If 
it is conceded that the small unstratified tumuli are in part 
their work, there would seem to be no escape from the con- 
clusion that all the burial mounds of this district are to be as- 
cribed to them ; for, although there are two or three types ot 


burial and ctf burial mounds, the gradation from one to the 
other is so complete as to leave no marked line of distinction. 
The stratified mounds in which the hard clay or mortar cover- 
ing over the remains is found may be the work of tribes dif- 
ferent from tliose which constructed the small, unstratified tu- 
muli, but the distinctions between the two classes are not such 
as to justify the belief that they are to be attributed to a dif- 
ferent race or to a people occupying a higher or widely dif- 
ferent culture status. 

Having reached this conclusion, it is necessary to take one 
step further in the same direction and ascribe the singular 
structure known as "effigy mounds" to the same people. The 
two classes of work are too intimately connected to admit of 
the supposition that the effigy mounds were built by one race 
or people and the conical tumuli by another. 

The works of different tribes may frequently be found in- 
termingled on areas over which successive waves of popula- 
tion have passed, but that one part of what is clearly a system 
is to be attributed to one people and the other part to another 
people is an hypothesis unworthy of serious consideration. 
The only possiijle explanations of tlie origin, object, or mean- 
ing of these singular structures are based, whether avowedly 
so or not, on the theory that tlie}' are of Indian origin. 

The facts that the effigy mounds Avere not used as places of 
sepulture and that no cemeteries save the burial mounds are 
found in connection witli them afford almost conclusive proof 
that the two, as a rule, must be attributed to the same people, 
that they belong to one system. 

The vexed question Who were the mound builders? is prop- 
erly stated as follows : 

Were all the mounds and otherpre-Columbian works explored 
in that portion of the United States east of the Rocky Mount- 
ains built by the Indians found in possession of this region at 
the time of its discovery and their ancestors, or are they in 
part to be attributed to other more advanced races or peoples, 
such as the Aztec, Toltec, Pueblo, or some lost race of which no 
historic mention exists? 



After the presentation of much evidence, some of which, 
the product of recent explorations, is equally surprisingand 
convincing, the general conclusions of the paper are submitted 

as follows: • j i vfr + 

First That different sections were occupied by ditlerent 
mound building tribes, which, though belonging to much the 
same stage in the scale of culture, differed in most instances 
in habits and customs to a sufficient extent to mark, by then- 
modes of burial, construction of their mounds, and their works 
of art, the boundaries of the respective areas occupied. 

Second That each tribe adopted several different modes ot 
burial, depending, in all probability, to some extent upon the 
social condition, position, and occupation of the deceased. 

Third That the custom of removing the flesh before the 
final burial prevailed very extensively among the mound 
builders of the northern sections, the bones of the common 
people being often gathered together and cast in promiscuous 
heaps over which mounds were built. 

Fom-th That usually some kind of religious ceremony was 
performed at the burial, in which fire played a prominent part; 
but, notwithstanding the very common belief, there is no evi- 
dence whatever that human sacrifice was practiced. 

Fifth That there is nothing found in the mode of construct- 
ino- these mounds, nor in the vestiges of art they contain, to 
indicate that their builders had reached a higher culture status 
than that attained by some of the Indian tribes found occupy- 
ing the country at the time of the first arrival of Europeans. 

"sixth That the custom of erecting mounds over the dead 
continued to be practiced in several localities in post-Colum. 

bian times. . 

Seventh That the character and condition of the ancient 
monuments and the relative uniformity in the culture status 
of the diff-erent tribes, shown by the works and the remains o 
art found in them, indicate that the mound building age could 
not have continued in this part of the continent longer than a 
thousand years, and hence that its commencement probably 
does not antedate the fifth or sixth century. 


Nothing has been found connected with the mounas to sus- 
tain or justify the opinion, so frequently advanced, of their 
great antiquity. The calculations based upon the supposed 
age of trees growing on some of them are fast giving way 
before recent investigations in regard to the growth of forests, 
as it has been ascertained that the rings of trees are not a sure 
indication of age. 

Eio;'hth. That all the mounds which have been examined and 
carefully studied are to be attributed to the tribes found inhab- 
iting this reo-ion and their ancestors. 

A suggestion ma\^ perhaps be offered with regard to the sev- 
enth of the above propositions. Professor Thomas has fully 
established the conclusion that the mound building period con- 
tinued into the historic period. He has overthrown the theory 
of the vast antiquity of a higher stag-e of culture antedating- the 
Indian occupancy of the country, which theory has been widely 
accepted by careless thinkers and writers. In doing this he 
has rendered an inestimable service to the proper study of the 
Indian tribes. But an attempt to fix the duration or beginning 
of the mound building period is unadvisable in the absence of 
evidence not yet obtained and which may never be forthcoming. 

It also may be suggested that there is not yet sufficient evi- 
dence to justify any decided view as to the routes by which 
the several Indian tribes reached their historic seats. Much of 
that which has been obtained is conflicting, and for the present 
it is not possible to arrive at sound and enduring conclusions. 


The introductory part of this paper explains the plan and 
scope of the Historical Atlas of Indian Affairs upon which Mr. 
Royce has been for several years engaged. Tlie body of the 
paper exhibits the method of the work as applied to the Chero- 
kee Nation, as it is now officiall}" styled by itself and recog- 
nized by the United States in the language of treaties and stat- 
utes, though in strictly scientific phraseology the people con- 
stituted a confederacy, their several towns being the tribal 


Tlie Cherokee appear more prominently and for a lono^er 
period in the treaties, state paj^ers, and judicial decisions of 
the United States than any other body of Indians. For two 
liumlred years, in wars, in councils, and in courts, they have 
been engaged in strugg-les involving their existence, and they 
are one of the few Indian peoples that have passed through 
■such ordeals into present prosperity. Their history shows that 
when the improperly directed power of the white race did not 
absolutely prohibit their advance in civilization some such ad- 
vance was always attained, and it was always resumed after 
interruption when possible. During thirty years after the 
treaty of 1791 they made such manifest strides towards civ- 
ilization, both in herding and in husbandry, that at the end of 
that time their agent reported Government assistance to be 
/no longer necessary or desirable, the people being perfectly 
competent to take care of themselves, and in 1827 the}^ estab- 
lished a government, republican in form and satisfactory in 
its operation until paralyzed in 1830 by the hostile action of 
Georgia. Their forced removal in 1838 to tlie west of the 
Mississippi for a time diminished their numbers, impaired their 
confidence, and menaced their prosperity; 5-et five years later 
their energy and determination had exhibited renewed im- 
provements, which continued until the war of the rebellion 
brought to tliem more desolation than to any other community. 
They were raided and sacked alternately by the forces of the 
United States and by those of the Confederacy and were di- 
vided among themselves into fighting fiictions. Their country 
became a waste, and in the few rears of the war their numbers 
were reduced l)y at least one-third; yet to-dav they are more 
prosperous than ever before and have probably a greater popu- 
lation than at anv time since they have been known in history. 

The essay commences with the first treaty, in 1785, con- 
cluded between the Cherokee and the United States, and after 
reciting the more important provisions it presents tlie historical 
data connected Avith its negotiation and the events leading 
thereto, followed by its results. This plan is pursued with 
regard to all treaties and the circumstances connected there- 


with to the present date. lu this manner attention is paid in 
an orderly sequence to the history-traditions, to De Soto's ex- 
pedition, to the early contact with A^iro'inia and Carolina colo- 
nists, to the territory and population at the period of the En- 
glish settlement, to successive boundaries and cessions, and to 
the various controversies ensuing. Through the paper appear 
biographical notices, details of life in the years of the colonies 
and the infant republic, accounts of the trials and struggles 
produced by deportation, and conflict, and statistics of fluctu- 
ating gains and losses, all of deep interest and importance. It 
is believed that the care and skill devoted by Mr. Royce to 
make the statement both accurate and comprehensive, fortify- 
ing it also by the citation of the best authorities, will render it 
valuable to statesmen, historians, and lawyers. 


I'his 2:)aper is a most important contribution explanatory of the 
philosophy of the North American Indians. It gives in detail, 
as seen by a thoroughly equipped witness, one of the most illus- 
trative of the ceremonies of the Navajo, a large body of In- 
dians of the Athabascan linguistic stock now occupj'ing a res- 
ervation which embraces parts of New Mexico and Arizona, 
though until a period commencing less than fifty years ago 
the range of these people extended much farther south. The 
essay is divided into (1) a translation, with incidental exj^lana- 
tions of the myth on which the ceremonies are based, (2) the 
ceremonies themselves, including the mythologic sand paintings, 
and (3) the originals and translations of the songs and prayers 
used in the ceremonies, which all refer to the myth. 

This myth exhibits the stage in mythologic philosophy in 
Avhich zootheism and physitheism are both represented. In it 
the phenomena of nature are the work of animal gods, but 
these gods are becoming anthropomorphic. A strong general 
resemblance appears between this myth and those recorded 
from Algonkian and Iroquoian sources, but it is presented by 
Dr. Matthews in a much more pwre and accurate manner than 
those published b}' Schoolcraft and other oft-quoted authors. 


It is given in the genuine Indian style and conception, without 
admixture of European interpretation and civilized gloss. 
For this reason, as well as from its intrinsic value, it is certain 
that henceforth the story of Dsilyi' Neyani (Reared Within 
tlie Mountains) will be studied with more interest and protit 
than those of louskeka and Manabozho, hitherto most current 
in the literature of Indian myths. Throughout the paper Dr. 
Matthews has followed the alphabet for Indian words used in 
the Bureau of Ethnolog^^ and explained in the Introduction to 
the Study of Indian Languages. 

in its briefest expression the myth of Dsilyi' Neyani sliovvs 
his captivity among the Ute, his escape by the intervention 
of gods, and his travels, sufferings, and adventures in regain- 
ing his home, all of which, under divine guidance, were in the 
nature of an initiation into religious rites, with the injunc- 
tion that these should be communicated by him to his people. 
Shortly after his return, having performed his duty as teacher 
or prophet, he disappeared to rejoin the gods, in accordance 
with their promise made to him during his initiatory travels. 
It would be impossible, without elaborating a commentary upon 
the text nearly equaling it in length, to point out the numerous 
essential similarities to be found in it with the myths of the 
Egvptians, the Hindus, the Greeks, and other still better known 
peoples, as recorded and discussed in modern literature. It is 
sutiieient now to invite attention to the instructive evidence of 
similarity in the stage of mythologic philosophy coming from 
a before unexplored source and only modified by the readily 
understood differences of environment. 

That the myth is of great antiquity is shown by tlie archaic 
character of the language employed and by the references to ob- 
solete customs; yet there are contained in it some passages and 
incidents obviously modern, for instance, the allusion to horses. 
It is not a cosmogony myth, though it is partly a myth of 
tribal history commencing at a time when the Navajo had be- 
come a distinct people ; but it is in a large degree a myth of 
religion, in the strict sense of that term as comprehending the 
relations of man to occult powers and the practices connected 

XLVi a:jxual report of the director 

with such relations. The Navajo have an entirely distinct 
creation myth, wiiich is long and elaborate and which Dr. 
Matthews has obtained and will publish hereafter. 

The ceremonial, lasting nine da^^s, is one of manj- among the 
Navajo, seventeen, each of nine days' duration, being known 
to survive. This people, like other bodies of North Ameri- 
can Indians, devote their winters to religion, mysticism, and 
symbolism, by which their whole lives and thoughts are im- 
bued to an extent difficult to realize in modern civilization. 
This ceremony dramatizes the myth, with rigorously prescribed 
paraphernalia and formularies, with picturesque dances and 
shows, scenic effects, and skillful thaumaturgic juggler}'. It 
is noticeable also that here the true popular drama is found 
in the actual process of evolution from religious mysteries or 
miracle plays, as has been its history in other lands and auiong 
other races. The ceremonies are presented by Dr. Matthews 
with admirable precision of observation and statement, to which 
he adds his sketches, furnishing the illustrations of the sand 
pictures, the production, manipulation, and destruction of 
which form the most peculiar portions of tlie ceremonial. It is 
to be remarked that the shaman has become the professional 
and paid artist and stage manager, under whom is gathered a 
traveling corps of histrions and scenic experts. 

The parts of the ceremonial immediately connected with the 
cure of disease, particularlv the application of the pigments 
constituting the bodies of the mythic personages, afford evi- 
dence additional to former knowledge of the origination of 
medical practices. 

The medicine man is an important functionar}' among all 
the tribes of North America and medicine practices constitute 
an important element in the daily life of the Indian tribe. But 
medicine practices cannot be differentiated from religious rites 
and observances. The doctor is the priest and the priest is 
the doctor; the medicine man is priest-doctor. 

In studying the medicine practices of the North American 
Indians from the standpoint of medicine, the subject may be 
advantageously considered in three parts : First, an effort 


should be made to discover the Indian's idea or conception of 
disease, i. e , what is Indian pathology ? Second, an attempt 
should be made to discover the Indian method of curing or 
avoiding diseases, i. e., what is Indian therapeutics? And, 
third, an effort sliould be made to discover what knowledge the 
Indian lias of the medicinal properties of niinerals, plants, and 
other remedial agencies, i. e., what is the Indian materia medica ? 
In systematically examining the subject among various tribes 
of North America and in reading the literature of the subject, 
the following general conclusions are reached: 

First. The Indian's pathology is largely, if not wholly, myth- 
ologic. Diseases are attributed to evil beings, the malign in- 
fluence of enemies, and to various occult agencies. Second. 
Indian remedies are largely, if not wholly, magical, and con- 
stitute an integral part of their religion. This paper by Dr. 
Matthews clearly illustrates this point and derives special 
value therefrom. Third. Various tribes of Indians seem to 
have a knowledge of certain medical properties in certain 
plants, i. e., they know of emetics, purgatives, and intoxi- 
cants; but they do not seem to use this knowledge in any 
reasonable system of remedies. Purgatives, emetics, and intox- 
icants are used more frequently by the priest than b}^ the 
patient, and still more frequently by the clan or by bodies of 
persons engaged in the performance of rites which are ratjier 
of a religious nature, but which are yet designed to ward off 
disease or to cure tlipse actually suffering; but no, rational 
system of medicine has been discovered and authentically de- 
scribed as existing in any North American tribe. On these 
subjects a large body of material has been collected by the 
Director and other officers in the Bureau, which, when prop- 
erly systematized and published, will shed much light upon the 

In the details set forth in the present paper numerous prac- 
tices — for instance the incantation to images, the sacred fumi- 
gation or incense, and the supposed absorption of the body of 
divinity by the patient or devotee — are analogous to observ- 
ances of the same description — intended for physical or spirit- 


iial benefit, or for both — still in use by many nations and 
individuals throughout the world whose philosophies cannot be 
traced to a more common origin with those of the Navajo than 
the general principles governing the evolution of human thought 
by graded stages. All who practice these observances declare 
them to have descended to them from above, that is, from 
some concept of divinity, as may be explained by the principle 
of ancientism ; but the evidence shows that they all liave arrived 
from below, that is, from a lower plane of humanity. 


The Indians known as Seminole are of the Muskokian lin- 
guistic stock who before the present centur}- left their con- 
geners and dwelt within the present limits of Georgia and 
Florida. A chief cause of the separation was disagreement 
among the people of the towns of the Lower Creeks and 
Hichiti concerning their relations with Europeans settling in 
the country. It is asserted that many turbulent and criminal 
Indians joined the emigrants, and thus the word "Seminole" or 
"Sinianole" — meaning separatist or renegade — became a term 
of opprobrium applied by the Creeks who had remained in 
their ancient seats. It is however to be noted that the present 
inhabitants of the Everglades repudiate the title and cast it 
back upon the much larger portion of their people non in the 
Indian Territory, thus impugning their courage and steadfast- 
ness, probably in allusion to the fact that tlie latter succumbed 
to the power of the United States in their deportation. The 
Apalachi, Timucua, and others of the earliest known inhabit- 
ants of the Floridian peninsula had been driven away and 
nearly exterminated in the wars of 1702 to 1708, leaving an 
inmiense tract of territor}- vacant for the Seminole migration, 
and some of the Muskoki were established in the southern- 
most part of the peninsula at the middle of the sixteenth 
centuiy. Probably the people who are the subject of this 
paper are in part their descendants, while others mav be de- 
scended from comers of a century later, but they are prob- 
ably all the offspring of the determined band who, though 


defeated in war, would never submit to the Governuieut of the 
United States, but retreated to the inaccessible cypress swamps, 
while the majority of their surviving comrades removed to the 
Indian Territory, another body liaviny fled into Mexico. The 
Seminole war of 1835 to 1842 was the most stubbornly con- 
tested of all the Indian wars, and, considering the numerical 
force of the tribe, or perhaps even without that qualification, 
was the most costly and disastrous to the United States. 
During the seven }'ears mentioned nearly every regiment of 
the regular arriiy was engaged against them, besides marines 
and sailors, and in addition, for longer or shorter periods, 
50,000 militia and volunteers. The cost of the war was. 
830,000,000 and over 3,000 lives. Of the Seminole probably 
not more than 400 warriors were engaged, their numerical 
weakness being counterbalanced by the topographic character 
of the country which they defended. 

The Seminole, who are described in the jiresent paper as 
of a high grade in physique and intelligence, may well be de- 
•scendants of these heroes. It was natural that their inherited 
enmity and also their sense of danger should have induced 
them during the last half century to repel all visits from whites, 
and more especially from representatives of the United States. 
Government. Their dwellings and villao'es hav^e been so lo- 
cated as to secure this isolation, and the account now given 
of them by the Rev. Clay MacCauley, D. D., is the result of 
the tirst successful attempt to ascertain their true numbers and 
condition. Notwithstanding his ingenuity and energy, the 
adverse circumstances did not permit this investigation to be- 
exhaustive; but it has been sutticient to discover some impor- 
tant and instructive facts set forth in the present essay. 

The status of these Indians is peculiar in that their contact 
with civilization has hitherto been regulated, to an extent not 
known elsewhere, by their own volition, and has not been im- 
l)osed upon them. Visitors, traders, and Government agents, 
have been denied admission, but the Indians have in a lim- 
ited way visited the settlements beyond their own boundaries 
and traded there. The result has been a remarkably prosper- 



ous condition in agriculture and domestic industries. This is 
not to be attributed wholly to the favorable character of their 
soil and climate, as under similar environment many peoples 
are lazy and improvident, whereas the Seminole of Florida are 
industrious and frugal. That they have advanced in culture 
during the last generation is doubtless true, but it is a common 
and pernicious error to consider the Indian tribes at the time 
of the Columbian discovery as wholly without knowledge of 
agriculture, depending solely on the chase, fishing, and the 
spontaneous products of the earth. This error is a part of the 
ferae naturae tlieor}* which has been so baneful in the past 
consideration of the aboriginal inhabitants. No radical change 
was necessary for the greater portion of the Indian tribes to 
become self supporting by the industries classed as civilized, 
provided that their treatment had been rational and in accord- 
ance with the slow but certain operations of nature. Tin-ough- 
out the continent generally the pressure of the white settlers 
did not allow of the necessary delay, but here it was obtained. 
The advance of the Seminole has been practically without 
European instruction, the efforts of the Spanish missionaries of 
the seventeenth century having only left some traces of inter- 
polation in their myths. They have adopted from European 
civilization some Aveapons, implements, and fabrics and have 
sliown their capacity for imitation and adaptation: but their 
progress toward civilization has been their own work in the 
orderly course of evolution, and is therefore instructive. 



During each of the years commencing with 1878, Mrs. 
Stevenson has spent some time among the Zuiii, and four 
whole field seasons were devoted by her to ob.servation and 
study among that people Her researches were mainly among 
the women of the tribe and directed to the understanding' of 
domestic life. Women among the Zufli have charge of rites 
and observances in which the men have no participation and 
of which they have no direct knowledge; therefore no male in- 


vestlgator, woose relations in respect to tne religious orders and 
ceremonies must be exclusively with the men, can become ac- 
quainted with the peculiar beliefs and rituals among- the women. 
The work of Mrs. Stevenson, therefore, is complementary to 
that of Mr. Cashing, wliich has before been reported. Her ob- 
servation upon the puljlic ceremonies and mythology as known 
to both sexes has also been independent of Mr, Cashing and 
made from a different point of view ; therefore her contribution 
upon them has an especial value. 

Mrs. Stevenson has divided her volaminous notes respecting 
Zuni child life into two parts ; one, tlie practical or domestic, 
embraces the habits, customs, games, and experiences of the 
children ; the other, the religious instruction and observances 
connected with childhood. The last mentioned division is the 
subject of her paper in tliis volume. It is introduced by a 
brief notice of the mythology connected with the rites de- 
scribed and by an account of the topography and natural feat- 
ures to which references appear in the myths 

The devotion of the Zuni to religious practices, in which their 
time, labor, and property are so deeply absorbed, has before 
been reported, but Mrs. Stevenson presents with conscientious 
accuracy many new details. Among these details the student 
of comparative mythology will notice several parallels with 
the practices of otlier lands and periods of history, and some 
of these will strike even those less erudite in comparative my- 
thology, who still are familiar with classical literature. One 
of these is the painful whipping of the young children on the 
occasion of an important rite, perhaps in its origin, designed 
to secure its impression on their memory, as in some ancient 
European practices for the perpetuation of testimony. Another 
is the wlnpping by ceremonial ministrants of persons wholly 
unconnected with the innnediate rites, and at the request of 
the latter, to obtain the realization of a wish, and more espe- 
cially for fertility, wh.ich was an important element in the Lu- 
percalia, perhaps the oldest of all the Roman rites. The vestal 
virgins of Roman and of other religions are suggested by the 
selection of maidens among the Zuni initiated into sacred 


orders and cliarg-ed with special duties on tlie condition that 
they shall remain unmarried. 

In the details of the ceremonies described, as well as in their 
dominant conception, there is an obvious similarity to some cur- 
rent practices among Cln-istian peoples. 

The Ziini believe that in order to secure success and happi- 
ness each male child, before reaching the age of four years, 
must receive the sacred breath of supernatural beings. This 
is done by dramatic personation in an elaborate ceremony re- 
curring every four years, and the most noticeable point is that 
the vows of the child are taken for him by sponsors, these vows 
to be renewed by the boy after attaining the age of discretion, 
opportunity for which is afforded by an annual ceremony. 

The frequent appearance of the number four throughout 
these ceremonies is now well understood to originate among 
these Indians, as among others, in their personification of the 
winds blowing from the four cardinal points. The less fre- 
quent but still marked recurrence of the number nine, which 
is also specially noticeable in the Navajo myth in the present 
volume, has not hitherto been satisfactorily explained. From 
portions of Mrs. Stevenson's paper and from her yet unpub- 
lished notes it Avould seem to Iiave some reference to the nor- 
mal period of human gestation. 

The primitive tribal state seems to have been organized for 
the regulation of the conduct of its members toward one an- 
other; that is, it is a civil organization proper, the purpose of 
which is to secure internal peace and co-operation. But the 
organization of the tribal state and the form of its government 
are always modified to a greater or less degree by two other 
considerations, which are potent agencies in forming the insti- 
tutions of primitive societies. One concerns intertribal rela- 
tions, and leads to the organization of society for the conduct 
of war; the other concerns the relations which exist, or are 
supposed to exist, between the people and invisible beings, and 
leads to the organization of society for religious purposes. On 
the civil organization there are always imposed a military and a 
religious organization, and tlie magistrate, the warrior, and the 



priest are forever contending with one another for j^ower, and 
the ideas or principles which these officers represent are ever 
in conflict with one another, and now one, now another, gains 
the ascendency. 

Among the tribes of the United States which have been 
studied the civil organization is usually paramount ; but among 
the Zuili religion appears to dominate in such a manner that 
the priest-doctor, or "medicine man," as he has usually been 
termed, is superior in rank, authority, and influence ; or, what 
is essential!}' the same, the priest is ex officio ruler in peace and 
leader in war. From this fact the study of the sociology of the 
Zuni acquires great intei'est. 


Classification of expenditures incurred during the fiscal year ending June 

30, 18S4. 



A. Services 

U. Trarfling espenses 

C. Tiausportation of pioperty 

D. rieUl subsisteace 

E. Field supplies and expenses 

F. Ficdd material 

G. Instruments 

TI. Laboratory material 

I. Pbotograpliic material 

E. Cooks and maps 

L. Stationery and drawing material 

M. IlUistrations for reports 

X. OfBee rents 

O. Office furniture 

P. Office supplies and repairs 

Q. Storage 

R. Correspondence 

S. Articles for distribution to Indians 

T. Specimens 

Balance on band to meet outstanding liabilities. 


$33. 788 10 

1.776 71 

399 03 

625 7a 

512 es 

506 25 
56 75- 

06 30' 

284 25 

7 95 

174 00 

55 00 
6 70 

14 53 

1, 593 86 

101 99 

40, OUO 00- 


5 ETII ■ 1-2 








Introd H ct i>i y 9 

Burial inminds of the Wisconsin district 14 

Burial mounds of the Illinois or Upper Mississippi district 24 

The Ohio district 45 

The Appalachian district 61 

The Cherokees probably mound-builders 87 

Concluding remarks 108 

Supplemental note 110 




Plate I. Group of earthworks, Allamakee County, Iowa 26 

II. Enlarged figure and .section of earthwork A, PI. I ' 30 

III. Group of mound.s and vertical section of blutt". East Dubuque, 

Illinois 36 

IV. A mound. (From DeBry) 40 

V. Plat of ancient work,s, Kanawha County, West Virginia 54 

VI. Enlarged plan of part of the works shown in Plate V 58 

Fig. 1. Section of mound near Racine, Wisconsin. ( After Laphani) 14 

2. Section of burial mound. Vernon County, Wisconsin 15 

3. Earthen pot from Wisconsin burial mound Kj 

4. Section of burial mound. Crawford County, Wisconsin 17 

5: Section of burial mound. Crawford County, Wisconsin. 18 

6. Section of burial mound. Vernon County, Wisconsin 20 

7. Section of burial mound. Davenport, Iowa 24 

H. Section of mound showing stone vault. Iowa 31 

9. Plat of Indian burying ground. Wapello County, Iowa 33 

10. Sectionof mound 4. East Dubu([ue, Illinois 30 

11. Section of mound l(i (Plate III), showing vault 37 

12. Plan of vault, mound 10 (Plate III) 37 

13. Pipe from Illinois mound. (From Smithsonian Report, 1884) 38 

14. Pipe from Illinois mound. (From Smithsonian Report, 1884) 36 

15. Pipe from Illinois mound. (From Smithsonian Report, 1884) 38 

Hi. Group of mounds. Brown County, Illinois 40 

17. Form of the larger mounds of the preceding group 41 

18. Groups of mounds. Clarke County, Mis.souri 43 

19. Ohio burial mound. (After Squier and Davis) 46 

20. Wooden vault of Ohio mound. (After Squier and Davis) 46 

21. Copper gorget from mound. Kanawha County, West Virginia 52 

22. Pipe from mound. Kanawha County, West Virginia 53 

23. Pipe from Ohio mound 53 

24. Mound with so-called "altar." Kanawha County, West Virginia 57 

25. T. F. Nelson mound. Caldwell County. North Carolina 62 

26. T. F.Nelson triangle. Caldwell County, North Carolina 63 

27. Engraved shell gorget. Caldwell County, North Carolina 61 

28. Cylindrical copper bead. Caldwell County, North Carolina 65 

29. Bracelet of copper and shell beads. CaldwellCouuty, North Carolina. . 65 

30. Iron implement. Caldwell County, North Carolina 65 

31. Iron implement. Caldwell County, North Carolina 66 

32. W. D. Jones mound. Caldwell County, North Carolina 67 

33. Plan of the R. T. Lenoir burial pit, Caldwell County, North Carolina.. 69 

34. Hre-bed. Wilkes County, North Carolina 72 



Fig. 3.5. Sectiou of mound. Henderson County, North Carolina 74 

36. Section of mound. Henderson County, North Carolina 75 

37. Plan of burials in mound. Sullivan County, Tennessee 76 

38. Pipe from mound. Sullivan County, Tennessee 76 

39. Large mound of Etowah group. Biirtow County, Georgia 96 

40. Vertical section of small mound, same group 97 

41. Plan of burials in same mound 98 

42. Copper plato from Etowah mound. Georgia 100 

43. Copper plate from Etowah mound. Georgia 101 

44. Copper badge from Etowah mound. Georgia 102 

45. Copper badge from Etowah mound. Georgia 103 

46. Engraved shell from Etowah mound. Georgia 103 

47. Engraved shell from Etowah mound. Georgia 104 

48. Copper plate from Illinois mound 105 

49. Copper plate from Indian grave. Illinois 106 


By Cyrus Thomas, Ph. D. 


All the works of tbe mouiid-builder.s of our country are exceedingly 
interesting to the antiquarian and are valuable as illustrating the hab- 
its, customs, and condition of the people by whom they were formed, but 
the sepulchral tumuli surpass all others in imjiortance in this respect. 
Although usually simple in form and conveying thereby no indications 
of the characteristics of the people bj- whom they were erected, yet 
when explored they reveal to us, by their internal structure and contents, 
more in regard to the habits, beliefs, and art of their authors than can 
be learned from all their other works combined. From them we are en- 
abled to learn some traits of ethnical character. The gifts to, or prop- 
erty of, their dead deposited in these sepulchers illustrate their arts and 
customs and cast some rays of light into their homes and daily life, and 
the regard for their dead indicated by the remaining evidences of their 
modes of burial and sei)ulcliral rites affords some glimpses of their re- 
ligious beliefs and superstitions. The larger and more imposing works, 
as the pyramidal mounds, the enclosures, canals, etc., furnish indications 
of their character, condition, strength, and culture-status as a peojile 
or tribe, but the burial mounds and their contents, besides the evidences 
they furnish in regard to the religious belief and art of the builders, 
tell us something of individual traits, something of their social life, 
their tastes, their i)ersonal regard for each other, and even something of 
the diseases to which they were subject. What is still more important, 
the modes of burial and vestiges of art found with the dead furnish us 
undoubted evidences of tribal distinctions among the authors of these 
works, and, together with the differences in external form, enable us to 
determine in a general way the respective areas occupied by the differ- 
ent tribes or peoples during the mound-building age. 

Judging by all the data so far obtained relating to the form, internal 
structure, and contents of these works, much of which has not yet been 



published, we are perhaps warranted in concluding that the following 
districts or areas were occupied by different peoples or tribes. As a 
matter of course we can only designate these areas in general terms. 

(1) The Wisconsin district, or area of the emblematic or effigy mounds. 
This embraces the southern half of Wisconsin, a small portion of the 
northern part of Illinois, and the extreme northeast corner of Iowa. 
The efBgy or animal mounds form the distinguishing feature of the 
works of this district, but aside from these there are other features 
sufficient to separate the works of this section from those further south. 

(2) The Illinuis or Upper Mi>isissippi district, embracing eastern Iowa, 
uortheastern Missouri, and northern and central Illinois, as far south 
as the mouth of the Illinois Eiver. 

In this region the works are mostly simple conical tumuli of small 
or moderate size, found on the uplands, ridges, and blufls as well as 
on the bottoms, and were evidently intended chiefly as depositories of 
the dead. They are further characterized by internal rude stone and 
wooden vaults or layers ; by the scarcity of pottery vessels, the frequent 
occurrence of pipes, the presence of copper axes, and often a hard, 
niortarliiie layer over the ])rimary or original burial. The skeletons 
found are usually extended, though frequently in a sitting or squatting 

Walls and enclosures are of rare occurrence in this region. 

(3) The Ohio district, including the State of Ohio, the western part of 
West Virginia, and the eastern portion of Indiana. Although the works 
of this region present some features which are common to those of the 
Gulf section, there are several peculiar characteristics which warrant 
us in designating it as a distinct district. Among other of these peculiar 
features we notice the great circles and squai-es of the enclosures, the 
long parallel lines of earthen walls, the so-called " altar mounds," or 
mounds containing structures chiefly of clay to which the name "altar" 
has been applied ; the numerous carved stone pipes; the character of 
the pottery and the methods of burial. 

(4) The New York district, confined chiefly to the northern and west- 
ern parts of the State of New York, but including also the lake region 
of the central portion. 

As the antiquities of this district have been shown by Squier to be 
chiefly due to the Indian tribes occupying that section at the time of 
its discovery by the Europeans, it is unnecessary to note the distinguish- 
ing characteristics. The works are chiefly enclosing walls, remains of 
palisades, and burial mounds. 

(.5) The Appalachian district, including western North Carolina, east- 
ern Tennessee, southwestern Virginia, and part of southeastern Ken- 

The characteristics which appear to warrant us in concluding that 
the works of this region pertain to a different people from those in the 
other districts, at the same time seem to show some relation to those of 


tbe Oliio district. Such are the numerous stoue pipes, the altar-like 
structures found in some of the mounds, and the presence of mica plates 
with the skeletons. But the peculiar features are the mode of burial, 
the absence of potterj , and the numerous polished celts and engraved 
shells found in the mounds. 

Although it is probable that there are at least three districts in the 
southern portion of the United States, they appear to pass from one into 
the other by such slight changes in the character of the works as to 
render it exceedingly difficult to fix the boundaries between them. I 
therefore mention the following, provisionally, as being those indicated 
by the data so far obtained. 

(G) The Middle Mississippi area or Tennessee district, including south- 
east Missouri, northern Arkansas, middle and western Tennessee, south- 
ern and western Kentucky, and southern Illinois. The works of the 
Wabash valley possibly belong also to this district, but the data ob- 
tained in regard to them are not sutHcient to decide this point satis- 
factorily. This district, like the others of the south, is distinguished 
from the northern section by its larger mounds, many of which are 
pyramidal and truncated and often terraced, and which were, beyond 
question, used as domiciliary mounds. Here we ivlso meet with re- 
peated examples of enclosures though essentially difierent from those of 
Ohio; also ditches and canals. From the Lower Mississippi and Gulf 
districts, with which, as we have said, it is closely allied, it is distin- 
guished chiefly by the presence of the box-shaped stone cists or coffins, 
by the small circular house-sites or hut rings, and by the character of 
the pottery. This is pre-eminently the pottery region, the typical forms 
being the long-necked, gourd-shaped vase and the image- vessels. In 
this district the carved stone pipes are much less common than in the 
Illinois, Ohio, and Appalachian districts. 

(7) The Lower Mississippi district, iucluding the southern half of Ar- 
kansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. There are no marked characteristics 
by which to distinguish it from the Middle district; in fact as we move 
southward along the Mississippi from the mouth of the Illinois river, 
the works and their contents indicate a succession of tribes differing 
but slightly in habits, customs, and modes of life, the river generally 
forming oue natural boundary between them, but the other boundaries 
being arbitrary. For exam])ie, the Cahokia region appears to have 
been the home of a tribe from which at one time a colony pushed 
northward and settled for a while in Brown and Pike Counties, Illinois. 
The extreme southeastern counties of Missouri were probably the seat 
of another populous tribe which extended its borders into the western 
part of southern Illinois and slightly into northeast Arkansas, and 
closely resembled in customs and art the ancient people who occupied 
that part of the Cumberland valley in middle Tennessee. This subsec- 
tion is principally distinguished by the presence of the small circular 
house-sites, which are slightly basin-shaped, with a low ring of earth 


around tbcm. As we move farther southward into Arkansas the house- 
sites cliange into low circular mounds, usually from 1 to 3 feet in height, 
and in nearly every instance containing a layer of clay (often burned) 
and ashes. 

These small mounds, which are clearly shown to have been house- 
sites, were also burial places. It appears to have been a very common 
custom in this section to bury the dead in the floor, burn the dwelling 
over them, and cover the whole with dirt, the last operation often taking 
place while the embers were yet smouldering. Burial in graves was 
also practiced to a considerable extent. As we approach the Arkansas 
River, moving southward and from thence into Louisiana, the pottery 
shows a decided imjjrovement in character and ornamentation. 

(8) The Gulf district, including the Gulf States east of the Mississippi. 
The works of this section appear to be closely allied to those of the 
Lower Mississippi district, as here we also find the large flat-topped 
pyramidal mounds, enclosing walls, and surrounding ditches and canals. 

The chief differences are to be found in the forms and ornamenta- 
tion of the pottery and modes of burial. 

As we approach the Mississippi liiver the distinguishing features 
gradually disappear, although there appears to be a distinct snbdis- 
trict in the northern part of Mississippi, and as we enter the Florida 
peninsula a change is observed which appears to indicate a different 
people, but the data so far obtained are not sufficient to enable us to 
outline the suljdistricts. 

This districting is to be regarded as a working hypothesis rather than 
as a settled conclusion which will stand the test of future investiga- 
tions. It is more than likely that other subdivisions will be found 
necessary, and that the boundaries of some of the districts given will 
have to be more or less modified ; still, I believe the arrangement will be 
found substantially correct. 

As a very general and almost universal rule, mounds of the class 
under consideration are more or less conical in form, and are common 
to all sections where earthworks are known to exist, in fact they form 
almost the only ancient remains of some localities. Often they are iso- 
lated, with no other monuments near them, but more frequently they 
occur in groups or are associated with other works. Scpiier and Davis 
say " they are generally of considerable size, varying from 6 to 80 feet 
in height, but having an average of from 15 to 1.'5 feet."' 

This is probably true in regard to the mounds explored by these archse- 
ologists in Ohio, but is erroneous if applied generally ; as v^ery many, 
evidently useil and intended as burying places only, are but two or three 
feet high, and so far as the more recent examinations made in other 
sections — especially the exiilorations carried on under the Bureau of 
Ethnology — have shown, tumuli of this character are usually from 3 to 

' Ancieut Mouuuients, p. 161. 


10 feet liigb, tbougli some, it is true, are of mucli larger dimensions; 
but these are tbe exceptions and not tbe rule.' 

As tbe authors just alluded to are so frequently referred to by writersi 
and their statements in reference to the works explored l)y them are 
taken as of general application, I will venture to correct another state- 
ment made by them iu regard to mounds of this character. They assert 
that " these mounds invariably cover a single skeleton (in very rare in- 
stances more than one, as in the case of the Grave Creek mound), 
which, at the time of its interment, was enveloped in bark or coarse 
matting or enclosed in a rude sarcophagus of timber, the traces, in 
some instances the very casts, of which remain. Occasionally the cham- 
ber of the dead is built of stone rudely laid up, without cement of anj- 

I have investigated but few of the ancient works of Ohio personally, 
or through the assistants of the Bureau, hence I can only speak in regard 
to them from what has been published and from communications re- 
ceived, butjadging from these, Messrs. Squierand Davis, while no doubt 
correctly describing the mounds explored by them, have been too hasty 
in drawing general conclusions. 

That burial mounds in the northern sections very frequently cover 
but a single skeleton is true, but that this, even in this section, is uni- 
versally true or that it is the general rule is a mistake, as will api)ear 
from what is shown hereafter. For will it apply as a rule to those of the 
southern sections. 

To illustrate the character and construction of these mounds, and 
modes of burial in them, I will introduce here brief descriptions of the 
leading types found in the different northern districts heretofore men- 
tioned, confining myself chiefly to the explorations made by the Bureau 

' It is somewhat strange that Rev. J. P. MacLeau, who has long resided in Ohio and 
has studied the monuds and other works of the southern portion of that State with 
much care, should follow almost word for word this and the next statement of Squier 
and Davis (Mound-Builders, p. TiO) and adopt them as bis own, without modiiicatiou oi 
protest, when in the appendix containing his exceedingly valuable notes on the "Ar- 
choeology of Butler County" nearly all the facts given bearing on these points show 
them to be incorrect. 

-Ancient Monuments, p. Ifil. 


Following the order of the geographical districts heretofore given, we 
commence with the Wisconsin section, or region of the efligy nionnds. 

As a general rule the burial mounds in this area are comparativelj' 
small, seldom exceeding 10 feet in height and generally ranging from 3 
to C feet. In all cases these belong to that class of works usually de- 
nominated "simple conical tumuli." 

Of the methods of construction and modes of burial there appear to 
be some two or tliree types, though not so dift'erent as necessarily to in- 
dicate different tribes or peoples. One of these is well represented in 
the following extract from Dr. I. A. Lapham's work describing some 
mounds opened by Dr. Hoy, near liacine: 

We excavated fourteen of the mounds, some with the greatest possible care. They 
.are all sepulchral, of a uniform construction as represented in Fig. 1 [our Fig. 1.] 

Fir,. 1.— Section of mound m-ar Racine, Wisconsin. 

Most of them contained more than one skeleton ; in one instance we found no less than 
seven. We could detect no appearance of stratification, each mound having been 
built at one time and not by successive ailditions. During the investigations we 
obtained sufficient evidence to warrant me in the following conclusions. The bodies 
were regularly burled in a sitting or partly kneeling posture facing the east, with 
the legs placed under them. They were covered with a bark or log rooting over which 
the mound was built. ' 

In these a basin-shaped excavation some 2 or 3 feet deep was first 
made in the soil in which the bodies were deposited, as shown in Fig. 1. 

Mr. Middleton, one of the Bureau assistants, in 1883, opened quite a 
number of small burial mounds in Crawford and Vernon counties, be- 


' Antiquities of Wisconsin, p. 9. 


longing to the same type as those just described ; some with the exca- 
viitiou in the original soil in which the skeletons were deposited, though 
in others there were no such excavations, the skeletons being deposited 
on the original surface or at various depths in the mounds. I give here 
descriptions of a few of them from his notes : 

The one numbered 16, of the Gourtois group, is about 20 feet in diam- 
eter, and at present scarcely more than 1 foot high, the ground having 
been in cultivation for several years and the mound considerably low- 
ered by the plow. A vertical section is given iu Fig. 2, «. a, indi- 


Fig. 2. — Section of burial mound, Vernon County, Wisconsin. 

eating the natural surface of the ground, b the part of the mound re- 
moved, and c the original circular excavation in the natural soil to the 
depth of 2 feet. 

Four skeletons were found iu this excavation, two side by side near 
the center, with heads south, faces up, one near the north margin with 
head west, and the other on the south side with head east, all stretched 
at fall length. 

In another mound of the same group with a similar excavation noth- 
ing save a single skull was found. In another of exactly the same kind 
some of the skeletons were folded, while others were extended at full 

In all these cases, and in a majority of the small burial mounds opened 
in this western part of the State, there was no stratification ; still there 
were found some exceptions to this rule. 

Vestiges of art were comparatively rare in them, yet here and there 
were found an arrow-i)oint, a chipped lliut scraper or celt — in some in- 
stances remarkably fine specimens — a few large copper gorgets, evi- 
dently hammered from native copper, copper bead's, etc. Very few ves- 
sels of pottery were obtained from them, but one was discovered, shown 
iu Fig. 3, which I believe is of the finest quality of this ware so far 
obtained from the mounds of the United States. There were intrusive 
burials in a few of these mounds, but these have been wholly omitted 
from consideration in the descriptions given. 

In a few instances the mounds seem to have been built solely for the 
purpose of covering a confused mass of human bones gathered together 
after the flesh had disappeared or had been removed. Similar mounds 



are described by Mr. Thomas Annstroiij!; as found near Eipoii, Fond du 
Lac County. Speaking of tliese, Mr. Armstrong says : 

As to how these bones came to bo placed in these mounds, we can (if course only 
conjecture ; but from their want of arrangement, from the lack of ornaments and im- 
plements, and from their having' been placed on the original surface, we are inclined 
to believe that the dry bones were gathered together — those in the large mounds lirst 
and those in the smaller ones afterwards — and placed in loose piles ou the ground and 
the earth heaped over them until the mounds were formed.' 

There can be no doubt that the bones in this case were gathered up 
I'rom other temporary burial places or depositories, as was the custom 
of several tribes of Indians. 

Fig. 3. — EartlK-n put liimi Wisconsiu iiiouud. 

A number of burial mounds opened by Mr. W. G. Anderson, near 
Madison, were found to be of the same general type as those mentioned 
by Mr. Middleton. These he describes as being very low and poorly 
made. Eight were opened, all having been built in the same way, with 
only one layer of black eaith, so hard as to make the work of exca- 
vation exceedingly laborious. These were circular, and about 4 feet 
high. Skeletons were found as near as 12 or 13 inches to the surface, 
but badly decayed. There were no sarcophagi or coflaus, and in all 
cases the heads pointed towards the west." 

' Smithsonian Report 1879, p. 337. 
^Smithsonian Report 1879, p. 343. 


lu some instances the nioiuul contained a circular stone wall, within 
which a pit had been dug to the depth of 2 or 3 feet in the original 
soil, as, for example, the one near Waukesha, described by Dr. Lai)ham.i 

A mound in Crawford County, opened by Colonel Norris, one of the 
Bureau assistants, in 1882, shows a similar vault or pit, but differs from 
the preceding in being distinctly stratified and wanting the stone wall. 
The construction of this tumulus and the mode of burial in it were as 
follows : 

Proceeding from the top downwards, there was first a layer of soil 
and sand about 1 foot thick ; next, nearly 2 feet in depth of calcined 
human bones, without order, mingled with which were charcoal, ashes, 
and a reddish-brown mortar-like substance, burned as hard as pavement 
brick. This layer is numbered i in the annexed cut (Fig. 4), which 

r^-'— a. 

Fir,. 4. — Section of burial mound, Crawford Count.v, Wisconsin. 

represents a vertical section of the mound. Immediately below this 
was a layer about 1 foot thick (No. 3) of clay or mortar mixed with sand, 
burned to a brick-red color. Below this, in the si)nce marked 2 in the 
cut, were found the bones of fifteen or twenty individuals, in a confused 
heap, without order or arrangement. Mingled with these were fire- 
brands, charcoal, and ashes. The bones were charred, some <if them to 
charcoal, and some were glazed with melted sand. The nia.^s appears 
to have been iirst covered with soft clay- mortar, which ran into and 
filled the spaces, and the burning to have been done ^ifterwartl.s by means 
of brush or wood heaped on the top, as among the bones were lumits of 
hard burned clay. 

The bottom of this layer corresponded with the original surface of 
the ground, but tiie excavation being continued, a circular vault or pit, 
feet in diameter, was found extending downwards, with perpendicular 
sides, to the depth of nearly 3 feet. The bottom of this pit was covered 
to the depth of an inch with fine chocolate-colored dust. Although the 
filling of this pit was chiefl.v sand, there was a cavity at the bottom a 
foot high in the center, over which the sand filling was arched as shown 
in the figure. 

' Antiquities of Wisconsin, p. 28. 



It is evident that the skeletons in this mound were buried after the 
flesh had been removed, as we can on no other supposition explain the 
fact that the clay or mortar had filled the interstices between the bones, 
and that iu some cases it had even penetrated into the skulls. 

Another mound, opened by Colonel Norris iu the same ueigbborhood, 
presented some peculiarities worthy of notice, although not sufficient 
to mark it as belonging to a distinct type. 

According to his report, the southern portion had previously been ex- 
]>lored by Judge Branson, who found at the base some six or eight skele- 
tons lying stretched out horizontally, and covered by a dry, light-colored 
mortar which must have been spread over them while iu a soft condi- 
tion, as it had run between the bones and encased them, and in some 
cases, as in the mound just described, filled the skulls. As only the 
southern portion had been opened he removed the remainder. The dried 
mortar-like substance was very hard and difficnlt to dig through, but the 
pick soon struck some rough, fiat limestone rocks which proved to be 
parts of a rude wall about 3 feet high and 8 feet long, built on the nat- 
ural surfoce of the ground. In the opposite side of the mound, 12 feet 
distant from and parallel with it, was another similar wall. Between 
them and on the natural surface of the ground, side by side, were a 
number of skeletons lying flat and lengthwise and parallel with the 
walls. A vertical section of this mound is shown iu Fig. 5. The lit- 

FlG. 5. — Section of buiial niouml, Crawford (bounty, Wisconsiu. 

tie circles at the bottom between the walls indicate the heads of the 
skeletons ; Xo. 4, the layer of mortar over the bones ; 3, a layer of hard 
clay mixed with ashes; 2, a layer of clay; and 1, the top covering of 
sand and soil about 18 inches thick. Before being disturbed this mound 
was 35 feet in diameter and G feet high. 

As it is evident that the burials iu this case were made at one time, 
and as the mortar-like substance had run into the interstices, it is more 
than probable that the skeletons were deposited after the flesh had been 

The following description of a mound with a single original and sev- 
eral intrusive burials is also taken from Colonel Norris' notes of work 
in Crawford County : 

One large mound of this group, 70 feet in diameter and 10 feet high, 
still unexplored, was opened. It had been considerably defaced, espe- 
cially on the west side. According to tradition it was a noted burial 
place witli the Indians, which was certainly confirmed by the result. 


The surface or top layer was composed of sand and alluvial earth to the 
depth of some 3 or 4 feet. Scattered through this in almost every part 
of the mound were human skeletons in various stages of decay and in 
different positions, but mostly stretched horizontally on the back. Scat- 
tered among the remains were numerous fragments of blankets, cloth- 
ing and human hair, 1 copper kettle of modern pattern, 3 copper 
bracelets (hammered from native copper), 1 silver locket, 10 silver brace- 
lets (one having the name "Montreal," and another the letters "A B" 
stamped on it), 2 silver earrings, C silver brooches, 1 copper fluger-ring, 
1 double silver cross, 1 knife-handle, and 1 battered bullet. In fact 
the top layer to the depth of 3 or 4 feet seemed to be packed as full of 
skeletons and relics as possible. 

Carrying the trench down to the original surface of the ground, he 
found at the bottom, near the center, a single skeleton of an adult in 
the last stages of decay. "With it were the following articles: 2 stone 
scrapers, a small stone drill, fragments of river shells, and pieces of a 
mammoth tusk. The earth below the upper layer was mixed with clay 
and ashes, evidently different from the surrounding soil. 

Several mounds opened by him in Grant County contained charred 
human boues, and one or two covered confused masses of boues, being 
similar in this respect to some of those; heretofore mentioned. 

A mound which he opened in Sheboygan County, containing a single 
skeleton, is described as about 50 feet in diameter and 5 feet high. 
After passing through 18 inches of surface soil, the central mass, com- 
posed of earth mingled with charcoal, ashes, and loose stones, was 
reached. Near the center of this mass, and at the bottom of the mound, 
a large human skeleton was discovered, apparently holding between 
the hands and knees a large clay vase. Immediately over this skele- 
ton was an irregular layer of flat bowlders. 

Another mound of this group, about the same size as the preceding, 
was found literally filled with skeletons to the depth of 2i feet, evi- 
dently intrusive burials, as they were accompanied with iron imple- 
ments, silver ornaments, etc. Beneath these was a layer of rounded 
drift bowlders aggregating several wagou loads. Below these and in a 
shallow excavation in the natural surface of the ground were some 
forty or more skeletons in a sitting or squatting jiosture, disposed in 
circles around and facing the central space, which was occupied by an 
unusually large shell [Bustjcon perversnm). 

It is worthj'of notice in this connection that there are no etfigy mounds, 
so far as known, in the immediate section where the two works just 
mentioned are situated, but there is near by. one small oval enclosure 
about 50 feet in diameter. 

In studying the burial mounds of the district uow under considera- 
tion, of which the foregoing may be considered as types, there appears 
to he no marked distinction between the intrusive burials of modern 
Indians and the original burials for which the mounds were constructed. 


In both we observe from oue to many skeletons in a place; in both we 
find them stretched out horizontally and also folded ; in botli we some- 
times notice evidences of fire and partially-consumed bones; in both we 
find instances where the mortar-like covering has been used, and in both 
we meet occasionally with those confused masses of bones which seem 
to have been gathered from graves or other temporary burial places 
into these mounds as common depositories. Moreover the transition 
from oue to the other is so gradual as to leave us nothing save the 
position in the mound and the presence of vestiges of civilized art to 
distinguish the former from the latter. 

A large portion of these mounds, as has already been stated, are un- 
stratified, and each was probably thrown up and completed at one time; 
yet skeletons are found at various depths in some of these, as, for 
example, one opened by Mr. Middleton, in Vernon County, a vertical 
section of which is shown in Fig. C, a a indicating the original surface 

Fig. G. — Section of burial mound, Vernon County, W^isconsin. 

of the ground and the stars the positions of the skeletons, some of which 
were stretched out at full length while others were folded. The heads 
were towards different points of the compass and the bones of all were 
so much decayed that none could be preserved. Several instances 
of this kind were observed, in some cases those skeletons near the 
surface or top of the mound indicating burial after contact with the 

It is apparent, therefore, that although some of the burial mounds of 
this district must be attributed to the so-called mound-builders, others 
were certainly built by the Indians found inhabiting it at the advent of 
the whites. There can scarcelj' be a doubt that some of the small un- 
stratified tumuli described are the work of the Indians. If this is eon- 
ceded there would seem to be no halting place short of attributing all 
of this class in this district to the same race. 

Dr. Hoy's statement that in some cases there was evidence that the 
bodies had been "covered with a b;u-k or log roofing," is in exact accord 
with a well-known burial custom of some of the tribes of the Northwest. 

According to Mr. M. B. Kent, the Sacs and Foxes, who formerly re- 
sided in the region now under consideration, buried the body "in a 
grave made about i.'i feet deep, which was laid always with the head 
towards the east, the burial taking place as soon after death as i^ossible. 
The grave was prepared by putting bark in the bottom of it before the 
corps3 was deposited, a plank covering made and secured some distance 
above the bodv." 


Another method followed by the same people, accordiug to Mr. J. W. 
Spencer,' was to make a shallow hole in the ground, setting the body in 
it up to the waist, so that most of the body was above the ground. A 
trench was then dug about the grave, in which pickets were planted. 
But the usual method was to place split ijieces of wood about three feet 
long over the body, meeting at the top in the form of a roof, on which 
dirt was thrown to keei> them in place. 

According to Potberie,^ the Iroquois were accustomed to cover the 
bodies, after being deposited in the "fosse," with bark of trees, on which 
they cast earth and stones. 

According to Schoolcraft,^ the Mohawks of New York — 

make a large rouud hole in wliicli the body can be placed upright or upon its hauuches : 
which after the body is placed in it is covered with timber to support the earth which 
they lay over, and thereby keej) the body from being pressed. They then raise the 
earth in a round hill over it.'' 

The burial customs of northern tribes, known to have occuiiied por- 
tions of the efligy mound district, agree so exactly with what we see in 
the sepulchi-al tumuli of this district as to justify the conclusion reached 
by Dr. Lapham, after a long and careful iiersonal study of them, that 
they are to be attributed to Indians. Some he was rather inclined to 
ascribe to tribes which had migrated, had been driven ott' by other tribes, 
or been incorporated into them previous to the advent of the white race. 
But he maintained that the subsequent tribes or those found occupy- 
ing the country "continued the practice of mound-building so far as to 
erect a circular or conical tumulus over their dead." And he adds sig- 
nificantly, "This practice appears to be a remnant of ancient customs 
that connects the mound-builders with the present ti'ibes." ' 

The evidence in regard to these nnstratified mounds appears to lead 
directly to the conclusion that they are all the work of the Indians 
found occupying the country at the time itAvas first visited by whites or of 
their ancestors. If it is conceded that the small nnstratified tumuli are 
in part the work of these aborigines, there would seem to be no escape 
from the concUisiou that all the burial mounds of this district are to be 
ascribed to them; for, although there are some two or three types of 
burial and burial mounds, the gradation from one to the other is so 
complete as to leave no marked line of distinction, and Dr. Lapham is 
fully justified in asserting that the evidence connects the mound-build- 
ers with the modern Indians. The stratified mounds in which the hard 
clay or mortar covering over the remains is found, and which we shall 

' Pioneer Life. 

'^Potherie, Histoire de I'Ara^rique Septentrionale. II, p. 43. 

' History of Indian Tribe.s of the United States, Part III, p. 193. 

* As Dr. Yarrow has described the burial customs of the North American Indians in 
the lirst Annual Report of the Bureau, I will omit further quotations and refer the 
reader to his paper. 

'' Antiquities of Wisconsin, p. 89. 


again meet with in the adjoiiiiug district, mi\y be the work of ditfereiit 
tribes from those which constructed the small unstratifled tumuli, but 
the distinctions between the two classes are not such as to justify the 
belief that they are to be attributed to a different race or to a people 
occupying a higher or widely difl'ereut culture-status. 

Having reached this conclusion it is imijossiblo for us to halt here ; 
we are compelled to take one step farther in the same direction and 
ascribe the singular structures known as " effigy mounds " to the same 
people. The two classes of work are too inti mately connected to admit 
of the supposition that the effigy mounds were built by one race or peo- 
ple, and the conical tumuli by another. Wo might as well assume that 
the enclosures of Ohio were the work of one people, but the mounds 
accompanying them of another. 

That works of different tribes or nations nuiy frequently be found in- 
termingled on areas over which successive waves of ijopulation have 
passed is admitted, but that one part of what is clearly a system is to 
be attributed to one people and the other part to another people is a 
hy])otliesis unworthy of serious consideration. The only possible expla- 
nations of the origin, object, or meaning of these singular structures 
are based, whether confessedly so or not, on the theory that they are 
of Indian origin. Remove the Indian element from the problem and 
we are left without even the shadow of an hjpothesis. 

The fact that the effigy mounds were not used as places of sepulture, 
and that no cemeteries save the burial mounds are found in connection 
with them, is almost conclusive proof that the two, as a rule, must be at- 
tributed to the same people, that they belong to one system. If this 
conclusion is considered legitimate, it will lend much aid to the study 
of these works. It is true it is not new, but it has been generally ig- 
nored, and hence could not aid in working out results. 

The following extract from I3r. Lapham's "j^ntiquities of Wisconsin" 
will not be considered inai)propriate at this point:' 

The aucient works iu Wiscousin are mostly at tlio very places selected by the pres- 
ent Indiaus for their abodes, thus indicating that the habits, wants, modes of sub- 
sistence, &c., of their builders were essentially the same. 

If the present tribes have no traditions running back as far as the time of AUouez 
and Marquette, or even to the more recent time of Jonathan Carver, it is not strange 
that none should exist iu regard to the mounds, which must be of much earlier date. 

It is by considerations of this nature that wo are led to the conclusion that the 
mound-builders of Wisconsin were none others than the ancestors of the present tribes 
of Indians. 

There is some evidence of a greater prevalence than at present of ]irairie or culti- 
vated land in this State at no very remote age. The largest trees are probably not 
more than five hundred years old, and large tracts of land are now covered with for- 
ests of young trees where there are no traces of an antecedent growth. Every year 
the high winds prostrate great numbers of trees and frequent storms pass through the 
forest, throwing down nearly everything before them. Trees are left with a portion 
of the roots still in the ground, so as to keep them alive for several years after their 

I Pp. 90-9a. 

TH05IAS.] UR. lapham's conclusions. 23 

prostratiou. These " wind-falls" are of frequent occurrenco in the cleptha of the for- 
ests and occasion much difficulty in making the public surveys. The straight lines 
of the sections frequently encounter them. 

The amount of earth adhering to the roots of a tree -wheu prostrated by the wind 
is, under favorable circumstances, very considerable, and upon their decay forms au 
oblong mound of greater or less magnitude, and a slight depression is left where the 
tree stood. These little hillocks are often by the inexperienced mistaken for Indian 
graves. From the paucity of these little "tree-mounds" we infer that no very great 
antiquity can be assigned to the dense forests of Wisconsin ; for, during a long period 
of time, with no material change of climate, we would expect to find great numbers of 
these little monuments of ancient storms scattered everywhere over the ground. 

Whether the greater extent of treeless country in former times was owing to uat- 
>iral or artificial causes it is now difficult to determine, but the great extent of an- 
cient works within the depths of the present forests would seem to indicate the 
country was at least kept free from trees by the agency of man. 

Many of these tree-mounds wero observed on and about the ancient works. 

Another curious circumstance that may bo noticed by iusiiectiou of the figures of 
mounds accompanying this work is the gradual transition, as it were, or change of 
one form into another. Examples can be found of all forms, from a true circle through 
the oval and elongated oval to the oblong mounds and long ridges. Again, there is 
a succession of mounds, from the simple ridge of considerable size at one end and 
gradually diminishing to a point at the other, through the intermediate forms, having 
one, two, three, or four projections to the "turtle-form." In this way, also, we may 
trace a gradual development (so to speak) of nearly all the more complicated forms. 

It is not pretended to assert that this was the order in which the mounds were 
erected ; or that the aborigines gradually acquired the art by successive essays or les- 
sons. Indeed, we are led to believe that the more complicated forms are the uu)st 

The relative ages of the difl'erent works in Wisconsin, so far as they can be ascer- 
tained from the facts now before us, are probably about as follows: 

First and oldest. The animal forms, and the great works at Aztalan. 

Second. The conical mounds built for sepulchral purposes, which come down to a 
very recent period. 

Third. The indications of garden-beds planted in regular geometrical figures or 
straight lines. 

Fourth. The plantations of the present tribes, who plant without system or regu- 

Thus the taste for regular forms and ar-angements, and the habits of construction 
with earthy materials seems to have been gradually lost, until all traces of them dis- 
appear in our modern degenerate red men. 

The animal-shaped mounds and accompanying oblongs and ridges, constituting 
the first of the above series, are composed of whitish clay or of the subsoil of the 

The mounds of the second series, or burial mounds, ai'e usually composed of black 
mould or loam, promiscuously intermixed with the lighter-colored subsoil. 


This district, as heretofore stated, includes easteru Iowa, uorth- 
easteru Missouri, and northern and central Illinois as far south as the 
mouth of the Illinois Eiver. 

Although we are justitied in concluding that this area was occupied 
during the mound-building age by tribes different from those residing 
in the Wisconsin district, yet the distinguishing characteristics are more 
apparent in the forms of the works than in the modes of burial and in- 
ternal construction of the burial mounds. We shall see by the illustra- 
tions hereafter given that at least one of the types found in one district 
is common in the other. iJut this is to be expected and is readily ex- 
plained by the supposition that the tribes which have occupied these re- 
gions moved back and forth, thus one after another coming upon the 
same area. The absence of evidence of such movements would indicate 
that the mound building period was of comparatively short duration, at 
theory which I believe has not been adopted by any authority, but to 
which I shall have occasion again to refer. One class of the burial mounds 
of this district is well represented in a group, explored by the members 
of the Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences, on the Cook farm, near 
Davenport, Iowa. The mounds of this group are situated on the imme- 
diate bank of the Mississippi at a height not exceeding S to 12 feet above 
high-water mark ; they are conical in form and of comparatively small 
size, varying in height from 3 to 8 feet. Nine of them were opened, of 
which we notice the following : 

In No. 1 the layers from above down were, hrst, a foot of earth; then 
a layer of stones li feet thick; then a layer of shells 2 inches thick; 



At, • 



Fir;. 7. — Section of burial monnd, Davenport, Iowa. [From the Procecilings of tlio Davenport Acad- 
emy of Sciences.] 

next a foot of earth, and lastly a second layer of shells 4 inches thick. 
Immediately under this, at the depth of 5 feet, were found five skeletons 
stretched horizontally on the original surface of the ground, jiarallel to 
each other, three with heads toward the east and two with heads west, 


■\Yith tbeui were fouiul one sea-sbell {Busycon jjerrersiim), two copper 
axes, to which fragments of cloth were attached, one copper awl, au 
arrowhead, aud two stoce pipes, one representing a frog. 

Mound Xo. 2, though similar in form aud external appearance to the 
preceding, presented a quite different arrangement internally, as is evi- 
dent from the vertical section shown in Fig. 7. Here there were no 
layers of shells, but two distinct layers of stones. At the depth of 
5 feet eight skulls (five Only are shown in the figure), with some frag- 
ments of bones were unearthed; these were lying in a semicircle of 5 
feet diameter, each surrounded by a circle of small stones (shown at a 
in the figure). From the position of the skulls and bones it was evident 
these bodies had been buried in a sitting posture. The articles found 
accompanying the skeletons were two copper axes, two small hemi- 
spheres of coi^per aud one of silver, a bear's tooth, aud an arrow head. 

No. .3, though the largest of the group, was apparently unstratified, 
the original burial consisting of the bones of two adults and one inl'ant, 
at the original surface of the ground, under a thin layer of ashes, aud 
surrounded by a single circle of small red stones. With these were 
found copper axes, copper beads, two carved stone pipes (one iu the 
form of a ground-hog), animal teeth, etc. ISTear the surfixce of the 
mound were two well-preserved skeletons, with evidences of an " oak- 
wood" covering over them aud accompanied by glass beads, a fire steel, 
clay pipe, and silver ear-ring — evidently an intrusive burial. 

No. 4; was found similar in construction and iu all other respects to Xo. 
3, except that at the feet of the skeletons was a round heap of stones, 
■i feet high, neatly laid up, and that in the earth where the skeletons 
lay could be distinctly seen traces of cloth or some woven material, in 
which they had probably been enveloped. 

No. 5 was similar to No. 2, except in the following resi)ects : The 
skeletons (probably two) were iu a confused heap at the bottom under 
a Ginch layer of hard clay (probably similar to what Colonel Norris 
calls " mortar "). Near these, but outside of the clay layer, was a stone 
heap similar to that in No. 4. " On this lay two very strong thigh bones 
aud three ribs placed diagonally across each other. There were also 
a few bones leaning against the heap at one side. The stones were 
partly burned to lime, and all of them showed more or less marks of 
fire, while the bones in the mound showed not the slightest trace of it." 

Four or five feet south of the stone-heap was a large quantity of 
human bones in complete confusion. The relics were broken pots, 
arrow-heads, a stone pipe, etc. 

Nos. 7, 8, and 9 were similar to No. 1, varying only in minor details.' 

My object in noticing the construction of so many mounds in a single 
group and the modes of burial in them, is to call attention to the ditt'er- 
enccs iu detail where there can be no doubt that they were built by one 
tribe and probably by one clan, as the size of the group indicates a 

' Proceedings of the Davenport Academy of Sciences, Vol. I, pp. 118-122. 


comparatively limited poi^ulatiou. In these nine monnds we notice the 
following difi'ereuces : some are stratified, others not ; in some the skele- 
tons are placed liorizontally on the gronnd, in others they are in a sit- 
ting jjostnre, while in others they are dismembered and in confused 
heaps ; in some there .are altar-like' structures of stone which are want- 
ing in others; in some the skeletons are covered with a hard clay or 
mortar coating which is wanting in most of them, and lastly, we see in 
one or two, evidences of the use of fire in the burial ceremonies, though 
not found in the others. 

In some respects these mounds remind us of some of the stratified 
tumuli of Wisconsin, especially those opened by Colonel Norris in She- 
boygan County, to which they bear a sti'ong resemblance. 

lu the latter part of 1882 Colonel Norris examined a group of works 
in Allamakee County. Iowa, which presents some peculiarities worthy 
of notice in this connection. 

This group, which is represented iu Plate I, consisting of enclosures, 
lines of small mounds, and excavations, is situated on the farm of Mr. 
H. P. Lane, about 7 miles above New Albin. It is on a bluff in one of 
the numerous bends of the Little Iowa Elver, the character of the 
locality indicating that it was selected as one easily defended. 1 shall 
at ])resent only notice those particulars which seem to have some bear- 
ing on the character of the burial mounds and mode of interment. 

Although there are no effigy mounds in the group, the relative posi- 
tions and forms of the tumuli, as shown in the figure, and other partic- 
ulars to bo noticed, leave no doubt iu my mind that the works, in 
part, are to be attributed to the people who built the figure mounds 
of Wisconsin. But, as will be seen from the particulars mentioned, 
there is conclusive evidence that the locality has been occupied at dif- 
ferent times by at least two distinct tribes or x3eoi)les, differing widely 
in habits and customs. 

The largest work is an enclosure marked A in Plate I, and shown 
on an enlarged scale in Plate II. It is situated on the margin of 
a bluff overlooking the Little Iowa and an intervening bog-bayou, 
probably the former channel of the river. It is almost exactly cir- 
cular, the curve beiug broken on the east side, where it touches the 
brink of the bluff', being here made to conform to the line of the lat- 
ter, though probably never thrown up to the same height as the other 
portion. The ends at the southeast overlap each other for a short dis- 
tance, leaving at this point an entrance way, the only one to the en- 
closure. A ditch runs round on the inside from the entrance on the 
south to where the wall strikes the bluff' on the north, but is wanting 
along the bluff and overlapping portion. The north and south diam- 
eter, measuring from outside to outside, is 277 feet ; from east to west, 

'I wisli it distiuctly understood that I do not, by the use of this term, commit my- 
self to the theory that these mounds or any others contain altars iu the true seuse 
of the term, as I very mucli doubt it. 



















' ■"<^ nW//.. 

r e-^i 

'Iri,.,, vVl'',;. 



235 feet; the eutiie outer circuiufereuce is 807 feet, the leugth of the 
portion along the bluff 100 feet, aud of the overlapping portion at the 
entrance 45 feet. The wall is quite uniform in size, about 4 feet high 
anil from 25 to 27 in width, except along the bluff, where it is scarcely 
ai)j)arent; the entrance is 10 feet wide, and the ditch 5 to feet wide 
aud 3 feet deep. On the north, adjoining the wall on the outside aud 
extending along it for about 100 feet, is an excavation (c, Plate II) 35 feet 
wide at the widest point aud 3 feet deep. 

As this ground, including the circle, has been under cultivation for fif- 
teen years, it would be supposed the height of the wall is considerably 
less than it originally was, but this is probably a mistake. On the con- 
trary, it was originally probably but 20 feet wide and not more than 3 
feet high, composed mainly of yellowish brown clay obtained, in part at 
least, from the ditch, but during occupancy the accumulation of count- 
less bones of animals used as food, stone chips, river shells, broken pot- 
tery, and dirt, and, since abandonment, the accumulation of sand drifted 
by the winds from the crumbling sandstone butte {C, Plate I) over- 
looking it, have not only filled the ditch but elevated the wall and 
whole interior area 2 feet or more. This accumulation of sand is so 
great aud so uniform over the plateau that fifteen years of cultivation 
have not sufdced to reach the clay of the original surface nor to unearth 
or even penetrate to the bones, pottery iragmeuts, and other refuse 
matter covering the original surface in the circle. 

Trenches cut across the wall at various points indicate, first, a layer of 
sand about 1 foot thick; immediately belcw this an accumulation of 
refuse matter forming a layer from 1 to 2 feet thick ; under which was 
the original clay embankment 2 feet thick, resting on the natural surface 
of the ground. A section of the ditch, embankment, and excavation 
is shown in Plate II. The dotted line a h indicates the natural surface; 
No. 1 the original clay layer of the wall ; jSTo. 2 the layer of earth and 
refuse material with which the ditch is filled ; and No. 3 the top layer 
of sand. 

In No. 2 were found charcoal, ashes, fragments of pottery, fractured 
bones, etc. 

A broad belt of the inner area on the east side was explored, and the 
same conditions were found to exist here as were revealed by the trenches 
across the wall and ditch, except that here the shells were more abun- 
dant in layer No. 2, and there were many burnt stones. 

On the southeastern iiortion of the plateau {B, Plate I) are six nearly 
parallel lines of mounds running northeast and southwest, mostly cir- 
cular in form, varying from 15 to 40 feet in diameter, and irom 2 to 
G feet in height; a few, as indicated in the figure, are oblong, varying 
in length from 50 to 100 feet. The number in the group exceeds one 

While engaged in excavating these mounds Colonel Norris observed 
a number of patches of the level area quite destitute of vegetation. The 


owner of the land, who was present, could give no explanation of this 
pliciioinenon, simply remarking that they had always been so, never hav- 
ing produced a good crop of anything, although there was no apparent 
difference between the soil of these spots and the surface around them. 
As some of these extended across the area occupied by the mound group, 
he coucluded to explore them, and was surprised to liud them to be bury- 
ing places, and scattered here and there among the graves, if such 
they could be called, were stone chips, shells, charcoal, and ashes. He 
was surprised at this, as he supposed the inounds alone were used as 
depositories of the dead, and was at first disposed to attribute tliese 
burials to a people who had occupied the ground long subsequent to the 
authors of the works. Possibly this may be the correct solution, but if 
so, they were certainly the same as those who buried iu the mounds of 
this group, as no difference in the contents and internal arrangement 
could be observed. In both cases there Avas a compact layer of hard, 
light-colored earth, having the appearance of lime-mortar, possi'dy clay 
and ashes mixed together, which had been subject to the action of fire. 
As the burials in these sterile spots were seldom more than 18 inches 
deep, the only layer above tliem consistetl of sand from the butte, 
while the mounds were uniformly covered with a layer of richer soil, 
although below this aud covering the skeletons was a layer of hard, light- 
colored earth. Skeletons and bones were found in great abundance in 
the mounds and under the surface of the i)latean, though none were 
discovered iu the circle or nearer than 200 yards of it. They were 
sometimes mingled promiscuously with charcoal and ashes, but were 
usually in whole skeletons lying horizontally, though some were in a 
sitting posture ; they were within from 1 to 3 feet of the surface, with- 
out any apparent system, except that they were always covered with 
a layer of hard earth. 

A trench cut through the long mound of this grouj), No. 1, revealed 
near the center an oblong pile of sandstones, beneath which was found 
a rude stone coffin, formed by first placing flat sandstone slabs on the 
natural surface of the ground, then other slabs at the sides and ends, 
and a covering of similar stones, thus forming a cist or coffin about G 
feet long and IS inches wide. Withiu this, extended at full length, with 
the head west, was the skeleton of an adult, but too much decayed for 
preservation. With it were some stone chips, rude stone scrapers, a 
Unio shell, and some fragments of pottery similar to those dug up in 
the circular enclosure. 

The mounds on the sand butte marked C, Plate I, which is something- 
over 100 feet high, were opened and found to be in every respect similar 
to those already mentioned, showing them to be the work of the same 
people who built the others. 

The three mounds in the square enclosures marked D, (Plate 
I), were also opened, with the following results : The largest, oval in 
form, 30 feet long, about 20 feet broad and 4 feet high, was found to 


consist of a top layer of loose saud 1 foot thick, the remaiiuler of hard 
yellowish clay. In the latter -were found several flat sandstone frag- 
ments, and beneath tlioni, on the original surface of the ground, a much 
decayed skeleton, with which were a few stone chips, Unio shells, and 
fragments of pottery. 

The second in size, IS feet in diameter and 3 feet high, although 
covered with a layer of sand, was mainly a loose cairn of sandstones, 
covering traces of human bones, charcoal, and ashes. The third was 
found to be similar to the second, but in this case the i^ile of stones 
was heaped over a mass of charred human bones, mingled with which 
were charcoal, ashes, and fragments of pottery. 

Fragments of pottery were found in abundance in the circle, in the 
mounds, in the washouts, and in fact at almost every point in the area 
covered by the group. Judging by the fragments, for not a single 
entire vessel was obtained, the prevailing forms were the ordinary 
earthen pot with ears, and a flask or gourd-shaiied vase with a rather 
broad and short neck, often furnished with a lid. The paste with which 
this pottery was made had evidently been mixed with pounded shells. 
The only ornamentation observed consisted in the varied forms given 
the handles or ears and indentations and scratched lines. 

jS^early all the implements found were of stone, exceedingly rude, 
being little else than stone flakes with one sharp edge ; many of them 
having been resharpened and used as knives, scrapers, and skinners. 
Some had been worked into moderately fair perforators or drills for 
making holes in horn, bone, and shell — specimens of all these, with such 
holes, having been found here. 

The immense quantity of charred and fractured bones, not only offish, 
birds, and the smaller quadrupeds, such as the rabbit and the fox, but 
also of the bear, wolf, elk, deer, and buflalo, shows that the occupants of 
this place lived chiefly by the chase, and hence must have used the bow 
and arrow and spear; yet, strange to say, although careful sean-h was 
made for them, less than a dozen arrow and spear heads were found, 
and these so rude as scarcely to deserve the name. A single true 
chipped celt, three sandstones with mortar-shaped cavities, and a few 
mullers or stones used for grinding were obtained ; also, some fragments 
of deer-horn, evidently cut round by some rude implement and tlien 
broken off, and several horn and bone punches and awls, one barbed and 
another with a hole through the larger end. 

The object in view in presenting these details is to give the reader an 
opportunity of judging for himself in reference to some inferences drawn 
from them. 

The form of the circular enclosure reminds us at the first glance of 
the palisade enclosures figured by De Bry,' which, according to Lafitau,^ 
was the form usually adopted by the Indian tribes who were accustomed 

'Brevis Narratio, Plato XXX. Adinirauda Narratio, Plate XIX 

•Mo'iirs des Saiivagcs, IT, \>. 4. 


to erect such structures. We liave here tlie~ almost exact circle, save 
where interrupted by the luargiu of the bluff, the overlapping of the 
ends, and the narrow entrance-way. We have here also the clay with 
which it was the custom, at least in the southern section, to plaster the 
palisades or which was cast against their bases as a means of support" 
ing or bracing them at the bottom, a custom not entirely unknown 
among the northern tribes in former times. 

The indications are therefore very strong that this enclosing wall was 
originally a palisade which had been in part plastered with clay, or 
against which clay had been heaped to assist in rendering it firm and 
secure, and, if so, then it is probable it was built by Indians. 

Be this supposition right or wrong the evidence is conclusive that the 
area on which this group is situated has been the abode of at least two 
tribes or peoples : first, it was occupied by the authors of the enclosures, 
whose stay was probably not verj' protracted, and after thej' had aban- 
doned the locality or been driven from it by a second tribe, evidently 
comparatively numerous, that made it for along time a dwelling place; 
a tribe differing in customs from its predecessor, and one that did not 
rely upon enclosures for protection. By no other supposition can we 
account for the fact that the refuse layer which covers the interior of 
the circle also spreads in equal depth over the ditch and clay remains 
of the enclosing wall, as those who left this refuse layer could have 
made no possible use of the wall as a defensive work, for which the 
position chosen and other particulars show it was designed. 

The form of this enclosure, as we have before intimated, seems to 
connect it with some one of the Indian tribes ; Its age is uncertain but 
the accumulation of refuse matter and sand since the abaudoument by 
the first occupants indicates considerable antiquity. 

Although we cannot say positively that the second occupants were 
the builders of the mounds, as the investigation was not as thorough as 
it should have been, still I think we may assume, with almost absolute 
certainty, that such was the fact. The mounds in the square work 
marked D, in Plate I, present considerable differences from those in 
the group, and aie probably the work of those who built the enclos- 

The stone grave in the oblong mound indicates the presence of indi- 
viduals of a more southern tribe^ at this place, during its second occu- 
pancy. The position of the cist in the mound would seem to forbid the 
idea of an intrusive burial, otherwise I should certainly suppose such to 
be the fact. I cannot, in the present paper, enter into a discussion of 
the question "to what tribe or people are the box-form stone graves to 
be attributed," but will state my conviction to be, after a somewhat 
careful study of the question, that they are to be ascribed to the 
Shawnees, Delawares, and Kickapoos. 

' Sec "Early Notices of the Indians of Ohio" by M. F. Force, pp. 18-20. 


jsmMh^ ■■ 









U( -> o / 




Without further discussion of this groui). which, as before intimated, 
jtresents, so far as the mounds are concerned, some features which ap- 
pear to ally the latter to one class of burial mounds found in Wisconsin, 
we will now refer to some other works of this district explored by the 
Bureau assistants. 

On the laud owned bj' Mr. Fish, in Iowa, near the Mississippi Eiver, a 
short distance below where the Little Iowa joins it, is a group of mounds 
placed on the crest of a ridge running pfirallel with the former stream 
about one-fourth of a mile therefrom. There are in all about thirty of 
these mounds, circular in form, and varying from 20 to iO feet in diameter. 
These are all burial mounds, but one singular feature observed is that 
those on the higher sandy ground, although about the same size and ■ 
having cores of clay similar to those on the firm clay portion of the 
ridge, have a layer of sand, some two feet or more added to them, yet 
when opened the contents and mode of construction of the two classes 
were found to be the same, to wit, a layer of hard clay covering de- 
caying human bones, fragments of pottery, and rude stone implements. 
There were generally two or more skeletons in a mound, which were 
placed horizontally side by side on the natural surface of the ground. 

Upon the terrace below the group were found the remnants of a row 
of comparatively large burial mounds. A railroad line having been 
carried along here, the larger portion of these works were destroyed; 
still, enough remained to show that the height varied fjom G to lo feet, 
that thej' were composed chiefly of sandy loam similar to that around 
them, and that each had a hard central core of clay mixed with ashes, 
usually covering but a single skeleton. The relics found in them when 
opened consisted chieflj- of stone axes, arrow and spear heads, and a 
few copper celts. In one, which was 32 feet in diameter and S feet high 
and less injured than the others, was a circular vault, walled as repre- 
sented in Fig. 8. This was built of flat, unworked stones, laid up 

Fig. S. — Section of niouud showinj^ stone vault (Iowa). 

without mortar, gradually lessening as it ascended, and covered at the 
top by a single flat stone. In it was a single skeleton in a squatting 
posture, with which was a small earthen vase of globular form. 

A singular fact was observed in a group near the town of Peru, 
Dubuque County. This group is situated on a dry, sandy bench or 



terrace some 20 feet or more above a bayou \thieli makes out from the 
Mississippi. It consists cbietiy of small circular tumuli, but at tbe 
nortli end are four oblong mounds varying in length from 40 to 110 feet 
aud in height from Ji to 4 feet; there is also an excavation about 30 
feet in diameter aud G feet deep, and scattered throughout the group 
are a number of circular earthen rings varying in diameter from 12 to 
30 feet and from 1 to 2 feet in heiglit. 

Quite a number of the circular mounds were opened, but only de- 
tached portions of a skeleton were found in any one, as a skull in one, 
and a leg, arm, or other part in another, four or five adjacent ones appar- 
ently together containing the equivalents of an entire skeleton. Some 
of these bones were charred, and all were much decayed, indicating by 
their appearance great age. The inner portion of the mounds cousisted 
of hard, compact earth, chielly clay, resembling in this respect most of 
the burial mouuds of this region. 

Unfortunately the examination of this group was too partial and too 
hastily made to euable us to form any theory as to the meaning of this 
singular mode of burial, or even to be satisfied that the idea of our 
assistant in this regai'd is correct. 

As possibly having some bearing upon the question, the following 
facts relating to another similar group at Eagle Point, three miles above 
Dubuque, are gi^■en. 

This group, which is situated on a bluff about 50 feet above high- 
water mark, consists of about seventy mounds, all of which, except two 
oblong ones, are small and conical in form. Eleven of these circular 
tumuli were thoroughly explored, but nothing was found in them except 
some charcoal, stone chips, and fragments of pottery. But in an ex- 
cavation made in the center of a long mound just west of the group 
were found two decayed skeletons. Near the breast of one of them 
were a blue stone gorget and five rude stoue scrapers; with the other, 
thirty-one fresh-water pearls, perforated aud used as beads. Exca- 
vations were made in an oblong aud circular mound near the extreme 
point of the bluffs. Each was found to have a central core of very 
hard clay mixed with ashes, so hard in fact that it could only be broken 
up with the pick, when it crumbled like dry lime mortar, and was found 
to be traversed throughout with flattened horizontal cavities. These 
cavities were lined with a peculiar felt-like substance, which Colonel 
jSforris, who opened the mounds, was satisfied from all the indications 
pertained to bodies which had been buried here, but from lapse of time 
had entirely crumbled to earth save these little fragments. We are 
therefore perhaps justified in concluding that a more thorough and 
careful examination of the mounds of the other group would have 
shown that the skeletons had so far decayed as to leave but a small 
part in a mound. Nevertheless it is proper to state that Colonel Norris 
docs not coincide with this conclusion, but thinks that the dismembered 
skeletons were buried as found. Possiblv he is correct. 



lu tlii.s coiiucction, aud before referring' totlie mounds of this district 
on the Illinois side of tlie Mississippi, I desire to call attention to sonie 
niodern India-n burials in this i-egion. As the statements here made 
are trom one claiming to be an eyewitness, I give them as related to 
the Bureau assistant. 

The locality is a level plat in a beml of the Des ^loincs Jiiver between 
Eldon and lowaville, Wapello County. The plat of this area and the 
sites of the burial places, as shown in Fig. 0, are based upon the state- 

DO , 

□ Q tLOOH 

Fir;. 9.— Plat uf ludiau buryiiig-y;rouiid, Wapello County. Iowa. 

meuts of ]\Ir. J. H. Jordan (the person referred to), who has resided here 
since the close of the Black Hawk war, and was the agent of the Saca 
aud Foxes from their removal hither after the war until Black Hawk's 
death, September 15, 1838.' 

'According to Drake, "Indians of Noitli AnifiicT,'' \\v ditMl Oifober ;i, IS'i^. 

."> ivni — .■; 


The extreme width of the area represeuteU is about 2 miles. Close 
to the point of the bend formerly stood the agency building, near which 
is the i)resent residence of Mr. Jordan. The triangle marks the position 
of Black Hawk's grave; the parallel Hues, the racetracks; the rings 
in the upper corner, the mounds of the lowas ; those in the lower corner, 
near lowavillo, the mounds of the Pottawattamies; and the open dots, 
near the same point, the place where the scaflblds for their dead stood. 

Mr. Jordan says : 

"This valley Lad long been a famous haunt for the warring Indians, 
but was, at the time of my first personal acquaintance with it, in posses- 
sion of the lowas, whose main village was around the point where my 
present residence now stands. The race-course consisted of three hard 
beaten parallel tracks nearly a mile in length, where the greater por- 
tion of the Iowa warriors were engaged in sport when Black Ilawk sur- 
prised and slaughtered a great portion of them in 1S30. After Black 
Hawk and his warriors had departed with their plunder, the remaining 
lowas returned and buried their dead in little mounds of sod and earth, 
from 2 to 4 feet high, at the point indicated on the diagram. 

"After the Black Hawk war was over, the remnant of the lowas, by 
treaty, formally ceded their rights in this valley to the Sacs and Foxes. 
At this place this noted chief was buried, in accordance with his dying 
request, in a full military suit given him by President Jackson, together 
with the various memorials received by him from the whites and the 
trophies won from the Indians. He was placed on his back on a 
'puncheon' [split slab of wood], slanting at a low angle to the ground, 
where his feet were sustained by another, and then covered with several 
inches of sod. Over this was placed a roof shaped covering of slabs or 
'puncheons,' one end being higher than the other; over this was 
thrown a covering of earth and sod to the depth of a foot or more, and 
the whole surrounded by a line of pickets some 8 or 10 feet high." 

Here we have evidence that some at least of the Indians of this re- 
gion were accustomed to bury their dead in mounds down to a recent 

One of the most important burial mounds opened in this district by 
the employes of the Bureau is situated on the bluff which overhangs 
East Dubuque (formerly Duuleith), Jo Daviess County, Illinois. As I 
shall have occasion to refer to others than the one mentioned, I give in 
Fig. 15, Plate III, a plan of the group, and in Fig. 10, same plate, a 
vertical section of the bluff along the line of mounds numbered 13, 14, 
15, IG, and 17, in which is seen the general slope of the irpper area. 

The mounds of this group are conical in form, varying from 12 to 70 
feet in diameter and from 3 to 12 in height. All appear to have been 
built for burial purposes. 

lu No. 5, the largest of the group, measuring 70 feet iu diameter and 
12 feet in height, a skeleton, apparently an intrusive burial, was found 


at the ilcptb of 2 feet immediately below the apex. Near the orig- 
inal surface of the ground, several feet north of the center, were the 
much-decayed skeletons of some six or eight individuals of every size 
from the infant to the adult. They were placed horizontally at full 
length with the heads toward the south. A few perforated Unio shells 
and some rude stone skinners and scrapers were found with them. 
Near the original surface, some 10 or 12 feet from the center, on the 
lower side, was discovered, lying at full length on its back, an unusu- 
ally large skeleton, the length being something over 7 feet. It was 
all distinctly traceable though it crumbled to pieces immediately after 
removal from the hard earth iu which it was encased. With it were 
three thin, crescent-shaped pieces of roughly-hammered native copper, 
respectively G, S, and 10 inches in length, with some small holes along 
the convex margin ; also a number of elongate copper beads, made by 
rolling together thin sheets, and a chert lance-head 11 inches long; 
the latter was placed near the left thigh. Around the neck were the 
remains of a necklace of bears' teeth. Lying across the thighs were 
dozens of small copper beads, evidently formed by rolling slender wire- 
like strips into small rings. The assistant who opened this mound, 
and who is personally well acquainted with Indian habits and customs, 
suggests that these beads OTice formed the ornamentation of the fringe 
of a hunting shirt. 

As No. 4 of this group presents some peculiarities, I take the descrip- 
tion from Colonel Norris's notes: 

Daring a visit to this locality in 1857, he partially opened this mound, 
finding masses of burned earth and charred human l)ones mingled with 
charcoal and ashes. At his visit in 1882, on behalf of the Buieau, a 
further examination revealed, on the lower side, the end of a double line 
of flat stones set on edge, about a foot apart at the bottom and leaned 
so as to meet at the top and form a roofshai)ed tine or drain. Following 
this up, he found that it extended inward nearly on a level, almost to 
the center of the mound, at which point it was nearly 3 feet below 
the original surface of the ground. Here a skeleton was discovered 
stretched horizontally in a vault or grave which Iiad been <lng in the 
ground before the inound was cast up. Over that portion below the 
waist (including the right arm) were placed flat stones so arranged as 
to support one another and ])revent pressure on the bodj', but no traces 
of lire were on them ; yet, when the upper portions of the body were 
reached, they were found so burned and charre<l as to be scarcely trace- 
able amid the cliarcoal and ashes that surrounded them. 

It was apparent that a grave had first been dug, then the right arm 
had been dislocated and placed by the side of the skeleton below the 
waist, and this part covered with stones as described, and then the re- 
mainder burned by a fire kindled over it. 

A section of the mound showing the grave and stone drain is given 



in Fig. 10, ill which 1 is the outline of the iiiouikI on the bill sloiie ; 2, 
the pit; and 3, the stones of the drain. 

No. 13 was found to contain a circle or enclosure, 10 feet in diameter, 
of stone slabs set on edge at the natural surface of the ground. With- 
in this circle, but some 'J feet below the surface, were five skeletons: 
two adults, two children, and one infant. They were all lying hori- 
zontally, side by side, with heads south, the adults at the outside and 
the children between them. 

We are reminded by the mode of burial in this case of that in the 
mound opened by Dr. Laphain at Waukesha, ^^'isconsin, before referred 
to. In that the remains of a single individual were discovei'ed, but in 
this it would seem that the skeletons of an entire family, gathered 
from their temporary resting places, had been carefully buried side by 
side, a silent testimonial to jiarental love and affection of friends among 
the moundbnilders. 

FlCi. 10.— SectioTrol' inoiuul J, East nubuiiiio. Illii.ois. 

Xo. 1, feet higkaiul 4.5 feet in diameter, was found to be an ossuary. 
Beneath the top layer was an arched stratum of chiy and ashes mixed, 
.so tirm and hard as to retain its form unsupported over a space of 
several feet. This covered a confused heap of human bones, many of 
whicli were badly decayed. 

The marked feature of the group was found in Xo. 10, a remarkably 
symmetrical mound ()5 feet in diameter and 10 feet high. After pass- 
ing downward C feet, mostly through a hard gray layer, a vault partly 
of timber and partly of stone was reached. A vertical section of the 
mound and \iiu\t is shown in Fig. 11, and the ground phin of the vault 
in Fig. 12. 

This vault or crypt was found to be rectangular in form, inside 
measurements showing it to be 13 feet long and 7 feet wide, surrounded 
by a sandstone wall 3 feet high. Three feet from each end was a cross- 
wall or partition of like character, thus forming a main central chamber 
7 feet square, and a narrow chamber or cell at each end something 
over 2 feet wide and 7 feet long. The whole had been completely cov- 
ered with a layer of logs from G to 12 inches in diameter, their ends 
reaching slightlv bevond the side walls in the manner shown in Fig. 12. 



Vertical Section o7h dotted line uct . 




In the center cbainber were fouud eleven skeletons : six adults and live 
children of differeut ages, including one infant, tbe latter e\idently 
Iinried in the arms of one of the adults, possibly its mother. Ai)par- 
ently they had all been buried at one time, arranged in a cucle, in a 
squatting or sitting posture, against the walls. In the center of the 
space around which they were grouped was a fine specimen of Ilusycon 
percersiim, which had been converted into a drinking cup by removing 
the columella. Here were also numerous fragments of pottery. 







Fl(i. 11.— Sci-lioii i.r ii.iinnil J6 (I'l. HI) slinwiii',' v.iult. 


ri'^ 12.— Pliiu of v:iult, moiinil 16 (PI. III). 

The end cells, walleil off from tiie main portion, as heretofore stated, 
were found nearly tilled with a very line chocolate-colored dust, which 
gave out such a sickeniug odor that tbe workmen were compelled to 
stop operations for tbe day in order to allow it to escape. 

The covering of the vault was of oak logs, most of which bad been 
l)eeled and some of tbe larger ones somewhat s<iuared by slabbing oft' 
the sides ; and the slabs and bark thus removed, together with reeds 
or large grass stems, had been laid over them. Over tbe whole was 
spread layer after layer of mortar containing lime, each succeeding 
layer harder and thicker than that which preceded it, a foot or so of 
ordinary soil completing the mound. 

As there can be scarcely a doubt that tbe mounds of this group were 
built by one tribe, we ba\e here additional evidence that the same 
people were accustomed to bury their dead iu various ways. Some of 
the skeletons are found lying horizontally side by side, others are 
placed in a circle in a sitting or scjuatting posture, while in another 
mound we find the dismembered bones heaped in a confused mass. In 
one place is a single huge frame decked with the ornaments of savage 



life, while iu other jilaces ve see the members of a family lying side 
by side, and in others the bones, ])0ssibly of the ordinary ])eople, heaped 
together in a common ossuary. 

The timber-c(jvered vanlt in mound No. Hi calls to mind very vividly 
the similar vaults mentioned by Squier and Davis,' found iu the valley 
of the Scioto in Oliio. In the latter the walls as well as the covering 
were of logs, instead of stone, but the adaptation to circumstances 
may, i)erhaps, form a sufficient explanation of this difference. While 
there are several very marked distinctions between the Ohio works» 
an;l tliose of the district now under consideration, there are also some 
resemblances, as we sliall see as we proceed, which cannot bo over- 
looked, and whicli seem to indicate relationship, contact, or intercourse 
between the peojjle who were the authors of these difl'ereut structures. 

In additional support of this view, I call attention to the carved 
pipes found by )ncmbers of the Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences, 

Fig. 13. — Pipe from Illiiiois mound. 
( Aftrr Siiiitlisniiinii IlepoT t.) 

Fir,. 14. — Pipe fiuiii Illinois mound, J. 
(After Sniitli.soiii.Tn Report.) 

Fig. 15. — Pipe from lUinoia mound, J. 
(After Smithsonian Report.) 

in the mounds near Daven|)ort, Iowa, already referred to, which are 
represented on Tlates IV and XXXIV of Vol. I of the Proceedings 
of that societv. and to others obtained bv Judsre J. G. Henderson 

.\lnierit Mnlilll 

1. hU. 


from some mouiul.s near ifaples, Illinois, and described iu the Smith- 
souiau Eeport for 1882. Tbe latter are showu in Figs. 13, 14, and 15. 
The relation of these to the pipes found iu the Ohio works bj" Squier 
and Davis is too apparent to be attributed to accident, and forces us to 
the conclusion that there was intercourse of some kind between the 
two peoples, and hence that the works of the two localities are rela- 
tively of the same age. 

The mode of burial in one of the mounds near Naples is so sug- 
gestive in'this connection that I quote here Judge Henderson's de- 
scription : 

TIio oviil iiioimd No. 1 was explored iu April, 1881, by beginuing a trench at tlio 
uorth end and carrying it to the original surface and through to the south end. 
Lateral trenches Tvere opened at intervals, and from these and the main one a coni- 
lilete cx])loratioii was made by tunneling. 

Near the center of the mound a single skeleton was found in a sitting position, aud 
no objects were about it except a single resting on the earth J«.st over the head, 
aud a number of the bono awls, already described, stifling in the sand around the sl'cletoii. 
The iudivi<lual had been seated upon the sand, these awls stuck around him iu a 
circle 4 or li inches iu the sand, and the work of carrying dirt begun. 

When the mouud had been elevated about 6 inches above the head the shell was 
laid on and the work eoutinued. 

The shell alluded to is a tine specimen of Busycon perrersum, with tlie 
columella removed in order to form ti drinking cup. 

The particular point to which I c;dl attention is this: In Tlate XI, 
Part II of De Ery,' which is reproduced in the annexed Plate IV, is 
represented a very small mound, on the top of which is a large shell, 
aud about the base a circle of arrows sticking in the ground. The 
artist, Le Moyne de Morgues, remarks, in reference to it, "Sometimes 
the deceased king of this province is buried w ith great solemnity, and 
his great cup from which he was accustomed to drink is iilaced ou a 
tumulus with many arrows set about it." The tumulus iu this case is 
evidently very small, and, as remarked by Dr. Brinton,' "scarcely rises 
to the dignity of a mound." Yet it will correspond in size with what 
the Naples mouud was when the shell was placed upou it; nevertheless 
the latter, when comi)leted, formed tin oval tumulus 133 feet long, 98 feet 
wide, and 10 feet high. 

It is therefore quite i)robable that Le ]\Ioyue figures the mound at 
the time it reached the point where the shell cup was to be deposited, 
when, in till likelihood, certain ceremonies were to be observed and a 
])ause iu the work occurred. "Whether this suggestion be correct or not, 
the cut and the statement of Judge Ilendersou furnish some evidence 
in regard to the presence of these articles in the mounds, and point to 
the peoijlc by whom they were placed there. 

Colonel Norris oi)ened a number of the ordinary smtiU burial mounds 
found on the blufl's and higher grounds of Pike and Brown Counties, 

' Brevis Narratio, Tab. XI. 

''American Antiquarian, October, 1881, p. 14. 



Illinois, wliicli were fomid to be eon.stnicted in the usual method of tbis 
distiict; tiiat is, witli a layer of hard, inortarlike substance, or clay 
and ashes mixed, covering the skeletons. The i)ositions of the skele- 
tons varied, as we have seen is the ease in other localities. The mim- 


^'%%,^_ g^ 


) # 


ber of intrusive burials was unusually large here. In a number of 
cases where there were intrusive burials uear the surface, no bones, or 
but the slightest fragments of the bones of the original burial, could be 
found, although there were sure indications that the mounds were built 



and bad appsireiitly been used for this purpose. These niouuds also 
present evidence of the intrusion of au element from one peojile into 
the country of another. On the farm of Mr. Edward Welcli, Brown 
County, Illinois, is the group of mounds shown in Fig'. 16. This con- 
sists of conical and pyramidal mounds, 
and the small earthen rings designated 
house sites. The form of the larger 
mounds is shown in Fig. 17. Although 
standing on a bluff some 200 feet above 
the river bottom, it is evident at the first 
glance that these works belong to the 
southern type and were built by tlie people 
who erected those of the Cahokia group or 
farther south. No opportunity was allowed 
to investigate the burial mounds or house 
sites, but slight explorations made in the 
larger mounds sutliced to reveal the fire- 
beds so common in southern mounds, thus 
confirming the impi-ession given by their 
form. It is probable tluit tliese mark the 
l)oint of the extreme northern extension of 
the southern mound-building tribes. A 
colony, probably from the numerous and 
strong tribe located on ('ahokia ('reek i 
around the giant Monk's mound, ])us]ied 
its way thus far and Ibrmed a settlement, 
but, after contending for a time with tiie 
hostile tribes which pressed ujton it from " 
the north, was compelled to return towards 
the south. 

Passing to the northeastern portion of 
Missouri, which, as heretofore stated, we 
include in the North Mississippi or Illinois 
district, we find a material change in the 
character of the burial mounds, so marked, 
iu fact, that it is very doubtful whether 
they should he embraced in the district 
named. Although ditt'ering in minor par- 
ticulars, the custom of inclosing the re- 
mains of the dead in some kind of a recep- 
tacle of stone, over which was heaped the 
I'artli forming the mound, ajjpears to have 
prevailed very generally. 

The region has been but jiartially explored, yet it is probable the fol- 
lowing examples will furnish illustrations of most of the types to be 
found in it. 


From au article by Messrs. Ilanly ami Scbeetz in the Smithsonian 
Keport for 1881,' we learu the following ])articulars regarding the 
burial mounds of Balls County : 

Oc'casioually an isolated one is found, but almost invariably they are 
in groups of three to ten or more. They are usually placed along the crest 
of a ridge, but when in the bottoms or on a level bluif they are in direct 
lines or gentle curves. They are very numerous, being found in almost 
every bottom and on nearly every bluff. They are usually circular and 
from 2 to 12 feet high, and are composed wholly of earth, wholly of 
stone, or of the two combined. "Where stone was used the plan seems to 
have been first to pave the natural surface with flat stones, in one or 
two thicknesses, for a foundation. In one case tlie stones were thrown 
together indiscriminately. Human remains are almost invariably found 
in them. The bones are generally very much decayed, though each bone 
is found almost entire except those of tlie head. This seems to have 
always rested on a stone, and to have been covered by one or more 
stones, so that it is always found in a crushed condition. In rare in- 
stances stone imi)lements, i)ipes, etc., are found in the mounds. There- 
mains found in tumuli wholly of stone are much more decayed than in 
those of mixed material. 

One opened by the writers of the article is described by them as fol- 

Ou the south side of itthebed stone had been foriiicd iuto a shallow trough. Ou re- 
moving the flat stoues wLich covered this, and which showed no action of fire, ■we 
found a bed of charcoal several inches thick, both animal and vegetable, and the 
limestone which composed it was burned completely through. Some fragments of a 
human femur were found in a calcined state. There were no indications of lire else- 
where in the monnd, but there were the partial remains of several skeletons, lying in 
two layers, with stone and earth between them. 

In another, examined by them, fragments of human bones were found 
so near the surface as to be reached by the plow ; but deeper, on the 
north sides, were single skeletons laid at length east and west, and be- 
tween them a mass of bones confused as though thrown in indiscrimi- 
nately. The diameter of this mound was about 30 feet, height 2i feet. 

In section 24, township .55, range 7, is a small hill, known as " Wilson's 
Knob." Its crest, which is about 120 feet long, is completely covered 
with stone to the depth of several feet, the pile being about 20 feet 
wide. Examination brought to light the fact that this was originally a 
row of stone mounds or burial vaults, nine in number, circular in form, 
each from eight to nine feet in diameter (inner measure), and contig- 
uous to one another. Judging from appearances it would seem that 
each had been of a conical or domelike form. They were comjiosed 
wholly of stone, and the retnains found in them were almost wholly de- 

On another ridge the same parties found another row with four stone 
mounds similar to those described, excei)t that the cists were square 

1 Pages 533-6. 



instead of circular, the sides of tbe latter being equal to the diameter of 
the former. In these only small fragments of bone could be found. 

Although ]\Iessrs. Elardy and Scheetz evidently considered these stone 
structures as receptacles for the dead, and as erected for this purpose, 
yet it is possible they may have been intended for some other use. 

The mounds of Pike 
County are chiefly of mixed 
material similar to those 
mentioned,' though some 
of them contain rectangu- 
lar stone vaults. One of 
these vaults, measuring -t 
bj" 5 feet, was found to con- 
tain the remains of eight 
skeletons. Another, a reg- 
ular box-shaped cist of stone 
slabs, contained nothing 
save a few cranial bones 
very much decayed. An- 
other of large size contained 
human remains with which 
were some arrow-heads, a 
vessel of clay, and a carved 
steatite pipe, having upon 
its front a figurehead. 

I have given these i)ar- 
ticulars in order to show 
how closely they agree with 
the discoveries made by the 
Bureau assistant in this 
region, from whose notes I 
take the following descrip- 

Between Fox liiver and 
Sugar Creek, in Clarke 
County, a sharp dividing 
ridge about 100 feet high 
extends in a northerly di- 
rection for nearly two miles 
from where these streams 
enter upon the open bottom 
of the Mississippi. Scat- 
tered irregularly along the 
crest of this ridge is a line 
of circular mounds shown 


to 50 feet in diameter and from 

. 18. These range in size from 15 
to C feet high, and are circular ia 

' Siiiithsouiati Report I81SI, p. 5:;7. 


form. Ill No. 3,' diameter 35 feet and height 5 feet, situated in the cen- 
tral i)ortion, was found a stone coffin or cist 7 feet long and 2 feet wide, 
formed of slabs of sandstone in the usual manner. This was covered 
first with similar slabs and then the whole incased in a layer of rougher 
stones. Over this was a layer of hard earth, which was evidently in a 
plastic state when placed there, as it had run into and filled up the in- 
terstices. Above this was a foot or more of yellowish earth, similar to 
that forming the ridge. In the coffin was the skeleton of an adult, ly- 
ing horizontally on the back, but too far gone to decay to admit of re- 
moval. No specimens of art of any kind were found with it. 

No. 4, a trifle smaller than No. 3, was opened by running a trench 
from the eastern margin. For a distance of 15 or 16 feet nothing was 
encountered except the earth, with which it appeared to be covered to 
the depth of 2 feet. Here was found a layer of rough stones covering a 
mass of charcoal and ashes with bones intermixed. In fact the indica- 
tions leave the impression that one or more persons (or their bones) had 
been burned in a fire on the natural surface of the earth near the cen- 
ter of the mound, the coals and brands of which were then covered 
with rough stones thrown in, without any system, to the depth of 3 feet, 
over a space 10 or 12 feet in diameter, and then covered with earth. 
Only fragments of charred human bones, pieces of rude pottery, and 
stone chips were found commingled with the charcoal and ashes. 

Another group on the farm of Mr. J. N. Boulware, near the line be- 
tween Clarke and Lewis counties, was examined by the same party. 
This group, which is situated on a bench or terrace from 20 to 40 feet 
above the Mississippi bottoms, consists of some 55 or GO ordinary circu- 
lar mounds of comparatively small size. 

In oue of these, 45 feet in diameter and 5 feet high, were found, near 
the top, the fragments of a human skeleton much decayed, and broken 
pottery, encircled by a row of flat stones set up edgewise and covered 
with others of a similar character. Below these was a layer of very 
hard light-colored earth, mixed throughout with fragments of charred 
human bones and pottery, charcoal and stone chips. 

Another, about 60 feet in diameter, was found to consist (except the 
top layer of soil, about 1 foot thick) of hard, dried "mortar" (apparently 
clay and ashes mixed), in which fragments of charred human bones, 
small rounded pieces of pottery, and stone scrapers were mingled with 
charcoal and ashes. 

"As all the mounds opened here," remarks the assistant, "presented 
this somewhat singular feature, I made a very careful examination of 
this mortar-like substance. I found that there were dift'erences be- 
tween different portions of the same mound sufficiently marked to trace 
the separate masses. This would indicate that the mounds were built 
by successive deposits of mortar thus mixed with charred bones, and 
not in strata but in masses." 

' Counting from tbc soutlici n end of llie line. 


This, as before stated, includes OLId, a portiou of eastern Indiana, 
and the western part of West Virginia. 

As only verj' limited explorations have been made in the Ohio portion 
of this district by the Uiireau of Ethnology, I will content myself with 
a brief allusion to the observations of others. 

The descriptions given by Squier and Davis of the few burial mounds 
they explored are too well known to i-equire repeating here. Their 
conclusion in regard to them, which has already been alluded to, is 
stated in general terms as follows : 

Moiiuds of tliis class arc very nnincroiis. They are generally of coiisi<leral)le size, 
varying from (J to 80 feet in height, hnt having an .average altitnde of from 15 to 20 
or '2,5 feet. They staml witliont the walls pf enclosnres at a distance more or leas re- 
mote from them. 

Many are isolated, with no other monuments near them; hut they frequently occur 
in groups, sometimes in close connection with each other, and exhibiting a depend- 
ence which was not without its moaning. They are destitute of altars, nor do they 
possess the regularity which characterizes the "temple mounds." The usual form is 
that of a simple eoue ; sometimes they are elliptical or pear-shaped. These mounds 
invariably cover a skeleton (in very rare instances more than one, as in the of 
tlie Grave Creek moviud), which at the time, of interment was enveloped in bark or 
coarse matting, or inclosed in a rude sarcophagus of timber, the traces and in some 
instances the very casts of which remain. Occasionally the chamber of the dead is 
built of .stone, rudely laid up, without cement of any kind. Burial by fire seems to 
have been frequently practiced by the mound-builders. Urn burial also appears to 
have prevailed to a considerable extent in the Southern States. With the skeletons 
in these mounds are found various remains of art, comprising ornaments, utensils, 
and weapons.' 

For the purpose of conveying to the mind a clear idea of the char- 
acter of these mounds, I give here a copy of their figure of one of them 
(Fig. 19), and also of the wooden vault found in it (Fig. 20). This 
monnd, as was the case with most of the burial mounds opened by them, 
although comparatively large, is without any distinct stratification. 

In some cases (see Ancient Monuments, Figs. 52 and 53, p. 164) a 
layer of bark was first spread ou the natural surface of tlie ground 
after it bad been cleared, leveled, and packed ; on this the body was 
laid at full length. It was then covered with another layer of bark and 
the mound was heaped over this. 

'Ancient Monuments, p. 161. It may be remarked hero that the statement that 
"urn burial appears to have i)revailed to a considerable extent in the Sou'hern 
States" cannot lie sustained by facts. 




Altliougli no mounds containing stone sepulchers fell under their 
notice during tlieir explorations, tbey obtained satisfactory evidence 
that one within the limits of Chillicothe had been removed, in which a 
stone cottiu, " corresponding very nearly with the JHsti-aen of English 
antiquarians '' was discovered. 

Fir,. ]9. — Ohio burial mound (after Squier and Pavis), 

Fig. 20. — Wooden vault (atU'i- Squier and Davis). 

Some rather singular burial mounds have been described as found in 
different parts of this State, but unfortunately the descriptions are 
based largely on memory and secondhand statements and hence do not 
have that stamj) of accuracy and authenticity that is desirable. For 
example, a large stone mound, which formerly stood a short distance 
from Newark, is described ' as conical iu form, IS.*^ feet in diameter, and 
from 40 to 50 feet high, composed of stones in their natural shape. 
This, upon removal, was found to cover some fifteen or sixteen small 
earth mounds. In one of these were found human bones and river 
shells. In another was encountered a layer of hard white fire clay. 
Two or three feet below this was a wooden trough. This was overlaid 
by small logs of wood to serve as a cover, and in it was found a skeleton, 
around which appeared the impression of a coarse cloth. With it were 
fifteen copper rings and a " breastplate " of the same metal. The wood 
of the trough and covering was in a good state of preservation. The 
clay which covered it was impervious both to air and water. The logs 

' Smithsonian Report 186G, p. 3.")9. 


which overlaid the wooden sarcophagus " were so well preserved that 
the ends showed the axe marks, and the steepness of the kerf seemed 
to indicate that some instrument sharper than the stone axe found 
throughout the West liad been employed to cut them." 

" In another of these mounds a large number of human bones, but no 
other relics worthy of note, were found-"^ 

In a mound situated in Clear Creek Township, Ashland County, a 
stone coffin or cist was discovered, constructed of flat stones set up 
edgewise. It contained six or eight skeletons, "neatly cleaned and 
packed, in a good state of preservation."^ 

A statement worthy of notice in this connection is made by Mr. H. 
B. Case in the Smithsonian Eeport for 1881." The Delaware Indians 
formerly had a \illage in the northern part of Green Township, Ash- 
land County, which was still occupied by them when the white settlers 
reached there in 1809. An examination of their graves in 1S7G brought 
to light the fact that in some cases the dead were buried in stone ci.sts ; 
in others small, round, drift bowlders were placed around the skeletons. 

One of the most satisfactory and most important accounts of Ohio 
burial mounds will be found in a "Eeport of Explorations of Mounds 
in Southern Ohio," by Prof. E. 15. Andrews, ])ublished in the Tenth 
Annual lieport of the Peabody Museum. Speaking of the George Con- 
uet mound, in Athens County, he says : 

This is a low mouiul about 6 feet liij;li with a base perliaps 40 feet in diame- 
ter. It has for years been plowed over and its original heiglit has been considerably 
reduced. My attention was drawn to this mound by the burnt clay on its top. A 
trench 5 feet wide was dug through the center. On the east side much burnt yellow 
clay was found, while on the west end of the trench considerable black earth ap- 
peared, which I took to be kitchen refuse. 

About 5 feet below the top we came upon large quantities of ehiircoal, especially on 
the western side. Underneath the charcoal was found a skeleton with the head to 
the east. The body had evidently been enclosed in some wooden structure. First 
there was a platform of wood placed upon the ground, on the original level of the 
plain. On this wooden lloor timbers or logs were placed longitudinally, ;and over 
these timbers there were laid other j)ieces of wood, forming an enclo,sed box or eoftin. 
A part 01 this wood was only charred, the rest was burnt to ashes. The middle part 
of the body was in the hottest tire and man.'t of the vcrtebne, ribs, and other bones 
were burnt to a black cinder, and at this point the enclosing timbers were burnt to 
ashes. The timbers enclosing the lower extremities were only charred. 

I am led to think that before any tire was kindled a layer of dirt was thrown over 
the wooden stracture, making a sort of burial. On this dirt a fire was built, but by 
some misplacement of the dirt the fire reached the timbers below, and at such i)uints 
as the air could penetrate there was an active combustion, but at others, where the 
dirt still remained, there was only a smothered fire, like that in a charcoal pit. It is 
difficult to explain the existence of the charred timbei's in any other way. There 
must have been other tires than that immediately around and above the body, and 
many of them, because on one side of the mound the clay is burned even to the top of 
the mound. In one place, 3 feet above the body, the clay is vitrified. 

' See, also, Smithsonian Report 1881, p. 596. 
-Smithonian Report 1877, p. 2(34. 
•i Page 598. 


It is possible tliat fires were Ijuilt at diftV-rent levels, open tires, and that most of 
the ashes were blown away by the winds whieh often sweep over the plain. I have 
stated that there was first laid down a sort of fioor of wood, on which the body was 
placed. On the same floor were placed abont .">0O copper beads, forming a line almost 
around the body. 

In addition to these copper beads a munber of shell beads, and also 
a hollow copper implement in the shape of a caulker's chisel, were found. 
The copper implement and beads were made of thin sheet-copper wbich, 
Professor Andrews says, had been "hammered out into so smooth and 
even a sheet tbat no traces of the hammer were visible. It would be 
taken indeed for rolled sheet copper." Some of the bones were pretty 
well preserved. 

The i)rofessor closes his description with the remark: "The skeleton 
undoubtedly belonged to a veritable mound-builder." In this he is 
certainly correct, as the mode of burial in this case agrees so exactly 
with that observed by Squier and Davis in the larger mounds opened 
by them as to leave no doubt that both are to be attributed to one peo- 
ple, although the mound described by Professor Andrews is probably 
of much more recent date than those mentioned by Squier and Davis. 

What explanation shall we give of the presence in this work of thin 
sheet-copper " hammered out into so smooth and even a sheet that no 
traces of the hammer were visible," and that " would be taken for rolled 

The simple and most natural explanation would be that it was derived 
from European traders and early adventurers ; and such, lam disposed 
to believe, is the correct one. The distinction between the sheets aiul 
ornaments hammered from native copper with the rude implements of 
the aborigines, and many specimens made of this smooth sheet copper 
found in mounds, is too apparent to be overlooked. But of this more 
hereafter, as I shall have occasion again to refer to the subject. 

In another mound, 8 or 9 feet high, in the same county, he found near 
the top a considerable bed of kitchen refuse ; at the bottom, on the 
original surface, ashes and burnt human bones. "These bones," he 
remarks, " had evidently been burned before burial, and had been gath- 
ered in miscellaneous confusion and placed in a narrow space 5 or G 
inches wide and from 2 to 3 feet long. The ashes were doubtless 
brought with them, at least there appeared to be no evidences of a 
local tire in the reddening or hardening of the clay or in remnants of 

As bearing upon a suggestion made by Colonel Norris, and previously 
referred to,^ in regard to the probable use of copper beads found across 
the limbs of a skeleton, I call attention to another statement of Pro- 
fessor Andrews. Speaking of the School house mound he says : 

At a point near the northwestern corner of the school-house and perliaps 15 feet 
from the center of the nronnd, there was plowed up, in extremely hard and dry dirt, 

' Page 35. 


a large pieee of what I suppose to have hecu au oiDameuted dress. It was covered 
with copper lieads, which were strung on a buckskin string and placed on four Layers 
of the same skin. It was found 8 feet bcluw the original surface of the mound and 
in extremely hard, dry dirt which had never been disturbed. 

From the figure and the de.scrii)tioii we can have but little doubt that 
this was a buckskin hunting-shirt, which gives support to Colonel Nor- 
ris's suggestion. 

Recently some interesting burial mounds near Madisonville have been 
carefully explored by Dr. (J. L. Metz in the interest of the I'eabody 
Mu.seum. Only partial notices of these explorations, which are not yet 
completed, have been published, but we deem these of sufficient imiior- 
tauce in this connection to ijuote freely from them,' so far as they serve 
to illustrate the modes of burial and construction of burial mounds of 
this region. 

S|)eaking of one of the mounds of a group situated in Anderson 
Township, Professor Putnam remarks : 

Mound 21 of Group U was about 4 feet high and 50 in diameter. It proved to 
be made entirely of the sandy loam of the immediate vicinity. The remains of five 
skeletons were discovered at diH'erent points in the lower portion of the mound. The 
bones were nearly all reduced to dust, and only a fragment here and (here could be 
saved. There was not a single relic found with the skeletons, and a few flint chips 
and a broken arrow-head were the only artificial objects found in the earth compos- 
ing the mouud. The condition of the bones showed considerable antiquity, but their 
advanced decay and friability were ]irobably largely due to the character of the soil 
in which they were enclosed. The p<isition of the skeletons rather goes to .show that 
the several bodies were buried at ditVerent times, and that the mouud was gradually 
constructed as the burials took place. For the present we are inclined to consider 
this niounil, with some others in the valley, as a place of se|iulchcr by tribes of a 
more recent time than the builders of the earthworks of the Turner group. 

Mound No. 22 jiroved to be of a nu>re interesting character than the last. This 
mouud was 14 feet high and about 100 in diameter. It was composed of pure clay, 
except in the central portion. Five feet from the top there \\as found a hard mass 
of burnt earth and ashes, 7 feet deep and a little over 9 feet in width and length. 
Resting on top of this, about in the center, and covered in part by the overlying clay, 
lay a large stone celt. A foot below this, in the burnt material, was a stone imple- 
uunit perforated at its upper end. Below this, at points several feet apart, in the burnt 
mass, were three holes or ])ockets, each of which contained the remains of portions 
of human skeletons, surrounded by a thin layer of clay. Near the bones in the lowest 
pocket were three spear-heads or chipped points. A few potsherds aud several Hint 
chips were found throughout the burnt mass. Under it was a circular bed of black 
soil and ashes, 13 inches thick in the center aud 14 feet in diameter, beneath which 
Avas a layer of fine sand and gravel, 3 inches thick, which corered another circular 
bed of black soil aud ashes, 14 inches thick in the center and lo feet in diameter. Di- 
rectly under the center of this lower layer was a pit 4 feet deep and 10 feet 4 inches 
long, 4 feet wide at the ends aud 3 feet 5 inches wide at the center. This pit probably 
had contained a wooden structure, as its sides showed rough striations, as if large 
logs had once rested against them. The pit had beeu dug in the drift gravel upon 
which the mound was built, and was nearly filled with .soft, spongy ashes mixed with 
a reddish substance. Extended at full length at the bottom of the pit was a human 
skeleton, with the head to the west. Among the boues of the neck a single shell bead 

' See 17th Report Peabody Museum, pp. 339-347. 
5 ETH — 4 


was found; at the feet were ten stones or small l)Owlders, such as arc common in the 
drift gravel. It is evident that this interesting tumulus was erected over the grave 
which was dug iu the underlying gravel, and that the human hones placed in the 
burnt mass above the grave, with the few stone implements found in or on the mass, 
had some connection with the funeral ceremonies which took place in connection with 
the burial of the body in the pit below. The regularity of the deposits over the pit, 
which was under the center of the mound, seems to be sufficient proof of this. 

Another mound, nearer the river, situated on an elevated portion of 
bottom land, wa.s found to differ in construction from any of tlie otbers 
explored in tbis vicinity. Tlii.s is descrilied as follows: ' 

According to Mr. William Edwards, sixty years ago it was about 9 feet high, and 
covered by a heavy forest growth, which also extended over the region about. Over 
fifty years ago the land was cleared and the mound scraped down by Mr. Edwards, who, 
after removing about 4 feet of earth from its summit, came to a large quantity of stones, 
with which were many human bones. Since that time the mound has been plowed 
over and stones have been taken from it until it has been so nearly leveled as hardly 
to be noticed. Thus only the base of the nujund could be explored; but that has 
proved of great interest in connection with the other works of the valley. On remov- 
ing the earth around the base it was found tliat stones, many of considerable size, 
had been so arranged as to form a mound about .^ feet high in the center and 90 feet 
in diameter, over wliieli the earth liad been placed to the height of about 4 feet, as 
stated by Mr. Edwards. In height about one-half of the stone portion of the mound 
was undisturbed. On removing the outer covering of .stones it was found tliat many 
burials, probably at least one hundred, had been made iu the mound. The remains 
of seventy-one skeletons were obtained. These skeletons were all more or less crushed 
by the stones which surrounded them, as, in addition to the outer stones of the mound, 
each body had been surrounded with stones at the time of its burial. In many in- 
stances large slabs of limestone liad been need, and in a few they were set on 
edge around the body. In other eases small stones had been ]iiled around and over 
the bodies, which had been placed in various positions, some extended and otbers Hexed 
in various ways. With many of the skeletons were stone implements and ornaments, 
among which were several of the Hat stones with two or more perforations, generally 
known as gorgets. There were also many bone implements, shell and bone orna- 
ments, and Qut teeth of bears. Several small copper awls in bone handles, and the 
shells of box-turtles, were also found with the skeletons. Many fragments of pottery 
and brokeu bones of animals were scattered through the mass of stones and human 
bones. At the feet of the skeleton, in the center of the mound, there was an upright 
slab of limestone 2 feet long by 20 inches wide, and with this skeleton were tlie fol- 
lowing objects: Resting on the chest was a large ornament made from the apex of a 
conch shell, with a hole at one edge for suspension ; below this, on tl»e ribs, was a 
spear-.shaped gorget, with one hole, and by its side were .several shell ornaments, also 
perforated. Lying the right femur and parallel with it was a carved bone, 
grooved on the under side and having two holes ; between this and the leg bone were 
four small pieces of carved bone about an inch in lengtli. In the Ijones of the right 
hand was a small awl made of native copper and inserted in a little round handle 
made of bone, similar to others found with other skeletons in the mound. At the 
south side of the mound, on the original surface, was a burnt space, on which was a 
large quantity, several bushels, of brokeu bones of animals, clam shells, and fragments 
of pottery mixed with ashes. This mass seems to have existed before the mound was 
made, or at all events completed, as five of the burials had taken place above it. On 
file plain about the mound are evidences of the site of a former village, and the annual 
plowing Ijrings to light many animal remains, fragments of pottery, and stone imple- 

' 17th Report Peabody Museum, pp. 342-343. 


ments of the same character as those from the inouiul. From this fact, and from the 
character of the burials in the mound, as well as that of tlie objects found with the 
skeletiuis, and from the al)seuce of the characteristic ornaments fonnd with so many of 
the human remains ni the Turner group and other ancient mounds of the Ohio Valley, 
we are led to look upon this stone monnd as the burial place of a tribe of Indians living 
in the region subsenueut to the builders of the Turner mounds. The remains found 
in this stone mound, as a whole, indicate that the people here buried were closely con- 
nected with those who made the singular ash-pits in the ancient cemetery near Madi- 
son ville.' 

Passing into West Virginia we notice first tbe celebrated Grave 
Creek mound. This has been described and figured so often that it i.s 
unnecessary for me to do more tlian call attention to certain particu- 
lars iu regard to it to which I may desire liereafter to refer by way of 
comparison. It is in the form of a regular cone, about 70 feet high and 
nearly 300 feet in diameter at the base. A .shaft sunk from the apex to 
the base disclosed two wooden vaults, the first about half way down 
and the other at the bottom. Iu the first or upper one was a single 
skeleton, decorated with a profusion of shell beads, copper bracelets, 
and plates of mica. The lower vault, which was partly in an excava 
tion made in the natural ground, was found to be rectangular, 12 by 8 
feet and 7 feet high. Along each side and across the ends upright 
timbers had been placed, which supported other timbers tiirown across 
the vault as a covering. These were covered with a layer of rough 
stones. In this vault were two human skeletons, one of which had no 
ornaments, while the other was surrounded with hundreds of shell beads. 
In attempting to enlarge this vault the workmen discovered around it 
ten other skeletons. While carrying the horizontal tunnel, several 
masses of charcoal and burnt bones were encountered after a distance 
of V2 or 15 feet had been reached. 

Before making any comments ou the construction of this noted work 
and the mode of burial in it, I will present some facts recently brought 
to light iu regard to the burial mounds of the Kanawha Valley by the 
assistants of the Bureau. 

A large mound situated on the farm of Col. B. H. Smith, near Charles- 
ton, is conical in form, about 175 feet iu diameter at tlie base and 35 
feet high. It appears to be double; that is to say, it consists of two 
mounds, one built ou the other, the lower or original one 20 feet and 
the upper 15 feet high. 

The exploration was made by sinking a shaft. 12 feet square at the 
top and narrowing gradually to G feet square at the bottom, down 
through the center of the structure to the original surface of the grouud 
and a shortdistauce below it. After removing a slight covering of earth, 
an irregular mass of large, rough, flat sandstones, evidently brought 
from the bluffs half a mile distant, was encountered. Some of these 
sandstones were a good load for two ordinary men. 

The removid of a wagou load or so of these stones brought to light a 

' 17th Report Peabody Museum, p. 344. 


stone vault 7 feet loug and 4 feet deep, in the bottom of whicb was found 
a large and much decayed human skeleton, but wanting the head, 
which the most careful examination failed to discover. A single rough 
spear head was the only accompanying article found in this vault. 
At the depth of 6 feet, in earth similar to that around the base of 
the mound, was found a second skeleton, also much decayed, of an 
adult of ordinary size. At 9 feet a third skeleton was encountered, in 
a mass of loose, dry earth, surrounded by the remains of a bark coflin. 
This was in a much better state of preservation than the other two. 
The skull, which was preserved, is of the compressed or "tlat-head" type. 

For some 3 or 4 feet below this the earth was found to be mixed with 
ashes. At this depth in his downward i)rogress Colonel Xorris began 
to encounter the remains of what further excavation showed to have 
been a timber vault, about 113 feet scpiare and 7 or 8 feet high. From 
the condition in which the remains of the cover were found, he concludes 
that this must have been roof-shaped, and, having become decayed, was 
crushed in by the weight of the addition made to the mound. Some of 
the walnut timbers of this vault were as much as 12 inches in diameter. 

In this vault were found five skeletons, one lying prostrate on the floor 
at the depth of 10 feet from the top of the mound, and four others, which, 
from the positions in which they were found, were supposed to have 
been placed standing in the four corners. The first of these was dis- 
covered at the depth of 14 feet, amid a commingled mass of earth and 
decaying bark and timbers, nearly erect, leaning against the wall, and 
surrounded by the remains of a bark coffin. All the bones except those 
of the left forearm were too far decayed to be saved ; these were ])re- 
served by two heavy copi)er bracelets which yet surrounded them. 

The skeleton found lying in the middle of the fioor of the \ault was 
of unusually large size, " measuring 7 feet inches in length and 19 

Fig. 21.— Copper gorget from mound, Kanawlia Couut.v, West Virginia. 

inches between the shoulder sockets." It had also been inclosed in a 
wrapping or coflin of bark, remains of which were still distinctly visible. 
It lay upon the back, head east, legs together, and arms by the sides. 
There were six heavy bracelets on each wrist ; four others were found 
under the head, which, together with a si)ear-point of black flint, were 
incased in a mass of mortar-like substance, which had evidently been 
wrapped in some textile fabric. On the breast was a copper gorget (Fig. 



21). In each band were three spear-heads of black flint, and other.s 
were about the head, knees, and feet. Near the right hand were two 
hematite celts, and on the shoulder were three large and thick plates of 
mica. About the shoulders, waist, and thighs were nuuierous minute 
perforated shells and shell beads. 
While filling in the excavation, the pipe represented iu Fig. 22 was 


■ V\]if friiMi iiioiinil, Kaniiwha County, West Virginia. 

found in the dirt which had been removed from it. This pipe has been 
carved out ofgraj' steatite and highly ])olislied. It is worthy of note 
that it is precisely of the form described by Adair as made by the 
Cherokees, and also that it approaches very near to au Ohio type 
(Fig. 23). 

Fio, 23.— Pipe friitii mound, liutler County, Obio. 

Another mound of rather large size, iu the same locality, was opened 
by the Bureau assistant. 

In order that all the fiicts bearing on its uses may be understood it 
is necessary to notice its immediate surroundings. 

Plate V is a map showing the ancient works in the valley of 
the Kanawha, from 3 to 5 miles below Charleston, and Plate VI is 
an enlarged plat of the area embracing those numbered I, II and 1, 3, and 
4 on the map. As will be seen by an inspection of the latter plate, the 
works included are two circular enclosures, 1 and 2 ; one excavation ; one 
included mound, 2; three mounds, 3, 1, and 4, outside of the enclosures; 
and a graded way. As our attention at present is directed only to 
the large mound, 1, it is unnecessary to notice the other works further 
than to add that each enclosure is about 220 feet iu diameter, and con- 
sists of a circular wall and au inside ditch. The excavation is nearly 
circular and about 140 feet in diameter. The large mouud is conical in 
form, 173 feet in diameter, and 33 feet high. It is slightly truncated, 
the top having been leveled oil' some forty years ago for the purpose 


of building a judge's stand in connection witli a race-course tliat was 
laid out around the mound. 

A shaft 12 feet square at the top and narrowing downward was sunk 
to the base. At the depth of 4 feet, in a very hard bed of earth and 
ashes mixed, were found two much decayed human skeletons, both 
stretched horizontally on their backs, heads south, and near their heads 
several stone implements. From this point until a depth of 24 feet was 
reached the shaft passed through very hard earth of a light-gray color, 
apparently clay and ashes mixed, iu which nothing of consequence was 
found. When a depth of 24 feet was reached the material suddenly 
changed to a mu(;h softer and darker earth, disclosing the casts and some 
decayed fragments of timbers from 6 to 12 inches in diameter. Here 
were found fragments of bark, ashes, and also numerous fragments 
of animal bones, some of which had been split lengtliwise. At the 
depth of 31 feet was a human skeleton, lying prostrate, head north, 
which had evidently been enclosed in a cofifin or wrapping of elm bark. 
In contact with the head was a thin sheet of hammered native copper. 
By enlarging the base of tlie shaft until a space some 10 feet iu diameter 
was opened, the character and the contents of the base of the mound 
were more fully ascertained. Tliis brought to light the fact that the 
builders, after having first smoothed, leveled, and packed the natural 
surfiice, carefully spread upon the floor a layer of bark (chiefly elm), the 
inner side up, and upon this a layer of fine white ashes, clear of char- 
coal, to the depth, probably, of 5 or 6 inches, though pressed now to 
little more than 1 inch. On this the bodies were laid and presumably 
covered with 'bark. 

The enlargement of the shaft also brought to view ten other skeletons, 
all apparently adults, five on one side and five on tln^ other side of the 
central skeleton, and, like it, extended horizontally, with their feet point- 
ing toward the central one but not quite touching it. Like the first, they 
ha 1 all been buried in bark coffins or wrappings. With each skeleton 
on the east side was a fine, apparently unused lancehead about 3 inches 
long, and by the right side of the northern one a fish-dart, three arrow- 
heads, and some fragments of Unio shells and pottery. No implements 
or ornaments were found with either of the five skeletons on the west side, 
although careful searcK was made therefor. In addition to the copper 
plate, a few shell beads and a large lance head were found with the cen- 
tral skeleton. As there were a number of holes resembling post-holes, 
about the base, which were tilled with rotten bark and decayed vegeta- 
ble matter, I am inclined to believe there was a vault here similar to the 
lower vault in the Grave Creek mound, in which the walls were of tim- 
bers set up endwise in the ground. But it is proper to state that the 
assistant who opened the mound is rather disposed to doubt the correct- 
ness of this explanation. 

Iu order to show the character of the smaller burial mounds of this 
region, I give descriptious of a few opened by Colonel Norris. 

FiFiH a:::;tal report pl. v 


- Moun ds . 

O^ ^53— 

£nc7osvres - Solid Jjnes indicaie Ditches. 

*;"'',','.;"""■','!!!!. . - Grade - M'c^s 

'4'i>^ JlothnyJlach Neaps , 


One 20 feet in diameter and 7 feet liigb, with a beecli tree 30 inches 
in diameter growing on it, was opened by running a broad trench through 
it. The material of which it was composed was yellow clay, evidently 
from an excavation in the hillside near it. Stretched horizontally on 
the natural surface of the ground, faces up and heads south, were sev^en 
skeletons, six adults and one chiKl, all charred. They were covered 
several inches thick with ashes, charcoal, and firebrands, evidently the 
remains of a very heavy fire which must have been smothered before it 
was fully burned out. Three coarse lanceheads were found among the 
bones of the adults, and around the neck of the child three copper beads, 
apparently of hammered native copper. 

Another mound, 50 feet in diameter and 5 feet high, standing guard, 
as it were, at the entrance of an inclosure, was oi)ened, revealing the 
following particulars : The top was strewn with fragments of flat rocks, 
most of which were marked with one or more small, artificial, cup shaped 
depressions. Below these, to the depth of 2 or 3 feet, the hard yellow 
clay was mixed throughout with similar stones, charcoal, ashes, stone 
chips, and fragments of rude potterj-. Near the center and 3 feet from 
the top of the mound were the much decayed I'emains of a human skele- 
ton, lying on its back, in a very rude stone-slab coffin. Beneath this 
were other flat stones, and under them charcoal, ashes, and baked earth, 
covering the decayed bones of some three or four skeletons which lay 
upon the original surface of the ground. So far as could be ascertained, 
the skeletons in this mound lay with their heads toward the east. No 
relics of any kind worthj- of notice were found with them. 

Another mound of similar size, upon a dry terrace, was found to con- 
sist chiefly of very hard clay, scattered through which were stone chips 
and fragments of rude pottery. Near the natural surface of the ground 
a layer of ashes and charcoal was encountered, in which were found 
the remains of at least two skeletons. 

A mound some 200 yards south of the inclosure, situated on a sIojjc 
and measuring 50 feet in diameter and G feet in height, gave a some- 
what diflerent result. It consisted wholly of very hard clay down to the 
natural surface of the hill-slope. But further excavation revealed a 
vault or pit in the original earth 8 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 3 feet deej) 
at the upper end. In this was found a decayed skeleton, with the head 
uj) hill or toward the north. Upon the breast was a sandstone gorget, 
and upon it a leaf-shaped knife of black flint and a neatly polished hem- 
atite celt. The bones of the right arm were found stretched out iit right 
angles to the body, along a line of ashes. Upon the bones of the 
open hand were three piles (five in each) of small leaf-shaped flint knives. 

As the four small moundsjust mentioned pertain to theClifton groups, 
in the Elk River Valley, we will call attention to one or two of the Charles- 
ton group, for the purpose of aflbrding the reader the means of com- 

Below the center of No. 7 (see Plate), sunk into the original earth, 
was a vault about 8 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 3 feet deep. Lying ex- 


tended on the back in the bottom of this, amid tlie rotten frag^ments of 
a bark coffin, was a decayed Imiruin skeleton, fully 7 feet long, with 
head west. No evidence of fire was to be seen, nor were any stone im- 
plements discovered, but lying in a circle just above the hips were fifty 
circular pieces of white perforated shell, each about 1 inch in diameter and 
an eighth of an inch thick. The bones of the left arm layby the side of 
the body, but those of the right arm, as in one of the mounds heretofore 
mentioned, were stretched at right angles to the body, reaching out to 
a small oven-shaped vault, the mortar or cement roof of which was still 
unbroken. The capacity of this small circular vault was probably two 
bushels, and the peculiar appearance of the dark-colored de])osit therein, 
and other indi(\ations, led to the belief that it had been filled with corn 
(maize) in tlie ear. The absence of weapons would indicate that the in- 
dividual buried here was not a warrior, though a person of some impor- 

Mound No. 23 of this group presents some i)eculiarities worthy of no- 
tice. It is 312 feet in circumference at the base and 25 feet high, cov- 
ered with a second growth of timber, some of the stumps of the former 
growth yet remaining. It is unusually sharp and symmetrical. From 
the top dowm the material was found to be a light-gray and apparently 
mixed earth, so hard as to require the vigorous use of the pick to i)ene- 
trate it. At the depth of 15 feet the explorers began to find the casts 
and fragments of poles or round timbers less than a foot in diameter. 
These casts and rotten remains of wood and bark increased in abun- 
dance from this point until the original surface of the ground was 
reached. By enlarging the lower end of the shaft to 14 feet in diameter 
it was ascertained that this rotten wood and bark were the remains of 
what had once been a circular or polygonal, timber-sided, and conical- 
roofed vault. Many of the timbers of the sides and roof, being consid- 
erably longer than necessary, had been allowed to extend beyond the 
points of support often 8 or 10 feet, those on the sides beyond the cross- 
ing and those of (he roof downward beyond the wall. Upon the fioor 
and amid ihe remains of the timber were numerous human bones and 
also two whole skeletons, the latter but slightly decayed, though badly 
crushed by the weight pressing on them, but unaccompanied by an or- 
nament or an implement of any kind. A further excavation of about 4 
feet below the floor, or what was supposed to be the floor, of this vault, 
and below the original surface of the ground, brought to light six cir- 
cular, oven-shaped vaults, each about 3 feet in diameter and the same in 
deiJth. As these six were so placed as to form a semicircle, it is pre- 
sumed there are others under that portion of the mound not reached by 
the excavation. All were filled with dry, dark dust or decayed sub- 
stances, supposed to be the remains of Indian corn in the ear, as it was 
similar to that heretofore mentioned. In the center of the circle indi- 
cated by the jwsitions of these minor vaults, and the supposed center of 
the base of the mound (the shaftnotbeingexactly central), and but 2 feet 
below the floor of the main vault, and in a fine mortar or cement, were 



foiinil two cavities resembling in form the bottle or gourd sliapeil ves- 
sel so frequently met with in the mounds of southeastern iMissouri and 
northeastern Arkansas. Unfortunately the further investigation of 
this work was stopped at this stage of progress by cold weather. 

In another mound of this group the burial was in a box-shaped stone 
vault, not of sl.ibs in the usual method, but built up of rough, angular 

Mound 31 of this grou]> seems to furnish a connecting link between 
the West Virginia and the Ohio mounds. It is sharp in outline, has a 
steep slope, and is flattened on the top ; is 318 feet iu circumference at 
the base and about 25 feet liigh. It was opened by digging a shaft 10 
feet in diameter from the center of the top to the base. After passing 
tlirough the top layer of surface soil, some 2 feet thick, a layer of clay 
and ashes 1 foot thick was encountered. Here, near the center of the 
shaft, were two skeletons, lying horizontally, one immediately over the 
other, the upper and larger one with the face down and the lower with 
the face up. There were no indications of fire about them. Immedi- 
ately over the heads were one celt and three lance-heads. At the 
depth of 13 feet and a little north of the center of the mound were two 
very large skeletons, iu a sitting posture, with their extended legs inter- 
locked to the knees. Their arms were extended and tlieir hands slightly 
elevated, as if together holding up a sandstone mortar which was be- 
tween their faces. This stone is somewhat hemispherical, about 2 feet 
in diameter across the top, which is hollowed in the shape of a shallow 
basin or mortar. It had been subjected to the action of fire until 
burned to a bright red. The cavity was tilled with white ashes, contain- 
ing small fragments of bones burned to cinders. Immediately over 
this, and of sufficient size to cover it, was a sl.ab of bluish-gray lime- 
stone about 3 inches thick, which had small cup-shaped excavations on 
the under side. This bore no marks of tire. Near the hands of the 
eastern skeleton were a small hematite celt and a lance-head, and upon 
the left wrist of the other two copper bracelets. At the depth of 25 
feet, and on the natural surface, was found what in an Ohio mound 
would have been designated au " altar." Tiiis was not thoroughly traced 
throughout, but was about 12 feet long and over 8 feet wide, of the 
form shown iu Fig. 24. 



Fig. 24.— Mound with socalleil "altar." Kanawha County, West Virginia. 

It consisted of a layer of well-prei)ared mortar, apparently clay, 
slightly mixed with ashes. This was not more than or 8 inches thick 
in the center of the basin-shaped depression, where it was about 1 foot 


lower tliau at the other margiu. It was burned to a brick red and cov- 
ered with a compact layer of very Hue white ashes, scattered thickly, 
through which were small water-worn bowlders, bearing evidences of 
having undergone an intense beat. Mingled with this mass were a 
few thoroughly charred human bones. The material of the shaft, after 
the first 3 feet at the top, consisted almost wholly of finely packed ashes, 
which appeared to have been deposited at intervals of considerable 
length and not at one time. 

It is evident from this description, which is abridged from the re- 
])ort of the assistant, that we have here a true representation of the 
so called "altars" of the Ohio mounds. But, contrary to the usual cu.s- 
toni, as shown by an examination of the Ohio works, this mound ap 
pears to have been used by the peoi)le who erected it as a burial jdace, 
for the mode of construction and the material used for the body of it 
forbid the supposition that the lower burial was by a different people 
ironi those who formed the clay structure at the base. 

It is proper tostate that around and near the inclosure (Xo. 7 of Plate 
V) were a number of stone graves of the ordinary box shape, constructed 
in the usual way, of stone slabs. 

At this place was also discovered a pit or cache resembling 
found at Madisonville, Ohio. A more thorough examination will proba- 
bly bring to light others. 

The descriptions of other burial mounds of this region, differing 
slightly in minor details from those mentioned, might be presented, but 
the foregoing will suffice to give the types and show the character of 
the structures of this kind in this section. The details given will, I 
think, satisfy any one that the authors of these structures were aLso 
the authors of the Ohio works, or that they belonged to tribes so closely 
related that we may justly consider them as one people. 

I have been and am still disposed to connect the mound-builders of 
the Kanawha valley with those of western North Carolina, but our ex- 
plorations in the two sections have convinced me of their close rela- 
tion to the people whose mysterious monuments dot the hills and valleys 
of Ohio. That they were related in some way to the mound-builders of 
North Carolina and East Tennessee is more than probable, but the key 
to unlock this mystery, if it exists anywhere, is most likely to be found 
in the history, traditions, and works of the Cherokees, and the traditions 
relating to the Tallegwi. 

As a result of my examination and discussion of the burial mounds 
of Wisconsin, I reached the conclusion that they were built by the In- 
dian tribes found inhabiting that section at the advent of the whites, or 
by their ancestors. The data, of which but a comparatively small por- 
tion is given, seem to justify this conclusion. But the case is somewhat 
different in reference to the works of the Ohio district. Although the 
data obtained here point with satisfactory certainty to the conclusion 
that Indians were the authors of these works, it cannot be claimed that 



„™„, Jiafe, 





all or even the larger portiou of tbein were built by ludians inhabiting 
the district when first visited by the whites, or by their ancestors. 

Hence the mystery which ensliroads them is deeper and much more 
ditHcult to penetrate than that which hangs about the antiquities of 
some of the other districts; in fact, they present probably the most dif- 
ficult problem for solution in this respect of any ancient works of our 
country. That some of the burial mounds, graves, and other works are 
to be attributed to Indians who entered this district after the Euro- 
peans had planted colonies in Canada and along the Atlantic coast is 
probably true, but that much the greater portion of the typical works 
belong to a more distant period must be conceded. It is a singular fact 
that in the latter half of the seventeenth century, when European ex- 
l)lorers began to penetrate Into this region, what is now the State of 
Ohio was uninhabited. 

TIh^ Miami confederacy, inhabiting the sonthern shore of Lake Michigan, exteufled 
southeasterly to the Wabasli. The Hlinois confederacy extended down the eastern 
shore of the Mississippi to aliont where Memphis now stands. The Cherokees occu- 
pied the slopes and valleys of the niountaius aliout the borders of what is now East 
Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia. The great basin bounded north by Lake 
Erie, the Mianiis, and the Illinois, west by the Mississippi, east by the Alleghanies, 
and south by the headwaters of the streams that flow into the (fuU of Mexico, seems 
to have been uninhabited except by bauds of Shawnees, and scarcely vibited except 
by war parties of the Five Nations.' 

With the exception of some slight notices of the Erie or Cat Nation 
dwelling south of Lake Erie, the mere mention of the Tongarias {possibly 
but another name for the Eries, with whom Coldeu identifies them), lo- 
cated somewhere on the Ohio, and the tradition regarding the Tallegwi, 
the only history which remains to us regarding this region previous to 
the close of the seventeenth century, is to be gathered from the ancient 
monuments which dot its surface. Even conjecture can find but few 
pointers on this desert field to give direction to its fiight. But it does 
not necessarily follow, because we are unable to determine the direction 
in which the goal we are seeking lies, that we cannot tell some of the 
directions in which it does not lie, and thus narrow the field of our in- 
vestigation. I will therefore venture to oifer the following sugges- 

As the evidence in regard to the antiquities of the northwestern, the 
southern, and the Appalachian districts points so decidedly to the In- 
dians as the authors, I think we may assume that the works of Ohio 
are attributable to the same race. As they bear a strong resemblance 
in several respects to the West Virginia and North Carolina works, and 
as the geographical positions of the defensive works indicate pressure 
from the north and north-west, we are perhaps justified in excluding 
from consideration all tribes known to have had their i)rincipal seats 
north of the Ohio in historic times, < xcept the Eries, which form an un- 
certain and so far indeterminable factor in the problem. 

' Early Notices of the Indians of Ohio, by M. F. Force, 1879, p. 3. 


The data so far obtained seem to iiic to indicate the following as the 
most promising lines of research : The possible identity or relation of 
the Tallegwi and the Cherokees; the possibility of this region Iniving 
been (lie ancient home of the Shawuees or their ancestors (though I 
believe the testimony of the mounds is most decidedly against this and 
the following supposition) ; and the theory that the builders of tiiese 
works were driven southward and were merged into the Chahta-Mus- 
cogee family. 

Be our conclusion on this question what it may, one important result 
of the explorations in this northern section of the United States is the 
conviction that there was during the mound-building age a i>owerful 
tribe or association of closely allied tribes occupying the valley of the 
Ohio, whose chief seats were in the Kanawha, S(^ioto, and Little Miauii 
Valleys. We might suppose that one strong tribe had occupied succes- 
sively these various i)oints, yet the slight though persistent differences 
in methods and customs indicated by the works seem to favor the other 
view. Moreover, the data furnished by the burial mounds lead to the 
conclusion that all the works of these localities are relatively contempo- 
raneous. Not that those of either section are all of the same age, per- 
haps by some two or three or possibly more centuries, but that those of 
one section, as a whole, are relatively of the same age as those of the 
other sections. Nevertheless a somewhat careful study of all the data 
bearing on this subject leads me to the conclusion that the ('lierokees 
are the modern representatives of the Tallegwi, and that most of the typ- 
ical works of Ohio and West Virginia owe their origin to this people. 

Tn each section there are some indications that the authors of these 
works followed the custom of erecting burial mounds down to the time 
the Europeans appeared on the continent. These evidences have not 
been given here, as it is not my intention to discuss them in this ]>aper. 

In Ohio there are undoubted evidences of one, if not two, waves of 
population subsequent to the occupancy of that region by the buiklers of 
the chief works. But these were of comparatively short duration, and 
were evidently Indian hordes pressed westward and southward by the 
Iroquois tribes and the advance of the whites. 


This district, as alreuiiy ik'liiied, includes East Teunesset", western 
North Carolina, southwestern Virginia, and the southeastern part of 
Kentucky. It is probable that northeastern Georgia and the north- 
western part of South Carolina should be included, but the investiga- 
tions la most of the sections named have not been suflQciently thorough 
to enable us to fix with any degree of certainty the boundaries of the 

Although there is uncertainty in reference to the area occupied by 
the people who left behind them the antiquities found in this region, 
there can be no doubt that here we tind a class of burial mounds diti'er- 
iug in several important respects from any we have so far noticed. 

Some of the most imi)()rtant mounds of this class found in this dis- 
trict were discovered in Caldwell County, North Carolina, and opened 
in 1882 by Mr. J. P. Rogan, one of the Bureau assistants, aided by J)r. 
J. M. Spainhour, a resident of the county. 

As Mr. Ilogaii's descriptions are somewhat full, I give them sub- 
stantially as found in his report: 

The T. F. Nelson mound. — This mound, so insignificant in appearance 
as scarcely to attract any notice, was located on the farm of Kev. T. F. 
Nelson, in Caldwell County, North Carolina, on the bottom land of the 
Yadkin, about 100 yards from the river-bank. It was almost a true circle 
in outline, 38 feet in diameter, but not exceeding at any point IS inciies 
in height. The thorough excavation made revealed the fact that the 
liuilders of the mound had first dug a circular ])it, with perpendicular 
margin, to the depth of 3 feet, and 38 feet in diameter, then deposited 
their dead in the manner hereafter shown, and afterwards covered them 
over, raising a slight mound above the pit. 

A plan of the pit, drawn at the time (after the removal of the dirt), 
showing the stone graves and skeletons, is given in Fig. 2.5. 

The walled graves or vaults and altar-shaped mass were built of 
water worn bowlders and claj- or earth merely sufficient to hold them 
in place. 

No. 1, a stone grave or vault standing exactly in the center of the pit. 
In this case a small circular hole, a little over 3 feet in diameter and ex- 
tending down 3 feet below the bottom of the large pit, had been dug, 
the body or skeleton placed peri)cndicularly upon its feet, and the wall 
built up around it from the bottom of the hole, converging, after a 
height of 4 feet was reached, so as to be covered at the top by a single 
soapstone rock of moderate size. On the top of the head of the skeleton 
and immediately under the c;ipstone of the vault were found several 




plates of silver mica, which had evidently been cut with some rude im- 
plement. Although the bones were much decayed, yet they were re- 
tained in i)ositioii by the dirt which Idled Ihe vault, an indication that 

the flesh had been removed before burial and the vault filled with dirt 

as it was built up. 

F'k;. 25. — Appearance of T. F. Nelson mound after e^scavation. 

Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, G, 7, S, 9, and 10, although walled around in a similar 
manner, were in a sitting posture on the bottom of the pit. In the 
grave of No. 2 was found a polished celt, in that of No. 3 a single 
discoidal stone, in that of No. two polished celts, and immediately 
over No. 9 a pitted stone. 

Nos. 11, 12, and 13 are three skeletons in a squatting posture, with 
no wall around them and unaccompanied by relics of any kind. 

Nos. 11 and 15 are two uninclosed skeletons, lying horizontally at 
full length. With the former some pieces of broken soapstone pipes 
were found, and with the latter one polished celt. 

No. IC, an uninclosed "squatter," of unusually large size, not less than 
7 feet high when living. Near the uioutli was an uninjured soapstone 
pipe. The legs were extended in a southwest direction, upon a bed of 
burnt earth. 

The faces of all the squatting skeletons were turned away from the 
standing central one. 

At A was found a considerable quantity of black i)aint in little lumps, 
which appear to have been molded in the hull of some nut. At B was 


a cubical mass of water-worn bowlders, built up solidly and symmetric- 
ally, 24 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 18 inches high, but with no 
bones, specimens of art, coal, ashes, or indications of fire on or around 
it. Many of the stones of the vaults and the earth immediately around 
them, on the contrary, bore unmistakable evidences of tire; in fact, 
the heat in some cases left its mark on the bones of the inclosed skele- 
tons, another indication that the Hesh had been removed before burial 
here, either by jirevious burial or otherwise. 

Scattered through the dirt which filled the pit were small pieces of 
pottery and charcoal. The bottom and sidesof the pit were so distinctly 
marked that they could be traced without difiQculty. 

This mound stood about 75 yards south of the triangular burial pit 
described below. 

The T. F. Nelson triangle. — This is the name applied by Mr. Kogau to 
an ancient triangular burying ground found on the same farm as the 
mound Just described and about 75 yards north of it. 

It is not a mound, but simply a burial pit in the form of a triangle, 
the two longest sides each -18 feet and the (southern) base 32 feet, in 

Fin. l^G.- Uuiials iu the T. F. Ki-lsou trianjrle, Caldwell County, North Carolina. 

which the bodies and accompanying articles were deposited and then 
covered over, but not heaped up into a mound; or, if so, it had subse- 
quently settled until on a level with the natural surface of the ground. 
The apex, which points directly north, was found to extend within 3 feet 
of the break of the bank of the Yadkin Eiver, the height above the 
usual water-level being about 12 feet. The depth of the original exca- 
vation, the lines of which could be distinctly traced, varied from 2J to 
3 feet. A rude sketch of this triangle, showing the relative positions 
of the skeletons, is given in Fig. 26. 


Nos. ], 2, 3, 4, 5, G, 7, 8, and 9 indicate the positions of single skele- 
tons found lying horizontally, on their backs, heads east and northeast. 
With No. 2 was found a broken soapstoue pipe, and with Nos. 5 and 9 
one small i)olislied celt each. 

JSos. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 indicate the positions of skeletons in- 
closed in rude stone vaults built of cobblestones and similar to those 
in the preceding mound. (See Fig. 25.) Nos. 10, 12. 13, and 15 were in 
a sitting posture, without any accompanying articles. 

Graves 11 and 14 contained each two bodies, extended horizontally, 
the lower ones, which were of smaller stature than the upper ones, face 
up and Avith heavy flat stones on the extended arms and legs. The 
upper ones, with face down, were resting on those below. No imple- 
ments or ornaments were found with tliem. 

Near No. 12 about a i)eck of singular, i)inkish-colored earth was 

Fig. 27. — Engraved shell gorget fruia iiumiul, Caldwell Coimty, North Carolina. 

In the northwest part of the triangle (at A in Fig. 20) ten or more 
skeletons were found in one grave or grouj), which from the arrange- 
ment the explorers concluded must have been buried at one time; the 
"old chief" (?), or principal personage of the group, resting horizontally 
on his face, with his head northeast and feet southwest. Under his 
head was a large engraved shell gorget (Pig. 27) ; around his neck 
were a number of large sized shell beads, evidently the remains of a 
necklace ; at the sides of the head, near the ears, were five elongate 
copper beads, or rather small cylinders, varying in length from one and 
a quarter to four and a half inches, part of the leather thong on which 
the smaller were strung yet remaining in them. These are made of 
thin pieces of copper cut into strips and then rolled together so that the 
edges meet in a straight joint on one side. (See Fig. 28.) The plate 
out of which they were made was as smooth and even in thickness as 
though it had been rolled. 



A piece of copper was also under his breast. His arms were par- 
tially exteuded, bis hands resting about a foot from his head. Around 

YlG. 28. — Cylindrical copper Lo.lil from mouud, CaklwoU County, Xorth Carolina. 

each wrist were the remains of a bracelet compo.sed of copper and shell 
beads, alternating, thus (Fig. 29) : 

Fig. 29. — Bracelet of copper and sliell beads, Caldwell County, Xortli Carolin.n. 

At his right hand were four iron specimens, much corroded but 
still showing the form. Two of them were of uniform thickness, one 
not sharpened at the ends or edges, the other slightly sharpened at one 
end, 3 to 3J inches long, 1 to li inches broad, and about a quarter of an 
inch thick. The form is shown in Fig. 30. Another is 5 inches long. 

Fig. 30. — Iron celt from mound, Cald\vell Coauty, North Carolina. 

slightly tapering in width from one and an eighth to seven-eighths of 
an inch, both edges sharp ; it is apparently part of the blade of a 
long, slender, cutting or thrusting weapon of some kind, as a sword, 
dagger, or knife. (Shown in Fig. 31.) The other specimen is part of a 
5 ETH ."> 


round, awl-shaped implemeut, a small part of the bone handle in which 
it was fixed yet remaining attached to it. 

Under bis left band was another engraved shell, the concave surface 
upward and filled with shell beads of all sizes. 

Around and over the skeleton of this chief personage, with their beads 
near his, were nine other skeletons. Under the heads of two of tbese 
were two engraved shells. Scattered over and between the ten skele- 
tons of the group were numerous polished celts, discoidal stones, cop- 
per arrow-points, plates of mica, lumps of paint, black lead, etc. 


i'l-i. L;1.— liL'U iLupluiiieut lium muuiid, t-aklwiU County, Xuilli Curoliua. 

The W. I>. Jones mound. — Two miles cast of Patterson, same eonuty, 
and near the north bank of the Yadkin Eiver, running out from a low 
ridge to the river bank, is a natural terrace about 12 feet high, with a 
level area on top of about au acre, the sides steep and abrupt. Accord- 
ing to tradition this terrace was formerly occui)ied by an Indian vil- 

About 200 yards east of this, on the second river 1 ottom or terrace, 
was located a low, circular mound 33 feet in diameter and not more than 
1 foot high, on the land of Mr. W. D. Jones. 

This mound was found on investigation to cover a circular pit 32 feet 
in diameter and 3 feet deep, the margin and bottom being so well de- 
fined as to leave nodoubt astotbelimits of tbepit; in fact, the bottom, 
which was of clay, had been baked hard by fire to the depth of 2 or 3 
inches. The mound and the filling of the pit consisted of earth and loose 
yellow clay, similar to that around it. In this mound were found twenty- 
five skeletons and one stone heap, the relative positions of which are 
shown in Pig. 32. 

1. A " squatter," walled in with water- worn stones, the face turned 
toward the west ; no relics. 

2. Sitting with the face toward the center; two i)olished celts at the 
feet, and immediately in front of the face a cylinder of hard gray mortar 
(not burned) about 5 inches long and 2 inches in diameter, with a hole 
through one end. 

3. Sitting with the face toward the center; several polished celts at 
the feet. 



4. Horizontal, bead southeast; several celts at tlie feet. 

5. Horizontal, head toward the center; several celts at the feet. 

6. Facing- the center, sitting ; shell beads around the neck, a Unio 
shell on top of the head, with the concave surface down, a conch shell 
{Busycon perrersum) in front of the face, and celts at the feet. 

7. Sitting, facing the center ; celts at the feet. 

S. Very large, lying on the left side, legs i^artially drawn up, walled 
in with bowlders; no implements. 

Fig. 32. — W. D. Jones mouad, Caldwell County, Xorth Carolina. 

9. Horizontal, face down, head toward the center; celts and discoidal 
stones at the feet, and a pot resting, mouth down, upou the head. 

10. Horizontal, face up, feet toward the center; pot resting on the 
face, stone implements at the feet. 

11. Horizontal, head southeast, arms extended, and a bracelet of cop- 
per and shell beads iuouud each wrist ; shell beads around the neck; 
face up and food-cup (without handle) at the right side of the head. 

12. Horizontal, face up, head southeast; shell beads around the neck, 
a hook or crescent shaped piece of copper on the breast, and a soapstoue 


pipe near the face ; one hand near each side of the head, each grasping 
small, conical copper oruaiueuts (ear-drops) and a bunch of hair. "Was 
this individual, apparently a female, buried alive? 

13. Horizontal, lying on the bach, head southeast; copper and shell 
beads around the neck and wrists, a hook or crescent shaped piece of 
copper on the breast, a food-cup (with handle) lying on its side with 
mouth close to the face, a pipe near the mouth, and two celts over the 

14. Horizontal, lying on the back, head northeast, arms extended; 
each hand resting on a shell which had evidently been engraved, though 
the figures are almost totally obliterated. 

15. Horizontal, on the back, head west, knees drawn up; stone im- 
])lements at the feet. 

16. Too much decayed to determine the position. 

17. Four skeletons in one grave, horizontal, heads toward the east, 
and large rocks lying on the legs below the knees; no implements. 

18. Two skeletons in one grave, heads west, faces down, knees drawn 
up; no implements. 

19. On the back, horizontal, head east; no implements. 

20. Sitting, with face toward the east, walled in, a large rock lying on 
the feet (though this may have fallen from the wall); no implements. 

21. Sitting, walled in; over the head, but under the capslone of the 
vault, a handful of tlint arrow-heads. 

22. Doubled up, with the head between the feet. 

A. A solid oval-shaped mass of bowlders, 33 inches long, 22 inches 
wide, and 24 inches high, resting on the bottom of the pit. iS"o ashes or 
other indications of fire about it. 

Fragments of pottery, mica, galena, charcoal, red and black paint, 
and stone chips were found scattered in small quantities through the 
earth which filled the pit. All the celts were more or less polished. 

E. T. Lenoir burial pit.— This is a circular burial pit, similar to those 
already described, but without any rounding up of the surface. It is 
located on the farm of Mr. Eufus T. Lenoir, about 9 miles northeast 
of Lenoir and nearly a mile west of Fort Defiance. 

A diagram showing the relative positions of the graves or burials is 
given in Fig. 33. 

It is on the first river terrace or bottom of Buffalo Creek and some 
20(» yards from the stream, which empties into the Yadkin about half a 
mile .southwest of this point. This bottom is subject to overflow in 
time of high water. 

The pit, which is 27 feet in diameter and about 3i feet deep, is almost 
a perfect circle, and well marked, the margin, which is nearly perpendic- 
ular, and the bottom being easily traced. The dirt in this case, as in 
the others, was all thrown out. 

aSo. 1. A bed of charred or rather burnt bones, occupying a space 3 
feet long, 2 feet wide, and about 1 foot deep. The bones were so thoroughly 



burued that it was impossible to detoruiiiie whether they were humau 
or auimal. Beneath this bed the yellow saud was baked to the depth 
of 2 or 3 iuches. Under the bones was an uucharred shell gorget. 

Xo. 2. A skeleton in a sitting postnre, facing northeast; a pipe near 
the mouth and a polished celt over the head. 

'No. 3. Sitting, facing east, with shell beads around the neck aiutalso 
around the arms just below the shoulders. 

iSTo. -i. Horizontal, on the back, head east and resting on the concave 
surface of an engraved shell; a couch shell (Bit.sijcv)! 2)erversum) at the 
side of the head, and copper and shell beads around the neck. 

Fig. 33.— ri:iii of the E. T, Lemiir burial pit, Cahlwi-U Coimty, Xortli Carolina. 

Xo. 5. Horizontal, head northeast; shell beads around the neck and 
two discoidal stones and one celt at the feet. 

No. G. A commuual grave, contaiuing at least twenty-five skeletons, 
in two tiers, buried without any apparent regularity as to direction or 
relative position. Thirteen of the twenty -five were "flat-heads;" that 
is, "the heads running back and compressed in front." 

Scattered through this grave, between and above the skeletous, were 
polished celts, discoidal stones, shells, mica, galena, fragments of pot- 


tery, and one whole pot. Around the neck and \yrists of some of the 
skeletons were also shell beads. There may have been more than 
twenty-five individuals buried here, this, however, being the number of 
skulls observed. 

No. 7. Horizontal, on the left side, head northwest; no implements. 

No. S. An irregular layer of water- worn stones, about 4 feet s(iuare. 
On top was a bed of charcoal 3 or 4 inches thick, ou and partially im- 
bedded in which were three skeletons, but showing no indications of 
having been in the fire. Scattered over these were discoidal stones, one 
small, saucer-shaped dish, shells (of which one is engraved), pipes, shell 
beads, and i)ieces of pottery. 

No. 9. A grave containing three skeletons, lying horizontally on their 
backs and side by side, the outer ones with their heads east and the 
middle one with the head- west ; no implements. 

No. 10. Horizontal, ou the right side, head north, with stone imple- 
ments in front of the face. 

No. 11. Doubled up, top of the head south; shell beads around the 
neck and celts at the feet. 

No. 12. A grave containing seventeen skeletons, seveu of which had 
flat heads, two of the number children. Two of the adult heads were 
resting on engraved shells. 

In this grave were found four pots and two food-cups, the handle 
of one representing an owl's head and that of the other an eagle's head. 
One of the small pots was inside a larger one. Scattered among the 
skeletons were shell beads, polished celts, discoidal stones, paint, etc. 
None of the skeletons were inclosed in stone graves.' 

In order to convey an idea of the number of articles deposited with 
the dead in some of these burial places, I give here a list of those ob- 
tained from the pit last described: 

One stone ax. 

Forty-three polished celts. 

Nine vessels of clay. 

Thirty- two arrow-heads. 

Twenty soapstone pipes, mostly uninjured. 

Twelve discoidal stones. 

Ten rubbing stones. 

Two hammer stones. 

One broken soapstone vessel. 

Six engraved shells. 

Four shell gorgets. 

One Busycon perversum entire, and two or three broken ones. 

Five very large copper beads. 

One lot of fragments of shells, some of them engraved. 

A few rude shell pins. 

' The circles and iiaralielograms in Figs. 3'2 and 33 have no other significance than 
to indicate the relative positions of the graves and the positions of the skeletons. 


Sbell beads. 

A few small copper beads. 

Specimens of paint aud plumbago. 

Three skulls. 

It is evident from tbe foregoing descriptions that the mode of burial 
aud the depositories of the dead of the mound-building tribes of this 
])art of Xorth Carolina differed in several marked and Important re- 
spects from the mode of burial aud burial mounds of the sections pre- 
viously alluded to, and in fact from those of any other district. 

Here the pit seems to have been the important part of the de])ository 
aud the mound a mere adjuuct. In some cases the bodies appear to 
have been buried soon after death, while in others — as, for example, the 
groups in the triangle and Lenoir burial pit — the skeletons were prob- 
ably deposited after the liesh was removed. 

We are reminded by these pits of the mode of burial practiced by 
some of the Indian tribes, as mentioned by Lafitau,^ Brebeuf,^ etc.; but, 
before attempting to draw conclnsions, we will give other illustrations 
of the burial mounds of this district, which are far from being uniform 
in character. 

Comparatively few mounds have as yet been opened in North Caro- 
lina; hence the data relatingto this region is somewhat meager. As 
bearing upon the subject, and probably relating to a i)eriod immedi- 
ately following the close of the mound-building era, I give from JMr. Eo- 
gan's notes the description of a burial place explored by him on the 
farm of ilr. Charles Hunt, in the central part of Wilkes County : 

This is not a "burial place," in the usual sense of that term, but is 
l)robably the site of a camp or temporary village. It is about three 
miles and a half east of Wilkesborougb,on the second bottom or terrace of 
the Yadkiu River. It differs from tlie burial places just described in 
having no large pit, the graves being separate and independent of each 
other. A diagram showing the relative positions of tbe graves aud 
small pits accompanies Mr. Eogau's report but is omitted here, although 
the iiumberiug of the graves is retained in tbe description. 

No. 1 is a grave or oval-shaped pit 2 feet long and IS inches wide, 
the top withiu 8 inches of the surface of the ground, while the bottom is 
L'i feet below it. This contained the remains of two skeletons, which 
were surrounded by charcoal ; some of tbe bones were considerably 
charred. In tbe pit were some fragments of pottery, a few Hint chips, 
and a decayed tortoise shell. 

No. 2. A grave 2 feet wide, 6 feet long, aud 5 feet deep. It contained 
quite a quantity of animal bones, some of them evidently those of a 
bear ; also charcoal, mussel shells, aud one bone imiilemeut. 

• Moeiirs ties Sauvages Am^riquaius, II, pp. 447-44.5. 

-Jesuit Relations for 1G3G, pp. 12S-139. For a translation of the lively description 
of tbe burial ceremonies of tbe Hurons by Father Brebeuf, see " Supplemental Note," 
at the end of this paper. 



Xo. 3. A grave of the same size and depth as iN'o. 2, coutaiuing aui- 
iiial boues, brokeu pottery, and some cliarcoal. 

No. -4. Grave; the size, depth, and coutents same as the precediug. 

Xo. o. A circular pit 2 feet in diameter aud 2 feet deep. This con- 
tained a very large pot, in which were some animal bones ; it was on its 
side aud crushed. 

Xo. 0. A ])it 2^ feet deep aud 2 feet square, with a bed of charcoal in 
the bottom G inches deep. On this bed was a layer of flint chips, aud 
on the chips a quantity of broken pottery, animal bones, a discoidal 
stone, and a bone implement. 

Xo. 7. A grave similar to those described. 

Xo. 8. x\. large grave, coutaiuing three skeletons, lying at full lengtli 
upon the right side, with the heads a little east of north. Between the 
front aud the middle one was a mass of mussel shells. At the head and 
back of the frout one were a number of animal bones, aud between it 
aud the middle one, opposite the pelvis, was a large brokeu pot. The 
right arm of the third or back one was extended forward and up- 
ward, the left arm resting across the head, a wliite liint chip grasped 
in the hand. The head of this skeleton was resting on a piece of a 
brokeu pot, aud in front of the face, at the distance of a foot, was also 
part of a pot, containing a stone fragment aud some animal boues. 
Under the legs of the three skeletons, the head extending in frout of 
the legs of the third or back one, was the skeleton of a bear, and in front 
of the latter were three broken pots, containing animal bones. 

Xo. 9. A basin-shaped fire-bed, or bed of burnt clay, S inches thick. 

section of this bed is shown in Fig. 34 — b, h, b, the bed of burnt 

S . y .. \:::i:;aii!'ai!iiiii||piiil|ijii)iiiiMi!lfi 




Fig. 34.— Firebcd, Wilkes County, Xortli Caioliua. 

clay, S inches thick, the material evidently placed here and not a part 
of the original soil. The basiu a was filled with ashes, to the depth of 
12 inches : the diameter, from 1 to 2, 2 feet 3 inches, from 1 to 3 and 
from 2 to 4, 1 foot G inches. 

Xo. 10. A bed of mussel shells, 3 inches thick and 3 feet in diameter, 
lying on a flat bed of burnt earth 3 inches thick. 

Xo. 11. A pit 5 feet deep and 3 feet in diameter, filled with animal 
bones, mussel shells, aud broken potter^-. 

There was no mounding over any of these graves or pits. 


Tbe basin-shaped fire-bed, Xo. 9, remiuds us very strongly of the so- 
called altars of the Ohio mounds, and may possibly assist us in arriving 
at a coi'rect conclusion concerning these puzzling structures. 

A mound opened by Dr. J, M. Spainhour in Burke County, some 
years ago, presents some variations, though, so far as the posture and 
relative positions of the skeletons are concerned, reminding us of those 
in Caldwell County. The following extract is from the article contain- 
ing the description :' 

Digging down I struck a stone about 18 inches below the surface, which was 
tbuud to be 18 inches long and 16 inches wide and from 2 to 3 inches in thichucss, the 
coiners rounded. It rested on solid earth and had been smoothed on top. 

I then made an excavation in the south of the mound, and soon struck another 
stoue, which upon examination proved to be in front of the remains of a huuian 
skeleton in a sitting posture; the bones of the fingers of the right hand had been rest- 
ing ou the stone. Near the hand was a small stone about 5 inches long, resembling 
a tomahawk or Indian hatchet. Upon a further examination many of the bones 
were found, though in a very decomposed condition, and upon exposure to the air 
they soon crumbled to pieces. The heads of the bones, a considerable portion of the 
skull, jaw-bones, teeth, neck-bones, and the vertebriE were in their proper places. 
Though the weight of the earth above them had driven them down, yet the frame 
was perfect, and the bones of the head were slightly inclined toward the east. Around 
the neck were found coarse beads that seemed to be of some substance resembling 

A small lump of red paint, about the size of an egg, was found near the right side 
of this skeleton. From my knowledge of .anatomy, the sutures of the skull would 
iudicate the subject to have been twenty-five or twenty-eight years of age. The top 
of the skull was about 1"2 inches below the mark of the plow. 

I made a further excavation in the west part of this mound and found another 
skeleton similar to the first, in a sitting posture, facing the last. A stone was on 
the right, on which the right hand had been resting, and oii this wae a tomahawk 
which had been about 7 inches in length, broken into two pieces, and much better 
finished than the first. Beads were also ou the neck of this one, but were much smaller 
and of finer equality than those on the neck of the first ; the material, however, seemed 
to be the same. A much larger amount of paint was found by the side of this than 
the first. The bones indicated a person of larger frame and I think of about fifty 
years of age. Everything about this one had the appearance of superiority over the 
first. The top of the skull was about G inches below the mark of the plow. 

I continued the examination, and after diligent search found nothing at the north 
part of the mound, but ou reaching the east side found another skeleton, in the same 
posture as the others, facing the west. On the right side of this was a stoue ou which 
the right hand had been resting, and on the stone was also a tomahawk about 8 
inches in length, broken into three pieces, nmch smoother and of finer material than 
the others. Beads were also found ou the neck of this, but much smaller and finer 
than on those of the others, as well as a large amount of paint. The bones would in- 
dicate a person of forty years of age. The top of the skull had been moved by the 

There was no appearance of hair discovered ; besides, the principal bones were 
.almost entirely decomposed, and crumbled when handled. 

A complete exploration of this mound, the dimensions of which are not 
given, would possibly have shown that the skeletons were arranged 

'Smithsonian Report, 1871, pp. 404,405. 


somewliat in a circle. The doctor does not slate whether there was a 

Some mounds in Henderson County, opened in 1884 by Mr. J. W. 
Emmert, who was teniporarilj' employed by the Bureau, present some 
peculiarities worthy of notice. One of these, situated on the farm of 
, Mrs. Rebecca Conner, and perfectly circular, was found to be 44 feet in 
diameter and C feet high ; a number of small trees were growing on it. 
The annexed cut (Fig. 35) shows a vertical section of it. the dark cen. 

FlG. 35. — SectioQ of muuuil, Hcudersou County, Xortb Carolioa. 

tral triangle representing a conical mass of charcoal and ashes. The 
conical mass measured 16 feet in diameter at the base and 5 feet high, 
the top reaching within 1 foot of the top of the mound. The outer por- 
tion consisted of charcoal, evidently the remains of pine poles, which 
had been placed iu several layers, sloping toward the apex. The inner 
portion consisted of ashes and coals mixed with earth, in which were 
found some burnt human (?) bones, and some accompanying articles, 
among which were two stones with holes drilled through them. The 
fragments of bones and the specimens were at the base, iu the center. 

A mound on the farm of Mr. J. B Alexander, 2 miles above the one 
just described, was examined by Mr. Emmert, and found to cover a pit 
similar to those explored in Caldwell County. 

This mound was situated on an elevated level, about a quarter of a 
mile from the creek, in an old field which had been plowed over for sixty 
years. It was 2 feet high when he explored it, but the old people stated 
to him that it was formerly 10 feet high, and had a "tail'' or ridge run- 
ning away from it 200 feet long ; but the only indication of this that Mr. 
Emmert could see was a strii) of clay running ofi" where it was stated 
to have been. It runs in the direction of the creek bottom, where any 
quantity of broken pottery may be picked up. The mound, which was 
oO feet in diameter and composed wholly of red clay, was entirely re- 
moved to the original surface of the ground, Nothing was found in it, 
but after reaching the surface he discovered a circular pit 12 feet in 
diameter, winch had been dug to the depth of 4 feet in the solid red clay. 
This he found to be filled full of ashes and charcoal, but failed to find 
any bones or specimens in it. 

Although Mr. Emmert failed to find any evidence that this was a 
burial mound, its similarity with those of Caldwell County will, I think, 
justify us iu concluding It was constructed for this purpose. 


Another moiiud ou the same fiirm as the one last mentioned, a cross- 
section of which is shown in Fig. 3(5, is of the common type, examples 
of which are found in most of the districts: diameter 52 feet and height 
9 feet ; the upper layer, Xo. 1, red clay, about 4 feet thick, No. 2, a thin 
layer of charcoal, about 3 inches thick ; the lower stratum or central 
core, Xo. 3, dark-colored earth. In this lower layer were found five 
skeletons, ou the natural surface and at the points indicated by the 
dots, which crumbled to pieces as soon as exposed to the air. Witli 
one were sixteen large, rudely made, white flint arrow-heads, so nearly 

Fig. 30. — Sectiou of mouud. Heuilersou Conuty, Xortb Cainlina 

alike as to make it apparent they were the work of one individual, and 
with another a small pipe and some arrow-heads. 

Passing westward over the mountains into East Tennessee, we find 
some variations in the modes of burial, but not so widely difterent from 
those east of the range as to justify the belief that the authors of the 
works of the two localities were different peoples or belonged to differ- 
ent tribes. 

A burial mound opened by Mr. Emmert in the valley of the Holston, 
Sullivan County, described by him as mound Xo. 1, on the north side 
of tht river, was found to be 22 feet in diameter and -t feet high. It was 
composed of red clay and sand. Digging down to the level of the sur- 
rounding ground, there was found a pile of rock in the center, which 
proved to be a burial vault built of water-worn bowlders, over a sitting 
skeleton. It was 3J feet in diameter at the base and 3 feet high. On 
the head of the skeleton was a slender, square copper spindle about 11 
inches long and a quarter of an inch thick in the middle. It has evi- 
dently been hammered out with a stone hammer. LTnder the lower jaw 
were two small copper drills or awls, with portions of the deer-horn han- 
dles still attached. About the shoulders, one on each side, were two 
polished stones, with holes in them. Near the head was a small pile of 
flint chips, and at the knees a flint scalping kuife. The bones were so 
badly decayed that but few of them could be secured. 

Mound Xo. 2 was on the south side of the river, opposite Xo. 1 and 
about the same distance from the river. It was 38 feet in diameter and 
5 feet high, and on the top was a pine stump 14 inches in diameter. 

Mr. Emmert, in opening it, commenced at the edge to cut a ditch 4 
feet wide through it, but soon reached a wall 3 feet high, built of " river 
rock." He then worked around this, finding it to be an almost perfect 
circle, 14 feet in diameter, inside of which were found, on throwing out 



the dirt, twelve stone graves or vaults, built of the same kind of stones, 
each containing a sitting skeleton, as shown in Fig. 37. One of these 
graves or vaults was exactly in the center, the other eleven being placed 
in a circle around it, and about equally spaced, as shown in the diagram. 

Fig, 37. — SXountl ou HoUtou liiver, SuUivau County, Tt-iinessoe. 

In the center grave he found shell beads around the neck of the skel- 
eton, and near the mouth the pipe shown in Fig. 38. 

Fig. 33, — Pipe from luuuud, .Sullivan County, Tennessee. 

The bottom of the area within the circular wall was covered to the 
depth of about 3 inches with charcoal, and the graves were built ou this 
layer. Both of these mounds were on the bench or upper bottom, and 
about three-fourths of a mile from the river. 


Mr. Eniiiiert says lie learned that there was a tradition of the neigh- 
borhood that the Indians once fought a great battle at this place, and 
that one jiarty buried some of their dead in mound Xo. 2, and the other 
l)arty buried their dead on the opposite side of the river, where there 
is a large pile or mound of " river rock.'' 

He opened one of the rock mounds occurring in this region half a 
mile from the river and near the foot of the mountain. A large tree 
had grown up through it, the stump of which M'as yet standing, or the 
mound had been built around it. After removing the rock and dig- 
ging up the stump, he found, at the depth of 4 feet and directly under 
the stump, two stone axes, a large number of arrowheads, two pol- 
ished celts, and some pieces of mica. 

^Another mound on the Holstou Eiver, 2 miles al)ove the two hereto- 
fore described, was examined. This was 60 feet in diameter and di feet 
high. The original surface of the earth had been first covered over 
about 3 inches thick with charcoal, then the bodies or skeletons laid on 
it, and eacli walled up separately with river rock. These were then 
covered with black earth, over which was cast a layer of sand about 
the same thickness, the remainder being top soil. 

Mr. Emmert, who opened this, commenced cutting a ditch 4 feet 
wide, proceeding until he struck the bed of charcoal : then followed 
around the outer edge of it, finally removing all the dirt inside the cir- 
cle. One side of the circle had six skeletons in it, all walled up, as 
before stated, separately, but so thoroughly decayed that only one skull 
could be saved. 

The other side of the mound had nothing in it except a fine pipe 
which he found on the bed of coals, some 10 or 12 feet from the nearest 
skeleton; some beautiful arrow-heads, shell beads, a polished celt, and 
two small stones with holes in them were also discovered. 

In addition to the foregoing descriptions from the reports of my 
assistants, I present the following, I'rom accounts of earlier explora- 
tions in this region : 

A burial mound situated on the left baidc of the Tennessee Eiver, 
about 1 mile from Chattanooga, was opened by Mr. M. O. Read in 1865. 
This was oval in form and Hat on top, the diameter.s of the base 15S 
and 120 feet, and those of the top 82 and 44 feet; height, 10 feet. Mr. 
IJead says :' 

For the purpose of exaiuinatiou, a tnnuel was excavated into tbe moiuid from 
the east, a little one side of the center and on a level with the natural surface of 
the ground. When the point directly under the outer edge of the top of the mound 
was reached, holes were found containing fragmeuts of rotted wood showing that 
stakes or palisades had been erected here when the mound was commenced. The 
sound of the pick indicating a cavity or different material helow, the excavation 
was carried downward about 2 feet, when two skeletons -were uncovered, fragments 
of which preserved are marked No. 1. The bones were packed in a small space, as 
though the bodies were crowded down, without much regard to position of hands, 

' .^imithsncian Report 16!i7, p. 401. 


into a pit uot excet-iling 3 feet in length. One of the skulls is of especial interest, as 
Ijossibly indicating that the remains are those of victoius immolated in some sacri- 
ticial or burial rites. The side was crushed in, as if with a club. I have connected 
together the pieces of the upper jaw so that they retain the position in whith they 
were found, a position which cannot with probability be supposed to be the result 
of the settling of the earth around it, if unbroken when buried. The bones of the 
bodies, although so friable that they could not be preserved, were entire, in i^ositions 
indicating that the bodies bad not been dismembered and forbidding the supposition 
that they were the remains of a cannilml feast. 

The excavation was carried forward as indicated on the plat and on a level with 
the location of the skeletons first found. It became evident at once that the material 
of which the mound was constructed was taken from the immediate neighborhood, 
it being composed of the same alluvial soil, full of the shells found on the surface, but in 
a much better state of preservation ; but no arrow-heads, chippings of flints, or frag- 
ments of pottery now covering the surface were found. These would have been abun- 
dant if the mound had been erected subsequent to the manufacture of the pottery and 
arrow-heads at that place. Single fragments of pottery were found, but these were 
l)ainted and of much better quality than those found on the surface. 

The mound was composed of alternate layers of earth and ashes, showing that a, 
surface of the size of the top, when finished, was kept substantially level, and raised only 
2 to 3 feet at a time, when fires were kindled, which must have been large or con- 
tinued for along time, as the amount of the ashes and charcoal abundantly indicates. 

Near the center of the mound rows of stake-holes were found, as far as followed, 
marking two sides of a rectangular parallelogram, which continued would have 
formed an enclosure around the center. In some of these were the remains of the 
wood and bark, not enough to show the marks of tools, if any had been used. They 
penetrated the natural surface of the ground to the depth of about 2 feet. 

Here and at about the same level as at No. 1 were found the skeletons of which 
the skull bones and other parts are marked No. 2. They were apjiarently the remains 
of a youngish woman and two children, all so far decomposed that only the parts sent 
could bo preserved. The larger skeleton was in such a position as a person would 
take ou kTieeling down, then sitting upon the feet ; the hands were brought to the head 
and the body doubled down upon the knees. The head was toward the south. The 
remains of the children were found at the right side of this body, the bones mingled 

About 2 feet directly under these the skeleton of which the skull is marked No. 3 
was found, in a similar position, it is said (I was not present when it was taken out), 
with the one above it. 

I attempt no description and indulge in no speculations in regard to these remains, 
as I have decided to forward them to you for the examination of those who can com- 
pare them with other skulls and are better qualified to make a proper use of them. 
They are unquestionably of the age of the mound-builders. 

^Ye are reminded, by the reniain.s of upright timbers found here, of the 
wooden vaults of the Grave Creek and other mounds of West Virginia, 
but in the form of the mound we have an indication that it belongs to 
the southern class of ancient works. 

Eev. E. O. Dunning mentions' a stone-grave mound which he exam- 
ined in the valley of the Little Tennessee. Speaking of this mound he 
remarks : 

I did not expect to find rock graves in a mound of earth, but after clearing away 
rubbish and penetrating 6 feet below the top, near the center the workman struck a 
slab of slate, which proved to be part of the coveringof a stone tomb. It was much like 

' Smithsonian Report 1870, p. 378. 


those scattered over the " river bottom" — more nicely constructed, however, and fitted 
with more care, being arched over the top, at an acute angle, with pieces of slate 3 
inches thick. Owing to its situation, raised above the level of the river and covered 
with sand to the de])th of G feet, its contents were better preserved than of the 
graves just mentioned. At the head of it I took out a vessel of fine red clay and piil- 
verized mussel shells a foot in diameter, gourd-shaped, and having a handle and spout 
6 inches long, aud holding about a quart. It was preserved nearly whole. Artificial 
fire had been kindled in the tomb, but it had been smothered by the throwing in of saud 
before all the contents were consumed. Besides some entire bones of the human skel- 
eton, flint arrow-heads and a large number of flint and stone beads were removed. 
The beads could be traced aloug the lines of the legs and arms, as if they had been at- 
tached to the garment in which the dead was buried. Further excavations disclosed 
two more of these stone sepulcbers, the first 3 feet below the one described, the other 
2 feet from it, in the same jilaue. Thej' contained only fragments of bones, charcoal, 
and ashes. 

The mound, which was conical in shape, must have been 1.5 feet high and 50 feet 
in diameter. Successive floods had impaired its original dimensions. The last car- 
ried away a section on the west side, exposing a tomb and some valuable relics, which 
have not been preserved. Among them were large shells, pyrulas, probably, judging 
from the description, from the Gulf of Mexico. In connection with marine shells, im- 
ages in stone were found in this tomb. The mound was composed of sand-loam taken 
from the bank of the river, and raised upon a foundation of water-washed rocks 4 feet 
high, from the bed of the stream hard by. There bad been extensive burnings through- 
out this mound, at various dejiths, indicated by layers of charcoal, ashes, and bnrued 
clay, simj^ly in honor of the dead, or to consume their eti'ects or mortal parts, or for 
human sacrifices to their manes. 

SpeakiDg ofstone graves in the immediate vicinity as explanatory of 
those in the mound, he says : 

They are built of slabs of slate, nicely fitted together, about 3 inches thick, 4 feet 
long, and 2 broad, enclosing receptacles not of uniform space, generally 5 feet long, 
4 feet high, and 2 broad, covered with flat pieces, resting npon the upright slabs and 
conforniiug to the rounded corners of the tomb. 

As one of the principal obiects in view in exploring and studying the 
moniuls of our country is to ascertain, if possible, by what people or 
tribes they were built, a brief discussion of the question so fttr as it re- 
lates to the district now under consideration will be in place. My rea- 
sons for touching upon the topic iu this connection, and limiting the dis- 
cussion to the antiquities of tlie one district, are as follows : 

First. The characteristics of tlie works of this section are so well 
marked as to leave little, if any, doubt on the mind of any one who will 
stiidj" them carefully that they are work of one people, probably of a 
single tribe. 

Second. Because in this instance 1 think the evidence points with at 
least reasonable certainty to the particular tribe by which they were 

Third. Whether our second reasou prove to be correct or not, we find 
data here which appear to form connecting links between the prehistoric 
and the historic times, and hence call for some discussion in regard to 
the authors. 


Fourtb. The statemeut of tUe result of "our explonitions of these 
works (especially the burial niouuds) will, as I conceive, be incomi)lete 
without some intimation of the bearing they have had on my own mind 
iu reference to their authorship. This it is true will apply with equal 
force to the works of other districts. I have already briefly stated my 
conclusions in this respect regarding the antiquities of Wisconsin; but 
have refrained from entering at length upon the question as to the Ohio 
and AYest Yirgiuia works, as I confess and have already intimated that 
these present more diiBculties iu the way of explanation than most of 
the other sections. 

It may be thought premature to speculate iu this direction, and some 
of our ablest scientific journals appear to depi'ecate any such attemjits 
until more data have been obtained and the materials already collected 
are more thoroughly digested. I admit that, as a very general and 
almost universal rule, such a course is the proper one iu respect to sci- 
entific investigations, but must dissent from its application in this in- 
stance, for the following reasons : 

The thought that a mighty nation once occupied the great \alley of 
the Mississippi, with its frontier settlements resting on the lake shores 
and (iulf coasts, nestling in the valleys of the Appalachian liauge and 
skirting the broad plains of the West, a nation with its systems of gov- 
ernment and religion, its chief ruler, its great central city, and all the 
necessary accompaniments, but which has disappeared before the in- 
roads of savage hordes, leaving behiud it uo evidences of its existence, 
its glory, power, and extent save these silent forest- covered remains, 
has something so fascinating and attractive iu it, that when once it has 
taken possession of the mind, it warjjs and biases all its conclusions.' 

So strong, iu fact, is the hold which this theory (in the broad sense, 
including also the Toltec and Aztec theories) has taken of the minds 
of both American and European archa'ologists, that it not only biases 
their conclusions, but also molds and modifies their nomenclature, and 
is thrust into their speculations and even into their descriptions as though 
110 longer a simple theory but a conceded fact. Hence it is necessary, 
before a fair and unbiased discussion of the data can be had, to call at- 
tention to the fact that there is another side to the question. 

Unless some protest is presented or some expression of opinion is made 
on this point in my paper, the facts I give will be viewed through the 
medium of this "lost race" theory. This I desire, if possible, to pre- 
vent, and whether the " Indian theory" i)roves to be correct ornot, I wish 
to obtain for it at least a fair consideration. I believe the latter theory 
to be the correct one, as the facts so far ascertained ajjpear to point in 
that direction, but I am not wedded to it; on the contrary, I am willing 
to follow the facts wherever they lead. 

' See, for example, Fosters " Prehistoric Races," p. 97 ; Squicr and Davis's, "Ancient 
Monuments,-' p. 30 ; Baldwin's "Ancient America," p. .57 ; Bancroft's ' ' Native Races," 
IV, p. 785; Conaut's "Foot-Prints of Vanisbcd Races.'" p. 33: Marquis dc Nadaillac's 
"L'Amerique Pr^liistorique," p. Ib5,ete. 


Altbough additional data will hereafter be obtained and many new 
:ind important facts be brought to liglit, yet, as I believe, sufficient evi- 
dence has been collected (though much of it remains uiipublislied) to in- 
dicate what will be the final result so far as this general question is con- 

We see that already the theory tliat these remains scattered over the 
face of our country from Dakota to Floi'ida and from New York to 
Louisiana were the work of one people, one great nation, is fast break- 
ing down before the evidence that is being produced. 

The following quotation from the last report of the Peabody Miiscmi), 
which is repeated in substance in Science, June 27, 1884, ]). 775, will 
serve uot only to indicate tlie conflict which is going on in the minds of 
some of our most active and progressive arclueologists on tliis subject, 
but also to show the difficulty of linding applicable and well-defined 
terms, and of clearly stating the real question at issue: 

The different periods to which the various niouniLsandliurial iilacoslicloiigcanonly 
1)6 made out by such a serit-s ol'cxploratioiis as the mnseniu is now couductin;; in thu 
Little Miami Valley, and when they are eompleted we shall be bettor able to answer tlin 
qnestion, "Who were the nionnd-bnilders ? " than we are now. That more than one 
of the several American stocks or nations or groups of tribes bnilt nionnds seems to 
me to be established. What their coiuiections were is not yet by any means made 
clear, and to say that tbey all must have been ore and the same people sccuis to be 
making a statement directly contrary to the facts, which are yearly increasing as the 
spade and pick in careful hands bring them to light. That many Indian tribes bnilt 
mounds and earthworks is beyond doubt, but that all the mounds and earthworks of 
North America were made by these same tribes or their immediate ancestois is not 
thereby proved. 

Mr. Carr, iii his recent paper published by the Kentucky Geological Survey, has 
taken np the historical side of the question, but it mustnot be received for moie tlnin 
bo intended. He only shows from bist:orical data what tiie spade and pick have dis- 
closed to the archjeologist. It is simplyono sideof theshield ; the other is still wait- 
ing to be turned to the light ; and as history will not help ns to read the reverse, only 
patient and careful exploration will bring out its meaning.' 

This, it is true, is but an incidental paragraph thrown into a report of 
the work of the museum, but I have selected it as the latest exi)res- 
sioii on this subject by one of our most active aud practical American 
archfeologists, and because it will furnish a basis for the remarks I 
desire to make ou this subject. 

In order that the reader m.ay clearly understand the particular points 
to which I shall call attention, I will introduce here a brief review of 
the leading opinions so far presented regarding the authorship 
ancient works. 

It was uot until about the close of the eighteenth century that the 
scientific men of the Eastern States became fully impressed with the 
fact that remarkable antiquities were to be found in our country. 

About this time President Stiles, of New Haven, Dr. Franklin, Dr. 

' Sixteenth and Seventeenth Report Peabody Museum, p. 346. 
5 ETH 6 


Barton, and a few otlier leading minds of that day, becoming tboroughly 
convinced of the existence of these antiquities, and having received de- 
scriptions of a number of them, began to advance tlieories as to their 
origin. William Bartram had come to the conclusion, from personal ob- 
servation and from the statement of the Indians that " they knew noth- 
ing of their origin," that they belonged to the most distant antiquity. 

Dr. Franklin, in reply to the inquiry of President Stiles, suggested 
that the works in Ohio njight have been constructed bj' De Soto in his 
wanderings. This suggestion was followed ui> by Noah Webster with 
an attempt to sustain it,' but he afterwards abandoned this position 
and attributed these works to Indians. 

Captain Heart, in reply to the inquiries addressed to him by Dr. Bar- 
ton, gives his opinion that the works could not have been constructed 
by De Soto and his followers, but belonged to an age preceding the dis- 
covery of America by Columbus ; that they were not due to the Indians 
or their predecessors, but to a i)eople not altogether in an uncultivated 
state, as they must have been under the subordination of law and a well- 
governed jjolice. - 

This is probably the tirst clear and distinct expression of a view which 
has subsequentlj- obtained the assent of so many of the leading writers 
on American archipology. 

About the commencement of the nineteenth century two new and im- 
portant characters appear on the stage of American archjeology. These 
are Bishop Madison, of Virginia, and Rev. Thaddeus M. Harris, of Mas- 

Dr. Haven, to whose work we are indebted for reference to se\eral of 
the facts above stated, remarks : 

TLese two geutlemeu are among the (irst who, unitiug n]ii>ortunitieH <>1' jiorsdiial oli- 
servatinn to the .advantages of scientific cnltnre, imparted to the public their impres- 
sions of western antiquities. They represent the two chisses of observers whose oj)- 
positc views still divide the sentiment of the country ; one class seeing no evidence 
of art beyond what might be expected of existing tribes, with the bimple dilferenee 
of a more numerous population, and consequently better defined and more permanent 
habitations; the other finding proofs of skill and refinement, to be explained, as they 
believe, only on the suppositiou that a superior race, or more probably a people of 
foreign and higher civilization, once occniiied the soil.^ 

Bishop Madison was the representative of the first class. Dr. Har- 
ris represented that section of the second class maintaining the opinion 
that the mound-builders were Toltecs, who after leaving this region 
moved south into Mexico. 

As we find the principal theories which are held at the present day 
on this subject substantially set forth in these authorities, it is unneces- 
sary to follow up the history of the controversy excci)t so far as is re- 
quired to notice the various modifications of the two leading opinions. 

'Referred to by Dr. Haven, Smithsonian Contriliutions, VIII, p. 25. 

-Transactions of the American Philological Society, Vol, HI. 

'Archajology of the United States, Smithsonian Contributions, Vol. VIII, p. 31. 

THOMAS.) "who weke the mound-buildees?" 83 

Those holding the opinion that the Indians were not the autliors of 
these works, althongb agreeing as to this point and hence included in 
one class, ditfer widely among themselves as to the people to whom they 
are to be ascribed, one section, of which, as we have seen, Dr. Harris 
may be considered the pioneer, holding that they were built by the 
Toltecs, who, as they supposed, occupied the Mississippi Valley pie- 
vious to their appearance iu the vale of Anahuac. 

Among the more recent advocates of this theory are Mr. John T. Short, 
author of "The North Americans of Antiquity;"' Dr. Dawson, in his 
"Fossil Man," who accepts the tradition respecting the Tallegwi, but 
identifies them with the Toltecs ; Eev. J. r. MacLean, author of the 
"Mound Builders" and Dr. Joseph Jones, in his "Antiquities of Ten- 

Wilson, in his "Prehistoric Man,"^ modilies this view somewhat, look- 
ing to the region south of Mexico for the original home of the Toltecs, 
and deriving the Aztecs from the mound-builders. 

Another section of this class includes those who, although rejecting 
the idea of an Indian origin, are satisfied with simply designating the 
authors of these works a "lost race," without following the inquiry into 
the more uncertain field of racial, national, or ethnical relations. To 
this type belong a large portion of the recent authors of short articles 
and brief reports on American archa-ology, and quite a number of dili- 
gent workers in this field whose names are not before the world as 

Baldwin believes that the mound-builders were Toltecs, but thinks 
they came originally from Mexico or farther south, and, occupying the 
Ohio Valley and the Gulf States, probably for centuries, were at the 
last driven southward by an influx of barbarous hordes from the more 
northern regions, and apjieared again in Mexico.-' Bradford, thirty years 
pi'evious to this, had suggested Mexico as their original home.^ Lewis 
H. Morgan, on the other hand, supposes that the authors of these re- 
mains came from the Pueblo tribes of New Mexico. Dr. Foster^ agrees 
substantially with Baldwin. We might include in this class a number 
of extravagant hypotheses, such as those held by Haywood, Rafinesque, 
and others among the older, as well as by a few of the more recent 

The opposite class, boldiug that the mound-builders were the ances- 
tors of some one or more of the modern tribes of Indians, or of those, 
found inhabiting the country at the time of its discovery, numbers, 
comparatively few leading authorities among its advocates; in other 
words, the followers of Bishop Madison are far less numerous than the 
followers of Dr. Harris. The differences between the advocates of this 
view are of minor importance, and only appear when the investigation 
is carried one step further back and the attempt is made to designate, 

' Page 253. * American Autiqnities, p. 71. 

^Vol. I, p. 353, 3(1 eilition. ^Prehistoric Races, p. 339. 

'Ancient ,\nifriea, ])p. 70-7;"). 


the i)aiticular tribe, nation, jieople, or etbnic family to wLich they ap- 

The traditions of the Delawares, asgivenbyHeckewelder, iuhis "His- 
tory of the Indian i^ations," having bronght npoii the stage the Tallegwi, 
they are made to i)lay a important part in tlie speenlatious of those 
inclined to the theory of an Indian origin. As this tradition agrees very 
well with a number of facts brought to light liy antiquarian and philo- 
logical researches, it has had considerable influence in shaping the con- 
clusions even of those who are not professed believers in it. 

One of the .ablest early advocates of the Indian origin of these works 
was Dr. McGulloch ; and liis conclusions, based as they were on the 
comparatively slender data then obtainable, are remarkable not only 
for the clearness with which they are stated and the distinctness with 
which they are deflued, but as being more in accordance with all the 
facts ascertained than i)erliaps those of any contemporary. 

Samuel G. Drake, Schoolcraft, and Sir John Lubbock were also dis- 
posed to ascribe these ancient works to the Indians. But the most re- 
cent advocate of this view is Prof. Lucien Carr, of Cambridge, Massa- 
chuset ts, who has presented, in a recent paper entitled " The Mounds of 
the Mississippi Valley historically considered" (contained in the Memoirs 
of the Kentucky Geological Survey), a very strong array of historical 
evidence going to show not oidy that the Indian tribes at the time of 
the discovery were capable of producing these works, but also that 
several of the tribes were in tlie habit of erecting mounds. 

But it is proper that we should mention an article by Dr. D. (1. Brin- 
ton in the October number, 18S1, of the American Antiquarian, bearing 
upon the same subject, in which considerable historical evidence tend- 
ing to the same conclusion is given. These two papers may justly bo 
considered the commencementof a rediscussion of this question, in which 
the Indians, after a long exclusion, will be readmitted as a possible fac- 
tor in the problem. 

The reader will observe from the foregoing brief review that the opin- 
ions regarding the authors of the mounds — or, as Dr. Briuton expresses 
it, " the nationality of the mound-builders" — as heretofore given to the 
world, may be divided into two classes — those holding that the builders 
were " Indians," and those holding that they were not "Indians." But 
the paragraph we have quoted from the Rejiort of the Peabody Museum 
introduces other considerations, which render it necessary not only to 
define the terms used but to restate the (luestiou at issue in a more exact 
and definite form. 

What mounds? What earthworks? The authority quoted remarks, 
"That many Indian tribes built mounds and earthworks is beyond doubt, 
but that all the mounds and earthworks of North America were made by 
these same tribes or their immediate ancestors is not thereby proved." 

That the term "moundbuilders"' is as applicable to the people who 
constructed the mounds of Siberia, Japan, or elsewhere as those who 



built tlio tiuiuili of the Mississippi Valky must be ;idiiiitted, but the 
term, whcu used in this country with reference to the mounds of this 
country, has, as is well liuown, been generally understood to include only 
those found in that part of the United States east of the Eocky Mount- 
ains unless otherwise stated; and Mr. Carr's paper, to which allusion 
is made in the next .sentence of the quotation, is expressly limited to 
the "mounds of the Mississippi Valley." North Amei'ica is therefore a 
broader field thau is generally understood by those who enter upon the 
discussion, and I may aild that '• these same tribes," unless with explicit 
definition, is a limitatiou claimed Jby no one. 

The term "Indian" is so indefinite and so variously applied that more 
or less uncertainty must ensue unless the writer discussing this ques- 
tion makes clear the sense in which he uses it. It was probably an 
appreciation of this fact that caused the author of the report referred 
to to make use of the terms "American stocks," "nations," and "groups 
of tribes." We can fully appreciate the diflQculty he and all others wilt- 
ing upon this subject experience from the want of an adequate and defi- 
nite nomenclature that is ai)plicable. But his expansions in one dii-ec- 
tion and limitations in another, in the paragraph quoted, as it seems to 
me, have left the statement of the question in worse confusion than it 
was beibre. 

In what sense does he use the terms "Indians," "Indian tribes," 
"American stocks," and "groups of tribes"? Are the cultured Central 
American and Mexican nations and the Pueblo tribes to be included or 
excluded? Professor Carr evidently proceeds upon the idea that they 
are to be excluded, and that the mounds and other ancient works of the 
Mississippi Valley are to be attributed to one or more of the American 
stocks found in possession of this region at the time of its discovery by 

This I believe to be the correct view, except in this: Professor Can- 
fails to clear his work of the idea of one people, one stock, when the 
evidence is conclusive that the mound-builders were divided into tribes 
and stocks, as were the Indians when first encountered by the whites. 
Hence when I use the terms " Indians," " Indian tribes," and "American 
stocks" in this connection, they are to be understood as thus limited. 

I do not claim that this use of these terms is correct, but it is not my 
intention at present to discuss the question "What is the proper use of 
the indefinite term Indianf'' Jly only object in referring to it and the 
other equivalent terms is to explain the sense in which I use them in 
this connection, because I can find no better ones. 

As thus limited the question for discussion maybe stated as follows: 

Were all the mounds and other ancdent works found in that jiart of 
the United States east of the Eocky Mountains (except such as are 
manifestly the work of Europeans of post-Columbian times) built by 
the Indians found in possession of this region at the time of its discov- 
ery and their ancestors, or are they in part to be attributed to other 


more civilized races or peoijlos, as the Aztecs, Toltecs, Pueblo tribes, or 
some lo>t race of which we possess no historical luention? I say iu 
part, as it lias long been conceded, that some of these works are to be 
attributed to the Indians. 

If it can be shown that some of the mounds and other works of all 
the different types and classes found in the Missi.ssijipi Valley and Gulf 
States were built by Indians, or even that they were built by peo})le in 
the same stage of culture and art and haviug the same customs and 
habits as the Indians of this region iu the fifteenth and sixteenth centu- 
ries, we shall l)e justified iu concluding that the rest are the work of the 
same race and of the same tribes, or those closely allied in habits, cus- 
toms, art, and culture. That here and there a single mound-buildingtribe 
may have become extinct or absorbed into other tribes in pre-Cohunbiau 
limes, as has been the fate of some .since the discovery of the continent, 
does not alter the case, unless it be claimed that such tribes belonged to 
different "American stocks"and had reached a higher degree of culture 
than those found in this iiart of the continent at the time of the arrival 
of the Europeans. 

No one believes that we will ever be able to ascertain the history of 
the construction of each mound and earthwork ; the utmost to be hoped 
is that we may be able to determine with satisfactory certainty that 
such and such works were built by such and such tribes. 

But one stej) in the investigation is to reach the general conclusion as 
to whether all classes of these remains iu the region designated may 
justly be attributed to the Indians, or whether there are some types 
which must be ascribed to a different race, to a ])eople that had attained 
a higher jjosition in the scale of civilization than the Indians. This it 
is iiossible to accomi)lish without being able to determine conclusively 
what tribe erected any particular work. 

Nevertheless the conclusion will be strengthened by every proof that 
the works of certain sections are to be ascribed tocertain tribes or stocks. 
It is for this reason that I propose to discuss somewhat briefly the 
question of the probable authorship of the works in the Aj^palachian 


lu 1S7C, Prof. Lucien Carr, assistant curator of the Peabody Museum, 
opened a mound in Lee County, Virginia, in whiclilie made certain dis- 
coveries whicb, with the form of tlie mound and tlie Listorical data, led 
him to the conclusion that it was the work of the Cherokees. 

TLis monument, as he informs us, was a truncated oval, the level 
space on the top measuring -tO feet in length by 1.5 in width. 

At the distance of 8 feet from the brow of the mound, on the slope, there were 
found buried in the earth the decaying stumps of a series of cedar posts, which I 
was iuforined by Mr. Ely [the owner] at one time completely encircled it. He also 
told me that at every plowing he struck more or less of these posts, and, on digging 
for them, some six or seven were fouud at different places, and in such order as showed 
that they had been placed in the earth at regular intervals and according to a defi- 
nite plan. On the top, in the line of the greati'st diameter and near the center of 
the mound," another and a larger post or column, also of cedar, was found.' 

Quoting Bartram's descri[)tion (given below) of the council house of 
the Cherokees in the town of Cowe, he concludes, and I think correctly, 
that this mound was the site of a similar building. 

Bartram's description is as follows :^ 

The Council or Town House is a large rotundii, eapaoli^ of accommodating several 
hundred people. It stands on the top of an ancient artificial mount of earth of about 
20 feet perpendicular and the rotunda on the top of it, being above 30 feet more, 
gives tho whole fabric an elevation of about GO feet from the common surface of the 
ground. But it may be proper to observe that this mount on which the rotunda 
stauds is of a much aneientcr date than the building, and perhaps was raised for an- 
other pni'pose. The Cherokees themselves are as ignorant as we are by what people 
or for what purpose these artificial hills were raised. » * • 

The rotunda is constructeil after tho following manner : They first fix iu the ground 
a circular range of posts or trunks of trees, about (3 feet high, at equal distauces, 
which are notched at top to receive into them, from one to another, a range of 
beams or wall plates. Within this is another circular order of very largo and strong 
pillars, aliove 12 feet high, notched in like manner at toji to receive another range 
of wall-plates, and within this is yet another or third range of stronger and higher 
pillars, but fewer in number, and standing at a greater distance from each other; 
and, lastly, iu the center stands a very strong pillar, which forms the pinnacle of the 
building, and to which the rafters center at top ; these rafters are strengthened and 
bound together by cross-beams and laths, which sustain the roof or covering, which 
is a layer of bark neatly placed and tight enough to exclude the rain, and sometimes 
they cast a thin superficies of earth over all. 

There is but one large door, which serves at the same time to admit liglit finm 
without and the smoke to escape when a fire is kindled ; but as there is but a small 
fire kept, sulScieut to give light at night, and that fed with dry, small, tound wood, 
divested of its bark, there is but little smoke ; all aronnd the inside of the building, 

' Tenth Keport Peabody lliisenni, p. 75. ^Travels, p. 365. 


betwixt the second range of iiillais aud tlio wall, is a range of cabins or sophas con- 
sistiug of two or three steps, one above or behind the other, in theatrical order, ■where 
the assembly sit or lean down ; these sophas are covered with mats or carpets very 
curionsly made with thin splits of ash or oak woven or platted together; near the 
great pillar in the center the fire is kindled for light, near which the musicians seat 
themselves, and around about this the jicrformers exhibit their dances and other shows 
at pnblic festivals, which happen almost every night tlironghot the year. 

From iiulicatioDS, not upcesstiry to be ineiitioued lierc, Professor Cair 
jirgiies that the niouiid conkl not have been intended for burial pur- 
poses, but was evidently erected for the foundation of a building of 
sonwi kind. 

In a subse(pient paper,' " Mounds of the Mississippi Valley," he not 
(iidy iidheres to the theory advanced in the tenth report of the Pea- 
body Museum, but gives additional reasons for believing it to be true. 

Although guided by very dim aud feeble rays of light I am neverthe- 
less inclined to believe that Professor Carr has succeeded in entering 
the pathway that is to lead to a correct solution of the jnoblem in this 
(!ase. As is apparent from what has been given in this paper regard- 
ing the burial mounds of this district, much additional data bearing on 
tlie point have been obtained siuce Professor Carr's explorations were 
made, on which he bases his conclusions. 

The Oherokee tribe has long been a puzzling factor to students of 
ethnology and North Ameiican languages. Whether to be considered 
an abnormal oSshoot from one of the well-known Indian stocks or fam- 
ilies of North America, or (he remnant of some undeteruiiued or almost 
extinct family which has merged into another, appear to be questions 
yet unsettled : but they are questions which do not trouble us in the 
present inquiry ; on the coutniry, their ethnic isolation aud tribal char- 
acteristics are aids in the investigation. 

That the internal arrangement of the mounds, modes of buriai,and 
vestiges of art of this district present sufticieut peculiarities to distin- 
guish them from the mounds, modes of burial, and vestiges of art of all 
the other districts, as I have already stated, will be conceded by any one 
who will carefully study them and make the comparison. If, therefore, 
it be admiited, as stated, that the Oherokees are a somewhat peculiar 
people, an abnornuil tribe, we have in this a coincidence worthy of note, 
if strengthened by corroborating testimony. 

As the mouuds aud other remains to be referred to are located in the 
northwest part of North Carolina and the northern part of East Ten- 
nessee, the first point to be established is that the Cljerokees did actu- 
ally, at some time, occupy this region. 

In the first place, it is well known that they claimed all that portion 
of the country east of Clinch Eiver to and including the northwest part 
of North Carolina, at least to the Yadkin, a claim which was conceded 
by the whites and acted on officially by State and national authority 
and denied by no Indian tribe. 

'Memoirs of the Kentucky Geological Survey, Vol. II. 


. Haywood expressly states that' — 

(he Clierokees were firmly established on the Tennessee River or Hogohega [th« 
Hoislou] before the year 16>0, and had dominion over all the conntry on the east 
side of the Alleghany Mountains, which includes the headwaters of the Yadkin, Ca- 
tawba, Broad River, and the headwaters of the Savannah — 

a statement borne out by the fact that, as hite as 1756, when the En- 
glish built Fort Dobbs on the Yadiiin, not far from Salisbury, thej 
first obtained the privilege of doing so by treaty with Attacullaculla, 
the Cherokee chief.^ 

Haywood asserts,' upon what authority is not known, that — 
before the year 1C90 tlio Cherokees, who were once settled on the Appomattox Kiver, 
in the neighborhood of Mouticello, left their former abodes and came to the west. 
The Powhataus are said by their descendants to have been once a part of this nation. 
The probability is that migration took place about, or soon after, the year UVA-i, when 
the Virginians suddenly and unexpectedly fell upon the Indians, killing all they 
could lind, cutting up and destroying their crops, and causing great numbers to per- 
ish by famine. They came to New River and made a temporary settlement, and also 
on the head of the llolston. 

That they formerly had settlements on New Kiver (Upi)er Kanawha) 
and on the Holston is, as I believe, true, but that they came from the 
vicinity of Mouticello and the j^ppomattox Eiver, were connected with 
the Powhataus, or first appeared in Tennessee in 1032, cannot be be- 
lieved. First, because Jefferson makes no mentiou of their octtu- 
pancy of this part of Virginia ; on the contrary, he locates them in the 
"western part of North Carolina."' Secondly, because John Ledercr, 
who visited this region iu IGOO-'TO, speaking of the Intlians of the 
"Apalatean Mountains," doubtless the Cherokees, as he was at that 
time somewhere in western North Carolina, says: "The Indians of 
these parts are none of those which the English removed from Virginia; 
these were far more rude and barbarou.', I'eeding only upon raw flesh 
and fish, until these taught them to sow corn and showed them the use 
of it.'" Thirdly, because it is evident that they were located iu sub- 
stantially the same territory when De Soto passed through the northern 
part of Georgia, as it is now admitted that the " Chelaques" or "Acha- 
laques" mentioned by the chroniclers of his ill-starred exi)eilition were 
the Cherokees. That they extended their territory a cousiderable dis- 
tance farther southward after the time of the Adelantado's visit can be 
easily demonstrated, but it is unnecessary for me to present the ]>roof 
of this assertion at this time, as I presume it will be admitted. 

Their traditions in regard to their migrations are uncertain and some- 
what conflicting, still there iiie a few items to be gleaned froia them, 
which, I think, may be relied upon as pointing iu the proper direc 
tiou. The first is, the positive statement that they formerly had a 

'Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee, p. 225. 
= Ramsey. Annals of Tennessee, p. 51. 
^Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee, p. 223. 
'Discoveries, etc., p. 3, London edition, 1672. 


settlemeiit, or were settled on or near the iN^olieluicky ; the second isf, 
that they were driven from some more northern section by tlieir ene- 
mies ; and third, tlieir constant and persistent claim that, of ri<;ht, 
the country about the headwaters of the Holstou and eastward into 
^N'orth Carolina belonged to them. 

From all the light, therefore, that I can obtain on this subject, I am 
satished the Chcrokees had at some time in the past moved south- 
ward from a more northern location than that which they were found 
occupying when llrst encountered by the whites. Tiiis corresponds with 
one of their traditions given by Haywood, that they formerly dwelt 
on the Ohio and built the mounds there. That they di<l at one time 
actually occupy the section in which tiie mounds we allude to are situ- 
ated cannot be doubted. 

Turning now to the mounds of East Tennessee and North Carolina, 
to which allusion has been made, let us see what testimony they furnish 
on the point now under discussion. 

The particular works to which we refer are those located in Caldwell 
County, Xorth Carolina, and Sullivan County, East Tennessee, descrip- 
tions of which have been given. 

Although we cannot say positively that no other tribe occupied this 
particular section between 1540 and 1C90, still the evidence and indi- 
cations leading to that conclusion are so strong as to justify us in assum- 
ing it. We find their frontiers on the borders of Georgia in 15-tO ; we can 
trace back their settlements on the Iliawassee to a period preceding 1C52. 
We have evidence tbat the settlements on the Little Tennessee were 
still older, and that even these were made subsequent to those on the 
Nolichucky. We have their own tradition, as given by Lederer, that 
they migrated to this region about the close of the thirteenth century 
from a more northern section; and, finally, tlieir uniform and persistent 
statement, from the time first encountered by Europeans, that when 
they came to this region they found it uninhabited, with the exception 
of a Creek settlement on Ihe lower Iliawassee. This clearly indicates 
a movement southward, a fact of much importance in the study of this 
somewhat abnormal tribe. 

If, therefore, we can show that these mounds, or any of the typical 
ones, were constructed since the discovery of America, we have good 
reason to believe that they are to be attributed to the Cherokees, not- 
withstanding their statement to Bartram that they did not build the 
one at Cowe. 

At the bottom of one of the largest mounds found in this region, the 
T. F. Xelsou triangle heretofore described, and by the side of the skel- 
eton of the principal personage interred in it, as shown bj'the arrange- 
ment of the bodies of those buried with him, and by the ornaments and 
imi)lenieuts found with him, were discoveied three pieces of iron. That 
one of the pieces, at least, is part of an implement of European manu- 
facture, I think no one who examines it w ill doubt (see Fig. 31). It ap- 


pears to be part of a sword blade or the blade of a large knife. Another 
of the pieces is apparently a large awl or punch, a i)art of the deer-horn 
handle yet remaining attached to it. A chemical examination made by 
Professor Clarke, chemist of the United States Geological Survey, 
shows that these were not made of meteoric iron. 

That these cannot be attributed to an intrusive burial is evident from 
the following facts: First, they were found at the very bottom of the 
pit, which had been dug before depositing the bodies ; scond, they were 
found with engraved shells, celts, and other relics of this character; and 
Ihird, they were deposited with the princip'al personage who had been 
buried in the mound. 

In the same mound and under the same circumstances some large 
copper beads or cylinders were also found. A careful examination of 
tliese si)ecimens shows, as I think very clearly, that the copper plate 
of which they were made was not manufactured by any means at the 
command of the Indians or the more civilized races of Mexico or Cen- 
tral America, as it is as smooth and even as any rolled copper; more- 
over, the beads appear to have been cut into the proper shape by some 
metallic instrument. If this supposition be correct {and I believe an 
inspection of the specimens -will satisfy any one that it is), it certainly 
indicates contact with civilized people If so, then we have positive 
prcmf that this mound was made subsequent to the discovery of Amer- 
ica by Columbus and in all probability after the date of De Soto's expe- 
dition in 15-10. 

As I have shown that the Cherokees alone inhabited this particular 
section from the time of De Soto's expedition until it was settled by 
the whites, it follows that if the mound was built subsequent to that 
date it must have been by the Cherokees. The nearest neighbors of 
this tribe on the east, at the time the whites came in contact with them, 
were the Tuscaroras. We learn from John Lederer, who visited them 
in IGTO, on his return from the Cherokee country, that they were in the 
habit of "decking themselves very line with pieces of bright co])per in 
their hair and ears and about their neck, which, upon festival occasions, 
they use as an extraordinary bravery.'" While it is well known that 
these two tribes were brought into contact with each other through being 
constantly at war, until the lat'er removed to the north and joined the 
Five Nations, it is more likely that these articles of Euroi)ean workman- 
ship were obtained chiefly from the Spaniards, who, as is now known, 
worked the gold mines in northern Georgia at an early date. We learn 
from Barcia's "Ensayo Cronologico"^ that Tristan de Luna, who, in 
1559, went in search of the mines of "Coza" (the name by which the 
region of northern Georgia was then known), succeeded in reaching 
the region sought, and even heard, while there, of the negro Robles, 
who was left behind by De Soto. When John Lederer reached the 
borders of Georgia the Spaniards were then at work at these mines, 

' DiscDVfiies. LoihIihi i-ditinn, )i. yO. -Pages 33-39. 


whicli fact, iis lie informs us, checked Lis further advance, as he feared 
he might be made a captive by them. As fiirthir and conclusive evi- 
dence of this, we have only to state that the remains of their cabins in 
the vicinity of the mines were found in 1834 with trees from 2 to 3 feet 
in diameter growing over them. The old shafts were discovered in 
which they worked, as also some of the machinery they used.' Be 
this supposition correct or not, if the articles we have mentioned were 
of European workmanship, or if the material was obtained of civilized 
people, we must take lor granted, until evidence to the contrary is pro- 
duced, that the mound in which they were found was built after the 
couimencenient of tlie sixteenth century, hence bj' Indians, and in all 
probability by the Cherokees. 

Our nest argument is the discovery in the ancient works of this region 
of evidences that the habits and customs of the builders were similar 
to those of the Cherokees and some of tlu>. imnu'diately surrounding 

I have already alluded to the evidence found in the mound ojtcned by 
Professor Carr, that it had once suisported a building similar to the 
council house observed by Bartram on a mound at the old Cherokee 
town, Cowe. Both were on mounds, both were circular, both were 
built on i)osts set in the ground at equal distances from each other, and 
each had a central pillar. 

As confirming this statement of Bartram, we are informed in liaiu- 
sey's Annals of Tennessee^ that when Colonel Christian marched 
against the Cherokee towns, in 177G, he found iu the center of each " a 
circular tower rudely built and covered with dirt, 30 feet iu diameter, 
and about 20 feet high. This tower was used as a council house and as 
a place for celebrating the green corn dance and other national cere- 
monials." Lawson, who traveled through North Carolina iu 1700, says :^ 
"They [the Indians] oftentimes make of this shell [alluding to a cer- 
tain large sea shell] a sort of gorge, which they wear about their neck 
in a string, so it hangs on their col lar, whereon is sometimes engraven a 
cross or some odd sort of figure which comes next in their fancy." Bev- 
erly, speaking of 'the Indians of Virginia, says:* "Of this shell they 
also make round tablets of about 4 inches iu diameter, which they pol- 
ish as smooth as the other, and sometimes they etch or grave thereon 
circles, stars, a half-moon, or any other figure, suitable to their fancy." 

Now it so happens that, iu the same mound iu which the iron speci- 
mens before allyded to were found, and in other mounds in the same 
section, the Bureau assistants discovered shell ornaments precisely of 
the character described by these old writers. Some of them were smootli 
and without any devices engraved ou them, but with holes for insert- 

' Jones, Soutbeiu Inilians, p. 18. 

^ Page 169. 

'History of C'arolin.a, Raleigh. lepriut, 18.^0, p. 31.5. 

■* History of Vir};ini.a, Loudon, 17(J5, p. 58. 


ing the strings by which they were to be held in position ; others were 
engraved with figures which woukl readily be taken for stars and half- 
inoous, and one among tlie number had a cross engraved on it. The 
testimony in- this case that these relics were the work of the Indians 
found in possession of the country at the time of the discovery is, there- 
fore, too strong to be put aside by mere conjectures or inferences. If 
the work of the Indians, then they must have been used by the Chero- 
kees and buried with their dead. The engraved figures are strangely 
uniform, indicating some common origin, but the attempt to trace this 
Is foreign to our present purpose. In these mounds were found a large 
number of nicely carved soapstoue pipes, usually with the stem made 
in connection with the bowl, though some were without this addition, 
cousistiug only of the bowl, with a hole for the insertion of a cane or 
wooden stem. 

By turning to Adair's "History of the Nortli American Indians,"' 
we find the following statement: 

They [the Indians] make beautiful stone pipes, aud tlie Cherokees the best of anj 
of the Indians, for their uioiintaiiions country contains many different sorts and colors 
of soils jiioper for such uses. They easily form them with their tomahawks, .and 
afterwards finish them in any desired form with their knives, the pipes being of a 
very soft quality till they are smoked with and used with the fire, when they become 
<|uite hard. They are often a full span long, and the bowls are about lialf as long 
again as those of our English pipes. The fore part of each commonly runs out, with 
a sharp peak two or three fingers broad and a quarter of an inch thick. 

Not only weri' pipes made of soapstone found in these mounds, but 
two or three were obtained precisely of the form mentioned by Adair, 
with the fore part running out in front of the bowl ; and another of the 
same form has been found in a mound on the Kanawha, which is at 
least suggestive. Jones says:- 

It has been more than hinted by at least one person -nhose statement is entitled to 
every belief, that among the Cherokees dwelling in the mountains there existed 
certain artists whose professed occupation was the manufacture of stone pipes, which 
were by tlieni transported to the coast and there bartered aw.iy for articles of nso 
and ornament foreign to aud highly esteemed among the members of their own tribe. 

This not only strengthens our conclusion, drawn from the presence 
of such pipes in the mouiuls alluded to, but may also assist in explain- 
ing the presence! of the copjier ornaments in them. The writer last 
quoted says:' 

Copper implements are rarely found in Georgia. The present [a eoi)per ax] is tha 
finest specimen which, after no mean search, has rewarded our investigations. Na- 
tive copper exists in portions of Cherokee Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and 
Alabama, but it is generally found in combination with sulphur and not in malleable 
form. We are not aware of any locality among those enumerated whence the In- 
dians could have secured that metal either in quantity or purity sufficient to hare 
enabled them to itannfacture this implement. 

'Page 423. -Antiquities of the Southern Indians, p. 400. 'Page 228. 


Adair says : ' 

From the time we Nii])|ilicd them with our European ornaments they have used 
brass and silver ear-rings and fiuger-rings ; the youuy warriors 710 w freiiuently fasten 
hell-buttons or pieces of tinkling brass to their moccasins. 

From these facts 1 am inclined to believe that most of the copper used 
by them was obtained directly or indirectly from the whites, and hence 
subsequent to the discovery of America. But should this suii])osition 
be erroneous, the fact still remains that the Cherokees were in the habit 
of using- just such ornaments as we find in these mounds. 

As showing that the Europeans began to trade copper to the Indians 
at a very early day, I call attention to a statement made by Beverly in 
his " History of Virginia."- Speaking of a setthMneiit made at Pow- 
hatan, six miles below the falls of James liiver, in 10()'.>, he says it was 
"bought of J-'owhatan for a certain quantity of copper." 

By reference to Smith's History and the narratives of the early ex- 
plorers we find that the amount of sheet copper traded to the Indians 
and taken by them from wrecks was quite large. 

But we are not yet through with the items under tliis class of testi- 

Haywood, in his "Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee,'" 

Mr. Brown, a Scotchman, came into the Cherokee Nation iu the year 17(il and settled 
ontheHiawas-seeKiverornearit. He saw on the Hiawassee and Tennessee the remains 
of old forts, about which were axes, guns, hoes, and other metallic utensils. The In- 
dians at that time told him that the French had formerly been there acd built these 

I am fully iiware that this author indulges in some extravagant spec- 
ulations ; still, so far as I have tested his original statements I have 
generally found them correct. During the year 1SS.3 one of the assist- 
ants of the Bureau was sent to tiiis particular region, which is too 
limited to allow the question of locality to be raised. An overflow and 
a change in the channel of the river brought to light tlie remains of old 
hal)itations and numerous relics of the people ^^■ho formerly dwelt there. 
Moreover, this was in the precise locality where tradition located a 
Cherokee tow7i. Digging was resorted to in order to complete what 
the M'ater had begun. 

Now let me mention some of the things obtained here : 

Ten discoidal stones, precisely like those from the mounds of Cald- 
well County, North Carolina. 

Nine strings of glass beads. 

A large number of shell beads exactly like those from the mounds. 

A number of flint arrow-points. 

One soapstone pipe. 

Some pieces of smooth sheet-copper. 

' History of North America. 'Page 19. " Page 324. 


Three conical copper ear-peudants. 

Three buttons of modern type. 

One small brass gouge. 

Fragments of iron articles belonging to a bridle. 

One bronze sleigh-bell. 

One stone awl or drill. 

Fragment of a soapstone pot. 

One soapstone gorget. 

Several polished stone celts of the same pattern as those found in the 
North Carolina mounds. 

Grooved stone axes. 

A piece of sheet lead. 

This admixture of articles of civilized and savage life confirms the 
statement made by Haywood, at least so far as i-egards the early 
presence of white people in this section. It follows from what has been 
presented that the Indians must have been Cherokees, and the fact that 
the implements and ornaments of aboriginal manufacture found here 
are throughout i)recisely like those found in the mounds before men- 
tioned affords a very strong proof that they were built by the Chero- 

It is worthy of notice that close by the side of this washout stands 
a mound. Permission to open it has not yet been obtained. 

Returning to our mounds, we note that a large number of stones, evi- 
dently used for cracking nuts, were found in and about them ; some 
charred acorns, or nuts of some kind, were also found in them. We 
have only to refer to Adair and other early writers to see how well the 
indications agree with the customs of the Cherokees. 

According to the Cherokee tradition, theyfounda settlementof Creeks 
on the Lower Hiawassee, when they reached that region, and drove 
them away. Ramsay expresses the opinion iu his Annals of Tennes- 
see, on what authority is not known, that this was a Uchee settlement. 
Hence the southern boundary of their possessions, at this early date, 
which must have been before the time of De Soto's expedition, was 
about the present northern boundary of Georgia. That their borders, 
at the time of De Soto's march, extended into northeastern Georgia is 
proved by the chroniclers of his expedition, but that they did not reach 
as far south as Bartow County can be shown from one somewhat sin- 
gular circumstance, which, at the same time, will furnish strong reasons 
for believing that the authors of the works immediately south of this 
boundary could not have built flie mounds we have been considering. 

It will be admitted, I presume, by every one, that the people over 
whom the famous cacique of Cutifacliiqui reigned could not have been 
Cherokees; yet her territory included Xuala, probably in i!^acooehee 
valley, and extend(>d westward well toward Guaxule on the headwaters 
of the Coosa, hut that the latter was not within the territory of her tribe 
is expressly stated by Garcilasso de la Vega. I think it may be safely 
assumed that her x^eople were Creeks ; and, if so, that the people of 


GiKixuk', who, as we judge from the chroniclers of De Soto's expedi- 
tion, were mouud-builders, belonged to another distinct tribe. 

Garcilasso, who is our authority in reference to the first point now to 
be considered, says: 

La casa estava eu \n\ cerro alto, coiiio dv utras semejautes liemos dicho. Tenia 
toda ella al dcrredor uu paseadero (jiie podiau pasearse pqr el seis hombrcs juntos.' 
The house was on a high liill (mound) similar to others we have already mentioned. 
It had all round about it a roadway on which six men could walk abreast. 

Tills langua.^■e is peculiar, and, so far as I am aware, can apply to no 
other mound in Georgia than the large one near (Jartersville. The 
words "similar to others we have mentioned," are evidently intended 
tu signify that it was artificial, and this is conceded by all who have 
noted the passage. The word "alto" (high), in the mouth of the ex- 
plorers, indicates something more elevated than the ordinary mounds. 
The roadway or passageway (paseadero) "round about it" is jieculiar, 
and is the only mention of the kind by either of the three chroniclers. 
How is it to be explained ? 

As Garcilasso wrote from inforuuxtion and not from personal observa- 
tion he often failed to catch from his informants a correct notion of the 
things described to him ; this is frequently apparent iu his work where 
there is no reason to attribute it to his vivid imagination. In this case 
it is clear he understood there was a terrace running entirely around 
the mound, or possibly a roadway around the toi) outside of a rampart 
or stockade. 

But as neither conclusion could have been correct, as no such terrace 
has been found in any part of this region, and a walk around the sum 
niit would have thwarted the very design they had in view in building 
the mound, what was it Garcilasso's infoiniants saw ? 0. C. Jones says 
" a terrace," but it is scarcely possible that any terrace at the end or 
side of a southern mound, forming an apron-like extension (which is 
the only form found there), could have been so described as to convey 
the idea of a roadway, as the mode of estimating the width shows 
clearly was intended. 

The broad way winding around and up the side of the Etowah mound 
(Fig. 39) appears to answer the description better than asy other iu 

Fig. 30. — Large mound of Ktowah ;:r()n]i. lluitow Count.v, CU^orgia. 

Georgia. It is a large mound, high, and one that would doubtless at- 
tract the attention of the Spanish soldiers; its dimensions indicate that 
' History of Florida, edition 1723, Lib. Ill, Cap. XX, p. 139, and edition of 1605. 




the tribe by which it was built was strong in numbers and might easily 
send fortli five hundred warriors to greet the Spaniards. The locality 
is also within the limits of De Soto's route as given by the best author- 
ities; and lastly, there is no other mound within the possible limits of 
his route which will in any respect answer the description. As Garcil- 
lasso must have learned of this mound from his informants, and has de- 
scribed it according to the imi)ressiou conveyed to his mind, we are 
justified in accepting it as a statement of fact. I am, therefore, satis- 
fied that the work alluded to is none other than the Etowah mound 
near Cartersville, Georgia, and that here we can point to the spot where 
the unfortunate Adelantado rested his weary limbs and where the em- 
bassadors of the noted cacique of Cutifachiqui delivered their final 

Kecently the smallest of the three large mounds of this group was 
opened and carefully explored by Mr. liogan, one of the Bureau assist- 
ants. As the result will be of much intei'est to archasologists aside 
from the question now under discussion, although belonging to the 
southern type of burial mounds not discussed in this paper, I will 
venture to give a description of its construction and contents as a means 
of comparison and as also bearing somewhat on the immediate question 
under discussion. This mound is the one marked c in Jones's plate ; ' 
also c in Colonel Whittlesey's figure 2.^ A vertical section of it is given 

Fig. 40.— Vertical section, small moxiud. same gronp. 

in Fig. 40. The measurements, as ascertained by Mr. Kogan, are as fol- 
lows : Average diameter at the base, 120 feet ; diameter of the level top, 
60 feet; height above the original surface of the ground, 16 feet. The 
form is more nearly that of a truncated cone than represented in the 
figures alluded to. 

The construction was found, by very thorough excavation, to be as 
follows: the entire surrounding slope (No. 4, Fig. 40) was of hard, tough 
red clay, which could not have been obtained nearer than half a mile ; 
the cylindrical core, 60 feet in diameter and extending down to the 
original surface of the ground, was composed of three horizontal layers; 
the bottom layer (No. 1) 10 feet thick, of rich, dark, and rather loose 
loam; the next (No. 2) 4 feet thick, of hard, beaten (or tramped) clay, 

'Jones's Antiquities of the Southern Indians, Chap. VI, PI. I. 
-Siiiithsouian Report 1880, p. 624. 
5 ETH 7 



SO tough and hard that it was difficult to penetrate it even with a pick; 
and the uppermost (No. 3) of sand and surface soil between 1 and 2 
feet thick. A trench was dug from opposite sides to the central core ; 
and when the arrangement was ascertained, this central jwrtion was 
carefully explored to the original surface of the ground. 

Nothing was found in the layer of clay (Xo. 2) except a rude clay 
pipe, some small shell beads, a i)iece of mica, and a chunkee stone. The 
burials were all in the lower layer (Xo. 1), of dark rich loam, and chiefly 
in stone cists or coffins of the usual box-shape, formed of stone slabs, 
and distributed horizontally, as shown in P^ig. 41, which is a plan of 
this lower bed. 

According to Mr. Rogan's field-notes, the form and contents of these 
graves and the mode of burial in them were as follows: 

Grave <(, Fig. 11. — A stone sepulclier, 2i feet wide, 8 feet long, and 
2 feet deep, formed by placing steatite slabs on edge at the sides and 

Fig. 41. — rian of hurials in small inuuiid 

ends, and others across the top. The bottom consisted simply of earth 
hardened by lire. It contained the remains of a single skeleton, lying 
on its back, with the head east. The frame was heavy and about 7 feet 
long. The head was resting on a thin copper plate, ornamented with 
stamped figures; but the skull was crushed and the plate injured by 
fallen slabs. Under the copper were the remains of a skin of some 
kind; and under this, coarse matting, jn-obably of split cane. The skin 
and matting were both so rotten that they could be secured only in frag- 


ineuts. At the left of the feet were two clay vessels, one a water-bottle, 
and the other a very small vase. On the right of the feet were some 
mussel and sea-shells; and immediately under the feet two couch-shells 
{Busyconperversum), jmrtially filled with small shell beads. Around each 
ankle was a strand of similar beads. The bones and most of the shells 
were so far decomposed that they could not be saved. 

Grave h. — A stone sepulcher, i\ feet long, 2 feet wide, and li feet 
deep, differing from a only in size and the fact that the bottom was 
covered with stone slabs. The skeleton was extended on the back, 
head east. On the forehead was a thin plate of copper, the only article 

Grave c. — A stone sepulcher, 3i feet long, li feet wide, and Ih deep; 
the bottom being formed of burnt earth. Although extending east 
and west, as shown in the figure, the bones had probably been interred 
without regard to order and disconnected, the head being found in 
the northeast corner with face to the wall and the remaining portion 
of the skeleton in a promiscuous heap. Yet there was no indication of 
disturbance after burial as the coffin was intact. Between some of the 
bones was found a thin plate of copper that had been formed by uniting 
and riveting together smaller sections. Some of the bones fouud in 
this grave were saved. 

Grave d. — A small sepulcher, lifeet square by 1 foot deep, con- 
tained the remains of an infant, also a few small shell beads. The 
slabs forming the sides and bottom of this grave bore very distinct 
marks of Are. 

Grave e. — Simply a headstone and footstone, with the skeleton of 
a very small child between them ; head east. On the wrists were some 
very small shell beads. The earth on the north and south sides had 
been hardened in order to form the walls. 

Grave /. — Stone sepulcher, 6 feet long, 3 feet wide, and ]| feet deep, 
with stone in the bottom ; skeleton with the head north. There was 
a lot of copper about the head, which, together with the skeleton, was 
wrapped in a skin. The head rested on a large conch-shell (Busycon 
jjeri'prs»H()) aiid this on the remains of a coarse mat. Shell beads were 
found around the neck, each wrist, and ankle. On the right was a 
small cup, and on the breast an engraved shell. The copper had pre- 
served a portion of the hair, which was saved ; portions of the skin and 
matting were also secured. 

Immediately under b was another stone grave or coffin, 3 feet long, 
U feet wide, and as deep, extending north and south. The head of 
the skeleton was toward the north, but the feet were doubled back un- 
der the frame in order to get it in the allotted space. The only things 
found with this skeleton were some beads around the neck. 

At g the remains of a child were found without any stones about 
them. Some shell beads were around the neck and wrists and an en- 
graved shell on the breast. 



Graved. — A stone sepulcber, 1^ feet squafeaud 1 foot deep, stone 
slabs on the four sides and top ; the bottom consisted simply ot 
earth hardened by fire. This contained only a trace of bones and pre- 
sented indications of at least partial cremation, as all around the slabs, 
outside and inside, was a solid mass of charcoal and the earth was 
burned to the depth of a foot. 

Fig. 42. — Copper plate from Etowah mound Georgia. 

Grave i. — A stone sepulcher, ij feet long, H feet wide, and as deep, 
the bottom earth ; contained the remains of a skeleton restiiigon the back, 
head north, aud feet doubled back so as to come within the coffin. On 
the breast was a thin plate of copper, five inches square, with a hole 
through the center. Around the wrists were beads, and about the 
neck rather more than a quart of the same. 

Atj were the remains of a small child, without stone surroundings; 



under tbe head was a piece of copper, and about the neck and wrists 
were sliell beads. 

These graves were not all on the same level ; the top of some being but 
two feet bilow the clay bed ( No. 2), while others were from two to three 
feet lower. 

All the articles obtained iu this mound were forwarded at once to 
the Bureau of Ethnology and are now iu the National JNIuseum. Ex- 
amining them somewhat carefully since their reception, I find there are 

Fig. 43. — Copper plate from Etowah mound. Georgia. 

really more copper plates among them thau Mr. Rogan supposed, the 
number and description being as follows : 

1. A human figure with wings, represented in Fig. 42. This is 13 
inches long and 9 inches wide. A portion of the lower part, as shown 
by the figure, is wanting, probably some 3 or 4 inches. There is a break 
across the middle, but not sufficient to interfere with tracing out the 
design. A crown piece to the head ornament is also wanting. 

2. Also a human figure, shown iu Fig. 43. Length, 16 inches; width, 
7^ inches. 



3. Fifjnre of a bird ; this is imperfect, as part of the bead and the outer 
margin of the wiugs are wanting. Length, 13A inches ; width 7i inches. 
This plate shows indubitable evidence of having been formed of smaller 
pieces welded together, as the overlapping i)ortious can be easily traced. 
It has also undergone repairs : a fracture commencing on the left mar- 
gin and running irregularly half-way across the body has been mended 
by placing a stri]) of copper along it on the under side and riveting it 
to the main plate ; a small piece has also been riveted to the head and 
the head to the body ; several other pieces arc attached in the same 
way. The rivets are small and the work is neatly done. 

4. An ornament or badge of some kind, siiown in Fig. 44. The two 
crescent-shaped pieces are entirely plain, except some slightly impressed 
lines on the portion connecting them with the central stem. This cen- 
tral stem, throughout its entire length and to the width of six-tenths of 

Fig. 44. — Copper b.idpo. from Etowah iiiound, Georgia. 

an inch, is raised, and cross strips are placed at various points along 
the under side for the purpose of inserting a slip of bone, a part of 
which yet remains in it, and is seen in the figure at the break imme- 
diately below the point where the oblique strips meet. This specimen 
presents, as I believe, indubitable evidence that the workmen who 
formed it made use of metallic tools, as the cutting in this case could 
not jyossibly have been done with anything except a metallic implement. 
A single glance at it is sufHcient to satisfy any one of the truth of this 
assertion. Length of the stem, 9 inches ; width across the crescents, 7i 

5. Part of an ornament similar to No. 4. These plates, especially No. 4, 
appear to be enlarged patterns of that seen behind the head of Fig. 43. 


G, Au oruaineiit or Itadge, shown in Fig. 45, which Mr. Rogau, when 
he found it under the head of the skeleton in graA'e a, was inclined to 
consider a crown. It is imperfect, a narrow strip across the middle and 
a portion of the tip being missing. As shown in the figure, it measures 

Fio. 45. — Copper badge, from Etowah mound, Georgia. 

around the outer border 19 inches and across the broad end 3J inches. 
The six holes at the larger end, in which the remains of strings c;in be 
detected, indicate that when in use it was attached to some ]>()rtion of 
the dress or fastened on a staft'. 

Fig. 46. — Engraved shell from Etowah mound, Georgia. 

7. A fragment from the larger end of a piece similar to the preceding. 
Attached to this is a piece of cloth. 


In addition to the foregoing, there are a number of small fragments 
probably broken from these phites, but, so far, 1 have been unable to fit 
them to their proper places. 

These plates and the ones mentioned below are very thin, and as 
even and smooth (except as interrupted by the figures) as tin plate. 
The figures are all stamped, the lines and indentations being very sharp 
and regular. 

An examination of what Mr. Rogan calls a skin shows beyond ques- 
tion that it is animal matter. The matting he speaks of appears to be 
made of split canes. 

The shell represented in Fig. 40 is the one obtained in grave g. The 
one shown in Fig. 47 is that found in grave/. 

Fig. 47. — Engraved shell from Etowah mound, Georgia. 

I shall at present simply call attention to one or two facts which ap- 
pear to bear upon the age and distribution of these singular specimens 
of art. 

First. We notice the fact alluded to by Mr. Holmes,' which is 
apparent to every one who inspects his accurately drawn figures, that 
in all their leading features the designs themselves are suggestive of 
Mexican or Central American work. Yet a close inspection brings 

1 Science, April 11, 1884. 



to light one or two features wliich are anomalies in Mexican or Central 
American designs; as, for example, in Figs. 42 and 43, where the wings 
are represented as risin;/ from the back of the xhoulders, a fact allnded 
to by Mr. Holmes.' Although we can find numerous figures of winged 
individuals in Mexican designs (they are unknown in Central Ameri- 
can), they always carry with them the idea that the individual is partly 
or completely clothed in the skin of the bird. This is partially carried 
out in our copper plate, as we see by the bird-bill over the head, the eye 
being that of the bird and not of the man. But when we come to the 
wings we at once see that the artist had in mind the nngel figure, with 
wings arising from the back of the shoulders, an idea wholly foreign to 
Mexican art. It is further worthy of note in regard to these two plates 
that there is a combination of Central American and Mexican designs : 
the graceful limbs, and the ornaments of the arms, legs, waist, and top 
of the head are Central American, and the rest, with the exception 
possibly of what is carried in the right hand, are Mexican. 

That these plates are not the work of the Indians found inhabiting 
the southern sections of the United States, or of their direct ancestors, 
I freely concede. That they were not made by an aboriginal artisan of 
Central America or Mexico of ante-Columbian times, I think is evident, 
if not from the designs themselves, certainly from the indisputable evi- 
dence that the work was done with hard metallic tools. 

Second. Plates like those of this collection have only been found, so 
far as I can ascertain, in northern Georgia and northern and southern 
Illinois. The bird figure represented in Fig. 48 was obtained by Major 

Fig. 48. — Copper plate from lllinoiB moiiud. 

Powell, the director of the United States Geological Survey, from a 
mound near Peoria, Illinois. Another was obtained in Jackson County, 
Illinois, by Mr. Thing, from an ordinary stone grave. From another sim- 

' Science, April, 1884. 



iiar grave, at the same place, lie also obtained the plate represented in 
Fig. 49. Fragments of a similar plate were obtained by Mr. Earle from 
a stone grave in a mound in Alexander County, Illinois. All these spec- 

Kifi. 49.— Copper plate from ludiaa grave, Hlinoia. 

imens were received by the Bureau of Ethnology and deiiosited in the 
National Museum. 

The box-form stone cists and the figures on the copper plates and 
engraved shells differ so widely from the stone vaults and vestiges of 
art found in the North Carolina and East Tennessee mounds as to for- 
bid the belief that the works of the two regions were constructed by 
one and the same people. The stone cists and to some extent the con- 
struction of the mound appear to connect the authors with the mound- 
builders and authors of the stone graves of the Cumberland Valley and 
Southern Illinois, and several other facts, which we cannot now stop to 
present, seem to strengthen this suggestion. 

The presence of these stone cists in this mound of northern Georgia, 
when coupled with tlie fact that similar stone graves are found in Hab- 
ersham County, indicate a Shawnee or closely allied element where we 
should expect to find only Creeks or some branch of the Chahta-Mus- 
cogee family. This is a puzzle by no means easy of solution, but one 
winch the scope of our pajier does not require us to discuss. Still, we 
may add, that if our conclusions in regard to this group be correct, 
we must believe that the large mound was built before De Soto reached 
that region while the one explored was built afterwards. Some facts 
brought to light by the recent discovery of a cemetery within the area 
inclosed by the ditch, which I have for some years believed would be 
found, and for which I caused search to be made, appear to sustain 
these conclusions, and to indicate that two difl'erent peoples have occu- 
pied this site and have had a hand in constructing or adding to these 

Whatever may be our conclusion in reference to these questions, I 
think it will be conceded that the builders of these Etowah mounds be- 


longed to differeut tribes from those who erected the East Teunessee aud 
North Carolina works, and hence, if we are right in regard to the latter, 
the Etowah mounds were not built by the Cherokees. The important 
bearing which this conclusion has upon the question under discussion, 
as the reader will see, is that the mounds immediately outside of the 
territory occupied by the Cherokees were built by a differeut people 
from those who erected the works in that territory. Thus we see that, 
judging by the mounds alone, immediately upon passing outside the 
Cberokee country we encounter a different type of works. This fact, 
therefoi'C, when taken in connection with the other evidence adduced, 
becomes strongly corroborative of the view that the Cherokees were the 
authors of the works in their territory. 


Tbe results of our examination of the burial mounds of tbe northern 
districts may be briefly summed up as follows : 

First. That different sections were occupied by different mound-build- 
ing tribes, which, tliough belonging to much the same stage in the scale 
of civilization, differed in most instances in habil sand customs to a suffi- 
cient extent to mark, by their modes of burial, construction of their 
n unds, and tlieir works of art, the boundaries of the respective areas 

Second. That each trihe adopted several diflerent modes of burial 
depending, in all i)robability, to some extent upon the social condition, 
osition, and occupation of the deceased. 

Third. That the custom of removing the flesh before the final burial 
prevailed very extensively among the mound-builders of the northern 
sections. The bones of the common people being often gathered to- 
gether and cast in promiscuous heaps, over which mounds were built. 

Fourth. That usually some kind of religious or superstitious ceremony 
was performed at the burial, in which Are played a prominent piirt. 
That, notwithstanding the very commou belief to the contrary, there is 
no evidence whatever that human sacrifice was practiced. 

Fifth. That there is nothing found in the mode of constructing these 
mounds, nor in the vestiges of art they contain, to indicate that their 
builders had reached a higher culture-status than that attained by some 
of the Indian tribes found occupying the country at the time of the 
first arrival of Europeans. 

Sixth. That the custom of erecting mounds over the dead continued 
to be practiced in several localities in post-Columbian times. 

Seventh. Tliat the character and condition of the ancient monuments, 
and the relative uniformity in the culture status of the different tribes 
shown by the works and the remains of art found in them, indicate 
that the mound building age could not have continued in this part of 
the continent longer than a thousand years, and hence that its com- 
mencement probably does not antedate the fifth or sixth century. 

Nothing has been found connected with them to sustain or justify the 
opinion, so frequently advanced, of their great antiquity. The calcu- 
lations based upon the supposed age of trees found growing on some 
of them is fast giving way before recent investigations made in regard 
to the growth of forests, as it has been ascertained that the rings of 
trees are not a sure indication of age. 



Quatrefages may not be correct in fixing the date of tlie appearance 
of the "Red skins" in the " basin of the Missouri " in the eighth or ninth 
century,' but nothing has been found in connection with the ancient 
works of this country, supposing the Indians to have been their au- 
thors, to prove that he has greatly erred in his calculation. Other 
races or peoples may have preceded the mound-builders in this region, 
but better proof of this is required than that based on the differences 
between the supposed paheolithic and neolithic implements of New 
Jersey and other sections, as every tyi)e discovered can be duplicated 
a hundred times in the surface finds from different parts of the country. 

Eighth. That all the mounds which have been examined and care- 
fully studied are to be attributed to the indigenous tribes found in- 
habiting this region and their ancestors. 

'The Human Species, English translation, p. 307. 



Onr savaj^ps are not savages as regards the duties which nature herself requires us 
to render to (he dead. They do not yield in this respect to several nations nuich more 
civilized. You would say that all their labor and efforts were for scarcely anything 
hut to amass means of honoring the dead. They have nothing too valuable for this 
purpose; they devote to this use the robes, the hatchets, and the shell beads in such 
quantities, that you would think to see them, on these occasions, that they were con- 
sidered of no great value, and yet they are all the riches of the country ; you may 
often see them in midwinter almost entirely naked, while they have good and fine 
robes in their chests, which they are keeping in reserve for the dead ; this is, indeed, 
theirpoint of honor. It is on this occasion especially that they wish to appear magnifi- 
cent. But I 8i>eak here only of their peculiar funerals. 

These good people are not like many Christians, who cannot suffer death to be spoken 
of, and who, in a mortal sickness, hesitate to break the news to the sick one for fear of 
hastening his death. Here, when the recovery of anj' one is despaired of, not only 
do they not hesitate to tell him that his end is near, but they even prepare in his 
presence all that is necessary for the burial ; they often show him the shroud, the 
hose, the shoes, and the girdle which he is to wear ; frequently they are enshrouded, 
after their custom, before they have expired, and they hold a feast of farewell to their 
friends, during which they sing, sometimes without showing any apprehension of 
death, which they regard very indifferently, considering it only as a change to a life 
very little different from this. As soon as the dying man has drawn his last breath, 
they arrange the body in the .same position that is to be preserved in the tomb ; they 
do not lay it out horizontally, as is our custom, but crouched, like a ball (en peloton), 
"quasi en la mesme posture que les enfants sont au ventre de la mere." Until this 
time they restrain their mourning. After having performed these duties, all in the 
cabin begin to utter sighs, groans, and lamentations; the children cry Aistan, if it is 
their father, and the mother Aien, Aien, " My son, my son." No one seeing them thus 
weeping and mourning would think that they were only ceremonial lamentations; 
they blend their voices all in one accord and in a lugubrious tone, until some one in 
authority calls for peace; at once they cease and the captain hastens to announce 
through all Ihe cabins that such a one is dead. Upon the arrival of the friends they 
resume their mourning. Frequently some one of moi^ ;3:portance will begin to speak 
and will console the mother and the children, now extolling the deceased, praising 
his patience, his kindness, his liberality, his magnificence, and, if he was a warrior, 
his great courage ; now saying, " What do you wish ? there is no longer any remedy ; 
it was necessary for him to die ; we are all subject to death;" and then, "He lingered 
a very long time," &c. It is true that on this occasion they do not lack for conver- 
sation ; I am sometimes surprised to see them discourse a long time on this subject, 
and bring up, with much discretion, all considerations that may afford any consola- 
tion to the friends of the deceased. 

' Referred to on p. 71. 

2 Translated from Relations des J^suites, 1636, pp. 128-139, by Miss Nora Thomas. 


Notice is also given of this death to the friends who live in other villages, and as 
each familj" employs another who has the care of their dead, they come as soon as 
possible to give orders about everything and to fix the day of the funeral. They 
usually inter the dead ou the third day ; in the morning the captain gives an order 
that kettles shall be boiled for the deceased throughout the village. No one spares 
his best etibrts. They do this, in my opinion, for three reasons : First, to console 
each other, for they exchange dishes among themselves, and scarcely any one cats out 
of the kettle that he has prepared ; secondly, on account of the arrival of those of 
other villages, who often come in large numbers, lastly and principally, to gratify 
the soul of the deceased, who, they think, takes pleasure in eating his share. All the 
kettles being emptied, or at least distributed, the captain informs all the village that 
the body is to be carried to the cemetery. All the people assemble in the cabin; the 
mourning is renewed, and those who have charge of the funeral prepare a litter upon 
which the body is i>laced, laid upon a mat and wrapped in a robe of beaver skin ; 
they then raise it and carry it by the four corners. All the people follow in silence 
to the cemetery. 

There is in the cemetery a tomb made of bark and raised on four stakes of from 8 
to 10 feet in height. While the body is placed in this and the bark is trimmed, the 
captain makes known the presents that have been given by the friends. In this 
country, as well as in others, the most agreeable consolations for the loss of relations 
are always accompanied by presents, which consist of kettles, hatchets, beaver skins, 
and necklaces of shell beads. If the deceased was of some importance in the coun- 
try, not only the friends and neighbors but even the captains of other villages will 
come in person to bring their presents. Now, all these presents do not follow the body 
into the tomb ; a necklace of beads is sometimes placed on its neck and near it a comb, 
a gourd-full of oil, and two or three small loaves of bread; that is all. A large part 
of them goes to the relatives to dry their tears ; the rest is given to those who have 
had charge of the funeral, to pay them for their trouble. They also keep in reserve 
some robes or hatchets to make presents (largesse) to the young men. The captain 
places in the hand of one of them a stick about afoot long, ottering a prize to anyone 
who will take it from him. They throw them-selves headlong upon him and remain 
engaged in the contest sometimes for an hour. After this each one returns peaceably 
to his cabin. 

I forgot to say that generally throughout the ceremony the mother or wife stands 
at the foot of the sepulcher, calling the deceased, singing, or rather lamenting, in 
mournful tones. 

These ceremonies are not always all observed ; those who die in war they place 
in the ground, and the relatives make presents to their patrons, if they have .any, 
which is generally the case in this country, to encourage them to raise soldiers and 
avenge the death of the warrior. Those who are drowned are also buried, after the 
most fleshy parts of the body have been taken away in pieces, as I have explained 
more particularly in speaking of their superstitions. The presents are doubled on 
this occasion, and all the people of the country are often there, contributing from their 
store ; all this, they say, is to appease the Heaven or the Lake. 

There .are even special ceremonies for small children deceased under one or two 
months; they are not placed as others, in sepulchers of bark raised on stakes, 
but buried in the road, in order, they say, " que quelque femme passant par la, ils 
entrent secr^tement en son ventre, et que derechef elle leur donne la vie et les en- 
fante." I doubt that the good Nicodemus would have found much difficulty there, 
although he doubted only for old men, " Quomodo potest homo nasci cum sit senex." 

This beautiful ceremony took place this winter in the person of one of our little 
Christians, who had been named Joseph in baptism. I learned it on this occasion 
from the lips of the father of the child himself. 

When the funeral is over the mourning does not cease: the wife continues it all the 
year for her husband, the husband for the wife; but the grand mourning itself 


lasts only ten days. During this time they remain lying on their mats wrapped in 
their robes, with their faces against the earth, without speaking or replying to any- 
thing, save Cbaii, to those who come to visit them. They do not warm themselves in 
winter or eat warm things; they do not go to the feasts nor go out, save at night, for 
what they need; they cut a lock of hair from the back of the head and declare that 
it is not without deep sorrow, especially when the husband performs this ceremony 
on the death of his wife, or the wife on the death of her husband. Such is the great 

The lesser mourning lasts all the year. When they wish to visit any one, they do 
not salute them nor say Ctiai/, neither do they grease their hair. The women do this, 
however, when commanded to do so by their mothers, who have at their disposal their 
hair, and even their persons. It is also their privilege to send their daughters to the 
feasts, without which several will not go. What I think strange is that during the 
whole year neither the wife nor the husband marries again, else they would cause 
themselves to be talked about in the country. 

The sepulchers are not perpetual, as their villages are only permanent for some 
years, as long as the wood lasts. The bodies remain in the cemeteries only until the 
feast of the dead, which usually takes place every twelve years. During this time 
they do not neglect to honor the dead often. From time to time kettles are boiled for 
their souls throughout the village, as on the day of the funeral, and their names are re- 
vived as often a.s possible. For this i)urpo8e presents are given to the captains to be 
given to him who will consent to take the name of the deceased ; and if the latter was 
of consideration and had been esteemed in the country during his life, he who repre- 
sents him, after giving a grand feast to all the people of the country, to introduce him- 
self under this name, raises a body of free young men and goes to war to accomplish 
some brave feat which will show to the nation that he has not only inherited the name 
but also the bravery and courage of the deceased. 


The feast of the dead is the most celebrated ceremony that takes place among the 
Hurons. They give it the name of festival for the reason, as I should say now, that 
when the bodies are taken from the cemeteries each captain makes a "feast to the 
souls" in his village. The most important and magnificent is that of the master of 
the feast, who is for this reason called, par excellence, the " Maistre du Festin." 

This feast is full of ceremonies, but the chief one is evidently that of " boiling 
the kettle." This outdoes all the others, and the festival of the dead is spoken of, 
even in the most serious councils, only under the name Chaudiere (the kettle). They 
appropriate to it all the terms of cookery, so that when they speak of hastening or 
retarding the feast they say " rake out " or " .stir up the tire under the kettle ; " and 
when anyone says "the kettle is overturned," that means there will be no feast. 

There is generally only one festival in each nation. All the bodies are placed in 
the same grave. I say generally, for this year when the ffete des Morts took place the 
kettle-boiling was divided and five villages at this point where we are stationed 
made a separate band and placed their dead in a separate grave. He who had been 
captain of the preceding feast, and who is like the chief at this point, made the ex- 
cuse that his kettle and his feast had been spoiled and that he was obliged to make 
another. But, in fact, this was only a pretext. The real reason of this separation 
is that the great heads of the village have complained for a long time that tlie others 
took everything to themselves, that they did not share as they wished the knowledge 
of the affairs of the country, and that they were not called to the most secret and im- 
portant councils and to the division of the presents. 

This separation has been followed by distrust on both sides. God grant that it 
cause no hindrance to the spreading of the sacred Gospel. But I must touch briefly 
upon the order and the events of the feast. 

The twelve years or more having expired, the old people and great men of the na- 


tion assemble to decide upon the time when the feast shall be held, so as to satisfy 
all the people of the country and the outside nations who are to be invited. 

When the decision is made, as all the bodies are to be transported to the village 
where the common grave is made, each family takes charge of its dead with a care 
and affection that cannot be described. If they have relatives buried in any part of 
the country whatever they spare no trouble to go and bring them. They take them 
from the cemeteries, carry them on their own shoulders, and cover them with the 
finest robes they have in their possession. In each village a good day is chosen, and 
they repair to the cemetery, where those called Aiheonde, who have had the care of the 
sepulcher, take the bodies from the tomb in the presence of the relatives, who renew 
their tears and repeat the mourning of the day of the funeral. 

I was present at this ceremony, and willingly invited all our servants, for I do not 
think that there can be seen in this world a livelier image or more perfect representa- 
tion of the condition of man. 

It is true that in France our cemeteries speak forcibly, and that all these bones 
heaped upon one another without distinction, the poor with the rich or the small 
with the great, are so many voices continually reminding us of death, the vanity of 
worldly things, and the insiguilicauce of this jiresent life. But it seems to me th;it 
the custom of our savages on this occasion shows us still more sensibly our wretched- 
ness, for after the graves are opened all the bodies are laid out on the ground and left 
thus uncovered for some time, giving the spectators an opi)ortunity for once to see 
what will he their condition some day. Some of the bodies are entirely devoid of 
iiesh and have only a dry skin on the bones ; others appear as if they had been smoked 
and dried and show scarcely any signs of decay. Others still are covered with worms. 

The friends, being satisfied with this sight, cover them with handsome robes of 
beaver-skin, entirely now. Finall}', after a while, they strip ofl" the flesh and tlie skin, 
which they throw into the fire, together with the robes and mats in which the bodies 
have been buried. The complete bodies of those newly buried are left in the same 
condition and the friend.s content themselves with simplj' covering them with new 
robes. They touched only one old man, of whom I have spoken heretofore, who died 
this autumn ou the return from lishing. This large body had only begun to decay a 
month ago, at the time of the first heat of spring ; the worms were swarming all over 
it, and the pus which came from it caused an odor almost intolerable; nevertheless 
they had the courage to take the body from the robe in which it was enveloped, 
cleansed it as much as possible, took it up carefully and placed it in a new mat and 
robe, and all this was accomplished without exposing any of this corruption. Is here 
not a good example to animate the hearts of Christians, who should have more noble 
ideas to deeds of charity and works of pity towards their brethren ? Afler this who 
will look with horror upon the misery of a hospital ? And who will not feci a pecu- 
liar pleasure in serving a sick man covered with wounds, in whose person ho serves 
the Son of God ? 

As they were stripping the bodies they found in two of them a species of charm. 
The one that I saw with my own eyes was a turtle's egg with a leather strap 
(courroye) : the other, which was examined by our fathers, was a small turtle the size 
of a nut. This leads to the belief that there were sorcerers in our village, on account 
of which some resolved to leave it as soon as possible. Indeetl, two or three days 
after one of the richest men, fearing that some misfortune would befall hiin, trans- 
ported his cabin two miles from us to the village of Arontaen. 

Now, when these bones are well cleaned, part of them are placed in sacks, part in 
blankets, and they carry them on their shoulders, covering these bundles with other 
beautiful hanging robes. Entire bodies are put on a sort of litter and carried 
with all the others, each one taking his bundle into his cabin, where every family 
makes a feast to its dead. 

Returning from this festival with a captain, who has considerable intelligence and 
who will be some day of high standing in the affairs of the country, I asked him why 

5 KTH — 8 


they called the bones of the dead Atisleii. He explained as clearly as he could, and 
I learned from what he said that many believe that we have two sonls, both divisible 
and material and yet both rational ; one leaves the body at death, but remains, how- 
ever, in the cemetery until the feast of the dead, after which it either is changed into 
a turtle-dove, or according to the more general belief, it goes immediately to the vil- 
lage of sonls. 

The other soul is attached to the body; it marks the corpse, as it were, and remains 
in the grave after the feast, never to leave it, "si ce u'est que quelqu'vu I'eufante de 
rechef." He mentioned to me, as a proof of this metempsychosis, the perfect resem- 
blance which some persons bear to others who are deceased. Here is a grand phi- 
losophy. This is why they call the bones of the dead Afhkeii, " the souls." 

A day or two before departing for the feast tliey carried all these bodies into one of 
the largest cabins of the village, where some of them were attached to the poles of 
the cabin, and others laid around it, and the captain entertained and m.ade a grand 
feast in the name of the deceased captain, whose name he bore. I was present at 
this "feast of spirits," and observed four things in particular: First, that the offer- 
ings which were given for the feast by the friends, and vfhich consisted of robes, 
necklaces of shell beads, and kettles, were hung on poles extending the wiole length 
of the cabin from one side to the other. Second, the captain sang the song of the dead 
captain, according to the desire he had expressed before his death, that it should be 
sung on this occasion. Third, all the guests had the privilege of dividing among 
themselves all the good things they had brought, and even of carrying them home, 
contrary to the custom at ordinary feasts. Lastly, at the close of the feast, as a com- 
pliment to him who had entertained them, they imitated as they sang the cry of the 
spirits, and left the cabin crying hae'iS ha^. 

The master of the feast, and even Jnenlhiondic, captain-general of all the country, 
sent to invite us several times with much solicitation. You would have thought 
that the feast could not be a success without us. I sent two of our fathers several 
days beforehand to see the preparations and to learn exactly the day of the feast. 
Anenkhiondic received them very kindly, and on their departure conducted them 
himself a quarter of a league from there to where the grave was dug, and showed 
them with much display of emotion all the arrangenient.s, ifcc, of the feast. 

This feast was to have taken place on the Saturday of Pentecost, but some aft'airs 
which came up unexpectedly, and the uncertainty oPthe weather, caused it to be put 
oft' until Monday. 

The seven or eight days before the feast were passed in collecting the bodies (les 
ftmes) asvrell as assembling the strangers who were invited ; meanwhile from morning 
till night gifts were distributed by the living to the young men in honor of the dead. 
On one side women were drawing the bow to see who should have the prize, 
which was sometimes a girdle of porcupine quills or a necklace of beads ; on the other 
hand, in several parts of the village the young men were drawing clubs upon any 
who would try to capture them. The prize of this victory was a hatchet, some knives, 
or even a beaver robe. Every day the remains were arriving. There is some pleasure 
in seeing these funeral processions which number sometimes from two to three hun- 
dred persons. Each one carries the remains of his friends, that is the boucs, packed 
upon his back after the manner that I have described, under a beautiful robe. Some 
arranged their packets in the shape of a man, decorated with strings of beads, with 
a fine crown of red hiiir. On leaving their village the whole company cried hai4hai 
and repeated this "cry of the spirits" all along the way. This cry, they say, com- 
forts them greatly, otherwise their burdens, although souls, would weigh very 
heavily and cause a weakness of the side (cost^) for the rest of their lives. They 
travel by short stages ; the people of our village were three days in going four leagues 
and in reaching Osnossane, which we call Eochelle, where all the ceremonies were to 
be held. As soon as they arrive near any village they shout again the ha^^ ha^. The 
whole village comes out to meet them ; many presents are again distributed on this 


occasion. Each one repairs to some one of the cabins; all iind a place to put their bnn- 
dles ; this is done without confusion. At the same time the captains hold a council to 
decide upon the time that the company shall spend in this village. All the bodies 
of the dead of eight or nine villages were taken to Rochelle on Saturday of Pentecost ; 
but the fear of bad weather obliged them, as I have said, to postpone the ceremony 
till Monday. We were lodged a quarter of a league from there, at the old village, 
in a cabin where there were at least a hundred skeletons hung up to the poles, .some 
of which smelled stronger than musk. 

Monday at midday, word was sent that they were ready and that the ceremony 
would begin. The bundles of skeletons were at once taken down and the friends un- 
folded the wrappings to say their last farewells. Their tears tlowed anew. I admired 
the tenderness of one woman towards the remains of her father and chiUlren. She is 
the daughter of a captain who died at a great age and who formerly occupied a high 
position in the country. She combed his hair ; she touched the bones one after another 
with as much affection as if .she would have given them life ; she placed near him 
his Atsatoneaai, that is, his packet of rods (bftchettes) of the council, which are all 
the books and papers of the country. As for her children, she put upon their arms 
bracelets of shells and glass beads and bathed their bones with her tears. She could 
hardly be separated from them, but they were in haste, and it was necessary to start 
at once. The one who carried the body of this old captain walked at the head, the 
men following and then the women. They marched in this order until they arrived 
at the grave. 

The following is the arrangement of this place : There was a space about as large 
as the Place Royale at Paris. In the center was a largo grave about 10 feet (pieds) 
deep and 5 fathoms (brasses) in diameter, round it a scaffolding and a sort of .stage 
nicely made, from 9 to 10 fathoms (brasses) in diameter and 9 or 10 feet high ; above 
the stage there were several poles raised and well arranged, and others laid across 
them on which to hang all the bundles of skeletons. The entire bodies, as these 
were to be placed at the bottom of the grave, were laid under the scaffolding tlie day 
before, resting on bark, or mats raised on stones to the height of a man around the 
grave. The whole company arrived with the bodies about an hour after midday, and 
divided into parties according to the families and villages, and laid their bundles 
upon the ground, almost as the pots of earth were made at the village fairs; thoy 
also unfolded their robes and all the offerings they had brought and hung them upon 
the poles which extended for from 500 to GOO fathoms (toises) ; there were nearly 
twelve hundred gifts which remained thus on exhibition for two whole hours, to give 
strangers an opportunity to see the riches and magnificence of the country. I did 
not find the company as great as I had expected ; there were not more than two thou- 
sand persons. About 3 o'clock each one fastened up his bundles and folded his 
robes. Meanwhile each captain, in order, gave a signal, and all immediately took 
up their bundles of bones, ran as if at the assault of a city, mounted upon this stage 
by means of ladders which were placed all around, and hung them (the bundles) to 
the poles; each village had its department. This done, all the ladders were taken 
away. Some of the captains remained upon the platform and spent the rest of 
the afternoon, until 7 o'clock, in announcing the lists of presents which were given 
in the name of the deceased to some particular persons. For instance, they would 
say, here is what such a oue, decea,sed, gives to a certain relative. 

About 5 or t) o'clock they lined (pauereut) the bottom of the grave and bordered it 
with large new robes, the skins of ten beavers, in such a way that these extend 
more than a foot out of it. As they were preparing the robes which were to be used 
for this purpose, some of them descended into the grave, and came from it with their 
hands full of sand. I inquired what this ceremony meant, and learned that they 
believed that this sand will render them hpppy at their games (au ieu). 

Of the twelve hundred offerings that had been exhibited on the platform, forty- 


eight robes were to line and trim the grave, and each complete body had, besides the 
robe in Tvhich it was wrapped, another one, and some even two others, to cover it. 
This is all : so that I do not think [? but] that each body had one to itself, taking one 
with another, which is the least that it could have for its burial ; for these robes of 
beaver skin are what the clothes and shrouds are in France. But what becomes then 
of the rest ? We will see presently. 

At 7 o'clock the bodies were lowered into ihe grave. We had great difficulty 
in approaching it. Nothing ever pictured better to me the confusion among the 
damned. You could see unloaded on all sides bodies half decayed, and everywhere 
was heard a terrible uproarof confused voices of persons who were speaking without 
hearing one another; ten or twelve men were in the grave and were arranging the 
bodies all around it, one after the other. They placed, exactly in the center, three 
large kettles, which were of no )ise save for the spirits: one was pierced with holes, 
another had no handle, and the third was worth little more. I saw a few necklaces 
of shell beads there; it is true, many of them were put on the body. This was all 
that was done on this day. 

The whole company passed the night on the spot, having lit a great many fires and 
boiled kettles. We retired to the old village with the intention of returning the next 
day at daylight when they were to cast the bones into the grave ; but we barely ar- 
rived iu time, notwithstanding all the diligence we employed, on account of an 
accident which happened. One of the skeletons, which was not well fastened, or 
perhaps was too heavy for the cord which held it, fell of itself into the grave. 
The noise it made awoke the whole troupe, who ran and immediately mounted, in a 
crowd, to the jdatform and emptied, without order, all the bundles into the grave, 
reserving, however, the robes in which they bad been wrapped. We were just leav- 
ing the village at that time, but the noise was so great that it seemed almost as 
though we were there. Approaching we saw suddenly an image of the infernal 
regions. This great space was filled with fire and smoke and the air resounded on all 
sides with the mingled voices of the savages. This noise, nevertheless, ceased for a 
■while, and was changed to singing, but in a tone so doleful and weird that it repre- 
sented to us the terrible sadness and the depth of despair in which condemned souls 
are forever plunged. 

Nearly all the bones had been cast in when we arrived, for it was done almost in a 
moment, each one being in haste for fear that there was not room for all these skele- 
tons; nevertheless we saw enough of it to judge of the rest. There were five or six 
men in the grave, with poles, to arrange the bones. It was filled up within 2 feet of 
the top with bones, after which they turned over upon them the robes that bordered 
Ihe grave all around, and covered the whole with mats and bark. The pit was then 
filled up with sand, rods, and stakes of wood which were thrown in promiscuously. 
Some of the women brought dishes of corn, and on the same day and the following 
days several cabins of the village furnished basketfuls of it, which were cast into the 

We have fifteen or twenty Christians buried with these infidels. We say a De 
profundia for their souls, with the firm hope that if the Divine goodness does not 
cease His blessings on His people this feast will be made no more, or will be only for 
Christians, and will be celebrated with rites as holy as these are foolish and useless. 
They also begin to bo a burden upon the people for the excess and superfluous ex- 
penses that arc caused by them. 

All the morning was spent in distributing gifts (largesses), and most of the robes 
that had been wrapped around the bodies were cut in pieces and thrown from the top 
of the platform into the midst of the crowd for whoever could seize them first. There 
was great sport when two or three contested the possession of one beaver skin. In 
order to .settle it peaceably it was necessary to cut it into so many pieces, and thus 
they came out nearly empty-handed, for these tatters were hardly worth the picking 
up. I admired here the industry of one savage. He did not hurry himself to run 


after these flyiug pieces ; but, as there is nothing so valuable this year in the country 
as tobacco (petun), he held 'some pieces of it in his hand, which he presented at once 
to those who were disputing over the skin, and thus acquired it for himself. 

Before leaving the place wo learned that, on the evening when presents had been 
given to the foreign nations, on the part of the master of the feast, we also had been 
named ; and, in fact, as we were going, Anenkhiondic came and presented a new robe 
composed of ten beaver skins, in return for the necklace which I had given them in 
the midst of the council to show them the heavenly way. They were so much obliged 
for this present that they wished to show some acknowledgment of it in so good an 
assembly. I would not accept it, however, saying to him that, as we had made them 
this present only to persuade them to embrace our faith, they could not oblige us 
moro than in listening to us willingly and believiug in Him who rules over all. He 
asked what I desired that bo should do with the robe. I replied that he could dispose 
of it iu whatever way ho deemed best, with which he remained perfectly satisfied. Of 
the rest of the twelve hundred presents forty-eight robes were used to adorn the grave. 
Each body wore its robe and some of them two or three. Twenty were given to the 
master of the feast, to reward the nations who had assisted at it. A number were 
distributed on the j)art of the dead, through the captains, to their living friends. A 
part of them were only used for show, and were returned to those who had exhibited 
them. The old people (anciens), and great leaders of the country, who had the ad- 
ministration and management of it, privately took a great deal, and the rest were cut 
in pieces, as I have said, and scattered through the assembly. However, it was only 
the rich who lost nothing, or very little, at this feast. The mendicants and poor 
people brought and left there all they possessed of any value, and sutfered much by 
striving to appear as well as others in this celebration. Every one stood upou this 
point of honor. 

Indeed, it was only by a chance that we were not also participants of the feast. 
During this winter the Captain Aenons, of whom I have spoken before, came to make 
us a proposal on the part of all the anciens of the country. At that time the boiling 
of the kettle (ehaudiere) was not yet divided. They proposed to us then that wo 
should consent to exhume the remains of the two Frenchmen who had died in this 
country, to wit, Guillaume Chaudrou and Estienue Brusl^, who was killed four years 
ago, and that their bones might be placed in the common grave of their dead. We 
replied at iiist that this could not be done ; that it was forbidden ; that as they had 
been baptized, and were, as we hoped, in heaven, we respected their bones too highly 
to allow them to be mixed with the bones of those who had not been baptized. 
Besides, it was not our custom to exhume the bodies of those who had beeu buried. 

We decided, however, after all, that as they were interred iu the wood aud since 
the people desired it so much, we would consent to take uj) their boues on the condi- 
tion that they allowed us to put them in a particular grave, with the boues of all that 
we had baptized iu the country. 

Four reasons especially persuaded us to give them this final answer. First, as it is 
the greatest expression of friendship aud good-will that can be shown in this country, 
we yielded to them readily in this point that whicji they wished, and thus showed 
that we desired to love them as brothers and to live and die with them. Second, we 
hoped that God would be glorified iu it, especially, iu that separating by cousent of 
all the nation the bodies of the Christians from those of the unbelievers, it would 
not be difficult afterwards to obtain special permission that their Christians should 
be interred iu a separate cemetery, which we would bless for that purpose. Third, 
we claimed to bury them with all the rites of the Church. Fourth, the old men, 
of their own accord, desired us to raise there a beautiful and magnificent cross, as 
they showed us afterwards more particularly. Thus the cross would have been 
established by the authority of the whole country and honored iu the midst of this 
heathenism, and they would have been careful not to impute to it afterwards, as they 
have done in the past, all the misfortunes that befell them. 


This captain tlioiiglit our proposition very reasonable and tlie old inen (auciens) of 
the country remained very well contented with it. Some time after, the cliaudiere was 
divided, and, as I have said, five villages of our part of the country resolved to hold 
their feast apart. 

In the spring a general assembly of all the principal men was held, to consult about 
the feast and to endeavor to prevent this schism and reunite the cooking of the kettle. 
These dissatisfied ones were there and I also was invited. They made me the same 
proposition as before. I replied that we were very well satisfied, provided that this 
was done under the conditions that we had demanded. I was reminded of the divis- 
ion, and they asked me, since there were two feasts (chaudieres), that is, two graves, 
on which side I desired to have our special grave. To this I answered, in order to 
offend no one, that I would leave it to their judgment ; that they were just and wise 
and they could decide between themselves. The master of the feast of Rochelle said, 
thereupon, with condescension, that he did not claim anything and that he was will- 
ing that the other, who is the chief at this place, should have on his side the remains 
of our two Frenchmen. The latter replied that he laid no claim to the one that bad 
been buried at Rochelle, but that as for the body of Estieune Brusle it belonged to 
him, as it was he that had engaged with him and led him into this country. So here 
the bodies were separated, one on one side, tlie other on the other side. At this some 
one said privately that indeed he (the chief) had ihe right to demand the body of 
Estienne Brusl*^, and that it was reasonable that he should render some honor to his 
bones, since they had killed him. This could not be said so discreetly but that the cap- 
tain had a hiu£ of it; he concealed his feelings, however, at the time. After the 
council, as we had already gone, he raised this reproach and began to talk with the 
captain of Rochelle, and finally gave over entirely the body of Brnsld, in order not to 
embitter and make bloody this sore, of which the people of this point have not yet 
cleared themselves. This caused us to resolve, that we might keep in favor with those 
of Rochelle, not to meddle with either the one or the other. 

Truly there is reason to admire the secret judgments of God, for this infamous man 
certainly did not merit that honor; and to tell the truth we had hesitated much in 
resolving to make on this occasion a particular cemetery, and to transport to holy 
ground a body that had led so wicked a life in the country and given the savages such 
a wrong impression of the manners of the French. At first some thought hard of it 
that we should have this opinion and were ofi'ended, alleging that this being so they 
could not boast as they hoped among strange nations of being related to the French, 
otherwise it would be said to them that they did not have much appearance of it, 
since we had not wished to put the bones of our people with theirs. Afterwards, how- 
ever, having heard all our reasons, they decided that we had acted prndently and that 
it was the best means of maintaining our friendship with each other. 

Shall I finish for the present with this funeral ? Yes ; since it is a mark sufficiently 
clear of the hope of a future life which nature seems to furnish us in the minds of 
these people, as a good means of making tliem understand the promises of Jesus Christ. 
Is there not reason to hope that they will do this, and that as soon as possible ? Cer- 
tainly I dare to assert that with this prospect we have reason to fortify our courage 
and to say of our Hurons what St. Paul wrote to the Philippians : " Confidens hoc ipsum, 
quia qui cocpil in vohis opus honum, jyerficiet rsqne in diem Chrisli lesn." These poor people 
open their ears to what we tell them of the kingdom of heaven ; they think it very 
reasonable, and do not dare tocontradict it. They are learning the judgments of God in 
the other life ; they are beginning to have recourse with ns to His goodness in their ne- 
cessities, and our Lord seems to favor them sometimes with some particular assistance. 
They procure baptism for those who they think are about to die ; they give us their 
children to be instructed, even permitting them to come three hundred leagues for 
this purpose, notwithstanding the tender aft'ectiou they have for them ; they promise 
to follow them one day and show us that they would not give us such precious pledges 
if they did not desire to keep faith with us. You would say that they were waiting 


only to see some one among them to be the first to take this bold step and dare to go 
contrary to the custom of the country. They are, tinally, a people who have a 
permanent home (demenre arrestee), are judicious, capable of reason, and well mul- 

I made mention, the past year, of twelve nations entirely sedentary and harmonious, 
who understand the language of our Hurons; and theHuronsmakein, twenty villages, 
about 30,000 souls ; if the rest is in proportion, there are more than 300,000 who speak 
only the Huron language. God gives us influence among them; they esteem us, and 
we are in such favor with them, that we know not whom to listen to, so much does 
each one aspire to have us. In truth we would be very ungrateful for the goodness 
of God if we should lose courage in the midst of all this, and did not wait for Him to 
bring forth the fruit in his own time. 

It is true that I have some little apprehension for the time when it will be necessary 
to speak to them in a r.ew way of their manners and to teach them "a doner leur 
chairs" and restrain themselves in the honesty of marriage, breaking off their ex- 
cesses for fear of the judgment of God npon their vices. Then it will be a question of 
telling them openly, " Qiioiiiamqiii talia afiuiit rcgnum Dei non posnidehttnt." I fear that 
thej' will prove stubborn, when we speak to them of assuming Jesus Christ, wearing 
his colors, and distinguishing themselves in the fjuality of Christians from what 
they have been formerly, by a virtue of which they scarcely know the name ; when 
we cry unto them with the Apostle: "Fortius is the will of God, your s.anctifica- 
tion : that you should abstain from fornication, that every one ox you should know 
how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor: not in the passion of lust, like 
the gentiles that know not God." There is, I repeat, reason to fear that they may be 
frightened with the subject of purity and chastity, and that they will be disheartened 
with the doctrine of the Son of God, saying with those of Capernaum, on another sub- 
ject, " Durus est hie scrmo et quis potest eum atidire'" Nevertheless, since with the 
grace of God we have already persuaded them, by the open profession we have made 
of this virtue, neither to do or say in our presence anything which may be averse to 
it — even to threaten strangers when they forget themselves before us, warning them 
thgit the French and especially the "black robes," detest these intimacies — is it 
not credible that if the Holy Spirit touches them once, it will eo impress upon them 
henceforth, in everyplace and at all times, the reverence which they should give to 
His divine presence and immensity, that they will be glad to bechaste in order to be 
Christians, and will desire earnestly to be Christians iu order to bechaste ? I believe 
that it is for this very purpose that our Lord has inspired us to put them under the 
charge of St. Joseph. This great saint, who was formerly given for a husband to 
the glorious Virgin, to conceal from the world and the devil a virginity which God 
honored with His incarnation, has so much influence over the " Salute Dame," in 
whose hands His Son has placed, as iu deposit, all the graces which co-operate with 
this celestial virtue, that there is almost nothing to fear in the contrary vice, for those 
who are devoted to Him, as we desire our Hurons to be, as well as ourselves. It is 
for this purpose, and for the entire conversion of all these peoples, that we commend 
ourselves heartily to the prayers of all those who love or wish to love God and es- 
pecially of all our fathers and brothers. 

Your very humble and obedient servant in our Lord, 


From the residence of St. Joseph, among the Hurons, at the village called Ihona- 
tiria, this 16th of July, 1036. 








Introduction 129 

Cessions of land — Colonial period 130 

Cessions of land — Federal period 131 

Treaty of November 28, 1785 133 

Material provisions 133 

Historical data 134 

De Soto's expedition 134 

Early traditions 13(; 

Early contact witli Virginia colonists 138 

Early relations with Carolina colonists 138 

Mention by various early authors 139 

Territory of Cherokees at period of English settlement _ 140 

Population 142 

Old Cherokee towns 142 

Exjiulsion of Shawnees by Cherokees and Chickasaws 144 

Treaty relations with the colonies 144 

Treaty relatious with the United States 152 

Proceedings at treaty of Hopewell 153 

Treaty of July 2, 1791 158 

Material provisions 158 

Historical data 160 

Causes of dissatisfaction with boundary of 1785 1(50 

Tennessee Company's purchase - 162 

Difficulties in negotiating new treaty 162 

Survey of new boundaries - 163 

Treaty of February 17,1792 169 

Material provisions 169 

Historical data 169 

Discontent of Cherokees 16'J 

War with Cherokees 170 

Treaty of June 26, 1794 171 

Material provisions 171 

Historical data ; 171 

Complaints concerning boundaries 171 

Cherokee hostilities 173 

Intercourse act of 1796 173 

Treaty of October 2, 1798 174 

Material provisions 174 

Historical data 175 

Disputes respecting territory 175 




Treaty of October 24, 1804 183 

Material provisious 183 

Historical data 184 

New treaty authorized l>y Congress 184 

WafTord's settlement 186 

Further negotiations authorized : 187 

Treaty of October 25, 1805 : 189 

Material provisious ISD 

Treaty of October 27,1805 190 

Material provisions 190 

Historical data respecting this treaty and the preceding one 190 

Continued negotiations authorized 190 

Controversy concerning " Doublehead " tract 192 

Treaty of January 7, 1806 193 

Material provisious 193 

Treaty of September 11,1807 194 

Material provisions 194 

Historical data 195 

Controvi'rhy concerning boundaries 195 

Explanatory treaty negotiated 197 

Treaty of March 22, 1816, ceding land in South Carolina 197 

Material provisions 197 

Treaty of March 22, 1816, defining certain boundaries, etc 193 

Material provisions 198 

Historical data 199 

Colonel Earle's negotiations for the purchase of iron ore tract 199 

Tennessee l^iils to conclude a treaty with the Cherokees 201 

Removal of Cherokees to the west of the Mississippi proposed 202 

Eflorts of South Carolina to extinguish Cherokee title 204 

Boundary between Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, and Chickasaws 205 

Roads through the Cherokee country 208 

Treaty of September 14, 1816 209 

Material provisions 209 

Historical data 210 

Fnrtlier purchase of Cherokee lands 210 

Treaty of July 8, 1817 212 

Material provisions 212 

Historical data 214 

Policy of removing ludiau tribes to the west of the Mississippi River. 214 

Further cession of territory by the Cherokees 216 

Treaty of February 27, 1819 '. 219 

Material provisions - 219 

Historical data 221 

Cherokees west of the Mississippi — their wants and condition 221 

Disputes among Cherokees concerning emigration 222 

I'ublic sentiment in Tennessee and Georgia concerning Cherokee re- 
moval 223 

Treat}' concluded for further cession of land 225 

Status of certain Cherokees 228 

Treaty of May 0, 1828 229 

Material provisions 229 

Historical data 231 

Return J. Meigs and the Cherokees 231 

Tennessee denies validity of Cherokee reservations 232 

United States agree to extinguish Indian title in Georgia 233 


Treaty of May 6, 1828 — Continued. 

Cherokee progress in ciTilization 240 

Failure of negotiations for further cession of lands 241 

Cherokee Nation adopts a constitution , 241 

Cherokee att'airs west of the Mississippi 242 

Treaty of February 14,1833 249 

Material provisions ■- 249 

Historical data 251 

Conflicting land claims of Creeks and Cherokees -west of the Mis- 
sissippi 251 

Purchase of Osage half-breed re.serves 252 

President Jackson refuses to approve treaty of 1834 252 

Treaty of December 29,1835 253 

Material jirovisions 253 

Treaty of March 1, 1836 (supplementary articles) 257 

Material provisions 257 

Historical data 258 

Zealous measures for removal of Eastern Cherokees 258 

General Carroll's report on the condition of the Cherokees 259 

Failure of Colonel Lowry's mi.ssion 262 

Decision of Supreme Court in "Cherokee Nation r. Georgia" 262 

Failure of Mr. Chester's mission 262 

Decision of Supreme Court in " Worcester r. Georgia" 264 

Disputed boundaries between Cherokees and Creeks 266 

Cherokees plead with Congress and the President for justice 272 

Cherokees propose an adjustment 274 

Cherokees meuu)rialize Congress 275 

Treaty negotiations resumed 278 

Eepoit of Slajor Davis 284 

Elias Boudinot's views 285 

Speech of General R. G. Dunlap 285 

Report of General John E. Woid 286 

Reijort of John Mason, jr 286 

Henry Clay's sympathy with the Cherokees 287 

Policy of the President criticised — Speech of Col. David Crockett .. 288 
General Wiufield Scott ordered to command troops in Cherokee 

country 291 

John Ross proposes a new treaty 291 

Cherokees permitted to remove themselves 292 

Dissension among Cherokees in their new home -. 292 

Cherokees charge the United States with bad faith 296 

Per capita jiayuK'nts under treaty of 1835 297 

Political murders in Cherokee Nation 297 

Adjudication commissioners appointed 298 

Treaty of August 6, 1846 298 

Material provisions 298 

Historical data 300 

Cherokees desire a new treaty 300 

Feuds between the "Ross," "Treaty," and "Old Settler" parties ... 301 

Death of Sequoyah, or George Guess 302 

Old Settler and Treaty parties propose to remove to Mexico 302 

More political murders 303 

Negotiation of treaty of 1846 304 

Affairs of the North Carolina Cherokees , 313 


^ Page. 

Treaty of AiiRust 6, 1846 — Continued. 

Proposed removal of tlie Catawba Indians to the Cherokee country. 317 

Financial difficulties of the Cherokees 318 

Murder of the Adairs and others 319 

Financial distresses — New treaty proposed 320 

Slavery in the Cherokee Nation 321 

Removal of white settlers on Cherokee land 322 

Fort Gibson abandoned by the United States 322 

Removal of trespassers on neutral land 323 

John Ross survey and allotment of Cherokee domain 324 

Political excitement in 1860 324 

Cherokees and the Southern Confederacy 326 

Cherokee troops for the Confederate army 328 

A Cherokee Confederate regiment deserts to the United States 329 

Ravages of war in the Cherokee Nation 332 

Treaty of July 19, 1866 334 

Material provisions 334 

Treaty of Aprils-, 1868 (supplemental) 340 

Material provisions 340 

Historical data 341 

United States desire to remove Indians from Kansas to Indian Ter- 
ritory 34 1 

Council of southern tribes at Camp Napoleon 341 

General council at Fort Smith 341 

Conference at Wa.shiugton, D. C - 345 

Cession and sale of "Cherokee strip" and "neutral lands " 348 

Appraisal of confiscated property — census 351 

New treaty concluded bnt never ratified 351 

Boundaries of the Cherokee domain 354 

Delawares, Munsees, and Shawueesjoiu the Cherokees 356 

Friendly tribes to be located ou Cherokee lauds west of 96^ 358 

East and north boundaries of Cherokee country 305 

Railroads through Indian Territory 366 

Removal of intruders — Cherokee citizenship 367 

General remarks 371 



Plate Vir. Earliest map showing location of the Cberokees. 1597 128 

A^III. llap of the former territorial limits of the Cherokee Nation of 
Indians, exhibiting the bouudaries of the varions cessions of 
land made by them to the colonies and to the United States. 


IX. Map showing the territory originally assigned to the Cherokee 
Indians west of the Mississippi Kiver ;, the boundaries of 
the territory now occupied or owned by them. 1884 

* In pocket at the end of volume. 



By Charles C. Eoyce. 


An historical atlas of Indian affairs has for some time past been in 
course of preparation under the direction of the Bureau of Ethnology, 
Smithsonian Institution. 

The chief aim of this atlas is to show upon a series of State and Terri- 
torial maps the boundaries of the various tracts of country which ha%"e 
from time to time been acquired through the medium of treaty stipula- 
tion or act of Congress from tlie several Indian tribes resident witliin tlie 
present territory of the United States from the beginning of the Federal 
period to the present day. 

Accompanying this atlas will be one or more volumes of historical 
text, wherein will be given with some detail a history of tlie oflicial re- 
lations between the United States and these tribes. This will treat of the 
various negotiations for peace and for the acquisition of territory, tlie 
causes rendering such negotiations necessary, and the methods observed 
by the Government through its authorized agents in this diplomacy, as 
well as other matters of public concern growing out of the same. 

The following mouogi-aph on the history of the Cherokecs, with its 
accompanying maps, is given as an illustration of the character of the 
work in its ti'eatment of each of the Indian tribes. 

The maps are intended to show not only the ancestral but the jiresent 
home of the Cherokees, and also to indicate the boundaries of the va- 
rious tracts of territorj' purchased from them by the Colonial or Federal 
authorities from time to time since their first contact with the European 
settlements. A numbi'r of purchases made prior to the Federal period 
by individuals were unauthorized and unrecognized bj^ the Colonial au- 
thorities, and their boundaries, though given in the text, are not laid 
down upon the map, because the same areas of territory were after- 
wards included within the limits of Colonial ijurchascs. 

In the preparation of this article, more particularly in the tracing out 

of the various boundary lines, much careful attention and research 

have been given to all available authorities or sources of information. 

The old mauuscri[)t rctords of the Government, the shelves of the Con- 

.j ETII 129 


gressional Library, including its very large collection of American 
maps, local records, and the knowledge of " old settlers," as well as the 
accretions of various State historical societies, have been made to pay 
tribute to the subject. 

In the course of these researches the writer has been met in his in- 
quiries with a degree of courtesy and kindly assistance that merits pub- 
lic recognition. 

Among others who have shown an earnest desire to promote the ob- 
ject of these investigations are Hon. John M. Lea, vice-president State 
Historical Society of Tennessee ; General Eobert N. Hood, Speucer Muu- 
son, and E. H. Armstrong, of Knoxville, Tenn. The writer is also 
deeply indebted to the Hon. Hiram Price, Commissioner of Indian Af- 
fairs, and E. L. Stevens, chief clerk, for the readiness with which they 
afforded him access to the records and tiles of the Indian Bureau. This 
permission was earnestly supplemented by the intelligent assistance 
and encouragement of Mr. C. A. Maxwell, chief of the Land Division, 
as well as that of E. F. Thompson and Paul Brodie, of the same Bu- 
reau, both of whom have taken special and constant pains to aid these 

To Captain Adams, of the Bureau of Topographical Engineers, the 
hearty thanks of the writer are due for many courtesies extended in the 
examination of the voluminous and valuable collection of maps belong- 
ing to that branch of the public service, and equal credit must be given 
to Mr. G. P. Strum, principal draughtsman of the General Land OlHce, 
and his assistants, for their uniform courtesy in affording access to 
the official plats and records of that Bureau. 

The officers of the Congressional Library have also shown a marked 
degree of courtesy and interest. 

The various cessions of land by the Cherokees alluded to in the text 
are numerically designated upon the accompanying maps, and are as 
follows : 


No. Date and demgnation of Cherokee Treaties. 

Description of cession. 


Treaty of 1721 with Sontli Carolina Tr.ict in South Carolina hetween Santee, 

Saluda, and Bdisto Rivers. 


Treaty of Nov. 24, 1755, with Sonth Carolina 

Treaty of Oct. 14, 1768, with British Super- 
intendent of Indian Atfairs. 
Treaty of Oct. IS, 1770, at Lochaher, S. C . . . 

Treaty of 1772 with Virginia 

Treaty of June 1, 1773, with British Super- 
intendent of Indian Affairs. 

Treaty of March 17, 1775, with Richard 
Henderson et al. 

Treaty of May 20, 1777, with Sonth Caro- 
lina and Georgia. 

Treaty of July 20, 1777, with Virginia and 

Tract in South l.'arolina hetween Wateree ' Bine. 

and Savannah Rivers. 
Tract in Southwestern Virginia Mauve. 

Tract in Virginia, West Virginia, North- Red. 
eastern Tennessee, and Eastern Ken- 
tucky, which is overlapped by No. 7. 

Tract in Virginia, West Virginia, and ] Yellow. 
Eastern Kentucky. 

Tract in Georgia, north of Broad River Mauve. 

Tract in Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennes- i Blue. 

see (overlaps No. 4). ' 

Tract in Northwestern Sonth Carolina ] Red. 

^ Tract in Western North Carolina and : Green. 

North Carolina. " Nortlieastern Tennessee. 

Treaty of May 31, 1783, with Georgia , Tract in Georgia, between Oconee and Green. 

1 Tugaloo Rivers. 





Date and designation of Cherokee Treaties. 

Description of cession. 




Treaty of July 2, 1791, with United States 
Treaty of Oct. 2, 1798, with United States.. 


Treaty of Oct. 24, 1804, with United States . 
Treaty of Oct. 25, 1805, with United States 

Treaty of Oct. 27, 1805, with United States 

Treaty of Jan. 7, 1806, with United States 


Treatyof Mar. 22, 1816, with United States. 
Treaty of Sept. 14, 1H16, with Uniti-d States 
Treaty of July 8, 1817, with United States 




Treaty of Feb. 27, 1819, with United States. 



.... do 






Treaty of Dec. 29, 1835, with United States. 

Treaty of May 6, 1828, with United States. 

Treaty of July 19, 1866, with United States 








Present country of the Cherokees east of 
90'= W. longitude. 

Present countrv of the Cherokees west of 
96° W. longitude. 

Tract in "Western Xorth Carolina Yellow. 

Tract in Southern and ^Ve-stem Kentucky Green, 
and Northern Tennessee. 

Tract in "Western North Carolina and Brown. 
Eastern Tennessee. 

Tract in Tennessee, between Hawkins' Red. 
Line, Tennessee Iliver, and Chilhowee 

Tract in North Carolina, between Pickens Red. 
and Meigs line. 

Tract in Tennessee, between Clinch River Red. 
and Cumberland Mountain. j 

Tract in Georgia, known as Waflbrd'a i Red. 
Settlement. ( 

Tract in Kentucky and Tennessee, west j Yellow, 
of Tennessee Riyer and Cumberland ■ 
Mountain. I 

Tract in Tennessee of one section at ' Green. 
Southwest Point. ' 

First island in Tennessee River above the Mauye. 
mouth of Clinch River. ! 

Tract in Tennessee and Alabama, between ■ Red. 
Tennessee and Duck Kivers. I 

LoDiT or Great Island in Holston River \ Red. 

Tract in northwest coruerof South Carolina Blue. 

Tract in Alabama and Mississippi Groen. 

Tract in Northeastern Georgia Yellow. 

Tract in Southern Tennessee Green. 

Tract in Northern Alabama, between Blue. 
Cypress and Elk Rivers. I 

Tract in Northern Alabama, above mouth Elue. 
of Spring Creek on Tennessee River. 

Tract in Northern Alabama and Southern Yellow. 

Tract in Southern Tennessee, on Tennes- Red. 
see River. 

Tract in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Mauve. 

Jolly's Island, in Tennessee River Re^l. 

Small tract in Tenne.'iseo, at and below the Green, 
mouth of Clinch River. I 

Tract of 12 miles square, on Tennessee | Mauve. 
River, in Alabama. 

Tract 1 mile square, in Tennessee, at foot Green, 
of Cumberland Mountain. i 

Tract of I mile square, at Cherokee Taloo- Green, 
tiske's residence. 

Tract of 3 square mUes, opposite mouth of Green. 
Iliwassee Kiver. 

Tract in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, Blue. 
being all remaining lands east of the 
Mississippi River. 

This treaty was with the Cherokees resid- Green. 
ing west of the Mississippi, and they 
ceded the lands in Arkansas granted 
them by treaties of 1817 and 1819, receiv- 
ing in exchange a tract further west. 
These latter boundaries were subse- 
quently modified and enlargeii by the 
treaties of Feb. 14, 1833, and Dec. 29, 1835. 

Tract known as "Neutral Land, "in Kan- Red. 
sas,ce(ledintrust to besold by the United 
States for the beneiit of the Cherokees. 

Tract known as "Cherokee Strip, " in Kan- Yellow, 
sas, ceded in trust to be sold for the bene- 
fit oft he Cherokees by the United States. 

Tract sold to Osages , Green. 

Tract sold to Kan.sa3 or Raws Red. 

Tract sold to Pawnees Red. 

Tract sold to Poucas Red. 

Tract sold to Nez Perc6s Yellow. 

Tract sold to Otoes and Missourias Yellow. 

This is the country now actually occupied Red. 
and to be permanently retained by the 

This is the remnant of the country dedi- Blue, 
cated by the treaty of July 19, 1866, to 
tlje location of other friendly tribes. 
The Cherokees retain their title to and 
cnntrol over it until actual purchase by 
and location of other tribes thereon. 



The arrangement of tlie historical text has seemed to the writer to bo 
that best suited to the object in view. As will be observed, au abstract 
of the salient provisions of each treaty is given, beginning with the 
first treaty concluded between the Cheroliee Xation and the United 
States of America. In each instance, immediately following this ab- 
stract, will be found the historical data covering the i)eriod and tlie 
events leading to its negotiation, as well as those of the subsequent 
period intimately connected with tlie results of such treaty. 



At Hopewell, on the Keoicee River, in South Carolina, between Benjamin 
Hairlins, Auilreic Pichens, Joseph 2lartin, and Lachlanc JWIntosh, Com- 
misaioners Plenipotentiary of the United IStates, and the Headmen and 
Warriors of all the Cherokees. 


The United States give peace to the Cherokees and receive them into 
favor and protection on the following conditions: 

1. The Cherokees to restore to liberty all prisoners citizens of the 
United States or subjects of their allies; also, all negroes and other 
property taken from citizens during the late war. 

2. The United States to restore to the Cherokees all Indian prisoners 
taken during the late war. 

3. The Cherokees to acknowledge themselves under the exclusive pro- 
tection of the United States. 

4. The boundary line between the Cherokees' hunting-gi'ouud and the 
United States to be as follows, viz: Begin at the mouth of Duck Eiver 
on the Tennessee; thence northeast to the ridge dividing the waters 
falling into the Cumberland from those falliug into the Tennessee; theuce 
eastwardly along said ridge to a northeast line to be run, which shall 
strike Cumberland Eiver 40 miles above Nashville; thence along said 
line to the river ; thence np the river to the ford where the Kentucky 
road crosses ; thence to Campbell's line near Cumberland Gap ; thence 
to the mouth of Claud's Creek on Holstein; thence to Chimney-Top 
Mountain ; thence to Camp Creek, near the mouth of Big Limestone on 
Nolichucky ; thence southerly six (6) miles to a mountain ; thence south 
to the Xorth Carolina line ; thence to the South Carolina Indian bound- 
ary, and along the same southwest over the top of Oconee Mountain 
till it shall strike Tugaloo Eiver; thence a direct line to the top of 
Currohee Mountain ; thence to the head of the south fork of Oconee 

' United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 18. 



5. Citizens of the United States or persons other than Indians who 
settle or attempt to settle on lands west or south of said boundary and 
refuse to remove within six months after ratification of this treaty to 
forfeit the protection of the United States, and the Indians to punish 
them or not, as they please: Froi'irlcd, That this article shall not extend 
to the people settled between the fork of French Broad and Holstein 
Elvers, whose status shall be determined by Congress. 

G. The Cherokees to deliver up for punishment all Indian criminals 
for offenses against citizens of the United States. 

7. Citizens of the United States committing crimes against Indians 
to be punished by the United States in the ijresence of the Cherokees, 
to whom due notice of the time and place of such intended iiunishmeut 
shall be given. 

8. Retaliation declared unjust and not to be practiced. 

9. The United States to have sole right of regulating trade with the 
Indians and managing their affairs. 

10. Traders to have liberty to trade with the Cherokees until Congress 
shall adopt regulations relative thereto. 

11. Cherokees to give notice of any designs formed by other tribes 
against the peace, trade, or intei'ests of the United States. 

12. Cherokees to have the right to send a deputy of their choice to 
Congress whenever they think fit. 

13. The hatchet to be forever buried between the United States and 


The Cherokee Nation has probably occupied a more prominent place 
in the affairs and history of what is now the United States of America, 
since the date of the early European settlements, than any other tribe, 
nation, or confederacy of Indians, unless it be possible to except the 
powerful and warlike league of the Iroquois or Six Nations of New 

It is almost certain that they were visited at a very early period fol- 
lowing the discovery of the American continent by that daring and 
enthusiastic Spaniard, Fernando De Soto. 

In determining the exact route pursued by him from his landing in 
Florida to his death beyond the Mississippi, many insuperable difficul- 
ties present themselves, arising not only from an inadequate description 
on the part of the historian of the courses and distances pursued, but 
from many statements made by him that are irreconcilable with an 
accurate knowledge of the topographic detail of the country traversed. 

A narrative of the expedition, " by a gentleman of Elvas," was pub- 
lished at Evora in 1557, and translated from the Portuguese by Eichard 
Hakluyt, of London, in 1C09. From this narrative it appears that 

eoyck:] TEEATY of NOVEMBER -28, 1785. 135 

after traveling a long distance in a northeasterly direction from his 
point of landing on the west coast of Florida, De Soto reached, in the 
spring of 1540, an Indian town called by the narrator "Cntifachi- 
qui." From the early American maps of De L'Isle and others, npon which 
is delineated the supposed route of De Soto, this town appears to be 
located on the Santee Kiver, and, as alleged by the "gentleman of 
Elvas," on the authoritj' of the inhabitants, was two days' journey from 
the sea-coast. 

The expedition left Cutifachiqui on the .3d of May, 154:0,and pursued 
a northward course for the period of seven days, when it came to a 
province called Chelaque, " the poorest country of maize that was seen in 
Florida." It is recorded that the Indians of this province "feed upon 
roots and herbs, which they seek in the fields, and upon wild beasts, 
which they kill with their bows and arrows, and are a very gentle people. 
All of them go naked and are very lean." 

That this word " Chalaque" is identical with our modern Cherokee 
would apj^ear to be almost au assured fact. The distance and route 
pursued by the expedition are both strongly corroborative of this as- 
sumption. The orthography of the name was probably taken by the 
Spaniards from the Muscogee pronunciation, heard by them among the 
Creeks, Choctaws, and Chickasaws. It is asserted by William Bar- 
tram, in his travels through that region in the eighteenth century, that 
in the "Muscogulge" language the letter "r" is not sounded in a sin- 
gle word, but that on the contrary it occurs very frequent!}' iu the 
Cherokee tongue.^ 

Through this province of Chalaque Do Soto passed, still pursuing 
his northward course for five days until he reached the province of 
"Xualla," a name much resembling the Tnodern Cherokee word Qnalla. 
The route from Cutifachiqui to Xualla lay, for the most part, through 
a hilly country. From the latter i)rovince the expedition changed its 
course to the west, trending a little to the south, and over "very rough 
and high hills," reaching at the end of iive days a town or xnovince 
which was called "Guaxule," and two days later a town called 
"Canasag'ua," an orthography almost identical with the modern Chero- 
kee name of Canasauga, as applied to both a stream and a town within 
their Georgia limits. 

Assuming that these people, whose territory De Soto thus traversed, 
were the ancestors of the modern Clierokees, it is the first mention made 
of them bj' European discoverers and more than a century anterior to 
the period when they first became known to the pioneers of permanent 
European t;ccupation and settlement. 

Earliest maj). — The earliest map upon which I have found " Chalaqua" 
located is that of " Florida et Apalche" by Cornely Wytlliet, published 

' I am iuforuied by Colonel Bushyhead, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, that 
Bartram is mistaken in his latter assumption. The letter "r" was never used ex- 
cept among the Overhill Cherokees, and occurred very infrequently with them. 


in 1597.' This locatiou is based ii])on the narrative of De Soto's ex])c- 
ditiou, and is iixed a short distance east of the Savannah Eiver and im- 
mediately south of the Appalachian Mountains. " Xualla" is placed to 
the west of and near the headwaters of the " Secco" or Savannah Eiver. 


Haywood, in his Natural and Aboriginal Ilistory of Tennessee, 
records many of the traditions concerning the origin and the ]iriraal 
habitat of the Cherokees. He notes the fact that they were firmly 
established on the Tennessee or Hogohege Eiver before the year 1G50, 
and exercised dominion over all the country on the east side of the Alle- 
ghany Mountains, including the headwaters of the Yadkin, Catawba, 
Broad, and Savannah Eivcrs, and that from thence westward they 
claimed the country as far as the Ohio, and thence to the headwaters 
of the Chattahoochee and Alabama. One tradition which he alleges 
existed among them asserts their migration from the west to the upper 
waters of the Ohio, where they erected the mounds on Grave Creek, 
gradually working eastward across the Alleghany Mountains to the 
neighborhood of Monticello, Ya., and along the Appomattox River. 

From this point, it is alleged, thej' removed to the Tennessee country 
about 1023, when the Yirginians suddenly and unexpectedly fell upon 
and massacred the Indians throughout the colonj-. After this mas- 
sacre, the story goes, they came to New Eiver and made a temporary set- 
tlement there as well as one on the head of the Holston ; but, owing to the 
enmity of the northern Indians, they removed in a short time to the Little 
Tennessee and founded what were known as " Middle Settlements." An- 
other tribe, he alleges, came from the neighborhood of Charleston, South 
Carolina, and settled lower down the Tennessee. This branch called 
themselves "Ketawanga," and came last into the country. The tradi- 
tion as to those who came from Virginia seeks also to establish the idea 
that the Powhatan Indians were Cherokees. The whole story is of the 
vaguest character, and if the remainder has no stronger claims to cred- 
ibility than their alleged identity with the Powhatans, it is scarcely 
worthy of record except as a matter of curiosity. 

In fact the explorations of De Soto leave almost convincing proof that 
the Cherokees were occupying a large proportion of their more modern 
territory nearly a century prior to their supposed removal from the 

Pickett, iu his History of Alabama, improves upon the legend of Hay- 
wood by asserting as a well established fact what the latter only pre- 
sumes to offer as a tradition. 

However, as affording a possible confirmation of the legend related 
by Haywood concerning their early location in Eastern Virginia, it may 

'The full title of this work is " Descriptionis PtolemaicJE Augmeutum; sive Occi- 
dentis Notitia, brevi_ commentario illustrata, studio et opera Comely \Vytfliet> 
Louanieusis. Lovanii, Typis lohannis Bogardi, auuo Domini MDXCVII." 

KoiTE] TREATY OP NOVEMBER 28, 1785. 137 

be. -wortb while to allude to a, tradition preserved among the Mohican or 
Stockbridge tribe. It appears that in ISIS the Delawares, who were 
then residing on White Eiver, in Indiana, ceded their claim to lands 
in that region to the United States. This land had been conditionally 
given by the Miamis many years before to the Delawares, in conjunction 
with the "Moheokiinnuks" (or Stockbridges) and Munsees. Many of the 
latter two tribes or bands, including a remnant of the Xauticokes, had not 
yet removed to their western j)ossessions, though they were preparing to 
remove. When they ascertained that the Delawares had ceded the 
lands to the United States without their consent, they objected and 
sought to have the cession annulled. 

In connection with a petition presented to Congress by them on the 
subject in the year 1S19, they set forth in detail the tradition alluded 
to. The story had been handed down to them from their ancestors that 
" many thousand moons ago " before the white men came over the " great 
water," the Delawares dwelt along the banks of the river that bears 
their name. They had enjoyed a long era of peace and prosperity 
when the Cherokees, Nanticokes, and some other nation whose name 
had been forgotten, envying their condition, came from the south with 
a great army and made war upon them. Thej vanquished the Dela- 
wares and drove them to an island in the river. The latter sent for 
assistance to the Mohicans, who promptly came to their relief, and the in- 
vaders were in turn defeated with great slaughter and put to flight. 
They sued for peace, and it was granted on condition that they should 
return home and never again make war on the Delawares or their allies. 
These terms were agreed to and the Cherokees and Nanticokes ever re- 
mained faithful to the conditions of the treaty. 

The inference to be drawn from this legend, if it can be given any 
credit whatever, would lead to the belief that the Cherokees and the Nan- 
ticokes were at that time neighbors an<l allies. The original home of 
the Nanticokes on the Eastern Shore of Maryland is well known, and 
if the Cherokees (or at least this portion of them) were then resident 
beyond the Alleglianies, with sundry other powerful tribes occupying 
the territory between them and the Nanticokes, it is unlikely that any 
such alliance for offensive 0])craticns would have existed between them. 
Either the tradition is fabulous or at least a portion of the Cherokees 
were probably at one time residents of the Eastern slope of Virginia. 

The Delawares also have a tradition that they came originally from 
the west, and found a tribe called by them Allegewi or Allegans occu- 
pying the eastern portion of the Ohio Valley. With the aid of the Iro- 
quois, with whom they came in contact aboat the same time, the 
Delawares succeeded in driving the Allegans out of the Ohio Valley to 
the southward. 

Schoolcraft suggests the identity of the Allegans with the Cherokees,, 
an idea that would seem to bo confirmatory of the tradition given by 
Haywood, in so far as it relates to an early Chei'okee occupancy of Ohio. 



Whatever the degree of probability attending these legends, it would 
seem that the settlers of Virginia had an acquaiutauce with the Chero- 
kees prior to that of the South Carolina immigrants, who for a number 
of years after their first occupation confined their explorations to a 
nan-ow strip of country in the vicinity of the sea coast, while the Vir- 
ginians had been gradually extending their settlements far up toward 
the headwaters of the James Eiver and had early perceived the profits 
to be derived from the Indian trade. 

Sir William Berkeley, governor of Virginia, equipped an expedition, 
consisting of fourteen Englishmen and an equal number of Virginia 
Indians, for the exploration of the country to the west of the exist- 
ing settlements. The party was under the command of Capt. Henry 
Batt, and in seven days' travel from their point of departure, at Appo- 
mattox, they reached the foot of the mountains. The first ridge they 
crossed is described as not being very high or steep, but the succeed- 
ing ones " seemed to touch the clouds," and were so steep that an av- 
erage day's march did not exceed three miles. 

They came upon extensive and fertile valleys, covered with luxuriant 
grass, and found the forests abounding in all kinds of game, including 
turkeys, deer, elk, and buifalo. After passing beyond the mountains 
they entered an extensive level country, through which a stream flowed 
in a westward course, and after following it for a few days tbey reached 
some old fields and recently deserted Indian cabins. Beyond this point 
their Indian guides refused to proceed, alleging that not far away dwelt 
a powerful tribe that never suftered strangers who discovered their 
towns to return alive, and the expedition was therefore compelled to 
return. Accoixling to the historian, Burke, this expedition took place 
in 1G07, while Beverly, not quite so definite, assigns it to the decade 
between lOGC and 1670.' It is believed that the powerful nation of 
Indians alluded to in the narrative of this expedition was the Cherokees, 
and, if so, it is apparently the first allusion made to them in the history 
of the colonial settlements. 

That the Virginians were the first to be brought in contact with the 
Cherokees is further evidenced by the fact that in 1G90 an Indian trader 
from that colony, bearing the name of Daugherty, had taken up his 
residence among them, which is alleged by the historian^ to have been 
several years before any knowledge of the existence of the Cherokees 
reached the settlers on Ashley Eiver in South Carolina. 


The first formal introduction of the Cherokees to the notice of the 
people of that colony occurred in the year 1093,^ when twenty Cherokee 

' Campbell's Virginia, p. 268. 
' ^Logau's South Carolina, Vol. I, p. 168. 

■■' Martin's North Carolina, Vol. I, p. 194. 

KovcE-.J TREATY OF NOVEMBER '28, 1785. 139 

chiefs visited Charleston, with projjosals of friendship, and at the same 
time solicited the assistance of the governor in their operations against 
the Esau and Coosaw tribes, who had captured and carried off a number 
of Cherokees. 

The Savannah Indians, it seems, bad also been engaged in incursions 
against them, in the course of which they had captured a number of 
Cherokees and sold them to the colonial authorities as slaves. 

The delegation urgently solicited the governor's protection from the 
further aggressions of these enemies and the return of their bondaged 
countrymen. The desired protection was promised them, but as their 
enslaved brethren had already been shipped to the West Indies and 
sold into slavery there, it was impossible to return them. 

The extreme eastern settlements of the Cherokees at this time were 
within the limits of the present Chester and Fairfield districts, South 
Carolina, which lie between the Catawba and Bi-oad Rivers.' 


We next find an allusion to the Cherokees in the annals of Louisiana 
by M. Pericaut, who mentions in his chronicle of the events of the year 
1702, that " ten leagues from the mouth of this river [Ohio] another 
falls into it called Kasquinempas [Tennessee]. It takes its source from 
the neighborhood of the Carolinas and passes through the village of the 
Cherokees, a populous nation that number some fifty tliousand war- 
riors," another example of tlie enormous overestimates of aboriginal pop- 
ulation to which the earlier travelers and writers were so iirone. 

Again, in 1708, tlie same author relates tliat "about this time two Mo- 
biliaus who had married in the Alibamon nation, and who lived among 
them with their families, discovered that that nation was inimical to 
the Mobilians as well as the French, and had made a league with the Che- 
raquis, the Abeikas, and the Conchaques to wage war against the French 
and Mobilians and burn their villages around our fort." 

On various early maps of North America, and particularly those of 
De L'Isle, between the years 1700 and 1712, will be found indicated upon 
the extreme headwaters of the Holston and Clinch Eivers, " gros villages 
des Cheraqui." These villages correspond in location with the great na- 
tion alluded to in the narrative of Sir William Berkeley's expedition. 

Upon the same maps will be found designated the sites of sundry 
other Cherokee villages, several of which are on the extreme headwaters 
of the " E. des Chaouanons." This river, although indicated on the 
map as emptying into the Atlantic Ocean to the west' of the Santee, 
from its relation to the other streams in that vicinity. Is believed to be 
intended for the Broad Eiver, which is a principal northwest bi'anch of 
the Santee. Other towns will also be found on the banks of the Upper 
Catawba, and they are, as w^ell, quite numerous along the headwaters 
of the " E. des Caouilas " or Savannah and of the Little Tennessee. 

'Logan's South Caroliua, Vol. I, p. 14i. 


Mention is ag.ain fonnd of the Cherokees in the year 1712, when 218 
of them accompanied Colonel Barnwell in his expedition against the 
hostile Tuscaroras and aided in the snbjugation of that savage tribe, 
thongh along the route of Barnwell's march the settlers were verj- uearly 
persnaded that they suffered greater damage to property from the 
freebooting propensities of their Indian allies than from the open hos- 
tilities of their savage enemies. 

The old colonial records of South Carolina also contain mention in the 
following year (1713) of the fact that Peter St. Julien was arraigned on 
the charge of holding two Cherokee women in slavery. ' 

In 1715 the Yamassees, a powerful and hitherto friendly tribe, occu- 
pying the southwesterly portion of the colony of South Carolina and 
extending to and beyond the Savannah Eiver, declared open hostilities 
against the settlers. In the desperate struggle that ensued, we find in 
full alliance with them the Cherokees, as well as the Creeks and Ap- 

In his historical .iournal of the establishment of the French in Lou- 
isiana, Bernard de la Harpe states that " in January, 1716, some of the 
Cberaquis Indians, who lived northeast of Mobile, killed MM. de Eamsay 
and de Longueil. Some time after, the father of the latter gentleman, 
the King's lieutenant in Canada, engaged the Iroquois to surjirise this 
tribe. They sacked two of their villages and obliged the rest to retreat 
towards New England." 


At the time of the English settlement of the Carolinas the Chero- 
kees occupied a diversified and well-watered region of country of large 
extent uiion the waters of the Catawba, Broad, Saluda, Keowee, Tuga- 
loo, Savannah, and Coosa Elvers on the east and south, and several of 
the tributaries of the Tennessee on the north and west. It is impossible 
at this late day to define with absolute accuracy the original limits of 
the Cherokee claim. In fact, like all other tribes, they had no definite 
and concurrent understanding with their surrounding savage neighbors 
where the possessions of the one left off and those of the other began. 
The strength of their title to any particular tract of country usually 
decreased in proportion to the increase of the distance from their vil- 
lages; and it commonlj' followed as a result, that a considerable strip 
of territory between the settlements of two powerful tribes, though 
claimed by both, was practically considered as neutral ground and the 
common hunting ground of both. 

As has already been stated, the extreme eastern settlements of the 
Cherokees in South Carolina in 1093 were in the district of country lying 
between the Catawba and Broad Elvers, and no claim has been found 
showing the existence at any time of any assertion of territorial right 

'Logan's SoutU Carolina, Vol. I, p. 18'i. 

>'ovci;.j TREATY OF NOVEMBER iS, 1765. 141 

in their behalf to the east of the former stream. But nevertheless, on 
Boweu's map of 1753 (obviously coi)ied from earlier maps), there is 
laid down the name of " Keowee Old Towu." The location of this town 
was on Deep Eiver in the vicinity of the present town of Ashborough, 
IS!". C. It was a favorite name of the Chcrokees among their towns, and 
affords a strong evidence of at least a temporary residence of a portion 
of the tribe in that vicinity. A map executed by John Senex in 1721 
defines the Indian boundary in this region as following the Catawba, 
Wateree, and Santee Eivers as far down as the most westerly bend of the 
latter stream, in the vicinity of the boundary line between Orangeburg 
and Charleston districts, whence it pursued a southwesterly course to 
the Edisto River, which it followed to the seacoast. The southern 
portion of this boundary was of course a definition of limits between 
Carolina and the Creeks, or rather of certain tribes that formed compo- 
nent parts of the Creek confederacy. iS'o evidence has been discovered 
tending to show an extension of Cherokee limits in a southerly direc- 
tion beyond the point mentioned above on the Edisto River, which, as 
near as can be ascertained, was at the junction of the North and South 
Edisto. Following from thence up the South Edisto to its source the 
boundary pursued a southwesterly course, striking the Savannah River 
in the vicinity of the mouth of Stevens Creek, and proceeding thence 
northwardly along the Savannah. 

On the borders of Virginia and North Carolina the ancient limits of 
the Cherokees seem to be also shrouded in more or less doubt and con- 
fusion. In general terms, however, it may be said that after following 
the Catawba River to i^^s source in the Blue Ridge the course of those 
moijntains was pursued until their intersection with the continuation 
of the Great Iron Mountain range, near Floyd Court-House, Va., and 
thence to the waters of the Kanawha or New River, whence their claim 
continued down that stream to the Ohio. At a later date they also set 
up a claim to the country extending from the mouth of the Kanawha 
down tlie Ohio to the ridge dividing the waters of the Cumberland from 
those of the Tennessee at the months of those streams, and thence fol- 
lowing that ridge to a point northeast of the mouth of Duck River ; 
thence to the month of Duck River on the Tennessee, and continuing up 
with I he course of the latter river to Bear Creek ; up the latter to a point 
called Flat Rock, and thence to the Ten Islands in Coosa River, &C. • 

That portion of the country thus covered, comprising a large part of 
the present States of West Virginia and Kentucky, was also claimed by 
the Six Nations by right of former conquest, as well as by the Shawnees 
and Delawares. 

Adair, a trader for forty years among the Cherokees, who traveled 
extensively through their country about the middle of the eighteenth 
century, tlms specifically outlines the boundaries of their country at 
that period : " The country lies in about 34 degrees north latitude at tlie 
distance of 340 computeil miles to the northwest of Charlestown, — 140 


miles west-southwest from the Kataliba Nation, — and almost 200 miles 
to the north of the Muskohge or Creek country. They are settled nearly 
in an east and west course about 140 miles in length from the lower 
towns, where Fort-Prince-George stands, to the late unfortunate Fort- 
Loudon. The natives make two divisions of their country, which they 
term •Ayrate'' and ' Otarre,' the one signifying ' low ' and the other 
' mountainous.' " 


In point of numbers the Cherokee population now considerably exceeds 
that first enumerated by the early colonial authorities. As early as 1715 
the proprietors of the South Carolina I'lantation instructed Governor 
Eobert Johnson to cause a census to be taken of all the Indian tribes 
within that jurisdiction, and from his report it appears that the Chero- 
kee Nation at that time contained thirtj' towns and an aggregate pop- 
ulation of 11,210, of whom 4,000 were warriors. Adair alleges that in 
1735, or thei'eabouts, according to the computation of the traders, their 
warriors numbered G,000, but that in 1738 the ravages of the small-pox 
reduced their population one-half within one year. Indeed, this disas- 
ter, coupled with the losses sustained in their conflicts with the whites 
and witU neighboring tribes, had so far wasted their ranks that a half 
century after the census taken by Governor Johnson they were estimated 
by the traders to have but 2,300 warriors.' By the last report of the 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs the total population is estimated to num- 
ber 22,000.'^ It is true that considerable of this increase is attributable 
to the fact that several other small tribes or bands, within a few years 
past, have merged their tribal existence in that of the Cherokees. In- 
dependent of this fact, however, they have maintained a slow but steady 
increase in numbers for many years, with the exception of the severe 
losses sustained during the disastrous period of the late southern rebel- 


It is perhaps impossible to give a complete list of the old Cherokee 
towns and their location; but in 1755 the authorities of South Carolina, 
in remodeling the old and prescribing new regulations for the govern- 
ment of the Indian trade, divided the whole Cherokee country into six 
hunting districts, viz: 

1. Over Bill Towns. — (!reat Tellico, Chatugee, Tennessee, Chote, 
Toqua, Sittiquo, and Talassee. 

2. Valley Toicns. — Euforsee, Conastee, Little Telliquo, Cotocanahut, 
Nayowee, Tomatly, and Chewohe. 

3. Middle Towns. — Joree, Watoge, Nuckasee. 

' Adair's American Indians. 

^Report Coijimissioner Indian Affairs for 1883. p. "272. 




4. Keowee To?r«.s.— Keowee, Tricentee, EcLoee, Torsee, Cowee, Tor- 
sallH, Coweeshee, and Elejoy. 

5. Out To«'HA'.— TucbarecLee, Kitto^a, Conontoroyj Steecoy, Ousta- 
nale, and Tuckasegee. 

6. Loicer Toivns. — Touiassee, Oustestee, Cheowie, Estatoie, Tosawa, 
Keowee, and Oiistanalle. 

About twenty years later, Bartram,* who traversed the country, gives 
the names of forty-three Cherokee towns and villages then existing and 
'nhabited as follows: 



Where situated. 



















I Hiwasse 

j Chewase 

; Nuauha 

I Tallase 



Chote, great 





Big Island . 










Estotowe, great . 




On tlif Tanase east ol' the Jore ilountains. 

lulaud, on tlie branches of tbe Tanase. 

On the Tanase over tbe -Jore Mountains, 

Inland towns on the branches of the Tanase and other wa- 
ters over the Jore Mountains. 

Overbill towns on the Tanase or Cherokee Kiver. 

Lower towns east of tbe mountains on the Savanna or 
Keowe River. 

Lower towns east of tbe mountains on Tugilo River. 

Lower towns on Flint River. 

Towns on the waters of other rivers. 

Mouzon's map of 1771 gives the names of several Lower Cherokee 
towns not already mentioned. Among these may be enumerated, on 
the Tngalco Eiver and its branches, Turruraw, Xayowee, Tetohe, 
Chagee, Tussee, Chicherohe, Echay, and Takwaslinaw; on the Keowee, 
;N"ew Keowee, and Quacoretche; and on the Seneca, Acounee. 

In subsequent years, through frequent and long continued conflicts 
with the ever advancing white settlements and the successive treaties 
whereby the Cherokees gradually yielded portions of their domain, the 

'Bai'trani's Travels in Xortb America from 1773 to 1778, p. 371. 


location and names of their towns were continually changing until the 
final removal of the nation west of the Mississippi." 


In the latter portion of the seventeenth century the Sliawnees, or a 
portion of them, had their villages on the Cumberland, and to some 
extent, perhaps, on the Tennessee also. Tliey were still occupying that 
region as late as llli, when they were visited by 31. Charleville,a French 
trader, but having about this time incurred the hostility of the Chero- 
kees and Chickasaws they wei'e driven from the country. Many years 
later, in the adjustment of a territorial dispute between the Cherokees 
and Chickasaws, each nation claimed the sole honor of driving out the 
Shawnees, and hence, by right of comiuest, the title to the territory 
formerly inhabited by the latter. The Chickasaws evidently had the 
best of the controversy, though some concessions were made to the 
Cherokees in the matter when the United States came to negotiate for 
the purchase of the controverted territory. 



Treaty and purchase o/'1721. — The treaty relations between the Cher- 
okees and the whites began in 1721, when jealousy of French territo- 
rial encroachments persuaded Governor Nicholson of South Carolina to 
invite the Clierokees to a general congress, with a view to the conclu- 
sion of a treaty of peace and commerce. 

The invitation was accepted, and delegates attended from tliirtyseven 
towns, with whom, after smoking the pipe of peace and distributing 
presents, he agreed upon defined boundaries and appointed an agent 
to sui)erintend their affairs.'^ 

Treaty of 1730. — Again, in 1730, the authorities of North Carolina 
commissioned Sir Alexander Gumming to couclude a treaty of alliauce 
with the Cherokees. In April of that year the chiefs and warriors of 
the nation met him at Ilequasse, near the sources of the Hiwassee River, 
acknowledged King George as their sovereign, and sent a delegation of 
six warriors to carry the crown of the nation (consisting of five eagle 
tails and four scalps) to England and do homage to the King, where they 
concluded a treaty of peace and commerce at Dover on the 30th of June. 

' From a distribution roll of Cherokee annuities paid in tbo year 1799 it appears 
tliat there were then 51 Cherokee towns, designated as follows: Oostinawley, Creek 
Path. Auiuoin, Nicojack, Eiiuuing AVater, Ellijay, Cahheu, High Tower, Pine Log, 
High Tower Forks, Tocoah, Coosawaytee, Crowtown, Shoemeck, Aurancheo, Tulloolah, 
Willstowu, Acohee, Cuelon, Duck-town, Ailigulsha, Highwassee, Tennessee, Lookout 
Mountain, Noyohee, Tusquittee, Coosa, Nantiyallee, Saukee, Keyukec, Red Bank, 
Nukeza, Cowjiens, Telassee, Buffalo Town, Little Tellico, Ralibit Trap, Notley, Turnip 
Mou]itain, Sallicoah, Kautika, Tausitu, W.atoga, Cowee, Cliillhoway, Chestuee, Tur- 
key Town, Toquah, Chota, Big Tellico, and Tusskegee. 

- Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, \). 46. 


TREATY OF NOVEMBER 28, 1785. 145 

In this treaty tbej- stipulated : 

1. To submit to the sovereignty of the Kiug aucl his successors. 

2. Not to trade with any other iiatiou but the Euglish. 

3. Not to permit any but English to build forts or cabins or plant corn 
among them. 

4. To apprehend and deliver runaway negroes. 

5. To surrender any Indian killing an Englishman.' 

Treaty and purchase qflToo.— November 24, 1755, a further treaty was 
concluded between the Cherokees and Governor Glenn, of South ('aro- 
lina. By its terms the former ceded to Great Britain a territory which 
included the limits of the modern districts of Abbeville, Edgefield, 
Laurens, Union, Spartanburg, Newberry, Chester, Fairfield, Richland, 
and York, and deeds of conveyance were drawn up and formally exe- 
cuted therefor.2 This cession included a tract of country between the 
Broad and Catawba Rivers which was also claimed and generally con- 
ceded to belong to the Catawba Nation, the boundary line between the 
latter and the Cherokees being usually fixed as the Broad River.^ One 
of the main objects of this treaty was to prevent an alliance between 
the Cherokees and the French. 

Treaty of 1756.— In the year 1756 Hugh Waddell was commissioned 
by the authorities of North Carolina to treat with the Cherokees and 
Catawbas. In pursuance of this authority he concluded a treaty of 
alliance with both nations.-' Governor Glenn, also, in the same year 
erected a chain of military posts on the frontiers of Lis recent purchase. 
These consisted of Fort Prince George, on the Savannah, within gun- 
shot of the Indian town of Keowee; Fort Moore, 170 miles farther 
down the river; and Fort Loudon, on the south bank of Tennessee 
River, at the highest point of navigation, at the mouth of Tellico River.^ 

Captain JacF-s purchase.— A grant signed by Arthur Dobbs, governor 
of North Carolina, ct ah, and by The Little Carpenter, half king of the 
Over-Hill Cherokees, made to Capt. Patrick Jack, of Pennsylvania, is 
recorded in the register's office of Knox County, Tennessee. It pur- 
ports to have been made at a council held at Tennessee River, March 
1, 17.57, consideration $400, and conveys to Captain Jack. 15 miles 
square south of Tennessee River. The grant itself confirmatory of the 
purchase by Captain Jack is dated at a general council held at Catawba 
River, May 7, 17G2.« 

Treaty of 1760.— The French finally succeeded in enlisting the active 
sympathy of the Cherokees in their war with Great Britain. Governor 

' Jlartiu's North Carolina, Vol. II, pp. 3, 9, and 11. 
-Hewat's History of South Carolina anil Georgia, Vol. II, pp. 303, 204. 
^ Broad River was formerly known as Eswaw-Huppedaw or Line River. See Mills' 
Statistics of South Carolina, p. .'«.">. 
'Williamson's North Carolina, Vol.11, p. 87. 
'^Martin's North Carolina, Vol. II, p. 87. 
" Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 63. 
5 ETH— — 10 


Littleton, of South Carolina, marched against the Indians and defeated 
them, after which, in 1700, he concluded a treaty of peace with them. 
By its terms they agreed to kill or imprison every Frenchman who 
should come into their country during the continuance of the war be- 
tween France and Great Britain.' 

Treaty of 1761. — The hostile course of the Cherokees being still con- 
tinued, the authorities of South Carolina in 17G1 dispatched Colonel 
Grant with a force sufficient to overcome them. After destroying their 
crops and fifteen towns he compelled a truce, following which Lieu- 
tenant Governor Bull concluded a treaty with them at Ashley Ferry, or 
Charleston.- By this instrument the boundaries between the Indians 
and the settlements were declared to be the sources of the great rivers 
flowing into the Atlantic Ocean. . 

In 17G7 the legislature of North Carolina made an appropriation and 
the governor ai^poiuted three commissioners for running a dividing-line 
between the western settlements of that province and the Cherokee 
hunting grounds.-' 

Treaty and purchase of 1708. — Mr. Stuart, the British superintendent 
of Indian affairs, on the lith of October, 1768, concluded a treaty with 
the Cherokees at Hard Labor, South Carolina. Therein it was agreed 
that the southwest boundary of Virginia should lie a line "extending 
from the point where the northern line of North Carolina intersects the 
Cherokee hunting grounds about 36 miles east of Long Island in the 
nolston Eiver ; and thence extending in a direct course north by east 
to Chiswell's mine on the east bank of the Keuhawa_^ Eiver, and thence 
down that stream to its junction with the Ohio.'" 

This treaty was made in pursuance of appeals from the ludians to 
stop further encroachments of settlers upon their lands and to have 
their boundaries definitely fixed, especially iu the region of the north 
fork of Holston Eiver and the headwaters of the Kanawha. 

Treaty and purchase of 1770. — The settlements having encroached 
beyoud the line fixed by the treaty of 1708, a new treaty was concluded 
on the ISth October, 1770, at Lochabar, South Carolina. A new bound- 
ary line was established by this treaty commencing on the south bank 
of Holston River six miles east of Long Island, and running thence to 
the mouth of the Great Kanawha.* 

Treaty and purchase of 1112. — The Virginia authorities iu the early 
part of 1772 concluded a treaty with the Cherokees whereby a bound- 
ary line was fixed between them, which was to run west from White 
Top Mountain in latitude 36° 30'." This boundary left those settlers on 

' Martin's North Carolina, Vol. II, p. 106. 

'IU., Vol. II, p, 152. 

3 lb., Vol. II, p. 220. 

^ Ramsey's Auuals of Teuuessee, p. 76. 

•■■lb., p. 102. 

eib., p. 109. 


the Watauga Eiver witbin the Indian limits, whereupon, as a measure 
of temporary relief, they leased for a period of eight years from the 
Indians in consideration of goods to the value of five or six thousand 
dollars all the country on the waters of the Watauga. Subsequently 
in 1775 [March 19] they secured a deed iu fee simple therefor upon the 
further consideration of £2,000.' This deed was executed to Charles 
Eobertson as the representative or trustee of the Watauga Settlers' Asso- 
ciation, and embraced the following tract of country, viz: All that tract 
ou the waters of the Watauga, Holston, and Great Canaway or New 
River, beginning on the south or southwest of Holston Eiver six miles 
above Long Island in that river; thence a direct line in nearly a south 
course to the ridge dividing the waters of Watauga from tlie waters of 
Nouachuckeh and along the ridge in a southeasterly directioii to the 
Blue Eidge or line dividing North Carolina from the Cherokee lands; 
thence along the Blue Eidge to the Virginia line and west along such 
line to the Holston Eiver; thence down the Holston Eiver to the begin- 
ning, including all the waters of the Watauga, part of the waters of the 
Holston, an<l the head branches of New Eiver or Great Canaway, agree- 
able to the aforesaid boundaries. 

Jacob Broivn^s purchase. — Jacob Brown, in 1772, for a horse load of 
goods leased from the Cherokees a tract ou the Watauga and Nona- 
chucky Elvers. 

Three years later (March 25, 1775) for a further consideration of teu 
shillings he secured from them a deed in fee for the leased tract as well 
as an additional tract of considerable extent. 

The boundary of the first of these bodies of land ran from the mouth 
of Great Limestone Creek, thence uji the same and its main fork to the 
ridge dividing the Wataugah and Nonachuchy Elvers; thence to the head 
of Indian Creek, where it joins the Great Iron Mountains, and along 
those mountains to the Nonachuchy Elver ; across the Nonachuchy Eiver, 
including its creeks, and down the side of Nonachuchy ^Mountain against 
the mouth of Great Limestone Creek and from thence to the phice of 

The second purchase comprised a tract lying on the Nonachuchy 
Eiver below the mouth of Big Limestone on both sides of the river and 
adjoining the tract just described. Its boundaries were defined as 
beginning on the south side of the Nouachuchy Eiver below the old 
fields that lie below the Limestone on the north side of Nonachuchy 
Mountain at a large rock ; thence north 32° west to the mouth of Camp 
Creek on the south side of the river; thence across the river; thence pur- 
suing a northwesterly course to the dividing ridge between Lick Creek 
and Watauga or Holston Eiver, thence along the dividing ridge to the 
rest of Brown's lands ; thence down the main fork of Big Limestone to 
its mouth; thence crossing the Nouachuchy River and pursuiug a. 

'Ramsey's Aunals of Tennessee, p. 119. 


Straight course to tlie youacbuchy Mountains and along such mount- 
ains to the beginning.' 

Treaty and purclmiie of 1773. — On the 1st of June, 1773, a treaty 
was concluded jointly with the Creeks and Qherokees by the British 
superintendent wherebj' they ceded to Great Britain a tract beginning 
where the lower Creek path intersects the Ogeechee River, thence along 
the main channel of that river to the source of the southernmost branch 
thereof; thence along the ridge between the waters of Broad aud Oconee 
IJiversupto theBuffalo Lick; thence in a straight line tothe treemarked 
by the Cherokees near the head of the branch falling iuto the Oconee 
Eiver [on the line between Clarke and Oglethorpe Counties, about S 
miles southeast of Athens] ; thence along the said ridge 20 miles above 
the line already run by the Cherokees, and from thence across to the 
Savannah Eiver by a line parallel to that formerly marked by them. 

Ilinderiion\s purchase hij Ihe treaty of 1775. — On the 17th of March, 
1775, Richard Henderson and eight other jirivate citizens concluded a 
treaty with the Cherokees at Sycamore Shoals, on Watauga Eiver. By 
its terms they became the purchasers from the latter (in consideration 
of £10,000 worth of merchandise) of all the lands lying between Ken- 
tucky aud Cumberland Eivers, under the name of the Colony of Trau- 
sylvania in Xorth America. This purchase was contained in two deeds, 
one of which was commonly known as the " Path Deed," and conveyed 
the following described tract: "Begin on the Holston Eiver, where 
the course of Powell's Mountain strikes the same; thence up the 
river to the crossing of the Virginia line; thence westerly along the 
line ruu by T3onelson * * * to a point six (0) English miles east of 
Long Island in Holston River ; thence a direct course towards the mouth 
of the Great Kanawha until it reaches the top of the ridge of Pow- 
ell's Mountain; thence westerly along said ridge to the beginning." 

This tract was located in Northeast Tennessee and the extreme south- 
western corner of Virginia.^ The second deed covered a much larger 
area of territory and was generally known as the "Great Grant." It 
comprised the territory " beginning on the Ohio River at the mouth of 
the Kentucky, Cherokee, or what, by the English, is called Louisa 
River ; thence up said river aud the most northwardly fork of the same 
to the bead-spring thereof; thence a southeast course to the ridge of 
Powell's Mountain ; thence westwardly along the ridge of said moun- 
tain to a point from which a northwest course will strike the head- 

' Ramse}''s Auuals of Tennessee, pp. 110, 121. 

-' There seems to be a confused idea in this descrijition .ts to the identity of Powell's 
Mountain. This was doubtless occasioned by a lack of definite knowledge concern- 
ing the topography of the country. This ridge, as it is commonly known, does not 
touch the Holston River, but lies between Powell's and Clinch Rivers. The mountains 
supposed to be alluded to in that portion of the de.scriptiou are a spur of the Clinch 
Mountains, which close in on the Holston River, near the mouth of Cloud's Creek. 


sj)ring of the most southwardly branch of Cumberlaud Itiver ; thence 
down said river, iuchidiug all its waters, to the Ohio River ; theuce 
up said river as it meanders to the beginning." ' This tract com- 
prises nearly the whole of Central and Western Kentucky as well as 
part of Northern Central Tennessee. Although a literal readiug of these ^ 
boundaries would include all the territory watered by the Cumberland 
Eiver and its branches, the general understauding seems to have been 
(and it is so specifically stated in the report of the treaty commissioners 
of 1785) that Henderson's purchase did not extend south of Cumberland 
Eiver proper.^ The entire purchase included in both these deeds is 
shown as one tract on the accompanying maii of cessions and num- 
bered 7. 

In this connection it is proper to remark that all of these grants to 
private individuals were regarded as legally inoperative, though in 
some instances the beneficiaries were permitted to enjoy the benefits of 
their purchases in a modified degree. All such purchases had been 
inhibited by royal proclamation of King George III, under date of Oc- 
tober 7, 1763,^ wherein all provincial governors were forbidden to grant 
lands or issue land warrants locatable upon any territory west of the 
mountains or of the sources of streams flowing into the Atlantic. All 
private persons were enjoined from purchasing lauds from the Indians. 
All purchases made of such lands should be for the Crown by the gov- 
ernor or commander-in-chief of the colony at some general council or 
assembly of the Indians convened for that purpose. 

In the particular purchase made by Henderson and his coadjutors, 
the benefits thereof were afterwards claimed by the authorities of Vir- 
ginia and Xorth Carolina for those States, as the successors of the 
royal prerogative within their respective limits. In consideratiou,. 
however, of Henderson's valuable services on the frontier, and in com- 
pensation for his large expenditures of money in negotiating the pur- 
chase, the legislature of North Carolina in 1783 granted to him and 
those interested with him a tract of l.'00,000 acres,'' constituting a strip 
4 miles in width from old Indian town on Powell's Eiver to the mouth, 
and thence a strip down the Clinch River for quantity 12 miles in widtli. 
The legislature of Virginia also granted them a tract of like extent upon 
the Ohio Eiver, opposite Evansville, Indiana.^ 

Trenties and purchases of 1171. — In consequence of continued hostili- 
ties between the Cherokees and the settlers, General Williaiuson in 177G 
marched an army from South Carolina and destroyed the towns of the 
former on Keowee and Tugaloo Rivers. General Rutherford marched 

1 Maun Butler's Apiioal. pp. Sfi, 27. 

- Americau State Papers, ludiau Affairs, Vol. I, p. 38. 

3 Jlartiu's Xorth Caroliua, Vol. II, p. 339. 

^ Haywood's Teuuessee. pp. IG, 17. 

° Ramsey's Aiiuals of Teuuessee, p. 204. 


auotber force from North Carolina and Colonel Christian a third from Vir-. 
ginia, and destroyed most of their ]iriucipal towns on the Tennessee.' 

At the conclusion of hostilities with the Cherokees, following these 
exiteditions, a treaty with them was concluded May 20, 1777, at De 
Witt's or Duett's Corners, South Carolina, by the States of South Car- 
olina and Georgia. By the terms of this treaty the Indians ceded a 
considerable region of country upon the Savannah and Saluda Eivcrs,^ 
comprising all their lauds in South Carolina to the eastward of the 
Unacaye Mountains. 

Two months later (July 20) Commissioners Preston, Christian, and 
Shelby, on the j)artof A'irginia, andAverj-, Sharjie, Winston, and Lanier, 
for North Carolina, also concluded a treaty with the Cherokees, by 
which, in the establishment of a boundary between the contracting 
parties, some parts of "Brown's line," ijreviously mentioned, were 
agreed upon as a portion of the boundarj-, and the Indians relinquished 
their lauds as low down on Ilolston Kiver as the mouth of Cloud's 
Creek. To this treaty the Chicamauga band of Cherokees refused 
to give their assent.'' 

The boundaries defined by this treaty are alluded to and described 
in an act of the North Carolina legislature passed in the following year, 
wherein it is stipulated that '• no person shall enter or survey any lands 
"within the Indian hunting grounds, or without the limits heretofore 
ceded by them, which limits westward are declared to be as follows: 
Begin at a point on the dividing line which hath been agreed upon be- 
tween the Cherokees and the colony of Virginia, where the line between 
that Commonwealth and this State (hereafter to be extended) shall in- 
tersect the same ; running thence a right line to the mouth of Cloud's 
Creek, being the second creek below the Warrior's Ford, at the mouth 
of Carter's Valley; thence a right line to the highest point of Chimney 
Top Mountain or High Eock ; thence a right line to the mouth of Camp 
or jMcNamee's Creek, on south bank of Nolichucky, about ten miles 
below the mouth of Big Limestone; from the mouth of Camp Creek a 
southeast course to the top of Great Iron ^Mountain, being the same 
which divides the hunting grounds of the Overhill Cherokees from the 
hunting grounds of the middle settlements ; and from the top of Iron 
Mountain a south course to the dividing ridge between the waters of 
French Broad, and Nolichucky Elvers; thence a southwesterly course 
along the ridge to the great ridge of the Appalachian Mountains, which 
divide the eastern and western waters; thence with said dividing ridge 
to the line that divides the State of South Carolina from this State."* 

EmUjrntion of Chkamauga haniL — The Cherokees being very much 
curtailed in their hunting grounds by the loss of the territory wrested 

' Letter of Governor Blount to Secretary of War, January 14, 1793. See American 

State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol.1, p. 431. 
-American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, ji. 4:U. and Kamsey's Xenn., p. i7'2. 
'Haywood's Tennessee, p. 4.jl. 
^Scott's Laws of Tenne.ssee and North Candina, Vol. I. ii. 1235. 

KovLE.] TREATY OF NOVEMBER 28, 1785. 151 

from them by the terms of these two treaties, begau a movement fur- 
ther down the Tennessee River, and the most warlike and intractable 
portion of them, known as the Chicamaugas, settled and built towns on 
Chicaaiauga Creek, about one hundred miles below the month of the 
Holston River. Becoming persuaded, however, that this creek was 
infested with witches they abandoned it in 1782, and built lower down 
the Tennessee the towns usually called " The Five Lower Towns on the 
Tennessee." These towns were named respectively Running Water, 
Nickajack, Long Island Village, Crow Town, and Lookout Mountain 
Town. From thence marauding parties were wont to issue in their 
operations against the rajndly encroaching settlements.' 

Although comparative peace and quiet for a time followed the heroic 
treatment administered to the Indians by the exi»editions of Williamson, 
Rutherford, Christian, and others, reciprocal outrages between the 
whites and Indians were of frequent occurrence. The situation was 
aggravated in 1783 by the action of the assembly of North Carolina in 
passing an act (without consulting the Indians or making any effort 
to secure their concurrence) extending the western boundary of that 
State to the Mississippi River, reserving, however, for the use of the 
Cherokees as a hunting grouud a tract comprised between the point 
where the Tenn essee River first crosses the southern boundary of the 
State and the head waters of Big Pigeon River.^ 

Treaty and purchase of 1783. — On the 31st of May of this same year, 
by a treaty concluded at Augusta, Ga., the Cherokee delegates 
present (together with a few Creeks, who, on the 1st of November suc- 
ceeding, agreed to the cession) assumed to cede to that State the re- 
spective claims of those two nations to the country lying on the west 
sideof the Tugaloo River, extending to and including the Upper Oconee 
River region.^ With the provisions of this treaty no large or represent" 
ative portion of either nation was satisfied, and in connection with the 
remarkable territorial assertions of the State of North Carolina, together 
with the constant encroachments of white settlers beyond the Indian 
boundary line, a spirit of restless discontent and fear was nourished 
among the Indians that i-esulted in many acts of ferocious hostility. 

Treaties w ith the State of FranlUn. — 1 u 1 784, in consequence of the ces- 
sion by North Carolina to the United States of all her claims to lands 
west of the mountains (which cession was not, however, accepted by the 
United States within the two years prescribed by the act) the citizens 
within the limits of the present State of Tennessee elected delegates 
to a convention, which formed a State organization under the name of 
the State of Franklin and which maintained a somewhat precarious po- 

' Letter of Governor Blount to Secretary of War, January 14, 1793. See American 
State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 431, also pnge 263. 

■Report of Senate Committee March 1, 1797. See American State Papers, Indian 
Affairs, Vol. I, p. 6*23. Also Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 276. 

^ Carpenter and Arthur's History of Georgia, p. 253. 


litical existeuce for about four years. During this interval tbe author- 
ities of tbe so called State negotiated two treaties witb tbe Cberokee ]!fa- 
tion, the ftrst one l)eing eutered into near tbe moutb of Dumpliu Creek, ou 
the north bauk of French Broad Eiver, May 31, 1785.' This treaty estab- 
lished the ridge dividing tbe waters of Little Eiver from those of tbe Ten- 
nessee as the dividing line Ijetween the possessions of tbe whites and 
Indians, the latter ceding all claim to lands south of tbe French Broad 
and Holston, lying east of that ridge. The second treaty or conference 
was held at Cbotee Ford and Coytoy, July 31 to August 3, ITSC. The 
Franklin Commissioners at this conference modestly remarked, '' We 
only claim the island in Tennessee at tbe moutb of Holston and from 
the head of the island to tbe dividing ridge between the Holston Eiver, 
Little Iliver, and Tennessee to tbe Blue Ridge, and the lands North 
Carolina sold us on tbe north side of Tennessee." They urged this 
claim under threat of extirpating the Cherokees as the penalty of re- 


This general history of the Cherokee Nation and tbe treaty relations 
that had existed with tbe colonial authorities from the period of their 
first oflScial contact with each other is given as preliminary to the con- 
sideration of the history and ]>rovisions of the first treaty negotiated 
between commissioners on the part of the United States and tbe said 
Cherokee Nation, viz, tbe treatj' concluded at Hopewell, on tbe Keowee 
Eiver, November 28, 178.5, an abstract of tbe provisions of which is 
bereinbefore given.-' 

The conclusion of this treaty marked tbe beginning of a new era in 
the relations between the whites and Cherokees. The boundaries then 
fixed were the most favorable it was possible to obtain from tbe latter 
without regard to previous purchases and pretended purchases made 
by private individuals and others. Although tbe Indians yielded an 
extensive territory to tbe United States,'' yet, on the other hand, the 
latter conceded to tbe Cherokees a considerable extent of teriitory that 
had already been purchased from them by private indiviiluals or asso- 
ciations, though by methods of more than doubtful legality. 

The conteations between the border settlers of Virginia, North Caro- 
lina, South Carolina, and Georgia, as well as of tbe authorities of those 
States, with tbe Cherokees and Creeks, concerning boundaries and the 
constantly recurring mutual depredations and assaults upon each other's 
lives and ijroperty, prompted Congress, though still deriving its powers 
from the Articles of Confederation, to the active exercise of its treaty- 
making functions. It was, therefore, determined^ to appoint commis- 

■ Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, i>. "299. 

-lb.. p.34.\l. 

'United St.ites Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 18. 

■• See Nos. 10a and 106 on accompauyiuj; map of Cherokee cessions. 

*By resolutiou of Congress, March 1.5, 1785. 


siouers who should be empowered under their iDStructions, subject, of 
course, to ratification by Oougress, to negotiate a treaty with the Cliero- 
kees, at which the boundaries of the lauds claimed bj' them should bo 
as accurately ascertained as might be, and the line of division carefully 
marked between them and the white settlements. This was deemed 
essential in order that authoritative proclamation might be njade of 
the same, advising and warning settlers against further encroachments 
upon Indian territory. 


The commissioners deputed for the performance of this duty were 
Benjamin Hawkins, Andrew Pickens, Joseph Martin, aud Lachlan Mc- 
intosh. They convened the Indians in council at Hopewell, S. C, ou 
the 18th of November, 1785.' Hopewell is on the Keowee Eiver, 15 
miles above the junction of that river with the Tugaloo. The commis- 
sioners announced to the Indians the change of sovereignty from Great 
Britain to Congress that had taken place in the country as a conse- 
quence, of the successful termination of the Eevolutiou. They further 
set forth that Congi-ess wanted none of the Indian lands, nor anything 
else belonging to them, but that if they had any grievances, to state 
them freely, aud Congress would see justice done them. The Indian 
chiefs drafted a map showing the limits of country claimed by them, 
which included the greater portion of Kentucky and Tennessee, as well 
as portions of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Being re- 
minded by the commissioners that this claim covered the country pur- 
chased by Colonel Henderson, who was now dead, and whose purchase 
must therefore uot be disputed, they consented to relinquish that por- 
tion of it. They also consented that the line as finally agreed upon, 
from the mouth of Duck Eiver to the dividing ridge between the Cumber- 
land and Tennessee Elvers, should be continued up that ridge and from 
thence to the Cumberland in such a manner as to leave all the white 
settlers in the Cumberland country outside of the Indian limits. 

At the time, it was supposed this could be accomplished by running a 
northeast line from the ridge so as to strike the Cumberland /o)-f^ miles 
above Nashville. This portion of the boundary, not having been affected 
by the treaty of 1791 (as was supposed by the Cherokees), was reiterated 
in that treaty in a reverse direction. But the language used — whether 
intentional or accidental — rendered it susceptible of a construction 
more favorable to the whites. This language read, "Thence down tlie 
Cumberland Eiver to a point from which a southwest line will strike 
the ridge which divides the waters of Cumberland from those of Duck 
Eiver, 10 miles above Nashville." As this line was not actually sur- 
veved and marked until the fall of 1797,^ and as the settlements in that 

' Report of Treaty Commissioners, dated Hopewell, December 2, 1785. See Ameri- 
can State Papers. Indian Ati'airs Vol. I, p. 40. 

^American Sta':e Papers, Indian Aft'airs, Vol. I, p. 628, and letter of General Win- 
chester to General Robertson, November 9, 1797. 


lofiility had iu tbe meautime materially advanced, it became necessary, 
in order to exclude the bulk of the settlers from the Indian country, to 
take advantage of this technicality. The line was consequently so run 
(from a point on said dividing ridge 40 miles above Nashville) that it 
struck the Cumberland River about 1 mile above the mouth of Eock 
Castle Kiver, a distance of perhaps 175 to 2t)0 miles above Nashville. 
This line was surveyed by General James Winchester, who, under date 
of November 9, 17!>7, in a letter to General Robertson, describes a por- 
tion of it as running as follows : 

From Walton's road to the Fort Bloiiut road, which it crosses near the two springs 
at the 32-mile tree ; crosses Obey's River about 6 or 7 miles from the mouth ; Acli- 
niugh about 2 miles above the Salt Lick; the South Fork of Cumberland, or Flute 
River, .5 or 6 miles from the mouth, and struck Cumberland River about a mile above 
the mouth of Rock Castle. 

He also adds that the total length of the line (from the dividing ridge 
to Cumberland River above Eock Castle) is 138|^ miles. 

The Fort Blount here mentioned was on the south side of Cumber- 
land Eiver, about (! miles in a direct line, southwest of Gainesboro', and 
the road led from there to Walton's road, which it. joined at or near the 
present site of Cooksville.' Walton's or Caney Foik road led from 
Carthage in an easterly direction, and before the organization of Put- 
nam County formed the boundary line between Overton and White 
counties, from whence it continned easterly through Anderson's Cross 
Roads and Montgomery to Wilson's, in Knox County. The "Two 
Springs," are about 2 or 3 miles northwest of Cooksville.' 

There is much ditliculty in determining the absolute course of the 
"Winchester line," from the meager description contained in his letter 
above quoted. Arrowsmith and Lewis, iu their Atlas, published in 
1805, lay down the liue as pursuing a perfectly straight course from its 
point of departure on the dividing ridge to its termination on the Cum- 
berland above the mouth of Rock Castle River. Their authority for 
such a detiuition of the boundary is not given. If such was the true 
course of the line, the description given in General Winchester's letter 
would need some explanation. He must have considered Obey's River 
as emptying into Wolf River in order to bring his crossing of the 
former stream reasonably near the distance from its mouth specified by 
him. He must also have been mistaken in his estimate of the dis- 
tance at which the line crossed above the mouth of the South Fork of 
the Cumberland. The line of Arrowsmith and Lewis would cross that 
stream at least 12 miles in a direct liue above its mouth, instead of five 
or six. It is ascertained from correspondence with the t'tticers of the 
Historical Society of Tennessee, that the line, after crossing the Fort 
Blount road at the "Two Springs," continued in a northeasterly direc- 
tion, crossing Eoaiing Fork near the mouth of a small creek, and, pur- 
suing the same course, passed to the east of the town of Livingston. 

• Letter of Hon. Jno. M. Lea, of Nashville, Tenn., to the author. 

ROYCE..] TREATY OV NOVEMBER is, 1785. 155 

''Nettle Carrier," a Cherokee Indian of some local note, lived on tlie 
headwaters of Nettle Carrier's Creek, about four or five miles east of Liv- 
ingston, and the line passed about halfway between his cabin and the 
present site of that village.' Thence it continued to the crossing of 
Obey's River, and thence to the point of intersection with the Kentuck}- 
bouudary line, which is ascertained to have been at the uortheast 
corner of Overton County, Tennessee, as originally organized in 1800. 
From this point the line continued to the crossing of Big South Fork, 
at the place indicated by General Winchester, and thence on to the 
Cumberland at the terminal point one mile above the mouth of Eock 
Castle River. In the interest of clearness a literal following of the line 
indicated in General Winchester's letter, and also that given by Arrow- 
smith and Lewis, are shown upon the accompanying map. At the con- 
ference preliminary to the signing of the treaty of 1785, the Indians 
also asserted that within the fork of the French Broad and Ilolston 
Rivers were 3,000 white settlers who were there in defiance of their pro- 
tests. They maintained that they bad never ceded that country, and 
it being a favorite spot with them the settlers must be removed. The 
commissionei'S vainly endeavored to secure a cession of tlie French 
Broad tract, renmrking that the settlers were too numerous to make 
their removal possible, but could only succeed in securing the insertion 
of an article in the treaty, jjroviding for the submission of the subject 
to Congress, the settlers, in the mean time, to remain unmolested.^ 

Protest of North Carolina and Georgia. — During the pendency of 
negotiations, William lilount, of North Carolina, and John King and 
Thomas Glasscock, of Georgia, presented their commissions as the 
agents representing the interests of their respective States. They 
entered formal protests in the names of those States against the 
validity of the treaty, as containing several stipulations' which infringed 
and violated the legislative rights thereof. The principal of these was 
the right, as assumed by the commissioners, of assigning to the Indians, 
territory which had already been appropriated, by act of the legislature 
in the case of North Carolina, lo the discharge of bounty-land claims of 
the officers and soldiers of that State who had served in the Continental 
line during the Revolution.-^ 

There were present at this treaty, according to the report of the com- 
missioners, 918 Cherokees, to whom, after the signature and execution 
thereof, were distributed as presents goods to the value of $1,311^5. 
The meagerness of the supply was occasioned, as the commissioners 
exjdained, by their expectancy of only meeting the chiefs and head- 

' Letter of Geo. H. Morgan, of Gainesborough, Tennessee. 

•Report of Treaty Commissioners. See American State Papers, Indian Affairs, 
A^ol. I, p. 3S. 

"American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 44. 

■"Journal of Treaty Commissioners. See American State Papers, Indian Atlairs, 
V(d. I. p. 43. 


Location of boundaries. — In the location of the boundary points be- 
tween the Cherokees and whites, recited in tlie fourth article of the 
treaty, it is proper to remark that — 

1. The route of the line along the ridge between Cumberland and 
Tennessee Elvers, and from thence to the Cumberland, at a point 40 
miles above Nashville, has already been recited. ' 

2. "The ford where the Kentucky road crosses the river" (Cumber- 
land) is at a point opi)osite the mouth of Left-Haud Fork, about 12 or 
13 miles slightly west of north of Cumberland Gap. From the point 
'' 40 miles above Xashville " to this ford, the commissioners adopted, 
as they declare, the line of Henderson's Purchase; while from the " Ken- 
tucky Ford "to the mountain, G miles south of the mouth of Camp 
Creek on Xolichucky, they followed the boundary prescribed by the 
treaty of July 20, 1777, with Virginia and North Carolina.' 

3. "Campbell's line" was surveyed in 1777-78 by General William 
Campbell, as a commissioner for marking the boundary between Vir- 
ginia and the Cherokees. It extended from the mouth of Big Creek to 
the high knob on Poor Valley Eidge, 332 iioles S. 70° E. of the sum- 
mit of the main ridge of Cumberland Mountain, a short distance west 
of Cumberland Gap.'^ The point at which the treaty line of 1785 struck 
Campbell's line was at the Kentucky road crossing, about li miles south- 
east of Cumberland Gap. 

4. The treaty line followed Campbell's line until it reached a point 
due north of the mouth of Cloud's Creek. From this point it ran south 
to the mouth of that creek, which enters the Holston from the north, 3 
miles west of Eogersville. 

5. The line from Cloud's Creek pursued a northeasterly direction to 
Chimuej' Top Mountain, which it struck at a point about 2 miles to 
the southward of the Long Island of Holston Eiver. 

G. " Camp Creek, near the mouth of Big Limestone, on the Noli- 
chucky " (which is the next point in the boundary line), is a south branch 
of Xolichucky Eiver in Greene County, Tennessee, between Horse and 
Cove Creeks, and empties about G miles southeast of Greeneville. It 
was sometimes called McNamee's Creek. 

7. The mountain "six miles to the southward of Camp Creek" was 
in the Great Smokj- or Iron Eange, not far from the head of that creek. 

8. "Thence south to the North Carolina line, thence to the South 
Carolina Indian boundary." This line was partially surveyed in the 
winter of 1791, by Joseph Hardin, under the direction of Governor 
Blount.^ It ran southeasterly from the mouth of McNamee's or Camp 

' Eejiort of Treaty Coramissiouers in Americau State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, 
p. .38. 

-Letter of Return J. Meigs to Secretary of War, May ."), 1803; also, letter of Hon. 
John M. Lea, N.asbville, Tennessee. 

'Letter of Governor Blount to Secretary of War, Iicceniljer 10, 1792, in American 
State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 631. 


Creek, a distance, as stated by Governor Blount, of 00 miles to Euther- 
ford's War Trace, although the point at which it struck this " Trace," 
which is given in Governor Blount's correspondence as being 10 or I'J 
miles west of the Swanuauoa settlement, is only a trifle over 50 miles 
in a direct line from the mouth of Camp Creek. 

The "liutlierford's War Trace" here spoken of was the route pur- 
sued by General Griffith Eutherford, who, in the summer of 177C, 
marched an army of 2,400 men against the Cherokees. He was re-en- 
forced by Colonels Martin and Armstrong at Cathey's Fort; crossed 
tlie Blue Eidge at Swannana? Gap ; passed down and over the Frencli 
Broad at a place yet known as the "War Ford;" continued up the 
valley of Hominy Creek, leaving Pisgah Mountain to the left and cross- 
ing Pigeon Elver a little below the mouth of East Fork ; thence through 
the mountains to Eichland Creek, above the present town of Waynes- 
ville; ascended that creek and crossed Tuckaseigee Eiver at an Indian 
village; coutiuued across Cowee Mountain, and thence to the Middle 
Cherokee Towns on Tennessee Eiver, to meet (ieneral Williamson, 
from South Carolina, with an army bent on a like mission. ^ The 
boundary between western North Carolina and South Carolina was not 
definitely established at the date of the survey of Uai-din's line and, 
as shown by an old map on file in the Ofiflce of Indian Affairs, the point 
at which a prolongation of Hardin's line would have struck the South 
Carolina Indian boundary was supposed to be on or near the 35th degree 
of north latitude,^ whereas it was actually more than 20 miles to the 
north of that parallel and about 10 miles to the north of the present 
boundary of South Carolina. The detinite establishment of this treaty 
line of 1785 in this quarter, however, became unnecessary by reason of 
the ratification in February, 1792, of the Cherokee treaty concluded 
July 2, 1791,' wherein the Indian boundary line was withdrawn a con- 
siderable distance to the west. 

9. The line along the "South Carolina Indian boundary" ran in a 
southwesterly direction from the point of contact with the prolongation 
of Hardin's line, passing over "Ocunna" Mountain a short distance to 
the northwestwardly of Oconee Station and striking the Tugaloo Ei\er 
at a point about 1 mile above the mouth of Panther Creek.'- 

10. The line from Tugaloo Eiver pursued a west of south course to 
Currahee Mountain, which is the southern terminus of a spur of the 
Alleghany Mountains, and is situated 4 miles southwest of "Toccoa 
Falls'' and 10 miles northwest of Carnesville, Georgia. 

11. From "Currahee Mountain to the head of the south fork of 
Oconee Eiver," the line pursued a course south 38° west^ to the source 
of that stream, now commonly known as 'the Appallachee Eiver, and 

' Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee. 

■^Old mannscvipt map on tile in Indian Office, Wasliiugtou, D. C. 

'United States Statutes at Lar^e, Vol. VII, p. :». 


was the terminal point of the bonndary as defined in this treaty. 
This line was snrveyed in 1798^ under the direction of Col. Benj. 

It is also a pertinent fact in couuectiou with the boundaries defined 
by this treaty (as already stated in connection with llenderson's treaty), 
that although a literal reading of the description contained in Hender- 
son's "Great Grant" of 1775 would include all the country watered by 
the tributaries of the Cumberland, the commissioners who negotiated 
this treaty of Hopewell in 1785 did not consider Henderson's Purchase 
as extending south of the Cumberland lliver iiroper, excei^t in its course 
from Powell's Mountain to the head of the most southwardly branch of 
that river. This branch was considered by these commissioners of 1785 
as being the Yellow Kivcr, whose source was at best but imperfectly 
known. They specifically state that they accept the boundaries of Hen- 
derson's Purchase in this direction,' and as the boundary defined by 
them between Powell's Mountain and Yellow liiver was ''Campbell's 
line," they must have considered that line as being the southern limit 
of Henderson's Great Grant. 


Held on hanlc of Moist on River, near the mouth of French Broad, between 
William Blount, governor of the Territory south of Ohio River and 

snpcrinfendent of Indian affaim, representing the President of the 
United States, on the part and behalf of said States, and the chiefs 

and warriors of the Cherolee Nation on the part and behalf of said 



1. Perpetual peace declared between the United States and the Chero- 
kee Nation. 

2. Cherokees to be under sole protection of the United States and to 
hold no treaty with any State or individuals. 

3. Cherokees and the United States to mutually release prisoners 
captured one from the other. 

i. Boundary between the United States and the Cherokees defined as 
follows : Beginning at the top of Currahee Mountain, where the Creek line 
passes it; thence a direct line to Tugelo River; thence northeast to 
Ocunna Mountain and over same along South Carolina Indian boundary 

' See resolution of Geoigi.a legislature, June 16, 1802. It is however stated by 
Eeturn J. Meigs, iu a letter to the Secretary of War dated December 20, 1811, that 
this line was ruu by Colonel Hawkius in 1797. 

^ American State Papers, Indian Afl'airs, Vol. I, p. 38. 

'United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 39. 

iiOT'n]. • TREATY OF JULY 2, 1791. 159 

to the North Carolina boundary ; thence north to a point from which a line 
is to be extended to the River Clinch that shall pass the Holston at the 
ridge dividing waters of Little lliver from those of Tennessee Eiver; 
theuce np Clinch Eiver to Campbell's line and along the same to the top 
of Cumberland Mountain ; thence a direct line to Cumberland River 
where the Kentucky road crosses it; thence down Cumberland River 
to a [loint from which a southwest line will strike the ridge dividing 
waters of Cumberland from those of Duck River 40 miles above Nash- 
ville ; thence down said ridge to a point from which a southwest line will 
strike the mouth of Duck River. 

To prevent future disputes, said boundary to be ascertained and 
marked by three persons appointed by the United States and three per- 
sons appointed by the Cherokees. 

To extinguish all claim of Cherokees to lands lying to the right of 
said line, the United States agree to immediately deliver certain valu- 
able goods to the Cherokees and to pay them $1,000 annually. 

5. Citizens of United States to have free use of road from Wash- 
ington District to Mero District and of navigation of Tennessee River. 

G. The United States to have exclusive right of regulating trade with 
the Cherokees. 

7. The United States solemnly guarantee to the Cherokees all their 
lands not herein ceded. 

8. Citizens of the United States or others not Indians settling on 
Cherokee lauds to forfeit protection of the United States and be pun- 
ished as the Indians see fit. 

!). Inhabitants of the United States forbidden to hunt on Cherokee 
lauds, or to pass over the same without a passport from the governor of 
a State or Territory or other person authorized by the President of the 
United States to grant the same. 

10. Cherokees committing crimes against citizens of the United States 
to be delivered up and punished by United States laws. 

11. Inhabitants of the United States committing crimes or trespass 
against Cherokees to be tried and punished under United States laws. 

12. Retaliation or reprisal forbidden until satisfaction has been re- 
fused by the aggressor. 

13. Cherokees to give notice of any designs against the peace and in- 
terests of the United States. 

14. Cherokees to be furnished with useful implements of husbandry. 
United States to send four persons to reside in Cherokee country to act 
as interpreters. 

15. All animosities to cease and treaty to be faithfully carried out. 
IG. Treaty to take effect when ratified by the President of the United 

States by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. 



The bouudary liue prescribed by the treaty of November 28, 1785, 
had been unsatisfactory to both the Cherokees and the whites. On 
the part of the former the chief cause of complaiut was the non-removal 
of tlie settlei-s in the fork of the French Broad and Ilohstoii Eivers 
and their evident disposition to encroach still farther into the Indian 
country at every opportunity. The whites, on the other hand, were dis- 
contented because further curtailment of the Cherokee territory had 
not been compelled l>y the commissioners who negotiated the treaty, 
and the State authorities of North Carolina and Georgia had protested 
because of the alleged interference by the General Government with 
the reserved rights of the States.' In retaliation for the intrusions of 
the whites the Indians were continually engaged in pilfering their stock 
and other property. 

The state of affairs resulting from this continual friction rendered 
some decisive action by Congress necessary. A large portion of the 
land in Greene and Hawkins Counties, Tennessee, had been entered by 
the settlers under the laws of North Carolina, whereby she had as- 
sumed jurisdiction to the Mississippi River.^ These lands were south 
and west of the treaty line of 1785, as were also the lands on the west 
side of the Clinch upon which settlements had beeu made. Settlers to 
the number of several thousand, south of the French Broad and Hol- 
ston, were also within the Cherokee limits.^ 

It is true that the authorities of the so-called State of Franklin had 
in the years 1785 and 178G negotiated two treaties with the Cherokees, 
obtaining cessions from the latter covering most, if not all, of these 
lands,* but neither the State of North Carolina nor the United States 
recognized these treaties as of any force or validity. 

These trespasses called forth under date of September 1, 1788, a 
proclamation from Congress forbidding all such unwarrantable intru- 
sions, and enjoining all those who had settled upon the hunting ground 
of the Cherokees to depart with their families and effects without loss 
of time. 

General Knox, Secretary of War, under date of July 7, 1789, in a 
communication to the President, remarked that " the disgraceful viola- 
tion of the treaty of Hopewell with the Cherokees requires the 
serious consideration of Congress. If so direct and manifest cou- 

' American State Papers, ludian Aftairs, Vol. I, p. 44. 

-Protest of Col. William Blount to Treaty Commissioners of 178.5. American State 
Papers, ludian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 44, and Ramsey's Auuals of Tenn., p. .">49. Also 
i? 'ott's Laws of Tennessee and North Carolina. Vol. I. 

'American .State Papers, Indian Ati'airs, Vol. I, p. 38. 

^ Ramsey's Annuls of Tennessee, p. :i4j. 

u'vri;! TKKATY OF JULY i, 1701. 161 

tempt of the authority ot the Uuited States be suftered with i:ii- 
punity, it will be iu vain to attempt to extend the arm of govern- 
ment to the frontiers. The Indian tribes can have no faith in sncii 
imbecile promises, and the lawless whites will ridicule a government 
which shall, on paper only, make Indian treaties and regnlate Indian 
bonndaries." ' 

He recommended the appointment of three commissioners on the 
part of the United States, who should be invested with full powers to 
examine into the case of the Cberokees and to renew with them the 
treat.y made at Hopewell in 1785 ; also to report to the I'rcsideiit such 
measures as should be necessary to protect the Indians in the bound- 
aries secured to them by that treaty, which he suggested would involve 
the establishment of military posts within the Indian country and the 
services of at least five hundred troops. President Washington, on 
the same day, transmitted the report of the Secretary of War, with the 
accompanying papers, to Congress. He approved of the recommenda- 
tions of General Knox, and urged upon that body prompt action in the 

Congress, however, failed to take any decisive action at that session, 
and on the 11th of August, 1790, President AVashiiigton again brought 
the subject to the attention of tliat body. After reciting the substance 
of his previous communication, Le added that, notwithstanding the 
treaty of Hopewell and the proclamation of Congress, u])wards of five 
liundred families had settled upon the Cherokee lands, exclusive of 
those between the fork of the French Bi-oad and Holston Eivers.- He 
further added that, as the obstructions to a proper conduct of the mat- 
ter had been removed siuce his previous communication, by the acces- 
sion of North Carolina to the Union and the cession to the United States 
by her of the lands in question,^ he should conceive himself bound to 
exert the powers intrusted to him by the Constitution in order to carry 
into faithful execution the treaty of Hopewell, unless it should be t iionght 
proper to attempt to arrange a new boundary with the Cherokees, 
embracing the settlements and compensating the Cherokees for the 
cessions they should make. 

fhiited States Senate authorizes a new treaty. — Upon the reception gf 
this message the Senate adopted a resolution advising and consenting 
that tlie President should, at his discretion, cause the treaty of Hope- 
well to be carried into execution or enter into arrangements for such 

' American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. .53. 

■' lb., p. 83. 

' The assembly of Nortb Carolina proceeded in 1789 to mature a plan for the sev- 
erance of Tennessee, and passed an act for the purpose of ceding to the I'nited 
States of America certain western lands therein described. In conformity with one 
of the iirovisions of the act, Samuel Johnson and Benjamin Hawkins, Senators in 
Congress from North Carolina, executed a deed to the United States on the 25th of 
February, 1790. Congress accepted the cession by act of April 2, 1790, and Tennessee 
ceased to be a part of North Carolina. 
5 BTH 11 


fnrtber cession of territory from the Cherokees as the tranijuillitj' and 
interests of the United States should require. A proviso to this reso- 
lution limited the compensation to be paid to the Cherokees for such 
inrtlier cession to $1,000 per annum and stipulated that no person who 
had taken possession of any lands within the limits of the projjosed ces- 
sion should be confirmed therein until he had comjjlied with such terms 
as Congress should thereafter prescribe. 

Accordingly, instructions were issued to William Blount, go\ernor 
of the Territory south of the Ohio IJiver and ex officio superintendent 
of Indian afi'airs, to conclude a treaty of cession with the Cherokees.' 


In the mean time the troubles between the Indians and the settlers 
had become aggravated from divers causes, rroniiuent among these 
was the fact that Georgia had by act of her legislature disposed of 
;?, 500,000 acres of vacant land lying south of Tennessee River to the 
Tennessee Company. This assocuatiju undertook to efl'ect a settlement 
in the year 1791 at or near the Muscle Shoals.^ The matter coming to 
the notice of the Secretary of War was made the subject of a strong 
protest by him to the President.' 

The latter issued his proclamation forbidding such settlement. The 
company persisted in the attempt, and as the President had declared 
such act would place them without the protection of the United States, 
the Indians were left free to break up and destroy the settlement, which 
they did.'' 


In pursuance of Governor Blount's instructions, he convened the 
Indians at White's Fort, on the present site of Kuoxville, Tenn. ; 
and after a conference lasting seven days, succeeded, with much diffi- 
culty and with great reluctance on the part of the Cherokees, in con- 
cluding the treaty of July 2, 1791.-' 

In his letter to the Secretary of War,'' transmitting the treaty, he 
asserts the greatest difficulty to have been in agreeing on a boundary, 
and that the one fixed upon might seem singular. The reason for this 
peculiarity of description was owing to the fact that the Indians in- 

'Tliese instructions were issued iu pursuance of the advice and consent of the Sen- 
ate, under date of August 11, 1790. See American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 
I, p. 135. 

-This act of the Georgia legislature bore date of December 21, 178y. A prior act, 
bearing date February 7, 1785, had been passed, entitled "An act for laying out a dis- 
trict of land situated on the river Mississippi, within the limits of this State, into a 
county, to be called Bourbon." See American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 

J* .January 22, 17111. .See American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 112. 

' Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, pp. .^)49-556. 

'= United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. :?'.». 

''July 15,1791. See American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol.1, p. 628. 

noTCEl TREATY OF JULY 2, 1701. 163 

sisted oil beginning on tbe part where tbey were most tenacions of the 
land, in preference to the mouth of Dnck IJiver, where the ITopewell 
treaty line began. The land to the right of the line was declared to 
belong to the United States, becanse no given point of the compass 
would describe it. In accordance with his instructions, Governor Blount 
proposed to the Indians that tbe ridge dividing tbe waters of Little 
Eiver from those of the Tennessee should form a part of the boundary. 
To this the Indians would not agree, but insisted on the straight line 
which should cross the Holstoii where that ridge should strike it. Gov- 
ernor Blount ex|)lains that tbis line is not so limited by tbe treaty as to 
the point at which it shall leave the north line or at which it shall 
strike the Clinch, but that it might be so run as either to include or 
leave out tbe settlers south of the ridge; the oidy stii>ulations respect- 
ing it being that it should cross tbe Ilolston at tbe ridge, and should be 
run by commissioners appointed by the respective parties. 

He urged that the line should be run immediately after the ratifica- 
tion of the treaty, as settlers were already located in tbe immediate 
vicinity of it, and more were preparing to follow 

Tbe President transmitted tlie treaty to the Senate with bis mes- 
sage of October 26, 1791, ' and Senator Hawkins, from the committee 
to whom it was referred, reported it bade to the Senate on tbe 9th of No- 
vember following, recommending that the Senate advise and consent to 
its ratiiicatiou.^ 

On tbe 19th of the same month the Secretary of War advised Gov- 
ernor Blount that tbe treaty had been ratified by the President, by and 
with tlie advice and consent of tbe Senate, and inclosed him 50 printed 
copies for distribution, although tbe United States Statutes at Large 
[Vol. Vli, p. 39] give the date of the proclamation of the treaty as Feb- 
ruary 7, 1792.^ 


The Secretary also intrusted the matter of the survej' of the new 
boundary to the discretion of Governor Blount, and suggested the ap- 
pointment of Judge Campbell, Daniel Smith, and Col. Landon Carter as 
commissioners to superintend tbe same. Tbis suggestion was subse- 
quently modified by the appointment of Charles McLung and John 
McKee in place of Smith and Caiter. Governor Blount designated the 
1st of May as the date for tbe survey to commence. Andrew Ellicott 
was appointed surveyor, he having been previously appointed to survey 
the line under the Creek treaty of 1790.* Before these arrangements' 
could be carried out, tbe Secretary of War again wrote Governor 
Blount,^ remarking that while it was important the line should be run, 

'American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 123. 

^ lb., p. 135. 

3 lb., p. 629. 

<Ib., P.62&-630. 

'January 31, 1792. See American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 629.. 


yet as tlie Uiiitod States, in their military operations, might want the 
assistance of the Cherokees, perhaps it would be better policy to 
have the lines ascertained and marked after rather than before the 
campaign then about to commence against the Indians northwest of 
the Ohio.' It was thus determined, in view of numerous indis'idual 
acts of hostility on the part of the Cherokees and of the desire to 
sootlie them info jieace and to engage them as arixiliaries against the 
northern Indians, to temporarily postpone the running of the line. 

After considerable correspondence between Governor Blount and the 
Cherokee chiefs in council, the Sth of October, 1792, was fixed ui)on as 
the date for the meeting of the representatives of both i)arties at Major 
Craig's, on Nine-Mile Creek, for the purpose of beginning the survey.^ 
In the mean time an increased spirit of hostility had become jnanifest 
among the Cherokees and Creeks, the five lower towns of the former 
having declared war, and an Indian invasion of the frontier seemed im- 
minent. Governor Blount, therefore, iu the latter part of September,^ 
deemed it wise to call fifteen companies of militia into immediate service, 
under the command of General Sevier, for the protection of the settle- 
mentsi Notwithstanding this critical condition of affairs, the boundary 
line commissioners on the part of the United States assembled at the 
appointed time and place. After waiting until the following day, the 
representatives of the Cherokees putting iu no appearance, they pro- 
ceeded to inspect the supposed route of the treaty line. After careful 
examination they came to the conclusion that the ridge dividing the 
waters of Tennessee and Little Eivers struck the Holston IJiver at the 
mouth and at no other point.* 

They then proceeded to run, but did not mark, a line of experiment 
from the point of the ridge in a southeast direction to Chilhowee Moun- 
tain, a distance of 17i miles, and also from the point of beginning in a 
northwest direction to the Clinch Eiver, a distance of 9 miles. From 
these observations they found that the line, continued to the southeast, 
would intersect the Tennessee River shortly after it crossed the Chil- 
howee Mountain, and in consequence would deprive the Indians of all 

' It uiay not be uninteresting as a historical incident to note the fact that at the time 
of General Wayne's treaty at (ireenevillc, in 1795, a liaiul of Cherokees hail settled 
on the head-waters of the Scioto Eiver in Ohio. Not presenting themselves at the 
conferences preceding that treaty, General Wayne sent them a special message through 
Captain Long Hair, one of their chiefs, with the information that if they failed to 
conelnde articles of peace with him they would be left unprotected. They sent a dele- 
gation to assure General Wayne of their desire for peace, saying that as soon as they 
gathered their crop of corn they would return to their tribe, which they did. 

-American State Papers. Indian Aftairs, Vol. I, p. 630. According to the original 
manuscript journal of Col. Benj. Hawkins, Major Craig's house was i mile below the 
source of Nine-Mile Creek. 

^September 27, 1792. See American State Papers, Indian Aftairs, Vol. I, p. 630. 

* Report of Boundary Commissioners, November 30, 1792. American State Papers, 
Indian Aftairs, Vol. I, p. 630. 

iK'Vu;.] TREATV OF JULY 2, ITPl. 165" 

tbeir towus Ijiug ou the south side of the Teiinessee. This I'eudered 
iipiiareiit the necessity of cliaiiginft' the directioa of the line into a more 
nearly east and west course, and led the commissioners to exi)ress the 
oiiinion that the true line should run from the point of the ridge south 
OOo cast to Chilhowee Mountain and north 00° west to the Clinch. 

The course thus designated left a number of the settlers ou Niue- 
IMIle Creek within the Indian limits.' 

The records of the War Department ha\ing been almost completely 
destroyed by fire in the month of ISTovember, 1800, it is with great dif- 
ticultj' that detiiiite data can be obtained concerning the survey of tbis 
and other Indian boundaries prior to that date. It has, however, been 
ascertained that the above mentioned line was not actually surveyed 
until the year 1707. 

Journal of Col. Boijamiii Haicklnn. — The mauuscrii)t Journal of Col. 
Benjamin Hawkins, now in the possession of the Historical Society of 
Georgia, shows that instructions were issued by the Secretary of War 
on the 2d of February, 1707, a[)pointiug and directing Col. Benjamin 
Hawkins, General Andrew Pickens, and General James Winchester as 
commissiouerson the partof the United States to establish and mark the 
lines between the latter and the Indian nations south of the Ohio. 
These instructions reached Colonel Hawkins at Fort Fidius, on the 
Oconee, on the 28th of February. Notice was at once sent to General 
Pickens at his residence at Hopewell, ou the Keowee, and also to Gen- 
eral Winchester, through Silas Uiiismoor, at that time temporary agent 
for the Cherokee Nation, to convene at Tellico, on Tennessee Biver, on 
the 1st of April following, for the purpose of determining and marking 
the Cherokee boundary line pursuant to the treaty of 1701. Colonel 
Hawkins joined General Pickens at Hopewell, from which point they set 
out for Tellico on the 23d of March, accompanied by Joseph ^\^hituer, 
one of their surveyors, as well as by an escort of United States troops, 
furnished by Lieut. Co!. Henry Gaither. Passing Ocunna station, they 
were joined by their other survej'or. John Clark Kilpatrick. They 
reached Tellico block-house on the 31st of ]\Iarch. and were joined ou 
the following day by Mr. Dinsmoor, the Cherokee agent. Here they 
were visited by Hon. David Campbell, who, in conjunction with Charles 
McLung and John McKee, had been appointed in 1702, as previously 
set forth, to survey and mark the line. Mr. Campbell inforuiecl them 
that he and his co commissioners, in pursuance of their instructions, did 
in part ascertain and establish the boundary and report the same to 
(iovernor Blount, and that he would accompany the present commis- 
sioners and give them all the information he possessed on the subject. 
About the same time confidential information was received that General 
Winchester would not attend the meeting of his co-commissioners, and 
that this was understood to be in pursuance of a scheme to postpone 

' Report of Boiimlary t'omm'sHioneis, Xovembei' :W. 17'J2. Aiiu-iicau ■State Papers, 
Indian Aflaiis, Vol. I, p. 630. 


tLe luniiing of the line in the interest of certaiu intruders upon Indian 
land. On tlie 7th of April the commissioners set out to examine the 
location and direction of the ridge dividing the waters of Little Eiver 
from those of Tennessee, at the same time noting that " we received in- 
formation that the line run between the Indians and white inhabitants 
by the commissioners, mentioned on the 3d instant bj' Mr. Campbell, 
was by order, for the express purpose of ascertaining a line of accom- 
modation for the white settlers, who were then over the treaty line." 
By arrangement they met a number of the interested settlers at the 
house of Mr. Bartlett McGee on the 9tb, and by them were advised 
that the ridge between the sources of Nine-Mile, Baker's, Pistol, and 
Crooked Creeks "is that which divides the waters running into Little 
Eiver from those running into the Tennessee." 

Proceeding with their observations, they set out for the point on this 
ridge "where the experiment line for lixing the court-house of Blount 
County passes the ridge between Pistol Creek and Baker's Creek, due 
east from a point on the Tennessee 13J miles, and this point on the Ten- 
nessee is li miles south from a point from where a line west joins the con- 
fluence of the Holston and Tennessee." The point on the ridge here 
.spoken of was 2i miles north of Bartlett McGee's and 1 mile north of 
the source of Xine-Mile Cretk. The commissioners state that in noting 
observations they count distances in minutes, at the rate of 00' to 3 
miles. From the foregoing point they proceeded west S' to a ridge 
dividing Pistol and Baker's Creeks ; turned south C to the top of a 
knoll, having on the right the falling grounds of Gallagher's Creek. 
This knoll they called " Iron Hill." Continuing south 11', they crossed 
a small ridge and ascended a hill I' SSW., crossing a path from Baker's 
Creek to the settlements on Holston. From here the ridge bore SSW. 
1 mile, SW. by W. 1 mile, SSW. 3 miles, and thence NW., which would 
make it strike the Holston River near the mouth of that stream. Tiiis 
corresponded with the observations of the previous commissioners who 
had run the experimental line. 

This inspection convinced the commissioners that a considerable 
number of the white settlers were on the Indian land. The latter were 
(piite anxious that some arrangement should be made for their accommo- 
dation in the coming conference with the Indians, but received no 
encouragement from the commissioners further than an assurance that 
they should be permitted to gather their crops of small grain and fruit 
before removal. 

Being asked by the commissioners why the line run by Mr. Campbell 
and his confreres was known by three names, " that of experience, of 
experiment, and the treaty line with the Indians," they answered that 
"it was not the treaty line, but a line run to see how the citizens could 
be covered, as they were then settled on the frontier ; that they under- 
stood this to be the direction to the commissioners, and that they con- 
formed to it and ran the line as we had noticed in viewing the lands 

KovcK] TREATY OF JULY 2, 1791. 167 

between the two rivers." The settler.s also said, " the law, as they were 
likely to be affected, had beeu incautiously worded. They understood 
from it that the line from (Jlinch to cross the Holston at the ridge would 
turn thence south to the South Carolina Indian boundary on the North 
Carolina line. We replie<l that this uuderstandin<r of it was erroneous. 
There was no such course in the treaty, and they should never suiixjose 
that the Governinent would be capable of violating a solemn guarantee ; 
that, although the expression was ' thence south,' yet it must be under- 
stood as meaning soutluastwardly, to the point nest called for, as the 
point is in that direction and far to the east; that the lands in question 
had moreover been expressly reserved by the State of Xorth Carolina 
for the Indians, and the occupants had not, as some others had, even the 
plea of entry in the land ofBce of that State." 

The law referred to above by the settlers and the commissioners was 
the act of Congress ai»proved May 19, 179G, entitled '-An act to regu- 
late trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes and to preserve peace 
on the frontiers." This act recited the course of the Indian boundary 
as established by treaty with the various tribes extending from the 
mouth of Cuyahoga River along the line described in the treaty of 1795 
at Greenville, to the Ohio River and down the same to the ridge divid- 
ing the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers; thence up and along said 
ridge and continuing according to the Cherokee treaty of 1791 to the 
river Clinch ; " thence down said river to a point from which a line shall 
l)ass the Holston, at. the r,dge which divides the waters running into 
Little River from those running into the Tennessee; thence suuth to the 
North Carolina boundary," etc. 

Owing to fears for their personal safety caused by the hostile tone 
of the settlers toward them, it was not until the 25th of April that a 
representative delegation of the Cherokees was convened iu council by 
the commissioners. There were present 147 chiefs and warriors. 
Commissioners were appointed by them to act on behalf of their nation, 
in conjnction with those on behalf the United States, to run and mark 
the boundary line, and an agreement was reached that Messrs. Hawkins 
and Pickens should have authority to select the necessary sites for the 
proposed militarj- posts within their country. 

During the council a delegation of the intruding settlers presented 
themselves but were not allowed to attend the deliberations, being 
advised by the commissioners "that it was not in coiitenijilation to 
make a new treaty but to carrj- the treaty of Holston into effect ; that 
we did not expect much light on this subject from the Indians; that 
we should form our decision from the instrument itself and not from 
interested reporters on either side; that all who were on the Indian 
lands could not be relieved by us ; * * * that he (Captain Henly) 
and most of the deputation lived on this side of the line of experiment, 
and that they had informed us that that line was merely 1o ascertain 
how the citizens could be accommodated and on this side of the true line 


inteiided in tbe treaty; tbat to accoinnioda-te them a new treaty must 
be had and a new line agreed on, and, in our opinion, at this time it 
could not be effected ; that the Indians were much alarmed for their situ- 
ation, and viewed every attempt to acquire land as a violation of the 
solemn guaranty of the Government ; that we need not expect ever to 
obtain fairly their consent to part with their land, unless our fellow-citi- 
zens would pay more respect than we saw they did to their treaties. 

Following this conference with the Indians, the commissioners pro- 
ceeiled (examining the country carefully en route) to South West Point, 
at the mouth of Clinch Eiver, which they reached on the Gth of May, and 
the journal of Colonel Hawkins concludes with this day's proceedings. 
It is learned, however, from an old map of the line now on Hie in the oftice 
of Indian Aifairs, that the survey was not begun until more than three 
months after their arrival at South West Point. From another map in 
the same oftice it appears that the line as surveyed extended from a 
point about 1,000 yards above South West Point in a course S. 7CP E. 
to the Great Iron Mountain, and was known as " Hawkins Line."' 
From this point the line continued in the same course until it reached 
the treaty line of 1785, and was called " Pickens Line." The supposi- 
tion is that as the commissioners were provided with two surveyors, 
they separated. Colonel Hawkins with Mr. Wliitner as surveyor running 
the line from Clinch Kiver to the Great Iron Mountains, and General 
Pickens with Colonel Kilpatrick as surveyor locating the remainder 
of it. This supposition is verified so far as General Pickens is concerned 
by his own written statement.^ 

From the point where it struck the Clinch liiver, the line of cession 
by this treaty of 1791 followed up the course of that river until it struck 
Campbell's line at a point 3 or 4 miles southwest of the present town of 
Sueedville. From this point it became identical with the boundary 
line prescribed by the treaty of November 28, 1785 at Hopewell. 

The tract of country ceded by this treaty comprised the territory 
within the present limits of Sevier, Cocke, Jeflerson, Hamblen, Grainger, 
and almost the entirety of Knox, as well as portions of Koane, Loudon, 

' See preamble to treaty of 1798; American State Papers, ludian Affairs, Vol. I, 
j)p.639-G41 ; letters of Inilian Bureau, War Department, December 13 and 14, 1828; 
also, old manuscript maps In Office of Indian Aft'airs, Nos. 716 and 749. By tbe former 
of these maps it appears tbat tbe survey of " Hawkins Line " from Clincb River vi-as 
beu-nn August II?, 1797, and tbat " tbe line connnences on tbe Clincb, oue-fourtb mile 
above tbe ferry, in view of Soutb West Point. (Tbe ferry was GOO y.ards above tbe 
point.) From tbis point tbe view tbrousb tbo vista or street passing Captain Wade's 
garden to tbe rigbt S. 26 W. tbe same side of tbe river above N. 47 W. Tbe begin- 
ning tree, a Spauisb o.ak, marked U. S. on tbe nortb side and C. on tbe soutb ; on tbe 
oak 1797. A waboo marked U. S. and C. under tbe U. S. Aug. i:i, continues tbe line 
4 cuts 7 strikes to tbe Cumberland road, bere a wbite oak marked U. S. and C. Tbe 
mile trees bavo U. S. and C. marked on tbem," etc. 

= Letter of Gen. Andrew Pickens to Hon. Mr. Nott, of Soutb Carolina, January 1, 
1800. See American State Papers, Public Lauds, V<d. I. p. 104. 

RovcF, I TREATY OF FEBRUARY 17, 1792. 169 

Audersou, Union, Hancock, Hawkins, Sullivan, Washington, Greene, 
and Blount Counties in Tennessee, together with a portion of North 
Carolina lying principally west of the French Broad River. 


17, 1792. 

Held at Fhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, between Henry Knox, Secretary of 
War, on behalf of the United States, and certain chiefs and irarriors, in 
behalf of themselves and the Chrrol:ee ^^ation. 


This treaty was negotiated as, and declared to be, an additional arti- 
cle to the treaty of July 2, 1791, and provided as follows: 

]. That the annual sum to be paid to the Cherokees by the United 
States, iu consideration of the relinquishment of lands, made in treaty 
of 1791, be $1,500 instead of §1,000. 


As Stated in considering the treaty of July 2, 1791, the Secretary of 
War notified Governor Blount' that the President had ratified tlie 
same, and inclosed printed copies thereof to him for distribution. 
This was equivalent to its otlicial promulgation, although the treaty 
as printed in the United States Statutes at Large gives February 17, 
1792, as the date of proclamation. 

But, whichever may be the correct date, during the interval elapsing 
between them, a Cherokee delegation, without the invitation or knowl- 
edge of the United States authorities, proceeded to Philadelphia (then 
the seat of Government), where they arrived 011 the 28th of December, 
1791, bringing with them from Governor Pinckuey and General Pick- 
ens, of South Carolina, evidence of the authenticity of their mission.'^ 

The delegation consisted of six, besides the interpreter, and was 
headed by Neu-e-too-yah, or the Bloody Fellow. They were kindly 
received by the President, who directed the Secretary of War to ascer- 
tain their business. 

Conferences were thereupon held with them, lasting .several days, at 
which the Indians detailed at great length their grievances and 
known their wants. 

Causes of complaint. — The substance of their communications was to 
the eliect that when they were summoned by Governor Blount to the 
conference which resulted in the treaty of July 2, 1791, they were uua- 

' November 19, 179L See American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I. p. fiiO. 
■'American State Papers, Indian Affairs, V<il. I, p 203. 


ware of any purpose on the part of the Governiiicnt to secure auy 
furtlier cession of hmd from tliem ; that they had protested vigorously 
and consistently for several days against yielding any more territory, 
but were met with such persistent and threatening demands from Gov- 
ernor Blount on the subject that they were forced to yield; that they had 
no confidence that the North Carolinians would attach any sacredness 
to the new boundary, in fact they were already settling beyond it; and 
that the annuity stipulated in the treaty of 1791, as compensation for 
the cession, was entirely inadequate. They therefore asked an increase 
of the annuity from $1,000 to $1,500, and furthermore demanded that 
the white jieople who had settled south of the ridge dividing the waters 
of Little Hi ver from of the Tennessee should be removed, and that 
such ridge should be the barrier. 

President Washington, believing their demand to be a just one, and 
also desiring that the delegation should carry home a favorable report 
of the attitude and disposition of the Government toward them, sub- 
mitted the matter to the Senate ' and requested the advice of that body 
as to the propriety of attaching an additional article to the treaty of 
1791 which should increase the annuity from $1,000 to $1,500. 

Annuitii increased. — To this proposition the Senate gave its advice 
and consent,^ and what is mentioned in the United States Statutes at 
Large as a treaty concluded and proclaimed February 17, 1792,' be- 
came the law of the land. 


This concession did not, however, in any largedegree heal the differ 
ences and antagonisms existing between the Indians and the border 
settlers, with whom they were brought in constant contact. Even while 
the treaty of 1792 was being negotiated by the representatives of the 
Cherokees at the capital of the nation, a portion of their young war- 
riors were consummating arrangements for the precipitation of a general 
war with the whites, and in September, 1792, a party of upwards of 700 
Cherokee and Creek warriors attacked Buchanan's Station, Tenn., within 
4 miles of Nashville. They were headed by the Cherokee chief John 
Watts, who was one of the signers of the treaty of Holston, and had he 
not been severely wounded early in the attack, it is likely the station 
would have been destroyed.* 

A year later, between twelve and fifteen hundred Indians of the same 
tribes invaded the settlements on the llolston River and destroyed 
Cavitt's Station, 7 miles below Knoxville.- In fact, the intermediate 
periods between 1791 and 1795 were filled up by the incursions of smaller 

■January 18, 1792. 
» Jauuary 20, 1793. 

^United States Statutes at Laifje, Vol. VII, \>. A!. 

'This attack was made about midnight on tlie :i(ith of September, 1792. See Amer- 
ican State P.apers, Indian Afi'airs, Vol. I, p. 294. 

^American State Papers, Indian Aft'aiis, Vol. I, \>, 4ti-j. 

ROYCE.) TREATY 01' JUNE -iC, 1791. 171 

war parties, and it was not until the latter year that the frontiers found 
any repose from Indian dciiredations. 

The general tranquillity enjoyed after that date seems' to have been 
occasioned by the wliolesome discipline administered to the tribes nortli- 
west of the Ohio by General Wayne, in liis victory of August 20, 
1794, and as a result of the expedition of Major Ore, with his command 
of Teunesseeans and Kentuckians, in September of tlie same year, 
against the Lower Towns of the Clierolvees, wherein two of tliose towns, 
Ituuning Water and Xickajack. were destroyed.' 


Held at Philadelphia, Pa., between Henry Knox, Seerclnrti of War, on 
behalf of the United States, and the chiefs and irarriors representing 
the Cherol;ee Nation of Indians. 


The treaty of July 2. 1791, not having been fully carried into effect, 
by reason of some misunderstanding, this treaty was concluded to adju- 
dicate such differences, and contains tlie following i)rovisions: 

1. The treaty of July 2, 1791, declared to be in full force in respect to 
the boundaries, as well as in all other respects whatever. 

2. The boundaries mentioned in the-ttli article of treaty of July 2, 1791, 
to be ascertained and marked after ninety days' notice shall have been 
given to the Cherokee Nation of the time and place of commencing the 
operation by the United States commissioners. 

3. The United States agree, in lieu of all former sums, to furnish 
the Cherokees with $o,000 worth of goods annually, as compensation for 
all territory ceded by treaties of November 28, 1785, and July 2, 1791. 

4. Fifty dollars to be deducted from Cherokee annuity for eveiy horse 
stolen by Cherokees from whites and not returned within three months. 

5. These articles to be considered as additions to treaty of July 2, 
1791, as soon as ratified by tlie President and Senate of the United 


Complaints concehning norNDAitiics. 

The destruction of the ofBcial records renders it very ditiicuU to ascer- 
tain the details of the misunderstandings alleged in the preamble of this 

' Report of Ma.j. James Ore to Governor Bloiuit, September 24, 1794. He left Nasli- 
ville September 7. with ^t'M moniiteil infautrv. crossed the Tennessee on the V-ith, 
about 4 miles below Nickajack, ami on tbe morning of the I3th destroyed Nickajaek 
and Running Water towns, killing upwards of 50 and making a number prisoners. 
See American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 632. 

"United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 43. 


treaty of Juue 26, ITO-t,' to have arisen conceniiug the provisions of tlie 
treaty of 1791. But it is gathered from various sources that the priii- 
cii)al cause of complaint was in reference to boundaries. 

At the treaty of 1791, Governor Blount, as he alleges, sought, by every 
means in his power, to have the boundai-y of the cession follow, so far as 
might be, the natural barrier formed by the dividing ridge between the 
waters of Little liiver and those of the Tennessee,^ and such in fact was 
the tenor of his instructions from the Secretary of War ; but the Indian 
chiefs unanimously insisted that the boundary should be a straight line, 
running from the point where the ridge in question should strike the 
Ilolston, and assumed as evidence of the crookedness of Governor 
Blount's heart the fact that he desired to run a crooked line.^ 

After that treaty was concluded, however, it became evident that 
there would be ditticulty in determining satisfactorily where the ridge 
came in contact with the llolstou, inasmuch as the white settlers in the 
vicinity could not agree upon it. The Indians also changed their minds 
in some respect as to the proper course of the line; but, in view of the 
fact that settlers were encroaching with great persistency uiion their 
territory, they saw the necessity of taking immediate steps to have the 
boundary oflicialiy surveyed and marked. They also revived an old 
claim to pay for lands yielded by them in the establishment of the 
treaty line of 1785, for which they had received no compensation. of (ninuity. — In the conference preceding the signature of 
this treaty of 1791 they insisted that for this and other reasons an in- 
crease should be made in the annuity provided by the treaty of 1791, 
as amended bj" that of 1792. This was agreed to by the United States, 
and the annuity was increased from $1,500 to $5,000. 

Boundary line to be surveyed. — It was also agreed that the treaty line 
of 1791 should be promptly surveyed and marked after ninety days' no- 
tice had been given to the Cherokees of the time when and the place 
where the survey should begin. 

This, as has already been stated in connection with the treaty of 1791, 
had been so far performed in the fall of 1792 as to run but not mark a 
preliminary line for a short portion of the distance, but in spite of the 
additional agreement in this treaty of 1791 the actual and final survey 
did not take place until 1797,^ three years after the conclusion of this 
treaty and more than seven years after it was originally promised to be 

The treaty of 1794 was concluded by the Secretary of Wai himself 
with a delegation of the Cherokees who had visited Philadelphia for 

'Uuited States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 4:!. 
-American State Papers, Indian Aft'airs, Vol. I, p. 6"29. 

'Letter of Governor Blount to Secretary of War, March 2, 1793. See American 
State Papers, Indian Ail'airs, Vol. I, p. 6'2y. 

^American State Pa))ers, Indian Atlairs, Vol. I, p. Ii28. 

iiuviK.) TPKATY OK JUNE IG, 1794. 173 

that purpose. It wa.s coiiHiiiiiiicated by President Wasliiiigtoii to the 
Senate on the 30th of December, 1794.' 

(■iiKi:i)Ki:i'. iKisriLiTiKS. 

While this treaty was being negotiated, and for some month.s there- 
after, a portion of the Cherokees were engaged in tlie bitterest hostili- 
ties against the white settlements, which were only brought to a close, 
as has been iucidentally remarked in discussing the treaty of 1702, by 
tlie expedition of Major Ore against tiie Lower Cherokee towns in Sep- 
tember, ] 794. 

Peace conference. — Followiiig tliis expedition tlie hostile Cherokees 
sued for peace, and at their request a conference was held Mith them 
by Governor Blount, at Tellico Block House, on tlie 7th and Stli of 
November of that year.- 

This council was attended by Col. John "Watts, of Willstown, princi- 
pal leader of the hostiles; Scolacutta, or the Hanging Maw, head chief 
of the nation, and four hundred other chiefs and warriors. A general 
disposition seemed to be manifested among them to abandon their habits 
of depredation and secure for themselves and their families that peace 
to which they, as well as their white neighbors, had long been strangers. 
Governor Blount met them in a friendly S[)irit and sought, by every 
means in his power, to confirm them in their good disposition. 

In rei)orting the facts of this conference to the Secretary of War he 
asserted one of the most fruitful causes of friction between the whites 
and Indians to be the stealing and selling of horses by the latter, for 
which they could always find a ready and unquestioned market among 
unscrupulous whites. As measures of frontier protection he suggested 
tlie continuance of the three military garrisons of Southwest Point at 
t-he month of the Clinch, of Fort Granger at the mouth of the Holston, 
and of Tellico Block House, opposite the remains of old Fort Loudon, 
and also the erection of a military jiost, if the Cherokees would permit 
it, on the north bank of the Tennessee, nearly opposite the mouth of 
Lookout iSIountain Cieek. Subsequently-' he held a further conference 
with the Cherokees and endeavored to foster hostilities between them 
and the Creeks by urging the organization of a company of their young 
v.-arriors to patrol the frontiers of Mero District for its protection 
against incursions of the Creeks. To this the leading Cherokee chiefs 
refused assent, not because of any olijection to the pro]iosition, but be- 
cause they desired time for preparation. 


Early in the following year^ President Washington, in an emphatic 
message, laid before Congress a communication from Governor Blount 

'American State Pai>ers, Iniliaii Aft'airs, Vol. I.ji. 54:!. 

'American State Papers, Indian Attairs, Vol. I, p. .536. 

'■ January 3, 1795. See Anierican .State Papers, Indian Atiaiis, Vol. I, p. ^I'M'y. 

' Kebrnary '2, 1790. See American State Papers, Indian .Xft'air--, Vol. I, p. fiS I. 


settiuff forth the determination of a large coinbiuatiou of persons to 
take ])Ossession of certain Indian lands sontli and sonthwest of the 
Cumberland, under the pretended authority of certain acts of the legis- 
lature of North Carolina, passed some j^ears previous, for the relief of 
her officers and sohliers of the Continental line. . 

In view of the injustice of such intrusions and the mischievous con- 
sequences which would of necessity result therefrom, the President 
recommended that effective provision should be made to prevent them. 

This eventuated in the passage of the act of Congress, approved May 
19, 179G,' providing for the government of intercourse between citizens 
of the United States and the various Indian tribes. 


Held near Tellico, in the OheroTcee Council House between George Walton and 
Lieut. Col. Thomas Butler, commissioners on behalf of the United States, 
and the chiefs and icarriors of the Cherokee Xation. 


Owing to misunderstandings and consequent delay in running the 
boundary line ]>rescribed by the treaties of 1791 and 1794, and the 
ignorant encroachment of settlers on the Indian lands within the limits 
of such boundaries before their survey, it became desirable that the In- 
dians should cede more land. The following treaty was therefore con- 

1. Peace and friendship are renewed and declared perpetual. 

2. Previous treaties acknowledged to be of binding force. 

3. Boundaries of the Cherokees to remaiit the same where not altered 
by this treaty. 

4. The Cherokees cede to the United States all lands within the fol- 
lowing points and lines, viz: From a point on the Tennessee Eiver, 
below Tellico Block House, called the Wild Cat Eock, in a direct line to 
the Militia Spring near the Mary ville road leading from Tellico. From 
the said spring to the Chill-howie Mountain by a line so to be run as will 
leave all the farms on Xiue Mile Creek to the northward and eastward 
of it, a7id to be continued along Chill-howie Mountain until it strikes 
Hawkins's line. Thence along said line to the Great Iron Mountain, and 
from the top of which a line to be continued in a southeastwardly course 
to where the most southwardly branch of Little Eiver crosses the divis- 
ional line to Tuggaloe Eiver. From the place of beginning, the Wild 
Cat Eock, down the northeast margin of the Tennessee Eiver (not in- 
cluding islands) to a point one mile above the junction of that river with 

1 United States Statutes at Large, Vol. I, p. 496. 
= United States Statates at Large, Vol. VII, p. 62. 

RorcE.] TREATY OF OCTOBER 2, 1798. 175 

the Clincli, and from tbcnce by a line to be dra wii-iii a right angle until 
it intersects Hawkins's line leading from Clincb. Thence down the 
said line to the river Clinch ; thence up the said river to its junction 
with Emmery's River; thence up Emmery's Kiver to the foot of Cum- 
berland Mountain. From thence a line to be drawn northeastwardly 
along the tVot of the mountain until it intersects with Campbell's line. 

5. Two commissioners to be appointed (one by the United States and 
one by the Cherokees) to superintend the running and marking of the 
line, immediately ui)on signing of the treaty, and three maps to be 
made alter survey for use of the War Dejiartment, the State of Tennes- 
see, and the Cherokee Ifatioa respectively. 

G. Upon signing the treaty the Cherokees to receive 8-5,000 cash and 
an annuity of $1,000, and the United States to guarantee them the re- 
mainder of theit country forever. 

7. The United States to have free use of the Kentucky road running 
between Cumberland ^Mountain and river, in consideration of which the 
Cherokees are permitted to hunt on ceded lands. 

8. Notice to be given the Cherokees of the time for delivering annual 

9. Horses stolen by either whites or Indians to be paid for at $G0 
each (if by a white man, in cash ; if by an Indian, to be deducted from 
annuity). All depredations prior to the beginning of these negotiations 
to be forgotten. 

10. The Cherokees agree that the United States agent shall have 
sufficient ground for his temporary use while residing among them. 
This treaty to be binding and carried into effect by both sides when 
ratified by the Senate and President of the United States. 


In the year 1797 the legislature of the State of Tennessee addressed 
a memorial and remonstrance to Congress upon the subject of the In- 
dian title to lands within that State. The burden of this complaint 
was the assertion that the Indian title was at best nothing greater than 
a tenancy at will; that the lands they occupied within the limits of the 
State had been granted by the State of ]S"orth Carolina, before the ad- 
mission of Tennessee to the Union, to her otticers and soldiers of the 
Continental line, and for other jjurposes ; that the treaties entered into 
with the Cherokees by the United States, guaranteeing them the ex- 
clusive possession of these lauds, were subversive of State as well as 
individual vested rights, and praying that provision be made by law 
for the extinguishment of the Indian claim.' 

This was communicated to Congress by the President. Mr. Pinckney, 

'This address and remonstrance will be found in full in American State Papers, 
Indian Affairs, Vol. I, page G25. 


from the committee of tbe House of Representatives to which the 
matter was referred, submitted a report,' accompanied by a resolution 
making an appropriation for the relief of such citizens of the State of 
Tennessee as had a right to lands within that State, by virtue of tbe 
cession out of the State of North Carolina, provided they had made 
actual settlement thereon and had been deprived of the possession 
thereof by the operation of the act of May 19, 179G, for regulating in- 
tercourse witii the Indian tribes. The sum to be appropriated, it was 
declared, should be subject to the order of the President of the United 
States, to be expended under his direction, cither in extinguishing the 
Indian claim to the lands in question, by holding a treaty for that pur- 
pose, or to be disposeil of in such other manner as he should deem best 
calculated to aflbrd the i)ersous described a temporary relief. 

New trcoiy. — The House of Eeprescntatives, on considering the sub- 
ject, passed a resolution directing tbe Secretary of War tolay beforethem 
such information as he possessed relative to tlie running of a line of ex- 
periment from Clinch Iliver to Chilhowie Mountain by order of Governor 
Blount, to which the Secretary responded on tbe 5tb of January, 1798.^ 

Following this, on the 8th of the same month. President Adams com- 
municated a message to the Senate, setting forth that the situation of 
affairs between some of the citizens of the United States and tbe Chero- 
kees had evinced the propriety of holding a treaty with that nation, 
to extinguish by purchase their right to certain parcels of land and to 
adjust and settle other points relative to the safetj and convenience of 
the citizens of the United States. With this view he nominated Fisher 
Ames, of Massachusetts, Bushrod Washington, of Virginia, and Alfred 
Moore, of North Carolina, to be couimissiouers, having authority to hold 
!;ouferences and conclude a treaty with the Cherokees for the purposes 

The Senate concurred in tbe advisability of the proposed treaty, but 
Fisher Ames and Bushrod Washington liaving declined, George Walton 
and John Steele were associated with Mr. Moore, and detailed instruc- 
tions were given for their guidance.^ 

By these instructions they were vested jointly and severally with full 
powers to negotiate and conclude a treaty with the Cherokees, limited 
only by the scope of the instructions themselves. The Cherokee agent 
bad already been directed to notify tbe Indians and tbe commandant 
of United States trooi)s in Tennessee to furnish an escort suflBcient for 
tbe protection of the negotiations. 

Further inirchase of Clierolcee lands proposed. — The commissioners were 
directed as a primary consideration to secure, if possible, the consent 

' Docember 20, 1797. 

'American State Papers, Indiau Affairs, Vol. I, p. 629. 
"■ American State Papers, Iiidlau Atiairs, Vol. I, p. 631. 

•"These iiistnictious were dated Marcli 2, 179S. See American State Papers, Indiaa 
Affairs, Vol I, p. e:i9 

liovcii] . TKKATY OF OCTOBER '2, 179ti. 177 

of the Cherokees to the sale of such part of their lands as would give a 
more convenient form to the State of Tennessee and conduce to the 
l)rotection of its citizens. Especially was it desirable to obtain their 
consent to the immediate return of such settlers as had intruded on 
their lands and in consecpience had been removed by the United States 
troops, such consent to be predicated on the theory that the Cliei'okees 
were williug- to treat for the sale to the United States of the lands upon 
which these people had settled. They were directed to renew the un- 
successful effort made by Governor Blount in 1791 to secure the consent 
of the Cherokees that the boundary should begin at the mouth of Duck 
Eiver and run np the middle of that stream to its source and thence 
by a line drawn to the mouth of Clinch Eiver. The following alter- 
native boundary propositions were directed to be submitted for the con- 
sideration of the Indians, in their numerical order, viz : 

J. A line (represented on an accompanying map by a red dotted line) 
from a point on theridgedividing the waters of the Cumberland from the 
Tennessee Eiver, in a soutli west direction, until it should strike the mouth 
of Duck Eiver; thence from the mouth to the main source of the river; 
thence by a line over the highest ridges of the Cumberland Mountains 
to the mouth of Clinch Eiver ; thence down the middle of the Tennessee 
Eiver till it struck the divisional line under the treaties of 1791 and 
1791; thence along said line to its crossing of the Cunchee Creek run- 
ning into Tuckasegee; thence to the Great Iron Mountains; thence 
a southeasterly course to where the most southerly branch of Little 
Eiver crossed the divisional line to Tugaloo Eiver. 

2. A line (represented on said map by a double red line) beginning at 
the point 40 miles above Nashville, as ascertained by the commissioners 
(and laid down on said map); thenc-e due east till it struck the dotted 
line ou Cumberland ilonntains; along said mountains to the junction 
of Clinch and Tennessee Eivers ; and down the Tennessee to the extent 
of the boundary described in the tirst proposition. 

3. A line (dotted blue) beginning at a point 5G miles from the point 
40 miles above Nashville, on tlie northeast divisional line, being li miles 
south of the I'oad called Walton's or Caney Fork road ; thence on a 
course at the same distance from the said road to where it ci'osses Clinch 
Eiver; thence resuming the remaining boundary as described in the 
first proposition. 

4. A line (being a double blue line on the map) beginning at a jioint 
one mile south of the junction of the Clinch and Tennessee Eivers ; 
thence westerly, along the course of the road 1^ miles south thereof 
until it entered into Cumberland Mountains; thence a northeasterly 
course along the ridges of said mountains on the west of Powell's Val- 
ley and Eiver to the source of the river next above Clear Fork, and 
thence down the middle of the same to the northeast divisional line; 
the Tennessee Eiver and the further line thence, as described in the 
first proposition, to be the remaining boundary. 

5 ETH 12 


In case the Indians should accept the first proposition and cede the 
tract therein described, or a greater quantity, the commissioners were 
to solemnly guarantee the Cherokees the remainder of their country 
and agree to their payment by the United States of either an annuity 
of $4,000, or to deliver them, on the signing of the treaty, goods to the 
amount of $5,000 and the further sum of $20,000 in four equal annual 

Eefusing the first and accepting the second proposition, they were to 
receive the same guarantee, and an annnity of $3,000, or $5,000 at once 
in goods and $15,000 in three equal annual installments. 

Eefusing the first and second and accepting the third proposition, 
the same guarantee was offered and an annuity of $2,000, or $5,000 in 
goods on signing the treaty ;'.nd $10,000 in two equal annual install- 

Accepting the fourth proposition, to the exclusion of the other three, 
the same guarantee was to be given, together with an annuity of $1,000, 
or $5,000 in goods on signing the treaty and the same amount during 
the year 1799. 

It was also represented by the Secretary of War that the arts and 
practices used to obtain Indian land in defiance of treaties and the 
laws, at the risk of involving the whole country in war, had become 
so daring, and received such countenance from persons of prominent 
influence, as to render it necessary that the means to countervail them 
should be augmented. To this end, as well as to more effectually secure 
to the United States the advantages of the laud which should be ob- 
tained by the treaty, the commissioners were instructed to secure the 
insertion into the treaty of provisions of the following import : 

1. That the new line should be run and marked by two commissioners, 
one of whom should be appointed by the treaty commissioners and the 
other by the Indians. They should proceed immediately upon the sign- 
ing of the treaty to the execution of that duty, upon the completion 
of which three maps thereof should be prepared, one for the use of the 
Secretary of War, one for the executive of the State of Tennessee, and 
one for the Cherokees. 

2. That the Cherokees should at all times permit the President of 
the United States to employ military force within their boundaries for 
the arrest and removal of all persons seeking to make unauthorized 
negotiations with or to incite their hostility toward the United States 
or any of its citizens, or toward any foreign nation or Indian nation or 
tribe within the limits and under the protection of the United States; 
also, of all persons who should settle on or who should attempt to re- 
side in the Indian country without the written permission of the Presi- 

3. That the treaty should not be construed either to affect the right 
or title of any ejected settler upon the Indian lands to the tract there- 
tofore occupied by him or in any manner to enlarge his right or claim 

RovcE] TREATY OF OCTOBER -2, 1793. 179 

thereto ; and that all Indian laud purchased by the contemplated treaty, 
which had not been actually occupied as aforesaid, should remain sub- 
ject to the operation of all the provisions of the proposed as well as any 
former treaty and of the laws of the United States relative to Indian 
country, uutil such time as said lands should be sold by and under the 
authority of the United States. This provision was intended to prevent 
any further intrusion on any part of the land ceded by the State of North 
Carolina to the United States ; as also upou the land set apart to the 
Cherokee Indians by the State of Xorth Carolina, by act of her legisla- 
ture, passed May 17, 1783, described as follows, viz: "Beginning on the 
Tennessee, where the southern boundary of this State intersects the 
same, nearest to the Chicamauga towns; thence up the middle of the 
Tennessee and Holston to the middle of French Broad ; thence up the 
middle of French Broad Eiver (wliich lines are not to include any island 
or islands in the said river) to the mouth of Big Pigeon River; thence 
up the same to tlie head thereof; thence along the dividing ridge, be- 
tween the waters of Pigeon River and Tuckasege River, to the southern 
boundary of this State." 

i. The United States should have the right to establish such military 
posts and garrisons within the Indian limits for their protection as- 
should be deemed i^roper. In case it should be found impracticable to 
obtain Duck River or a line that should include within it the road lead- 
ing from Southwest Point to Cumberland River for a boundary, the 
commissioners were to stipulate for certain parcels of land lying on 
such road at convenient distances from each other for the establishment 
of houses of entertainment for travelers. Also in case the cession ob- 
tained should not include both sides of the ferry on Clinch River, to 
secure a limitation upon the rates of toll that should be charged by the 

The commissioners repaired to Knoxville, where they ascertained it 
to be the desire of the Indians that the treaty negotiations should be 
held at Oosteuaula, the Cherokee capital. 

To this the commissioners objected, but agreed to meet the Indians 
at Chota, which they concluded to change to Tuckasege, and, finally, 
before the date fixed for the meeting, June 25, again changed it to Tel- 
lico, where the conference was held.' 

Tennessee commissioners attend the council. — In the mean time- Gov- 
ernor Sevier of Tennessee designated General Robertson, James Stuart» 
and Lachlan Mcintosh as agents to represent the interests of that 
State at the treaty, and gave them minute instructions covering the 
following j)oints,^ viz : 

1. To obtain as wide an extinguishment of the Cherokee claim north 
of the Tennessee River as possible. 

' Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, pp. 693, 695. 

•2 June 20, 1798. 

^Ramsey's Ann.als of Tennessee, pp. 693, 695. 


2. All iiiilinpeded comaiuuicatioii of Ilolstoii aiul Cliiicb Rivers with 
the Tennessee and the snnender of the west bank of the Clinch oppo- 
site Soiith-West Point. 

3. To secure from future molestation the settlements as far as they 
had progressed on the northern and western borders of the State and 
the connection of Hamilton and Mero districts, then separated by a 
space of unestiuguished hunting ground SO miles wide. 

4. To examine into the nature and validity of the claim recently set 
up by the Cherokees to lands north of the Tennessee Iliver ; whether 
it rested upon original right or was derived from treaties: or was 
founded only upon temporary use or occupancy. 

The council opened early in July. The "IJloody Fellow," a Cherokee 
chief, at the outset delivered a paper which he stated to contain their 
final resolutions, and which covered a peremptory refusal to sell any 
land or to i)ermit the ejected settlers to return to their homes. After 
seeking in vain to shake this determination of the Cherokees, further 
negotiations wei-e postponed until the ensuing fall, and the commission- 
ers departed. 

On the 27tli of August, the Secretary of War addressed some addi- 
tional instructions upon the subject to George Walton and Lieut. Col. 
Thomas P.utler as commissioners (John Steele having resigned and 
Alfred Moore having returned to his home in North Carolina), author- 
izing them to renew the negotiations. The original instructions were 
to form the basis of these negotiations, but if it should be found im- 
practicable to induce the Indians to accede to either of the tirst three 
l)ropositions, an abandonment of them was to take place, and resort 
was to be had to the fourth proposition, which nnght be altered in any 
manner as to boundaries calculated to secure the most advantageous 
results to the United States.' The council was icsumed at Tellico on 
the 2()th of September, but it was ibund, during the progress thereof, 
that there was no possibility of effecting the primary objects of the State 
iigents of Tennessee. General IJobertson failed to attend. General 
White (who had been appointed in the place of Stuart) was there, but 
Mr. Mcintosh resigned and Governor Sevier himself attended in person. 

The treaty was tinally concluded on the 2d of October, by which a 
session was secured covering most of the territory contemplated by the 
fourth proposition, with something additional. It included most if not 
all the lands from which settlers had been ejected by the United States 
trooi)s, and they were permitted to return to their homes. 

The road privilege sought to be obtained between East and Middle 
Tennessee was also realized, except as to the establishment of houses 
»of entertainment for travelers." 

> American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 640. 

•■^By act of September 27, 1794, tbe legislatnre of the territory southwest of the 
Ohio anthorizeil the raising of a fund for cuttini; and clearing a wagon roatl from 
Southwest Point to Bledsoe's Lick on tbe Cumberland. The funds for this pur- 

RovcK.; . TREATY OF OCTOBER '2, 1798. 181 

Presideut Adams transmitted the treaty to the Senate,' and tbat 
body advised and consented to its ratification. 

BoundQry lines surveyed. — In fulfilluient of the provisions of the tifth 
article of the treaty concerning the survey of boundary lines, the Presi- 
dent appointed Captain Butler as a commissioner to run that portion of 
the line described as extending from Great Iron Mountain in a south- 
easterly direction to the point where the most southerly branch of Lit- 
tle Eiver crossed the divisional line to Tugaloo Kiver, which trust he 
executed in the summer of 1799.^ Owing to the unfortunate destruc- 
tion of official records by fire, in the year ISOO, it is impossible to ascer- 
tain all the details concerning this survey, but it was executed on the 
theory that the "Little Kiver" named in the treaty was one of the 
northernmost branches of Keowee River. 

This survey seems not to have been accepted by the War Depart- 
ment, for on the 3d of June, 1802, instructions were issued by the Sec- 
retary of War to Eeturu J. Meigs, as a commissioner, to superintend 
the execution of the survey of this same portion of the boundary. Mr. 
Thomas Freeman was appointed surveyor.^ 

From the letter of Commissioner Meigs, transmitting the plat and 
field notes of survey,'' it appears that much dift'erence of opinion had 
existed as to what stream was meant by the " Little Eiver " named in 
the treaty, there being three streams of that name in that vicinity. 
Two of these were branches of the French Broad and the other of 
Ivcowee Eiver. If the line should be run to the lower one of these two 
branches of the French Broad, it would leave more than one hundred 
families of white settlers within the Indian territory. If it were runi 
to the branch of Keowee Eiver, it would leave ten or twelve Indian 
villages within the State of North Carolina. 

It was therefore determined by Commissioner Meigs to accept the 
upper branch of French Broad as the true intent and meaning of the 
treaty, and the line was run aqcordingly, whereby not a single white 
settlement was cut off or intersected, and but five Indian families were 
left on the Carolina side of the line.^ 

pose were to be raised by a lottery managed by Cols. James White, James Winches- 
ter, Stockley Donelson, David Camiibell, William Cocke, and Robert Hayes. The In- 
dians not having granted the necessary right of way, its construction was necessarily 
postponed, but subsequently, by act of the legislature of Tennessee passed November 
14, 1801, the Cumberland Road Company was incorporated and required to cut and 
clear a road from the Indian boundary on the east side of Cumberland Mouutain to 
the fork of the roads leading to Fort Blount and Walton's Ferry. 

' January 15, 1799. 

-.See letter of General Pickeus to Representative Nott, of South Carolina, Janu- 
ary 1, 1800. American State Pajiers, Public Lauds, Vol. I, p. 103. 

■' Letter of Secretary of War to Return J. Meigs, in Indian Office records. 

< Dated October aO, 1802. 

^Commissioner Meigs mentions that the accompanying plat and field notes of Mr. 
Freeman, the surveyor, will give more abundant details regarding this survey. After 
a careful search, however, no trace has been found among the ludi in Office records 


Status of certain tcrritort/. — In tliis connccHou it is pertiuent to remarls: 
that tlic State of Xortli Carolina claimed for her southern boundary 
the thirty-fifth degree of north latitude. 

The lino of this parallel was, however, at that time supposed to run 
about 12 miles to the north of what was subsequently ascertained to 
be its true location. 

Between this supposed line of 35° north latitude and the nortliern- 
most boundary of Georgia, as settled upon by a convention between 
that State and South Carolina in 1787, there intervened a tract of 
country of about V2 miles in width, from north to south, and extending 
from east to west^ from the top of tlie main ridge of mountains which 
divides the eastern from the western waters to the Mississippi Eiver. 
This tract remained, as was supposed, within the chartered limits of 
South Carolina, and in the year 1787 was ceded by that State to the 
United States, subject to the Indian right of occupancy. When the 
Indian title to the country therein described was ceded to the United 
States by the treaty of 1798 with the Cherokees, the eastern i)ortion of 
this 12-mile tract fell withiu the limits of such cession. 

On its eastern extremity near the head-waters of the French liroad 
lliver, immediately at the foot of the main Blue Eidgo Mountains, had 
been located, for a number of years prior to the treaty, a settlement of 
about fifty families of whites, who by its ratification became occupants of 
the public domain of the United States, but who were outside the terri- 
torial jurisdiction of any State. These settlers petitioned Congress to 
retrocede the tract of country upon which they resided to South Carolina, 
in order that they might be brought within the i)rote<;tion of the laws of 
that State.' A resolution was reported in the House of llepresentatives, 
from the committee to whom the subject had been referred, favoring 
such a course,^ but Congress took no effective action on the subject, 
and when the State boundaries came to be finally adjusted in that re- 

and files of the plat and field notes in question. There is much difficulty iu ascer- 
taining the exact point of departure of "Meigs Line" from Great Iron Mountains. 
In the report of the Tennessee and North Carolina boundary commissioners in 1321 
it is stated to lie 31| miles l>y the course of the mountain ridge in a general south- 
westerly course from the crossing of Cataluche Turnpike ; Oi miles in a similar direc- 
tion from Porter's Gap ; 21| miles in a northeasterly direction from the crossing of 
Equovetley Path, and 33^ miles in a like course from the crossing of Tennessee 
River. All of these courses .aud distances follow the crest of the Great Iron Mount- 
ains. It is stated to the author, by General R. N. Hood, of Knoxville, Tenn., that 
there is a triidition that "Meigs Post" was fouud some years since .about 1^ miles 
southwest of Indian Gap. A map of the survey of Qualla Boundary, by M. S. Temple, 
in 1876, shows a portion of the continuation of "Meigs Line" ,as passing .ibout 1^ 
miles e.ast of Qu.allatown. Surveyor Temple mentions it as running "S.SO"^ E. (for- 
merly 8.521° E.") 

'See memorial of Matthew Patterson and others, dated "French Broad, 8th Jan- 
uary, 1800." printed in American State Papers, Public Lands, Vol. I, p. 104. 

-This resolution was reported by Mr. Harper, from the committee to whom it was 
referred, to the House of Representatives, April 7, 1800, and is printed in American 
State Papers, Public Lands, ^'ol. I, p. 10:?. 

ROYCE.] TEEATY OF OCTOBER ii, 1804. 183 

gion the tract in question was found to be within the limits of North 

TcUoir Creel; settlement. — After that portion of the boundary of the 
country ceded by the treaty of 1708 which extended along the foot of 
Cumberland Mountain until it intersected " Campbell's Line" had been 
surveyed, complaint was made by certain settlers on Yellow Creek that 
by the action of the surveyors in not prolonging the line to its true 
point of termination, their homes had been left within the Indian country. 

Thereupon the Secretary of War instructed Agent Meigs^ to go in 
person and examine the line as surveyed with a view to ascertaining 
the truth concerning the complaints. 

It was ascertained that the " point " of Campbell's Line was not on 
Cumberland Mountain proper, but on the ridge immediately east thereof, 
known as Poor Valley Eidge. This ridge is nearly as lofty as the main 
range, and Colonel Campbell, in approaching it from the east, had mis- 
taken it for that range and established his terminal point accordingly. 
The surveyors under the treaty of 1798, assuming the correctness of Col- 
onel Campbell's survey, had made the line of their survey close thereon. 
By such action the Indian boundary in that locality was extended 332 
poles further to the east than would have been the case had the true 
reading of the treaty been followed. 

A number of families of settlers on Yellow Creek, together with a tract 
of about 2,500 acres of laud, were thus unfortunately left within the 
Indian country. All efforts of Agent Meigs to secure a relinquishment 
of tiiis stri]) of territory from the Indians were, however, iueflectual.^ 


Held at " Tellico Block House,''^ Tennessee, between Daniel Smith and Re- 
turn J. Meigs, commissioners on the part of the United States, and the 
principal chiefs representing the Cherokee Nation. 


It is agreed and stipulated that — 

1. The Cherokee Nation relinquish and cede to the United States a 
tract of laud bounding southerly on the boundary line between the State 
of Georgia and the Cherokee Nation, beginning at a point on the said 
boundary line northeasterly of the most northeast plantation in the set- 
tlement known by the name of Watford's Settlement, and running at 
right angles with the said boundary line 4 miles into the Cherokee land, 
thence at right angles southwesterly and parallel to the first mentioned 
bouudarj' line so far as that a line to be run at inght angles southerly to 

' February 7, 1803. See luclian Office records. 

- See report of Agent Keturn J. Meigs to the Secretary of War, May 5, 1^0:1, ou file iu 
the Office of ludiau Ati'airs. 
" United States Statutes at Largn, Vol. VII, p. 228. 


the said first incntioued bouudary line shall include in this cession all 
the plant;itioiis in Watibrd's Settlement, so called, as aforesaid. 

2. Ill consideration of this cession the United States agree to pay the 
Cherokecs 8">,000, in goods or cash, iii)on the sigmug of the treaty, and 
au annuity of SI, 000. 


Congress, under date of February 19, 1799,' appropriated $2.j,()00 to 
defray the expense of negotiating a treaty or treaties witii the Indians, 
and again, on the 13th of May, ISOO,^ appropriated $15,000 to defray 
the expeuse of holding a treaty or treaties with the Indian tribes south- 
west of the Ohio River, with the proviso that nothing in the act 
should be construed to admit an obligation on the part of the United 
States to extinguish for the benefit of any State or individual the lu- 
diau claim to any lands lying within the limits of the United States. 

I'nrsuant to the authority conferred by these enactments, I'resident 
Jefferson ai)poiuted' General James Wilkinson, Wm. E. Davie, and Beuj. 
Hawkins as commissioners, and they were instructed by the Secretary 
of War to proceed to negotiate treaties with the Cherokees, Creeks, 
Choctaws, and Chickasaws. 

Objects of the treaty. — The objects sought to be attained with the 
Cherokees were to secure their consent, 1st. To cede to the United 
States all that portion of their territory lying to the northward of a 
direct line to be run from a point mentioned in treaty of October 2, 
179S, on Tennessee Eiver, 1 mile above its junction with the Clinch, to 
the point at or near the head of the "West Fork of Stone's Eiver, ou the 
ridge dividing the waters of the Cumberland and Duck Kivers wliich 
is struck by a southwest line from the point where the Kentucky road 
crosses Cumberland Eiver, as described in the treaty of Ilolston. 

2. That the Tennessee Eiver should be the boundary from its mouth 
to the mouth of Duck Eiver; that Duck Eiver should be the boundary 
thence to the mouth of Eock Creek ; and that a direct line should be 
run for a continuation of the boundary from the mouth of Eock Creek 
to the point on the ridge that divides the watei-s of Cumberland from 
Duck Eiver. 

3. That a road should be opened from the boundary line to a circular 
tract on Tennessee Eiver at the mouth of Bear Eiver, i-eserved to the 
United States by treaty of 1786 with the Chickasaws. From this point 
the road should continue until it reached the Choctaw territory, where 
it was to connect with a road through the country of the latter to 

' United States Statutes at Large, Vol. I, p, 618. 
2 United States Statutes at Large, Vol. II, p. 82. 
' The President's appointment of these commissioners bore date of June 1-, 1301. 

KovcE.l TREATY OF OCTOBER 24, 1804. 185 

Natchez. The eutire liue of this road must be open to the free use of 
citizens of the United States. 

4. lu case the Indians should refuse to cede any of the lands desig- 
nated, the commissioners were instructed to obtain, if possible, a cession 
of all the land lying northward of the road leading from Knoxville to 
the Nashville settlements, run conformably to the treaty of 1791. If 
they should be unwilling to grant this, then to ask for a strip of land 
from 1 to 5 miles in width, to include the said road in its whole extent 
across their lands. Whether success or failure should attend the first 
or second objects of their mission, the commissioners were to seek the 
consummation of the third pi'oposition for a road to the Bear Creek 
reservation, which would otherwise be of no practical value to the 
United States. 

If consent was obtained to the first three proposals or to the alterna- 
tive marked ith, an annuity of $1,000 was authorized and an immedi- 
ate sum not exceeding 85,000 in cash or goods. If, as had been repre- 
sented to the War Department, the Gherokees and Chickasaws both 
claimed the land on either side of Tennessee Eiver for a considerable 
distance, the commissioners were instructed that they must obtain the 
assent of both tribes to the opening of the road. 

Six days after the issuance of these instructions, a delegation of 
Cherokees, headed by Chief "Glass," arrived in Washington, aud ob- 
tained an interview with the Secretary of War.^ They represented that 
the promise had been made them, at the treaty of 1798, that they would 
never be asked to cede any more land. Now they learned that the 
United States was about to hold another treaty with them to secure 
further cessions. Thej- also desired to know whether the United States 
or the settlers got the land theretofore ceded, and why they had not 
been furnished with the map showing the boundary lines by the treaty 
of 179S, as had been i)romised them. In his reply,- after seeing the 
President, the Secretary of war informed them that no desire existed 
to purchase any more land from them unless they were anxious to sell; 
that the map should be at once furnished them; that the States of 
Kentucky and Tennessee had been formed out of the lands already 
purchased from them, and the main object of the proposed treaty with 
their nation was to secure the right of way for roads thi'ongh their 
country in order to maintain communication between detached white 

The delegation strenuously objected to the proposed "Georgia" road 
and were informed that the matter would not be pressed, but that the 
road to Bear Eiver and Natchez was a necessity. 

As a result of the visit of this delegation, the instructions to Messrs. 
Wilkinson, Davie, and Hawkins were modified,^ it being stated by the 

'This interview occurred, as shown by the Indian Office records, ou the 30th of 
June, 1801, and was adjourned to meet again on the 3d of July. 
■^July 3, 1601. See Indian Office records. 


Secretary of W:ir that lie bad been mistakeu as to part of the line be- 
tween tbe Uuited States and the Cberokees. lie tberefore directed that 
the secoud object of their iustructions should be suspeuded as regarded 
both tbe Cberokees aud tbe Chickasaws. Commissioner Davie having 
declined bis api>oiutment, General Andrew Pickens was substituted 
iu his stead.^ 

Faihire of negotiations. — It is only necessary to observe that the com- 
missioners failed in the accomplishment of any of their designs with 
the Cberokees. 


Prior to the survey and marking- of tbe boundary line near uurrahee 
Mountain in Georgia, provided for by the Cherokee treaty of 1785 aud 
tbe Creek treaty of 1790, which survey did not occur until 1798, one 
Colonel Wafford, in company with sundry other persons, bad formed a 
settlement iu that vicinity, which proved to be within the limits of tbe 
Indian country. 

Inasmucii as it was supposed these parties had ignorantly placed 
themselves within the Indian line aud had made considerable and val- 
uable improvements, tbe Government was iudisposed to use liarsb or 
forcible means for their ejection, but rather approved of the urgent ap- 
peals from Colonel Waflord and his neighbors to make an effort to 
secure the relinquishment from the Indians of a tract sutticient to em- 
brace their settlement. 

Tbe Government had been laboring under tbe impression that these 
lauds belonged to tbe Creeks, but tbe delegatiou of tbe Cberokees, 
headed by " The Glass," who visited Washington in the summer of 1801, 
claimed them as Cherokee territory, and asked for tbe removal of the 
settlers. Commissioners Wilkinson, Hawkins, and Pickens had been 
instructed^ to uegotiate with tbe Creeks for the i)urchase of this tract, 
but they having reported, ui)ou examination, that the title was un- 
doubtedly in the Cberokees, were directed^ to rejxjrt upon tbe expe- 
diency of applying to the Cberokees for a cession of the same. 

Such an application having at this time been unfavorably received 
by tbe Cberokees, nothing further was done in the matter until tbe 
winter of 1803,^ when the Secretary of War directed a conference to be 
held with them for tbe double purpose of securing a cession or a lease for 
seven years of tbe " Wafford Settlement" tract aud tbe Indian consent to 
aright of way for a road through their country from Southwest Point or 
Tellico Factory to Athens, Ga., with tbe establishment of the neces- 
sary houses of entertainment for travelers along such route. For this 
latter concession he was authorized to offer them the sum of $500. Tbe 

' July 16, 1801. See Indian Office records. 
-July 17,l!l01. See Indian Office records. 
^ June 10, 1802. See Indian Office records. 
■"February 19, 1803. See Indian Office recurds. 


Cherokees having refused botli these propositions, Agent Meigs was 
directed^ to secure the granting of the road privilege, if possible, by 
offering Yaiin- and other men of inliuence among them a proper in- 
ducement to enlist their active co-operation in the matter. This latter 
method seems to have been efi'ective, for later in the season^ the Sec- 
retary of War transmitted to the governors of Georgia and Tennessee 
an extract from an agreement entered into with the Cherokees pro- 
viding for an ojiening of the desired road, stating that, as the United 
States bad no funds applicable to the laying out and construction of 
such a road, it would be i)roper for the legislatures of those States fo 
make the necessary provision therefor. 

The clamor for more land by the constant tide of immigration that 
was flowing into Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia from the Xorth and 
East became more and more importunate. The desire to settle on In- 
dian laud was as potent and insatiable with the average border settler 
then as it is now. 


Notwithstanding the recent and oft-repeated refusals of the Chero- 
kees to part with more land, a new commission, consisting of Return J. 
Meigs and Daniel Smith, was appointed and instructed^ by the Secre- 
tary of War to negotiate a treaty for the cession of lands in Kentucky, 
Tennessee, or Georgia, and particularly of the tract near the Currahee 
Mountain, including the Waftbrd settlement. 

They were authorized to pay for ,the first cession a sum not exceed- 
ing $14,000, coupled with an annuity of 83,000, and for the " Wafford 
tract" not exceeding $5,000, together with an annuity of $1,000, and 
were directed to give " Yauu," a Cherokee chief, $200 or S300 to secure 
his influence in favor of the proposed purchase. 

Purchase of Wafford settlement tract. — In pursuance of these instruc- 
tions a conference was held with the Cherokees at Tellico, Tenu.,^ at 
whicli they concluded the arrangements for the cession of the Waftbrd 
tract, but failed in their further objects. The treaty was signed on the 
24th of October, and transmitted to the Secretary of War a week 
later,^ two iiersons having been appointed to designate and run the 

' May 30, 1803. 

^ "Vanu"' was a half-breed of cousideiable ability aud sbrewduess, aud was at this 
time perhaps the most iulliieutial chief among the Cherokees. His home was ou the 
route of the jn-oposed Georgia road, aud wheu the road was constructed ho opened a 
store and house of entertainment for travelers, from which he derived a considerable 

^Letter of Secretary of War to governors of Georgia and Tennessee, dated No- 
bember 21, 1803. 

■i April 4, 1804. 

■■^Octoher 10, 1804. See letter of Daniel Smith to Secretary of War, October 31, lt04. 

"October 31. 1804. 


lines of the ceded tract, wliicb was found to be 23 miles and 64 chains 
in length and 4 miles in width.' 

SingiiJar disappearance of treaty. — No action having been taken look- 
ing toward the ratification of this treaty for several years ensuing, Ke- 
turu J. Meigs, in the winter of 1811,^ addressed a letter to the Secre- 
tary of War calling attention to it, setting forth the fact that its con- 
sideration had theretofore been postponed on account of a misunder- 
standing in relation to the limits of the ceded tract, but that the Cher- 
okees had now of their own motion, and at their own expense, had a 
survey made of 10 miles ami 12 chains in lengtli in addition to the orig- 
inal survey, which would make the tract ceded 33 miles and 70 chains 
in length, and whicli would include the plantation of every settler who 
could raakii the shadow of a claim to settlement prior to the survey of 
the general boundary line run in 1797' by Colonel Ilawkius. He there- 
fore concluded that there could be no reason for further jiostponing the 
ratification of the treaty, and urged that it be done without delay. 

Notwithstanding this letter of Agent Meigs no further notice seems 
to have been taken of the treaty, and it had been entirely lost sight of 
until attention was again called to it by a Cherokee delegation visiting 
Washington early in 1824, nearly twenty years after its conclusion.^ 

After diligent search among the records of the War Department, 
Secretary Calhoun reported^ that no such treaty could be found and 
no evidence that any such treaty had ever been concluded. Whereupon 
the Cherokee delegation produced their duplicate copy of the treaty to- 
gether with other papers relating to it. The Secretary of War, after 
receiving a reply ° to a letter addressed by him to Colonel McKee, of the 
House of Representatives (who was one of the subscribing witnesses to 
the treaty), became satisfied of its authenticity, and the President 
thereupon" transmitted the Cherokee duplicate to the Senate, which 
body advised and consented to its ratification. It was duly proclaimed 
by the President on the 17tk of May, 1824.^ 

1 Commissioner Smitli iu his letter of October 31, 1804, to the Secretary of War, 
states that two persons on the part of the United States, to he accomi)auied by two 
Cherokee chiefs, had been designated to run the boundaries of this cession. The 
propriety was then urged on the Cherokees by the commissioners of making a cession 
of the lands lying between East and West Tennessee. Several days were consumed 
in urging this proposal, and a majority of the chiefs were jirobably in favor of it, but 
Commissioner Smith remarks that a majority, unless it .amounts almost to unanimity, 
is not considered with them sufficient to determine in matters of great interest, par- 
ticularly iu making cessiousof lands. 

- December '.iO, 1811. 

'It is stated in a resolution of the Georgia legisl.ature, passed June 16, 1802, that 
this line was surveyed by Colonel Hawkins iu 1798. 

^The letter of the Cherokee delegation calling attention to this matter is dated 
January 19, 1824. 

6 February 6, 1824. 

6April 15, 1824. 

'April 30, 1824. 

"United States .Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 228. 

BoicE.] TREATY OF OCTOBER -ib, 18C5. 189 


Held at TelUco, Tenn., between Return J. Meigs and Daniel Smith, com- 
missioners on behalf 0/ the United States, and certain chiefs and headmen 
of the Cherokees, representing that nation. 


1. All former treaties jirovidiug for peace aud preveutiou of crimes 
are continued in force. 

2. The Cherokees cede to the United States all the land which they 
have heretofore claimed lying to the north of the following boundary 
line : Beginning at the mouth of Duck River ; thence up the main stream 
of the same to the junction of the fork at the head of which Fort Nash 
stood, with the main .south fork ; thence a direct course to a point on the 
Tennessee River bank opposite the mouth of Hiwassa River. If the line 
from Hiwassa should leave out Field's settlement, it is to be marked 
around his impro\ement and then continued the straight course ; thence 
up the middle of the Tennessee River (but leaving all the islands to the 
Cherokees) to the mouth of Clinch River; theuce up the Clinch River 
to the former boundary line agreed upon with the said Cherokees, re- 
serving at the same time to tlie use of the Cherokees a small tract lying 
at and below the mouth of Clinch River; from the mouth extending 
thence down the Tennessee River from the mouth of Clinch to a notable 
rock on the north bank of tiie Tennessee in view from Southwest Point; 
thence a course at right angles with the river to the Cumberland road ; 
thence eastwardly along the same to the bank of Clinch River, so as to 
secure the ferry landing to the Cherokees up to the first hill and down 
the same to the mouth thereof, together with two other sections of one 
square mile each, one of which is at the foot of Cumberland Mountain, 
at and near the place where the turnpike gate now stands, the other on 
the north bank of the Tennessee River where the Cherokee Talootiske 
now lives. And whereas from the present cession made by the Chero- 
kees, and other circumstances, the sites of the garrisons at Southwest 
Point aud Tellico are become not the most convenient aud suitable 
places for the accommodation of the said Indians, it may become ex- 
l)edieut to remove the said garrisons and factorj' to some more suitable 
place; three other square mile- are reserved for the particular disposal 
of the United States on the north bank of the Tennessee opposite to 
and below the mouth of Hiwassa. 

3. In consideration of the foregoing cession the United States agree 
to ]yay $3,000 at once in merchandise, $11,000 in 90 days, and an annuitj' 
of $3,000. 

■4. The United States to have the use of two roads through the Cher- 
okee country, one from the head of Stone's River to Georgia road, and 

' Ci'ited States Statutes at Larj^e, Vol. VII, p. 9X 


the other from Franklin to the Tombigbee settlements, crossing the Ten- 
nessee Eiver at Muscle Shoals. 

5. Treaty to take effect upon ratification by the President by and 
with the advice and consent of the Senate. 


Held at Tellico, Tenn., beticeen Return J. Meigs and Daniel Smith, com- 
missioners on behalf of the United States, and certain chiefs and head- 
men of the Cherol-ees, rej^resentinrj that nation. 


1. The Cherokees cede the section of land at Southwest Point, ex- 
tending to Kingston, reserving the ferries and the first island in Ten- 
nessee Eiver above the month of Clinch Eiver. 

2. The Cherokees consent to the free and unmolested use by the 
United States of the mail road from Tellico to Tombigbee so far as it 
passes through their country. 

3. In consideration of the foregoing the United States agree to pay 
the Cherokees $1,000 within 00 days. 

4. Treaty to be obligatory on ratification by the President by and 
with the advice and consent of the Senate. 


The commissioners (Return J. Meigs and Daniel Smith) who were 
appointed and instructed under date of April 4, 1804, and who nego- 
tiated the treaty of October 24, 1S04, with the Cherokees, it will be 
remembered, failed in the object of their instructions, except as to the 
singlematter of securing the cession of atract coveriugthe settlementof 
Colonel Wafford and others near Currahee Mountain. They were, how- 
ever, directed to continue their negotiations from time to time until the 
full measure of their origiual instructions should be secured. 

Treaties of October 25 cnid 27, 1805, considered together. — This course 
was ijursued, and after several fruitless conferences the commissioners 
succeeded in concluding the treaties of October 25, 1805, and October 
27, 1805. Inasmuch as these two treaties were negotiated by the same 
commissioners, acting under the same instructions and at the same con- 
ference, they will be considered together. The treaties were upon their 
conclusion transmitted to the Secretary of War,- and, upon submission 
to the Senate, that body duly advised and consented to their ratifica- 
tion. They were ratified and proclaimed by the President on the 24th 
of April and 10th of June, 180G, respectively.^ 

' United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 95. 

2 November 2, 180.5. See letter of transmittal of Return J. Sleigs and Daniel Saiitb. 

^United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, pp. y3 and 9o. 

ROYCE.] TREATIES OF OCTOBER -25 AND -27, 1305. 191 

Secret agreement with Doublehead. — Following the trausmissiou of the 
treaties to the Secretary of War by the commissioners, the latter ad- 
dressed' an explanatory communication to hiin, in which they set forth 
that by the terms of the treat}- of October 25, 1805, there were reserved 
three square miles of land, " for the particular disposal of the United 
States, on the north bank of the Tennessee, opposite and below the 
mouth of Hiwassa." This reservation, they afiirmed, was predicated 
ostensibly on the supposition that the garrison at Southwest Point and 
the United States factory at Tellico would be placed thereon during 
the pleasure of the United States, but that they had stipulated with 
" Doublehead," a Cherokee chief, that whenever the United States 
should find this land unnecessary for the purposes mentioned it was to 
revert to him (Doublehead), provided that he should retain one of the 
square miles to his own use, but should relinquish his right and claim 
to the other two sections in favor of John D. Chisholm and John Eiley 
in equal shares. 

Purchase of site for State capital. — The cession by the treaty of Octo- 
ber 27, 1805, of the section of laud at Southwest Point was secured upon 
the theory that the State of Tennessee would find Kingston a convenient 
and desirable place for the establishment of the State capital. A sub- 
sequent change of circumstances and public sentiment, however, caused 
it to be located seven years later at Xashville. 

Boundaries surreyed. — On the 11th of July, 180C, the Secretary of "War 
notified Eeturn J. Meigs of his appointment as commissioner to super- 
intend the runuing and marking of the line "from the junction of the 
fork at the head of which Fort Nash stood with the main south fork 
of Duck Eiver to a point on the Tennessee River bank opposite the 
mouth of Hiwassee Eiver." He was also to superintend the survey of 
the lines of the reserved tracts agreeably to the treaty of October 25, 

He was directed to appoint a surveyor, but before running the line 
from Duck to Tennessee Kivers above described, to have him survey 
and mark the lines of the 3-mile tract reserved opposite to and below 
the mouth of Hiwassee, and also, when completed, to designate the most 
suitable site for the military iiost, factory, and agency, each site to be 
300 feet square and 10 rods distant from the others. 

Commissioner ^Meigs followed the letter of his instructions and caused 
the lines to be surveyed in accordance therewith. The line from Duck 
River to the mouth of Hiwassee was begun on the 9th and finished on 
the 26th of October, 1806. The point of departure at the west end of 
the boundary line was a red elm tree, trimmed and topped, standing on 
the extreme point of land formed by the confluence of that branch of 
Duck River at the head of which Fort Nash stood, with the main south 
fork of the river. The eastern terminus of the line was a mulberry tree 

1 January 10, 1606. 


on tbe north bank of Tennessee River opposite tbe nioiitli of Hiwassee 
Eiver, 73 miles and ICC poles from tbe beginning.' 


Colonel Martin, who was employed by Commissioner Meigs, also sur- 
veyed under the latter's direction during the same month the four small 
reserved tracts described in the treaty of October 25, ISO.j.' One of 
these afterwards produced much The language of the 
treaty called for three square miles on the north bank of Tennessee River, 
opposite to and heloic the mouth of Hiwassee River. Colonel Meigs, who 
was one of the commissioners who negotiated the treaty and was there- 
fore entirely familiar with its intent, caused this tract to be surveyed 
adjoining the main line of cession, extending from Duck Eiver to the 
mouth of Hiwassee and north of that line, which placed the tract 
opposite to and above the mouth of Hiwassee, instead of "opposite to 
and below" the mouth of that river.- 

As above stated, while this reserve was ostensibly tor the location of 
a military post and factory or trading establishment, it was reallj- in- 
tended for the Cherokee chief Donblehead and other iuHuential persons, 
as the iirice of their influence in securing from the Cherokees the exten- 
sive cession of land granted by the treaty. 

This was sought to be secured by means ot a secret article attached 
to the treaty. This article was reported to the War Department by the 
treaty commissioners^ and made a matter of record, but it was never 
sent to the State Department nor to the Senate lor the advice and con- 
sent of that body. After Agent Meigs had erected the Hiwassee gar- 
rison buildings on the tract, suit was brought iu 1809 by Colonel Mc- 
Lung against the agent lor the recovery of the land and mesne profits, 
basing his claim to title upon a grant from the State of Xorth Carolina^ 
of date long i)rior to the treaty of 1S05. The suit was decided in the 
plaiutilf's favor by the Tennessee courts. Subsequently, in 183S, John 
Riley made application to the Government for compensation for the loss 
of his one-third interest in this tract. The question was submitted to 
the Attorney General of the United States for his opinion. He decided 
(hat the secret article, not having been submitted to the Senate for ap- 
proval, was not to be considered as any part of the treaty; but that, if 
the commissioners had any authority for making such an agreement, the 
defective execution of their powers ought not to prejudice parties act- 
ing iu good faith aud relyiug on their authority; nevertheless, no relief 
could be fiad except through the action of (Congress. 

This secret article was also applicable to the su)all tract at and below 
the month of Clinch River, to the 1 mile square at the foot of Cnmber- 

' See field uotes of Colonel Martin on file in office of Indian Afi'airs. . 
= Letter cfK. J. Meigs to Secretary of War, Marcli 4, 1811. 
^Letter of Jleigs and Smith to Secretary of War, January _10,' 180G. 

KovcE,]- TREATY OF JANUARY 7, 1^06. 193 

laud Mountain, and to the 1 mile square on the north bank of the Teunes- 
see River, where Cherokee Talootiske lived. The first mentioned tract 
was also intended for the benefit of Doublehead, who leased it Feb- 
ruary 19, 1806, to Thomas H. Clark for twenty years. Before the expi- 
ration of the lease Doublehead was killed by some of his own people. 
December 10, 1820, the State of Tennessee assumed to grant the tract 
to Clark. ' 

The other two tracts alliuled to of one square mile each were in- 
tended for Cherokee Talootiske. May 31, 1808, Talootiske perpetually 
leased his interest in the Cumberland Mountain tract to Thomas H. 
Clark. September 17, ISIG, Clark purchased the interest of L'obert 
Bell in the same tract, the latter deriving his alleged title uuder a 
grant from North Carolina to A. McCoy in July, 1793. This tract was 
also included in a grant from North Carolina to J. W. Lackey and 
Starkey Donaldsou, dated January 4, 1795. The tract on Tennessee 
Eiver, Talootiske sold to Eobert King, whose assigns also claimed the 
title uuder the aforesaid grant from North Carolina to Lackey and Don- 

From the phraseology of the treaty in making these several reserva- 
tions, it was concluded advisable in subsequent negotiations to secure 
a relinquishment of the tribal title thereto, which was done by the treaty 
of July 18, 1817. 


Held at Washiiigton City, D. C, between Henry Dearborn, Secretary 0/ ]Yar, 
specially authorized thereto by the Prenident of the United States, and cer- 
tain chiefs and headmen of the Cherol-ee Nation, duly authorized and 
empoKered by said naliun. 


1. The Cherokees relinquish to the Ignited States all claim to ''all 
that tract of country which lies to the northward of the river Tennessee 
and westward of a line to be run from the ujiper part of Chickasaw Old 
Fields, at the upper point of an island called Chickasaw Island on said 
river, to the most easterly head-waters of that branch of said Tennes- 
see Eiver called Duck Eiver, exceptiug the two following described 
tracts, viz : one tract bounded southerly on the said Tennessee Eiver, 
at a place called the Muscle Shoals ; westerly, by a creek called Te Kee, 
ta, no-eh, or Cyprus Creek, and easterly, by Chu, wa, lee, or Elk Eiver 
or Creek, and northerly by a line to be drawn from a point on said Elk 
Eiver, ten miles on a direct line from its mouth * * * to a point on 
the said Cyprus Creek, ten miles on a direct line from its junction with 

' See report of Commissioner Indian Affairs to Secretary of War, December 9, 1:^34. 
- United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 101. 
5 ETH 13 


the Tennessee Eiver. The other tract is to be two miles in width on the 
north side of Tennessee River, and to extend northerly from that river 
three miles, and bonuded as follows, viz: Beginning at the mouth of 
Spring Creek and running np said creek three miles on a straight line; 
thence westerly two miles at right angles with the general course of said 
creek ; thence southerly on a line parallel with the general course of 
said creek to the Tennessee Eiver ; thence up said river by its waters 
to the beginning, which first reserved tract is to be considered the com- 
mon property of the Cherokees who now live on the same, including 
John D. Chesholni, An, tow, we, and Cheh Chuh, and the other reserved 
tract, on which Moses Melton now lives, is to be considered the property 
of said ]\Ielton and of Charles Hicks, in equal shares. * * * Also 
relinquish * * » all right or claim * * * to the Long Island 
in Holston Eiver." 

2. The United States agree to pay, in consideration of the foregoing 
cession, $2,000 in money upon the ratification of the treaty ; $8,000 in 
four equal annual installments; to erect a grist-mill within one year in 
the Cherokee country ; to furnish a machine for cleaning cotton ; and to 
pay the Cherokee chief, Black Fox, $100 annually during his life. 

3. The United States agree to urge upon the Chickasaws to consent 
to the following boundary between that nation and the Cherokees south 
of Tennessee Eiver, viz: Beginning at the month of Caney Creek near 
the lower part of Muscle Shoals, and run up said creek to its head, and 
in a direct line from thence to the Flat Stone, or Rock, the old corner 

4. The United States agree that the claims of the Chickasaws to tlie 
two tracts reserved by article 1 of this treaty, on north side of the Ten- 
nessee Eiver, shall be settled by the United States in such manner as 
will secure the title to the Cherokees. 


22, 1S08.' 

Held at upper end of Chicl((sair Inland, in Tenneaaee River, between James 
Rohertson and Return J. Meigs, acting under authority of the Executive 
of the United States, and a delegation of Cheroliee chiefs representing said 


This treaty is simply an elucidation of the first article of the treaty 
of January 7, 1800, and declares that the eastern limits of the tract ceded 
by the latter treaty "shall be bounded by a line so to be run from the 
upper end of the Chickasaw Old Fields, a little above the u])per point 
of an island, called Chickasaw Island, as will most directly intersect 
the first waters of Elk Eiver ; thence carried to the great Cumberland 

'United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 103. 

HovcEl- TREATY OF SEPTEMBER 11, 1807. 195 

Mountain, in which the waters of Elk Kiver liave their source; then 
along the margin of said mouutaiii, until it shall intersect the lands 
heretofore ceded to the United States at the said Tennessee ridge." 

In cousideratioii of this concession, the United States agree to pay 
to the Cherokees $2,000 and to peruiit the latter to hnut upon the tract 
ceded until the increase of settlements renders it improper. 


Shortly after the conclusion of the treaties of Uctober 2.5 and 27, 1805, 
a delegation of Cherokee chiefs and headmen visited Washington. 
Messrs. Eetnrn J. Meigs and Daniel Smith, the commissioners who had 
negotiated those treaties, accompanied them. 

The Secretary of War, Hon. Henry Dearborn, was specially depu- 
tized by the President to conduct negotiations with them for the pur- 
chase of such portions of their country as they might feel willing to sell, 
but more especially to extinguish their claim to the region of territory 
lying to the north and east of Tennessee liiver and west of the head 
waters of Duck Elver. 

The negotiations were concluded and the treaty was signed on the 7th 
of January, 1800,' and the President transmitted the same to the Senate 
on the 24th of the same month ; but that body did not consent to its 
ratification for more than a year afterwards.^ 

At the time of the conclusion of this treaty, it was supposed by all 
the parties thereto that the eastern limit of the cession therein defined 
would include all of the waters of Elk Eivcr, the impression being that 
the headwaters of Duck Eiver Lad their source farther to the east than 
those of the Elk.^ 

The region of country in question had for many years been claimed 
by both the Cherokees and the Chickasaws, and the Coveriinient of the 
United States, not desiring to incur the animosity of either of these 
Indian nations, had preferred rather to extinguish by purchase the claim 
of each. "With this end iu view, a treaty iiad already been concluded 
with the Chickasaws, under date of July 23, 1805,^ resulting m their re- 
linquishment of all claim to the land north of Duck Eiver lying east of 
the Tennessee and to a tract lying between Duck and Tennessee Elvers, 
on the north and south, and east of the Columbian Highway, so as to 
include all the waters of Elk Eiver. It had been the intention that the 
eastern boundary of the cession made by both these nations should be 

1 United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 101. 

2 May, 1807. 

^Message of President Jefl'erson to U. S. Senate, Marcli 29, lg08, and letter of R. J. 
Meigs, September 28, 1807. American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 753. 
< United .States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII. 


coiiifkleut from the head of Chickasaw Island northward, but when 
the country came to be examined with a view to running the line, it was 
found that a strict adherence to the text of the Cherokee_ cession would 
leave about two hundred families of settlers on the headwaters of Elk 
River still within the Indian country.' In the mean time the Chieka- 
saws, having leai'ned that the United States had purchased of the 
Cherokees their supposed claim to the territory as far west as the 
Tennessee River, including a large region of country to the westward 
of the limits of the cession of 1805 by the former, construed that fact as 
a recognition of the sole and absolute title of the Cherokees thereto, 
and became in consequence very much excited and angered. They 
were only pacified by an official letter of assurance from the Secretary 
of War, addressed to Maj. George Colbert, their principal chief,- wherein 
he stated that in purchasing the Cherokee right to the tiact in ques- 
tion tlie United States did not intend to destroy or impair the right of 
the Chickasaw ISTatiou to the same ; but that, being persuaded no actual 
boundary had ever been agreed on between the Chickasaws and Chero- 
kees and that the Cherokees had some claim to a portion of the lauds, 
it was fhought advisable to purchase that claim, so that whenever the 
Chickasaws should be disposed to convey their title there should be no 
dispute with the Cherokees about it. 

The Cherokees by this treaty also relinquished all claim they might 
have to the Long Lsland or Great Island, as it was sometimes called, of 
Holstou River. This island was in reality outside the limits of the 
country assigned the Cherokees by the first treaty between them and 
the United States, at Hopewell, in 178.5, but they had always since 
maintained that no cession had ever been made of it by them, and it was 
deemed wise to insert a specific clause in the treaty under consideration 
to that effect.^ 

Boundaries to he surveyed. — Early in 1807* the Secretary of War noti- 
fied Agent Meigs that Mr. Thomas Freeman had been appointed to sur- 
vey and mark the boundary line conformably to both the treaty of 1805 
with the Chickasaws and of 180G with the Cherokees, as well as to sur- 
vey the land ceded between the south line of Tennessee and the Ten- 
nessee River, lying west of the line from about the Chickasaw Old 
Fields to the most eastern source of Duck River. He was also advised 
that General Robertson and himself had been designated to attend and 
superintend the running of such boundary lines. Furthermore, that it 

'President Jefferson to U. S. Senate, M.irch 29, 1808. American State Papers, 
Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 753. 

-February 21, 1306. Indian Office records. 

= 0n tlie retnru home of the Cherokee delegation that visited Washington in It'Ol, 
"The Glass, " a noted Cherokee chief, represented to his people that the Secretary of 
War had said, "One Joseph Jlartin has a claim on the Long Island of Holston River." 
This the Secretary of War denieil, in a letter dated November 20, IHOl, to Col. R. J. 

■1 April 1. Indian Office records. 

liovcE] TREATY OF MARCH -22, leUi. 197 

was desii'able that the easteru liue of both cessious sliould be one aud the 
same, for although by the Chickasaw treaty the whole waters of Elk Ei ver 
were included, it was evident their claim to anj' lands east of the line 
agreed upon by the Oherokees was more than doubtful ; that, there- 
fore, the United States ought not to insist on such a line as would go 
to the eastward of the one defined in the Cherokee treaty, unless the 
latter could be prevailed upon to extend the same, in which event they 
were authorized to offer the Chcrokees a moderate compensation there- 


This led, upon the assembly of the commissioners and surveyor at 
Chickasaw Old Fields, in the fall of 1807 (for the purpose of surveying 
and marking the boundary lines iu question), to the negotiation of an 
explanatory treaty with certain of the Cherokee chiefs, on the 11th of 
September, 1807,^ whereby it was agreed that the Cherokee cession line 
should be extended so far to the eastward as to include all the waters 
of Elk Eiver and thereby be made coincident aud uniform with the 
Chickasaw line. 

Secret article. — The ostensible consideration paid for this concession, 
as shown by the treaty, was $2,000; but it was secretly agreed that 
$1,000 and two rifles should be given to the chiefs with whom the treaty 
was negotiated.^ 

President J efferson transmitted this latter treaty to the Senate on the 
29th of March, 1808, aud having received the consent of that body to its 
ratification, it was i)roclaimed by the President on the 22d of April 


Held at Washingto7i City, I). C, bcticeen George Graham, specially au- 
thorized as commissioner therefor by the President of the United States,, 
and certain chiefs and headmen duly authorized and cmpoivercd by the 
Cherolcee Xation. 


1. The Cherokees cede to the State of South Carolina the following- 
tract : Beginning on the east bank of Chattuga Eiver, where the boun- 
dary line of the Cherokee Nation crosses the same, running thence 
with the said boundary line to a rock on the Blue Eidge, where the 
boundary liue crosses the same, and which rock has been lately estab- 

' United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 103. 

- Letter of Return J. Meigs to Secretary of War, September 28, 1807, iu wiiieh he 
says: '• With respect to the chiefs who have transacted the business with us, they will 
have their hands full to satisfy the ignorant, the obstinate, and the cunning of some 
of their own people, for which they well deserve this silent consideration." 

3 United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 138. 


lished as a corner to the States of North and South Carolina ; running 
thence south sixty-eight and a quarter degrees west, twenty miles and 
thirty-two chains, to a rock en the Chattnga River at the thirty-fifth 
degree of north latitude, another corner of the boundaries agreed upon 
by the States of North and South Carolina ; thence down and with the 
Chattnga to the beginning. 

2. The United States promise that the State of South Carolina shall 
pay to the Cherokee Nation, in consideration of the above cession, 
$5,000, within ninety days after the ratification of the treaty by the 
President and Senate, provided the Cherokee Nation and the State of 
South Carolina shall also ratify" the same. 


Held at Washington City, I). C, heticeen George Graham, spcciaUij an 
thorized as commissioner therefor hy the JPresident of the United 8taten, 
and certain chiefs and headmen duly authorised and empoirered hy the 
Cherokee Xation. 


1. The north boundary of the lands ceded by the Creek treaty of 
1811, as between such cession and the Cherokees, is declared to extend 
from a point on the west bank of Coosa Eiver opposite the lower end 
of the Ten Islands and above Fort Strother, in a direct line, to the Flat 
Eock or Stone on Bear Creek, a branch of the Tennessee, which line 
shall constitute the south boundary of the Cherokee country lying west 
of Coosa River and south of Tennessee River. 

2. The Cherokees concede to the United States the right to lay off, 
open, and have the free use of all roads through their country north of 
said line necessary to convenient intercourse between the States of 
Tennessee, Georgia, and Mississippi Territory ; also the free naviga- 
tion of all rivers within the Cherokee territory. The Cherokees agree 
to establish and maintain on the aforementioned roads the necessary 
ferries and public houses. 

3. In order to prevent future disputes concerning the boundary 
above recited, the Cherokees agree to appoint two commissioners to ac- 
company the United States commissioners appointed to run said line. 

4. When the United States appoint a commissioner to lay off a road 
as jirovided for above, the Cherokees shall also appoint one to accom- 
pany him, who will be ijaid by the United States. 

'>. The United States agree to reimburse individual Cherokees for 
losses sustained by them in consequence of the marching of militia and 
United States troops through their territory, amounting to $25,000. 

' Two treaties appear of the same date and negotiated by tbe same parties. It is 
to be noted that the first controls a cession to the State of South Carolina and tbe 
second defines certain other concessions to the United States. 

= United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 139. 



Subsequent to the ratification of the treiity of September II, 1807, 
with the Cherokees, no other treaty receiving the final sanction of the 
Senate and President was concluded with them until March 2'2, 181(i;' 
but in the interval sundry negotiations and matters of official impor- 
tance were conducted with them, which it will be proper to summarize. 


In the early part of the year 1807, Col. Elias Earle, of South Carolina, 
proposed to the Secretary of War the establishment of iron works, with 
suitable shops, in the Cherokee Xation, on substantially the following- 
conditions, viz: That a suitable place should be looked out and selected 
where sufficient quantities of good iron ore could be found, in the vi- 
cinity of proper water privileges, for such an establishment ; that the 
Indians should be induced to make a cession of a tract of land, not less 
than 6 miles square, which should embrace the ore bed and water priv- 
ilege; that so much of the land so ceded as the President of the United 
States should deem proper should be conveyed to him (Earle), includ- 
ing the ore and water facilities, whereon he should be authorized to 
erect iron works, smith shops, and so forth. Earle, on his part, engaged 
to erect such iron works and shops as to enable him to furnish such 
quantities of iron and implements of husbandry as should be suificient 
for the use of the various Indian tribes in that part of the country, in- 
cluding those on the west side of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers ; also 
to deliver annually to the order of the Government of the United States 
such quantities of iron and implements as should be needed for the 
Indian service, and on such reasonable terms as should be mutually 
agreed upon. 

The Secretary of War referred the propositions of Colonel Earle to 
the President of the United States, who gave them his sanction, and 
accordingly Agent Meigs, of the Cherokees, was instructed^ to endeavor 
to procure from the Cherokees such a cession as was proposed, so soon 
as Colonel Earle should have explored the country and selected a suit- 
able place for the proposed establishment. Colonel Earle made the 
necessary explorations, and found a place at the mouth of Chickamauga 
Creek which seemed to meet the requirements of the case. 

Thereupon Agent Meigs convened the Indians in council at High- 
wassec, Tennessee, at which Colonel Earle was present, and concluded a 
treaty ' with them. By its terms, in consideration of the sum of $5,000 
and 1,000 bushels of corn, the Cherokees ceded a tract of country 6 

' United states Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, pp. 138 and 139. 

2 February 28, ISO". 

^December 2, 1807. See American State Papers, Indian Aft'airs, Vol. I, p. 753. 


miles square at the luontli of Chickamauga Creek, on the south side of 
Teiiuessee Eiver, to be laid off iu square form so as to iuclude the 
creek to the best advantage for such site. The treaty also contained 
a proviso that in case the ore supply should fail at this point, the 
United States should have full liberty to procure it within the Ghero 
kee territory at the most suitable and convenient place. Twenty-five 
hundred dollars of the consideratiou was at once paid in cash to the 
Indians and 1,000 bushels of corn agreed to be delivered to them the 
following spi'ing. Colonel Earle carried the treaty to Washington at 
the next session of Congress for ratification.' 

President Jefferson transmitted it to the Senate with a favorable 
message,^ but before any action was taken by that body it was siscer- 
tained that the tract selected and ceded was within the limits of the 
State of Tennessee. 

The matter of ratification was therefore i^stponed, with the hope that 
the State of Tennessee would consent to relinquish her claim to the 
laud. In this the President was disappointed. Xo further action was 
taken for several years, until, it having become evident that no conces- 
sion would be made in the matter by the legislature of Tennessee, the 
United States Senate' unanimously rejected the treaty. In conse- 
quence of this action, Colonel Earle made claim ^ against the Govern- 
ment either for the value of his time and expenses incurred in explor- 
ing the Cherokee country, selecting the site, and procuring the conclu- 
sion of the treaty, or, as an alternative, that the consent of the Chero- 
kees should be secured to the cession of another tract of similar area 
and character. 

The latter proposition was accepted, and Agent Meigs was advised^ 
that Mr. Earle had been granted permission to select some other site 
suitable for his iron -works, and instructed that in case lie did so, nego- 
tiations should again be opened with the Cherokees for an exchange of 
the tract covered by the cession of 1807 for the one newly selected. 

Success, however, does not seem to have attended this second attempt, 
and Agent Meigs was advised'' by the Secretary of War that $985 had 
been paid Colonel Earle for damages sustained by him in the Cherokee 
country while detained there by the Indians, which amount must be de- 
ducted from the Cherokee annuity. 

A third attempt of a similar character was made in 1815, when' Col- 
onel Earle was appointed to negotiate, in conjunction with the Indian 
agent, a treaty with the Cherokees or Chickasaws for the purchase of a 

' Letter of Return J. Meigs to Secretary of War, December 3. 1807. 

-Marcli 10, 1808. See Americau State Papers, ludiau Affairs, Vol. I, j). 752. 

'.January lU, 181-2. 

'In Marcli, 1812. 

" May 14, 1«12. 

s March 24, 1814. 

"February 3, 1815. 

KOviE.} TREATY OF MARCH ii, 1816. 201 

6-mile Sijuare tnict for the erectiou of his projjosed irou works. Like 
the previous efforts, it was without results.' 


Congress on the ISth of April, 1806,^ had passed an act entitled "An 
act to authorize the State of Tennessee to issue grants and perfect titles 
to certain lands therein described, and to settle claims to the vacant and 
unappropriated lands within the same." 

This act, for the purpose of defining the limits of the vacant and un- 
appropriated lands in the State of Tennessee, thereafter to be subject 
to the sole control and disi)osition of the United States, established the 
followiug described line, viz: Beginning at the place where the eastern 
or main branch of Elk liiver intersects the southern boundary of Tenn- 
essee ; running thence due north until such line shall intersect the north- 
ern or main branch of Ducic lUver; thence down the waters of Duck 
River to the military boundary line established by North Carolina in 
1783 ; thence with the military line west to the place where it intersects 
Tennessee Elver; thence dowu the waters of Tennessee Eiver to where 
it intersects the northern line of Tennessee. The act further provided 
that upon the execution by the State of Tennessee (through her Senators 
and Representatives in Congress, duly authorized thereto) of a deed of re- 
linquishment to the United States of all the claim of that State to lauds 
lying south and west of the described line, the United States should 
thereupon cede and convey to the State of Tennessee all claim to the 
land north and east of the line, with certain conditions and limitations 
therein prescribed, and with the proviso that nothing contained in the 
act should be construed to affect the Indian title. 

Predicated upon this act of Congress, the legislature of Tennessee 
passed an act, on the 3d of December, 1807,'' ap^jropriating .$20,000 for 
the purpose of holding a treaty or treaties with the Cherokees (when 
authorized so to do by the Federal Government) for the purpose of ex- 
tinguishing their claim to all or any part of the lands within the ter- 
ritorial limits of Tennessee lying to the north and east of the line de- 
scribed in the act of Congress just mentioned. 

Congress having assented to the request of Tennessee, the Secretary 
of War appointed^ Return J. Meigs a commissioner to suj)erintend the 
negotiations with the Cherokees about to be held with them by the two 
commissioners api^ointed on the jiart of that State. Mr. Meigs was ad- 
vised that all the expenses incident to the holding of the treaty, as well 
as any consideration that should be agreed upon in case of a cession by 

'A full liistory of Colonel Earle's attempt to secure a site for the erectiou of iron 
works will be found among the records and tiles of tbe Office of Indian Aftairs. 

-United States Statutes at Large, Vol. II, p. 381. See also amendment to this act 
by act of Febniary 18, 1841, United States Statutes at Large, Vol. Y, p. 412. 

' Scott's Laws of Xorth Carolina and Tennessee. 

< March -26, 1808. 


the Indians, should be borne by the State of Tennessee, and that the only 
lands the commission were authorized to treat for was that portion of 
the territory described in the act of April 18, 1806, as being ceded to 
. Tennessee which should be found to lie east of the line established by 
Eobertson and Meigs, running from the upper part of Cliickasaw Old 
Fields northwardly so as to include all the waters of Elk Eiver. The 
jealousy with which the Cherokees regarded a proposition for the sale 
of more land, and their especial aversion toward the people and gov- 
ernment of Tennessee, prevented success from attending these negotia- 
tions in any degree. 


It had been the iiolicy of the Federal Government, from the beginning 
of its official relations with the Indian tribes, to encourage and assist 
the individuals of those tribes in grasping and accepting the pursuits 
and habits of civilized life, with a view to their preparation for the 
condition in which the rapidly encroaching white settlements would 
in a few years inevitably place them. 

With the disappearance of game the hunter must become a tillier of 
the soil or a herdsman, with the alternative of starvation. This hu- 
mane policy, begun systematically in the lirst administration of Wash- 
ington,' took the form of a considerable annual expenditure in the pur- 
chase for the Indians of hoes, plows, rakes, and other agricultural im- 
])lements, as well as looms, cards, and spinning wheels. Among the 
northwestern tribes these eflbrts at industrial civilization were product- 
ive of triflingresults. The .southern tribes, however, and more especially 
the Creeks and Cherokees, had, in considerable numbers, manifested a 
partial though gradually increasing tendency toward self-support. Many 
of them, in addition to raising the necessaries of life, were producers iu 
a limited degree of cotton, from which their women had learned to make 
a coarse article of cloth ; others owned considerable herds of cattle and 
hogs, and altogether these tribes had made a degree of progress which 
was alike commendable to themselves and encouraging to the Govern- 

However, the persistent and unremitting demands of the border set- 
tlers for more land, backed l)y the thorough symp^ithy and influence 
of the State governments of Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia, as 
well as by their Senators and Representatives in Congres.?, acted as a 
powerful lever for moving the Congress and Executive of the United 
States to seek the complete i)ossession of the Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, 
and Chickasaw lands. 

As earlj'as 1803^ President Jeflersou had suggested the desirability 

' See report of General Knox, Secretary of War, to President Washington, July 7, 
1789; Creek treaty of 1790; Clierokee treaty of 1791, etc. 
* Confidential message of President .lefferson to Congress, January 18, 1803. 

Hovru.l TREATY OF MARCH 22, 1816. 203 

of the removal of these tribes beyond the Mississippi Eiver, altlionjih 
the first ofiQcial action taken in this direction was contained in tlie tilth 
section of an act of Congress approved ]\rarch 20, 1804, erecting Loui- 
siana into two Territories. This act appropriated $15,000 to enable the 
President to effect the desired object. This was supplemented iu 
1808,' when the Secretary of War, in a letter to Agent Meigs giving 
permission for a delegation of Cuerokees to visit Washington, instructed 
liim to improve everj' opportunity of securing the consent of the 
(Jherokees to an exchange of their lands for a tract west of the Missis- 

The delegation hei-e spoken of (composed of what were known as 
Upper Cherokees) visited Washington about the 1st of May, 1808, and, 
in the course of a discussion of the subject with the Secretary of War, 
took occasion to complain of an unequal distribution of annuities be- 
tween tke Upper and Lower Cherokees, and advanced a proposition that 
a dividing line be run between the ten-itory of these two branches of 
the tribe, inasmuch as the former were cultivators of the soil, and de- 
sired to divide their lands in severalty and become citizens of the 
United States, while the latter were addicted to the hunter life and 
were indisposed to adopt civilized habits.'-* This proposition met with 
the personal approval of the Secretary of War. He instructed the 
agent' to ascertain the sentiments of the nation upon such a proposi. 
tion, to the end that, if possible, those who adhered to aboriginal habits 
could be induced to accept a country in the newlj- acquired Territory of 
Louisiana, in lieu of their i)roportiouate share of the country then oc- 
cupied by the Cherokee Nation. In pursuance of this plan, the agent 
lost no opportunity of impressing upon the Cherokees the importance 
of the approaching crisis in their tribal affairs, and the necessity that 
some practical method should be adopted to solve the problem of sub- 
sistence involved in the rapid diminution of game. Many of tlie Lower 
or " hunter " Cherokees became persuaded of the necessity of looking 
out a new home, and early iu January, 1809,^ President Jefferson ad- 
dressed a " talk" to them, approving their project and promising facil- 
ities for the transportation of a delegation to visit the Arkansas and 
White Eiver countries, where, in case they found a suitable location, the 
United States would assign them a sufQcient area of territory for their 
occupation in exchange for their share of the Cherokee domain east of 
the Mississippi. 

Based upon this proposition, a pioneer delegation of the Indians 
visited that country in the year 1809, and upon their report large num- 
bers (about 2,000, as reported by Agent Meigs) of the nation signified 
their intention of removal as early as the autumn of that year. The 

' Jlarcli 2'>. 

'-See letter of Secretary of War to Col. R. J. Meigs, May 5, 1808. 

'May 5, 1808. 

^Jauuary 9, 1809 


Uuited States authorities were not as yet prepared to defray the pe- 
cnniary expense of so large a migration. The agent was therefore di- 
rected to discourage for the present anything except the removal of 
individual families.' The situation remained uncliaiiged until the 
spring of ISll,'- when the Secretary of War informed Agent Meigs that 
time and circnrastauces had rendered it expedient to revive the subject 
of a general removal and exchange of lands. The latter was advised- 
that it was veiy desirable to secure a cession of the Cherokee lands ly- 
ing within the States of Tennessee and South Carolina, and that in case 
the whole nation could be brought to agree to the iwoposition of ceding 
these tracts, as the pioportionate share of the " emigrant party," in 
exchange for lands to be assigned such party on White and Arkansas 
Eivers, he would be authorized and directed to negotiate a treaty with 
the Cherokee ifation for that purpose. From this time the subject re- 
mained in statu quo for several years, except that small parties of Cher- 
okees, consisting of a few individuals or families, continued to emi- 
grate to the " j)romiscd land." It is perhaps interesting to state, in con- 
nection with this emigration movement of the Clierokees, that it was 
primarily inaugurated shortly after the treaty of 1785, at Hopewell, 
when a few of those dissatisfied with the terms of that instrument em- 
barked in pirogues, and, descending the Tennessee, Ohio, and Mississii>i)i 
liivers, reached and ascended the Saint Francis, then iu the Spanish 
province of Louisiana, where they formed a settlement, from whence iu 
a few years they removed to a more satisfactory location on White 
Iiiver. Here they were joined from time to time by their dissatisfied 
eastern brethren, in families and small parties, until they numbered, 
prior to the treaty of 1817, between two and three thousand souls. 


On the 31st of December, 1810, the governor of South Carolina trans- 
mitted to the President a resolution of the legislature of that State 
urging an extinguishment of the Cherokee Indian title to lauds within 
her State limits.^ The Secretary of War, in his letter of acknowledg- 
ment,'' assured the governor that measures would soon be taken to 
bring about the desired cession if possible. Nothing of importance 
seems, however, to have been done until the winter of 1811, when Agent 
Meigs was appointed^ a commissioner for the purpose of negotiating a 
treaty with this end in view. He was instructed that the State of 
South Carolina would have an agent present, authorized to defray the 
esx^euses of the treaty and to adjust the compensation that should In- 
agreed upon in consideration of the proposed cession, agreeably to the 

'Letter of Secretary of War to Col. R. J. Meigs, November 1, 1809. 
-March 27, 1811. 
■■ Indian Office files. 
■> March 28, 1811. 
■^ December 26. 

KOvcE.l TREATY OF MARCH i-i, 1316. 205 

l»iovisions of the twelfth section of au act of Congress approved March 
30, 1802, for regulating trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes. 

These negotiations not having proved successful, the Secretary of 
War authorized Agent 3Ieigs' to bring a delegation of the Cherokees 
to Washington for this and other jjurposes of negotiation. 

This delegation arrived early in the spring of IS 16, and the Hon. 
George Graham, being specially autliorized by the Pri sident, concluded 
a treaty on' the 22d of Jlarch of that year.- Therein, in consideration 
of the sum of $5,000, to be paid by the State of South Carolina within 
ninety days from the date of its ratification by the President and Sen- 
ate, subject also to ratification by the Cherokee national council and 
by the governor of South Carolina, the Cherokees ceded to that State 
all claim to territory- within her boundaries. 

This treaty was transmitted^ to the Senate by President Madison, and 
ratified and proclaimed, as set forth in the abstract of its provisions 
hereinbefore given, on the 8th of April, 1810. 


The lines of demarkation between the respective possessions of the 
Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, and Chickasaw Xatlons had long been a 
subject of dispute between them. People living in a state of bar- 
barism and principally dependent upon the chase for a livelihood, 
necessarily roam over a ^■ast amount of territory within which no per- 
manent habitations have been established by themselves. An accurate 
definition of the boundaries between them and their nearest neighbors 
pursuing a similar mode of life is unnecessary so long as no disturbing 
factor is brought into the case. But contact with an ever-encroaching 
tide of civilization renders essential au accurate definition of limits. 
The United States, in several of its numerous treaties for the acquisi- 
tion uf territory from these four tribes, had been met with conflicting 
claims as to its ownership. In order that future disputes and em- 
barrassments of this character should be avoided, the authorities of 
the United States entertained the idea of causing a boundary line 
to be run and marked between the adjoining territory of these tribes. 
The Indian agents were advised by the Secretary of War^ that the 
subject was under consideration, the plan being to constitute a com- 
mission, consisting of two representatives selected by each tribe and 
uf the United States agents for those tribes, who should, after full 
examination of the country and the subject, agree upon and fix their 
respective boundaries. Owing, however, to the complicated state of 
our foreign relations and the feverish condition of mind manifested by 
the border tribes, soon followed by war with England and with the 

' November 22, 1815. 

- United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 138. 

3 March 26, 1816. 

<May 8, 1811. 


Creek Indians, it became necessary to drop further negotiations on the 
subject, and the matter was not again revived in this form. 

After the treaty of 1814 with the Creeks, however, whereby General 
Jackson exacted from them, as indemnity for the expenses of the war, 
tlic cession of an immense tract of country in Ahibama and Georgia,' 
the question of the proper limits of this cession on'the north and west 
became a subject of controversy between the United States and the 
Cherokees, Choctaws, and Chickasaws. 

The United States authorities at Washington were anxious that noth- 
ing should occur in the adjustment of these boundaries which should 
cause a feeling of irritation among those tribes. Commissioners had 
been appointed in the summer of 1815 to survey and mark the bound- 
aries of this Creek cession, and in August of that year we find the 
Secretary of War giving instructions to Agent Meigs, of the Cherokees, 
to meet the boundary commissioners, with a few of the principal Chero- 
kee chiefs, at the point on Coosa River where the south boundary of 
the Cherokee Nation crossed the same, in order that the Cherokees 
should be satisfied that the commissioners began at the proper point. 
Several additional reminders were given the agent, during the progress 
of the survey, that the matter of boundary was a question of fact to be 
ascertained and determined from the best attainable evidence, and that 
care must be taken that iio injustice should be done the Cherokees.'* 
In the following spring' a delegation of Cherokees was brought to Wash- 
ington, by direction of the W^ar Department, and, pending the comi)le- 
tion of treaty negotiations with them, the boundary commissioners were 
instructed not to mark the line between the Cherokees and the Creek 
cession until further orders. 

These negotiations resulted in a second treaty of March 22, 1810^ 
(the one for the cession of the tract in South Carolina bears the same 
date), wherein it was declared that the northern boundary line of the 
Creek cession of 1814 should be established by the running of a line 
from a point on the west bank of Coosa Kiverop])osite to the lower end 
of the Ten Islands, above Fort Strother, directly to the Flat Rock or 
Stone on Bear Creek, said Flat Rock being the southwest corner of the 
Cherokee possessions, as defined by the treaty with them concluded 
January 7, 180G. 

This boundary brought forth a vigorous thougli unavailing protest 
from General Jackson, who argued that the Cherokees never had any 
right to territory south of the Tennessee and west of Coosa River, but 
that it belonged to the Creeks and was properly within the limits of 
their cession of 1814.^ 

' United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 1^0. 

^Letter of Secretary of War to Agent Meigs, November 22, 1815. 

•' March, 181G. 

* United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 139. 

'' Letter from General Jackson to Secretary of War, June 10, 1816. 

KOYCK.) TREATY OF MARCH 22, 1816. 207 

All eft'orts were truitless in securing any further cession of lands, 
either north or south of the Tennessee.^ 

Previous to the visit of the Cherokee delegation to Washington and 
to the instructions given, as referred to above, to the boundary com- 
missioners to suspend the running of the boundary line between the 
Creek cession and the Cherokees pending negotiations with the latter 
General Coffee had been engaged in surveying the line from Coosa Kiver 
to the Tennessee Kiver.- As a result of the negotiations with the Chero- 
kees, additional instructions were given the boundary commissioners^ 
(accompanying which was a copy of the Cherokee treaty concluded on 
the 22d of March preceding) to run and mark the boundary line therein 
agreed upon from the lower end of the Ten Islands, on Coosa Iliver, to 
the Flat Kock, on Bear Creek. They were advised that the surveys 
already made by General Coffee might be of advantage to them, though 
from an examination of his report it did not appear he had taken any 
notice of the point at which this line was to terminate, notwithstanding 
he seemed to have had in view the treaty made with the Cherokees in 
the year 180(1, which proposed Caney Creek and a line from its source 
to the Flat Rock as the boundary between the Cherokees and Chicka- 
saws. Coffee's line had alreadj' excited the jealousy and opposition of 
the Chickasaws, and on the same day final instructions were given the 
commissioners to run the line from Coosa Eiver to Flat Eock, j\Iajor 
Cocke, the Chickasaw agent, was directed to advise the Chickasaws that 
iu agreeing upon this line with the Cherokees the United States liad 
in no degree interfered with the contlicting claims of the Ciiickasaws 
south of that line and east of Coftee's line ; that from an examination 
of the treaties with the Chickasaws and Cherokees, and especially that 
of 17S0 with the former tribe, it appeared that a point called the Flat 
Kock was considered a corner of the lands belonging to them, and had 
since been considered as the corner to the Cherokee, Creek, and Chick- 
asaw hunting grounds. It is proper to state in this connection that for 
many years an uncertainty had existed in the minds of both the In- 
dians and the United States authorities as to the exact location of this 
Flat Rock,^ and whether it was on Bear Creek or on the headwaters of 
the Long Leaf I'ine, a branch of the Black Warrior Kiver. The line as 
finally run by the commissioners from Flat Kock, on Bear Creek, to Ten 
Islands, pursued a course bearing S. 67° 56' 27" E. 118 miles and 40 
perches.^ It may be interesting also to quote from a letter" from Will- 

' Letter from Secretary of War to United States Senators from Tennessee, April 4, 

■^See letter of Secretary of War to Barnett, Hawkins, and Gaines, April 1(>, 1816. 

^ April 16, 1816. These bonndfiry commissioners were William Barnett, Col. Benja- 
min Hawkins, and Maj. ii,. P. Gaines. 

••Letter of General Jackson to Secretary of War, June 10, 1816 ; also from Commis- 
sioner Barnett, June 7, 1816. 

'Old map on file in General Land Otfice. 

«Juue 7, 1816. 


iam Barnett, one of the United States boundary comnii.ssioners, to liis 
co-commissioner, General Coffee, in wbicli lie states tbat he has just re- 
turned from the council at Turkeytown, at which the Cherokees, Choc- 
taws, Chickasaws, and Creeks were represented, and that the principal 
purpose of the council was to agree upon and adjust their several bound- 
aries. He notes the fact that the Creeks and Cherokees had agreed 
to make a joint stock of their lands, with a privilege to each nation to 
.settle where they pleased. The Creeks and Choctaws had fixed on the 
ridge dividing the waters of the Black Warrior and the Cahawba as 
their former boundary. The Chickasaws and Cherokees could come to 
no understanding as to their divisional line, the former alleging that 
they had no knowledge of any lands held by the latter on the south 
side of the Tennessee River adjoining them ; that they always cousid. 
ered the lands so claimed by the Cherokees as belonging to the Creeks, 
and in support of this they had exhibited to him a ninnber of affida- 
vits in proof that their line ran from the mouth of a small creek empty- 
ing into the Tennessee near Ditto's Landing (opposite Chickasaw Isl- 
and), up the same to its source, thence to the head of the Sipsey Fork 
of the Black Warrior, and down the same to the Flat Rock, where the 
Black Warrior is 200 yards wide; that they bad no knowledge of any 
place on Bear Creek known as Flat Rock, and that running tlie line to 
the last mentioned phice would be taking from them a considerable tract 
of country, to which they could by no means consent.' 


In order to secure a proper .system of communication between the Ten- 
nessee and the Lower Alabama and Mississippi settlements, the United 
States had long desired the establishment of sufficient roads through the 
Indian country between those points. The Indians, however, were 
shrewd enough to perceive that the granting of such a permission 
would be but an entering wedge for splitting their country in twain, 
and afford excuse for the encroachments of white settlers. 

' From a letter of Agout Meigs bearing (late December 2(i, 1804, it seems that he was 
just in receipt of a communicatiou from the Chickasaw chiefs relative to their claim 
to lands on the north sule of Tennessee River The chiefs assert that part of their peo- 
ple formerly lived at a place called Chickasaw Old Fields, on the Tennessee, about 20 
miles above the mouth of Elk River ; that while living there they had a war with the 
Cherokees, when, finding themselves too much separated from their principal settle- 
ments, they removed back thereto. Afterwards, on making peace with the Cherokees, 
their boundaries were agreed on as they are defined in the instrument given them by 
President Washington in 1794. 

They further state that they had a war with the Shawuees and drove them from all 
the waters of t,he Tennessee and Duck Rivers, as well as conflicts with the Cherokees, 
Choctaws, and Creeks, in which they defeated all attempts of their enemies to dis- 
jiossess them of their country. 

' Agent Meigs remarks that he is convinced the claim of the Chickasaws is the best 
founded; that nut 11 recently the Cherokees had always alluded to the country iu con- 
troversy as the hunting ground of the four nations, and that their few settle- 
ments wilhin this region were of recent date. 

KorcF..] TREATY OF SEPTEMBER 14, 1816 209 

The establislimeDt of new thorougbftires had therefore beeii regarded 
■with extreme jealousy and had never been yielded to by them except 
after a persistency of urging that bordered ou force. 

In the spring of 1811' Agent Meigs was advised by the Secretary of 
War of the expediency of liaving a road opened without delay from the 
Tennessee to the Tombigbee, and also onefrom Tellico. Both these prop- 
ositions would require the consent of the Creeks, and for the purpose of 
securing the most advantageous routes it was contemplated that Cap- 
tain Gaines should make a journey of exploration and survey of the 
country bctweeu the Alabama and Coosa Kivers ou the sonth and Ten- 
nessee and Hiwassee Elvers on the north. The fruition of these plans 
was also postponed on account of the ensuing war with the Creeks, and 
the subject was not again broached until after their subjugation. In 
the spring of 1814 the legislature of Tennessee transmitted two me- 
morials to Congress on the subject, and, by direction of the Secretary of 
War, Agent ^Meigs was again instructed- to ascertain the bent of the 
Indian mind in relation thereto. The result was the conclusion, with 
the approval of the President, of two agreements between the Chero- 
kees and the agents of certain road companies for the opening of two 
roads through the country of the latter from Teunessee to Georgia. 
But when the treatj' of March 22, 18IG, came to be negotiated at Wash- 
ington, the United States authorities, after much persuasion, procured 
the insertien therein of an article conceding to the United States a 
practically free and unrestrained permission for the construction of any 
and all roads through the Cherokee country necessary to convenient in- 
tercourse between the northern and southern settlements. 

BER 30. 1816.' 

Held at Chlcl-axaw Council House, between Maj. (Jen. Andrew Jaclson, 
General Darid Mcrriwcther, and Jesse Franldin, eonnnissioiicrs pleui- 
j)otentiarij on the part of the United States, and the delegates representing 
the Cherokee yation. 


To perpetuate peace and friendshii) between the United States and 
the Cherokees and to remove all future dissensions concerning bound- 
aries it IS agreed : 

1. Peace and friendship are established between the United States 
and Cherokees. 

2. Tlie Cherokee Nation acknowledge the following as their western 
boundary : South of the Tennessee Eiver, commencing at Camp Coffee, 

' May 25. 
- April 7. 
3 United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 14S. 

5 ETII 1-4 


on the south side of the Tennessee Eiver, which is opposite the Chicka- 
saw Island; running from thence a due south course to the top of the 
dividing ridge between the waters of the Tennessee and Toinbigby 
Eivers; thence eastwardlj' along said ridge, leaving the headwaters of 
the Black Warrior to the right hand until opposed by the west branch 
of Wells' Creek ; down the east bank of said creek to the Coosa Eiver, 
and down said river. 

3. The Clierokees cede all claim to land south and west of the above 
line In consideration for such cession the United States agree to pay 
an annuity of $6,000 for ten years and the sum of $5,000 within sixty 
days after ratification of the treaty. 

4. The boundary Hue above described, after due notice given to the 
CherOkees, shall be ascertained and marked by commissioners appointed 
by the President, accompanied by two representatives of the Cherokee 

5. The Cherokee Nation agree to meet the United States treaty com- 
missioners at Turkeytown, on Coosa Eiver, September 28, 1810, to 
confirm or reject said treaty ; a failure to so meet the commissioners 
to be equivalent to ratification. 

Eatified at Turkeytown by the whole Cherokee Nation, October 4, 


On the 27th of May, 181G, the Secretary of War instructed Agent Meigs 
to endeavor, at the next session of the national council of the Cherokees, 
to obtain a cession of the Cherokee claim north of Tennessee Elver 
within the State of Tennessee. For this proposed cession he was au- 
thorized to ]>ay $20,000, in one or more ))a.vments, aud 85,000 in pres- 
ents ; also to give Colonel Lowry, an influential chief among them, a sum 
equal to the value of his improvements.' 

He was furtlier instructed to make an eflbrt to secure the cession of 
the lands which they bad declined to sell the previous winter and which 
lay to the west of a line drawn due south from that point of the Tennes- 
see Eiver intersected by the eastern boundary of Madison Conuty. Ala- 

The necessity for these cessions, and especially that of the former 
tract, had been urged upon the Government of the United States by 
the legislature and by the citizens of Tennessee, many of whom had 
been purchasers of land within its limits, from the State of North Caro- 
lina, a quarter of a century in-evious, and who had been restrained 
from possession and occupancy of the same by the United States au- 
thorities so long as the Indian title remained unextinguished. In the 
event that the national council of the Cherokees should decline to 

' See ludian Office rocorils. 


accede to the desired cessions, Agent Meigs was to urge that the Chero- 
kee delegation aj^poiuted to meet the boundary commissioners at the 
Chickasa^v Council House on the 1st of September following should be 
invested with full authority for the conclusion of such adjustment of 
boundaries as might be determined on at that place. This authority 
was conditionally granted by the council,' and when the delegation 
came to meet the United States commissioners at the Chickasaw Coun- 
cil House, in the month of September, an agreement was made as to 
boundaries as set forth in the second article of the treaty of September 
14, 1816. By this agreement the Cherokees ceded all claim west of a 
line from Camp Coffee to the Coosa River and south of a line from the 
latter point to Flat Eock, on Bear Creek. ^ The treaty was ratified by 
the nation in general council, at Turkeytown, on the 4th of October 

Alabama allefjes error in survey. — When the due-south line from Camp 
Cofi'ee provided for in the treaty was surveyed, the surveyor, through 
an error in running it, deflected somewhat to the west. When the adja- 
cent country came to be surveyed and opened up to settlement much 
complaint was made, and the legislature of Alabama^ passed ajointreso- 
lution reciting the fact that through this erroneous survey much valua- 
ble land had been left within the Cherokee limits which had properly 
been ceded to the United States and instructing Alabama's delegation 
in Congress to take measures for having the line correctly run. The 
matter having been by Congress referred to the Secretary of War for 
investigation and report, the Commissioner of the General Land Office, 
at his request, reported'' that when the pnblicsurveys were made in that 
section it was found that neither the line due south from Camp Coffee nor 
from the head of Caney Creek had been surveyed on a true meridian. 
Inasmuch, however, as they had been run and marked by commissioners 
appointed by the United States, the surveyors necessarily made the 
public surveys in conformity to them. By this deviation from the true 
meridian the United States and the State of Alabama had gained more 
land from the manner in which the Caney Creek or Chickasaw boundary 
line had been run than had been lost by the deviation in the Cherokee 
or Camp Coffee line, and the quantity in either case did not perhaps 
exceed six or eight thousand acres. 

' Letter of Return J. Meigs to the Secretary of War, dated August 19, 1816. Ameri- 
can State Papers, Indian Aflairs, Vol. II, p. 113. 

^ Report of Commissioners Jaclison, Jlerriwether, and Franlilin to Secretary of War, 
dated Chicljasaw Council House, September 20, 1816. American State Papers, Indian 
Attairs, Vol. II, p. 104. 

"> Report of Commissioners Jackson and Merri wether to Secretary of War, October 4, 

^ January 7, 1828. 

5 February 25, 1828. 



Held at Cherokee Agency, in the Cherokee Xation, betireen Maj. Gen. 
Andrew Jackson, Joseph McMinn, gonrnor 0/ Tennessee, and General 
Da rid Merr'urithcr, commissioners plenipoientlary of the United States, 
and the chiefs, headmen, and warriors of the Cherokee Nation east of 
the Mississippi Eirer, and those on the Arkansas Biver, by their deputies, 
John D. Chisholm and James Rogers, ditly authorized by irritten poicer 
of attorney. 


1. The whole Cberokce Xatioii cede to the Uuited Stiites all the lauds 
lying uorth and east of the following boiiudaries, viz: Beginning 
at the High Shoals of the Appalachy Eiver, and running thence along 
the boundary line between the Creek and Cherokee ISTations westwardly 
to the Chatahouchy Eiver ; thence up the Chatahouchy Eiver to the 
mouth of Souque Creek ; thence coutiuuing with the general course of 
the river until it reaches the Indian boundary line ; and should it strike 
the Turrurar liiver, thence with its meanders down said river to its 
uiouth, in part of the ])roportiou of land in the Cherokee Nation east of 
the Mississippi to which those now on the Arkansas and those about to 
remove there are jus;ly entitled. 

2. The whole Cherokee Nation do also cede to the United States all 
the lands lying uorth and west of the following boundary lines, viz: 
Beginning at the Indian boundary line that runs from the north bank 
of the Tennessee Eiver op])Osite to the mouth of Hywassee Eiver, at a 
point on the top of Walden's Eidge where it divides the waters of the 
Tennessee Eiver from those of the Sequatchie Eiver; thence along said 
Tidge southwardly to the bank of the Tennessee Eiver at a point near 
to a place called the Negro Sugar Camp, opposite to the upper end of 
the first island above Eunuing Water Town; thence westwardly a 
straight line to the mouth of Little Sequatchie Eiver; thence up said 
iriver to its main fork ; thence up its northermost fork to its source ; and 
thence due west to the Indian boundary line. 

3. A census to be taken of the whole Cherokee Nation during June, 
1818. The enumeration of those east of the Mississippi Eiver to be 
made by a commissioner appointed by the President of the United 
States and a commissioner appointed by the Cherokees residing on the 
Arkansas. That of those on the Arkansas by a United States comujis- 
sioner and one appointed by the Cherokees east of the Mississipiii. 

4. The annuities for 1818 and thereafter to be divided upon the basis 
of said census between Cherokees east of the Mississippi and those on 
the Arkansas. The lands east of the Mississippi also to be divided, and 
the propor.ion of those moved and agreeing to remove to the Arkansas 
to be surrendered to the United States. 

' United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 156, 

EOvcE.i TREATY OF JULY 8, 1817. 213 

5. The United States agree to give to tbe renioviug Clierokecs a tract 
of land ou the Arkansas and AYhite Eivers equal in area to the quantity 
ceded the United States by first and second articles hereof. Said tract to 
begin ou north side of the Arkansas Eiver, at mouth of Point Eemove, or 
Bud well's Old Place; thence northwardly by a straight line to strike Ghat- 
auuga Mountain, the first hill above Shield's Ferry, ou White Eiver, and 
running u]) and between said rivers for quantity. Said boundary from 
point of beginning to be surveyed, and all citizens of the United States 
except Mrs. P. Lovely to be removed therefrom. All previous treaties 
to remain in full force and to be binding on both parts of the Cherokee 
Nation. Tlie United States reserves the right to establish factories, a 
military jiost, and roads within the boundaries last above defined. 

G. The United States agree to give all poor -warriors who remove 
a rifle, ammunition, blanket, and brass kettle or beaver trap each, as full 
compensation for improvements left by them ; to those whose improve- 
ments add real value to the land, the full value thereof, as ascertained 
by appraisal, shall be paid. The United iitates to furnish flat-bottomed 
boats and provisions on the Tennessee Eiver for transportation of those 
removing. , 

7. All valuable improvements made by Cherokees within the limits 
ceded to the United States by first and second articles hereof shall be paid 
for by the United States or others of equal value left by removing Chero- 
kees given in lieu thereof. Improvements left by emigrant Cherokees 
not so exchanged shall be rented to the Indians, for the benefit of the 
poor and decrepit of the Eastern Cherokees. 

8. Each head of a Cherokee family residing on lauds herein or here- 
after ceded to the United States who elects to become a citizen of 
the United States shall receive a reservation of G40 acres, to include 
his or her improvements, for life, with reversion in fee simple to children, 
subject to widow's dower. t)n removal of reservees their reservations 
shall revert to the United States. Lands reserved under this provisioa 
shall be deducted from the quantity ceded by first and second articles. 

9. All parties to the treaty shall have free navigation of all waters 
herein mentioned. 

10. The Cherokee Nation cedes to the United States all claim to 
reservations made to Doublehead and others by treaty of January 7, 

11. Boundary lines of lands ceded to the United States by first and sec- 
ond articles, and by the United States to the Cherokees in fifth article 
hereof, to be run and marked by a United States commissioner, to be 
accompanied by commissioners appointed by the Cherokees. 

12. Citizens of the United States are forbidden to enter upon lands 
herein ceded by the Cherokees until ratification and proclamation of 
this treaty. 

13. Treaty to be binding upon the assent and ratification of the Sen- 
ate and President of the United States. 




In tbe settlement and colonization hj civilized people of a country 
theretofore a wilderness, and inhabited only by savage tribes, many im- 
portant and controlling reasons exist why the occupation of sucli a 
country should be accomplished by regular and gradual advances and 
iu a more or less connected and compact manner. It was expedient 
that a united front should be presented by the earlier settlers of this 
continent, in order that the hostile raids and demonstrations of the In- 
dian warriors might be successfully resisted and repulsed. Therefore, 
the settlements were, as a rule, extended from the coast line toward the 
interior by regular steps, without the intermission of long distances of 
unoccupied territory. This seemed to be the policy anterior to the 
Revolution, and was announced in the proclamation of King George iu 
1763 wherein he prohibited settlements being made on Indian lauds or 
the purchase of the same by unauthorized persons. 

The first ordinances of Congress under the Artictles of Confederation 
for disposing of the public lands were predicated upon the same theory. 
But after the close of the war for independence, circumstances arising 
out of the treaty of 1783 with Great Britain and the acquisition of Louis- 
iana from France imposed the necessity for a departure from tlie old 
system. Within the limits of the territory thus acquired sundry settle- 
ments had been made by the French people at points widely separated 
from one another and with many hundreds of miles of wilderness inter- 
vening between them and the English settlements on the Atlantic 
slope. The evils and inconveniences resulting from this irregular form 
of frontier were manifest. 

Settlements thus widely separated, or projecting in long, narrow col- 
umn far into the Indian country, manifestly increased iu large ratio the 
causes of savage jealousy and hostility. At the same time the means of 
defense were rendered less certain and the expense and dififlculty of 
adequately protecting such a frontier were largely enhanced. 

Such, however, was the condition and shape of our frontier settle- 
ments during the earlier years of the present century. Settlements on 
the Tennessee and Cumberland were cut off from communication with 
those of Georgia, Lower Alabama, and Mississippi by long stretches of 
territory inhabited or roamed over by the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, 
and Chickasaws. 

The French communities of Kaskaskia, Yinceune s, and Detroit were 
similarly separated from the people of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and 
newly settled Ohio by the territory of the hostile Shawnees, Miamis, 
Wyandots, Pottawatomies, Ottawas, Kickapoos, ef «/. 

A cure for all this inconvenience and expense had been sought and 
given much consideration by the Government authorities. 

ROTC.E.J TREATY OF JULY 8, 1817. 215 

President Jefferson (as bas been previously stated) bad, as early as 
1803/ suggested tbe propriety of an excbange of lands by tbose tribes 
east of tbe Mississippi for an equal or greater area of territory witbin 
tbe newly acquired Louisiana purcbase, and in 1809 bad autborized a 
delegation of Oberokees to proceed to tbat country witb a view to select- 
ing a suitable tract to wbicb tbey niigbt remove, and to wbicb many of 
tbem did remove in tbe course of tbe years immediately succeeding.^ 

The matter of a general excbange of lands, bowever, became tbe 
subject of Congressional consideration, and tbe Committee on Public 
Lands of tbe United States Senate reported ^ a resolution for an appro- 
priation to enable the President to negotiate treaties with tbe Indian 
tribes wbicb should have for their object an exchange ot territory owned 
by any tribe residing east of the Mississippi for other land west of tbat 

Tbe committee expressed the opinion that tbe proposition contained 
in tbe foregoing resolution would be better calculated to remedy the in- 
convenience and remove tbe evils arising out of tbe existing condition of 
tbe frontier settlements than any other within tbe power of the Govern- 
ment. It was admitted, bowever, tbat this object could not be attained 
except by tbe voluntary consent of the sevei'al tribes interested, made 
manifest through duly negotiated treaties with them. 

The Senate was favorable to this proposition, but the House of Eep- 
resentatives interposed a negative upon tbe action taken by the former 

I\cmov(d of Cherol;ees encouraged. — The subject had long been under 
consideration by the Cberokees, and no opportunity had been lost on 
tbe part of the executive authorities of the United States to encour- 
age a sentiment among them favorable to the removal scheme. Many 
individuals of the tribe had already emigrated, and on the IStb of Octo 
ber, 1816, General Andrew Jackson, in addressing the Secretary of War 
upon tbe subject of the recent Cherokee and Chickasaw treaties, 
suggested his belief that the Cberokees would shortly make a teuderof 
their whole territory to the United States in exchange for lauds on tbe 
Arkansas Eiver. He further remarked that a council would soon be 
held by them at ^yillstown to select a proper delegation who should 
visit the country west of the Mississippi and examine and report upon 
its character and adaptability for their needs. In case this report 
should prove favorable, a Cherokee delegation would thereupon wait 
upon the President, with authority to agree upon satisfactory terms of 
exchange. To this tbe Secretary of War replied tbat whenever tbe 

' Confidential message of President JefTerson to Congress, January 18, 1803. 

-The letter of President Jeftersou authorizing a delegation of Cherokees to visit the 
Arkansas and White Eiver country was dated January 9, 1809, and will be found in 
the American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. II, p. 125, as well as among the records 
of the Indian OtiBce. 

^January 9, 1817. 

^Letter of Secretary of War to General Jackson, May 14, 1817. 


Cherokee Nation should be disiiosed to enter Into an arrangement for 
an exchange of the hinds occupied by them for lands on the west side 
of the Mississippi Eiver and should appoint delegates clothed with 
full authority to negotiate a treaty for such exchange they would be 
received by the President and treated with on the most liberal terms. 
This state of feeling among the Cherokees had been considerably in- 
creased by the fact that those of their people who had already settled 
upon the Arkansas and White Eivers had become involved in territorial 
disputes of a most serious character with the Osages and Quapaws, 
The latter tribes claimed ownership of the lands upon which the Ibrmer 
were settled Upon the Arkansas Cherokees laying their complaints 
before the United States authorities, they were informed that nothing 
could be done for their relief until the main body of the nation should 
take some definite action, in accordance with previous understanding, 
toward relinquishing a portion of their territory equal in area to the 
tract upon which the emigrant party had located.^ 


With a view to reaching a full understanding on this subject, the 
Secretary of War notified* General Andrew Jackson, Governor McMinn- 
of Tennessee, and General David Merriwether that they had been ap- 
pointed commissioners for the purpose of holding a treaty with the 
Cherokees on or about the 20th of June, 1817.' In pursuance of these 
instructions a conference was called and held at the Cherokee Agency, 
which resulted in the treaty of July S, 1817.'' I5y this treaty the Chero- 
kees ceded two large tracts of country^ in exchange for one of equal 
area on the Arkansas and White Rivers adjoining the territory of the 

1 lu a letter to Return J. Meigs, under date of Septemlier 18, 1816, the Secretary of War 
says that "the difficulties which have arisen between the Cherokees aud the Osages, 
on the north of the Arkansas, and with the Quapaws, on the south, cannot be finally 
settled until the line of the cession shall be run and the riglits of the Quapaws shall 
be ascertained. Commissioners appointed by the President are now sitting at Saint 
Louis for the adjustment of those diftereuces; but should the line of the Osage treaty 
prove that they are settled upon the Osage lands, nothing can be done for the Chero- 
kees. It is known to you and to that nation that the condition upon which the emi- 
gration was permitted by the President was that a cession of Cherokee lands should 
be made equal to the proportion which the emigrants should l)car to the whole nation. 
Tbis condition has never been complied with on the part of the nation, and of course 
all obligation on the part of the United States to secure the emigrants in their new 
possessions has ceased. When the subject was mentioned to the Cherokee deputation 
last winter, so far were they from acknowledging its force, that they declared the 
emigrants should be compelled to return." 

^May 14, 1H17. 

^On the 17th of May, 1817, these commissioners were advised that the lauds pro- 
posed to be given the Cherokees on the west of the Mississippi River, in exchange for 
those then occupied by them, were the lauds on the Arkansas aud immediately ad- 
joining the Osage boundary line. 

■"United St.ates Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 15G. 

^ These tracts are designated on the accompanying map as Nos. 23 and 24. 

ROYCE.] TEEATY OF JULY 8, 1817. 217 

Osagcs. The Cherokees also ceded two small reservations made by the 
treaty of January 7, 180G.' 

The hirge cession by the first article of the treaty of 1817, though par- 
tially in Georgia, was at tha time supposed to cover all the territory 
claimed by the Cherokees within the limits of North Carolina,- and 
was secured in deference to the urgent importunities of the legislature 
and people of that State. It was subsequently ascertained that this 
supposition was incorrect. 

Majority of Cherohees averse to removal. — During the conference, but 
before the negotiations had reached any definite result, a memorial was 
presented to the United States commissioners, signed by sixty-seven of 
the chiefs and headmen of the nation, setting forth that the delegation 
of their nation who in 1809 -visited Washington and discussed with 
Pi'esident Jefferson the proposition for an exchange of lands had acted 
without any delegated authority on the subject. The memorialists 
claimed to represent the prevailing feeling of the nation and were de- 
sirous of remaining npon and retaining the country of their nativity. 
They -were distressed with the alternative proposals to remove to the 
Arkansas country or remain and become citizens of the United States. 
While they had not attained a sufficient degree of civilization to fit them 
for the duties of citizenship, they yet deprecated a return to the same 
savage state and surroundings which had characterized their mode of 
life when first brought in contact with the whites. They therefore re- 
quested that the subject should not be further pressed, but that they 
miglit be enabled to remain in peaceable possession of the land of their 

The commissioners, however, proceeded with their negotiations, and 
concluded the treaty as previously set forth, which was finally signed 
by twenty-two of the chiefs and headmen whose names appeared at- 
tached to the memorial, as well as six others, on behalf of the eastern 
portion of the nation, and by fifteen chiefs representing those on the 
Arkansas.* The treaty was submitted to the Senate, for its advice and 
consent, at the ensuing session of Congress, and although it encountered 
the hostility of those Senators who were opposed to the general i)olicy 
of an exchange of lands with the Indians, and of some who argued, be- 
cause of the few chiefs who had signed it, that it did not represent the 
full and free expression of their national assent,^ that body approved 
its provisions, and the President ratified and proclaimed it on the I'Gth 
of December, 1817. 

'These tracts are desiguated on tlie accompanying map as Kos. 25 and 2G. 

-August 1, 1817, the Secretary of War advised the governor of North Carolina that 
a treaty with the Cherokees had heen concluded, by which the Indian claim was re- 
linquished to a tract of country including the whole of the land claimed by them in 
North Carolina. 

^This memorial bore date of Jnly 2, 1.S17. 

< United States Statutes at Larj;e, Vol. VII, p. 156. 

^Letter of Secretary of War to Treaty Commissioners August 1,1817. 


A portion of the Cherolees emigrate «-esf.— Immediately upon the sign- 
iDg of the treaty, the United States authorities, presuming upon its final 
ratification, took measures for carrying into effect the scheme of emigra- 
tion. Within a month Agent Meigs reported that over 700 Cheroiiees 
had already enrolled themselves for removal the ensuing fall. 

The Secretary of War entered into a contract for 60 boats, to be de- 
livered by 1st of IS^ovember at points between the mouths of the Lit- 
tle Tennessee and Sequatchie Rivers, together -with rifles, ammunition, 
blankets, and provisions ; ' and, under the control and directions of 
Governor McMinn, of Tennessee, the stream of emigration began to flow, 
increasing in volume until within the next year over 3,000 had emigrated 
to their new homes, which numbers Lad during the year 1819 increased 
to 0,000.- 

Persecution of those favorable to emigration. — There can be no question 
that a very large portion, and probably a majority, of the Cherokee 
]S"ation residing east of the Mississippi had been and still continued 
bitterly opposed to the terms of the treaty of 1817. They viewed with 
jealous and aching hearts all attempts to drive them from the homes of 
their ancestors, for they could not but consider the constant and urgent 
importunities of the Federal authorities in the light of an imperative de- 
mand for the cession of more teiritory. They felt that tliey were, as a 
ration, being slowly but surely compressed within the contracting coils 
of the giant anaconda of civilization ; yet they held to the vain hope 
that a spirit of justice and mercy would be born of their helpless con- 
dition which would finally prevail in their favor. Their traditions fur- 
nished them no guide by which to judge of the results certain to follow 
such a conflict as that in which they were engaged. 

This difference of sentiment in the nation upon a subject so vital 
to their welfare was productive of much bitterness and violent animosi- 
ties. Those who had favored the emigration scheme and had been in- 
duced, eitherthrough personal preference or by the subsidizinginfluences 
of the Government agents, to favor the conclusion of the treaty, became 
the object of scorn and hatred to the remainder of the nation. They 
were made the subjects of a persecution so relentless, while they re- 
mained in the eastern country, that it was never forgotten, and when, 

1 Letters of Secret.ary of War to General Jackson and Colonel Meigs, August 9, 1817. 

-Letter of Governor McMinn to Secretary of War, November 29, 1816, and subse- 
quent correspondence during 1819. Governor McMinn's letter of November 29, 1818, 
states that 718 families bad enrolled for emigi-atiou since December 20, 1817, and 146 
families bad taken reservations, -wliicb made in all, including tbose who bad already 
emigrated, about one-half of the Cherokee Nation as committed to the supjjort of the 
policy iuvolved in the treaty of 1817. 

February 17, 1819, a Cherokee delegation advised the Secretary of War that, while 
Governor McMinn's euroUmeut showed the number of Chcrokees who had removed or 
enrolled to go prior to November !.'>, 1818, to be 5,291, by Ibeir calculation the 
number did not exceed 3,500, and that they estimated the number of Cherokees re- 
uiaiuing east of the Mississippi at about 12,544. 

RorcE] TREATY OF FEBRUARY 27, 1810. 219 

iu the nitural course of events, the remainder of the nation were forced 
to remove to the Arkansas country and Join the earlier emigrants, the 
old hatreds and dissensions broke out afresh, and to this day they find 
lodgment in some degree in the breasts of their descendants. 

Dissatisfaction icith the treaty of 1817. — The dissatisfaction with the 
treaty of 1817 took shajie in the assemblage of a council at Amoha, iu 
the Cherokee K^ation, in September of the same year, at which six of 
the principal men were selected as a deputation to visit the President 
at Washington and present to him in person a detailed statement of 
the grievances and indignities to which they had been subjected in 
greater or less degree for many years and to ask relief and redress. 

They were to present, with special particularity, to the President's 
notice a statement of the improi)er methods and intluences that had 
been used to secure the apparent consent of the nation to the treaty of 
1817. They were authorized to enter into a new treaty with the United 
States, in lieu of the recent one, in which an alteration might be made in 
certain articles of it, and some additional article inserted relative to 
the mode of payment of their annuity as between the Eastern and 
Arkansas Cherokees.' 

The delegation was received and interviews were accorded them by 
the President and Secretary of War, but they secured nothing but gen- 
eral exi)ressions of good will and promises of protection iu their rights 
and property. 



Hdd at Washinffton City, D. C, between John C. Calhoun, Secretary of 
War, specially authorised therefor by the President of the United Sl<ites, 
and the chiefs and headmen of the Cherolee Xation of Indians. 


1. The Cherokee Nation cedes to the United States all of their lands 
lying north and east of the following line, viz: Beginning on the Ten- 
nessee Eiver at the point where the Cherokee boundary with Madison 
County, iu the Alabama Territory, joins the same ; thence along the 
main channel of said river to the mouth of the Highwassce ; thence 
along its main channel to the first hill which closes in on said river, 
about two miles above Ilighwassee Old Town ; thence along the ridge 
which divides the waters of the Highwassee and Little Tellico to the 
Tennessee Eiver at Talassee; thence along the main channel to the 
junction of the Cowee and Nanteyr»lee; thence along the ridge iu the 

' The instnictious of the Amoha council to the delegation of six bear date of Fort- 
Tille, Cherokee Nation, September 19, 1817. 
^United States Statutes at Large, VoL VII, p. 195. 


fork of said river to the top of the Blue Ridge; thence along the Blue 
Eidge to the Unicoy Turnpike Eoad; thence by straight line to the 
nearest main source of the Chestatee; thence along its main channel 
to the Chattahouchee ; and thence to the Creek boundary ; it being 
understood that all the islands in the Chestatee, and the parts of the 
Tennessee and Highwassee (with the exception of Jolly's Island, in the 
Tennessee, near the mouth of the Highwassee) which constitute a por- 
tion of the present boundary, belong to the Cherokee Nation ; and it is 
also understood that the reservations contained in the second article of 
the treaty of Tellico, signed the twenty fifth October, eighteen hundred 
and five, and a tract equal to twelve miles square, to be located by com- 
mencing at the point formed by the intersection of the boundary line 
of Madison County already mentioned and the north bank of the Ten- 
nessee liiver, thence along the said line and up the said river twelve 
miles, are ceded to the United States, in trust for the Cherokee Nation, 
as a school fund, to be sold by the United States, and the proceeds 
vested as is hereafter provided in the fourth article of this treaty; and 
also that the rights vested in the Unicoy Turnpike Company by the 
Cherokee Nation * » # m-g ^ot ^ ^g affected by this treaty. 

The foregoing cessions are understood and declared to be in full sat- 
isfaction of all claims of the United States upon the Cherokees on ac- 
count of the cession to a part of their nation who have emigrated or who 
may emigrate to the Arkansas and as a final adjustment of the treaty 
of July 8, 1817. 

2. The United States agree to pay, according to the treaty of July 8, 
1817, for all valuable improvements on land within the country ceded 
by the Cherokees, and to allow a reservation of 010 acres to each head 
of a family (not enrolled for removal to Arkansas) who elects to become 
a citizen of the United States. 

3. Each person named in a list accompanying the treaty shall have a 
reserve of 610 acres in fee simple, to include his improvements, upon 
giving notice within six months to the agent of his intention to reside 
permanently thereon. Various other reservations in fee simple are made 
to persons therein named. 

4. The reservations and 12 mile tract reserved for a school fund in 
the first article are to be sold by the United States and the proceeds 
invested in good stocks, the interest of which shall be expended in edu- 
cational benefits for the Cherokees east of the Mississippi. 

5. The boundary lines of the land ceded by the first article shall be 
established by commissioners appointed by the United States and the 
Cherokees. Leases made under the treaty of 1817 of land within the 
Cherokee country shall be void. All white people intruding upon the 
lands reserved by the Cherokees shall be removed by the United States, 
under the act of March 30, 1802. 

6. Annuities shall be distributed in the proportion of two-thirds to 
those east to one-third to those west of the Mississippi. Should the 

novcK.) TREATY OF FEBRUARY 'i7, ]S19. 22 1 

latter object witliiu one year to this proportion, a census shall be taken 
of both portions of the nation to adjust the matter. 

7. The United States shall prevent intrusion on the ceded lands iirior 
to January 1, 1820. 

8. The treaty shall be binding upon its ratifneation. 


Early in 1818 a representative delegation from that portion of the 
Cherokees who had removed to the Arkansas visited Washington with 
the view of reaching a more satisfactorj- understanding concerning the 
location and extent of their newly acquired homes in that region. As 
early as January 14 of that year, they had addressed a memorial to the 
Secretary of War asking, among other things, that the United States 
should recognize them as a separate and distinct people, clothed with 
the power to frame and administer their own laws, after the manner of 
their brethren east of the Mississi]>pi. 

Long and patient hearings were accorded to this delegation by the 
authorities of the Government, and, predicated niion their requests, in- 
structions were issued' to Governor William Clark, superintendent of 
Indian affairs at Saint Louis, among other things, to secure a cessation of 
hostilities thenraging between the Arkansas Cherokees and the Osages; 
furthermore, to induce, if i)Ossible, the Shawnees and Delawares then 
residing in the neighborhood of Cape Girardeau to relinquish their laud 
and join the AYestern Cherokees, or, in the event of a fiivoi'able termina- 
tion of the Quapaw treaty then pending, that they might be located on 
lands acquired from them. 

During the year the Arkansas Cherokees had also learned that the 
Oneidas of New York were desirous of obtaining a home in the West, 
and had made overtures for their settlement among them.- The main 
object of the Cherokees in desiring to secure these originally eastern In- 
dians for close neighbors is to be found in the increased strength they 
would lie able to muster in sustaining their quarrel with their native 
western neighbors. 

It may be interesting in this connection to note the fact that in 1825 
the Cherokees sent a delegation to Wapakoneta, Ohio, accompanied by 
certain Western Shawnees, whose mission was to induce the Shawnees 
at that point to join them in the West. Governor Lewis Cass, under in- 
structions from the \Yar Department, held a council at Wapakoneta, 
lasting nine days,' having ia view the accomplishuient of this end, but 
it was unsuccessful. 

(iovernor Clark was also advised by his instructions of the desire of 

1 May 8, 1818. 

= Secretary of War to Keubeu Lewis, Uoited States Indian agent, May Ifi, 1818. 

^Mav 16 to 'Ji, inclusive. 


tbe Cherokees to secure au indefinite outlet west, in order that they 
should not in the future, by the encroachments of the whites and the 
diminution of game, be deprived of uninterrupted access to the more 
remote haunts of the buffalo and other large game animals. He was 
instructed to do everything consistent with justice in the matter to fa- 
vor the Cherokees by securing from the Osages the concession of such 
a privilege, it being the object of the President that every favorable in- 
ducement should be held out to the Cherokees east of the Mississippi 
to remove and join their western brethren. This extension of their ter- 
ritory to the west was promised them by the President in the near fu- 
ture, and in the summer of 1819' the Secretary of War instructed 
Reuben Lewis, United States Indian agent, to assure the Cherokees 
that the President, through the recent accession of territory from the 
Osages, was ready and willing to fulfill his promise. 

Surrei/ of cast boundary of Chcrolcecs in ArJ^ansas. — Provision having 
been made iu the treaty of 1817 ~ for a definition of the east line of the 
tract assigned the Cherokees on the Arkansas, Mr. Eeuben Lewis, the 
Indian agent in that section, was designated, in the fall of 1818,' to run 
and mark the line, and upon its completion to cause to be removed, with- 
out delay, all white settlers living west thereof, with the single excep- 
tion mentioned in the treaty. 

These instructions to Mr. Lewis miscarried in the mails and did not 
reach him until the following summer. The line bad in the mean time 
been run by General William Rector, under the authority of the Commis- 
sioner of tbe General Land Office, which survey Mr. Lewis was author- 
ized to accept as the correct boundary provided the Cherokees were sat- 
isfied therewith.^ The field notes of this survey were certified by Gen 
eral Rector April 14, 1819, and show the length of the line from Point 
Remove to White River to have been 71 miles 55 chains and the course 
N. 53° E.= 

Treatij between Cherolcees and Osages. — During this interval'^ Governor 
Clark had succeeded iu securing the presence at Saint Louis of repre- 
sentative delegations of both the Osage and Western Cherokee tribes, 
between whom, after protracted negotiations, he succeeded in establish- 
ing the most peaceful and harmonious relations, which were evidenced 
by all the usual formalities of a treaty. 


The unhappy differences of mind among the Cherokees east of the 
Mississippi on the subject of removal, which had been fast approaching 

' July 22. 

'United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VIT, p. 156. 

3 Letter of Secretary of War to Capt. William Bradford, Seiitemlier 'J, 1818. 

■• Secretary of War to Ageut Lewis, July 22, 1819. 

^Fiel<l notes and diagram on file iu Indian Office. 

" October C, 1818. 


a climax as a cousequeuce of the treaty of 1817, liad been rather stimu- 
lated than otherwise by the frequent departure of parties for their new 
western home, and the constant importunities of the United States 
and State ofScials (frequently bearing the semblance of threats) hav- 
ing in view the removal of the entire tribe. The many and open acts 
of violence practiced by the "home" as against the "emigration" party 
at length called forth ' a vigorous letter of denunciation from the Sec- 
retary of War to Governor McMinn, the emigration superintendent. 
After detailing at much length the many advantages that would accrue 
to the Cherokee Xation by a removal beyond the contaminating influences 
always attendant upon the contact of a rude and barbarous people 
with a higher type of civilization, the unselfish and fatherly interest 
the Government of the United States had always manifested and still 
felt in the comfort and progress of the Cherokee people, and the great 
degree of liberality that had characterized its action in securing for the 
Cherokees in their new homes an indefinite outlet to the bountiful 
hunting grounds of the West, the Secretary concluded by an expression 
of the determination on the part of the United States to protect at all 
hazards from insult and injury to person or property every Cherokee 
who should express an opinion or take action favorable to the scheme 
of emigration. He also instructed Governor McMinn to lose no o]iportu 
nity of impressing upon the minds of the Cherokees that the practical 
effect of a complete execution of the treaty of 1S17 would be, as had been 
the intention of the Government when it was negotiated, to compel them 
either to remove to the Arkansas or to accept individual reservations 
and become citizens of the States within whose limits they resjiectively 


Governor McMinn, being the executive of the State of Tennessee, 
could hardly be supposed to present the views of the Secretary of War 
to the Cherokees on the subject of their removal in milder terms or man- 
ner than they had been communicated to him. The public otiicer in that 
State who should have neglected such an opportunity of compelling the 
Cherokees to appreciate the benefits of a wholesale emigration to the 
West would have fared but ill at the polls in a contest for re election. 
The people of both Tennessee and Georgia were unalterably deter- 
mined that the Indians should be removed from their States, and no com- 
promise or temporary expedient of delay would satisfy their demands. 

Millions of acres of valuable lands, rich in all the elements that com- 
bine to satisfy the necessities and the desires of the husbandman — 
mountain, valley, and plain — comprising every variety of soil, fertilized 
by innumerable running streams and clothed with heavv forests of the 
finest timber, were yet in the possession of the native tribes of this re- 

'July 29,1818. 


giou. Other lauds in great quantities, available for white settlement 
aud occupation, both in Kentucky and the adjoining States, were, it is 
true, l.ying idle. In point of soil, water, and timber they were doubtless 
equal if not superior to the ludian possessions. But the idea was all- 
prevalent then as it is now in border communities, that, however attract- 
ive may be the surrounding districts of public lands open to the in- 
clination of anybody who desires to settle thereon, the prohibited do- 
main of a neighboring Indian reservation must of necessity surpass it, 
and no application of the principles of reason, philosophy, or justice 
will servo to lessen the desire for its jjossession. Governor McMinn 
convened' a council of the Cherokees, at which he presented to them 
in the strongest light the benefits that would accrue to their nation in 
the increasing happiness, prosperity, and i)Oi)ulation such as would at- 
tend their removal to the Arkansas, while, on the other hand, nothing 
but evil could follow their continued residence east of the Mississippi. 
Their lauds would be constantly encroached upon by white settlers ; 
border desperadoes would steal their stock, corrupt their women, and 
besot their warriors. However anxious the Goveriuneut might be to 
protect tlieui in the uninterrupted enjoymentof their present possessions, 
it would, from the circumstances of the case, be utterly unable to do so. 
He therefore proposed to them that they should, as a unit, agree to re- 
move west of the Mississippi, and that the United States should i)ay 
them for their lands the sum of 8100,000, iu addition to all expenses of 
removal; which amount, upon their inompt and indignant refusal, he at 
once offered to double, but with as small measure of success. 

The treaty of 1817 had made provision for the taking of a census of 
the whole (Jherokee people during the month of June of the following 
year. The census was to form the basis for an equitable distribution 
of the annuities and other benefits of which the Clieiokee Nation was 
in receipt, between the portion who continued to abide iu their eastern 
homes and those who bad removed to the Arkansas country, in i>ropor- 
tion to their respective numbers. Pending this enumeration no annu- 
ities had been paid them, which produced much annoyance and dissat- 
isfaction among both parties. 

In consequence of the hostile and vindictive attitude manifested 
toward the emigrant party by the remainder of the nation and the 
many obstacles sought to be thrown iu the path of removal, the au- 
thorities of the United States had hitherto refused to comply with the 
census provision of the treaty of 1817. Governor jMcMiun, after the re- 
jection of both his purchase and his removal propositions, then proposed 
(iu answer to the demand of the Cherokee council that he should cause 
the census to be taken in the manner provided) that if they would jjass 
a foiuial vote of censure upon such of their officers as he t-hould name 
as having Violated the treaty by the use of intimidating measures 
against the Arkansas emigrants, he would cause the woik of taking 

' November 13, 1818. 

KorcE.) TREATY OF FEBRUARY '27, ]819. 225 

the census to be at ouce begun. The council also declined to do this, 
admitting that if such conduct bad characterized any of their officers 
it was deserving of censure but denjing that any jiroof of the charges 
had been submitted. They at last, however, as an evidence of their 
good disposition toward the United States, consented to the removal of 
one of the offensive officers named from his position as a member of the 
council, and the Secretary of War authorized' the taking of the census 
to be proceeded with. Governor McMinn, in summing up the results of 
this council,^ assumes that about one-half of the nation had already 
committed themselves to the policy outlined in the treaty of 1817, by 
the fact that since December 28 of that year 718 families had enrolled 
themselves for removal (aggregating, with those already removed, 5,201 
individuals), besides 116 families who had elected to take reservations 
in severalty. The lack of tangible results following this council was 
promptlj' reported to the Secretary of War by both Governor McMinn 
and Agent Meigs. The latter advised the authorities^ that a fully 
authorized and representative delegation of the Cherokee l^ation would 
shortly proceed to Washington, and that, in his judgment, the nation was 
rapidly becoming satisfied of their inability to long postpone what to 
every impartial observer must appear as inevitable — an exchange of 
their country for a location west of the Mississippi River. 

This delegation in due time* arrived at the capital, and a series of 
councils or interviews was at once entered upon between themselves 
and the Secretary of War, as representing the President. Many and 
just wei'e the causes of complaint presented to the Secretarj- by the 
delegation. The recital of their wrongs, the deep afiection manifested 
for their native hills and streams, and the superstitious dread with 
which they looked upon removal to a new country as being the deci- 
sive step in their dispersion and destruction as a people were calcu- 
lated to excite the sympathy of an unprejudiced mind. It had long 
been evident, however, that the simple minded barbarian was unable 
to cope with the intelligent and persistent demands of civilization, and 
that, with or without his consent, the advancing host of white settlers 
would ere many years b,e in full enjoyment of his present i^o'ssessions. 


After several preliminary discussions concerning the best method of 
■adjusting their difaculties, the Secretary of War submitted tothem,^ in 
writing, a statement of the basis upon which the United States would 
enter into a treaty with them, urging promjit action thereon, in order 
that the Senate might have time to exercise its constitutional func- 
tions upon the same prior to its approaching adjournment. 

1 December 29. 1818. 

2 November 29, 1818. 

3 December 19, 1818. 
< February, 1819. 
sFebruaryll, 1819. 

5 ETH 15 


The salient points of this proposition were that the Cherokees should 
make a cession of land in proportion to the estimated number of their 
nation who had already I'emoved or enrolled themselves for removal to 
the Arkansas; that the United States preferred the cession to be made 
in Tennessee and Georgia, and that In the latter State it should be as 
near and convenient to tlie existing white settlements as was pos- 
sible ; that the reservation which the Cherokees had expressed a desire 
to make for the benefit of a proposed school fund should be located 
within the limits of Alabama Territory, inasmuch as the cession to be 
made in Georgia would, under the provisions of the act of Congress of 
1802, belong to that State, and the lands covering the proposed cession 
in Tennessee would be subject to location by North Carolina military 
land warrants. Neither was such school reservation to constitute any 
portion of the land which the Cherokees were to cede in conformity to 
the principle of exchange embodied in the first paragraph. The United 
States would continue to extend its protection to both branches of the 
Cherokee people, but those remaining east of the Mississippi, having 
expressed a desire that the lands retained by them should be absolutely 
guaranteed from any danger of future cession, were informed that in 
order to secure such guarantee it was indispensable that the cessions 
they were about to make should be am))le, and that the i)ortiou of terri- 
tory reserved by them should not be larger than was essential to their 
wants and convenience. The Secretary reminded them that should a 
larger quantity be retained it would not be possible, by any stii)ulatiou 
in the treaty, to prevent future cessions; that so long as they retained 
more land than was necessary or convenient for themselves they would 
feel inclined to sell and the United States to purchase. He commented 
on the fact that they were rapidly becoming like the white people, and 
could not longer live by hunting, but must work for their subsistence. 
In their new condition of life far less land would be essential to their 
happiness. Their great object should be to hold their land by severalty 
titles and to gradually adopt the manners and laws of life which pre- 
vailed among their white neighbors. It was only thus that they could 
be prosperous and happy, and neglect to accept and profit by the situa- 
tion would inevitably result in their removal or extinction. 

The question as to the area of territory that should be ceded as the 
equitable pro^iortiou of the Arkansas Cherokees formed the subject of 
much dispute. The Eastern Cherokees denied the accuracy of the 
emigration roll of Governor McMinn, and asserted that, instead of 5,291 
emigrants, as stated by him, there had actually been not exceeding 
3,500, while the non-emigrant portion of the nation they gave as num- 
bering 12,544, or more than three-fourths of the entire community.' 

It being impossible to reconcile these radical differences of esti- 
mate and the Indians becoming wearied and discouraged with the per- 
sistent importunities of the United States officials, they consented to the 

' Cherokee delegation to Secretary of War, February 17, 1819. 


cession of those tracts of couutry naively described in the treaty of 
February 27, 1819,' as " at least as ejctensive" as that to wbicb tbe United 
States was entitled under tbe principles and provisions of tbe treaty 
of 1817. Tbese cessions were made, as recited in tbe preamble to tbe 
treaty, as the commencement of those measures necessary to tbe civil- 
ization and preservation of tbeir nation, and in order that tbe treaty 
of July 8, 1817, might, without further delay or tbe trouble or expense 
of taking tbe census therein provided for, be finally adjusted. It was 
also agreed that tbe distribution of annuities should be made in tbe 
proportion of two to one in favor of tbe Eastern Cherokees (it being- 
assumed that about one-third of the nation had gone west), with tbe 
proviso that if tbe Arkansas Cherokees should ofi'er formal objection 
to this ratio within one year after tbe ratification of tbe treaty, then a 
census, solely for tbe purpose of making a fair distribution of the an- 
nuity, should be taken at such time and in such manner as the Presi- 
dent of tbe United States should designate. All leases of any portion 
of the territory reserved to tbe Cherokees were declared void, and tbe 
removal of all intruders upon tbeir lands was promised, to which latter 
end an order was issued requiring such removal to take place on or 
before July 1, 1819. 

Thus was concluded the treaty of February 27, 1819, which was 
promptly and favorably acted upon by the Senate and ratified and pro- 
claimed by tbe President on tbe 10th of March following. Tbe gist of 
such provisions of importance as are not detailed in these historical notes 
will be found by reference to the abstract preceding them. 

Immediately upon tbe approval of tbe treaty by tbe Senate, tbe Sec- 
retary of War notified Governor McMinn- of tbe fact, directing him to 
give no further encouragement to emigration to tbe Arkansas, but to 
proceed at once to wind up the business under tbe treaty of 1817. 

Surrey of boundaries. — Preparations were at once made for surveying 
and marking the lines of the cessions. Hon. Wilson Lumpkin, who was 
engaged in running tbe line between East Florida and tbe State of Geor- 
gia, was directed^ to suspend that work, and designated to survey the 
line of cession, commencing at the point where the Unicoi Turnpike 
crossed tbe Blue Eidge, and thence to tbe nearest main source of the 
Chestatee, and also to lay oft' tbe individual reservations that should be 
selected within tbe State of Georgia. 

Tbe following day^ Robert Houston was appointed to run tbe line of 
the cession within tbe State of Tennessee, commencing on tbe High- 
wassee River about 2 miles above Higbwassee Old Town, as well .as to 
surv^ey tbe individual reservations within that State, and also the tracts 
reserved in North Carolina and Alabama Territory. 

Mr, Houston performed his services as a surveyor to the satisfaction 

• United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 195. 
= March 6, 1819. 
^ March 11, 1819. 
'March 12, 1819. 


of all parties;' but in ruuiiing the Hue fioui the Unicoi Turnpike cross- 
ing of the Blue Eidge to the nearest main source of the Chestatee, a dis- 
pute arose between Mr. Lumpkin and the Cherokees as to vrhich was 
the nearest main source of that river, the Frogtown or the Tesseutee 
Fork. The surveyor ran the line to the source of the tirst named fork, 
while the Indians insisted that the latter was the proper stream, and 
demanded a reexamination of the survey. Agent Meigs having, how- 
ever, reported^ in favor of the correctness of the survey, it was allowed 
to stand.' 


Early in the year 1820^ complaints began to arise as to the status of 
those Cherokees who had made their election to remove to the Arkansas 
country but had subsequently concluded to remain east. These, it was 
stated, numbered 817, and they found themselves placed in rather an 
anomalous situation. Their proportion of the Cherokee national do- 
main had been ceded to the United States by the treaties of 1817 and 
1819 Their share of annuities was being paid, underthetrcaty of 1810, 
to the Cherokees of the Arkansas. Their right to iudi\idual reserva- 
tions under either treaty was denied, and they were not even allowed 
to vote, hold ofBce, or participate in any of the affairs of the nation. 

In this condition they soon became an element of much irritation in 
the bodj' politic of the tribe. Tlie Cherokee authorities urged that they 
should be furnished with rations and transportation to their brethren 
in the West, whither they were now willing to remove, but the Secre- 
tary of War instructed Agent IMeigs'' that emigration to the Arkansas 
under the patronage of the Government had ceased, and that those 
Cherokees who had enrolled themselves for removal but had not yet 
gone, as well as all others thereafter determining to go, must do so at 
their own expense. 

' Mr. Houston began his survey at the point -where the first hill closes in on Hivras- 
see Kiver, which he founil to be 2| miles above Hiwassee Old Town. He also states in 
his report that he found no ridge dividing the waters of Hiwassee from those of Lit- 
tle River. This line from the Hiwassee River to the Tennessee River at Talassee was 
46 miles and 300 poles in length. It was begun May 28 and completed June 12, 1819. 
The line from the junction of Cowee and Nauteyalee Rivers to the Blue Ridge was be- 
gun June 12 and completed June 18, 1819, and was 36 miles long. His report, with 
accompanying map, was communicated to the Secretary of War with letter dated July 
:!0, 1819. A copy of the Held notes may be fonud in American Slate Papers, Indian 
Affairs, Yo". II, pp. 192 and 193. 

-•July 24, 1820. 

^ Secretary of War to Ageut Meigs. August 14, 1820. 

■• February 9. See letter of Refuru J. Meigs to Secretary of War. 

;> June 1.% 1820. 

HoviE.] TREATY OF MAY tl, 18-28. 229 


Held tit V,'ashuiiito)i City, D. C, httireen Ja7nes Barbour, Secretary of 
War, specially authorized therefor by the President of the United States, 
and the chiefs and headmen of the Cherohee Kation west of the Missis- 


The preamble recites the desire of the United States to secure to the 
Cherokees, both east and west of the Mississippi, a permanent home, 
"that sliall never in all future time be embarrassed by having extended 
around it the lines or placed over it the jurisdiction of a Territory or 
State, nor be pressed upon by the extension in any way of any of the 
limits of anj' existing Territory or State.'' 

It also assumes that their actual surroundings, both east and west of 
such river, were unadapted to the accomplishment of such a purpose, 
and therefore the following articles of agreement wei'e made: 

1. The western boundary of Arkansas shall be * * * viz: Aline 
shall be run commencing on Ked Eiver at the point where the Eastern 
Choctaw line strikes said river, and run due north with said line to the 
river Arkansas; thence in a direct line to the southwest corner of Mis- 

2. The United States agree to possess the Cherokees, and to guaran- 
tee it to them forever, * * * of seven million of acres of land, to be 
Ijounded as follows, viz: Commencing at that point on Arkansas Eiver 
where the eastern Choctaw boundary lines strikes said river, and run- 
ning thence with the western line of Arkansas, as defined in the fore- 
going article, to the southwest corner of Missouri, and thence with the 
western boundary line of Missouri till it crosses the waters of Xeasho, 
generally called Grand Eiver; thence due west to a point from which a 
due-south course will strike the present northwest corner of Arkansas 
Territory; thence continuing due south on and with the present western 
boundary line of the Territory to the main branch of Arkansas Eiver; 
thence down said river to its junction with the Canadian Eiver, and 
thence up and between the said rivers Arkansas and Canadian to a 
l)oiut at which a line running north and south from river to river will 
give the aforesaid seven million of acres. 

In addition to the seven millions of acres thus provided for and 
bounded, the United States guarantee to the Cherokee jS'ation'a per- 
l)etual outlet west, and a free and unmolested use of all the country 
lying west of the western boundary of the above described limits and 
as far west as the sovereignty of the United States and their right of 
soil extend. 

3. The United States agree to survey the lines of the above cession 

'United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 311. 


without delay, ami to remove all white settlers and other objectionable 
people living to the west of the east boundary of the Cherokee tract. 

4. The United States agree to appraise and pay the value of all Chero- 
kee improvements abandoned by the latter in their removal ; also to 
sell the property and improvements connected with the agency, for the 
erection of a grist and saw mill in their new home. . 

5. The United States agree to pay the Cherokees $50,000 as the dif- 
ference iu value between their old and their new lands; also an auiui- 
ity for three years of $L*,000 to repay cost and trouble of going after 
and recovering straj' stock; also $8,760 iu full for spoliations com- 
mitted ou them by the Osages or citizens of the United States; also 
$1,200 for losses sustained by Thomas Graves, a Cherokee chief; also 
$500 to George Guess, the discoverer of the Cherokee alphabet, as well 
as the right to occupy a saline ; also an aniuiity of -^2,000 for ten years 
to be expended in the education of Cherokee children; also $1,000 for 
tlie purchase of printing press and type; also, the benevolent society 
engaged in instructing Cherokee children to he allowed the amount ex- 
pended by it in erection of buildings and improvements ; also, the United 
States to release the indebtedness of the Cherokees to the United States 
factory to an amount not exceeding $3,500. 

G. The United States agree to furnish the Cherokees, when they de- 
sire it, a system of plain laws and to survey their lands for individual 

7. The Cherokees agree within fourteen months to leave the lands iu 
Arkansas assigned them by treaties of January 8, 1817, and February 
27, 1819. 

8. Each head of a Cherokee family east of the Mississippi desiring to 
remove to the country described in the second article hereof to be fur- 
nished by the United States with a good rifle, a blanket, a kettle, Ave 
]iounds of tobacco, and compensated for all improvements he may 
abandon; also a blanket to each member of his family. The United 
States to pay expenses of removal and to furnish subsistence for one 
year thereafter. Each head of family taking with him four persons to 
receive $50. 

0. The United States to have a reservation 2 by 6 miles at Fort Gib- 
son, with the right to construct a road leading to and from the same. 

10. Capt. James Rogers to have $500 for property lost and services 
rendered to the United States. 

11. Treaty to be binding when ratified. 

Note. — The Senate consented to the ratification of this treaty with 
the proviso that the "western outlet" should not extend north of 30°, 
nor to interfere with lands assigned or to be assigned to the Creeks; 
neither should anything in the treaty be construed to assign to the 
Cherokees any lauds previously assigned to any other tribe. 

BOTCE.] TREATY OF MAY 6, 1828. 231 



Eeturn J. Meigs had for nearly twenty years 'occupied the position of 
United States agent for the Cherokee Nation. As a soldier of the Eevo- 
lutionarj' war he had marched with Arnold through the forests of 
Maine and Canada to the attack on Quebec in 1775.- 

He had also, by his faithful, intelligent, and honest administration of 
the duties of his ofiQce as Indian agent, secured the jierfect confidence of 
his official superiors through all the mutations of administration. He 
bad acquired a knowledge of and familiarity with the habits, character, 
and wants of the Cherokees such as was perhaps possessed by few, if 
indeed by any other man. 

Any suggestions, therefore, that he might make conceruing the solu- 
tion of the Cherokee problem were deserving of grave consideration. 
His views were submitted in detail upon the condition, prospects, and 
requirements of the Cherokee Nation iu a communication to the Secre- 
tary of War.^ To his mind the time had arrived when a radical change 
in the policy of managing their affairs had become essential. Ever 
since the treaty of 1791 the United States, in pursuance of a policy 
therein outlined for leading the Cherokees toward the attainment of a 
higher degree of civilization, in becoming herdsmen and cultivators in- 
stead of hunters, had been furnishing each year a supply of implements 
for husbandry and domestic use. In consequence a respectable pr.)i)or- 
tiou of that nation had become familiarized with the use of the plow, 
spade, and hoe. Many of their women had learned the art of spinning 

' Meij;s was aiipointed, May 15, 1801, superintendent of Inilian affairs for the Cher- 
okee Nation anil agent for the AVar Department in the State of Tennessee. 

-Letter of Meigs to General Wilkinson, dated Marietta, Ohio, February 10, 1801. 
This letter is in reply to one received from General Wilkinson, in which the latter, 
among other things, inquires if he can in any way serve the former. Meigs replies: 
" I will answer these kind inquiries truly. In the first place, I eujoy excellent health ; 
iu the next place, I am doing what I can at farming business, endeavoring to main- 
tain a credible existence by industry. I have been for more than two one of the 
Territorial legislators; this, though credible, is not protitable. My principal depend- 
ence for living is on the labor of my own hands. 1 am confident, sir, you can serve me, 
as you are conversant with every department of the Government and may know 
what places can be had and whether I am capable of being nsefuUj- employed. I don't 
care what it is, whether civil or military or where situated, provided it be an object 
which you shall think projier for me. I don't know Mr. Jeti'erson ; have always 
revered his character as a great and good man. I am personally acquainted with 
Colonel Burr. He ascended the river Kennebcck as a volunteer in the year 177.5 and 
was with me iu the Mess a great jjart of that march to Canada. I think I have his 
friendship, but he is not yet, perhaps, in a situation to assist me." Colonel Meigs was 
also a member of the court-martial convened for the trial of General Arthur St. Clair 
for the evacuation of Ticonderoga. Ho died at his post of duty in February, 18'23, as 
shown by a letter to the Secretary of W^ar from ex-Governor McMinn, dated the 22d 
of that month. 

^'May 30, 18-20. 


ami weaving, and in individual instances considerable progress bad been 
made iu tbe accumulation of ])roperty. Agent Meigs now tbougbt tbat 
tbe point bad been reacbed wbere tbe Cberokee people sbould begin to 
tigbt tbeir own battles of life, and tbat any furtber contributions to tbeir 
support, eitber iu tbe sbape of provisions or tools, would bave only a 
tendency to render tbeni more dependent upon tbe Government and 
less competent to take care of tbemselves. Tbose wbo were already 
advanced in the arts of civilized life sbould be tbe tutors of tbe more 
ignorant. They possessed a territory of perbaps 10,000,000 acres of 
laud, principally in tbe States of Georgia, IS^ortb Carolina, and Tennes- 
see, for tbe occupation of which they could enumerate little more than 
] 0,000 souls or 2,000 families. If they were to become an agricultural 
and pastoi-al people, an assigumeut of C40 acres of land to each family 
would be all and more than they could occupy with ad\ antage to them- 
selves. Such an allotment would consume but 1,280,000 acres, leaving 
more than 8,000,000 acres of surplus land which might and ought to be 
sold for their benefit, and the proceeds (which he estimated at $300,000, 
to be paid in fifty annual installments) applied to their needs iu the 
erection of bouses, fences, and the clearing and breakiug up of their 
land for cultivation. Tbe authority and laws of tbe several States within 
whose limits they resided sbould become operative upon them, and they 
sbould be vested with tbe rights, privileges, aud immunities of citizens of 
those States. These views met with tbe concurrence of tbe administra- 
tion, aud would i)ossibly have been carried into effect but for tbe intense 
hostility thereto of not only the unprogressive element among the Cher- 
okees themselves but of tbe officials aud iieojile of tbe States most in- 
terested, who could not view with complacency the permanent occupa- 
tion of a single acre of land within their limits by the aboriginal owners. 


About this time trouble arose between the authorities of the State of 
Tennessee aud the surveyor (Robert Houston) who bad been intrusted 
with the duty of laying off such individual reservations as should be 
taken under the provisions of the treaties of 1817 and 1819. Mr. 
Houston reported to the Secretary of War tbat the legislature of Ten- 
nessee had refused to confirm all such reservations taken in virtue of 
the provisions of those treaties subsequent to tbe 1st of July, 1818, or, 
in other words, after the time provided for taking the Cherokee census 
had expired, aud desired the opinion aud instructions of tbe Department 
thereon. Tbe question involved iu this disi^ute was deemed of suffi- 
cient importance to secure au official opinion from tbe Attorney Gen- 
eral Y>nor to directing any further actiou.' Au opinion was rendered* 
by Attorney-General Wirt, the substance of which was tbat the right 
of taking these reservations having been iu the first instance given by 

' Lelter of Secretary of War to Attorney-General, July, 26, 1820. 
-August 12, 1820. 

KOTCE.] TREATY OF MAY 6, 1838. 233 

the treaty of 1817 until the census should be taken, and the time for 
taking the census having beeu, by the acquiescence of both xjarties to 
the treaty, ke])t open until the conclusion of the treaty of February 27, 
1819, all the reservations taken prior to this latter date were legal, 
more especially as they had been ratified by the recognition of them 
contained in the treat}' of 1819. Furthermore, the second article of that 
treaty, taken in connectiou witli the seventh article, continued the 
period for taking reservations until the 1st of January, 1820. Mr. Hous- 
ton was instructed 1 to proceed to lay off' the reservations in consonauce 
with this opinion, notwithstanding which the authorities of Tennessee 
took issue therewith and passed a law providing for the sale of the 
disputed reserves, whereupon the War Department instructed ^ Agent 
Meigs to cause one or two test cases to be prepared for trial in the 

While on the subject of these reservations it is pertinent to remark 
that by act of March 3, 1823, Congress appropriated $50,000 to be ex- 
pended in extinguishing the Indian title to such individual fee simple 
reservations as were made within the limits of Georgia by the Chero- 
kee treaties of 1817 and 1819 and by the Creek treaties of 1814 and 
1821. James Merriwether and Duncan G. Campbell were appointed as 
commissioners to carry the same into effect. Twenty-two thousand dol- 
lars were also "appropriated May 9, 1828, to reimburse the State of North 
Carolina for the amount expended bj^ her authorities in extinguishing 
Cherokee reservation titles in that State under the treaties of 1817 and 


By an agreement between the United States and the State of Geor- 
gia bearing date April 24, 1802,^ Georgia ceded to the United States 
all the lands lying south of Tennessee and west of Chattahoochee River 
and a line drawn from the mouth of Uchee Ci'eek direct to Nickojack, 
on the Tennessee Eiver. In consideration of this cession the United 
States agreed to pay Georgia $1,250,000, and to extinguish the Indian 
title whenever the same could be done on peaceable and reasonable 
terms; also to assume the burden of what were known as the Yazoo 

Georgia charges the United Stnte-s with hnd faith.- — Ever since the date 
of this agreement the utmost impatience had been manifested by the 
Goverument and the peo^jle of the State of Georgia at the deliberate and 
careful course which had characterized the action of the General Gov- 
ernmeut in securing relinquishment of their lands in that State from 
the Creeks and Cherokees. Charges of bad faith on the part of the 
United States, coupled with threats of taking the matter into their own 

' August 14, 1820. 

'March 7, 18-il. 

'■* American State Papers, Public Lauds, Vol. 1, p. 1^5. 


hands, bad been published iu great profusion by the Georgians. TheiSe 
served only to enhance the difficulties of the situation and to excite a 
stubborn resistance in the minds of the Indians against any further 
cessions of territory. 

Keport of Congressional committee. — The subject was brought to the 
attention of Congress through the action of the governor and legislature 
of Georgia. A select committee was appointed by the House of Eep- 
resentatives, at the first session of the Seventeenth Congress, to take the 
matter into consideration and to report whether the said articles of 
agreement between that State and the United States had so far been 
executed according to the terms thereof, and what were the best means 
of completing the execution of the same. This committee submitted a 
report to the House,' wherein, after reciting the terms of the agreement, 
allusion is made to the Creek treaty of 1814, and the opinion expressed 
that the agreement might have been more satisfactorily complied with 
by demanding the cession at that treaty of the Creek lands within 
Georgia's limits, ir.stcad of accepting iu large measure those within the 
Territory of Alabama. The Indians were by this action forced, in the 
opinion of the committee, within the limits of Georgia, instead of being 
withdrawn therefrom. 

Eespecting the Cherokee treaty of July 8, 1817, the committee say 
that sometime jirevious to its conclusion the Cherokees had represented 
to the President that their upper and lower towns wished to separate; 
that the Upper Cherokees desired to be couliued to a smaller section of 
country and to engage in the pursuits of agriculture and civilized life; 
that the Lower Cherokees preferred continuing the hunter's life, and, 
owing to the scarcity of game in their own country, proposed to ex- 
change it for land on the west of the Mississippi Eiver ; that to carry 
into efiect these wishes of the Indians the treaty of 1817 was held, and 
the United States then Lad it iu their power to have so far complied 
with their contract with Georgia as to have extinguished the title of 
the Cherokees to most of their lands within the limits of that State; 
that this could readily have been done, for the reason that the Up- 
jier Cherokees resided beyond the boundaries of Georgia, and had ex- 
pressed a desire to retain lands on the Hiwassee Eiver, iu Tennessee, 
whilst the Lower Cherokees, who were desirous of emigrating west, 
mostly resided in the former State. But, in spite of this oi)portuuity, 
the Ubited States had purchased an inconsiderable tract of country in 
Georgia and a very considerable one in Tennessee, apparently iu op- 
position to the wishes of the Indians, the interests of Georgia, and of 
good faith iu themselves. By this treatj- the United States had also 
granted a reservation of 640 acres to each head of an Indian family 
who should elect to remain on the eastern side of the Mississippi. This 
the committee viewed as an attempt on the part of the United States 
to grant lauds iu fee simple within the limits of Georgia in direct 

'January 7, 1822. 

novcE] TREATY OF MAY 6, 1828. 235 

violation of the rights of that State. The provision permitting Chero- 
kees to become citizens of the Cnited States was also characterized as 
an unwarrantable disregard of the rights of Congress. It was further 
asserted that by the treaty of 1819 the United States had shown a dis- 
position and determination to permanently fix the Cherokee Indians 
upon the soil of Georgia, and thereby render it impossible to comply 
with their contract with that State. Yet another feature of this treaty 
too oltjectionable to be overlooked was the agreement of the United 
States that V2 miles square of land ceded by the Indians should be dis- 
posed of and the proceeds invested for the establishment of a school 
liiud for those Indians. In conclusion the committee suggested that in 
order to a proper execution of the agreement with Georgia it would be 
necessary for the United States to relinquish the policy they had ap- 
l)arently adopted with regard to civilizing the Indians and keeping 
tbem permanently on their lands, at least in respect to the Creeks and 
Cherokees, and that appropriations should be made from time to time 
sufficiently large to enable the Government to hold treaties with those 
Indians for the extinguishment of their title. 

Commissioners appointed to negotiate a new treaty. — Stimulated by the 
sentiments so strongly expressed in this report of a committee of the 
House of Eepresentatives, the executive authorities determined to make 
another effort to secure a further cession of territory from the Cherokees. 

Accordingly the President appointed' General John Floyd, Maj. 
Freeman Walker, and Hon. J. A.Cuthbert, all of Georgia, commissioners 
to negotiate a treaty with that nation, and advised them of his earnest 
desire that a cession shoidd be secured from the Indians such as would 
prove satisfactory to that State. Messrs. Walker and Cuthbert declined 
their appointments, and Duncan G. Campbell and General David ]\Ierri- 
wether were appointed^ in their places. General Merriwether dying 
shortly after, was succeeded by Maj. James Merriwether, whom it had 
been the original intention to appoint, but for whose name that of 
Genei-al Merriwether had been inserted in the primary appointment 
through mistake. Before any active steps had been taken toward the 
performance of the duties assigned the commission, General Flojd re- 
signed,^ and the President determined to allow the remaining two 
members to constitute the full commission. Their appointment was 
submitted to and approved^ by the Senate, and in the transmission 
of their new commissions by the Secretary of War i)erseverance and 
judicious management were enjoined upon them as essential to success 
in their negotiations. It would seem that all their perseverance was 
needed, for the commissioners were unable to secure even an interview 
with the Cherokee authorities until a date and place had been desig- 
nated for the fourth time. 

I June 15, isaa. 
' August 24, 1822. 
"November 19, 1822. 
< Marcb 17, 1823. 


Death of Agent Meigs. — About this time' Agent Meigs, who since iSOl 
bad represeuted the Governmeut with the Cherokees, died, aud exGov- 
eriior JIcMiim, of Tennessee, was appointed^ to succeed him. 

Failure to conclude proposed treaty. — The treaty commissioners finally 
met the council of the Cherokee Nation at Newtown, their capital, on 
the 4th of October, 182.'?.^ They were also accompanied by Johnson 
Wellborn and James Blair, who had been appointed by the gover)ior 
of Georgia as commissioners to advance the interests and protect the 
rights of that State. The negotiations were all conducted in writing, 
and form an interesting chapter in the history of the methods used 
throughout a long series of years to secure from the Cherokees, by " vol- 
untary, peaceful, and reasonable means," the relinquishment of their 
ancestral territory. The commissioners set forth their desire to procure 
the cession of a tract of country comprising all to which the Cherokees 
laid claim lying north and east of a line to begin at a marked corner 
at the head of Chestatee Itiver, thence along the ridge to the mouth of 
Long Swamp Creek, thence down the Etowah Eiver to the line to be 
run between Alabama aud Georgia, thence with that line to the divid- 
ing line between the Creeks aud Cherokees, and thence with the latter 
line to the Chattahoochee. lu cousider.itiou of this proposed cession, 
the commissioners agreed that the United States should pay the sum 
of $200,000 and also indemnify the nation against the Georgia depre- 
dation claims, as well as the further sum of $10,000 to be paid imme- 
diately upon the signing of the treaty. 

To this proposition, in spite of the threatening language used by the 
commissioners, the Indians invariably aud repeatedly returned the an- 
swer, " We beg leave to present this communication as a positive aud 
unchangeable refusal to dispose of one foot more of land."^ 

The commissioners, seeing the futility of further negotiations, ad- 
journecj sine die,^ and a report of their iiroceedings was made by Com- 
missioner Campbell thirty days later, Major Merriwether having in the 
mean time resigned. 

Chcrol-ees asT; protection against Georgia's demands. — Shortly following 
these attempted negotiations, which had produced in the minds of the 
Indians a feeling of grave uneasiness and uncertainty, a delegation of 
Cherokees repaired to Washington for a conference with the President 
touching the situation. Upon receiving their credentials, the Secretary 
of War sounded the key-note of the Government's purpose by asking 
if they had come authorized by their nation to treat for a further relin- 
quishment of territory. To this pointed inquiry the delegation re- 
turned a respectful and earnest memorial, •=' urging that their nation 

' February, 1823. 

"- Uaich 17, 1823. 

"Report of commissioners on file in Office Indian Aftairs. 

■•See correspondence between commissioners aud Cheroliee council. American State 
Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. II, pj). 4(i5-473. 

^ October 28, 1823. 

'January 10, 1824. This memorial is signed by John Rosa, George Lowrey, Major 
Ridge, aud Elijah Hicks, as the Cherokee delegation. 

EOTcEl TREATY OF MAY fi, 18-28. "J37 

labored under a peculiar iucoiiveuience from the repeated appropriations 
made by Congress for the purpose of holding treaties with them hav- 
ing in view the further purchase of lands. Such action had resulted in 
much injury to the improvement of the nation in the arts of civilized 
life by unsettling the minds and prospects of its citizens. Their nation 
had reached the decisive and unalterable conclusion to cede no more 
lauds, the limits preserved to them by the treaty of 1S19 being not more 
than adequate to their comfort and convenience. It was represented 
as a gratifying truth that the Cherokees were rapidly increasing in 
number, rendering it a duty incumbent upon the nation to preserve, 
unimpaired to posterity, the lands of their ancestors. They therefore 
implored the interposition of the President with Congress in behalf of 
their nation, so that provision might be made by law to authorize an 
adjustment between the United States and the State of Georgia, releas- 
ing the former from its compact with the latter so far as it respected 
the extinguishment of the Cherokee title to land within the chartered 
limits of that State. 

The response ' of the Secretary of War to this memorial was a reitera- 
tion of the terms of the compact with Georgia and of the zealous desire 
of the President to carry out in full measure the obligations of that com- 
pact. The manifest benefits and many happy results that would inure 
to the Cherokee Nation from an exchange of their country for one be- 
yond the limits of any State and far removed from the annoying en- 
croachments of civilization were pictured in the most attractive colors, 
but all to no purpose, the Cherokees only maintaining with more marked 
emphasis their original determination to part with no more land. See- 
ing the futility of further negotiations, the Secretary of War addressed^ 
a communication to the governor of Georgia advising him of the earnest 
efforts that had been made to secure further concessions from the Cher- 
okees and of the discouraging results, and inviting an expression of 
opinion from him upon the subject. 

(roi'ernor Troup's threatening demands. — Governor Troup lost no time 
in responding to this invitation by submitting ' a declaration of views 
on behalf of the government and people of the State of Georgia, the 
vigorously aggressive tone of which in some measure perhaps compen- 
sated for its lack of logical force. After censuring the General Govern- 
ment for the tardiness and weakness that had characterized its action 
on this subject throughout a series of years and denying that the Indians 
were anything but mere tenants at will, he laid down the proposition 
that Georgia was determined at all hazards to become possessed of the 
Cherokee domain ; that if the Indians persisted in their refusal to 
yield, the consequences would be that the United States must either 
assist the Georgians in occupying the country which is their own and 

■ January TO, 1824. 
i: February 17, 1824. 
^ Febniar'v 28, 1824. 


■which is iiiijustly withhehl froDi them, or, iu resisting tlie, occupation, 
to make war upon and slied the blood of brothers and friends. He fur- 
ther declared that the proposition to permit the Cherokees to reserve a 
portion of their land within that State for their future home could not 
be legitimately entertained by the General Government except with the 
consent of Georgia ; that such consent would never be given ; and, fur- 
ther that the suggestion of the incorporation of the Indians into the 
body politic of that State as citizens was neither desirable nor practica- 
ble. The conclusion of this remarkable state paper is characterized by 
a broadly implied threat that Georgia's fealty to the Union would be 
proportioned to the vigor and alertness with which measures were 
adopted and carried into effect by the United States for the extinguish- 
ment of the Cherokee title. 

Response of President Monroe. — These criticisms by the executive of 
Georgia, which were sanctioned and in large measure reiterated by the 
legislature and by the Congressional delegation of that State,^ called 
forth'* from President Monroe a message to Congress upon the subject 
in defense of the course that had been pursued by the executive authorities 
of the United States. Accompanying this message was a report from 
John C. Calhoun, Secretary of War, wherein it is alleged that at the 
date of the compact of 1802 between the United States and Georgia 
the two Indian nations living within the limits of that State (the Creeks 
and the Cherokees) were respectively in possession of 19,578,890 and 
7,152,110 acres of territory. At the date of such compact, treaties existed 
between the United States and those tribes defining the limits of their 
territories. In fulflllment of the stipulation with Georgia, seven treaties 
had been held with them, five of which were with the Creeks and two with 
the Cherokees. The lauds thus acquired from the former in Georgia 
amounted to 14:,449,4:80 acres and from the latter to 995,310 acres. In 
acquiring these cessions for the State of Georgia the United States had 
expended S958,9-15.90, to which should be added the value of the 995,310 
acres given by the Cherokees in exchange for lands west of the Mis- 
sissippi, the estimated value of which, at the minimum price of public 
lands, would amount to $1,244,137.50. The United States had also (iu 
addition to $1,250,000 paid to Georgia as apart of the original consider- 
ation) paid to the Yazoo claimants, under the same comi^act, $4,282,- 
151.12, making in the aggregate $7,735,243.52, which sum did not in- 
clude any portion of the expense of the Creek war, whereby upwards of 
7,000,000 acres were acquired for the State of Georgia.'' 

' Letter of Georgia delegation to Congress, March 10, 1824. Memorial of Georgia 
legislature to Cougress, December 18, 1823. 

2 March 30, 1824. 

'March 29, 1824. 

■•This Creek war was iu large measure, if not wholly, superinduced by the unlaw- 
ful and unjust aggressions by citizens of that State upon the rights and territory of 
the Creeks. Foreign emissaries, however, it is true, encouraged and inflamed the just 
indignatioM of the Creeks against the Georgians to the point of armed resistance. 

ROYCE,] TREATY OF MAY 6, 182«. 239 

The Presideut expressed it as his opiuioii tliat the Indian title was 
not in the slightest degree affected by the compact with Georgia, and 
that there was no obligation resting on the United States to remove the 
Indians by force, in the face of the stipnlation tliat it shonld be done 
pmceahhj and on reasonable conditions. The compact gave a claim to 
the State which onght to be executed in all its conditions with good 
faith. In doing this, however, it was the duty of the United States to 
regard its strict import, and to make no sacrifice of their interest not 
called for by the compact, nor to commit any breach of right or hu- 
manity toward the Indians repugnant to the Judgment and revolting to 
the feelings of the whole American people. The Cherokee agent, Ex- 
Governor McMinUjWas shortlj' afterward ordered,' " without delay and 
in the most effectual manner, forthwith to expel white intruders from 
Cherokee lands." 

Alarm of the Cherol^ees and indignation of Georgia. — The views ex- 
inessed by the governor and legislature of Georgia upon this subject 
were the cause of much alarm among the Cherokees, who, through their 
delegation, appealed- to the magnanimity of the American Congress for 
justice and for the protection of the rights, liberties, and lives of the 
Cherokee people. On the other hand, the doctrines enunciated in I'resi 
dent Monroe's special message, quoted abo^■e, again aroused the indig- 
nation of the governor of Georgia, who, in a communication' to the Presi- 
dent, commented with much severity upon the bad faith that for twenty 
years had characterized the conduct of the executive officers of the 
United States in their treatment of the matter in dispute. 

Mesmge of Prcnident John Quincy Adams. — Every day but added ac- 
rimonious intensity to the feelings of the officials and people of Georgia. 
Their determination to at once possess both the Creek and the Chero- 
kee territory within her chartered limits would admit of no delay or com- 
promise. Following the Creek treaty of 1820, her surveyors were 
promptly and forcibly introduced into the ceded country, in spite of an 
express provision of the treaty forbidding such action prior to the 1st 
of January, 1827. So critical was the state of affairs considered to be 
that President John (Quincy Adams invited the attention of Congress 
to tlie subject in a special message.** Therein the President declared 
that it ought not to be disguised that the act of the legislature of Geor- 
gia, under the construction given to it by tlie governor of that State, 
and the surveys made or attempted by his authority beyond the bound 
ary secured by the treaty of 1826 to the Creek Indians, were in direct 
violation of the supreme law of the land, set forth in a treaty which had 
received all the sanctions provided by the Constitution ; that hapjiily 
distributed as the sovereign powers of the people of this Union had 
been between their general and State governments, their history had 
alreiuly too often presented collisions between these divided author- 

1 May 3, 1824. ^ April 24, 1824. 

5 April IG, 1824. ■" February ^, 1827. 


ities with regard to the extent of their respective powers. Xo other 
case had, however, happened in which the application of military 
force by the Government of the Union had been snggested for the en- 
forcement of a law the violation of which had within any single State 
been jjrescribed by a legislative act of that State. In the i)resent in- 
stance it was his duty to say that if the legislative and executive au- 
thorities of the State of Georgia should persevere in acts of encroach- 
ment upon the territories secured l>y a solemn treaty to the Indians 
and the laws of the Union remained unaltered, a superadded obligation, 
even higher than that of human authority, would compel the Executive 
of the United States to enforce the laws and fulfill the duties of the na- 
tion by all the force cominitted for that purpose to his charge. 


Notwithstanding the many difiicnlties that had beset their paths and 
the condition of uncertainty and suspense which had surrounded their 
aifairs for years, the Cherokees seem to have continued steadily in their 
progress toward civilization. 

The liev. David Brown, who in the fall of 1825 made an extended 
tour of observation through their nation, submitted, in December' of 
that year, for the information of the War Department, an extended and 
detailed report of his examination, from which it appeared that number- 
less herds of cattle grazed upon their extensive plains; horses were 
numerous; many and extensive flocks of sheep, goats, and swine cov- 
ered the hills and valleys ; the climate was delicious and healthy and 
the wintei's were mild: the soil of the valleys and plains was rich, and_ 
was utilized in the production of corn, tobacco, cotton, wheat, oats, in- 
digo, and potatoes ; considerable trade was carried on with the neighbor- 
ing States, much cotton being exported in boats of their own to Kew Or- 
leans ; apple and peach orchards were quite common ; much attention 
was paid to the cultivation of gardens; butter and cheese of their own 
manufacture were seen upon many of their tables ; public roads were 
numerous in the nation and supplied at convenient distances with 
houses of entertainment kept by the natives; many and flourish- 
ing villages dotted the country; cotton and woolen cloths were manu- 
factured by the women and home-made blankets were very common; 
almost every family grew sufiicient cotton for its own consumption; 
industry and commercial enterprise were extending themselves through- 
out the nation ; nearly all the merchants were native Cherokees ; the 
population was rapidly increasing, a census just taken showing 13,563 
native citizens, 147 white men and 73 white women who had inter- 
married with the Cherokees, and 1,277 slaves ; schools were increasing 
every year, and indolence was strongly discountenanced ; the nation had 
no debt, and the revenue was in a flourishing condition; a printing press 
was soon to be established, and a national library and museum were in 

' Letter of Rev. David Brown to Thomas L. McKecuey, Decem1)er 13, 1825. 

KOTCE.) TREATY OF MAY 6, 1828. 241 


On tLe 2(1 of March, 1827,' Congress passed aa act authorizing the 
President to open negotiations wit h the Cherokees for the extinguishment 
of their title to such lands as \vere claimed by them within the limits of 
the State of Xorth Carolina, and also for such quantity of land as should 
be necessary in the building of a canal to connect the Hiwassee and 
Canasauga Elvers. 

Ten thousand dollars were appropriated to defray the expenses of 
such negotiations, and Generals John Cocke, G. L. Davidson, and Alex- 
ander Grey were^ appointed commissioners to conduct the same. Their 
negotiations were barren of results, as were also those of Maj. F. "W. 
Armstrong, who in the following year' was dispatched on a similar 


At a general convention of delegates, "duly authorized for that pur- 
pose," held at New Echota, in the Cherokee Nation, July 26, 1827, a 
constitution was adopted for the nation, predicated upon their assumed 
sovereignty and indeiiendence as one of the distinct nations of the 
earth. Such an instrument could not fail of exciting to the highest pitch 
the feelings and animosity of the authorities and people of Georgia. 

Geor<jHCs opinion of the Indian title. — Governor Forsyth inclosed* a 
copy of the "presumptuous" document to the President, at the same 
time desiring to know what the United States proposed to do about the 
"erection of a separate government within the limits of a sovereign 

Ho also inclosed the report of a committee and the resolutions of the 
legislature of Georgia predicated thereon as exhibiting the sentiments 
of that body on the subject. This committee, in reporting to the legis- 
lature the results of their investigations, assert that anterior to the Eev- 
olutiouary war the Cherokee lands in Georgia belonged to Great Brit- 
ain, and that the right as to both domain and empire was complete and 
perfect in that nation. The possession by the Indians was permissive. 
They were under the protection of Great Britain. Their title was tem- 
porary, being mere tenants at will, and such tenancy might have been de- 
termined at any moment either by force or by negotiation, at the pleasure 
of that power. Upon the close of the Revolution, Georgia assumed all 
the rights and powers in relation to the lands and Indians in question 
previously belonging to Great Britain, and had not since divested her- 
self of any right or power in relation to such lands, further than she had 
in respect of all the balance of her territory. She was now at full lib- 
erty and had the power and the right to possess herself,by any means she 
might choose, of the lands in dispute, and to extend over them her au- 

' Uuiteil States Statutes at Large, Vol. IV .217. 'June 4,1828. 
Olarch 13, 1627. ■• January 26, 1828. 

5 ETH 16 


thority aud laws. Although possessing this right, she was averse to 
exercising it until all other means of redress had failed. She now made 
one other and last appeal to the General Government to open negotia- 
tions with the Cherokees on this subject. If no such negotiation should 
be opened, or if, being opened, it should result unsuccessfully, it was rec- 
ommended to the next legislature of-Georgia to take immediate posses- 
sion of the disputed territory and to extend her jurisdiction aud laws 
over the same. In a spirit of liberality, however, it was suggested that, 
in any treaty the United States might make with the Cherokees, Geor- 
gia would agree to allow reserves to be made to individual Indians not 
exceeding in the aggregate one-sixth part of the entire territory in dis- 
pute. . Should the Indians still refuse to negotiate, they were solemnly 
warned of the unfortunate consequences likely to follow, as the lauds 
belonged to Georgia, and that she must and tcould have them. 

A resolution of the House of Representatives of the United States, in 
the month of March following, calling upon the President for informa- 
tion upon the subject, brought forth' copies of all the correspondence 
relative to the matter, and the distinct avowal that the records of the 
United States failed to show anj^ act of executive recognition of the 
new form of Cherokee government, but that, on the contrary, their 
status toward the United States was regarded as not in the slightest 
degree changed. 


Whilst all these events having a bearing upon the condition and 
prospective welfare of that portion of the Cherokee people who had 
remained in their old homes east of the Mississippi Eiver were happen- 
ing, those who had taken up their abode in the Arkansas country were 
likewise having their troubles. 

Difficulties with the Osages. — Their disagreements with the Osages, 
which had, with slight intermission, existed for years, broke out afresh 
when in February, 1S20, a party of Osages robbed and killed three 
Cherokees. The latter determined upon the prosecution of a general 
war agaiust the aggressors, and were only persuaded to pause at the 
earnest solicitation'^ of Governor Miller, of Arkansas Territory, until he 
could visit the villages of the Csages and demand the surrender of the 
murderers. In company with four of the Cherokee chiefs, he proceeded 
to the principal Osage village, where they were kindly received by the 
Osages, who repudiated the action of the murderers aud agreed con- 
ditionally to surrender them. They, however, produced the treaty con- 
cluded in 1818, under the superintendence of Governor Clark, between 
themselves and the Cherokees, Shawnees, and Delawares, -wherein it 
was agreed that a permanent peace should thenceforth exist between 
them, and that the Cherokees were to meet them at Fort Smith the 

1 Marcli 20, 1828. - April 20, 1820. 

ROYCEL] TREATY OF MAY (1, 1828. 243 

following spring and surrender all Osage prisoners, which the former 
had neglected to do and still retained a number of Osage captives. 
The Cherokee chiefs admitted that this was true, whereupon Governor 
Miller advised them that before the Osage murderers could be surren- 
dered, the Cherokees must comply with their agreement by surrendering 
all prisoners in their hands. An arrangement was made to meet at Fort 
Smith in October following and effect the exchange,' which was done. 
Notwithstanding this adjustment, the feeling of hostility between the 
two tribes remained. Active warfiire broke out again in the summer 
of 1821," and was not suppressed by the most strenuous efforts of the 
United States authorities until the fall of the following year.^ 

Boundaries and area. — Governor Miller reported, in connection with 
this subject, that the Arkansas Cherokees were very restless and dis- 
satisfied. They complained much in that, as they said, no ijart of the 
treaty of 1819 had been complied with by the United States and in that 
they had received no annuity money since their removal to the west of 
the Mississippi Eiver. Furthermore, their boundaries had not been es- 
tablished, and they still awaited the fulflllmeutof the promise 7uade them 
for an extension of their line to the west as far as the Osage line. To 
this latter scheme the Osages were much opposed, preferring rather to 
have the country occupied by whites. The adjustment of this boundary 
question would seem to have been very desirable, inasmuch as nearly 
one-half of the Cherokees had taken up their abode south of the Arkan- 
sas Kiver,^ which was clearly outside of their proper limits. It formed 
the subject of much correspondence and complaint throughout several 
years, and was the occasion of a number of visits of representative dele- 
gations from the Arkansas Cherokees to "Washington. The eastern 
boundary had, as already stated, been run by General Eector in 1818-'19, 
but the difficulty in fixing the western line arose from the fact that the 
quantity of land to which the Cherokees were entitled was to be meas- 
ured by the area already ceded by them to the United States by the 
treaties of 1817 and 1819. The ascertainment of this latter quantity 
with exactness could not be made in advance of the completion of the 
surveys thereof by the States of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Geor- 
gia. From such reports and estimates as the United States were able 
to secure from the several State authorities, it was estimated, early in 
1823,^ that the quantity to which the Cherokees were entitled was about 
3,285,710 acres, and they were informed that measures would at once 
be taken to have the western boundarj- established. This was jierformed 

' Letter of Governor Miller, of Arkansas, to Secretary of War, June 20, 1820. 

''Letter of Secretary of War to Maj. AVilliam Brailforil, July 21, 1821. 

^Letter of Secretary of War to Governor Miller, of Arkansas, November (i, 1822. 

■• October 8, 1821, Governor Miller -svas instructed by tlio Secretary of War to remove 
the Cherokees from lands south of the Arkansas, but its execution was deferred several 
years pending the establishment of the Cherokee boundaries. 

■^ Secretary of War to Arkan^s Cherokee delegation iu Washington, February 12, 


uuder directiou of Governor Miller, in compliance with instructions 
given bim for that purpose on the 4th of March, 1823. A year later' 
a delegation of the Indians visited Washington to complain that the 
boundary had been run without notice to them and in such a mauner as 
to be highly prejudicial to their interests. It was also urged that the 
quantity of land included was largely less than the quantity ceded by 
the Cherokees east of the Mississippi. 

It would seem that in the survey of this western boundary Governor 
Miller, through a misconception of his instructions, had caused the 
line to be run duo north and south, instead of in a dii'ection parallel 
with that of the east line, as was the evident intention of the treaty of 
1817.^ The effect of this action was to largelj- curtail the Cherokee 
frontage on Arkansas Kiver, where the lands were riclt and capable 
of remunerative cultivation, and to extend their frontier on the Upper 
White Iiiver, toward the rough and comparatively valueless region of 
the Ozark Mountains. It was also admitted by the Secretary of War 
that the quantity of land within these boundaries was probably less 
than that to which the Cherokees wei-e entitled.-' Inquiries were ac- 
cordingly again made of the several State authorities as to the area of 
territory acquired by them through the treaties of 1817 and 1819, 
the replies to which, though partially estimated, aggregated 1,282,210 
acres.* Directions were therefore given to Agent Duval'' to iiropose to 
the Indians the running of a provisional line, subject to such future 
alterations as the official returns of the quantity ceded in the States 
should render necessary and proper. It seems, however, from a report 
of Agent Duval, that the Cherokees in council had expressed to him a 
preference to adopt for their western boundary what was known as the 
"upper" or Governor Miller line, and to run thence down and between 
the Arkansas and White Elvers for quantity, ignoring the line run 
under the treaty of 1817 b.y General Rector, the effect of which would 
be to give them an extension of territory to the east instead of toward 
the west. This proposition called forth directions from the Secretary 
of War to Governor Izard, in the spring of 1825, to open negotiations 
with the Cherokees upon the subject of an exchange of territory with 
them for an equal quantity of land lying to the west of Arkansas and 
Missouri, and for their removal thereto, but that the matter must not 
be pressed to the ]>oiiit of irritation. If, through the aversion of the 
Indians to entertain such a proposition, it should be dropped, then, if 
the same should be satisfactory to the citizens of Arkansas, the proposal 

I March 3, 1824. 

• Indian Office to Clierokee delegation of Arkansas, March 13, 1824, and Secretary 
ofWar to Governor Crittenden, of Arkansas, April 28, 1824. 
' Secretary of War to Governor Crittenden, of Arkansas, April 28, 1824. 
■■ Indian Office to Agent E. W. Duval, Little Kock, Arkansas, July 8, 1824. 
^July8, 1824. 

ROTCE.] TREATY OF MA.Y 6, ]8i8. 245 

contained in the report of Agent Duval would meet the views of the 

The Indians were brought to no definite agreement to either of these 
propositions. In the meantime their provisional western boundary was 
established and run, in January and February, 1825.^ The line began 
at the upper end of Table Eock Bluff, on the Arkansas River, and ran 
north i mile and 70 chains, crossing Skin Bayou at a distance of G6 
chains from the beginning; thence it ran north 53° east 132 miles and 
31 chains, to White River, which it struck at a xioint opposite the mouth 
of Little North Fork. 

As a matter of fact, so strong was the prejudice of the Cherokees 
against any concession of territory that their council passed^ what 
they denominated a "perpetual law" denouncing the death penalty 
against any of their nation who should propose the sale or exchange of 
their lands. 

ioreii/'s i)urcliase. — In the mean time the legislature of Arkansas, 
through Acting Governor Crittenden, had forwarded to the President 
in the summer of 1824, a memorial urging that the tract of country 
known as "Lovely's purchase" be thrown open to white settlement by 
a revocation of the prohibitory order of Becember 15, 1818. This the 
President declined to do until a final adjustment should be made of the 
west boundary of the Cherokees and the east boundary of the Choc- 
taws. A history of " Lovely's purchase" is to be found in a letter dated 
January 30, 1818, from Major Long, of the Topographical Engineers, to 
General Thomas A. Smith. From this it seems that by a treaty then 
recently made (but without any authority) with the Osages, "by Mr. 
Lovely, late Indian agent," ^ that tribe had ceded to the United States 
the country between the Arkansas and Red Rivers, and also a ti-act on 
the north of the Arkansas situated between the Yei-digris River and 
the boundary established hy the Osage treaty of 1808. It appears, 
however, that it was not the intention of the Osages to cede to the 
United States so large a tract on the north of the Arkansas, but, as 

' Secretary of War to Governor Izard, of Arkansas, April 16, 1825. 

-See map on file iu Indian Office. 

3 May, 1825. 

••In a letter from Agent Meigs to the Secret.iry of War, dated Jnne 2, 1817, M.ajor 
Lovely is spoken of as having been agent residing with the Cherokees on the Arkan- 
sas. He had been an officer of the Virginia line thronghout the Revolution and par- 
ticipated in the capture of Bnrgoyne. Ho had lived some time in the family of 
President Madison's father, and went to Tennessee at an early day, whence (after 
living many years among the Cherokees) he removed with the emigrant party to the 
Arkansas. In a letter to the Hon. John Cocke from the Secretary of War, December 
15, 1626, it is, however, stated that Major Lovely was a factor or trader in the Arkan- 
sas country, who took an active p.Trt iu the preliminary negotiations that led finally 
to the conclusion of the treaty with the Osages of September 25, 1818. It also ap- 
pears from the same letter that the estimated area of Lovely's purchase was 7,t592,000 
acres, and that when the west boundary line of the Cherokees was run, in 1825, it was 
found that 200 square miles of Lovely's purchase wei-e iucluded within its liuuts. 


afterwarcl8 alleged by tbeir chiefs, tbfy only desired to surrender the 
country lying south of a line commencing at the Falls of the Verdigris 
and running due east to the treaty line of 1808, and east of another 
line beginning at the same place and running due south as far as their 
possessions should extend, and thence east again to the 1808 boundary, 
excepting and reserving therefrom the point of land between the Ver- 
digris and Six Bulls or Grand Eiver. The Osages, never having been 
informed that the treaty was not duly authorized and had not been con- 
firmed, still considered the country described therein as belonging to 
the United States, and had repeatedly solicited whites to settle on it, 
alleging that the main object of the cession on their ])art was to secure 
the convenient appi'oach of civilized neighbors, who should instruct the 
men how to cultivate the ground and the women to spin and weave, that 
they might be able to live when the forests should afford no further 
supplies of game. They were therefore much irritated when they 
found civilized settlements prohibited, in order to protect the introduc- 
tion and establishment adjoining or upon this territory of their inveter- 
ate enemies, the Clierokees. 

Western outlet. — The indefinite outlet to the west which had been 
promised the (Jherokees by the President in 1818 formed the subject 
of much complaint by them from time to time. In the spring of 1823' 
they were advised that until their western boundary was established 
it would be improper to make any decision upon the "outlet" question. 
Two years earlier- it had been declared to them that in removing settlers 
from " Lovely's Purchase," for the purpose of giving them their western 
outlet, it must always be understood that they thereby acquired no 
right to the soil, and that the Government reserved to itself the right 
of making such disposition as it might think proper of all salt springs 
therein. But this ti'oublous question was definitively disposed of when 
the treaty of 1828 came to be negotiated. 

By the provisions of an act of Congress approved April 5, 1826,'' the 
land districts of the Territory of Arkansas were extended so as to in- 
clude all the country witliin the limits of that Territory as then existing 
(the limits having been extended 40 miles to the west by act of Con- 
gress of May 2G, 1821),'' with the proviso, however, that nothing in the 
act should be so construed as to authorize any survey or interference 
■whatever upon any lands the right whereof resided in anj' Indian 
tribes. Jfotwithstaiuling this proviso, rejiorts became current that sur- 
veys had been begun of " Lovely's Purchase," causing much irritation 
and ill feeling among the Cherokees and eliciting an order'' from the 
Secretary of War forbidding any further surveys until it should be 

' Secretarj of War to Arkansas Cherokee delegation in Wasliington, February 12, 

' Secretary of War to Arkansas Cherokee delegation in Washington, October 8, 

3 United States Statutes at Large, Vol. IV, p. 153. 

* United States Statutes at Large, Vol. IV. p. 40. 

'■ April 3, 1827. 

B0VCE.1 TREATY OF MAY 6, 182S. 247 

finally ascertained bow much laacl the Cberokees were entitled to receive 
from the United States iu jiursuauce of the treaties of 1817 and 1819. 

Negotiation and conclusion of treaty of 1828. — Matters remained thus ^?^ 
statu quo until the spring of 1828, when a delegation of the Western 
Cherokees arrived in Washington, clothed with authority to i)resent to 
the attention of the President their numerous grievances and to adjust 
all matters in dispute for their people. The burden of their complaints 
had relation to the delays that had occui-red in fixing their boundaries; 
to the failure to secure to them the promised " western outlet;" to the 
adjustment of the hostilities that continued to exist between themselves 
andtheOsages ; and to the irregularity in the receipt of their annuities, 
as well as to the encroachments of white settlers.' 

The delegation were not clothed with authority to negotiate for any 
cession or exchange of territory, the "perpetual law " against entertain- 
ing such a proposition being still iu force among them. Notwithstand- 
ing this fact, a communication was addressed to them from the War 
Department^ desiring to be advised if they had any objection to open- 
ing negotiations upon a basis of an exchange of land for territorj- west 
of the west boundary of Arkansas, provided that boundary should be 
removed a distance of 40 miles to the east, so as to run from Fort 
Smith to the southwest corner of the State of Missouri, and also that 
the Creeks should be removed from their location above the Falls of 
Verdigris Eiver to territory within the forks of the Canadian and Ar- 
kansas Rivers. To this proposal the delegation returned a polite but 
determined refusal, and demanded that the actual number of acres to 
which they were entitled iu Arkansas be ascertained and laid oft' with 
exact definiteness. The whole subject of an exchange of lands was 
thereupon submitted by the Secretary of War to the President for his 
direction, and it was announced^ to the visiting delegation that the 
President had concluded to order a permanent western line to be run, 
within which should be embraced the full quantity of land to which 
they were eutitled, and which was found to be, as nearly as possible, 
as follows:'' 


In lieu of quantity ceded in Georgia (actual survey) 8'24.384 

Iu lieu of quantity ceded iu Alabama (actual survey) 738,560 

In lieu of quantity ceded in Tennessee (actual survey) 1,0^4,000 

In lieu of quantity ceded iu North Carolina (survey 70,000, estimate 630,000) . 700, 000 

3, 286, 044 
Less 12 miles square, school reservation iu Alabama 0-', 160 

3, 194, 784 

I Letter of T. L. McKeuney to Secretary of War, March 18, 1828. 

" March 27, 1828. 

'April 11, 1828. 

■•The areas here given by the State authorities were largely below the quantity 
actually contained within the limits of the cessions within the States of Georgia, North 
Carolina, and Tennessee, as will be seen by a glance at the table of such areas on 
page 373. 


As to tbeir promised " western outlet," tlie President was unprepared 
to say anything definite, inasmuch as that matter was then in the hands 
of Congress. 

From this showing it was made evident to the delegation, and no op- 
portunity was lost to impress the fact strongly upon them, that if they 
insisted upon refusing to arrange for an exchange. of lauds, instead of 
being entitled to a large additional tract beyond their provisional west- 
ern boundary, they would, in fact, be entitled to several hundred thou- 
sand acres less than had already been placed in their possession. In 
addition to this it was more than doubtful, from the temper of the Presi- 
dent and Congress, whether their long anticipated " western outlet" 
would ever crystallize into anything more tangible than a promise. 
With these facts staring them in the face, with the alluring offers held 
out to them of double the quantity of land possessed by them in Arkan- 
sas in exchange, with liberal promises of assistance in their proposed 
new homes, and with the persistent importunities of their agent and 
other United States ofiQcials, they yielded, and the treaty of Jlay G, 
1828,' an abstract of which has been already given, was the result. It 
■was promptly ratified and proclaimed on the 2Sth of the same month. 

So nervous were the members of the delegation, after the treaty had 
been concluded and signed, as to the reception that would greet them 
on their return home, that the Secretary of War felt the necessity of 
giving them a letter of explanation to their people. In this letter the 
Cherokees were advised of the integrity, good conduct, and earnest zeal 
for the welfare of their nation that had invariably characterized the 
actions of their delegation at Washington. The nation was assured 
that their representatives had done the best thing possible for them to 
do in the late treaty.'^ 

Notwithstanding this testimonial, the delegation met with an angry 
reception on their i-eturn home. Their lives and property were unsafe ; 
the national council pronounced them guilty of fraud and deception, 
declared the treaty to be null and void, as having been made without 
any authority, and expressed an earnest desire to send a delegation to 
Washington clothed with power to arrange all differences.^ 

In the mean time Agent Duval had been advised* of the ratification 
of the treaty, and Messrs. E. Ellis and A. Finney had been appointed, 
in conjunction with him, as commissioners to value all improvements 
and property abandoned by the Cherokees, and to sell the agency prop- 
erty as a means of raising funds for the erection of mills in their new 

Survey of neic boundaries. — The eastern line of this new Cherokee 

'United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 311. 

-Letter of Secretary of War to Western Cherokee delegation. May 17, 1828 
^Letter of Sub-Agent Brearly to Secretary of War, September ii", 1828. 
■•May 28, 1828. 


oomitry, dividing it from Arkansas, was surveyed in 1829,' but it was 
not until April 13, 1831, that instructions were given to Isaac McCoy to 
survey the remaining boundaries. 

The fourth article of the treaty of 1828 contained a provision requir- 
ing the United States to sell the property and improvements connected 
with the agency for the erection of a grist and saw mill for the use of 
the Indians in their new home. In lieu of this grist and saw mill the 
United States furnished them with patent corn-mills to the amount of 
the appraised value of the improvements. A tract in townships 7 and 8 
of range 21, including these agency improvements, was surveyed sepa- 
rately in 1829, and was commonly known as the "Cherokee Agency Ites- 
ervation." In after years the Cherokees claimed that they had never 
been compensated for this so-called reserve and asserted that it still 
belonged to them. After a dispute continuing through many years, it 
was linally decided bj' the Secretary of the Interior, on the 28th of June, 
1878, that the reserve did not belong to the Cherokees, but that, through 
the operation of the treaty with thein, it became a part of the public 


12, 1834.: 

Held at Fort Gibsou, on the Arkansas Eirer, between Montfort Stokes, 
Henry L. Ellsxcorth, and John F. Schermerhorn, commissioners on the 
part of the United States, and the chiefs and headmen of the Cherokee Xa- 
tion of Indians tcest of the Mississippi. 


It having been ascertained that the territory assigned to the Cherokees 
by the treaty of May 0, 1828, conflicted with a iiortion of the territory 
selected by the Creek Nation in conformity with the provisions of the 
Creek treaty of January 24, 182G, and the representative men of those 
two nations having met each other in council and adjusted all disputes 
as to boundaries, the United States, in order to confirm this adjustment, 
concluded the following articles of treaty and agreement with the 
Cherokees : 

1. The United States agree to possess the Cherokees, and to guar- 
antee it to them forever, * * * of seven millions of acres of land, 
to be bounded as follows, viz : Beginning at a point on the old western 
Terriiorial line of Arkansas Territory, being twenty-five miles north 
from the point where the Territorial line crosses Arkansas Eiver ; thence 
running from said north point south on the said Territorial line to the 
place where said Territorial line crosses the Verdigris Eiver; thence 

' Letter of T. L. McKeuiiey to Secretary of War, January 21, 1830. 
- United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 414. 


down said Verdigris Eiver to the Arkansas Eiver ; tlience down said 
Arkansas Eiver to a point where a stone is placed opposite to the east 
or lower bank of Grand Eiver at its junction with the Arkansas; thence 
running south fort3'-four degrees west one mile ; thence in a straight 
line to a point four miles northerly from the mouth of the North Fork 
of the Canadian ; thence along the said four miles line to the Canadian ; 
thence down the Canadian to the Arkansas ; thence down the Arkansas 
to that point on the Arkansas where the eastern Choctaw boundary 
strikes said river, and running thence with the western line of Arkansas 
Territory, as now defined, to the southwest corner of Missouri ; thence 
along the western Missouri lino to the land assigned to the Senecas ; 
thence on the south line of the Senecas to Grand Eiver; thence up 
said Grand Eiver as far as the south line of the Osage Eeservation, ex- 
tended if necessary ; thence up and between said south Osage line, ex- 
tended west if necessary, and a line drawn due west from the point of 
beginning, to a certain distance west at which a line running north and 
south from said Osage line to said due-west line will make seven mill- 
ions of acres within the whole described boundaries. 

In addition to the seven millions of acres of land thus provided for 
and bounded, the United States further guarantee to the Cherokee 
Nation a peri)etual outlet west, and a free and unmolested use of all the 
country lying west of the western boundary of said seven millions of 
acres, as far as the sovereignty of the United States and their right of 
soil extend : Provided, however, That if the saline or salt plain on the 
great western prairie shall fall within, said limits prescribed for said 
outlet, the right is reserved to the United States to permit other tribes 
of red men to get salt on said plain in common with the Cherokees. 
And letters patent shall be issued by the United States as soon as prac- 
ticable for the land hereby guaranteed. 

3. The Cherokees relinquish to the United States all claim to all land 
ceded or claimed to have been ceded to them by treaty of May C, 1S2S, 
not embraced within the limits fixed in this present supplementary 

3. The United States agree to cancel, at the request of the Cherokees, 
the sixth article of the treaty of May G, 1828. 

4. The United States agree to furnish the Cherokees, during the pleas- 
ure of the President, four blacksmith's shops, one wagon-maker's shop, 
one wheelwright's shop, and necessary tools, implements, and material 
for the same; also four blacksmiths, one wagonuiaker, and one wheel 
Wright ; also eight patent railway corn mills, in lieu of those agreed to 
be furnished by article 4 of the treaty of May G, 1828. 

5. These articles are supplementary to the treaty of May G, 1828. 

G. One mile square to be set apart for the accommodation of the Cher- 
okee Agency, to be selected jointly by the Cherokee Nation and United 
States agent. 


7. This treaty to be obligatory after ratificatiou by tbe President aud 



Tlie treaty of January 2i, 1S2C/ with the Creek Indians had provided 
for the removal of that tribe west of the Mississippi. In accordance 
with its provisions, a delegation consisting of five representative men 
of the tribe proceeded to the western country and selected the terri- 
tory designed for their future occupancy. The year following this se- 
lection a party of Creeks removed to aud settled thereon. The country 
thus selected and occupied lay along aud between the Verdigris, Ar- 
kansas, and Canadian Elvers.^ 

Subsequently, on the Gth day of May, 1828,' a treaty was concluded 
with the Cherokee Nation west of the Mississippi, by the terms of which 
they ceded all their lands within the present limits of Arkansas and 
accepted a tract of 7,000,000 acres within the piesent limits of Indian 
Territory, in addition to a perpetual outlet extending as far west as the 
western limits of the United States at that time, being the one Iiun- 
dredth meridian of longitude west from Greenwich. 

This new assignment of territory to the Cherokees, it was soon found, 
included a considerable portion of the lauds selected by and already in 
The possession of the Creeks. 

The discovery of this fact produced much excitement and ill feeling 
in the minds of the i)eople of both tribes, aud led to many acts of injus- 
tice and violence duriug the course of several years. 

Territorial dijficuliies adjusted. — In the year 1832 a commission was 
constituted, consisting of Montfort Stokes, Henry L.Ellsworth, and John 
F. Schermerhoru, with instructions to visit the country west of the Mis- 
sissippi and to report fully all information relating to the country assigned 
as a permanent home to the aborigines. Among the formidable diffi- 
culties presented for and earnestly urged upon their attention and con- 
sideration were these conflicting territorial claims of the Creeks and the 
Cherokees. Both parties claimed several million acres of the same land 
under treaty stipulations ; both were equally peisuaded of the justice of 
their respective claims, and at first were unyielding in their dispositions. 

After a protracted public council, however, in which a careful exami- 
nation and exposition of the various treaties was made, the commission- 
ers succeeded in inducing the Creeks to accept other lands to the south- 
ward of their upper settlements on Verdigris Eiver,^ and concluded 
treaties with both the Creeks and the Cherokees modifying their resiiect- 
ive boundaries. 

' United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 286. 

'See Creek treaty of 1833, United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 417. 
'United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 311. 

■•See preamble to Creek treaty of February 14, 1833, United States Statutes at 
Large, Vol. VII, p. 417. 


This treaty of February 14, 1833, with the liltter tribe occasioued a, 
material change in the boundaries previously assigned them. 

Instead of following the western line of Arkansas and Missouri as f\ir 
north as the point where the Grand or JSTeosho Eiver crosses the bound- 
ary of the latter State, and running from thence due west to a point 
due north of the old western boundary line of Arkansas Territory, and 
thence south to the Arkansas Eiver, the new line followed the present 
western boundary of Arkansas and Missouri as far north as the south 
line of the territory then recently assigned to the Senecas ; thence west 
along the south line of the Senecas to Grand Eiver, and following up 
Grand Eiver to the south boundary of the Osage reservation, which 
was parallel with the present southern boundary of Kansas, and on the 
average about two miles to the north of it ; thence west for quantity. 


Prior ' to the conclusion of this treaty of 1833, a delegation of the 
Western Cherokees had visited Washington to insist upon a literal ful- 
fillment of the treaty of 1828 and especially to demand that they be 
possessed of all lands and improvements within the outboundaries of 
their country as defined by the last named treaty. The lands and im- 
jirovements alluded to were seven reservations of one section each on 
the Neosho Eiver assigned to certain half-breed Osage Indians by the 
terms of the treaty of 1S25' with that tribe. 

Although the treaty of 1833 failed to make provision for the extin- 
guishment of these Osage half-breed titles, the desired object was at- 
tained bj- the terms of the fourth article of the treaty of December 29, 
1835, wherein 815,000 were appropriated for the purchase.^ 


On the 10th of February, 1834, George Vashon, agent for the Western 
Cherokees, negotiated a treaty with them^ having in view an adjust- 
ment of certain differences between themselves and their eastern bi-eth- 
ren, whereby the feelings of the latter should be more favorably af- 
fected toward an emigration to the western country. The treaty pro- 
vided for a readjustment of the tribal annuities i)roiiortioned to the 
respective numbers of the Cherokees east and west, the basis of division 
to be ascertained by an accurate census. The country pi'ovided for the 
Cherokees by the treaty of 1833 was to be enlarged so th|it it should 
equal in quantity, acre for acre, the country ceded by the Cherokees 
east in 1817 and 1819, as well as the proportional quantity of those 
who should agree to emigrate to the West under the provisions of this 
treaty. It was also agreed that all Cherokees should possess equal 

' In March, 1832. 

- United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 240. 
3 United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 478. 
••See ludian Office files. 

Kovcji., TEEATY OF DECEMBER 29, l.?35. 253 

rights ill the nevr country, and that an asylum should be established 
for the maintenance of the orphan children of the tribe. The negotia- 
tions thus entered into were, however, barren of results, inasmuch as 
President Jackson refused to recommend the treaty to the Senate for 
the advice and consent of that body.' 


Held at Xeic Echota, Georyia, heticecu General ^VilUqm Carroll and John 
F. Schermerhorn, commissioners on the part of the United States, and the 
chiefs, headmen, and people of the Cherolre tribe of Indians.'^ 


The preamble recites at considerable length the reasons for the nego- 
tiation of the treaty and the preliminary steps taken, following which 
the provisions of the treaty as concluded are given. 

1. The Cherokee Nation cedes to the United States all the land claimed 
by said Nation east of the Mississippi Eiver, and hereby releases all 
claims on the United States for spoliatious of every kind for and in con- 
sideration of $5,000,000. In case the United States Senate should decide 
that this sum does not include spoliation claims, then .$300,000 additional 
should be allowed for that purpose. 

2. The description of the 7,000,000 acres of laud guaranteed to the 
Oherokees Mcst of the Mississippi by the treaties of 1S2S and 1S33 is 
repeated, and in addition thereto the further guaranty is made to the 
Cherokee Xation of a perpetual outlet west, and a free and unmolested 
use of all the country west of the western boundary of said 7,000,000 
acres, as far west as the sovereiguty of the United States and their right 
of soil extend, provided that if the salt plain shall fall within the limits of 
said outlet the right is reserved to the United States to permit other 
tribes of Indians to procure salt thereon. "And letters patent shall be 
issued by the United States as soon as practicable for the land hereby 

It being apprehended that the above would aflbrd insufflcient land for 
the Cherokees, the United States, in consideration of $500,000, agree to 
patent to them in fee simple tlie following additional tract, viz: Begin- 
ning at the southeast corner of the Osage Reservation, and running north 
along the east line of the Osage lands 50 miles to the northeast corner 
thereof, thence east to the west line of the State of Missouri, thence with 
said line south 50 miles, thence west to the place of begiuning, estimated 
to contain 800,000 acres, it being understood that if any of the Quapaw 
lands should fall within these limits they should be excepted. 

3. All the foregoing described lands to be included iu one patent, 
under the provisions of the act of May 28, 1830; the United States to 

' See Indian OfJSce records. 

= United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 47d. 


retain possession of the Fort Gibson military resei-vation until aban- 
doned, when it shall revert to the Cherokees. The United States re- 
serve the right to establish post and military roads and forts in any 
part of the Cherokee country. 

4. The United States agree to extinguish for the Cherokees the Osage 
half-breed titles to reservations under the treaty of 1825 for the sum of 
■•^lo.OOO. The United States agree to pay to the American Board of Com- 
missioners for Foreign Missions the appraised value of their improve- 
ments at Union and Harmony missions. 

5. The United States agree that the land herein guaranteed to the 
Cherokees shall never, without their consent, be included within the 
limits or jurisdiction of any State or Territory. The United States 
also agree to secure them the right to make and carry into effect such 
laws as they deem necessary, provided they shall not be inconsistent 
with the Constitution of the United States and such acts of Congress 
as provide for the regulation of trade and intercourse with the Indian 
tribes ; and provided also they shall not affect such citizens and army 
of the United States as may travel or reside in the Indian country by 
permission granted under the laws or regulations thereof. 

6. Perpetual peace shall exist between the United States and the 
Cherokees. The United States shall pi-otect the Cherokees from domestic 
strife, foreign enemies, and from war with other tribes, as well as from 
the unlawful intrusion of citizens of the United States. The Cherokees 
shall endeavor to maintain peace among themselves and with their 

7. The Cherokees shall be entitled to a delegate in the United States 
House of Representatives whenever Congress shall make provision for 
the same. 

8. The United States agree to remove the Cherokees to their new home 
and to provide them with one year's subsistence thereafter. Those de- 
siring to remove themselves shall be allowed a commutation of S20 iier 
head therefor, and, if they prefer it, a commutation of 833^ per head in 
lieu of the one year's promised subsistence. Cherokees residing outside 
the limits of the nation who shall remove within two years to the new 
Cherokee country shall be entitled to the same allowances as others. 

9. The United States agree to make an appraisement of the value of 
all Cherokee improvements and ferries. The just debts of the Indians 
shall be paid out of any moneys due them for improvements and claims. 
The Indians shall be furnished with sufficient funds for their removal, 
and the balance of their dues shall be paid them at the Cherokee Agency 
west of the Mississippi. Missionary establishments shall be appraised 
and the value paid to the treasurers of the societies by whom they were 

10. The President of the United States shall invest in good interest- 
paying stocks the following sums for the beneht of the Cherokee peo 
pie, the interest thereon only to be expended: $200,000, in addition to 

liOYCK.l TREATY OF DECEMBER 29, 1835. 255 

their present annuities, for a general national fund ; $.30,000 for an or- 
phans' fund; $150,000, in addition to existing school fund, for a perma- 
nent national school fund : the disbursement of the interest on the fore- 
going funds to be subject to examination and any misapplications thei-eof 
to be corrected by the President of the United States. 

On two years' notice the Cherokee council may withdraw their funds, 
by the consent of the President and the United States Senate, and invest 
them in such manner as they deem proper. The United States agree to 
appropriate $GO,000 to pay the just debts and claims against the Cher- 
okee Nation held by citizens of tlie same, and also claims of citizens of 
the United States for services rendered the nation. Three hundred 
thousand dollars is appi'opriated by the United States to liquidate Cher- 
okee claims against the United States for spoliations of every kind. 

11. The Cherokees agree to commute their existing permanent annu- 
ity of 810,000 for the sum of $214,000, the same to be invested by the 
President as a part of the general fund of the nation. Their present 
school fund shall also constitute a portion of the permanent national 
school fund. 

12. Such Cherokees as are averse to removal west of the Mississippi 
and desire to become citizens of the States where they reside, if qualified 
to take care of themselves and their property, shall receive their i)ro- 
portion of all the personal benefits accruing under this treaty for claims, 
improvements, and per capita. 

Such heads of Cherokee families as desire to reside within the States 
of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama, subject to the laws thereof 
and (]ualified to become useful citizens, shall be entitled to a pre-emption 
right of 160 acres at the minimum Congress price, to include their im- 
provements. John Eoss and eleven others named are designated as a 
committee on the part of the Cherokees to recommend persons entitled 
to take pre-emption rights, to select the missionaries who shall be 
removed with the nation, and to transact all business that may arise 
■with the United States in carrying the treaty into effect. One hundred 
thousand dollars shall be expended by the United States for the bene- 
fit of such of the poorer classes of Cherokees as shall remove west. 

13. All Cherokees and their heirs to whom reservations had been 
made by any previous treaty, and who had not sold or disposed of the 
same, such reservations being subsequently sold by the United States 
should be entitled to receive the present value thereof from the United 
States as unimproved lands. All such reservations not sold were to 
be confirmed to the reservees or their heirs. All persons entitled to 
reservations under treaty of 1817, whose reservations, as selected, were 
included by the treaty of 1819 in the unceded lands of the Cherokee 
Nation, shall be entitled to a grant for the same. All reservees who 
were obliged by the laws of the States in which their reservations were 
situated to abandon the same or purchase them from the States, shall 
be deemed to have a just claim against the United States for the value 


tbereof or for the amount paid therefor, with interest. The amount 
allowed for reservations under this article is to be paid independently, 
and not out of the consideration allowed to the Cherokees for spolia- 
tiou claims and their cession of lands. 

14. Cherokee warriors wounded in the service of the United States 
during the late war with Great Britain and the southern tribes of In- 
dians shall be allowed such pensions as Congress shall provide. 

15. The balance of the consideration herein stated, after deducting 
the amount actually expended for improvements, ferries, claims, spolia- 
tions, removal, subsistence, debts, and claims upon the Ciierokee Nation, 
additional quantity of lauds, goods for the poorer class of Cherokees, 
and the several sums to be invested for the general national funds, shall 
be divided equally among all the people belonging to the Cherokee Na- 
tion east, according to the census just completed. Certain Cherokees 
who had removed west since June, 1833, were to be paid for their im- 

16. The Cherokees stipulate to remove west within two years from 
the ratification of this treaty, during which time the United States shall 
protect them in the possession and enjoyment of their property, and in 
case of failure to do so shall i)ay all losses and damages sustained by 
tliem in consequence thereof. 

The United States and the several States interested in the Cherokee 
lands shall immediately proceed to survey the lands ceded by this treaty, 
but the agency buildings and tract of land surveyed and laid otffor the 
use of Col. R. J. Meigs, Indian agent, shall continue subject to the con- 
trol of the United States or such agent as may be specially engaged in 
superintending the removal of the tribe. 

17. All claims arising under or provided for in this treaty shall be 
examined and adjudicated by General William Carroll and John F. 
Schermerhorn, or by such commissioners as shall be a]>poiuted by the 
President of the United States for that purpose, and their decision 
shall be final, and the several claimants shall be paid on their certificate 
by the United States. All stipulatious of former treaties not super- 
seded or annulled by this treaty shall continue in force. 

18. The annuities of the uatiou which may accrue during the next 
two years preceding their removal shall, on account of the failure of 
crops, be expended in provision and clothing for the benefit of the poorer 
classes of the nation as soon after the ratification of this treaty as an 
appropriation shall be made. No interference is, however, intended 
with that part of the annuities due the Cherokees west under the treaty 
of 1819. 

19. This treaty is to be obligatory after ratification. 

20. The United States guarantee the payment of all unpaid just 
claims upon the Indians, without expense to them, out of the i)roper 
funds of the United States for the settlement of which a cession or ces- 
sions of l«nd has or have been heretofore made by the Indians in 

ixivcii.) SL'PPLEMENTAI, TREATY OF DECEMBER 2'J, 1^35. 257 

Georgia, provided the United States or State of Georgia has derived 
Iteueflt therefrom witLout having made payment tlierefor. 

Tliis article was inserted by unanimous request of the Clierokee com- 
mittee after the signing of the treaty, it being understood that its rejec- 
tion by the Senate of the United States should not impair auy other 
article of the treaty. 

On the 31st of December, 1835, James Eogers and John Smith, as 
delegates from the Western Cherokees, signed an agreement which is 
attached to the treaty wherein they agreed to its ])rovisious on behalf 
of the Western Cherokees, with the proviso that it should not affect 
any claims of the latter against the United States. 

MARCH I, 1836; PROCLAIMED MAY 23, 1836.' 

Agreed on between John F. Scliermerhorn, commissioner on the part of the 
United States, and the committee duly authorized at a general council held 
at Xew Echota, Georgia, to act for and on behalf of the Cherolee people. 


These articles were concluded as supplementary to the treaty of De 
cember iiO, 1835, and were ratified at the same time and as a part of 
that treaty. They were rendered necessary by the determination of 
President Jackson not to allow any pre-emptions or reservations, his de- 
sire being that the whole Cherokee people should remove together to 
the country west of the Mississippi. 

1. All pre-emption rights and reservations provided for in articles lii 
and 13 are declared void. 

2. The Cherokees having supposed that the sum of $5,000,0(10, fixed 
as the value of Cherokee lands, did not include the amount re<iuircd to 
remove them, nor the value of certain claims held bj' them against citi- 
zens of the United States, and the President being willing that the sub- 
ject should be referred to the Senate of the United States for any further 
provision that body should deem just, 

3. It is agreed, should it receive the concurrence of that body, to allow 
the Cherokees the sum of -$000,000, to include the expenses of removal 
and all claims against the United States not otherwise specifically pro- 
vided for, and to be in lieu of the aforesaid reservations and pre-emj)- 
tions and of the $300,000 for si)oliations provided in article 1 of the 
original treaty to which this is supplementary. This sum of $600,000 
shall be applied and distributed agreeably to the provisions of said 
treaty, the surplus, if any, to belong to the education fund. 

4. The provision of article 10 concerning the agency reservations is 
not intended to interfere with the occupant right of auy Cherokees 
whose improvements may fall within the same. 

■ United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 488. 
5 ETH 17 


Tlie $100,000 appropriated in article 12 for the jioorer class of Chero- 
kees, and intended as a setoff to the ijre-emption rights, shall now be 
added to the general national fund of ■*400,000. 

5. The expenses of negotiating the treaty and suijpleineut and of 
such persons of the Chei'okee delegation as may sign the same shall he 
defrayed by the United States. 

Note. — The following amendments were made by the United States 
Senate : In article 17 strike out the words " by General William Carroll 
and John F. Schermerhorn, or ; " also, in the same article, after the word 
" States," insert " bj' and with the advice and consent of the Senate of 
the United States;" and strike out the 20th article, which api^ears as 
a supplemental article. 


While the events connected with the negotiation and the execution of 
the treaty of 1828 with the Western Cherokees were occurring those 
Cherokees who yet remained in their old homes east of the Mississippi 
River were burdened with a continually increasing catalogue of dis- 
tressing troubles. So soon as the treaty of 1828 was concluded it was 
made known to them that inducements were therein held out for a con- 
tinuance of the emigration to the Arkansas country. Agent Mont- 
gomery was instructed' to use every means in his power to facilitate 
this scheme of removal, and especially among those Cherokees who re- 
sided within the chartered limits of Georgia. 

Secret agents were appointed and .$2,000 were authorized by the 
Secretary of War to be expended in purchasing the influence of the 
chiefs in favor of the project.^ A. If. S. Ilunter and J. S. Bridges were 
appointed' commissioners to value the improvements of the Cherokees 
who should elect to remove. 

After nearly a year of zealous work in the cause, xYgent Montgomery 
was only able to report the emigration of four hundred and thirty-one 
Indians and seventy-nine slaves, comparatively few of whom were from 
Georgia.'' Nine months later three hundred and forty-six persons had 
emigrated from within the limits of that State.^ The hostility mani- 
fested by the larger proportion of the Cherokees toward those who 
gave favorable consideration to the plan of removal was so great as to 
require the establishment of a garrison of United States troops within 
the nation for their protection.^ 

President Jackson's advice to the Cherokees. — Early in 182!),'' a delegation 
from the nation proceeded to Washington to lay their grievances before 

' May 27, 1828. 

- Letter of War Department to Hugh Montgomery, Cherokee agent, May 27, 1828, 
and to General William Carroll, May 30, 1829. 
3 December 18, 1828. 

■•Letter of T. L. McKenney to Secretary of War, November, 17, 1829. 
•''Letter of T. L. McKenney to Hugh Montgomery, Cherokee agent, August 6, 1830 
•^Letter of Cherokse delegation (East) to Secretary of War, January 21, 1829. 

ROVCF..1 . TREATY OF DECEMBER -lit, 1835. 259 

Presideut Jackson, but tbey found the Executive entertaining oiiinions 
about their rights very different from those which had been hehl 
by bis predecessors. They were advised ' that the answer to their 
claim of being an independent nation was to be found in the fact that 
during the Kevolutionary war the Cberokees were the allies of Great 
Britain, a power claiming entire sovereignty of the thirteen colonies, 
which sovereignty, by virtue of the Declaration of Independence and 
the subsequent treaty of 1783, became vested respectively in the thir- 
teen original States, including l^orth Carolina and Georgia. If they 
had since been permitted to abide on their lanils, it was by permission, 
a circumstance giving no right to deny the sovereignty of those States. 
Under the treaty of 1785 the United States " give peace to all the 
Cherokees and receive them into favor and pi'otection." Subsequently 
they had made war on the United States, and peace was not con- 
cluded until 1791. l>ro guarantee, however, was given by the United 
States adverse to the sovereignty of Georgia, and none could be given. 
Their course in establishing an independent go\erument within the 
limits of Georgia, adverse to her will, had been the cause of inducing 
her to depart from the forbearance she had so long i)racticed, and to 
provoke tbe passage of the recent^ act of her legislature, extending her 
laws and jurisdiction over their country. Tbe arms of the United 
States, the President remarked, would never be employed to stay any 
State of tbe Union from the exercise of the legitimate powers belong- 
ing to her in her sovereign capacity. No remedy for them could be 
perceived except removal west of the Mississippi Eiver, where alone 
peace and protection could be afforded them. To continue where they 
were could promise nothing but interruption and disquietude. Beyond 
the Mississippi the United States, possessing the sole sovereignty, could 
say to them that the land should be theirs while trees grow and water 

The delegation were much cast down by these expressions of the 
Presideut, but they abated nothing of their demand for protection in 
what they considered to be the just rights of their i)eople. They re- 
turned to their country more embittered than before against the Geor- 
gians, and lost no opportunity, by appeals to the patriotism as well as 
to the baser passions of their countrymen, to excite them to a determi- 
nation to protect their country at all hazards against Georgian encroach- 
ment and occupation.^ 


About this time* General William Carroll was designated by the 
President to make a tour through the Cherokee and Creek Nations, 

' Letter of Secretary of War to Cherokee delegation, April 18, 1829. 
•^ December 20, 1828. 

^Agent Montgomery to the Secretary of War, July 11, 1829. 
■•Secretary of War to General William Carroll, May 27, 1829. 


with both of which he was supposed to jiossess much iuflueuce. His 
mission was to urge upou them, aud especially iqion the former, the 
expedieucy of their removal west of the Mississippi under the induce- 
ments held out by the treaty of 1828. A month later' Col. E. F. Tat- 
nail and on the 8th of July General John Coffee were appointed to co- 
operate with General Carroll in the accomplishment of his mission. 
The results of this tour were communicated^ to the War Department 
by General Carroll in a report in which he remarked that nothing could 
be done with the Cherokees by secret methods; they were too intelli- 
gent and too well posted on the current news of the day to belong kept 
in ignorance of the methods and motives of those who came among them. 
He had met their leading men at Newtown and had submitted a i)ro- 
posal for their removal which was iieremptorily rejected. The advance- 
ment the Cherokees had made in religion, morality, general information, 
and agriculture had astonished him beyond measure. They had regu- 
lar preachers in their churches, the use of spirituous liquors was in 
great degree prohibited, their farms were worked much after the man- 
ner of white people, and were generally in good order. Many families 
jwssessed all the comforts and some of the luxuries of life. Cattle, 
sheep, hogs, and fowl of every kind were found in great abundance. 
The Cherokees had been induced by Eastern papers to believe thePres- 
id ent was not sustained by the people in bis views of their proposed 
removal. Eastern members of Congress had given their delegation to 
understand while in "Washington the preceding spri7ig that the memo- 
rial left by them protesting against the extension of the laws of Georgia 
fiud Alabama over Cherokee territory would be sustained by Congress, 
and that until that memorial had been definitely acted on by that body 
all propositions to them looking toward removal would be worse than 

Cherolcees refuse to cede lands in North Carolina. — In the early summer 
of 1829^ a commission had also been appointed, consisting of Humphrey 
Posey and a Mr. Saunders, having in view the purchase from the Cher- 
okees of that portion of their country within the limits of North Caro- 
lina, but it, too, failed wholly of accomplishing its purpose. 

Coercive measures of the United States and Georgia. — Sundry expedi- 
ents were resorted to, both by the General Government and by the au- 
thorities of Georgia, to compel the acquiescence of the Indians in the 
demands for their emigration. 

The act of the Georgia legislature of December 20, 1828, already 
alluded to, was an act "to add the territory within this State and occu- 
pied by the Cherokee Indians to the counties of Dc Kalb et ah, aud to 
extend the laws of this State over the same." This was followed* by 

' Juue 25, 1829. 
^November 19,1329. 
' Jinie2:i, 18 J9. 
"DecenibiT 19, l-'riSg. 

iiovcE.] TREATY OF DECEMBER 2!l, 1835. 261 

the passage of au act reasserting the territorial jurisdiction of Georgia 
and annulling all laws made by the Cherokee Indians. It farther de- 
clared that in any controversy arising between white persons and Indians 
the latter should be disqualified as witnesses. Supplementary legisla- 
tion of a sinular character followed in quick succession, and the procla- 
mation of the governor of the State was issued on the 3d of June, 1830, 
declaring the arrival of the date fixed by the aforesaid acts and the con- 
sequent subjection of the Cherokee tei'ritory to the State laws and 

The President of the United States about the same time gave direc- 
tions- to suspend the enrollment and removal of Cberokees to the west 
in small parties, accompanied by the remark that if they (the Ohero- 
kees) thought it for their interest to remain, they must take the conse- 
quences, but that the Executive of the United States had no power to 
interfere with the exercise of the sovereignty of any State over and 
upon all within its limits. The President also directed^ that the pre- 
vious practice of paying their annuities to the treasurer of the Chero- 
kee Nation should be discontinued, and that they be thereafter dis- 
tributed among the individual members of the tribe. Orders were 
shortly after^ given to the commandant of troops in the Cherokee 
country to prevent all persons, including members of the tribe, from 
opening up or working any mineral deiiosits within their limits. All 
these additional annoyances and restrictions placed upon the free ex- 
ercise of their supposed rights, so far from securing compliance with 
tiie wishes of the Government, had a tendency to harden the Cherokee 

' Among other legislation on this subject enacted by Georgia may be enumerated the 
following, viz : 

1. A penalty of forfeiture of all right to his laud and improvements was deuouuced 
against any Cherokee who should employ any while man, or the slave of auj' white 
man, as a tenaut-cropper, or assistant in agriculture, or as a miller or millwright, 

'i. Any Indian who should enroll for emigration and afterwards refuse to emigrate 
should forfeit all right to any future occupancy within the State. 

S. No Indian should l)e allowed the use of more than KiO acres of land, including 
his dwelling house. 

4. Grants were to be issued for all lots drawn in the late land and gold lottery, though 
they might lie within the improvemeuts of au Indian who had by any previous Cher- 
okee treaty received ii reservation either in Georgia or elsewhere. 

.5. No contract between a white man and au Indian, either verbal or written, should 
be binding unless established by the testimony of two white witnesses, 

(). Any Indian forcibly obstructing the occupancy by the drawer of auy lot drawn 
in the land and gold lottery should be sulyect to imprisonment in the discretion of 
the court. 

^Letter of War Department to Hugh Montgomery, Cherokee agent, June 9, 1830. 

•^Letter of Acting Secretary of War to H. Montgomery, Cherokee Agent, June 18, 

^ Letter of Acting Secretary of War to H. Montgomery, Cherokee Agent, June 26, 
1830. ■ 



In this situation of affairs Col. Joliu Lowry was appointed' a special 
commissioner to visit tlie Cherokee Nation and again lay before them 
a formal iiroposition for their removal west. The substance of Mr. 
Lowry's proposal as communicated by him to their national council^ 
was: (1) To give to the Clierokees a country west of the Mississippi, 
equal in value to tlie country they would leave ; (2) each warrior and 
widow living within tlie limits of Alabama or Tennessee was to "be 
permitted, if so desiriug, to select a reservation of 200 acres, which, if 
subsequently abandoned, was to be sold for the rcservee's benelit ; (3) 
each Indian desiring to become a citizen of the United States was to 
have a reservation in fee simple ; (4) all emigrants were to be removed 
and fed one year at the exjieuse of the United States, and to be com- 
pensated for all property, except horses, they should leave behind them, 
ami, (5) the nation was to be provided with a liberal school fund. 

Again the result was an emphatic refiisaP on the i)art of the Chero- 
kees to enter iuto negotiations on the subject. Other special commis- 
sioners and emissaries, of whom several were appointed in the next few 
months, met with the same reception. 


Determined to test the constitutionality of the hostile legislation of 
Georgia, apjilication was made at the January term, 1831, of the Su- 
preme Court of the United States, by John Eoss, as principal chief, in 
the name of the Cherokee Nation, for an injunction against the State of 
Geoi'gia. The application was based on the theory that the Cherokee 
Nation was a sovereign and independent power in the of the 
language of the second section of the third article of the Constitution 
of the United States providing for judicial jurisdiction of cases arising 
between a State, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens, or 
subjects. The majority of the court declared that the Cherokee Nation 
was not a foreign nation in the stated in the Conf5titution, and 
di.smi.ssed the suit for want of jurisdiction. From this decision, how- 
ever. Justices Thompson and Story dissented. •• 


No further formal attempt was made to secure a compliance with 
the wi.shes of the Government until the wiuter and spring of 1831-32. 
A delegation of Cherokees had visited Washington in the interests of 
their people, and though nothing m as accomplished through them, the 
language used by some members of the delegation had led the Govern- 

■ September 1, 1830. 
- October 20, 1830. 

'Action of Cherokee uatioual council, October 22, 1830. 

< Cherokee Niition vs. State of Georgia, Peters's United States Suiireme Court Re- 
ports, Vol. V, p. 1. 

uovcK.] . TREATY OF DECEMBER 29, 1S35. 263 

luent authorities to hope that a change of sentiiueut oa the subject of 
removal was rapidly taking place in their minds. In pursuance of this 
imiii'ession tlie Secretary of War, in the spring of 1832,' intrusted Mr. 
E. W. Chester with a mission to the Cherokees, and with instructions 
to offer them as a basis for the negotiation of a treaty the following 
terms : 

1. The United States to provide them with a country west of Arkan- 
sas sufficiently large for their accommodation. 

2. This country to be conveyed to them by patent under the act of 
Congress of May 28, 1830, and to be forever outside the limits of any 
State or Territory. 

3. The Clierokees to retain and possess all the powers of self-govern- 
ment consistent with a supervisory authority of Congress. 

4. To have an agent resident in Washington to represent their in- 
terest, who should be paid by the United States. 

5. With the consent of Congress they should be organized as a Terri- 
tory and be represented by a delegate in that body. 

0. AH white persons should be excluded from their country. 

7. The United States to remove them to their Dew country and to 
pay the expenses of such removal, which might be conducted in either 
of three ways, viz: 

[a) By a commutation in money, to be allowed either individuals or 

{!)) By persons to be appointed and paid by the United States. 

(c) By arrangement among themselves, through which some compe- 
tent person should remove them at a fixed rate. 

8. The United States to provide them with subsistence for one year 
after removal. 

9. An annuity to be secured to them proportioned to the value of the 
cession of territory the.v should make. 

10. The United States to pay for all Indian improvements upon the 
ceded land. 

11. Provision to be made for the support of schools, teachers, black- 
smiths and their supplies, mills, school-houses, churches, council-houses, 
and houses for the i)rincipal chiefs. 

12. A rifle to be presented to each adult male, and blankets, axes, 
plows, hoes, spinning-wheels, cards, and looms to each family. 

13. Indian live stock to be valued and paid for by the United States. 

14. Annuities under former treaties to be paid to them upon their 
arrival west of the Jlississippi. 

15. Provision to be made by the United States for Cherokee ori)han 

IG, Protection to be guaranteed to the Cherokees against hostile 

'April 17, 1832. 


17. A few individual reservatious to be pe'rinitted east of the Missis- 
sippi, but only on condition that tlie reservees shall become citizens of 
the State in which they reside, and that all reservations between them 
and the United States, founded upon their previous circumstances as 
Indians, must cease. 

Cherolees contemplate removal to Colinnhia River. — In the discussion 
of these propositions the fact was developed that a project had been 
canvassed, and had received much favorable considei-ation among the 
Cherokees themselves (in view of the difficulties and harrassiug- cir- 
cumstances surrounding their situation), to abandon their eastern home 
and to remove to the country adjacent to the mouth of the Columbia 
Eiver, on the Pacific coast. This proposition having reached the ears 
of the Secretary of War, he made haste, in a letter to Mr. Chester,' 
to discourage all idea of such a removal, predicated upon the theory 
that they would be surrounded by tribes of hostile savages, and would 
be too remote from .the frontier and military posts of the United States 
to enable the latter to extend to them the arm of protection and sup- 

Nothing was accomplished by the negotiations of Mr. Chester, and 
in the autumn- of the same year Governor Lumpkin, of Georgia, was 
recpiested to attend the Cherokee council in October and renew the 
proposition upon the same basis. A similar fate attended this attem])t. 


Among other laws passed by the State of Georgia was one that 
went into effect on the 1st of February, 1831, which prohibited the 
Cheroliees from holding councils, or assembling for any purpose ; pro- 
vided for a distribution of their lands among her citizens; required all 
whites tesiding in the Cherokee Nation within her chartered limits to 
take an oath of allegiance to the State, and made it an offense punish- 
able by four years' imprisonment in the penitentiary to refuse to do so. 
Under this law two missionaries, Messrs. Worcester and Butler, were 
indicted in the superior court of Gwinnett County for residing without 
license in that part of the Cherokee country attached to Georgia by her 
laws and in violation of the act of her legislature approved December 
23, 1830. In the trial of Mr. Worcester's case, which was subsequently 
made the test case in the Supreme Court of the United States, he 
pleaded that he was a citizen of Vermont and entered the Cherokee 
country as a missionary with the permission of the President of the 
United States and the approval of the Cherokee Nation : that Georgia 
ought not to maintain the prosecution inasmuch as several treaties had 
been entered into by the United States with the Cherokee Nation, by 
which the latter were acknowledged as a sovereign nation, and by which 
the territory occupied by them had been guaranteed to them by the 

1 July 18, 1832. 

« September 4, 1832. 

ROT.E.J TREATY OF DECEMBER 2!t, 1^33. 265 

United States. The superior court overruled tbis plea, and JMr. "Wor- 
cester was tried, convicted, and sentenced to four years in tlie peniten- 

The case was carried up on a writ of error to the Supreme Court of 
the United States, and that court asserted its jurisdiction. In render- 
ing its decision the court remarks that the princijjle that discovery of 
parts of the continent of America gave title to the government by 
whose subjects or by whose authority it was made against all other 
European governments, which title might be consummated by posses- 
sion, was acknowledged by all Europeans because it was the interest of 
all to acknowledge it, and because it gave to the nation making the dis- 
covery, as its inevitable consequence, the sole right of acquiring the 
soil and of making settlements on it. It was an exclusive principle 
which shut out the right of competition among those who had agreed 
to it, but not one which could annul the rights of those who had not 
agreed to it. It regulated the rights of the discoverers among them- 
selves, but could not affect the rights of those already in possession as 
aboriginal occupants. It gave the exclusive right of purchase, but did 
not found it on a denial of the right of the possessor to sell. The United 
States succeeded to all the claims of Great Britain, both territorial and 
political. Soon after Great Britain had determined on planting colonies 
in America the King granted sundry charters to his subjects. They 
purport generally to convey the soil from the Atlantic to the South Sea. 
The soil was occupied by numerous warlike nations, willing and able to 
defend their possessions. The absurd idea that feeble settlements made 
on the sea-coast acquired legitimate power to govern the people or oc- 
cupy the lands from sea to sea did not then enter the mind of any 
man. These charters simply conferred the right of purchasing such 
lands as the natives were willing to sell. The acknowledgment of 
dependence made in the various Cherokee treaties with Great Britain 
and the United States merely bound them as a dependent ally claiming 
the i)rotection of a jiowerful friend and neighbor and receiving the 
advantages of that protection, without involving a surrender of their 
national character. jSTeither the Government nor the Cherokees ever 
understood it otherwise. Protection did not imply the destruction of 
the protected. 

Georgia herself had furnislied conclusive evidence that her former 
opinions on the subject of the Indians concurred with those entertained 
by her sister States and by the Government of the United States. Vari- 
ous acts of her legislature had been cited in the argument of the case, 
including the contract of cession made in 1802, all tending to prove 
her acquiescence in the universal conviction that the Cherokee Nation 
possessed a full right to the lands they occupied, until that right should 
be extinguished by the United States with their consent; that their ter- 
ritory was separated from that of any State within whose chartered lim- 
its they might reside, by a boundary line estalilished by treaties; that 


within their boundary they possessed rights .with which no State could 
interfere, and that the whole power of regulating- the intercourse with 
them was vested in the United States. The legislation of Georgia on 
this subject was therefore unconstitutional and void.' 

Georgia refuses to siihmit to the decision of the Supreme Court. — Georgia 
refused to submit to the decision and alleged that the court possessed no 
right to pronounce it, she being by the Constitution of the United States 
a sovereign and independent State, and no new State could be formed 
within her limits without her consent. 

President JacksoTi's dilemma. — The President was thus placed between 
two fires, Georgia demanding the force of his authority to protect her 
constitutional rights by refusing to enforce the decision of the court, 
and the Cherokees demanding the maintenance of their rights as guar- 
anteed tliem under the treaty of 1701 and sustained by the decision of 
the Supreme ("ourt. 

It was manifest the request of both could not be complied with. If 
he assented to the desire of the Cherokees a civil war was likely to 
ensue with the State of Georgia. If he did not enforce the decision 
and protect the Cherokees, the faith of the nation would be violated.- 
In this dilemma a treaty was looked upon as the only alternative, by 
which the Cherokees should relin(iuish to the United States all their 
interest in lands east of the Mississippi and remove to the west of that 
river, and more earnest, urgent, and persistent pressure than before was 
applied from this time forward to compel their acquiescence in such a 


Mention has already been made in discussing the terms of the treaty 
of September 22, ISIG, of the complications arising out of the question 
of disputed boundaries between the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, and 
Chickasaws. These disputes related chiefly to an adjustment of bound- 
aries within the Territory of Alabama, rendered necessary for the defi- 
nite ascertainment of the limits of tlie Creek cession of 1814. But as 
a result of the Cherokee cession of 1817 and the Creek cessions of 1818, 
1821, 1826, and 1827, the true boundary between the territories of these 
two latter nations became not only a matter of dispute, but one that 
for yeai's lent additional bitterness to the contest between the people 
of Georgia and the Indians, especially the Cherokees. Prior to the 
Eevolution, the latter had claimed to own the territory witluu the limits 
of Georgia, as far -south as the waters of Broad Eiver, and extending 
from the headwaters of that river westward. Some of this territory 

' Worcester vs. State of Georgia, Peters's United States Supreme Court Reports, Vol. 
VI, p. 515. 

2 According to tlie statement of Hon. Geo. X. Briggs, a member of Congress from 
Massachusetts, President Jackson remarlied, after the case of Worcester rs. State of 
Georgia was decided, "Well, John Marshall has made his decision, now let him en- 
force it." 

80TCE.J TREATY OF Di;CE>IBER 2J, 18X5. 267 

was also claimed by the Creeks, aud the British Government had 
therefore in purchasing it accepted a cession from those tribes jointly.' 

At the beginning of the Federal relations with the Cherokees, a deti- 
uition of their boundaries bad been made by treaty of Xovember 28, 
17S5, extending on the south as far west as the headwaters of the 
Appalachee Eiver. Beyond that jioint to the west no declaration as to 
the limits of the Cherokee territory was made, because, for the purposes 
of the Fedei-al Government, none was at that time necessary. But 
when in course of time other cessions came to be made, both by the 
Cherokees and Creeks, it began to be essential to have an exact defi- 
nition of the line of limits between them. Especially was this the case 
when, as by the terms of the Creek treaty of February 12, 1825,= they 
ceded all the territory to which they laid claim within the limits of 
Georgia, and although this treaty was afterwards declared void by the 
United States, because of alleged fraud, Georgia always maintained 
the propriety and validitj' of its negotiation. 

As early as June 10, 1802, a delegation of Cherokees interviewed 
Colonel Hawkins aud General Pickens, and after demanding the re- 
moval of certain settlers claimed to be on their lands, asserted the 
boundary of their nation in the direction of the Creeks to be the path 
running from Colonel Easley's, at High Shoals of the Appalachee, to 
Etowah Eiver. This they had agreed upon in council with the Creeks. 
A delegation of the Creeks, whom they brought with them from the 
council, were then interrogated on the subject by Messrs. Hawkins aud 
Pickens, and they replied that the statement of the Cherokees was cor- 

In the spring of 1814 (May 15) Agent Meigs had written the Secre- 
tary of War that the Cherokees were sensible that the Creeks ought to 
cede to the CJnited States sutlicient land to fully compensate the latter 
for the expenses incurred in prosecuting the Creek war. However, they 
(the Cherokees) were incidentally interested in the arrangements, and 
hoped that the United States would not permit the Creeks to point out 
the specitic boundaries of their cession until the division line between 
the two nations had been definitely determined. In the following year, 
in a discussion of the subject with Colonel Hawkins, the Creek agent, 
Colonel Meigs declares that the Cherokees repel the idea entertained by 
the Creeks that the Cherokee or Teiniessee Eiver was ever their southern 
boundary. On the contrary, the dividing line between the territories of 
the two nations should begin at Vaun's Old Store, on the Ocmulgee 
Eiver, thence pursuing such a course as would strike the Coosa Eiver 
below the Ten Islands. This claim was predicated upon the assertion 
that the Cherokees had in the course of three successive wars with the 
Creeks driven them more than a degree of latitude below the point last 

1 Treaty June 1, 1773, between the British superintendent of Indian afi'airs and the 
Creeks aud Cherokees. 
^United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 237. 


named. Another Cherokee version was to the eftect that at a joint 
council of the two nations, held prior to the Eevolutiouary War, the 
boundary question was a subject of discussion, when it was agreed to 
allow the oldest uuin in the Creek Nation to determine the point. This 
man was James McQueen, a soldier who had deserted from Oglethorpe's 
command soon after the settlement of Savannah. McQueen decided 
that the boundary should be a line drawn across the headwaters of 
Hatchet and Elk Creeks, the former being a branch of the Coosa and 
the latter a tributary of the Tallapoosa. This decision was predicated 
upon the fact that the Cherokees had driven the Creeks below this line, 
and it had been mutually agreed that it should constitute the boundary. 

In contradiction of this it was asserted by the Creeks that in the year 
181S it had been admitted at a public meeting of the Creeks by "Sour 
Mush,"' a Cherokee chief, that the Creeks owned all the land up to the 
head of Coosa River, iucluding all of its waters; that the Tennessee was 
the Cherokee Eiver, and the territories of the two nations joined on the 
dividing ridge between those rivers. In former times, on the Chatta- 
hoochee, the Cherokees had claimed the country as low down as a 
branch of that river called Choky (Soquee) Eiver. Subsequently they 
■were told by the Coweta king, that they might live as low down as the 
Currahee Mountain, but that their young men had now extended their 
claim to Hog Mountain, without however any shadow of right or 

With a view to an amicable adjustment of their respective rights a 
council was held between the chiefs and headmen of the two nations at 
the residence of General William Mclutosh, in the Creek country, at 
which a treaty was concluded between themselves on the 11th of De- 
cember, 1820. In the first article of this treaty the boundary line be- 
tween the two nations was fixed as running from the Buzzard's Eoost, 
on the Chattahoochee, in a direct line to the Coosa Eiver, at a point 
opposite the month of Wills Town Creek, and thence down the Coosa 
Eiver to a point opposite Fort Strother. This boundary was reaffirmed 
by them in a subsequent treaty concluded October 30, 1822.^ 

The Cherokee treaty of 1817 had assumed to cede a tract of couutiy 
" Beginning at the high shoals of the Appalachy Eiver and running 
thence along the boundary line between the Creek and Cherokee Xa- 
tious westwardly to the Chatahouchy Eiver," etc. 

The Creek treaty of ISIS ' in turn ceded a tract the northern bound- 
ary of which extended from Suwanee Old Town, on the Chattahoochee, 
to the head of Appalachee Eiver, and which overlapped a considerable 
portiou of the Cherokee cession of 1817. 

The Creek treaty of 1S21-' ceded a tract running as far north as the 
Shallow Ford of the Chattahoochee, which also included a portion of 

'Letter of D. B. Mitchell, Creek agent, to Secretary of War. 

-See Indian Office files for these two treaties. 

' United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 171. 

'lb., p. 215. 

i;ovcE,l TREATY OF DECEMBER 2!1, H35. 269 

the territory within the limits of the Cherokee domain, as claimed by 
the latter. 

By tlw? treatj- of lS2.j ' with the Creeks they ceded all their remain- 
ing territory in Georgia. Complaint being made that this treatj' had 
been eutered into by only a small nonrepreseutative faction of that 
nation, an investigation was entered upon by the United States anthori- 
ties, and as the result it was determined to declare the treaty void and 
to negotiate a new treaty with them, which was done on the 2ith of 
January, 1826.^ 

By this last treaty as amended the Creeks ceded all their laud east 
of the Cljattahoochee River, as well as a tract north and west of that 
river. In the cession of this latter tract it was assumed that a point 
on Chattahoochee Hiver known as the Buzzard's Boost was the northern 
limit of the Creek sui)remacy. 

The authorities of Georgia strongly insisted that not only had the 
treaty of 1825 been legitimately concluded, whereby they were entitled 
to come into possession of all the Creek domain within her limits, but 
also that the true line of the Creek limits toward the north had been 
much higher up than would seem to have been the understanding of 
the parties to the treaty of 1826. 

In the following year the Creeks cedcij all remaining territory they 
might have within the limits of Georgia.'' This left the only question 
to be decided between the State of Georgia and the Cherokees the one 
of just boundaries between the latter and the country recently acquired 
from the Creeks. 

The War Department had been of the impression that the proper 
boundary between the two nations was a line to be run directly from 
the High Shoals of the Appalachee to the Ten Islands, or Turkeytown, 
on the Coosa Kiver.'' On this hypothesis Agent Mitchell, of the Creeks, 
had been instructed, if he could do so, ''without exciting their sensi- 
bilities," to establish it as the northern line of the Creek I^ation. 

Georgia, on the contrary, claimed that the proper boundary extended 
from Suwanee Old Town, on the Chattahoochee, to Sixes Old Town, on 
the Etowah lliver; from thence to the junction of the Etowah and Oos- 
tanaula Kivers, and following the Creek path from that point to Ten- 
nessee River. In pursuance of this claim Governor Forsytii instructed^ 
Mr. Samuel A. Wales as the surveyor for that State to proceed to es- 
tablish the line of limits in accordance therewith. Mr. Wales, upon 
commencing operations, was met with a protest from Colonel Montgom- 
ery, the Cherokee agent,'' notwithstanding which he continued his op- 
erations in couformitj' with his original instructions. 

' United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 237. 

^Ib., p. 289. 

Ub., p. 307 ; Creek treaty of Xovember 15, 1327. 

' Letter of Secretary of War to D. B. Mitchell, Creek agent. 

=^ Letter of Goveruor Forsyth, of Georgia, to Samuel A. Wales, M.ay 5, 1329. 

" Letter of Montgomery to Wales, May 13, 1829. 


This action of the surveyor having produced a feeling of great excite- 
ment and hostility within the Cherokee Nation, rendering the danger 
of collision and bloodshed itnininent, the United States autliorities took 
the matter in hand, and, by direction of the President, General John 
Coffee was appointed and instructed' to proceed to the Cherokee Na- 
tion, and from the most reliable information and testimony attainable 
to report what, in his judgment, should in justice and fairness to all 
parties concerned be declared to be the true line of limits between 
Georgia', as the successor of the Creeks, and the Cherokee Nation. 

General Coffee proceeded to the performance of the duty thus as- 
signed him. A large mass of testimony and tradition on the subject 
was evoked, in summing np which General Coffee reported^ to the Sec- 
retary of War that the line of demarkation between the two nations 
should begin at the lower Shallow Ford of the Chattahoochee, which 
was about 15 miles below the Suwanee Old Town. From thence the 
line should run westwardly in a direction to strike the ridge dividing 
the waters running into Little liiver (a branch of the Hightower or 
Etowah) from those running into Sweet Water Creek (a branch of the 
Chattahoochee emptying about 2 miles below Buzzard's Eoost). From 
this point such ridge should be followed westwardly, leaving all the 
waters falling into Hightower and Coosa Elvers to the right and all 
the waters that run southwardly into Chattahoochee and Tallapoosa 
Rivers to the left, until such ridge should intersect the line (which had 
been previously as per agreement of ISL'l between the Creeks and Cher- 
okees themselves) run and marked from Buzzard Roost to Wills Creek, 
and thence with this line to the Coosa River opposite the mouth of 
Wills Creek. 

Two weeks later-' General Coffee, in a communication to the Secre- 
tary of War, alludes to the dissatisfaction of Georgia with the line as 
determined by him, and her claim to an additional tract of territory by 
remarking that " I have thought it right to give this statement for jour 
own and the eye of the President only, that you may the better appre- 
ciate the character of the active agents and partisans of the Georgia 
claim, for really I cannot see any reasonable or plausible evidence on 
which she rests her claim." 

The President, after a careful examination of the testimony and much 
solicitude upon the subject, decided to approve General Coftee's recom- 
mendation. The Cherokee agent was therefore directed^ to notify all 
white settlers living north of Coffee's line to remove at once. The gov- 
ernor of Georgia was also notified of the President's decision, and, 
though strongly and persistently protesting against it, the President 

' October 10, 1829. 
■ December 30, 1829. 
3 January 15, 1830. 
* Marcli 14, 1830. 

K..VIKJ TREATY OF DECEMBER t>1, li=>35. 271 

firmly refused to revoke his uctiou.' The Cherokees were equally dis- 
satisfied with the decision, because the liue was not fixed as far south 
as Buzzard's Roost, in accordance with the agreeineut of 1821 between 
themselves and the Creeks.^ 

' Secretary of AVar to Governor Gilmer, of Georgia, June 1, 1830. 

- The following paper, which is on file in the Office of Indian Affairs, is interesting 
in connection with the subject matter of this boundary : 

Extract from treaties and other documents relative to the Cherokee lines in con- 
tact with the Creeks and Chickasaws west of Coosa River : 

"June 10, 1786. — In the treaty of this date witli the Chickasaws the lands allotted 
them eastwardly ' shall be the lands allotted to the Choctaws and Cherokees to live 
and hunt on.' In the conference which took place between the commissioners of the 
United States and the Chickasaws and Cherokees, it was apparent that their claims 
conflicted with each other on the ridge dividing the waters of Cumberland from those 
of Duck River and around to the Chickasaw Oldtown Creek on Tennessee, thence 
sontliwardly, leaving the mountains above the Muscle Shoals on the south side of the 
river, and to a large stone or flat rock, where the Choctaw line joined witli the Chicka- 
saws. The journal of occurrences at the time were lodged with the papers of the 
old Congress, and probably were transferred to the office of Secretary of State. On 
the 7th of January, 1806, in a convention between the United States and Cherokees, 
on the part of the former by Mr. Dearborn, the United States engaged to use their 
best endeavors to fix a boundary between the Cherokees and Chickasaws, ' beginning 
at the mouth of Caney Creek, near the lower part of the Muscle Shoals, and to run 
up the said creek to its head, and in a direct line from thence to the flat stone or 
rock, the old corner boundary,' the line between the Creeks and Cherokees east of 
Coosau River. 

"In 1802, at the treaty of Fort Wilkinson, it was agreed between the parties that the 
line was ' from the High Shoals on Apalatebe, the old path, leaving Stone Mountain 
to the Creeks, to the shallow ford on the Chatahoochee.' 

"This agreement was in presence of the commissioners of the United States and 
witnessed by General Pickens and Colonel Hawkins. On the 10th October, 18uy, a 
letter was sent from the Cherokees to the Creeks and received in February in the 
public square at Tookauliatche, stating the line agreed upon at Fort Wilkinson, and 
that 'all the waters of Etowah down to the ten islands below Turkeytowu these 
lands were given up to the Cherokees at a talk at Chestoe in presence of the Little 
Prince, and Tustunnuggee Thlueco Chulioah, of Tnrkeystowu, was the interpreter.' 

"In August, 1814, at the treaty of Fort Jackson, the Creeks and Cherokees were in- 
vited to settle their claims, and Colonel Meigs was engaged for three or four days in 
aiding them to do so. The result was they could not agree, but would at sOme con- 
venient period agree. This was signed by General Jackson, Colonel Hawkins, and 
Colonel Meigs. 

"At the convention with the Creeks, in September, 1815, the Cherokees manifested 
a sincere desire to settle their boundaries with the Creeks, but the latter first declined 
and then refused. Tustunnuggee Thlueco, being asked where their boundary was 
west of Coosau, said there never was any boundary fixed and known as such between the 
parties, and after making Tennessee the boundary from tradition, and that the Chero- 
kees obtained leave of them to cross it, the policy of the Creeks receiving all de- 
stroyed red people in their confederacy, the Cherokees were permitted to come over 
and settle as low down on the west of Coosau as Haulnthee Hatchee, from theuce on 
the west side of Coosau on all its waters to its source. He has never heard, and he 
has examined all his people who can have any knowledge on the subject, that the 
Cherokees had any pretensions lower down Coosau on that side. He does not believe, 
and he has never heard, there was any boundary agreed upon between them. Being 
asked by Colonel Hawkins his opinion where the boundary should be, he says it 



A delegatiou of the Cherokees, with John Eoss at their head, was 
quartered in Wasliington during the gniater part of the winter of 
1832-33, bringing to bear in behalf of their nation every possible in- 
fluence upon both Congress and the Executive. A vohiminous corre- 
spondence was conducted between .them and the War Department ui)on 
the subject of their proposed removal. In a comnmuicatiou on the 2Sth 
of January, 1833, they ask leave to say that, notwithstanding the various 
jierplexities which the Cherokee people had experienced under the 
course of policy pursued toward them, they were yet unshaken in their 
objections to a removal west of the Mississippi River. On the question 
of their rights and the justice of their cause, their minds were equally 
unchangeable. They were, however, fully sensible that justice and 
weakness could not control the array of oppressive power, and that in 
the calamitous effects of such power, already witnessed, they coukl not 
fail to foresee with equal clearness that a removal to the west would 
be followed in a few years by consequences no less fatal. 

They therefore suggested for the consideration of the President, 
whether it would not be practicable for the Government to satisfy the 
claims of Georgia by granting to those of her citizens who had in the 
lotteries of that State drawn lots of land within Cherokee limits other 

should go up Hauhithee Hatchoe, passing a level of good land between two mount- 
ains, to tbe bead of Itcbaii Hatcbee, and down tbe .same to Tennessee, about S or 9 
miles above Nickajijck. In tbe year 1793 tbe Cberokees had a settlement at tbe Mus- 
cle Sboal.s, Doublebead and Katagiskee were the chiefs, and the Creeks had a small 
settlement above the Creek path on Tennessee. Tbe Cherokee settlement extended 
southwardly from the shoal probably a mile and a half. The principal temporary 
agent for Indian affairs south of the Ohio was early instructed in 1777 to ascertain 
the boundarj' line of the four nations, and instructions were given accordingly by 
bim to Mr. Binsraore and Mr. Mitchell to aid iu doing it. Several attempts were 
made, but all proved abortive, owing to tbe policy of tbe Creeks, which was to 
unite tbe four nations in one confederacy and the national affairs of all to be iu a 
convention to be held annually among the Creeks, where the speaker for the Creeks 
should preside. 

"At every attempt made amoug tbe Creeks when these conveutions met, tbe answer 
was, 'We have no dividing lines, nor never bad, between us. We have lines only 
between us and tbe white people, our neighbors.' At times, when tbe subject was 
discussed in the convention of the Creeks, tbey claimed Tombigby, called by them 
Cboctaw River (Choctau Hatcbee), the boundary line between them and the Choc- 
taws. Tustunneggee Hopoie, brother of the old Efau Hajo (mad dog), who died at 
ninety-sis years of age, and retained strength of memory and intelligence to this 
great age, reported publicly to tbe agent, ' When be was a boy bis father's hunting 
camp was at Puttaucbau Hatcbee (Black Warrior).' His father had long been at the 
head of the Creeks, and always told bim ' Choctaw River was their boundary with 
the Chootaws.' He never saw a Choctaw hunting camp on this side the Black War- 

"A true copy from the original. 


"Ast. A. I. A." 

rotcj:.] TKEATY op DECEMBER 29, 1835. 273 

lands of the United States lying within the Territories and States of 
the Union, or in some other way. 

The Premlent urges their assent to removal. — The Secretary of War, in 
replying for the President (February 2, 1833), was unable to see that any 
practicable plan could be adopted by which the reversionary rights 
held under the State of Georgia could be purchased upon such terms 
as would justify tlie Government in entering into a stipulation to that 
effect. iSTor would it at all remove the difficulties and embarrassments 
of their condition. They would still be subject to the laws of Georgia, 
surrounded by white settlements and exposed to all those evils which 
had always attended the Indian race when placed in immediate contact 
with the white population. It was only by removing from these sur- 
roundings that they could expect to avoid the fate which had already 
swept away so many Indian tribes. 

Rep'y of John Rons. — Ross retorted, in a communication couched in 
diplomatic language, that it was with great diffidence and deep regret 
he felt constrained to say, that in this scheme of Indian removal he 
could see more of expediency and policy to get rid of the Cherokees 
than to perpetuate their lace upon any permanent, fundamental prin- 
ciple. If the doctrine that Indian tribes could not exist contiguous to 
a white population should prevail, and they should be compelled to 
remove west of the States and Territories of this republic, what was to 
prevent a similar removal of them from there for the same reason ? 

Without securing any promises of relief, and without reaching any 
definite understanding with the executive authorities of the Govern- 
ment, the delegation left for their homes in March, 1S33. The}' agreed, 
however, to lay before their national council in' the ensuing JMay a prop- 
osition jnade to them by the President, ofi'ering to pny them §2,500,000 
in goods for their lands, with the proviso that they should remove theai- 
selves at their own expense.' This proposition, it is hardly necessary 
to remark, was not favorably considered by the council, tliough the 
Secretary of War designated- Mr. Benjamin F. Curry to attend the 
meeting and urge its acceptance. 

Alleged attempted bribery of John Ross. — In this connection a story 
having been given currency that the Government had offered Chief 
Eoss a bribe, provided he would secure the conclusion of a treaty of 
cession and i-emoval, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs denied it as 
being " utterly without foundation, and one of those vile expedients 
that uni)rincipled men sometimes practice to accomplish an evil pur- 
pose," and as being "too incredible to do much injury."^ While this 
story was perhaps without solid foundation in fact, its improbability 
would possibly^ have been more evident but for the fact that only five 
years earlier the Secretary of War had appointed secret agents and 

' Letter of Secretary of War to Goveruor Lumpkin, of Georgia, March 12, 1833. 
- .March -Jl, 1833. 

'Commissioner of Indian Affairs to Agent Montgomery, April '22, 1H3:!. 


authorized them to expend $2,000 in bribing the chiefs for this very 
purpose, and had made his action in this respect a matter of public 


In January, 1834, a few weeks after the assembling of Congress, the 
Cherokee delegation again arrived in AYashington.' Sundry inter- 
views and considerable correspondence with the War Department 
seemed barren of results or even hope. The delegation submitted^ a 
proposition for adjustment in another form. Remarking upon their 
feeble numbers, and surrounded as they were by a nation so powerful 
as the United States, they could not but clearly see, they said, that their 
existence and permanent welfare as a people must depend upon that 
relation which should eventually lead to an amalgamation with the 
people of the United States. As the prospects of securing this object 
collectively, in their present location in the character of a territorial or 
State government, seemed to be seriously oi)posed and threatened by 
the States interested in their own aggrandizement, and as the Chero- 
kees had refused, and would never voluntarily consent, to remove west 
of the Mississippi, the question was propounded whether the Govern- 
ment would enter into an arrangement on the basis of the Cherokees 
becoming prospectively citizens of the United States, provided the 
former would cede to the United States a portion of their territory for 
the use of Georgia; and whether the United States would agree to 
have the laws and treaties executed and enforced for the effectual pro- 
tection of the Cherokees on the remainder of their territory for a defi- 
nite period, with the understanding that upon the expiration of that 
period the Cherokees were to be subjected to the laws of the States 
within whose limits they might be, and to take an individual standing 
as citizens thereof, the same as other free citizens of the United States, 
with liberty to dispose of their surplus lands in such manner as might 
be agreed upon. 

Cherol-cc proposals declined. — The reply^ to this proposition was that 
the President did not see the slightest hope of a termination to the em- 
barrassments under which the Cherokees labored except in their re- 
moval to the country west of the Mississii)pi. 

Troposal of Andrew Ross. — In the mean time'' Andrew Eoss, who was 
a member of the Cherokee delegation, suggested to the Commissioner 
of Indian Affairs that if he were authorized .so to do he would ])roceed 
to the Cherokee country and bring a few chiefs or respectable individ- 
uals of the nation to Washington, with whom a treaty could be effected 
for the cession of the whole or part of the Cherokee territory. His plan 

1 Secret.iry of War to Governor Lumpkin, of Georgia, January 28, 1S34. 
-Marcli 28, 1834. 
^Mayl, 1S34. 
<JIareh3, 1834. 

RovcE.l . TREATY OF DECEMBER 2.), 1^55. 2(0 

was ai)i)rovecl, witli the understaudiiig that if a treaty should be cou- 
cluded the expenses of the delegation would be paid by the United 
States. Eoss succeeded in asscmbliug some fifteen or twenty Oherokees 
at the Cherokee agency, all of whom were favorable to the scheme of 
emigration. Under the self-styled appellation of a committee, they pro- 
ceeded to appoint a chief and assistant chief in the persons of William 
Hicks and John Mcintosh, and selected eight of their own number as 
the remainder of the delegation to visit Washiugton.' 

Protest of John Ross and thirteen thousand Cherol-ees. — Upon their ar- 
rival Hon. J. H. Eaton was designated - to conduct the negotiations 
with them. During the pendency of the negotiations Mr. Eaton ad- 
vised John Eoss of the pur^jose in view and solicited his co-operation 
in the scheme. Mr. Eoss refu.sed ^ this proposal with much warmth, 
and took occasion to add in behalf of the Cherokee Nation that "in the 
face of Heaven and earth, before God and man, I most solemnly pro- 
test against any treaty whatever being entered into with those of 
whom you say one is in progress so as to ati'ect the rights and interests 
of the Cherokee Nation east of the Mississipjii Eiver." 

Chief Eoss also i)resented a iirotest, alleged to Lave been signed by 
more than thirteen thousand Cherokees, against the negotiation of such 
a treaty. 

Preliminary treaty concluded tcith Andreio Ross et al. — Disregarding 
the protest of Chief Eoss and distrusting the verity of that pui-porting 
to have been so numerously signed in the nation, the negotiations 
proceeded, and a treaty or agreement was concluded on the 19th day of 
June, 1834. The treaty provided for the opening of emigrant enrolling 
books, with a memorandum heading declaring the assent of the sub- 
scriber to a treaty yet to be concluded with the United States based 
upon the terms previously offered by the President, covering a cession 
and removal, and with the proviso that if no such subsequent treaty 
should be concluded within the next few months then the subscribers 
would cede to the United States all their right and interest in the 
Cherokee lands east of the Mississippi. In consideration of this they 
were to be removed and subsisted for one year at the expense of the 
United States, to receive the ascertained value of their improvements, 
and to bo entitled to all such stipulations as should thereafter be made 
in favor of those who should not then remove. 

The treaty, however, failed of ratification, though the enrolling books 
were opened^ and a few of the Cherokees entered their names for em- 


While the negotiations leading up to the conclusion of this treaty 
were in progress John Eoss and his delegation, finding no disposition 

' Letter of John Ross and others to Secretary of War, inclosing protest, May 24, 1834. 
^ Letter of Hon. J. H. Eaton to John Ross, May 26, 1834. 
^ May 29, 1834. 

■• Secretary of War to govorncr of Georgia, July 6, 1834. 


on the part of the executive authority to enter into a discussion of 
Cherokee affairs predicated upon any other basis than an abandonment 
by them of their homes and country east of the Mississii)pi, presented ^ 
a memorial to Congress comphiining of the injuries done them and 
praying for redress. Without affecting to pass judgment on the merits 
of the controversy, the writer thinks this memorial well deserving of re- 
production here as evidencing the devoted and pathetic attachment with 
which the Cherokees clung to the land of their fathers, and, remembering 
the wrongs and humiliations of the past, refused to be convinced that 
justice, prosperity, and happiness awaited them beyond the Mississippi. 

The memorial of the Cherokee Nation respectfully showeth, that they approach 
your honorable bodies as the representatives of the people of the United States, in. 
trusted by them under the Constitution witli the exercise of their sovereign power, to 
ask for protection of the rights of your memorialists and redress of their grievances. 

They respectfully represent that their rights, beiug stipulated by numerous solemn 
treaties, which guaranteed to them protection, and guarded as they supposed bylaws 
enacted by Congress, they had hoped that the approach of d.inger would be pre- 
vented by the interposition of the power of the Executive charged with the execu- 
tion of treaties and laws; and that when their rights should come in question they 
would be and authoritatively decided by the judiciary, whose decrees it 
would be the duty of the Executive to see carried into effect. For many years these 
their just hopes were not disappointed. 

The public faith of the United States, solemnly pledged to them, was duly kept in 
form and substance. Happy under the parental guardianship of the United States, 
they .applied themselves assiduously and successfully to learu the lessons of civiliza- 
tion and peace, which, in the prosecution of a humane and Christian policy, the 
United States caused to be taught them. Of the advances they have made under the 
influence of this benevolent system, they might a few years ago have been tempted 
to spe.ak with pride and satisfaction and wilh grateful hearts to those who have 
been their instructors. They could have pointed with pleasure to the houses they 
bad built, the improvements they had made, the fields they were cultivating ; they 
could have exhibited their domestic establishments, and shown how from wandering 
in the forests many of them had become the heads of families, with fixed habitations, 
each the center of a domestic circle like that which forms the happiness of civilized 
man. They could have shown, too, how the arts of industry, human knowledge, and 
letters had been introduced amongst them, and how the highest of all the knowledge 
had come to bless them, teaching them to know and to worship the Christian's God, 
bowing down to Him at the same seasons .and in the same spirit with millions of His 
creatures who inhabit Christendom, and with them embracing the hopes and promises 
of the Gospel. 

But now each of these blessings has been made to them an instrument of the keen- 
est torture. Cupidity has fastened its eye upon their lands and their homes, and is 
seeking by force and by every variety of oppression and wrong to expel them from 
their lands and their homes and to tear them from all that has become endeared to 
them. Of what they have already suffered it is impossible for them to give the de- 
tails, as they would make a history. Of what they are menaced with by unlawful 
power, every citizen of the United States who reads the public journals is aware. In 
this their distress they have appealed to the judiciary of the United States, where their 
Tights have been solemnly established. They have appealed to the Executive of the 
United States to protect these rights according to the obligations of treaties and the 
injunctions of the laws. But this appeal to the Executive has been made in vain. 

'May 17, 1834. 


111 the liopo by yielding something of their clear rights Ihey might succeed in 
obtaiiiiug security for the remainder, they have lately opened a corresiiondeuce with 
the Executive, ofl'ering to make a considerable cession from what had been reserved 
to them by solemn treaties, only upon condition that they might be protected in the 
part not ceded. But their earnest supplication has been unheeded, and the only an- 
swer they can get, informs them, in substance, that they must be left to their fate, or 
renounce the whole. AVhat that fate is to be unhappily is too plain. 

The State of Georgia has assumed jurisdiction over tliem, has invaded their terri- 
tory, lias claimed the right to dispose of their lands, and has actually proceeded to 
dispose of them, reserving only a small portion to individuals, and even these por- 
tions are threatened and will no doubt, soon bo taken from them. Thus the nation 
is stripped of its territory and individuals of their property without the least color of 
right, and in open violation of the gu.arantee of treiities. At the same time the 
Cherokees, deprived of the protection of their own government and laws, are left 
without the iirotection of any other laws, outlawed as it were and exposed to indigni- 
ties, imprisonment, persecution, and even to death, though they have committed no 
offense whatever, save .and except that of seeking to enjoy what belongs to them, 
and refusing to yield it up to those who have no pretense of title to it. Of the acts 
of the legislature of Georgia your memorialists will endeavor to furnisli copies to 
your bodies, and of the doings of individuals they will furnish evidence if 
required. And your memorialists further respectfully represent that the Executive 
of the United St.ates has not only refused to protect your memorialists against the 
wrongs they have suffered and are still suffering at the hands of unjust cupidity, but 
has done much more. It is but too plain that, for several years past, the power of 
the Executive been exerted on the side of their oppressors and is co-operating 
with them in the work of destruction. Of two particulars in the conduct of the Ex- 
ecutive your memori.alists would make mention, not merely as matters of evidence 
but iis specific subjects of complaint iu addition to the more general ones .already 

The iirst of these is the mode adopted to oppress and injure your memorialists under 
color of enrollments for emigration. Untit iiersons are introduced as agents, acts are 
practiced by them that are, unworthy, and demoralizing, and have no object 
but to force your memorialists to yield and abandon their rights by making their lives 
intolerably wretched. They forbear to go into particulars, which nevertheless they 
are prepared, at .a proper time, to exhibit. 

The other is calculated also to weaken and distress your memorialists, and is e.ssen- 
tially unjust. Heretofore, until within the last four years, the money appropriated 
by Congress for annuities has been paid to the nation, by whom it was distributed and 
used for the benefit of the nation. And this method of jiayment was not only sanc- 
tioned by the usage of the Government of the United States, but was acceptable to the 
Cherokees. Yet, without any cause known to your memorialists, and contrary to 
their just expectations, the payment has been withheld for the period just mentioned, 
on the ground, then for the first time assumed, that the annuities were to be paid, not 
as hitherto, to the nation, but to the individual Cherokees, each his own small 
fraction, dividing the whole according to the numbers of the nation. The fact is, that 
for the last four years the annuities have not been paid at all. 

The distribution in this new way was impracticable, if the Cherokees had been 
willing thus to receive it, but they were not willing ; they have refused and the an- 
nuities have remained unpaid. Your memori-alists forbear to advert to the motives 
of such conduct, leaving them to be considered and ai^preciated by Congress. All 
they will say is, that it has coincided with other measures adopted to reduce them 
to poverty and despair and to extort from their wretchedness a concession of their 
guaranteed rights. Having failed in their efforts to obtain relief elsewhere, your 
memorialists now appeal to Congress, and respectfully pray that your honorable bodies 
will look into their whole case, and that such measures may be adopted as will give 
them redress and security. 



Rival delegations headed by Boss and Eidgc. — But little else was doue 
aud iiractically nothing was accomplished until the following winter. 
Early in February, 1835, two rival delegations, each claiming to repre- 
sent the Cherokee Nation, arrived in Washington. One was headed 
by John Eoss, who had long been the principal chief and who was the 
most intelligent and influential man in the nation. The rival delega- 
tion was led by John Eidge, who had been a subchief and a man of 
some considerable influence among his people.' The Eoss delegation 
had been consistently and bitterly opposed to any negotiations having 
in view the surrender of their territory and a removal west of the 
Mississippi. Eidoe, and his delegation, though formerly of the same 
mind with Eoss, had begun to perceive the I'utility of farther opposi- 
tion to the demands of the State aud national authorities. Feeling 
the certainty that the approaching crisis in Cherokee affairs could have 
but one result, and perceiving an oi)portunity to enhance his own im- 
portance and to secure the discomfiture of his hitherto more powerful 
rival, Eidge caused it to be intimated to the United States authorities 
that he aud his delegation were prepared to treat with them upon the 
basis previously laid down by President Jackson of a cession of their 
territory and a removal west. 

Eev. J. F. Schermerhorn was therefore appointed,- and instructions 
were prepared authorizing him to meet Eidge and his ])arty and to ascer- 
tain on what terms an amicable and satisfactory arrangement could be 
made. After the instructions had been delivered to Mr. Schermerhorn, 
but before he had commenced the negotiation, Eoss and his party re- 
quested to be allowed to make a proposal to be submitted to the Presi- 
dent for his approval. He was assured that his ])roposal would be 
considered, and in the mean time Mr. Schermerhorn was requested to 
suspend his operations. So much time, however, elapsed before any- 
thing more was heard from Eoss and his party that the negotiations with 
the Eidge party were proceeded vrith. They terminated in a general 
understanding respecting the basis of an arrangement, leaving, how- 
ever, many of the details to be filled up. The total amount of the 
various stipulations provided for, as a full consideration for the cession 
of their lands, was 83,250,000, besides the sum of $150,000 for depreda- 
tion claims. In addition, a tract of 800,000 acres of land west of the 
Mississippi was to be added to the territory already promised them, 
amounting iu the aggregate, including the western outlet, to about 
13,800,000 acres.^ 

'The Ross dek-jjation was composed of John Ross, R. Taylor, Daniel JlcC'oy, Sam- 
uel Guutcr, aud William Rogers. The Ridge delegation consisted of John Ridge, 
William A. Davis, Elias Bondinot, A. Smitli, S. AV. Bell, and J. West. 

-February 11, ls35. 

^Memorandum delivered by Secretary of War to Senator King, of Georgia, Feb- 
ruary '28, 1835. 

RovcE] TREATY OF DECEMBER 29, ]e35. 279 

Proposition of John lioss. — Uu the 25tli ofFebruaiy, IJossaud his dele- 
gatioa, finding that the negotiations with Eidge were proceeding, sub- 
mitted a proposition for rcmo\al based upon an allowance of $20,000,000 
for the cession of the territory and the payment of a class of claims of 
nncertain number and value. This was considered so unreasonable as 
to render the seriousness of his jjropositiou doubtful at the time, but it 
■wa,s finally modified by an assertion of his willingness to accept such 
sum as the Senate of the United States should declare to be just and 
proper.^ Thereupon a statement of all tiie facts was placed in the 
Hands of Senator King, of Georgia, who submitted the same to the Sen- 
ate Committee on Indian Affairs on the 2d of March. It was not con- 
templated that any arrangement made with these Cherokee delegations 
at this time should be definitive, but that the Cherokee people s-hould be 
assembled for the purpose of considering the subject, and their assent 
asked to such propositions as they might deem satisfactory. 

Resolution of United States Senate on John Rosses 2)r<>2)osit ion. — Tiie Sen- 
ate gave the matter prompt consideration, and on the Cth of ^larch the 
Secretary of War advised Mr. Eoss that by a resolution they had stated 
their opinion that " a sum not exceeding $5,000,000 should bo paid to the 
Cherokee Indians for all their lands and possessions east of the Missis- 
sippi Eiver," and he was invited to enter into negotiations upon ihat 
basis, but declined to do so. 

Preliminary treaty conehided nith the Ridyc party. — The treaty between 
Schermei'horn and the Eidge party was thereupon completed with some 
modifications and duly signed on the 14th of March, but with the ex- 
press stipulation that it should receive the approval of the Cherokee 
people in full council assembled before being considered of any binding 
force. The consideration was changed to read $4,500,000 and 800,000 
acres of additional laud, but in the main its provisions differed but little 
in the important objects sought to bo secured from those contained in 
the treaty as finally concluded, December 2tt, 1835. 

Schermcrhorn and Carroll appointed to complete the treaty. — In the 
mean time,^ two days after the conclusion of the preliminary Eidge 
treaty. President Jackson issued an address to the Cherokees, inviting 
them to a calm consideration of their condition and prospects, and urg- 
ing upon them the benefits certain to inure to their nation by the ratifica- 
tion of the treaty just concluded and their removal to the western country. 
This address was intrusted to Eev. J. F. Schermerhorn and General Will- 
iam Carroll, whom the President had appointed on the 2d of April as 
commissioners to complete in the Cherokee country the negotiation of 
the treaty. 

General Carroll being unable on account of ill-health to proceed from 
Nashville to the Cherokee Nation, Mr. Schermerhorn was compelled to 
assume the responsibilities of the negotiation alone. The entire sum- 

' Memorandum delive red by Secretary of War to Senator King, of Georgia, February 
2f?, 1835. 
2 March IG, 1835. 


mer and fall were spent iu endeavors to reconcile differences of opinion, 
to adjust feuds among the different factions of the tribe, and to secure 
some definitive and consolidated action. Meeting with no substantial 
encouragement, he suggested, in a communication to the Secretary of 
Wai-,^ two alternative propositions, by either of which a treaty might 
be secured. 

These propositions were: (1) That the appraising agents of the Gov- 
ernment should ascertain from intiuentical Cherokees their own opinion 
of the value of their improvements, and promise them the amount, if 
this estimate should be iu any degree reasonable, and if they would 
take a decided stand in favor of the treaty and conclude the same. (2) 
To conclude the treaty with a portion of the nation only, should one 
with the whole be found impracticable, and compel the acquiescence 
of the remainder in its provisions. 

He was at once^ advised of the opposition of the President to any 
such action. If a treaty could not be concluded upon fair and open 
terms, be must abandon the effort and leave the nation to the conse- 
quences of its own stubbornness. He must make no particular promise 
to any individual, high or low, to gain his co-operation. The interest of 
the whole must not be sacrificed to the cupidity of a few, and if a treaty 
was concluded at all it must be one that would stand the test of the 
most rigid scrutiny. 

The Ridge treaty rejected. — The Cherokee people in full council at 
Red Clay, in the following October, rejected the Ridge treaty. Mr. 
John Ridge and Elias Boudinot, who had been the main stay and sup- 
jjort of Mr. Schermerhorn in the preceding negotiations, at this council, 
through fear or duplicity and unexpectedly to him, abandoned their 
support of his measures and coincided with the preponderance of Chero- 
kee sentiment on the subject. In his report of this failure to bring the 
negotiations to a successful termination Commissioner Schermerhorn 
says : " I have pressed Ross so hard by the course I have adopted that 
although ho got the general council to pass a resolution declaring that 
they would not treat on the basis of the $5,000,000, yet he has been forced 
to bring the nation to agree to a treaty, here or at Washington. They 
have used every effort to get by me and get to Washington again this 
winter. They dare not yet do it. You will perceive Ridge and his 
friends have taken apparently a strange course. I believe he began to 
be discouraged iu contending with the power of Ross; and perhaps also 
considerations of personal safety have had their influence, but the Lord 
is able to overrule all things for good.'" 

Council at New Echota. — During the session of this council notice was 
given to the Cherokees to meet the United States commissioners on 
the third Monday in December following, at New Echota, for the pur- 

1 September 10, 1835. 
-September 26, 1835. 
^Senate Document I'JO, Twenty-fifth Congress, second session, p. 124. 

liOTCE-l TREATY OF DECEMBER 2:1, 1835. 281 

pose of negotiating and agreeing upon the terms of a treatj\ The no- 
tice M'as also printed in Cherokee and circulated throughout the nation, 
informing the Indians that those who did not attend would be counted 
as assenting to any treaty that might be made.' In the mean time 
the Eoss delegation, authorized by the Eed Clay council to conclude a 
treaty either there or at Washington, finding that Schermerhorn had 
no authority to treat on any other basis than the one rejected by the 
nation, proceeded, according to their people's instructions, to Washing- 
ton. Previous to their departure, John Eoss was arrested. This took 
place immediately upon the breaking up of the council. He was de- 
tained some time under the surveillance of a strong guard, without any 
charge against him, and ultimately released witliout any apology or ex- 
planation. At this arrest all his papers were seized, including as well 
all his ])rivate correspondence and the proceedings of the Cherokee 
conucil.^ In accordance with the call for a council at New Echota 
the Indians assembled at the appointed time and place, to the number 
of only thiee to five hundred, as reported^ by Mr. Schermerhorn him- 
self, who could hardly be accused of any tendency to underestimate the 
gathering. That gentleman opened the council December 22, 1835, in 
the absence of Governor Carroll, whose health was still such as to pre- 
vent his attendance. The objects of the council were fully explained, 
the small attendance being attributed to the influence of John Eoss. 
It was also suggested by those unfriendly to the proposed treaty as a 
good reason for the absence of so large a proportion of the nation, that 
the right to convene a national council was vested in the principal 
chief, and they were unaware that that oiflcei''s authority had been del- 
egated to Mr. Schermerhorn. - 

Those present resolved on the 23d to enter into negotiations and ap- 
pointed a committee of twenty to arrange the details with the Commis- 
sioner and to report the result to the whole council. 

The following five days were occuqied by the commissioner and the 
committee in discussing and agreeing ujion the details of the treaty, 
one point of difference being as to whether the $5,000,000 consideration 
for their lands as mentioned iu the resolution of the Senate was meant 
to include the damages to individual property sustained at the hands 
of white trespassers. 

The Indians insisted that $300,000 additional should be allowed for 
that purpose, but it was finally agreed that the treaty should not be 
presented to the Senate without the consent of their delegation until 
they were satisfied the Senate had not included these claims in the sum 
named iu the resolution of that body. It was also insisted by the Cher- 
okee committee that reservations should be made to such of their people 

' See proceedings of council. 

-National Intelligencer, May 22, 1838. 

^ Schermerliorn to Commissioner of Indian Affairs, December 31, 1835. 


as desired to remain in their liomes and become citizens of tbe United 

As a compromise of this demand, it was agreed bj- tbe United States 
commissioner to allow pre-emptions of 160 acres each, not exceeding 
400 in number, in the States ot North Carolina, Tennessee, and Ala- 
bama, to such heads of Cherokee families only as were qualified to 
become useful members of society. None were to be entitled to this 
privilege unless their applications were recommended by a committee 
of their own people (a majority of which committee should be composed 
of those members of the tribe who were themselves enrolled for removal) 
and approved by the United States commissioners. The latter also 
proposed to make the reservations dependent upon the approval of the 
legislatures of the States within which they might be respectively 
located, but to this proposition a strenuous objection was offered by the 

The articles as agreed upon were reported by the Cherokee committee 
to their people, and were approved, transcribed, and signed on the 29th. 

The couucil adjourned on the 30th, after designating a committee to 
proceed to Washington and urge the ratification of the treaty, clothed 
witli power to assent to any alterations made necessary by the action 
of the President or Senate.' 

Commissioner Schermerhorn reports conclusion of a treaty. — Immedi- 
ately following the adjournment of the council, Commissioner Schemer- 
horn wrote the Secretary of War, saying: "I Lave the extreme pleasure 
to announce to you that yesterday I concluded a treaty. * * * Ross 
after this treaty is prostrate. The power of the nation is taken from 
him, as well as the money, and the treaty will give general satisfac- 
tion." 2 

Supplemental treaty concluded. — Several provisons of the treaty met 
with the disapproval of the President, in order to meet which supple- 
mentary articles of agreement were concluded under date of March 1, 
1830,^ wherein it was stipulated that all pre-emption rights provided 
for should be declared void; also that, in lieu of the same and to cover 
expenses of removal and payment of claims against citizens of the 
United States, the sum of $600,000 should be allowed them in addition 
to the five millions allowed for cession of territory. And, furthermore, 
that the $100,000 stipulated to be expended for the poorer class of 
Cherokees who should remove west should be placed to the credit of 
the general national fund.^ 

Opposition of the Ross party. — Whilst these events were happening, 
and strenuous efforts were being made to encourage among Senators a 

'See report of proceedings of council. 

^National Intelligencer, May 22, 183S. 

^United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 488. 

■•In addition to these sums, an appropriation of |l, 047, 067 was made by tbe act of 
June 13, 1838, in full of all objects specified in the third supplemental article and fur 
the one year's sub-isteuce provided for in tlie treaty. 

ROY.CE.] TREATY OF DECEMBER 29, 1835. 283 

seutimeut favorable to the ratificatiou of the treaty, John Eoss was 
manifesting his usual zeal and activity in the opposite direction. Early 
in the spring of 1S3G he made his appearance in Washington, accom- 
panied by a delegation, and presented two protests against the ratifica- 
tiou of the treaty, one purporting to have been signed by Cherokees 
residing within the limits of Nortli Carolina to the number of 3,250, 
and the other representing the alleged sentiments of 12,714: persons 
residing within the main body of the nation. Mr. Eoss also demanded 
the payment of the long withheld annuities to himself as the duly au- 
thorized representative of the nation, which was declined unless special 
direction to that efiect should be given by an authentic vote of the tribe 
from year to year. He was further assured that the President had 
ceased to recognize any existing government among tlie Eastern 

Treaty ratified by United States Senate. — In spite of the oi)i)Ositiou of 
Mr. Eoss and his party, the treaty was assented to by the Senate by 
one more than tlie necessary two-thirds majority,^ and was ratified and 
proclaimed by the President on the 23d of May, 1830.^ By its terms 
two years were allowed within which the nation must remove west of 
the Mississijipi. 

Measures for execution of the treaty.— Preparatory steps were prom ptly 
taken for carrying the treaty into execution. On the 7th of June Gov. 
Wilson Lumpkin, of Georgia, and Gov. William Carroll, of Tennessee, 
were designated as commissioners under the t7th article, and vested 
with general supervisory authority over the execution of the treaty. 
The selection and general supervision (under the foregoing commission- 
ers) of the agents to appraise the value of Cherokee improvements was 
placed in charge of Uenjamin F. Cnrry, to whom detailed instructions 
were given^ for his guidance. General John E. Wool was placed in 
command of the United States troops within the Cherokee Kation, but 
with instructions^ that military force should only be applied in the 
event of hostilities being commenced by the Cherokees. 

The Ross party refuse to acqidesce. — John Eoss and his delegation, 
having returned home, at once proceeded to enter upon a vigorous 
campaign of opposition to the execution of the treaty. Ue used every 
means to incite the animosity of his people against Eidge and his 
friends, who had been instrumental in bringing it about and who were 
favorable to removal. Councils were held and resolutions were adopted 
denouncing in the severest terms the motives and action of the United 
States authorities and declaring the treaty in all its iirovisious abso- 

' Commissioner of Indian Affairs to John Ross, March 9, 1836. 

-Hon. P. JI. Butler, in a confidential letter to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 
March 4, 18-4^, says : " The treaty, as the Department is aware, was sustained by the 
Sepate of the United States by a majority of one vote." 

'United States Statutes at Large, Vol. YII, p. 4T8 et seq. 

* July 25, 1830. 

^ July 30, 1836. 


lutcly mill aud void.' A copj- of these resolutions having been traus- 
mitted to the Secretary of War by General Wool, the former was di- 
rected" by the President to express his astonishment that an ofiflcer ot 
the Army should have received or transmitted a i)aper so disrespectful 
to the Executive, to the Senate, and through them to the people of the 
United States. To prevent any misapprehension on the subject of the 
treaty the Secretary was instructed to repeat in the most explicit terms 
the settled determination of the President that it should be executed 
without modification and with all the dispatch consistent with proi)riety 
and justice. Furthermore, that after delivering a copy of this letter to 
Mr. Ross no further communication should be held with him either 
orally or iu writing in regard to the treaty. 

To give a clearer idea of the actual state of feeling that pervaded the 
Cherokee Nation on the subject of removal, as well as the character of 
the methods that distinguished the negotiators on the part of the 
United States, a few quotations from the letters and reports of those in 
a position to observe the passing events may not be inappropriate. 


Maj. William M. Davis had been appointed an agent by the Secretary 
of War for the enrollment of Cherokces desirous of removal to the 
West and for the appraisement of the value of their improvements. He 
had gone among the Cherokees for this specific jiurpose. He held his 
appointment by the grace and permission of the President. It was 
natural that his desire should be strongly in the line of securing the 
Executive approval of his labors. 

Strong, however, as was that desire he was unable to bring himself 
to the support of the methods that were being iiursued in the negotia- 
tion of the projjosed treaty. On the oth of March following the con- 
clusion of the treaty of lS3i5, he wrote the Secretary of War thus: 

I conceive that my duty to the President, to yourself, and to my country, reluct- 
antly compels me to make .a statement of facts in relation to a meeting of a small 
number of Cherokees at New Echota last December, who were met by Mr. Schermer- 
horn and articles of a general treaty entered into between them for the whole Chero- 
kee Nation. 

* * * I should not interpose in the matter at all hut I discover that you do not 
receive impartial iaformation on the subject; that you have to depend upon the 
ex purle, partial, and interested reports of a person tvIio will not give you the truth. 
I will not be silent when I see that you are about to be imposed on by a gross and 
base betrayal of the high trust reposed in Rev. J. F. Scherinerhorn by you. His con- 
duct and course of policy was a series of blunders from first to last. » » » It has 
been wholly of a partisan character. 

'The Secretary of War, October 12, 1836, directed General Wool to inform Mr. Ross 
that the President regarded the proceedings of himself and associates iu council as in 
direct coutravention of the plighted faith of theii jjeople, and a repetition of them 
would be considered as indicative of a design to prevent the execution of the treaty 
even at the hazard of actual hostilities, and they would be promptly repressed. 

^October 17, la36. 


Sir, tliat paper » » • called a treaty is no treaty at all, because not sanctioned 
l)y the great body of the Cherokees and made -svithout their participation or assent. 
I solemnly declare to you that upon its reference to the Cherokee people it would be 
instantly rejected bynine-tenthsof theniand I believe by nineteen-twentieths of them. 
There were not present at the conclusion of the treaty more than one hundred Chero- 
kee voters, and not more than three hundred, including women and children, although 
the weather was everything that could be desired. The Indians had long been noti- 
fied of the meeting, and blankets were promised to all who would come and vote for 
the treaty. The most cunning ani\ artful means were resorted to to conceal the 
paucity of numbers present at the treaty. No enumeration of them was made by 
Schcrmcrhoru. The business of making the treaty was transacted with a committee 
appointed by the Indians present, so as not to expose their niimbers. The power of 
attorney under which the committee acted was signed only by the president and sec- 
retary of the meeting, so as not to disclose their weakness. » » • jji-_ gchermer- 
horn's apparent design was to conceal the real number present and to impose on the 
public and the Government upon this point. The delegation taken to Washington 
by Mr. Schermerhorn had no more authority to make a treaty than any other dozen 
Cherokees accidentally picked up for that purpose. I now warn you and the President 
that if this paper of Schermerhorn's called a treaty is sent to the Senate and ratified 
you will bring trouble upon the Government and eventually destroy this (the Chero- 
kee) nation. The Cherokees are a peaceable, harmless people, but you may drive 
them to desperation, and this treaty cannot be carried into effect except by tlio strong 
arm of force.' 


About tills time there also appeared, iu justilicatiou of tbe treaty and 
of his own action iu signing it, a pamphlet atldress issued by Elias 
Boudinot of the Cherokee Nation. Mr. Eoudiuot was one of the ablest 
and most cultured of his people, and had long- been the editor and pub- 
lisher of a newspai)er iu the nation, printed both in English and Chero- 
kee. The substance of his argument in vindication of the treaty may 
have been creditable from the standpoint of policy and a regard for the 
future welfare of his people, but iu the abstract it is a dangerous doc- 
trine. He said : 

We cannot conceive of the acts of a minority to be so reprehensible atd unjust as 
are represented by Mr. Ross. If one hundred persons are ignorant of their true situa- 
tion and are so comjiletely blinded as not to see the destruction that awaits them, we 
can see strong reascms to justify the action of a minority of fifty persons to do what 
the majority would do if they understood their condition, to save a nation from i)0- 
litical thralldom and moral degradation. - 


It having been extensively rumored, during the few months imme- 
diately succeeding the conclusion of the treaty, that John Eoss and 
other evil disposed persons were seeking to incite the Cherokees to out- 
break and bloodshed, the militia of the surrounding States were called 
into service for the protection of life and property from the supposed 
existing dangers. Brig. Gen. E. G-. Duulaii commanded the East 

' Senate confidential document, April 12, 1330, p. 200. 
-National Intelligencer, May 22, 1838. 


Tennessee volunteers. In a speech to his brigade at their disband- 
ment in September, 1836, he used the following language : 

I forthwitb visited all the jiosts witbiii the first three States and gave the Chero- 
kees (the -whites needed none) all the protection in my power. » » » ]viy course 
has excited the hatred of a few of the lawless rablile in Georgia, who have lung played 
the part of unfeeling iiotty tyrants, and that to the disgrace of the jirond character 
of gallant soldiers and good citizens. I had determined that I ■would never dishonor 
the Tennessee arms in a servile service hy aidiug to carry into execution at the 
point of the bayonet a treaty made by a lean minority against the will and authority 
of the Cherokee people. » » » j soon discovered that the Indians had not the 
most distant thought of war with the United States, notwithstanding the common 
rights of humanity and justice had been denied them.' 


Again, February 18, 1837, General John E. Wool, of the United States 
Army, who had been ordered to the command of the troops that were 
being concentrated in the Cherokee country " to look down opposition" 
to the enforcement of the treaty, wrote Adjutant-General Jones, at 
Washington, thus : 

I called thera (the Cherokees) together and made a short speech. It is, however, 
vain to talk to a people almost universally opposed to the treaty and who maintain 
that they never made such a treaty. So determined are they in their opposition that 
not one of all those who were present and voted at the council held but a day or two 
since, however poor or destitute, would receive either rations or clothing from the 
United States lest they might compromise themselves in regard to the treaty. These 
same people, as well as those in the mountains of North Carolina, during the summer 
past, preferred living upon the roots and sap of trees rather than receive provisions 
from the United States, and thousands, as I have been informed, hadnoother food fur 

Four mouths later,^ General Wool again, in the course of a letter to 
the Secretary of War concerning the death of Major Curry, who had 
been a prominent factor in promoting the conclusion of the treaty of 
1835, said that — 

Had Carry lived he would assuredly have been killed by the Indians. It is a truth 
that you have not .a single agent, high or low, has the slightest moral control 
over the Indians. It would be wise if persons appointed to civil stations in the na- 
tion could be taken from among those who have had nothing to do with making the 
late treaty. 


In further testimony concerning the situation of aflairs in the Cher- 
okee Nation at this period, maybe cited the report of John Mason, jr., 
who was in the summer of 1837' sent as the confidential agent of the 
War Department to make observations and report. In the autumn' 
of that year he reporti d that — 

The chiefs and better informed part of the nation are convinced that they cannot 
retain the country. But the opposition to the treaty is unanimous and irreconcilable. 

' National Intelligencer, May 22, 1838. 

-June 3, 1S37. 

^July 15, 1837. 

•* September 2.5, 1837. 

BOYCE.] TREATY OF DECEMBER 2!1, ls35. 287 

They say it cauuot biud tliciu because they did not make it ; that it was made by a 
few uuaiithorizcd individuals; that the nation is not a party to it. * * * They 
retain the forms of their government in tlieir proceedings among themselves, though 
they have had no election since 1830 ; the chiefs and headmen then in power having 
been authorized to act until their government shall again Tie regularly constituted. 
Under this arrangement John Koss retains the post of principal chief. » » » xhe 
influence of this chief is unbounded and unquestioned. The whole nation of eighteen 
thousand persons is with him, the few, about three hundred, who made the treaty 
having left the country. It is evident, therefore, that Ross and his party are in fact 
the Cherokee Nation. * » * Many who were opposed to the treaty have emigrated 
to secure the rations, or because of fear of an outbreak. » * » The officers say 
that, with all his power, Ross cannot, if he would, change the course he has hereto- 
fore pursued and to which he is held by the fixed determination of his people. He 
dislikes being seen in conversation with white men, and particularly with agents of 
the Government. Were he, as matters now stand, to advise the Indians to acknowl- 
edge the treaty, he would at once forfeit their confidence and probably his life. Yet 
though unwavering in his opposition to the treaty, Ross's influence has constantly 
been exerted to preserve the peace of the country, and Colonel Lindsay says that 
he (Ross) alone stands .at this time between the whites and bloodshed. The opposi- 
tion to the treaty on the jiart of the Indians is unanimous and sincere, and it is not 
a mere political game played by Ross for the maintenance of his ascendancy in the 


It is interestiug ia this connectiou, as indicating the strong and wide- 
spread public feeling manifested in the Cherokee question, to note that 
it became in some sense a test question among leaders of the two great 
political parties. The Democrats strenuously upheld the conduct of 
President Jackson on the subject, and the Whigs assailed him with ex- 
treme bitterness. The great Whig leader, Henry Clay, in replying' to 
a letter received by him from John Guntcr, a Cherokee, took occasion 
to express his sympathy with the Cherokee people for the wrongs and 
sufferings experienced by them. He regretted them not only because 
of their injustice, but because they inflicted a deep wound on the char- 
acter of the American Eepublic. lie supi)osed that the principles 
which had uniformly governed our relations with the Indian nations had 
been too long and too firmly established to be disturbed. They Lad 
been proclaimed in the ucgotiation with Great Britain by the commis- 
sioners who concluded the treaty of peace, of whom he was one, and any 
violation of them by the United States he felt with sensibility. By 
those principles the Cherokee Nation had a right to establish its own 
form of government, to alter and amend it at pleasure, to live under its 
own laws, to be exempt from the United States laws or the laws of any 
individual State, and to claim the protection of the United States. He 
considered that the Chief Magistrate and his subordinates had acted iu 
direct hostility to those principles and had thereby encouraged Georgia 
to usurp powers of legislation over the Cherokee Nation which she did 
not of right possess. 

' September 30, 1836. 



Among many men of note who denounced in most vigorous terms the 
policy of the Administration toward the Cherokees were Daniel Webster 
and Edward Everett, of Massachusetts ; Theodore Frelinghuysen, of 
New Jersej" ; Peleg Sprague, of Maine ; Henry B. Storrs, of New York ; 
Henry A. Wise, of Virginia ; and David Crockett, of Tennessee. The 
latter, in a speech in the House of Eeprcsentatives, denounced the treat- 
ment to which the Indians had been subjected at the hands of tlie Gov- 
ernmeut as unjust, di.'^houest, cruel, and shortsighted in the extreme. 
He alluded to the fact tliat he represented a district which bordered on 
the domain of the southern tribes, and that his constituents were per- 
haps as immediately interested in the removal of the Indians as those 
of any other member of the House. His voice would perhaps not be 
seconded by that of a single fellow member living within oOO miles of 
his home. He had been threatened that if he did not sup]>ort the 
policy of forcible removal his imblic career would be summarily cutoff. 
But while he was perhaps as desirous of pleasing his constituents and 
of coinciding with the wishes of his colleagues as any man in Congress, 
he could not permit himself to do so at the expense of his honor and 
conscience in the support ot such a measure. He believed the Ameri- 
can people could be relied on to approve their Representatives for dar- 
ing, in the face of all opposition, to perform their conscientious duty, 
but if not, the approval of his own conscience was dearer to him than 
all else. 

Governor Lumpkin, immediately upon his appointment as commis- 
sioner, had repaired to the Cherokee country, but Governor Carroll, 
owing to some pending negotiations with the Choctaws and subse- 
quentlj' to ill health, was unable to assume the duties assigned him. 
He was succeeded' by John Kenneily. To this commission a third 
member was added in the summer of 1837^ in the person of Colonel 
Guild, who was found to be ineligible, however, by reason of being a 
member of the Tennessee legislature. His place was supjilied by the 
appointment ' of James W. Gwin, of North Carolina. 

On the 22d of December James Liddell was also appointed, r/ce Gov- 
ernor Lumpkin resigned. * 

' October 25, 183(3. • 

-Secretary of War to Andrew Jacksou, August 21, 1837. 

^ October IG, 1837. 

<The amounts acljudicateil and paid by this commission, as shown by the records 
of the Indian Office (see Commissioner of Indian Affairs' letter of March 7, 1844), 
were as follows : 

1. For improvements $1,083, 192 77^ 

2. Spoliations 416, 30(5 82| 

3. National debts due to Cherokees '. 19,0.58 14 

4. National debts due to citizens of the United States .'il,642 87 

5. Reservations 159,-324 67 

Total 2.329.524 86 

(The figures as given here are correctly copied from the commissioner's letter, but 
there is an obvious error either in the footing or in the items.) 



Superintendent Currey Laving died, General Xatban Smith was ap- 
jioiuted ' to succeed bini as snperiuteudeut of emigration. 

Census of Cherolcee Nation. — It appears from a statement about this 
time,- made by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, that from a census 
of the Cberolcees, taken in the year 183.5, the number residing in the 
States of Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee Avas 16,542, 
exclusive of slaves and of whites intermarried with Cherokees.-' 

In May, 1837,^ General Wool was relieved from command at his own 
request, and his successor. Col. William Lindsay, was instructed to ar- 
rest John Ross and turn him over to the civil authorities in case he did 
anything further calculated to excite a spirit of hostility among the 
Cherokees on the subject of removal. This threat, however, seemed to 
have little effect, for we find Mr. Koss presiding over a general council, 
convened at his instigation, on the 31st of July, to attend which the 
Government hastily dispatched 'Mv. John INIason, jr., with instructions 
to traverse and correct any misstatements of the position of the United 
States authorities that might be set forth by Ross and his followers. 
An extract from Mr. Mason's report has already been given. 

Gherol-ee memorial in Congress. — Again, in the spring of 1838 Ross 
laid before Congress a protest and memorial for the redress of griev- 
ances, whicli, in the Senate, was laid upon the table'* by a vote of 36 
to 10, and a memorial from citizens of New York involving an in- 
quiry into the validity of the treaty of 1835 shared a similar fate in the 
House of Representatives two days later by a vote of 102 to 75. 

fipeeeli of Ilenry A. ^Vise. — The discussion of these memorials in 
Congress took a wide range and excited the warmest interest, not only 
in that body, but throughout the country. The speeches were charac- 
terized by a depth and bitterness of feeling such as had never been ex- 
ceeded even on the slavery question. Hon. Henry A. Wise, of Vir- 
ginia, who was then a member of the House of Representatives from 
that State, was especially earnest in his denunciation of the treaty of 
1835 and of the administration that had concluded it. He looked 

' January 3, 1837. 
= December 1, 1830. 

"■ This census showed a distrilmtion of the Cherokee popnlation, according to State 
boundaries, as follows : 




Whites in. 





In North Carolina 






^ Secretary of War to Col. William Lindsay, May 8, 1837. 
■"•March 26, 1838. 

5 ETH 10 


upon it as uiill and voiil. In order to make treaties binding- the assent 
of both parties must be obtained, and he wouhl assert without fear of 
contradiction that there was not one man in that House or out of it 
who liad read the proceedings in the case who woukl say tliat there 
had ever been any assent given to that treaty by tlie Cherokee Xation. 
If this were the proper time he could go further alid show that Georgia 
had done her part, too, in this oppression. He could show this by prov- 
ing the ])olicy of that State in relation to the Indians and the institu- 
tions of the General Government. That was the only State in the 
Union that had ever actually nullifled, and she now tells you that if 
the United States should undertake to naturalize any portion of the In- 
dian tribes within her limits as citizens of the United States she would 
do so again. He had not disparaged the surrounding people of Georgia, 
far from it — "but" (said he) "there are proofs around us in this city of 
the high advancement in civilization which characterizes the Clicrokees." 
He would tell the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Halsey) that a states- 
man of his own State, who occupied a high and honorable post in this 
Government, would not gain greatly by a comparison, either in civiliza- 
tion or morals, with a Cherokee chief whom he could name. He would 
fearlessly institute such a comparison between John lloss and John 

Speech of Daniel Webster. — Mr. Webster, of Massachusetts, also took 
occasion* to remark in the Senate that "there is a strong and growing 
feeling in the country that great wrong has been done to the Cherokees 
by the treaty of New Echota." 

President Van Buren proffers a compromise. — Public feeling became 
so deeply stirred on the subject that, in the interests of a compromise, 
President Van Buren, in May, 1838, formulated a proposition to allow 
the Cherokees two years further time in which to remove, subject to 
the approval of Congress and the executives of the States interested. 

Georgia hostile to the compromise. — To the communication addressed 
to Governor Gilmer, of Georgia, on the subject, he responded : 

* * * I can giveit no sauctiou whatever. The proposal could not be carried into 
effect but in violation of the rights cf this State. * * * It is necessary that I 
should know whether the President intends by the instructions to General Scott to 
require that the Indians shall be maintained in their occupancy by an armed force in 
opposition to the rights of the owners of the soil. If such be the intention, a direct 
collision between the authorities of the State and the General Government must ensue. 
My duty will require that I shall prevent any interference whatever by the troops 
with the rights of the State and its citizens. I shall not fail to jjerform it. 

This called forth a hurried explanation from the Secretaiy of War 
that the instructions to General Scott were not intended to bear the 
construction placed upon them by the executive of Georgia, but, on the 
contrary, it was the desire and the determination of the President to 

' Speech in reply to Mr. Halsey, of Georgia, January 2, 1838. 
- May 22, 1838. 

RovcB.J TREATY OF DECEMBER 2!1, 1835. 291 

secure, the removal of the Cherokees at the earliest day practicable, and 
he made no doubt it could be eft'ected the present season.' 


The executive machinery under the treaty had in the mean time been 
placed in operation, and at the beginning of the year 1838, 2,103 Cher- 
okees had been removed, of whom 1,282 had been permitted to remove 

Intelligence having reached the President, however, causing appre- 
hension that the mass of the nation did not intend to remove as required 
by the treaty General Winfield Scott was ordered-' to assume command 
of the troops already in the nation, and to collect an increased force, com- 
prising a regiment of artillery, a regiment of infantry, and six companies 
of dragoons. He was further authorized, if deemed necessary, to call 
upon the governors of Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama 
for militia and volunteers, not exceeding four thousand in number, and to 
put the Indians in motion for the West at the earliest moment possible, 
following the expiration of the two years specified in the treaty. 

Proclamation of General Scott. — On reaching the scene of operations 
General Scott issued'' a proclamation to the Cherokees in which he 
announced that — 

The Presideut of tUe Uuiteil States has seut me witli a i)oweifal army to cause you, 
in obeilieuce to the treaty of 1835, to join that part of your people who are already 
established in prosperity on the other side of the Mississippi. Unhappily the two 
years » » » allowed for that purpose you have suffered to pass away * » » 
without making any preparation to follow, and now * « * the emigration must 
be commenced in haste. » * ♦ The full moon of May is already on the wane, and 
before another shall have passed away every Cherokee, man, woman, and child * 
* * must be in motion to Join their brethren in the far West. « * » This is no 
sudden determination on the part of the Presideut. » * » I have come to carry out 
that determination. My troops already occupy many positions, » » » and thou- 
sands and thousands are approaching from every quarter to render resistance and 
escape alike ho))eless. * « » Will you then by resistance compel us to resort to 
arms? » * » Or will you by flight seek to hide yourselves in mountains and forests 
and thus oblige us to hunt you down ? Remember that in pursuit it may be impos- 
siblq to avoid conflicts. The blood of the white man or the blood of the red man 
may be spilt, and if spilt, however accidentally, it may be impossible for the discreet 
and humane among you, or among us, to prevent a general war and carnage. 


John Eoss, iinding no sign of wavering in the determination of the Pres- 
ident to promptly execute the treaty, then submitted^ a project for the 
negotiation of a new treaty as a substitute for that of 1835, and differing 

' National Intelligencer, June 8, 1838. 

- Secretary of War to James K. Polk, Speaker of the House of Representatives.^ 
January 8, 1838. 
^ General Macomb to General Scott, April 6, 1838. 
< May 10, 1838. 
^'May, 18, 1838. 


but little from it iu its proposed provisions, except in the idea of secur- 
ing a somewhat hirger consideration, as well as some minor advantages. 
He was assured in reply that while the United States were willing to 
extend every liberality of construction to the terms of the treaty of 1835 
and to secure the Cherokee title to the western country by patent, they 
could not entertain the idea of a new treaty. 

As soon as it became absolutely apparent, not only that the Cherokees 
tuust go but that no unnecessary delay would be tolerated beyond the 
limit fixed hy the treaty, a more submissive spirit began to be mani- 
fested among them. During the summer of 1838 several parties of emi- 
grants were dispatched under the direction of officers of the Army. 
The number thus removed aggregated about 0,000.' 


Later iu the season John Eoss and others, by virtue of a resolution 
of the national council, submitted a proposition to General Scott that 
the remainder of the business of emigration should be confided to the 
nation, and should take place in the following September and October, 
after the close of the sickly season, the estimated cost of such removal 
to be fixed at $05.88 per head. To this proposal assent was given,^ 
and the last party of Cherokee emigrants began their march for the 
West on the ith of December, 1838.^ Scattered through the mountains 
of North Carolina and Tennessee, however, were many who had fled to 
avoid removal , and who, nearly a year later, were represented to num- 
ber 1,0-10,'' and Mr. James Murray was, in the spring of 1840, ap- 
pointed'' a commissioner to ascertain and enroll for removal those en- 
titled to the benefits of the treaty of 1835. 


The removal of the Cherokees having at last been accomplished, the 
next important object of the Government was to insure their internal 
tranquillity, with a view to the increase and encouragement of those 
habits of industry, thrift, and respect for lawfully constituted authority 
which had made so much progress among them in their eastern home. 

' Annual report of Commissioner of Indian Affairs, November 25, 1S38. 

- Proposal %ya8 accepted July 2.5 : emigration to begin September 1 and cud ln-fora 
October 20, 1838. 

"Tbe number, according to the rolls of John Ross, who removed under bis direc- 
tion, was 13,149. According to therollsof Captain Stevenson, the agent who received 
them on their arrival West, there were only 11,504, and, according to Captain Page, 
the disbursing officer, there were 11,721. Mr. Ross received on bis settlement with 
Captain Page subsequent to the removal, $486,939.50^, which made a total payment 
to Ross by the Government on account of Cherokee removals of 1^1,263,338.38. (Letter 
of Commissioner Indian Affairs, June 15, 1842). See, also. Commissioner of ludiaa 
Affairs to Coriimissioner of Land Office, January 9, 18:iy. 

■• Commissioner of Indian Affairs to Secretary of War, September 12, 1839. 

•'•April 21, 1840. 

novcF..) TREATY OF DECEMBER 2!), 1-^35. 293 

But this was an undertaking of mucli difficulty. The instrumentalities 
used by the Government in securing- the conclusion and approval of not 
only the treaty of 1835 but also those of 1817 and 181!) had caused 
much division and bitterness in their ranks, which had on many occa- 
sions in the past cropped out in acts of injustice and even violence. 

Upon the coming togetlier of the body of the nation in their new 
country west of the Mississippi, thej^ found themselves torn and dis- 
tracted by ])arty dissensions and bitterness almost beyond hope of 
reconciliation. The parties were respectively denominated : 

1. The "Old Settler" party, composed of those Cherokees who had 
prior to the treaty of 1835 voluntarily i-emoved west of the Mississippi, 
and who were living under a regularly established form of government 
of their own. 

2. The " Treaty " or "Eidge" party, being that portion of the nation 
led by John Eidge, and who encouraged and approved the negotiation 
of the treaty of 1835. 

3. The "Government" or " '' party, comin-isiug numerically a large 
majority of the nation, who followed in the lead of John Eoss, for many 
years the principal chief of the nation, and who had 1)een consistently 
and bitterly hostile to the treaty of 1835 and to any surrender of their 
territorial rights east of the Mississippi. 

Upon the arrival of the emigrants in their new homes, the Eoss party 
insisted upon the adoption of a new system of government and a code of 
laws for the whole nation. To this the Old Settler party objected, and 
were supported by the Eidge party, claiming that the government mul 
laws already adopted and in force among the Old Settlers should con- 
tinue to be binding until the general election should take place in the 
following October, when the newly elected legislature could enact such 
changes as wisdom and good policy should dictate.' A general coun- 
cil of the whole nation was, however, called to mett at the new council- 
house at Takuttokah, having in view a unification of interests and the 
pacificatiou of all animosities. The council lasted from the 10th to 
the 22d of June, but resulted in no agreement. Some six thousand 
Cherokees were present. A second council was called by John Eoss 
for a similar purpose, to meet at the Illinois campground on the 1st of 
July, 1839.2 

Murder of Boudinot and the Ridges. — Immediately following the ad- 
journment of the Takuttokah council three of the leaders of the Treaty- 
party, John Eidge, Major Eidge his father, and Elias Boudinot were 
murdered^ in the most brutal and atrocious manner. The excitement 
throughout the nation became intense. Boudinot was murdered within 
300 yards of his house, and only 2 miles distant from the residence of 
John Eoss. The friends of the murdered men were persuaded that the 

' Report of Commissioner of Indiau Affairs for 1839. 
-Letter of Joliu Ross to Geueral Arbnckle, Jnue 24, 1839. 
Uune 22, 1«39. 


crimes had been committed at the instigatiqn of Eoss, as it was well 
known that the murderers were among his followers. Eoss's friends, 
however, at once rallied to his protection and a volunteer guard of six 
hundred patrolled the country in the vicinity of his residence.' 

A number of the chiefs and prominent men of the Old Settler and 
Eidge parties Hed to Fort Gibson for safety. From there on the 2Sth 
of June, John Brown, John Looney, John Eogers, and John Smith, 
signing themselves as the executive council of the Western Cbero- 
kees, addressed a proiiosition to John Eoss to send a delegation of the 
chiefs and principal men of his party with authority to meet an equal 
number of their own at Fort Gibson, with a view to reach an amicable 
agi-eemeut between the different factious. Eoss responded^ by invit- 
ing them to meet at the council convened upon his call on the 1st of July, 
which was declined. A memorial was thereupon^ addressed to the 
authorities of the United States by Brown, Looney, and Eogers as 
chiefs of the Western Oherokees, demanding protection in the territory 
and government guaranteed to them by treaty. Against this api>eal 
the Eoss convention or council in session at Illinois camp-ground filed 
a protest.^ Between the dates of the appeal and the protest a part 
of the Old Settlers, acting in concert with Eoss and his adherents, 
passed resolutions^ declaratory of their disapproval of the conduct of 
Brown and Eogers, and proclaimed their deiwsition from office as 
chiefs. Looney escaped deposition by transferring his fealty to the 
Eoss party. 

Unijlcatuin of Eastern and Wextern Cherohces. — It is projter to remark 
in this connection that on the 12th of July the Eoss council adopted 
resolutions uniting the Eastern and the Western Cherokees "into one 
body politic under the style and title of the Cherokee Iv'ation." This 
paper, without mentioning or referring to the treaty of 1835, speaks of 
the late emigration as constrained by the force of circumstances. 
The council also passed'' a decree, wherein after reciting the murders 
of the Eidges and Boudinot, and that they in conjunction with others 
had by their conduct rendered themselves liable to -the penalties of 
outlawry, extended to the survivors a full amnesty for past offenses 
upon sundry very stringent and humiliating conditions. They also 
jjassed' a decree condoning the crime of the murderers, securing them 
from any prosecution or jninishmeut by reason thereof, nnd declaring 
them lully restored to the confidence and favor of the community. 

Treaty of 1835 cleelared mid. — At a council held at Aquohee Gamp 
a decree was passed on the 1st of August, declaring the treaty of 1835 

' Agent Stokes to Secretary of War, June 24, 1839. 

= July 5, 1839. 

:' August 9, 1839. 

'August 27, 1839. 

■Augusts:!, 1839. 

'July 7, 1839. 

■July 10, 1839. 

notcK] TREATY OF DECEMBER 29, 1835. 295 

void, and reasserting the Clierokee title to tbeir old country east of the 
Mississippi. Later m the same mouth a decree was passed,^ citing the 
appearance before them, under penalty of outlawry, of the signers of the 
treaty of 1S35, to answer for their conduct. This act called fortli^ a 
vigorous protest from General Arbuckle, commanding Fort Gibson, and 
was supplemented by instructions' to him from the Secretary of War 
to cause the arrest and trial of lloss as accessory to the murder of the 
Kidges in ease he should deem it wise to do so. 

Constitution adopted by the Cherokee Nation. — A convention summoned 
by Eoss and composed of his followers, together with such members of 
the Treaty and Old Settler parties as could be induced to participate, 
convened and remained iu session at Tahlequah from the 6th to the 
10th of September, 18,39. This body adopted a constitution for the 
Cherokee Xation, which was subsequentlj' accepted and adopted by the 
Old Settlers or Western Cherokecs in council at Fort Gibson on the 26th 
of the following June, and an act of union was entered into between 
the two parties on that date. 

Division of Cherokee territory proposed. — A jiroposition had been pre- 
viously^ submitted by the representatives of the Treaty and Old Set- 
tler parties, urging as the only method of securing peace the division 
of the Cherokee domain and annuities. They recommended that General 
Arbuckle and Captain Armstrong be designated to assign to them and 
to the Eoss party each their proportionate share according to their 
numbers, but the adoi)tion of this act of union avoided any necessity 
for the further consideration of the proposal. As a means also of re- 
lieving the Cherokees from further internal strife. General Arbuckle 
had,^ pursuant to the direction of the Secretary of War, notified them 
that, in consequence of his public acts, John Eoss would not be allowed 
to hold office iu the nation, and that a similar penalty was denounced 
against William S. Coody for offensive opinions expressed in the pres- 
ence of the Secretary of War.*' Little practical eflect was however pro- 
duced upon the standing or influence of these men with their ])eople. 

Skeptical of the sincerity of the promises of peace and good feeling- 
held out by the act of unification, John Brown, a noted leader and chief 
of the Old Settler Cherokees, iu conjunction with many of his followers, 
among whom were a number of wandering Delawares, asked and ob. 
taiued permission from the Mexican Government to settle within tlie 
jurisdiction of that power, and they were only persuaded to remain by 

' August 21, 1839. 

- September 4, 1839, et seq. 

3 November 9, 1839. 

< Jauuary 22, 1840. 

= April 21, 1840. 

'' Coody, iu au interview with tlie Secretary of War, persisted in considering tlie 
murders of Boudinot and the Ridges as justifiable. C4eneral Arhuckle's letter of 
notification bore date April 21, 1840. 


the earnest assurances of the Secretary of War that the United States 
coukl and would fully protect their interests.' 


No sooner had the removal of the Cherokees been effectually accom- 
plished than the latter began to manifest much dissatisfaction at what 
they characterized a lack of good faith on the part of the Government 
in carrying out the stipulations of the treaty of 1835. The default 
charged had reference to the matter of payment of their claims for 
spoliations, improvements, annuities, etc. Each winter at least one dele- 
gation from the nation maintained a residence in Washington and urged 
upon the Executive and Congress with untiring persistency an adjudi- 
cation of all disputed matters arising under the treatj'. 

At length the term of President Van Buren expired and was suc- 
ceeded by a Whig administration. Then as now, the ofiflcial acts of au 
outgoing political party were considered to be the legitimate subject of 
criticism aud investigation by its political enemies. President Harrison 
lived but a month after assuming the duties of his office, but Vice-Presi- 
dent Tyler as his successor considered that the treatment to which the 
Cherokees had been subjected during Jackson's and Van Buren's ad- 
ministrations would afford a field for investigation fraught with a rich 
harvest of results in political capital for the Whig party. 

President TyJir promises a new treaty. — Accordingly, therefore, in the 
fall of 1841, just pi-evious to the departure of the Cherokee delegation 
from Washington to their homes, the President agreed to take proper 
measures for the settlement of all their ditUculties, expressing a de- 
termination to open the whole subject of their comi)laints and to bring 
their affairs to a satisfactory conclusion through the medium of a new 
treaty. In conformity with this determination the Commissioner of In- 
dian Affairs^ instructed the agent for the Cherokees to procure all the 
information possible to be obtained upon every subject connected with 
Cherokee affairs having a teudencj' to throw any light upon the wrongs 
and injustice they might have sustained to the end that full amends 
could so far as possible be made therefor. Before much information 
was collected under the terms of these instructions a change seems to 
have taken place in the views of the President, and the order for in- 
vestigatiun was revoked. The draft of the new treaty was, however, 
in tlie mean time prepared under direction of the Secretary of War. It 
contained provisions regulating the licensing of traders in the Cherokee 
country, the jurisdiction over crimes committed by citizens of the United 
States resident in that country, the allotment of their lands in sevendty 
by the Cherokee authorities, and the establishment of post-offices and 
post-routes within their limits. It further contemplated the apiJoiut- 
ment of two commissioners, whenever Congress should make provision 

'Commissioner of Indian Affairs to Maj. William Armstrong, August 2G, 1840. 
^ September 2-J, 1841. 

KovcK.] TREATY OF DECEMBER 29, l^!35 297 

tbert'for, whose duty it sliould be to examine into and malie a report to 
that body upon the character, validity, and equity of all claims of what- 
soever kind presented by Cherokees against the United States, and also 
to aftbrd the Cherokees iieciiniary aid in the purchase of a printing press 
and type as well as in the erection of a national council-house. This 
treaty, however, was never consummated. 

President Jacl;son^s method for compelling) Chcrol-cc removal. — In con- 
nection with this subject of an investigation into the affairs of the Cher- 
okees, a confidential letter is to be found on file in the office of the Com- 
missioner of Indian Affairs, from Hon. P. M. Butler, of South Carolina, 
who had a few months previous to its date^ been appointed United 
States agent for the Cherokees, interesting as thi-owing light on the 
negotiation and conclusion of the treaty of 1835. Mr. Butler says it is 
alleged, and claimed to be susceptible of proof, that !Mr. Merriweather, 
of Georgia, in an interview with President Jackson, a considerable time 
before the treaty was negotiated, said to the President, " We want the 
Cherokee lauds in Georgia, but the Cherokees will not consent to cede 
them," to which the President emphatically replied, " You must get 
clear of them [the Cherokees] by legislation. Take judicial jurisdiction 
over their country ; build fires around them, and do indirectly what yon 
cannot effect directly." 


In the same letter Mr. Butler, in alluding to the existing difliculties 
in the Cherokee Nation, observes that prior to the preceding October 
the Ross party had been largely in the ascendency in the nation, but 
that at their last preceding election the question hinged upon whether 
the "per capita" money due them under the treaty of 1835 should be 
immetliately paid over to the people. The result was in favor of the 
Ridge party, who assumed the affirmative of the question, the opposi- 
tion of Ross and his party being predicated on the theory that an ac- 
ceptance of this money would be an acknowledgment of the validity of 
the treaty of 1835. This, it was feared, would have aii unfixvorable ef- 
fect on their efforts to secure the conclusion of a new treaty on more 
satisfactory terms. On the settlement of this per capita tax, Mr. Butler 
remarks, will depend the peace and safety of the Cherokee Nation, 
adding that should the rumors afloat prove true, to the effect that the 
per capita money was nearly exhausted, neither the national funds in 
the hands of the treasurer nor the life of Mr. Ross would be safe for 
an hour from the infuriated members of the tribe. 


In the spring of 1S4-! an event occurred which again threw the whole 
nation into a state of the wildest excitement. The friends of the nmr- 

' March 4, 1842. 

298 cherokep: nation of Indians. 

dered llidges aud Boudiuot bad never forgiven tlie act, nor liad time 
served to soften the nieasiue of their resentment against the perpetra- 
tors aud their sujiposed abettors. Stand "Watic bad long been a leader 
among tbe Ridge party and bad been marked for assassination at the 
time of tbe murders just alhided to. He was a brotbcr of John Eidge, 
one of the murdered men, and be now, in virtue of bis mission as an 
avenger, killed James Foreman, a member of tbe Eoss party and one of 
tbe culprits in the murder of tbe Eidges. Altbougb Stand Watie ex- 
cused his conduct on tbe score of having come to a knowledge of cer. 
taiu threats against bis life made by Foreman, no event could at that 
time have been more demoralizing and destructive of the earnestly de- 
sired era of peace and good feeling among tbe Cherokee people. From 
tbat time forward all hope of a sincere unification of tbe several tribal 
factions was at an end. 


In the autumn of 1842' tbe President appointed John 11. Eaton aud 
James Iredell as commissioners to adjudicate and settle claims under 
tbe treaty of 183.^. ]\Ir. Iredell detrlincd, and Edward B. ITubley was 
appointed- to fill bis place. This tribunal was created to continue tbe 
uncompleted work of tbe board appointed in 1830 under tbe provisions 
of tbe same article, tbe labors of which had terminated in March, 1839, 
baving been in session more than two years. 


Held at Wanh'nuiton, I). C, heticeen Edmund Burle, William Armstrotig, 
and Albion K. Parris, commissioners on behalf of the United States, 
and delegates representing each of the three factions of the Cheroltee 
Nation, Icnown, respectively, as the " Government jid^ty,^ the " Treaty 
party,''' and the " Old Settler party."" 


The preamble recites tbe difficulties tbat have long existed between 
tbe different factions of tbe nation, and because of tbe desire to heal 
those differences and to adjust certain claims against the United States 
growing out of the treaty of 1835 this treaty is concluded, and pro- 
vides : 

1. The lands now occupied by the Cherokee Isation shall be secured 
to the whole Cherokee people for their common use and benefit. Tbe 
United States will issue a patent therefor to include tbe SOO.OOOacre 
tract and the western outlet. If the Cherokees become extinct or 
abandon tbe land it shall revert to the United States. 

1 September 9, 1842. 
- November 8, 1842. 
3 United States Statut.- ;it Laiyv, Vol. IX, p. .«71. 

iiovcK.) TREATY OB" AUGUST C, 18-lt;. 299 

2. All ditticiilties and differences heretofore existing between the 
several parties of the Cherokee Nation are dedared to be settled and 
adjnsted. A general amnesty for all offenses is declared and fngitives 
may return without fear of prosecution. Laws shall be passed for the 
equal protection of all. All armed police or military organizations shall 
be disbanded and the laws executed by civil process. Trial by jury is 

3. The United States agree to reimburse to the Cherokee Xation all 
sums unjustly deducted for claims, reservations, expenses, etc., from 
the coDsideratiou of $.5,000,000 agreed to be paid under the treaty of 
1835 to the Cherokees for their lauds, and to distribute the same as 
provided in the ninth article of that treaty. 

4. The board of commissioners recently appointed by the President 
have declared that under the provisions of the treaty of 1S2S the " Old 
Settlers," or Westeru Cherokees, had no exclusive title to the lands 
ceded by that treaty as against the Eastern Cherokees, and that by 
the equitable operation of that treaty the former acquired a common 
interest in the Cherokee lands east of the Mississippi. This interest of 
the "Old Settlers" was unprovided for by the treaty of 183.5. It is 
therefore agreed that a sum equal to one-third of the residuum of per 
capita fund left after a proper adjustment of the account for distribu 
tiou under the treaty of 1835 shall be paid to said " Old Settlers," and 
that in so doing, in estimating the cost of removal and subsistence, it 
shall be based upon the rate fixed therefor in the eighth article of the 
treaty of 1S35. In consideration of the foregoing the " Old Settlers" 
release to the United States all interest in the Cherokee lands east of 
the Mississippi and all claim to exclusive ownership in the Cherokee 
lands west of the Mississippi. 

5. The per capita allowance to the " Western Cherokees," or " Old 
Settlers," upon the principle above stated, shall be held in trust by the 
United States and paid out to each individual or head of family or his 
representative entitled thereto in person. The President of the United 
States shall appoint five persons as a committee from the " Old Settlers" 
to determine who are entitled to the per capita allowance. 

C. The United States agree to pay the " Treaty party " the sum of 
$115,000 for losses and expenses incurred in connection with the treaty 
of 1835, of which >!5,000 shall be paid to the legal representatives or 
heirs of Major Ridge, -$5,000 to those of John Eidge, anil $5,000 to those 
of Elias Boudinot. The remainder shall l)e distributed among those 
who shall be certified by a committee of the " Treaty party" as entitled, 
provided that the present delegation of the party may deduct $25,000, 
to be by them apj)lied to the payment of claims and expenses. And if 
the said sum of $100,000 should be insufficient to pay all claims for 
losses and damages, then the claimants to be paid pro rata in full satis- 
faction of said claims. 

7. All individuals of the "Western Chei'okees" who have beendis- 


possessed of salines, the same being their ^private property, shall be 
compensated therefor by the Cherokee Nation, upon an award to be 
made by the United States agent and a Cherokee commissioner, or the 
salines shall be returned to the respective owners. 

8. The United States agree to pay the Cherokee Nation $2,000 for a 
printing press, etc., destroyed; $5,000 to be equally divided among nil 
whose arms were taken from them previous to their removal West by 
order of an oflBcer of the United States, and $20,000 in lieu of all claims 
of the Cherokee Nation, as a nation, prior to the treaty of 1835, except 
lands reserved for school funds. 

9. The United States agree to make a fair and just settlement of all 
moneys due to the Clierokees and subject to the per capita division 
under the treaty of December 20, 1835. Tliis settlement to embrace all 
sums properly expended or charged to the Chei'okecs under the provis- 
ions of said treaty, and which sums shall be deducted from the sum of 
$0,047,007. The balance found due to be distributed per capita among 
those entitled to receive the same under the treaty of 1835 and supple- 
ment of 183C, being those residing east of the Mississippi Eiver at that 

10. Nothing herein .shall abridge or take away any riglits or chiinis 
which the Cherokees now residing in States east of tlie Mississippi 
Eiver had or may have under the treaty of 1835 and supplement of 1836. 

11. It is agreed that the Senate of the United States shall determine 
whether the amount exjiended for one year's subsistence of the Chero- 
kees, after their removal under the treaty of 1835 and .supplement of 
183G, is properly chargeable to the United States or to tlie Cherokee 
funds, and, if to tlie latter, whether such subsistence shall be charged 
at a sum greater than $33:\ per head; also, whether the Cherokees shall 
be allowed interest upon the sums found to be due tbem : and, if so, 
from what date and at v.'hat rate. 

12. (The twelfth article was struck out by the Senate.) 

13. This treaty to be obligatory after ratification by the Senate and 
President of the United States. 


In the spring, of 1841: a delegation headed by John Eoss arrived in 
Washington. In a communication ' to the Secretary of War they in- 
closed a copy of a letter addressed to them by President Tyler on the 
20th of September, 1841, previously alluded to, promising them a new 
treaty to settle all disputes arising under the treaty of 1835. They ad- 
vised the Secretary of their readiness to enter upon the negotiation of 
the promised treaty, and submitted^ a statement of the salient points of 

1 May (i, lf'44. 
•^May 30,1844. 

lioYCE.) TREATY OF AUGUST 6, 1S4P. 301 

dillei'euce to be adjuclicated, involviDg (1) a fair aud just iudemnity to be 
paid to the Cherokee Nation for the country east of the Mississippi from 
which th(?y were forced to remove ; (U) iudemnity for all improvements, 
ferries, turnpike roads, bridges, etc., belonging to the Cherokees ; (3) 
indemnity for spoliations committed upon all other Cherokee property 
by troops and citizens of the United States prior and subsequent to the 
treaty of 1835 ; (4) that a title in absolute fee-simple to the country west 
of the Mississippi be conveyed to the Cherokee Nation by the United 
States ; (5) that the political relations between the Cherokee Nation and 
the United States be si^ecifically defined ; (C) that stocks now invested 
by the President for the Cherokee Nation be guaranteed to yield a speci- 
fied annual income, and (7) that provision be made for those Cherokees 
residing east of the Mississippi who should evince a desire to emigrate 
to the Cherokee country west of that river. 


At this period delegations representing the anti-Eoss parties were 
also in Washington, and their animosities, coupled with the frequent 
and unsavory reports of the events happening in the Cherokee country, 
determined the President to conclude no new ti-eaty until the true cause 
was ascertained and the responsibility fixed for all this turbulence and 
crime.i The Old Settler and the Treaty parties alleged that griev- 
ous oppressions were pr.acticed upon them by the Eoss party, inso- 
much that they were unable to enjoy their liberty, property, or lives 
in safety, or to live in peace in the same community. The Old Set- 
tler delegation alleged that the act of union, by virtue of which their 
government was superseded and they were subjected to the consti- 
tution and laws of the Eoss party, was never authorized or sanctioned 
by tlie legal representatives of their people. Per contra, the Eos.s dele- 
gation alleged that the Old Settler and the Treaty parties enjoyed the 
same degree of security and the same fullness of rights that any other 
portion of the nation enjoyed, and that the alleged dissatisfaction was 
confined to a few restless and ambitious spirits whose motto was "rule 
or ruin." 

Commisaioncrs appointed to inquire into Chcrolce feuds. — In conse- 
quence of his determination, as above stated, the President appointed 
General E. Jones, Col. E. B. Mason, aud P. M. Butler commissioners, 
with instructions^ to proceed to the Cherokee co^intry and ascertain if 
any considerable portion of the Cherokee people were arrayed in hos- 
tile feeling toward those who ruled the nation; whether a corresponding 
disposition and feeling iirevailed among the majority who administered 
the government toward the minority; the lengths of oppression, resist- 
ance, aud violence to which the excitement of each against the other had 

'Letter of Secretary of War to Comiuissioners Jones and Butler, October 13, 1844. 
-October 18, 1844. 


severally led tbeopposiiigparties, aiul whether the tllscon tent was of such 
exteut and intensity among the great mass of the Old Settler and Treaty 
parties as to forbid their living peaceably together under the same gov- 
ernment with the Ross party. Tliis commission convened at Fort Gib- 
sou on the l(jth of November,' but their labors resulted in nothing of 
practical benefit to the sorely distressed Cherokees. 


Sequoyah or George Guess, the inventor of the Cheiokee alphabet, re- 
moved to the country west of the Mississip]3i long anterior to the treaty 
of 1835/ and was for several years one of the national council of the 
Western Cherokees. 

In the year 184:3 he left his home for Mexico in quest of several scat- 
tered bands of Cherokees who. had wandered off to that distant region, 
and whom it was his intention to collect together with a view to induc- 
ing them to return and become again united with their friends and 

He did not meet with the success anticipated. Being quite aged, 
and becoming worn out and destitute, he was unable without assistance 
to make the return trip to his home. Agent Butler, learning of his 
condition, reported the fact to the Indian Department^ and asked that 
sufficient funds be placed at his disposal for the purpose of sending 
messengers to bring the old man back. Two hundred dollars were au- 
thorized^ to be expended for the purpose, and Oono-leh, a Cherokee, 
was sent on the errand of mercy, but upon reaching Red River he en- 
countered a party of Cherokees from Mexico who advised him that 
Guess had died in the preceding July, and that his remains were in- 
terred at San Fernando.^ 


In the fall of 1845 the bulk of the Old Settler and Treaty parties, 
having become satisfied that it would be impossible for them to maiu- 
taiu a peaceful and happy residence iu the country of their adoption 
while the influence of John Ross continued potent in their national 

'Letter of General Jones to Coinmissioner of Indian Affairs, November 17, 1844. 

- He was one of the chiefs of the Arkansas delegation who signed the treaty of May 
6, 1828. (See United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 314.) 

'Letters of September 12 and November23, 1844, from Agent Butler to Commissioner 
of Indian Affairs. 

' Letter of Commissioner Indian Affairs to Agent Butler, January 17, 1845. 

"Letter of Oo-no-leh to Agent Butler, May 15, 1845. Guess left a widow, a son, and 
two daughters. Hon. T. L. McKenny, iu a letter to the Secretary of War, December 
13, 1825, says: " His name is Guess, and he is a native and unlettered Cherokee. Like 
Cadmus, he has given to the people the alphabet of their language. It is composed 
of eighty-six characters, by which in a few days the older Indians who had despaired 
of deriving an education by means of the schools » » » m.ay read and corre.spoud." 
Agent Butler, iu his annual report for 1845, says: "The Cherokees who cannot speak 
English acquire their own alphabet in twenty-four hours.'' 

RovcK.I TREATY OF AUGUST (i, 1S16. 303 

goveriiiiieiit, resolved to seek for tbeiuselves a new Ijoiiie ou the borders 
of Mexico. A council was therefore held at which a delegation (con- 
sisting- of forty-three members of the Treaty and eleven of the Old 
Settler party) was chosen to explore the country to the south and west 
for a future abode. They rendezvoused' at the forks of the Canadian 
and Arkansas Elvers, and, after electing a captain, i)roceeded via Fort 
Washita, crossing the Ecd Itiver at Coffee's trading house, and follow- 
ing the ridge dividing the waters of Trinity and Brazos to the latter 
river, which they crossed at Baskj' Creek. Here they found a small 
settlement of sixty-three Chcrokees, who had moved in the preceding 
June from a place called by them Mount Clover, in Mexico. 

Among their number was found Tessee Guess, the son of George 
Guess. Leaving Brazos- the explorers traveled westward to the Colo- 
rado, reaching it at the mouth of Stone Fort Creek,^ beyond which they 
proceeded in a southwesterly direction to the San Sabba Creek, at a 
point about 40 or 50 miles above its mouth. They returned on a line 
some (50 miles south of their outgoing trip,^ ami with their friends held 
a council at Dragoon Barracks in the Cherokee Nation.^ At this meet- 
ing it was decided to ask the United States to provide them a home in 
the Texas country upon their relinquishment of all interest in the 
Cherokee Nation, or in case of a refusal of this request that the terri- 
tory of the nation be divided into two parts, and a moiety thereof be 
assigned to them with the privilege of adopting their own form of gov- 
ernment and living under it. 

The governor of Arkansas^ and General Arbuckle" both concurred 
in the conclusions reached by this council, and urged ujion the author- 
ities at Washington the necessary legislation to carry the same into 


Shortly after the delegation selected by the foregoing council had 
pi'oceeded to Washington in the interest of the adoption of the scheme 
proposed, another epidemic of murder aud outrage broke out in the na- 
tion. On the 23d of March, Agent JNIcKissick reported to the Indian 
Department the murder of Stand, a prominent member of the Eoss 
party, by Wheeler Fauglit, at the instigation of the "Starr boys," who 
were somewhat noted leaders of the Treaty party. This murder was 
committed in revenge for the killing of James Starr and others during 
the outbreak of the preceding jS^ovember. It was followed" by the 

' September 1, 1845. 
- October 22, 1845. 

^November 12, 1845. They explored up llie, valley of Stoue Fort Creek a distance 
of 30 miles. 
■•KeiJort of the exploring party to their council. 
'-• January 19, 1846. 

"Letter to the President, February 10, 184(i. 
' Letter to the Secretary of War, February 12, 1846. 
"April 2, 184G. 


murder of Cornsilk, another of Eoss's adherents, by these same "Starr 
boys,'" and six days hiter the spirit of retaliation led, to the killing of 
Turner, a member of the Treaty party. On the 25th of the same 
month' Ellis, Dick, and Billy Starr were wounded by a band of Eoss's 
Cherokee police, who chased them across the line of Arkansas in the 
attempt to arrest them for trial before the Cherokee tribunals for the 
murder of Too-uoowee two days before. General Arbuckle took them 
under his protection, and refused to deliver them up for trial to the 
Cherokee authorities until the latter should take proper steps to punish 
the murderers of James Starr. Subsequently Baldridge and Sides, of 
the Eoss party, were murdered by Jim and Tom Starr, in revenge for 
which the light horse police company of the Eoss government mur- 
dered Billy Eyder, of the Treaty ])arty.^ 

In this manner the excitement was maintained and the outrages mul- 
tiplied until, on the 28th of August, Agent McKissick reported that 
since the 1st of November preceding there had been an aggregate of 
thirty-three murders committed in the Cherokee Nation, nearly all of 
which were of a political character. The feeling of alarm became so 
widespread that General Arbuckle was constrained to increase the mil- 
itary force on the frontier by two companies. 


While these unhappy events were in progress Major Armstrong, su- 
]>erintt'ndent of Indian affairs, who was in Washington, submitted to 
the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, at the suggestion of the several 
Cherokee delegations, a proposition for the appointment of a commis- 
sioner clothed with full ]>owers to adjust all difficulties between the 
various factions of their i)eople. 

The Commissioner replied that as the matter was before Congress and 
would likely receive the speedy attention of that body, no action would 
be justified by the executive authorities without first being assured 
that the proposition was founded in good faith and would result in some 
certain and satisfactory arrangement. He must also have assurance 
that there existed a firm determination on the part of the Department 
and of Congress to bring these troubles to a close before the adjourn- 
ment of the latter body. The Commissioner, however, drew up a mem- 
orandum agi-eemeut for the signature of the several delegations of 
Cherokees representing the different factions of the tribe. It provided 
for the appointment of three commissioners, whose duty it should be to 
examine into all matters in controversy and adjust the same, and that 
all parties should abide absolutely by their decision, agreeing to execute 
and sign such treaty or other instrument of agreement as should be 
considered necessary to insure the execution of the award of the com- 

' Letter of Agent McKissick to Commissioner Indian Aflairs. May 12, 1846, and Gen- 
eral Arbuckle to Adjutant-General, April 28, 1840. 
= Report of Agent McKissick .July 4, 184(3. 


missioDers.' This agreement was duly signed by the members of the 
several delegations present in "Washington, and in pursuance of its pro- 
visions President Polk appointed'^ Edmund Burke, William Armstrong, 
aud Albion K. Parrls commissioners with the powers; and for the pur- 
l)oses above indicated. These commissioners at once entered into com- 
munication and negotiation with the three delegations representing the 
difterent factions of the Cherokee l^ation, which were then in "Wash- 
ington, aiul the result was the conclusion of the treaty- of August C, 
1840, ^ in thirteen articles, making detailed provision for the adjustment 
of all questions of dispute between the Oherokees themselves and also 
for the settlement of all claims by the Cherokees against the United 
States.* This treaty, with some slight amendments, was rati lied and 
proclaimed by the President on the 17th of the same mouth ; an abstract 
of its provisions has already been presented. It was not until this 
treaty that the Eoss party ever consented in any manner to recognize 
or be bound by the treatj' of 1835.^ 

Objects of the treat;/. — The main ])rii)ciple involved in the negotiation 
of the treaty of 184G had been the disposition on the part of the United 
States to reimburse to the Cherokee fund sundrj' sums which, although 
not justly chargeable upon it, had been improperly paid out of that 
fund.''' In the treaty of 1835 the United States had agreed to pay to 
the Cherokees $5,000,000 for their lands and $600,000 for spoliations, 
claims, expenses of removal, etc." By the act of June 12, 1838," Con- 
gress appropriated the further sum of $1,0-17,067 for expenses of re- 
moval. As all these sums were for objects expressed in the treaty of 
1835, the commissioners who negotiated the treaty of 1846 regarded 
them as one aggregate sum given by the United States for the lands of 
the Cherokees, subject to the charges, expenditures, and investments 
provided foi' iu the treaty. This aggregate sum was appropriated and 
placed in the Treasury of the United States, to be disposed of according 
to the stipulations of the treaty. The United States thereby became 
the trustee of this fund for the benefit of the Cherokee people, and wei-e 
bound to manage it iu accordance with the well known principles of 
law and equity which regulate the relation of trustee and cestui que 

Adjudication of the treaty of 1835. — In order, therefore, to carry out 
the principle thus established by the treaty of 1846, Congress, by joint 

' Commissioner Indian Affairs to Maj. William Armstrong, June 24, 1846. 

•July 6, 1816. 

' United States Statutes at Large, Vol. IX, p. 871. 

* The subject of the North Carolina Cherokee interests was also referred to this com- 
mission July 13, 184G. 

' Report of Commissioner Indian Att'airs to Secretary Interior, January 20, 1855. 

" Second Comptroller of the Treasury to Commissioner of Indian Aftairs, February 
6, 1849. 

'United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 478. 

» United States Statutes at Large, Vol. V, p. "241. 
5 ETH 20 


resoliitioa of August 7, 1848,' required the prbper accounting' otHcers of 
the Treasury to make a just and fair statement of account with the 
Cherokee Nation upon that basis. The joint report of the Second Comp- 
troller and Second Auditor was submitted to Congress- after a full and 
thorough examination of all the accounts and vouchers of the several 
officers and agents of the United States who had disbursed funds ap- 
proi)riated to carry into effect the treaty of 18.35, and also of all claims 
that had been admitted at the Treasury. 

The result of this examination .showed that there had been paid — 

For improvements $I,540,57'J 27 

For ferries 159,572 12 

For spoliations 264,894 09 

For removal and subsistence and commutation therefor, including 
$2,765.84 expended for goods for the poorer Cherokees under the fif- 
teenth article of treaty of 1835, and including also necessary inci- 
dental expenses of eurolling agents, conductors, commissioners, medi- 
cal attendance, and supplies, etc 2,952, 19(i 26 

For debts and claims upou the Cherokee Nation.. 101,348 31 

For the additional quantity of land ceded to the nation 500. 000 00 

For amount invested as the general fund of the nation 500,880 00 

The aggregate of which sums is G, 019,463 05 

which, being deducted from the sum of 6, 647, 067 00 

agreeably to the directions of the ninth article of the treaty of 1846, 
left a balance due the Cherokee Nation of 627 , 603 95 

They also reported that there was a further sum of $96,999.31, charged 
to the geueral treaty fund, which had been paid to the various agents 
of the Government connected with the removal of the Indians and 
which the Cherokees contended was an improper charge upon their 
fund. The facts as to this item were submitted by the Auditor and 
Comptroller without recommendation for the decision of the question 
by Congress, and Congress, admitting the justice of the Cherokee claim, 
included »this sum in the subsequent appropriation of February 27, 

It was also resolved^ by the United States Senate (as umpire under 
the treaty of 184G) that the Cherokee Nation was entitled to the sum 
of $189,422.76 for subsistence, being the difference between the amount 
allowed by act of June 12, 1838, and the amount actually ]>aid and ex- 
pended by the United States, and which excess was improperly charged 
to the treaty fund in the report of the accounting otficers of the Treasury 
just recited. It was further resolved that interest at 5 per cent, should 
be allowed upon the sums found due the Eastern and Western Cherokees 
respectively from June 12, 1838. The amount of this award was made 

' United States Statutes at Large, Vol. IX, p. 339. 
2 December 3, 1849. 

'United States Statutes at Large, Vol. IX, p. 572. 
■• September 5, 1850. 

ROYiEl TREATY OP" AUGUST 6, 1846. 307 

available to tbeChcrokees by Congressional appropriation of September 
30, 1850.' 

Sctth-mcnt of claims of " 0/(7 Sctthr''' j)arty.— By tlie fourth and liftli 
articles of the treaty of 1840,^ provision is made and a basis fixed for 
the settlement with that part of the Cherokee Xation known as " Old 
Settlers " or " Western Cherokees," or, in other words, those who had 
emigrated under the treaties of 1817,^ 1819,^ and 1828,^ and who were, 
at the date of the treaty of 1835," an organized and separate nation of 
Indians, whom the United States had recognized as such by the treaties 
of 1828 and 1833" made with them. In making the treaty of 1835 with 
the Cherokees east, which i>rovided for their final and complete transfer 
to the country west, then occupied by the " Western Cherokees," and 
guaranteed in perpetuity by two treaties, upon considerations alone 
connectetl with them, the rights of the latter seem to have been forgot- 
ten. The consequences of the influx of the Eastern Cherokees were such 
that upon their arrival the " Old Settlers" were thrown into a hope- 
less minority ; their government was subverted, and a new one, imported 
with the emigrants coerced under the treaty of 1835, substituted in its 

To allay the discontent thus caused in the minds of the "Old Settlers," 
and to provide comiiensation to them for the undivided interest which 
the United States regarded them as owning in the country east of the 
Mississippi, under the equitable operation of the treaty of 1828, M'as 
one of the avowed objects of the treaty of 184(5. To ascertain their in- 
terest it was assumed that they constituted one-third of the entire 
nation, and should therefore be entitled to an amount equal to one- 
third of the treaty fund of 1835, after all just charges were deducted. 
This residuum of the treaty fund, contemplated by the fourth article of 
the treaty of 1810, amounted, as first calculated, to $1,571,340.55, which 
would make the proportionate share of the " Old Settlers " amount to 
the sum of $523,782.18. The act of September 30, 1850,'' made provis- 
ion for the payment to the " Old Settlers," in full of all demands under 
the provisions and according to the principles established in the fourth 
article of the treaty of 1840, of the sum of $532,890.!JC with iiiterest at 
5 per cent, per annum. This was coupled with the proviso that the 
Indians who should receive the money should first respectively sign a 
receipt or release acknowledging the same to be in full of all demands 
under the terms of such article. 

' Uuitecl states Statutes at Large, Vol. IX, p. 556. 

2 Ibid., p. 871. 

^ United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII, p. 156. 

* Ibid., p. 195. 

'■ Ibid., p. 311. 

"Ibid., p. 478. 

' Ibid., p. 414. 

" United States Statutes at Large, Vol. IX, p. 556. 


A year later,' when the " Old Settlers " were assembled for the ])ur- 
jjose of receiving this per capita money, although their necessities were 
such as to compel compliance with the conditions of payment, they en- 
tered a written protest against the sum paid being considered in full of 
all their demands, and apjiealed to the United States for justice, indi- 
cating at the same time in detail wherein they were entitled to receive 
large additional sums. 

For many years this additional claim of tlie "Old Settlers" practi- 
cally lay dormant. But toward the close- of the year 1875 they held 
a convention or council at Tahlequah, the cai^ital of the Cherokee Na- 
tion, and resolved to prosecute their claim to a "speedy, just, and final 
settlement." To that end three of their people were appointed com- 
missioners with full i)ower to prosecute the claim, employ counsel, and 
to do all other necessary and i)i-oper things in the premises. The coun- 
cil set apart and appropriated 35 per centum of whatever should be 
collected to defray all the necessary expenses attendant upon such 
prosecution and collection. Several subsequent councils have been 
held about the subject,^ and the matter continued to be pressed ujion 
the attention of Congress until, by the terms of an act approved 
August 7, 1882,^ that body directed the Secretary of the Interior to 
investigate this and other matters relating to the Cherokees and to 
report thereon to Congress. Pursuant to the purjjose of this enactment, 
Mr. C. C. Clements was apjiointed a special agent of the Interior De- 
l)artmeut with instructions to make the required investigation. He 
submitted three reports on the subject, the latter two being supple- 
mental to and corrective of the first. From this last report^ it ai)pears 
that he finds the sum of $421,053.08 to be due to the "Old Settler" 
Cherokees, together with interest at 5 per cent, per annum from Sep- 
tember 22, 1851. In brief his findings are — 

1. That they received credit, under the settlement made under the 
treaty of 184G, for one- third of the fund, and were chargeable with one- 
third of the items properly taxable thereto. 

2. Independent of article four of the treaty of 1840, the " Old Set- 
tlers" were not chargeable with removal out of the $5,000,000 fund. 

3. Independent of that article, thej- should not be charged out of the 
$5,000,000 fund with the removal of the Eastern Cherokees, for three 
reasons : (a) The " Old Settlers " removed themselves at their own ex- 
pense ; (6) the Eastern Cherokees were not required to reimburse the 
" Old Settlers" under the treaty of 1835; and (c) the Government was 
required to remove the Eastern Cherokees. 

4. They were uot properly chargeable with the removal of the lioss 

' September 22, IfcSI. 

- November 22, 1875. 

'April 28, 1877, November 20, lfi80, November 17, 1881, and October 13, 1^)82. 

* United States Statutes at Large, Vol. XXII, p. 328. 

■'■January 31, 1883. 


party of 13,148, because (a) the IJnited States were to remove tbem, and 
(b) an appropriation of $1,047,007 was made for tbat purpose, for which 
the " Old Settlers" received no credit in the settlement under the treaty 
of 1S4G. 

5. Having received credit for their proportion of tlie $000,000, under 
article three of the treaty of 1S3G, they were chargeable with their pro- 
portion of that fund used for removal, etc., i. c, 2,495 Indians at $53.33 
per liead, amounting to $1.33,058.35. 

C. The Eastern Cherokees were properly chargeable "with the re- 
moval of the Eoss party, and therefore they received credit for the 
$1,047,007 appropriated by the act of June 12, 1838. 

7. In the settlement, the $5,600,000 fund was charged with the re- 
moval and subsistence of 18,026 Indians at $53. 33^ per head, amount- 
ing to $001,380.00.1 

This report, with accompanying letters of the Commissioner of Indian 
Affairs and the Secretary of the Interior, was transmitted to Congress 
bj' the President, with a special message, on the 17th of December, 1883. 

Other questions under the treaty of 1835. — Tiiere were two other ques- 
tions about which the parties could not agree, and upon which, by the 
eleventh article of the treaty of 1846, the Senate of the United States 
was designated as the umpire. The first of these was whether the 
amount expended for the one year's subsistence of the Eastern Chero- 
kees, after their arrival in the West, should be borne by the United 
States or by the Cherokee funds, and, if by the latter, theu whether sub- 
sistence should be charged at a greater rate than $33J per head. 

The Senate committee to whom the subject was referred for report to 
that body found much difficulty, as shown by their report, in reaching 
a just conclusion. They observed that the faulty numner in which the 
treatj' of 1835 was drawn, its ambiguity of terms, and the variety of 
constructions placed upon it, had led to a great embarrassment in ar- 
riving at the real intention of the parties, but that upon the whole the 
opinion seemed to be justified that the charge should be borne by the 
United States. By a strict construction of the treaty of 1835, the ex- 
pense of a year's subsistence of the Indians was no doubt a proper 
charge upon the treaty fund and was so understood by the Government 
at the time. In the original scheme of the treaty furnished the com- 
missioners emjjowered to treat with the Indians this item was enumer- 
ated among the expenditures, etc., to be provided for in its several 
articles, and which made up the aggregate sum of $5,000,000 to be paid 
for the Cherokee country. The Secretary of War, in a letter addressed 
to John Eoss and others in 1830, had said that the United States, having 
allowed the full consideration for their country, nothing further would 
be conceded for expenses of removal and subsistence. The whole his- 
tory of the negotiatiouof the treaty shows that the $5,000,000 was the 
maximum sum which the United States were willing to pay, and that 

'See Senate Executive Document No. 14, Forty-Eighth Congress, 1st session. 


this was not so mncli a consideration for the lauds aud possessions of 
the Indians as an indemnity to cover tlie necessary sacrifices aud losses 
in the surrender of one country and their removal to another. 

Ou the other haud, among the circumstances establishing the ]>ro 
priety of a contrary construction may be mentioned the language of the 
eighth article of the treaty, that " the United States also agree aud 
stipulate to remove the Cherokees to their new homes and to subsist' 
them one year after their arrival there." This language imports pecu- 
niary responsibility rather than a simple disbursement of a trust fund. 
In the "talk" also which was seut^ by President Jackson to the In- 
dians to explain the advantages of the projiosed treaty, he mentioned 
that the stipulations offered " provide for the removal at the expense 
of the United States of your whole people, aud for their subsistence a 
year after their arrival in their new country." 

It was also the common practice of the United States in removing 
the Indian Iribes from one locality to another to defray the expense of 
such removal, and this was done in the cases of their neighbors, the 
Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles. It is a matter of but 
little surprise, therefore, that a conflicting interpretation of this treaty 
through a series of years should have produced gra\e embarrassments. 

Independent, however, of the literal provisions of the treaty of 1835, 
there existed other grounds upon which to base a judgment favorable 
to the claims of the Cherokees. The treaty with the supplementary 
article was finally ratified on the 23d of May, 1S3(), and liy its provisions 
the Cherokees were required to remove within two years. It had been 
concluded (in the face of a protest from a large majority) with a small 
nrinority of the nation. Within the two years those who had favored 
the treaty had mostly emigrated to the West under its provisions.- 
The large majority of the nation, adopting the counsels of John Eoss 
had obstinately withstood all the elibrts of the Government to induce 
them to adopt the treaty or emigrate. They had repudiated its obliga- 
tion aud denounced it as a fraud upon the nation. In the mean time 
the United States had appointed its agents under the treaty and col- 
lected a large military force to compel its execution. The State of 
Georgia had adopted a system of hostile legislation intended to drive 
them from the country. She had surveyed their territory and disposed 
of their homes and firesides by lottery. She had dispossessed them of 
a portion of their lauds, subjected them to her laws, and at the same 
tunc disqualified them from the enjoyment of any political or civil 
rights. In this ;>osture of affairs, the Cherokees who had never aban- 
doned the vain ho])e of remaining in the counti'y of their birth or of 
obtaining better terms from the United States made new proposals 
to the United States through John Eosa and others for the sale of 
their country and emigration to the West. Still pursuing the idea that 

' March 16, 1835. 

i' Letter of John Mason, jr. to Secretary of War, Septemher 25, 1837. 


they were aliens to the treaty of 1835 and unfettered hy its provisions, 
they proposed to release all claim to their country and emigrate for a 
named sum of money in connection with other conditions, among which 
was the stipulation that they should be allowed to take charge of their 
own emigration and that the United States should pay tlie expenses 
thereof. To avoid the necessity of enforcing the treaty at the point of 
the bayonet and to obtain relief from counter obligations to Georgia 
by the compact of 1802 and to the Cherokees by the treaties of 1817 
and 1810, the proposal was readily acceded to by the United States 

On the ISth of May, 1838, the Secretary of War addressed a reply to 
the proposals of the Cherokee delegation, in which he said: 

If it be desired by the Cherokee Nation that their own agents should have charge 
of their emigration, their wishes will be couiplied with and instructions be given to 
the commanding general in the Cherokee country to enter into arrangements with 
them to that effect. With regard to the expense of this operation, which you ask 
may he defrayed by the United States, in the opinion of the undersigned the request 
onght to be granted, and an application for such further sum as may be required for 
this purpose shall be made to Congress. 

A recommendation was made to Congress in compliance with this 
promise. Eased upon an estimate of the jirobablc cost thereof. Con- 
gress by act of June 12, 1838,' appropriated the sum of $1,04^7,007 in 
fall for all objects siieciBed in the third article of the treaty and the 
farther object of aiding in the subsistence of the Indians for one year 
after their renio\al, with the proviso that no part thereof should be de- 
ducted from the $5,000,000 purchase money of their lands. 

Here was a clear legislative affirmation of the terms offered by the 
Indians and acceded to by the Secretary of War. It was a new con- 
tract with the Ross party, outside of the treaty, or rather a new con- 
sideration oflered to abide by its terms, by which the Secretary of War 
agreed that the expenses of removal and subsistence, as provided 
for by the treaty of 18.35, should be borne by the United States, and 
Congress aflflrmed his act by providing that no part of the sum appro- 
priated should be charged to the treaty fund. The appropriation thus 
made proved wholly inadequate for the purposes of removal and subsist- 
ence, the expense of which aggregated $2,952,190.20,^ of which the sum 
of $972,844.78 was expended for subsistence. Of this last amount, 
however, $172,310.47 was furnished to tlie Indians when in great desti- 
tution upon their own urgent ajjplication, after the expiration of the 
" one year," upon the understanding that it was to be deducted from 
the moneys due them under the treaty. This left the net sum of 
$800,528.31 paid for subsistence and charged to the aggregate fund. Of 
this sum the United States provided by the act of June 12, 1838, for 
$611,105.55, leaving unprovided for, the sum of $189,422.76. This, 

■ United States Statutes at Large, Vol. V, p. 241. 

^ See report of Second Auditor and Second Comptroller to Congress, December 3, 


added to the balance of $724,603.37 found due in pursuance of the 
report of the accounting officers of the Treasury/ amounted in the ag- 
gregate to $914,620.13. 

The item of $189,422.76 was appropriated, as previously stated, by 
the act of September 30, 1850, and that of $724,603.37 by the act of 
February 27, 18oI. Interest was allowed on each sum at the rate of 
5 per cent, per annum from the date of the act of June 12, 1838, with 
the understanding that it should be in full satisfaction and a final set- 
tlement of all claims and demands whatsoever of the Cherokee I^ation 
against the United States under any treaty theretofore made with 
them. Instructions were issued^ in the fall of 1851 to John Drenuan, 
superintendent of Indian affairs, to proceed without delay to make 
the payment. For this purpose a remittance was made to him at New 
Crleaus of the suuis of $1,032,182.33 and $276,179.84. The first of 
these sums, he was advised by his instructions, was intended for the 
per capita jiayment, principal and interest, to the Eastern Cherokees, 
or Eoss party, in pursuance of the act of February 27, 1851. The 
latter was for a similar payment to the same parties in compliance with 
the terms of the act of September 30, 1850, previously mentioned. 
These sums were to be distributed, according to the ceusus roll, atnong 
14,098 Cherokees within his superinteudency, and were exclusive of the 
pro rata share to which those Cherokees east of the Mississippi living 
within the States of North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama 
were entitled. For the payment of the latter a clerk was detailed from 
duty in the Office of Indian Aff'airs to act in the capacity of a special 
disbursing agent. 

The payments made by SuiJerintendent Drennan, coupled with the 
conditions prescribed by the act of Congress, were very unsatisfactory 
to the Government or lioss party of Cherokees. Therefore their 
national council addressed^ to the United States a solemn and formal 
protest against the injustice they had suffered through the treaties of 
1835 and 1846, and the statement of account rendered by the United 
States under the provisions of those treaties.* After thus placing 

' See report of Second Auditor and Second Comptroller to Congress, December 3, 

-November 17, 1851. 

3 November 29, 1851. 

■* After reciting in detail the "forced" circumstances tluongh which those treaties 
were brought about, they declared — 

1. That no adequate allowance had been made for the sums taken from the treaty 
fnnd of 1835 for removal; that though an appropriation had been made, the esti- 
mates upon which it was based were too small, and the balance was taken out of the 
Indian fund. 

2. That if allowable in any sense, the Government had no right to take from the 
Cherokee fund an expense for removal greater than the limit fixed by the eighth 
article of the treaty of 1835. 

3. That the alternative of receiving for subsistence $33.33, as provided for iu the 

HOTCE.l TREATY OF AUGUST 6, 1846. 313 

themselves on record, the Cherokees accepted the money and complied 
with the conditions prescribed in the act of Congress. 


As has been alreadj' remarked, at the time of the general removal of 
the Cherokee Nation in 1838 many individuals fled to the monntainsof 
Tennessee and Notth Carolina and refused to emigrate. They always 
maintained their right to an equal participation in the personal bene- 
fits provided in the treaty of 1835, which, though not denied, was held 
by the executive authorities of the United States to be conditional 
upon their removal west. At length by an act of Congress approved 
July 29, 1848,' provision was made for causing a census to be taken of 
all those Cherokees who remained in the State of x^orth Carolina after 
the ratificatiou of the treaty of 1835 and who had not since removed 
west. An appropriation was made equal to $53.33^ for each of such 
individuals or his or her representative, with interest at G per cent per 
annum from the 23d of May, 183G. Furthermore, whenever any of such 
individuals should manifest a desire to remove and join the tribe west 
of the Mississippi, the Secretary of War was authorized to expend their 
pro rata share of the foregoing fund, or so much thereof as should be 
necessary, toward defraying the expense of such removal and subsist- 
ence for one year thereafter, tlie balance, if any, to be paid to the indi- 
vidual entitled. The amount of this appropriation, it was stipulated, 
should be refunded to the United States Treasury from the general 
fund of the Cherokee Nation under the treaty of 1835. The census men- 
tioned was taken by J. C. Mullaj^ iu 1849, and the number found to be 
entitled to the benefits of the appropriation was 1,517,^ which by addi- 
tions was increased to 2,133. Under the approiiriation acts of Septeni- 

treaty of 1835, was refused to be complied v.itli aud their people forced to receive 
r.itious iu kind at double the cost. 

4. That the cost of the rations issued by the commandant at Fort (Ubsou to 
"indigent Cherokees" was improperly charged to the treaty fimd, without legal 

5. That the United States was bound to reimburse the amount paid to some two 
or three hundred Cherokees who emigrated prior to 1830, but who were refused a 
participation in the " Old Settler" fund. 

6. That the Cherokees who remained iu the States of Georgia, North Carolina, aud 
Tennessee were not entitled to any share in the per capita fund, inasmuch as they 
complied with neither of two conditions of their remaining East; and also becaus* 
the census of those Cherokees was believed to be enormously exaggerated. 

7. That the sum of .{il03,000 had been charged npou the treaty fund for expenses of 
Cherokees iu Georgia during three months they were all assembled and had reported 
themselves to Genera! Scott as ready to take up their emigration march. 

8. That interest should be paid on the balance found due them from April 1."), 18.">1, 
until paid, Congress having no power to abrogate the stipulations of a treaty. 

9. That §20,000 of the funds of the emigrant Cherokees wei-e taken to pay the 
counsel and agents of the Old Settler party without authority. 

I United States Statutes at Large, XoX. IX, p. 264. 

-Commissioner of Indian Affairs to Secretary of Interior, February 10, 1874. 


ber 30, IS.jO, aud February 27, 1851, these Cherokees remaining east of 
the Mississippi were entitled to their pro rata share of the amounts thus 
appropriated. Alfred Chapman was accordingly detailed' from the In- 
terior Department to make the per capita payment, and was furnished 
with the amounts of ?!il, 307.31 and $150,107.19 under those respective 
acts. He was directed to base his payments upon the census roll fur- 
nished him, which showed 2,133 Indians to be entitled: By section 3 of an 
aetapproved March 3, 1855," provision was made for the distribution per 
capita among the Xorth Carolina Oherokees on the I\Iullay roll' of the 
fund established by the act of July 29, 1848, provided that each Indian 
so receiving such payment in full should assent thereto. As a further 
condition to the execution of this act it was stipulated that satisfactory 
assurance should be given by the State of Xorth Carolina, before such 
payment, that the Cherokees in question should be permitted to remain 
permanently in that State. The desired legislative assurance was not 
given by North Carolina until February 19, 1SG6, and the money was 
not, therefore, distributed, but carried to the surplus fund in the Treas- 
ury. Afterwards, by act of March 3, 1875,* it was made applicable to 
the jturchase and payment of lands, expenses in quieting titles, etc. 

In order to determine who were the legal heirs and representatives of 
those enrolled in 1819, but since deceased, the Secretary of the Interior 
was directed by an act of Congress, approved July 27, 1808,'' to cause 
another census to be taken, to serve as a guide in future payments. It 
was further provided by the same act that the Secretary of the Interior 
should cause the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to take the same super- 
visory charge of this as of any other tribe of Indians. 

This second census was taken by S. n. Sweatland in 1809, and he 
was instructed to make payment of interest then due to the Indians, 
guided by his roll, but on the same principle on which previous pay- 
ments had been effected, that is, to those individuals only whose names 
appeared on the IMullay census roll, or their legal heirs or representa- 
tives, as ascertained by census taken by himself. As remarked by the 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, the ditiiculty of tracing Indian geneal- 
ogy through its various complications, in order to determine who are 
legal representatives of deceased Indians, without any rules by which 
hereditary descent among them maybe clearly established, was fully 
demonstrated in the payment made by ]Mr. Sweatland, which was the 
occasion of many complaints and even of litigation. 

' November 20, 1851. 

i" United States Statutes at Large, Vol. X, p. 700. 

■'The fourth section of this same act made provision that the eighth section of 
the act of July 31, 1854 (United States Statutes at Large, Vol. X, pp. 315), author- 
izing the p.aymeut of per capita allowance to Cherokees east of the Mississippi, be so 
ameudedas to authorize the payment of all such Cherokees as, being properly entitled, 
were omitted from the roll of D. W. Siler from any cause whatever. 

■• United States Statutes at Large, Vol. XVIII, p. 447. 

^ United States Statutes at Large, Vol. XV, p. -228. 

HOTCE.J TREATY OF AUGUST fi, 184ti. 315 

The landed interests of these ]S"orth Carolina Cberokees bad also 
since the treaty of 183 j become much complicated, and throngii their 
confidence in otlicrs, coupled with their own ignorance of projjcr busi- 
ness methods, they were likely to lose the title to their homes. At this 
juncture Congress, by an act approved July 15, 1870,' authorized suit 
in equity to be brouglit in the name of the Eastern Baud of Cherokee 
Indians in the district or circuit courts of the United States for the 
recovery of their interest in certain lands in North Carolina. This suit 
■was instituted in the circuit court of the United States for the western 
district of North Carolina in May, 1873, against William H. Thomas 
and William Johnston. Thomas, as the agent and trustee of the In- 
dians, it was alleged had received (between 183G and ISCl) from them 
and for their benefit large sums of money, which had or ought to have 
been iuvested by him, in pursuance of various contracts with the In- 
dians, in certain boundaries of laud as well as in a number of detached 
tracts. The legal title to all these lands was taken by Thomas, and was 
still held in his own name, he having in the mean time become nan 
compos mentis. It was alleged against the other defendant, Johnston, 
that in the year ISO!) he had procured sales to be matle of all these lands 
to satisfy judgments obtained by him against Thomas, and that he had 
bought in the lauds at these sales and takeu sheriff's deeds therefor, 
although having himself a knowledge of the existing equities of the 
Indians. In fact, that after the purchase of the lands he had entered 
into a contract with the Indians to release to them all the rights lie had 
acquired by such purchase for the sum of $30,000, payable within eight- 
een months. Under this contract, and at the time of its execution, tlie 
Indians paid him $6,.")00. 

A suit in law was also instituted, at the same time with the foregoing, 
against James W. Terrell, their former agent (from 1853 to ISGl), and 
hissureties, the above named Tliomas and Johnston, to recover a balance 
of Cherokee funds which he had received for their use from the United 
States and which it was alleged he had not properly accounted for. 

At the May term, 1874, of the circuit court the matters in dispute were 
by agreement submitted to a board of arbitrators. The arbitrators made 
their report and award, which were confirmed by the court at the Novem- 
ber term, 1874. 

The award finds that Thomas purchased for the Indians as a tribe 
and with their funds a large tract of land on Soco Creek and Oconalufty 
I'iver and their tributaries, known as the Qualla boundary, and esti- 
mated by the arbitrators to contain 50,000 acres. It declares that such 
tract belongs to and shall be held by the Eastern Band of Cherokees as 
a tribe. 

The award also determines the titles of a large number of individual 
Indians to tracts of laud outside of the Qualla boundary. It further 
finds that the Indians owe Thomas a balance toward the purchase- 

' United States Statutes at Large, Vol. XVI, p. 362. 


money of the Qualla bouudary of $18,250, from which should be de- 
ducted the sum of $6,500 paid by the ludians to Johustou, with interest 
thereon to the date of the award, amounting in the aggregate to $8,480. 

The awaril also finds that Terrell and his bondsmen are responsible 
to the Cherokees for an unaccounted-for balance of $2,097.89, which 
should also be deducted from the amount due Thomas, leaving a net 
balance due from the Indians on the purchase money of the Qualla 
b()un<l.iry of 87,000. Upon the payment of this sum the award declares 
they should be entitled to a conveyance from Johnston of the legal title 
to all the lands embraced within that boundary.' 

To enable the Indians to clear off this lien upon theiilands. Congress, 
upon the recommendation of the Indian Department, provided by the 
terms of an act approved March 3, 1875,^ that the funds set apart by 
the act of July 29, 1848, should be applied under the direction of the 
Secretary of the Interior for the use and benefit of the Eastein ISaud of 
Cherokees. Specifically these funds were to be used in perfecting the 
titles to the lands awarded to them and to pay the costs, expenses, aiid 
liabilities attending their recent litigations, also to purchase and ex- 
tinguish the titles of anj' white persons to lands within the general 
boundaries allotted to them by the court and for the education, improve- 
ment, and civilization of their people. This was done and the Indians 
have DOW possession of their rightful domain.' 

' This balauce, .Tiuoiiutiiig in the aggregate (with interest) to ^7.'24'2.7fi, was paid 
April 3, 1875. 

-United States Statutes at Large Vol. XVIII, p. 447. 

^A short time prior (September 11, 1S74) to the tiling of Die aw ard of the arbitrators 
in the case of the Indians V8. Thomas, an agreement w as made between the parties 
in interest to refer certain matters of dispute between Thomas and Johnston to the con- 
sideration and determination of the same arbitrators. As the result of this reference 
an award was made which showed that there was due from Thomas to Johnston upon 
three several judgments the sum of $;)3,887.11. Ujjou this sum, however, credits to 
the amount of $15,553.11 (including the $G,500 with interest paid to Johustou by the 
Cherokees under contr.act of September, 1869) were allowed, leaving the net auiount 
due to Johnston §18,335, which sum he was entitled to collect with interest until paid, 
together with the costs taxed in the three judgments aforesaid. The arbitrators 
further found that Johusou held sheriS's deeds for cousiderablo tracts of land which 
had been sold as the property of Thomas and which were not iucluded among the 
piuds hi Id by him in trust for the Indians. These tracts Johnston had bought iu by 
reason of clouds upon the title and "forbiddals" of the sales at a merely nominal figure. 
It was therefore declared that these sherifls' deeds should be Leld by Johnston only 
as security for the payment of the balance due him on the judgments in question and 
for the costs taxed on each. It was further directed that Terrell and Johnston should 
make sale of so much of the lands embraced in the sherifl's deeds alluded to (e.'iclud- 
iug those awarded to the Cherokee Indians either as a tribe or as individuals) as 
would produce a sum sufficient to satisfy the above balance of $18,335 with interest and 

Following this award of the arbitrators Jlr. Johnston submitted a proposition for 
the transfer and assignment of these judgments to the Eastern Band of Cherokees. 
Based upon this otter, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs reported to the Secretary of 
the Interior June 2, 1875, that the interests of the Indians required the acceptance of 

I'oviE.J TKKATY OF ArGl'ST b, l«4(j. ol7 


It is perhaps pertinent to' remark before i)roceeding further that bj 
the terms of an act of Congress approved July 29, 1848 (United States 
Statutes at Large, Vol. IX, p. 26-1), an ajipropriation of $5,(i(»0 was made 
to defray the expenses of removing the Catawba Indians from Caro- 
lina to the country west of the Mississippi River, provided their as- 
sent should be obtained, and also conditioned ui)oii success in securing 
a home for them among some other congenial tribe in that region with- 
out cost to the Government. 

These Catawbas were but a miserable remnant of what a century and 
a lialf earlier had been one of the most powerful and warlike of the 
Southern tribes. They once occupied and controlled a large regio'u of 
country in the two Carolinas, though principally in the Southern prov- 
ince. Their generally accepted western limit was the Catawba River 
and its tributaries, the region between this river and Broad River 
being usually denominated a neutral hunting ground for both the 
Catawbas and the Cherokees. An enmity of long standing had existed 
between the Catawbas and the Six Nations, and war parties of both 
nations for nuiny years were wont to make long and devastating forays 
into each other's territory. The casualties of war and the ravages of 
infectious diseases had long prior to the beginning of the present cen- 
tury rendered the Catawbas insignificant iu numbers and importance. 

.lohnstou's propositiou. This recommendation -was confirmed by William Stickney, 
<if the President's board of Iiidiau commissioners, in a rejiort to that body. Mr. J. W. 
Terrell, on behalf of the Eastern Cherokees, as well as their agent, W. C. McCarthy, 
joined in urging the acceptance o£the proposal. 

Supported by these opinions and recommendations, the Secretary of the Interior, 
on the 3d of June, 1875, authorized the jiurchaseof the Johnston judgments, and two 
d;iys later a requisition was issued for the money, aud instructions were given to 
Agciil McCarthy to make the purchase. 

Under these iustructious as subsequently modified (Juno 9, IST.'i), Agent McCarthy 
reported (July 27, 1875) the purchase of the judgments, amounting in the aggregate, 
including interest and costs, to $l<),24o.,'j3, aud an assignment of them was taken in 
the name of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in trust for the Eastern Band of Chero- 
kee Indians of North Carolina. • 

From investigations and reports afterward made by Inspectors Watklus and Van- 
dever, it appears that there was much uncertainty and confusion as to the actual 
status of these lands. The latter gentleman reported (April 10, 1876) that the second 
award made by the arbitrators was a iirivate .affair between Thomas and Johustou 
and was entirely separate and distinct from the iirst award iu the case of the Indians. 
He also reported that, despite the purchase of the Johnston judgments by the Indian 
Department in trust for the Indians, the two commissioners named in the second 
award proceeded to sell the lands upon which these judgments were a lien, aud at 
the November, 1875, term of the court made a report of their proceedings, which was 
affirmed by the court. 

Taking into consideration all these complications, it was recommended by Inspector 
Vandever that an agent or commission be appointed, if the same could be done by 
consent of all parties, who should assume the duty of appraising the lands affected by 
the Johnston judgments, .and that such quantity of thelands be selected for the Chero- 


Their territorial possessions had been curtailed to a tract of some fifteen 
miles square on the Catawba Eiver, on the northern border of South 
Carolina, and the whites of the surrounding region were generally de- 
sirous of seeing them removed from the State. 

In pursuance therefore of the provisions of the act of 1848 an eflort 
was made bj" the authorities of the United States to find a home for 
them west of the Mississippi Kiver. Correspondence was opened with 
the Cherokee authorities ou the subject during the summer of that year, 
but the Cherokees being unwilling to devote any portion of their do- 
main to the use and occupation of any other tribe without being fully 
compensated therefor, the subject was dropped. 


Unusual expenditures are always incident to the removal and estab- 
lishment of a people in an entirely new country. Domestic dissensions 
and \iolence of a widespread character have a tendency to destroy the 
security of life and property usually felt in a-well governed community, 
and insecurity in this manner becomes the parent of idleness and the 
destroyer of ambition. 

Thus from a combination ot adverse circumstances the Cherokees 
since their removal had been subjected to many losses of both an in- 

kees as would at such equal iu value the amount of the judgments, interest, 
and costs, after which the remainder of the lauds, if any, should he released to Mr. 
Thomas. The representatives of Thomas and Johnston also submitted a proposition 
for adjustment to the Indians, who by resolution of their council (March, 187(i) agreed 
to accept it. In th« light of this action aud of the recommendation of luspector 
Vaudevcr, Congress passed an act (August 14, lti76) authorizing the Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs to receive in payment of the amount duo to the Indians on the John- 
ston judgments owned by them a sufficient quantity of the Thomas lauds to satisfy, 
at the appraised value, the amount of such judgments, and to deed the lands thus 
accepted to the Eastern Band of Cherokees in fee simple. 

The commissoner of appraisal appointed and acting under this act of Congress, aud 
under the supervision of Inspector Watkins, selected 15,211.2 acres, the appraised 
value of which was .§20,061. .35, being the exact amount, including interest and costs, 
due upon the judgments up to October 7, 1876, the date of appraisal. 

Thereupon a deed (known as the Watkins deed) was executed by the parties repre- 
senting the Johnston and Thomas interests, conveying the lands so selected to the 
Commissioner of Indian Alfairs in the manner directed by the act of Congress, which 
deed it was agreed thould be supplemented by a new one so soon as a more definite 
description could be given of the lands after survey. The surveys were made by M. 
S. Temple, who also surveyed the Qualla boundary tract, a deed for which latter 
tract (known as the Brooks deed) was executed direct to the Eastern Band of North 
Carolina Cherokee Indians, and the supplemental deed spoken of above was also exe- 
cuted. Sundry difficulties aud complications have continued from time to time to arise 
in connection with the affairs of these Indians, and as the most effective measure of pro- 
tection to their interests the Commissioner of Indian Affairs has suggested (April 26, 
1882) to Congress the advisability of placing the persons and property of these people 
under the jurisdiction of the United States district court for the western district of 
North Carolina. 

ROYcEl. Th'KATV OF Al'GCST (I, I8lt; 319 

dividiuil and a national cliai'acter. Their debts Lad coine to be very 
oppressive, and they were anxiously devising methods of relief. 

Proposed cesxion of the '^neutral hinrj.'^ — At length in the fall of 1S52 
they began to discuss the propriety of retrocediug to the United States 
the tract of 800,000 acres of additional land purchased by them from the 
Government under the provisions of the treaty of 1<S35. This tract was 
commonly known as the "neutral land," and occupied the southeast 
corner of what is now the State of Kansas. 

It was segregated from the main portion of their territory, aud had 
never been occupied by any cousiderable number of their people. After 
a full discussion of the subject iu their national council it was decided 
to ask the United States to purchase it, aud a delegation was appointed 
to enter into negotiations ou the subject. They submitted their propo- 
sition in two communications,' but after due consideration it was de- 
cided by the Secretary of the Interior^ to be iuexpedient for the Gov- 
ernment to entertain the idea of purchase at that time. Thereupon, un- 
der instructions from their national council, they withdrew the propo- 

As soon as the Cherokees resident in North Carolina and the neigh-