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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1863
([1863])

Central superintendency,   pp. 233-266 PDF (14.3 MB)


Page 233

CENTRAL SUPERINTENDENCY. 
233 
PARK HILL, C. N., May 18, 1861. 
GENTLEMEN: Your letter of the 9th instant has been received. Personal 
indisposition and the press of official business and correspondence will
account 
to you satisfactorily, I hope, for my delay in acknowledging it. You are
right in supposing that both my attention and interest have been elicited
by 
the momentous issues to which you refer. Since the receipt of your commu-
nicaftipn, I have been addressed in relation to the same subject by Lieutenant
Colonel Kannady; commanding at Fort Smith, and I beg you to accept of 
the enclosed copy of my reply to him as a response to yourselves. Also, as
to the position which I occupy in regard to the objects of your inquiry,
a 
residence of more than twenty years in your immediate vicinity can leave
no -room for doubt as to my friendship for the people of Arkansas; but if
my 
present position does not constitute us "as active friends" as
you might 
desire us to be, you will not surely regard us as an enemy. You are fully
aware of the peculiar circumstances of our condition, and will not expect
us 
to destroy our national and individual rights, and bring around our hearth-
stones the horrors and desolations of a civil war prematurely and unneces-
sarily. I am -the Cherokees are-your friends, and. the friends of your 
people; but we do not wish to be brought into the feuds between yourselves
and your northern brethren. Our wish is for peace-peace at home, and 
peace among you. We will not disturb it as it now exists, nor interfere 
with the rights of the people of the States anywhere. War is more pros- 
pective than real. It has not been declared by the United or Confederate
States. It may not be. 1 most devoutly hope it might not be. Your diffi-
culties may be ended soon by compromise or peaceful-separation. What 
will then be our situation if we now abrogate our rights, when no one else
is, or can just now b6, bound for them ? All these questions present them-
selves to us,, and constrain us to avow a position of strict neutrality.
That 
position I shall'-endeavor honestly to maintain. The Cherokee nation will
not interfere with your rights, nor invade your soil; nor will I doubt that
the people of Arkansas and other States will be alike just towards the 
Cherokee people. 
With my best wishes for you personally, I have the honor to be, very 
respectfully, your friend and obedient servant, 
JOHN ROSS, 
Prncipal Chief, Cherokee Nation. 
Messrs. MARK BEAN, W. B. WELCH, E. W. MACCLURE, JOHN SPENCER, J. A. L. 
MCCOLLOCH, JOHN M. LACY, J. P. CARNAHAN, and others. 
CENTRAL SUPERINTENDENCY. 
No. 121. 
OFFICE SUPERINTENDENT OF INDIANx AFFAIRS, 
St. Joseph, 'Missouri, October 5, 1863. 
SIR: In compliance with the regulations of the department, I have the 
honor to submit this my third annual report concernifig the condition of
the 
Indian tribes within the central superintendency. At the present time therd
are twelve agencies subject to the superintendency, composed of seventeen
tribes of Indians, having an aggregate population of about thirteen thou-
sand souls. 
The tribes are as follows: Pawnees, Omahas, Ottoes and Missourias, 
Iowas, Sacs and Foxes of Missouri, Kickapoos, Pottawatomies, Sacs and 
Foxes of Mississippi, Chippewas and Munsees, Ottawas, Kansas, Miamies,"


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