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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1855
([1855])

[Central superintendency],   pp. 68-118 PDF (20.8 MB)


Page 101

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.                 101 
limits of the Pottawatomie reserve, where she is still lying. It hav- 
ing been established to my satisfaction that the crew on board have 
been selling liquor to the Indians, and several difficulties having 
grown out of these transactions, I sent an express to Fort Riley, re- 
questing a command to arrest the offenders and to suppress other viola- 
tions of the law. No command was sent me; but I must, however, 
state that my messenger very stupidly returned without waiting for 
an answer to my letter. 
Before I started to St. Louis for funds I addressed a letter to Colonel 
Sumner, then commanding at Fort Leavenworth, and requested a 
small detachment of troops to attend the payments. Upon reaching 
home, but when it was too late, I found an answer from Lieutenant 
Colonel Johnson, at the same post, advising me that Colonel Sumner 
had departed for the seat of war, taking with him all the effective 
troops. He cheerfully offered to arm, with rifles, a body of recruits 
and send them to me. I should have availed myself of this offer had 
Col. J.'s letter reached me in time. 
I sent to the United States deputy marshal of Tecumseh to arrest 
some violators of the law, but that official declined acting, alleging as
a reason, that it was beyond his authority to act in the Indian coun- 
try. Having seen the United States marshal and his deputies of the 
Arkansas district go into the Choctaw and Cherokee reserves, appre- 
hend and bring to trial offenders against the intercourse law, I un- 
hesitatingly made the call. Whether I was right in so doing it is for 
higher authority to say. But I feel assured that if the United States 
court in this Territory have the right and will send its officers into 
the Indian reserves for offenders, there can be no more speedy and 
effectual way of arresting the various disorders that prevail in the In-
dian country. 
According to the annuity roll of 1854, the Pottawatomies on the 
reserve number 3,440. There are about 250 others living among the 
Kickapoos, some of whom have intermarried in that tribe, and all of 
whom obstinately refuse to move to the Pottawatomie reserve. There 
are a few scattering families in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan, and 
among the Sacs and Foxes. From all I can learn, this once numer- 
ous tribe cannot number, in all quarters, over 4,000 souls. 
The Pottawatomies complain greatly at the neglect of the govern- 
ment to reimburse those who furnished their own transportation and 
subsistence when they emigrated to this country. There are several 
hundred who set up claims of this character. They state that they 
were promised these reimbursements as soon as they arrived west, but 
that nothing has been done for them. Many also complain that their 
reservations have been taken without any consideration having been 
paid them. I would be glad, indeed, if the department would furnish 
me with a list of the reserves, to whom sold, when, and for what 
sums; also of those who yet hold their lands.  It would cause a great 
saving of correspondence. 
I have the honor to be your obedient servant, 
GEG. W. CLARKE, Indian Agent. 
A. CutMING, Esq., 
Superintendent Indian A1ff airs, St. .Louis, Mo. 


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