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

[Southern superintendency],   pp. 119-177 PDF (23.0 MB)


Page 120

REPORT OF THE 
upon in convention, but no settlement was had. Since then, and 
while at Washington city last spring and summer, the delegations of 
the two tribes, the Choctaws, aided by their agent, Douglass H. 
Cooper, esq., entered into a joint treaty or convention, to which the 
general government was a party, that it is hoped will satisfactorily 
dispose of all questions existing between them inimical to their har- 
monious relations ; the treaty to be ratified by their respective coun- 
cils before being submitted to the United States Senate. The sanguine 
among them regard its ratification by their councils as certain, others 
look for its rejection or essential modification ; but as the time for 
determinate action is so near at hand, it is useless to resort to conjec-
ture. I understand that one of the provisions of the treaty assigns 
the Witchitas a permanent home in the Choctaw country. Last year 
this tribe made representations that their country, inhabited by them 
from time immemorial, had been given to the Choctaws without their 
consent and without remuneration, and earnestly protested against it. 
Whether this tribe, having had no voice or representation in the con- 
stitution of this treaty, will be satisfied with its provisions concerning
themselves, or will present themselves before the general government 
as petitioners for redress and remuneration, cannot, as yet, be known 
with any degree of certainty. 
The Creeks are making progress in agriculture. At the present 
time no tribe appears to be more sensibly impressed with the necessity 
of providing the means of education for their sons and daughters; 
and in the past year, encouraged and directed by the cordial interest 
manifested by their agent, William H. Garrett, esq., and under the 
fostering care and protection of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, their 
educational facilities have been very considerably augmented. The 
various school houses, undergoing repair and in course of building, 
will soon be ready for occupation, and will comfortably accommodate 
a considerable increase in the number of pupils. One of the most 
serious drawbacks on the prosperity of this people has been in the 
multitude of their chiefs and headmen ; they have recently reduced 
the number of their chiefs from seven hundred to five hundred-a step 
in the right direction. The chiefs drawing a larger per centum of the 
various annuities than the private citizen proportionally reduced the 
sums paid the latter ; the reduction in the number of the chiefs will, 
in an equal ratio, increase the amount to be distributed among the 
mass of the tribe, and they, perceiving its good effects, will still 
further improve their condition by again reducing the nunber of 
chiefs, and thus more and more simplify their form of government. 
With the Seminoles, who had been assigned a home in the Creek 
country, and by the treaty of 1845 made participants in the enactment 
and administration of laws, in fact, in all respects save their pecuniary
relations with the general government, made an integral portion of 
the Creek people, much dissatisfaction exists, arising from an utter 
disregard of the treaty on the part of a portion of the Seminoles. 
When the treaty of 1845 was made, the larger number of the 
Seminoles quietly settled down among their Creek brothers, (the tribes 
-having originally been one,) with the intention of incorporating them- 
selves into the Creek nation; but a few restless and turbulent ones, 
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