Page images

By their own confessions, some of their war parties have very recently made incursions into our frontier, from which a number of horses have been stolen within a few days; and even since the treaty commenced, they have waylaid and attacked some of the citizens of this Territory.

All these considerations induce us to think it very doubtful whether any treaty, upon the terms we are authorized to offer, can be effected with them. And as the lands they have heretofore ceded extend from the mouth of the Illinois river to the mouth of the Ouisconsin, and include the favorite residence of a great number of the hostile Indians, we do not believe that they would permit the military lands included within those boundaries to be surveyed, if they should eventually, for mere temporary purposes, be induced to conclude a treaty with us.

We are happy to state that the dispositions manifested by the Missouri Indians, generally, seem to be friendly, and some of them are anxious to unite with us in the war against the Sacs and Foxes.

We have the honor to transmit, herewith, the copy of a letter which we felt it our duty to address to the commanding officer in this district. We have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servants,


AUGTE. CHOUTEAU. To the Hon. Secretary of War.

EXHIBIT 180. Governor Clark, Governor Edwards and Auguste Chouteau to

the Secretary of War.1

Portage des Sioux, July 11, 1815. SIR:

As commissioners appointed to negotiate a treaty of peace with the tribes of Indians residing upon the Mississippi and its waters, who, at the time of the ratification of the treaty with Great Britain, were at war with the United States, we, in conformity to our instructions, notified those tribes of the peace that had been concluded, and of the stipulations it contained in regard to themselves, and at the same time invited them to attend, by a deputation of chiefs, at this place, on the 6th instant, for the purpose of concluding a treaty of peace and amity between the United States and themselves.

'American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. II, p. 8.

The friendly overtures of the Government, however, do not appear to have been met by a correspondent disposition on the part of those tribes.

None of them have as yet sent forward sufficient deputations to treat with us; several of them have not sent a single man, nor have we any ground to expect they will so so; and while a considerable number of the most insignificant and contemptible persons of the Sacs and Foxes of Rock river have attended, without more than one chief, we have been informed, and have reason to believe, that their principal chiefs and warriors continue to cherish the most inveterate and deadly hostility towards the American people and Government, and that war parties from those tribes recently started for our frontier; which statement is rendered the more probable by the occurrence of some very late acts of hostility (of which they had previously committed many) since they were informed of the peace.

The Kickapoos sent one chief only, and there are strong grounds to believe that they have identified themselves with the Sacs and Foxes in their late hostilities, and that they participate their present unfriendly disposition.

Those three tribes left here privately last night, and we feel it our duty to state to you as our opinion, that the exertion of the military power of the Government will be necessary to secure the peace and safety of this country.




EXHIBIT 181. Governor Clark, Governor Edwards, and Auguste Chouteau to

the Secretary of War.1

Portage des Sioux, July 22, 1815. SIR:

We have the honor to inform you that we have succeeded in concluding separate treaties of peace and friendship with the fol

‘American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. II, p. 9.

lowing tribes of Indians, viz: the Pattawatamies of Illinois river, the Piankeshaws, Yanctons, Teetons, Mahas, Sioux of the Lakes, (residing between Prairie du Chien and the river St. Peter's,) and the Sioux of the river St. Peter's.

We feel peculiar pleasure in acknowledging the prompt and useful assistance and co-operation afforded us in the discharge of our duties by Colonel Miller, whose whole conduct, as far as it has come under our observation, fully evinces that he merits all that honorable distinction which the Government of his country has bestowed upon him.

From various indications of the settled hostility of the Sacs and Foxes, Kickapoos, Winnebagoes, &c. of the Rock river, and particularly from some additional depredations which some of them have committed since the date of our last letter, we fear there is little ground to hope that a conflict with them can be avoided with either honor to the Government or safety to this country.

We have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient servants,


To the Hon. Secretary of War.


Governor Clark, Governor Edwards, and Auguste Chouteau to

the Secretary of War.1

St. Louis, September 18, 1815. SIR:

We have the honor to inform you that, since our last communications, we have concluded treaties of peace with the Kickapoos, Big and Little Osages, Sacs of the Missouri river, Foxes, and Joways.

A considerable backwardness, if not positive reluctance, on the part of several tribes, in accepting the overtures of peace which we were authorized to offer them, have been very manifest.

The Sacs of Rock river have ultimately refused to treat with us in the most positive manner; speak, without disguise, of their opposition to military establishments on the Mississippi river; and have continued to commit occasional but serious depredations on this frontier.

'American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. II, p. 9.

By information recently received from Mr. Boilvin, agent at Prairie du Chien, the Indians about that place appear to be in considerable commotion, and are much divided among themselves with regard to peace with the United States.

A number of British traders, with goods to a great amount, on which they have paid no duties, have arrived on the Mississippi, and we feel well assured that many of the difficulties that have occurred with the Indians, and which still continue, are justly attributable to that class of people.

Lieutenant Kennerly, who was sent out for some of the more distant tribes of Indians, not having returned, and there yet being some prospect of other tribes coming in, we have adjourned to this place, and hope to finish our business in a few days, when we shall forward the report of our proceedings. We have the honor to be, most respectfully,



Augte. CHOUTEAU. Hon. Wm. H. Crawford, Secretary of War.

EXHIBIT 183. Report of Commissioners Clark, Edwards, and Chouteau, to the Sec

retary of War. 1

St. Louis, October 18, 1815. SIR:

Being about to finish all the duties which, as Commissioners appointed to treat with the Indians of the Mississippi and its waters, it is possible for us to perform in the present year, we feel it incumbent on us to give you a more minute detail of our proceedings, and of the causes that have protracted our duties to the present time, than has hitherto been transmitted to the Department over which you preside.

'American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. II, p. 9; British State Papers, Vol. III, p. 1037 (1815-1816).

On the 11th of May, we met at this place, which was as soon after the receipt of our Commissions and Instructions as was practicable. Our first duty being to send Invitations, according to our Instructions, to the different Tribes or Nations of Indians with whom The United States were at War at the time of the Ratification of their late Treaty with Great Britain, every effort in our power was employed to procure proper Persons for that purpose; but in this, success was for some time unattainable. Several of the hostile Tribes had previously been notified by the Governors of this and Illinois Territory of the Treaty, and the Stipulations it contained in regard to themselves. But, contrary to every reasonable expectation, the intelligence thus communicated seemed to have generated new and additional hostility; which was so repeatedly developed in the most flagitious depredations and massacres on the Frontiers, as to produce universal alarm. Those acts of hostility appearing to increase rather than diminish, after we had commenced our duties, rendered it extremely difficult to engage any Persons to go into the Indian Country; subjected us to disappointments by some, whose fears prevented them from fulfilling engagements after they had made them; put it out of our power then to send to several of the Tribes; and caused our Missions to be more expensive, in consequence of having to send a greater number of Men together, and to send up a Party in a fortified boat, as a necessary precaution to guard against danger; without which, they could not have been induced to go upon any terms.

Having, at length, eventually succeeded in procuring some Men for the purpose, we prepared and sent off 37 Talks, (of which a Copy is herewith transmitted,) directed to different Tribes, hoping that our Messengers might be able to engage Indians to carry some of those Talks to those places where it would otherwise have been impossible for us to have sent them. In some instances, the Indians having left their Villages and gone to their summer's hunt, our Messengers were unable to find them; in consequence of which we had to wait for further information and send again.

The Messengers whom we had engaged to go by the direct route to Prairie du Chien, were stopped at the mouth of Rock River by the Sacs, who would permit them to proceed no further. This event, however, we had anticipated; and had previously determined to send

« PreviousContinue »