Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 14, No. 4
THE JOURNAL OF THE PROCEEDINGS AT OUR FIRST TREATY WITH THE WILD INDIANS, 1835
Edited by Grant Foreman
By the adoption of a new policy based upon President Jackson's Indian Removal Bill of 1830, many treaties were made with the
Indians providing for their removal from the east to the west side of the Mississippi River. To carry these measures into
effect a commission was set up at Fort Gibson for the purpose of locating the immigrant Indians on their new domain and inducing
the wild Indians to receive them as neighbors. This commission was composed of Gov. Montfort Stokes of North Carolina, chairman,
Henry L. Ellsivorth of Hartford, Conn., and Rev. John F. Schermerhorn of Utica, New York. They began their labors in December,
They early undertook to make contact with the wild Indians in an effort to quiet the fears of the early arrivals among the
Creeks who were much alarmed by the demonstrations of their neighbors. The first expedition from Fort Gibson to their country
was that commanded by Capt. Jesse Bean and accompanied by Washington Irving. It failed of its purpose. The next year a more
ambitious campaign was undertaken by Col. James B. Many. This command of two companies of the Seventh Infantry and three of
the rangers spent an arduous summer in quest of the Indians of the present western Oklahoma with no success.
In 1834 a better organized and equipped campaign was launched; it was the famous Dragoon expedition that left Fort
Gibson in June, for the home of the prairie Indians. They went to the site of the future Fort Sill to see the Comanches and
farther to the west of the mountains where the Wichita Indians lived. This was a tragic enterprise that cost the lives of
General Leavenworth and 150 other men out of a total of 500 engaged. But they at last succeeded in bringing a delegation of
Kiowa, Comanche, Waco, and Wichita Indians to Fort Gibson. Up to now these Indians knew no white man but the Mexicans whose
language many of them spoke. They were ignorant of the fact that the country over which they roamed belonged to the United
States and they had no idea of yielding allegiance to this or any other nation of white men.
A great council was then convened at Fort Gibson attended by 150 Indians. Here, by dint of interminable interpreting, the
policy of the United States was explained to the wild visitors from the west and the idea of making treaties of peace was
discussed. They were alert to discover that peace councils connoted presents and readily fell in with the idea of holding
another, but it was explained to them that the officers in the council had no authority at the time to make a treaty. However,
they were promised that in the buffalo country "when the grass next grows after the snows, which are soon to fall, shall have
melted away," a treaty would be held when more presents would be given them.
No steps were taken to hold the treaty council with the western Indians until the next year. In March, 1835, Holland Coffee,
his partners, Calville and Isaac Pennington, Indian traders, came to Fort Gibson and brought word that the Indians were becoming
restless to know when that novel occasion was to materialize. The Indians also sent word that they wished the council to be
held in the vicinity of Coffee's trading post on the Red river. At that time the buffaloes were becoming scarce in the present
eastern Oklahoma, and the Indians so absolutely dependent on that animal for food, would not consider coming in large numbers
for a prolonged stay in a section of country where plenty of buffaloes were not to be
found. Hence they desired that when they came to meet the white representatives the place of meeting should be in the buffalo
country of western Oklahoma.
Two Wichitas and a Waco came to Fort Gibson commissioned by their tribes to inquire when the council would be held. As there
was no interpreter at the Post, General Arbuckle was not able to communicate with them for several weeks until he at last
found a woman among the Osages who could perform that office for them. In the meantime a commission was on the way from Washington
directing General Arbuckle, Governor Stokes and Maj. F. W. Armstrong to hold a treaty conference with the Comanche, Kiowa,
and other western Indians at Fort Gibson. The object of the conference as recited in the letter of instructions was to establish
amicable relations between the Comanche and other predatory tribes roaming along the western border, and the United States;
and between these and the Indian tribes removing from the east.
The board of commissioners organized early in May and through the newly secured interpreter discussed with the western emissaries
the matter of holding a treaty conference at Fort Gibson. After two days of discussion and interpreting the commissioners
found that it would be impossible to secure even an interview with the Comanche and other chiefs before late July. They were
informed that a war party had gone over the line into Texas, and the remaining bands were hunting on the "Great Prairies";
and that none of them would return until the green corn raised by the Wichita Indians was ripe enough for feasting on it.
The commissioners then sent Maj. R. B. Mason with a force of dragoons to establish a camp at a suitable place for holding
the conference with the western Indians. On May 18, Mason and his command marched forth from Fort Gibson under orders to station
himself on Little river. But the site selected by Mason for his fort was in the edge of the Cross Timbers near a spring on
a small creek on the north side of the Canadian
River about five miles northeast of where is now the town of Purcell and a little nearer to the present Lexington. It was
a favorite camping ground for the Indians and was later the site of a Kichai village. Mason described it as a beautiful location,
with a border of timber to the east, ten miles of prairie to the west, encircled with sparse woods and having a fine running
brook and a number of springs. The establishment for some unaccountable reason was generally called Camp Holmes, though the
Chouteaus and some others called it Fort Mason for the officer who established it.
Near the first of July the Comanche and other Indians began arriving at Mason's fort in great numbers, and refused to yield
in their determination to have the conference there rather than at Fort Gibson. At first they established themselves eight
or ten miles from Camp Holmes in such numbers that one report said there were 7,000 present. Their number was so large and
their attitude so menacing upon viewing the handful of men under Major Mason, that on the third day of July this officer dispatched
an "express" to General Arbuckle at Fort Gibson appealing for more troops. Arbuckle at once returned an answer by the Osage
Indians who brought the message, assuring Major Mason of the desired reinforcement's, and directly dispatched to his assistance
campanies T and H of the Seventh Infantry numbering 100 men under Capt. Francis Lee, together with a piece of ordnance.
While the commissioners were making their plans to go to Camp Holmes for the conference, Major Armstrong was taken seriously
ill, and on August 6 died at his home at the Choctaw agency 12 miles west of Fort Smith. On the same day General Arbuckle
and Governor Stokes departed from Fort Gibson for Camp Holmes with an escort of companies A and D of the Seventh Infantry,
commanded by Maj. George Birch. Accompanying them were Indian traders and delegations from the Creek, Osage, Seneca, and Quapaw;
the Cherokee, Choctaw, and Delaware were to follow soon after. There was a train of wagons laden with camp equipment, provisions
of a miscellaneous character for the Indians. On their arrival at Camp Holmes the force of soldiers amounted to 250; this
number the commissioners believed was necessary to enable them to maintain their position and secure the respect of the Indians,
and as a warning to them that the white man was prepared to occupy the position permanently unless the Indians entered into
the desired treaty of peace.
The board of commissioners composed of Stokes and Arbuckle appointed Lieut. Washington Seawell as secretary and began negotiations
with the Indians. A great brush arbor had been erected by the soldiers and seats made of split logs were arranged under it
for the accommodation of the chiefs and principal men. For a few days the Indians visited around getting acquainted with each
other; the first contact of most of the immigrant Indians with the wild people of the west.
The nights were spent in dancing around the great council fire with the wild people of the west. Many preliminaries, speech
making and interminable interpretation occupied much time; finally, after the assurance of presents to be made following the
signing, the treaty was entered into on August 24 between the Comanche and Wichita, their associated bands or tribes and the
United States; and between these western Indians and the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Osage, Seneca and Quapaw. The Kiowa Indians
did not remain to participate in the treaty; it was reported that they left through fear of the Osages, their enemies of long
After the treaty conference there was the tumult and disorder of breaking camp, pulling down and folding up of tents, stripping
lodges of canvas and skins, and the departure of the visitors, men, women and children, for their remote homes. The infantry
left Camp Holmes ahead, but the better mounted dragoons arrived at Fort Gibson first on the fifth of September. Governor Stokes
and General Arbuckle reached the post on the twelfth. The venerable former governor of North Carolina, 75 years of age, performed
all the labors required of him by his commission, intrepidly covered the 300 miles entailed by
the journey through the heat of summer and returned to Fort Gibson in good health. Col. A. P. Chouteau, the shrewd trader,
quick to realize the advantage of the location and the influence of the new treaty, occupied the site of Camp Holmes and erected
buildings here for a trading post where he bartered with the Indians until his death in 1839.
The following journal of the proceedings at this, our first treaty council with the western Indians, was found in the old
files of the office of the Indians affairs in Washington.
JOURNAL of the PROCEEDINGS of
M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, & F. W. Armstrong.
Commissioners appointed to hold a Treaty with the Comanche, Caiaway and other Nations and Tribes of Indians on the South Western
Frontier of the U. States 1835.
Fort Gibson May 4th, 1835.
Received the commission of appointment and letter of instructions from the Secretary of War dated March 27, 1835 directed
to Hon. M. Stokes,1 Bret. Brig. Genl. M. Arbuckle,2 Major F. W. Armstrong.3
Fort Gibson 5 May 1835. The board met and entered on business. Present; M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Commissioners.
Wrote a letter and sent by express to Major F. W. Armstrong at the Choctaw Agency, notifying him of the appointment and requesting
his attendance at Fort Gibson as soon as convenient.
Fort Gibson May 7, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Commissioners.
Appointed Col. A. P. Chouteau,4 Interpreter of the Osage language, and sent an express with a request that he bring in from Clermonts Town, the two Tow e
ash and one Waco Indians, together with the Tow e ash woman to be used as an interpreter.
Fort Gibson May 10th, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Commissioiners. Col. Chouteau arrived, with the
three Indians from the Tow e ash and Waco Village's and the Tow e ash woman.
Fort Gibson May 11th, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Commissioners.
Held a talk with the three Western Indians on the subject of the proposed Treaty with the Comanches, and other Tribes. The
Osage 2d Chiefs Black Dog and Tally were present.
Fort Gibson May 12, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Commissioners.
Held a Council with the three Western Indians in presence of Black Dog, Tally and others of the Osage Nation.
Explained to the Indians the views of the Government of the United States in proposing a treaty with the Comanches and other
wandering Nations or tribes on the Western Frontier.
Fort Gibson May 13, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, F. W. Armstrong, Commissioners.
Held a further Council with the three Western Indians, in presence of, and asisted by Black Dog, Tally and other Osages.
Fort Gibson May 14, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, F. W. Armstrong, Commissioners.
Held a further Council with the three Western Indians and the principal Indians present, of the Osages. —Considered it proper
that Major Mason with a party of Dragoons should proceed to the head of little river of the Canadian, and select a suitable
place for having an interview with the Chiefs of the Comanche, and other Tribes of the Western Frontier. Determined to send
the three western Indians, Col. Chouteau, the
two Tow e ash women and three Osage Indians with Major Mason. —Engaged Tally for this purpose. —Engaged the three Tow e ash
and Waco Indians to assist in bringing in the Chiefs of the Comanche Tribes to Fort Gibson for the purpose of making the proposed
Wrote a letter to the Secretary of War informing him of these arrangements.
Fort Gibson May 15, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, F. W. Armstrong, Commissioners.
Held a further Council with the three Western Indians and a number of the Osages. Obtained the promise of Black Dog and the
Osages to refrain from any hostile acts towards the Comanche's and other wandering Western Tribes.
Fort Gibson May 16, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs.
Made arrangements for the departure of the Western Indians, with the Tow e ash women. —purchased and gave them some small
presents, —purchased a Horse at the price of Sixty five dollars for the Tow e ash woman to ride to the west, and to carry
her child. Purchased Stationery for the use of the Commissioners. The name of the principal Tow e ash Indian is Nuck, the
names of his two companions are Tauacaquerie and Chotadaces. The name of the Tow e ash woman employed as an interpreter, is
Fort Gibson May 18, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs.
This day Col. A. P. Chouteau with one Osage Interpreter arrived from his residence near the great Saline in order to accompany
the expedition to the West, under Major Mason.5
The commissioners were this day employed in fiting out the Western expedition. Purchased a Horse at the price of thirty five
dollars for Nuck, the principal Tow e ash Indian, he having lost his own. Gave the three Tow e ash and Waco Indians, and the
Tow e ash woman employed as enterpreter some presents consisting of Blankets Hats &c.
Fort Gibson May 19, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs.
The board were engaged in completing the preparations and preparing instructions for Col. Couteau for the western Expedition.
—Had a consultation with a Mr. Pennington,6 residing in the Creek Nation relative to a War party of Texas Indians fitting out by the Texas Government against the Comanches,
and these subordinate Bands. Genl. Arbuckle made arrangements with Col. Many,7 Commandant at Fort Jesup near Nacogdoches, and with Major Mason commanding the Western expedition, in order if possible,
to counteract and prevent any mischevious consiquences to our trading House, and to the Comanchies from this War party of
Texas Indians. This day dispatched Tally, and the other Osage guides, across the Arkansas River, with a small outfit of powder
and lead, and four Rifles, for the purpose of killing game for the party.
Fort Gibson May 20, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs.
This day dispatched Col. Chouteau with Nuck, the principal Tow e ash and his two companions, with the Tow e ash woman As-cim-ka
who crossed the Arkansas river, and joined Major Mason on the Western Expedition.
Fort Gibson May 23, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs.
Hed a consultation with Clermont principal Chief of the Osage Nation and twenty five of his band on the subject of the proposed
Treaty with the Comanches: But having no interpreter, the talk was not satisfactory.
Fort Gibson May 24, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs.
Procured the assistance of Antoine Lombard as an Interpreter and had a further conversation with Clermont, La Foi and other
chiefs and warriors of the Osages — They promised to attend the proposed Treaty with the Comanches and designated the hunting
ground of each Band of the Osages, where
they may be found, until their summer hunt is over; which will be about the last of July. They earnestly begged for presents
for their hunting outfit: But our means for presents and for the expences of the Treaty, being extremely limited, we only
gave them a small quantity of Tobacco, to conciliate their good feelings towards the accomplishment of the views of the Government
in the proposed Treaty. Several of the Warriors expressed a perfect indifference as to the success of the Treaty alledging
that the plunder of Comanche horses, and unrestrained hunting of Game on the Prairie, was more profitable to them than anything
they received from the Government of the United States for acceeding to, or aiding in a treaty of Peace. These speeches of
the Osage Chiefs and Warriors, as well as those of the Commissioners, would have been recorded; but the Commissioners have
no Secretary, and from the circumscribed regulations of the Secretary of War, it is not probable a Secretary can be procured
on the terms prescribed in the instructions.
The records of the proceedings of the Board are kept by the voluntary labour of one of the Commissioners.
Fort Gibson May 31st, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs.
This meeting of the Board was at the request of Black Dog an Osage Warrior and his party. They stated that they were desirous
to meet the Commissioners at the Treaty to be held with the Comanches and other Western tribes: But that themselves and their
families were now suffering for want of provisions, and that their intention was to go immediately on their Buffalo hunt on
the Western Prairie, and from thence to the Treaty when the time should be fixed. They stated that they were in absolute need
of powder & lead, for their hunt, but were unable to procure it, and entreated the Commissioners to assist them. The commissioners
taking into consideration the starving condition of this Tribe, furnished Black Dog and his Band one keg of powder, and fifty
pounds of lead.
Fort Gibson June 10, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Commissioners.
The Commissioners having purchased sundry articles for the outfit and accommodation of the party, the guides and interpreters
set out with Major Mason's Detachment, for the purpose of inviting the Comanche's and other Western tribes to
a treaty; and the Commissioners having occasion for other and further supplies, they drew a check on the Union Bank of Louisiana
for five hundred dollars, in favor of E. W. B. Nowland8 who furnished the supplies aforesaid, and engaged to furnish such others as may be required.
Fort Gibson July 8, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs.
Two Osages having arrived at this post on the 6th ins. on express from Major Mason's camp the commissioners agreed to purchase
and give them some presents for their services, which they had been promised by Major Mason.
Fort. Gibson July 11th, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Commissioners.
An Osage arrived this day on express from Major Mason's Camp. The Commissioners agreed to purchase and give him a few presents,
which Major Mason promised him he should receive for his services. The Board appointed the 20th August for holding the treaty
with the Western Indians at Camp Holmes near the Western border of the cross Timber in the Creek Nation, and requested General
Arbuckle to direct Major Mason to notify the Prairie Indians to attend there at that time.
Fort Gibson July 17, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Commissioners.
The commissioners being without a Secretary they addressed a letter to Lieutenant W. Seawell9 appointing him to that office.
Fort Gibson July 19th, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs., W. Seawell, Secretary.
General Arbuckle reported to the board that he had just received a letter from Major Mason informing him that one of the principal
and most influencial chiefs of the Comanches had not yet arrived at his camp, but he was expected in a few days. The Board
considered it proper that Mayor Mason should be immediately directed to endeavor to prevail upon this Principal Chief as soon
as he arrives at his camp to bring
in the principal Chiefs and head men of his Nation, and also deputations from the different Western Nations or tribes to this
Post for the purpose of holding a treaty.
Fort Gibson July 23d, 1835. The board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
A party of Comanches consisting of eight men and seven women having arrived at this post last evening, the board agreed to
purchase and present to them some pipes and Tobacco. There is one principal Chief among them.
Fort Gibson July 24, 1835. Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
This meeting of the Board was for the purpose of holding a talk with the Comanches who arrived on the evening of the 22d.
The Comanches wished to know when the Commissioners intended meeting the Western Indians for the purpose of treating. —They
begged for presents. —The Commissioners told them that the presents intended for their people would be taken to the treaty
ground, and that after the Treaty they would receive their share, and not before, and that the treaty would take place at
Camp Holmes on the 20th August. The Comanches replied, that if they waited until that time, they would not receive any of
the presents, and earnestly begged that their share should be now given them. —The commissioner's agreed to make them a small
present, and purchased and presented to each a shirt, a handkerchief and some Tobacco, and told them that they would receive
more after the Treaty.
Fort Gibson July 29, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The board met for the purpose of commencing the purchase of presents for the Prairie indians; they considered it best to await
the arrival of Major Armstrong one of the Commissioners who was hourly expected.
Fort Gibson July 30, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The Board dicided to receive proposals for furnishing the presents for the Prairie Indians, and directed the Secretary to
advertise for them until one o'clock P. M. of the first of next month. Employed Sergt. Dennenburg of the 7th Inf. to proceed
to Washington County (A T) to hire wagons and teams to take the presents to the treaty ground.
Fort Gibson July 31, 1835. The board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The board were engaged in ascertaining the amount to be expended in presents for the Prairie Indians. —Paid Francois Beatte
Thirty three dollars for his services as guide to Capt. Lee's command.
Fort Gibson Aug't. 1, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The Board were this day engaged in receiving, and opening bids for purchasing presents for Indians, and examining the samples
furnished. Bids for furnishing some of the presents were accepted.
Fort Gibson Aug't. 2d, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The Board were imployed in purchasing presents to take to the treaty ground and employed Sergt. Stoutenburgh at fifteen dollars
a month to attend to the receiving and safe keeping of them. —They received a letter from Major Armstrong accompanied by his
attending Physicians certificate, stating that, on account of his ill health, his life would be endanged if he accompanied
them to the Treaty ground.
Fort, Gibson Augt. 3, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The board was employed in purchasing presents to take to the treaty ground. They addressed a letter to the Secretary of War
informing him of the progress they were making; and also of the indisposition of Major Armstrong which would prevent his attending
the treaty. They also replyed to Major Armstrongs letter which they received yesterday. —Purchased of S. Hill10 presents amounting to thirteen hundred and ninety one dollars, and paid Sergt. Dennenburg three dollars for expences incured
by him in employing wagons to take indian presents to the Treaty Ground.
Fort Gibson August 4, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The Board directed the Secretary to write a letter to Major Chouteau requesting him to notify the different Osage Bands
in case they should have returned to their towns, that deputations from them were expected to attend the proposed treaty at
Camp Holmes on the 20th inst., and also not to pay out the annuity to the Osage's until, after the treaty, and to tell them
so. (see the proceedings of the 5th of Augt. on the opposite page).
Fort Gibson August 5, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The Commissioners this day gave three Checks on the Union Bank of Louisiana amounting in all to six thousand three hundred
and eighty dollars, and sixty nine cents, one in favor of E. W. B. Nowland for One thousand six hundred and Sixty seven dollars,
and sixty nine cents, one in favor of Willm. P. Tilton for three thousand and eighty one dollars and ninety four cents, and
one in favor of Thos. E. Wilson11 for one thousand five hundred and fifty Eight dollars and thirty nine cents. —These checks were given to pay off the accounts
&c against the Commissioners for purchases of presents &c.
Fort Gibson August 6th, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The Board agreed on leaving Fort Gibson this day for the Treaty ground at Camp Holmes.
Camp Holmes August 19, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The Commissioners reached Camp Holmes this day12 and assembled the Comanche and Witchetaw chiefs. They asked them where the principal Kioway chiefs were, and if they could
not be had here in ten days. —They replied that the Kioway chiefs could not be got here in ten days, & that it was impossible
to say when they could be got here. —That they were like wolves, so difficult were they to be found. The Commissioners asked
them if any more of the Chiefs and principal men of their Nations were expected, and they replied "no" —They will not come
here; they were here and staid a long time, but their children were starving, and they have gone for good, and will not return"
—The Commissioners asked them if they were fully empowered to treat with the United States, and in case
of making a treaty, if all their people would consider themselves bound to observe it. —They replied, "Yes, We were left here
for the purpose of making a treaty of Peace; Our nation wish to be at peace with every person. When we before left here, our
people told us not to leave before you arrived, that they wanted to make a Treaty, and that they would all observe it. —The
Kioway's will also agree to any Treaty we may make."—
Camp Holmes August 22, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The Board having this day assembled in Council, the Chiefs, Warriors and representatives of the Comanche and Witchetaw Nations
and their associated Bands or Tribes of Indians, and having introduced them to the Chiefs and Representatives of the Cherokee,
Muscogee, Choctaw, Osage, Seneca, and Quapaw Nations or Tribes of Indians, who were also assembled in council. The following
speeches were made by the Commissioners, and interpreted to the Comanche, and Witchetaw Nations.
Speech of Governor Stokes.
Brothers of the Comanche and Witchetaw Nations—We are glad you have met us here. —It shows your confidence in your great Father
who has invited you to make a treaty of peace, and friendship with the United States and with your red Brothers East of you.
Brothers, your great father the President of the United States has nothing to ask of you, but to be at peace with the people
of the United States and with the nations of Indians who have treaties of his people.—Brothers —The red chiefs who you see
around you are friends of your great Father the President of the United States, and he has promised to cherish and protect
them in all their just rights, and he most assuredly will fulfil this promise. Brothers, I have just risen from a bed of sickness,
and will say no more at this time: My Brother here will speak with you, listen to him, we are both friends to you, and speak
the word of your great Father.—
Speech of General M. Arbuckle.
Brothers, of the Comanche and Witcheta.w Nations. The Commissioners are much gratified to see you here, with your minds prepared
(as they believe) to make a permanent treaty
of peace with the United States, and with the different Nations of red people now present. —These Nations you have been informed
are under the protection of the United States, and your great father the President of the United States, desires to place
his arms around you, and to do good to your Nations, by preventing your people from being destroyed by Wars. —He has promised
peace to the Nations of red people he has heretofore made treaties with, and the representatives of six of those nations are
now present. Peace is all your great Father asks of you, and he well knows that your own good requires that you should be
at peace with all Nations, both white and red. He has promised to the Nations of red people who have made treaties with him
protection, and he will not permit them or his white children to be injured by any nation whatever. —The Treaty which will
be offered to you for your consideration, and also for the approval of all the red Nations present, you are to understand
is to be permanent, and to last forever, and we desire that you will think well on this subject, so that all that is contained
in the Treaty you may sign, may be well received by your nations, and that you will not agree to any thing which you will
not cause your people to strictly comply with. We have prepared a Treaty which we believe will best secure peace between your
nations and the United States, and between your people and the red nations now present. The Treaty will now be read, and explained
to you, and to all the Nations of red people at this place, that you and they may take it into consideration and apprize the
Commissioners of your approval of it, as now offered, or of any alterations you or any Nation may desire to make. We have
repeatedly informed you that your great Father has not sent us here to ask of you anything except what is necessary for your
own good; —as this is the first opportunity he has had of making a Treaty of peace with your nations, and between your people,
and the red nations now present, who are his friends, and as he is informed that your nations are poor, he has authorized
us to give to them some presents after the Treaty which may be agreed on, is signed, as an evidence of his good will towards
them, and of his sincere desire to benefit your people."—
The Board read and caused to be interpreted to the Camanche and Witchetaw Nations, and their associated Bands or Tribes of
Indians the Articles of the treaty they wish them to enter into with the United States of America, and the Chero-
kee, Muscogee, Choctaw, Osage, Seneca, and Quapaw nations, or Tribes of Indians, and directed the Secretary to furnish a copy
of these articles to each of the nations present. The following are the Articles of the proposed Treaty.
Article 1st. There shall be perpetual peace and friendship between all the citizens of the United of America, and all the
individuals composing the Comanche and Witchetaw nations and their associated Bands or Tribes of Indians, and between these
nations or Tribes, and the Cherokee, Muscogee, Choctaw, Osage, Seneca and Quapaw Nations or Tribes of Indians.
Article 2d. Every injury or act of hostility by one or either of the contracting parties on the other, shall be mutually forgiven
and forever forgot.
Article 3d. There shall be a free and friendly intercourse between all the contracting parties hereto, and it is distinctly
understood and agreed by the Comanche, and Witchetaw Nations and their associated Bands or Tribes of Indians, that the citizens
of the United States, are freely permitted to pass and repass through their settlements or hunting ground without molestation,
or injury on their way to any of the Provinces of the Republic of Mexico, or returning therefrom, and that each of the nations
or Tribes named in this article further agree to pay the full value of any injury their people may do to the good's or property
of the Citizens of the United States, taken or destroyed, when peacably passing through the Country they inhabit, or hunt
in or else where. —and the United States hereby guarantee to any indian or indians of either of the said Comanche or Witchetaw
Nations, and their associated Bands or Tribes of Indians a full indemnification for any Horses or other property which may
be stolen from them provided that the property so stolen cannot be recovered, and that sufficient proof is produced that it
was actually stolen by the Citizens of the United States, and within the limits thereof.
Article 4th. It is understood and agreed by all the nations or tribes of Indians, parties to this treaty, that each and all
of the said nations or tribes have free permission to hunt and trap in the great Western Prairie, West of the cross Timber,
to the Western limits of the United States.
Article 5th. The Comanche and Witchetaw Nations and their associated Bands or tribes of Indians severally agree and
mind themselves to pay full value for any injury their people may do to the goods, or other property of such traders as the
President of the United States may place near to their settlements or hunting ground for the purpose of trading with them.
Article 6th. Comanche and Witchetaw nations and their associated Bands or Tribes of Indians, agree that in the event of any
of the red people belonging to the Nations or tribes of indians residing South of the Missouri River and West of the State
of Missouri, not parties to this Treaty, should visit their towns, or found, on their hunting grounds, that they will treat
them with kindness and friendship, and do no injury to them whatever.
Article 7th. Should any difficulty hereafter unfortunately arrise between any of the nations or Tribes of Indians parties
hereunto, in consiquence of the stealing of Horses, Cattle; or other cause, it is agreed that the other Tribes shall interpose
their good offices to remove such difficulties, and also, that the Government of the United States may take such measures
as they may deem proper to effect the same object, and see that full justice is done to the injured party.
Article 8th. It is agreed by the Commissioners of the United States, that in consiquence of the Comanche and Witchetaw nations,
and their associated Bands or Tribes of Indians having freely and willingly entered into this treaty, and it being the first
they have made with the United States, or any of the contracting parties; that they shall receive presents immediately after
signing as a donation from the United States; nothing being asked from these nations or tribes in return, except to remain
at peace with the parties hereto, which their own good, and that of their posterity require.
Article 9th. The Comanche and Witchetaw nations, and their associated Bands, or tribes of Indians, agree that, their entering
into this treaty, shall in no respect interupt their friendly relations with the Republic of Mexico, where they all frequently
hunt, and the Comanche nation principally inhabit; and it is distinctly understood that the Government of the United States
desire that perfect peace shall exist between the tribes or nations named in this article and the said Republic.
Article 10th. This Treaty shall be obligatory on the nations or Tribes, parties hereto, from and after the date here-
of, and on the United States from and after its ratification by the Government thereof.
The commissioners this day received a letter from Col. A. P. Chouteau reporting the ill health of his brother Major Chouteau13 the Osage sub. agent, at whose request he informed them that Clermont the principal Osage Chief had reported sick, and that
Clermonts brother a young chief, had promised, that he and La Fou would meet the Commissioners at the treaty ground at the
time appointed for holding the Treaty with the Prairie indians if Clermont would not. This letter was handed to the Commissioners
by Clermont's brother (the young chief) who reported that La Fore was at his Town and would not come with him, nor would he
be here during the Council.
The Commissioners did not meet yesterday in Council, as they had agreed in consequence of bad weather.
Camp Holmes August. 23d, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The Cherokee, Muscogee, Seneca, and Quapaw Nations proposed to amend the seventh Article of the proposed Treaty, so, as to
read, "thus —"Should any difficulty hereafter unfortunately arise between any of the nations or Tribes of Indians parties
hereunto, in consequence of murder the stealing of Horses &c —The Comanche Witchetaw and Osage Nations agreeing to the proposed amendment, and the board not
objecting thereto, the amendment of the 7th Article was adopted.
The following speeches were made by the Comanche and Witchetaw Chiefs.
Speech of Kosharoka the 2d Witchetaw Chief.
I have seen that paper twice. I have had it read twice, and I know it all. The great Spirit is a witness that we are all shaking
hands this day. That paper was read to us twice and we like it all except one Article. To that Article even the children of
our Towns will object —I am well satisfied with all except that one. The Spaniards have attacked us three times. They have
killed three of my Children, and two of my Warriors. In my country there is a place we trade, and all that has passed here
we will then tell our people. There are the Osages I have shaken hands with them, and I intend hold-
ing them fast by the hand. There is one thing I have to ask of you. I do not want any one to settle here. If they do they
will drive off the game, and this is the only place we have to come for it. I am very glad you have come here. I am very glad
you have something to give us. We are very poor and it will be a great help to our Nation. The great Spirit heard that you
have some presents for us, and as soon as we get them we want to go. —The Commissioners stated to the Comanches and Witchetaws
that the article of the treaty alluded to by the Kos kor oke did not bind them to keep peace with the republic of Mexico.
—it was only the wish of their great Father. The Comanches and Witchetaws asked if by going to War with the Spaniards the
Americans would make war on them. The Commissioners told them no.
The Speech of Koustowah the first chief of the Witchetaws.
"It is the word of the great Father that we all shake hands this day. It makes me happy to see it. —This day the great spirit
sees me shaking hands with all these chiefs, and all these friends here. —I can ask no more. —All these Brothers hear me talking,
and I am satisfied. I have always been very poor until this day, but it appears that my great Father is going to take pity
on me. I have heard you talk this day; what else can I ask. When I go home I will tell my people all I have heard, and you
will hear no more bad from my nation. The Chiefs never speak for nothing. —I never speak for nothing, and when I go home,
you will hear nothing about stealing, or anything bad from my people. There are some of my red brothers who talk of going
home with me, and if they do, not one of my people will touch the least thing they have. I can ask no more. My Great Father
is taking pity on us, and intends making some presents. The Great Father has taken pity on us this day. He has made us friends
with all these our red brothers, and we will hold them fast in our arms. Not only these people will we hold fast by the hand,
but the Comanches that we now are at peace with. I have lived like a Wolf for a long time. I have been running from one place
to another. Now when I go home, I mean to move down to my Old Town, the place where I was born. I want to move down because
I am too far out of the way, and I want to be close by, so as I can visit you as my neighbours, as there will not be any more
danger in travelling these Prairies after this day. It appears that the Great Spirit has taken pity on us this day,
and is the cause of my seeing and shaking hands with these people here now.
Speech of Ichacoly the first Chief of the Comanches.
I will tell you the same thing that I have told you before. I am the only head chief of my nation. I have been waiting here
for you a long time, and when you have done with me I will go. When my people all started away from here I told them I intended
waiting for the Commissioners. They all wished nothing but peace, and friendship, and I have staid here to represent them
all. —What more can I ask, than to be at peace with my red Brothers. It was your wish, and that of my Great Father, that I
have staid here a long time, and I wish you to give me something. Being sick I cannot talk more. Half of my body belongs to
the Osages and half to the Comanches and all the rest I will hold close to my heart.
The Commissioners this day received a letter from John Rogers one of the Cherokee councellors informing them that David Melton,
John Brown and Dutch had been appointed to represent the Cherokee Nation at the proposed Treaty with the Prairie indians.
The Commissioners drew a check on the Union Bank of Louisiana in favor of Thomas B. Ballard for four hundred and twenty dollars
being the amount due him in full for the hire of his wagons and teams employed in transporting Indian presents from Fort Gibson
to Camp Holmes.
Camp Holmes August 24, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Commissioners. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The Board was this day occupied in obtaining the signatures of the chiefs and representatives of the Comanche, Witchetaw,
Cherokee, Muscogee, Choctaw, Osage, Seneca and Quapaw Nations or Tribes of Indians.
Camp Holmes August 25th, 1835. The Board met; Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Commissioners. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The following speeches were made to the Comanches and Witchetaw Nations.
Speech of Roley McIntosh first chief of Muscogee Nation.
Brothers, we have met today in this Prairia and at this hour. I am glad to meet you. We are all of one colour. Bro-
thers, we once lived in a Country East, of this. We broke the bushes out of the way, cleared the road and we now live in this
country. —When we reached our new homes we heard of you in the West. We heard of your way of living. Our forefathers used
to live in the same way. —We now live differently. We live in peace, and our Children grow up to live in peace. This is the
way we all should live. When I first came to the West I heard of your way of living. I heard of your killing each other, and
I was sorry, all my people were sorry. The Osages used to live so, but we now are friends, and I hope we all will be so. Here
is our little father, the white man, he has raised us, he is the cause of our making peace. He has done us much good. We the
Muscogees give you these white beads. They are the emblem of peace. Our people will now travel the road from one town to another.
They will be open and clear. With all the different people we have made peace, we have made roads to their houses. We will
now extend these roads to your towns. I would talk more to you now, but all I say has to be interpreted into so many languages
that I will not say more. I wish the treaty we have made may be faithfully observed, and that our children may sleep in their
cradles in safety. Brothers, We have now established the road for us all. Some of my people are going home with you, and when
they return, I hope they will bring us a favorable account. I give you this Tobacco. When you go home, I want all your Warriors
to smoke of it, and when the white smoke ascends, altho I shall be at home and not see it, it will be the same as if I was
present. These white beads are the emblem of peace, when you go home you must let all your people draw them through their
hands. It will be the same as if I was shaking hands with them.
Roley McIntosh gave the Tobacco and white beads to the first chiefs of the Comanche and Witchetaw Nations.
Speech of Musha-la-Tabbee Chief of the Choctaw Nation.
The Great Spirit above has appointed a fine day for us to meet each other. We now look at each other in the face. —We saw
each other once before at Fort Gibson. You know it I suppose. We now see each other again, and have an opportunity of talking
together. We are called Choctaws, we have our Towns too; we live in houses. I have now an opportunity of seeing our brothers
who live in the West. We have entered into a friendly agreement and I am glad of it. The talk we
have had with each other I like, it is a good one. I hope there will be no more killing of each other. If there be any killing,
let it be by the falling of the limbs of trees. Our peace has been made through the agency of our White Father. When our Great
Father hears of it, It will make his heart rejoice. We have now established the white road to your towns. Here is some Tobacco.
When you go, home you must smoke of it, and when the white smoke ascends, although I shall be at home, and will not see it,
it will be the same as if I was with you. When you smoke that, and the smoke ascends you must think I see you.
Speech of Shaw-ta-sah-bah or Black Dog head warrior of Tak-ha-la's band of Osages.
My Father, I am only going to say a few words —Who is the cause that we are this day talking together? It is the word of our
Great Father the President. I have shaken hands with you before this day. Look at all my brothers here. —My great Father is
the cause that I have shaken hands with them. It is the great Fathers word that we are all moving to this country. It is the
Great Fathers word that the other side of us is full of white people. That is better than what we are doing. The acts we used
to do we put aside now, and I expect you do also. Once I did not speak to any of these here, but I am now friendly with them
all, and our Great Father is the cause of it. Our Fathers wants to have a big open road, and it is my wish that we should
have one between your Country and mine. When he hears we have shaken hands, do you think that he will be mad? No, —He will
be glad. This is all I have to say.
Speech of Thoms. Brant chief of the Seneca Nation.
My Friends and Brothers, We have often heard of you, —you live far to the West, and we to the East, we are glad to see you.
— Here are my friends the Creeks, Choctaws and Osages. They all have given you good talk, we are like friends and Brothers.
We are of the six Nations of Seneca's —We are glad to see you. My Friends and Brothers, The other Indians have given you good
talk for us all, our wives and our children, all of my red brothers have given you good talk. We have made a White road from
your towns to ours, and we and all our people will travel it without danger. My Friends and Brothers, our young warriors travel
travel through the Cherokee, Muscogee, Choctaw, Osage and Quapaw Nations, and to all their houses. They are my friends. The
road is a good white one, and when they travel it, there is no danger. When they travel to your towns, I hope they will also
be safe. My Friends and Brothers, we must have one heart and not two, we must all think alike. My Friends and Brothers, this
is the first time you have heard the talk of the Six Nations of Seneca's. They have given you good talk, and they hope you
will listen to it. Here are your red Brothers we have all made peace. Do not break it. We want to raise all our children in
peace. My Friends and Brothers, this talk I have given you, is from all my people. They told me to give it —It is also from
our women and children. My talk is for all your Nations and tribes. Here is some Tobacco, when you get home, let all your
people smoke of it, and when they do, they must think of us. This is all your Brothers, the Seneca's have to say.
Speech of He-Ka-too Chief of the Quapaw Nation.
My Fathers. I have not much to say. I am going to say a few words to these people.
My Brothers, I was living away off below to myself, but by the word of my Great Father, I dont live far now. My Old Brothers,
the Muscogees, Choctaws, Osages and Seneca's have given you good talk. I not give you any other, but will follow on their
road. I wish you to consider me following on their tracks all the time. There are but few of my people. My Brothers, the Muscogees,
Choctaws, Osages and Seneca's have made you a white road, and have given you beads. There must not be any blood on that road
unless it be the blood of the Buffalo. —My Brothers, the Muscogee's, Choctaw's, Osage's and Seneca's have given you good talk.
I can't give you any other. That is all I have to say.
Camp Holmes August 26, 1835. The Board met: Present M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The Commissioners were this day employed in distributing presents to the Comanche's and Witchetaw Nations.
Camp Holmes August 27, 1835. The Board met: Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The Commissioners agreed to leave Camp Holmes this afternoon for Fort Gibson. They settled with Ascimke for the
sum of One hundred and nineteen dollars being the amount due her for her services as interpreter of the Comanche and Witchetaw
languages. Oscimka having recd. a horse on the 16th of May from the Commissioners for which Sixty five dollars as paid; the
ballance of her account amounting to fifty four dollars was paid her in goods.
Fort Gibson September 13, 1835. The Board met: Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Commissioners. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The Commissioners drew a check on the Union Bank of Louisiana in favor of Thoms. B. Ballard for four hundred and Eighty Six
dollars. This check includes the one given Mr. Ballard at Camp Holmes on the 23d August for four hundred and twenty dollars,
which he returned to the Commissioners and was destroyed, and also his accounts against the Commissioners for the hire of
his wagons and teams, employed in transporting presents from Fort Gibson to Camp Holmes and for services rendered by him.
Fort Gibson September 15th, 1835. The Board met: Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The Commissioners wrote a letter to the Secretary of War informing him of their return to Fort Gibson from Camp Holmes and
enclosed him a copy of the treaty which they concluded with the Comanchee and Witcheta Indians at Camp Holmes on the 24th
Fort Gibson September 20th, 1835. The Board met: Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secry.
This meeting of the board was for the purpose of settling with Col. A. P. Chouteau on account of his services as interpreter
of the Osage language, amounting to four hundred and eleven dollars, and also with Sergt. Stoutenburg for services rendered
by him in receiving and taking care of Indian presents, amounting to twenty one dollars. —Both of these accts. were paid;
and the Commissioners drew a check on the Union Bank of Louisiana in favor of Thoms. E. Wilson for four hundred and Thirty
Eight dollars and twenty five cents for that purpose, and also for the purpose of paying Thoms. E. Wilson's acct. against
the Commissioners for six dollars and twenty five cents.
Fort Gibson 21 September 1835. The Board met: Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Com'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The Commissioners recd. of Thoms. E. Wilson the following checks drawn by them on the Union Bank of Louisiana viz; One in
favor of Thoms. E. Wilson for One Thousand five hundred and fifty eight dollars and thirty nine cents given on the 5th of
August. One in favor of Thoms. B. Ballard for four hundred and eighty six dollars given on the 13th of Sept. and one in favor
of Thoms. E. Wilson four, hundred and thirty Eight dollars and twenty five cents given on the 20th of Sept. These Checks were
all destroyed and in lieu of them the Commissioners drew one on the Union Bank of Louisiana, in favor of Thomas E. Wilson
for Two Thousand Nine hundred and Sixty three dollars and twenty three and ¾ cents which includes all the drafts destroyed
as aforesaid, and also the sum of four hundred and Eighty dollars and twenty two and ¾ cents furnished by Mr. Wilson and paid
over to Lieut. Kenney for provisions furnished Indians during the Treaty.
Fort Gibson 23 September 1835. The Board met: Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Commissioners. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The Commissioners wrote a letter to the Secretary of War enclosing him their accounts &c for all disbursements and expenditures.
made by them from the 4th May to the 22d. of September 1835.
Fort Gibson 26 Sep: 1835. The Board Met: Present: M. Stokes, M. Arbuckle, Commis'rs. W. Seawell, Secretary.
The Board decided to send Lieut. W. Seawell to Washington City with the Original Treaty and a transcript of all the proceedings
of the Board up to the present date, and they were forwarded accordingly.
W. Seawell Lieut. 7th Infantry
Secretary to the Commissioners.
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