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Relations with Spain.
of Pensacola was implicated in the criminal pro- answer given you in my note of the 12th March ceedings of Arbuthnot as the commandant of St. last to your proposal of referring the differences Mark's, ample evidence has been produced of his between our Governments to the mediation of having aided, assisted, and sheltered the Indians; Great Britain, and the reasons there assigned for of his having, as long as he dared, furnished declioing that overture, the offer which you make them with supplies, including munitions of war. of referring them to the allied monarchs, whom Apd his hostility to the United States bas been you state to be now assembled at Aix-la-Chapelle, sufficiently manifested by his exposing their army was not to be expected. As you have, however, to the danger of famine, from the impedimenis thought proper to make it, I refer you to my opposed by his orders to the passage up the Es- above-mentioned note for the grounds upon which cambia river of their supplies. That he harbored it is declined. If you do not feel yourself at libone lodian chief hostile to the United States, and erty to proceed in the negotiation on the terms not even belonging to Florida, is apparent by the herein proposed, postponing the articles relative article of capitulation which he obiained in his to the Wesiern boundary, and the late transactions favor. Thai he suffered another, George Perry, in Florida, I shall be ready, at your convenience, man, to escape from Pensacola upon General to exchange with you the ratifications of the conJackson's approach, and go to England, there to vention of 1802. renew, if possible, the negotiations of the prophet I embrace with pleasure the occasion of renewFrancis, is announced as a late article of news in ing to you the assurances of my distinguished the English journals. That a number of other consideration. Indians were enabled, by the assistance of offi
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. cers under his command, to escape from Pensacola on the very day that it was taken by General Extract of a letter from Mr. Adams to Mr. Erving, Jackson, is proved by the certificates of several
dated witnesses. And, lasily, he did not hesitate to write a letter to that commander, before he took
DEPARTMENT OF State, Pensacola, threatening, in the event of his not
Washington, December 2, 1818. withdrawing immediately from Florida, to resist On the 27th March last, the Spanish Minister what he termed his aggressions by force. here, Mr. Onis, addressed a letter to this Depart
It is therefore to the conduct of her own com- ment, for the prosessed purpose of vindicating manding officers that Spain must impute the the character and conduct of the Spanish comnecessity under which General Jackson found manding officers in Florida, and of proving that himself of occupying the places of their com- they had invariably discharged their duties of mand. Had the engagements of Spain been friendly proceeding towards the United States, fulfilled, the United States would have had no and the obligations of the treaty of 1795, by which Seminole war. Far, then, from being under ob- Spain was bound to restrain, by force, thé hostile ligation to indemnify the Crown of Spain for ities of her Indians in Florida against the United any losses which it may have sustained in con- States. To this letter are annexed fourteen docsequence of this necessity, the United States are umenis, the greater part of which consist of reentitled to demand, and the Minister of the Uni- monstrances, addressed during the late war beted States at Madrid has been instructed accord-tween the United States and Great Britain to ingly, that the Crown of Spain should indemnify British officers, against their continual violations them for the extraordinary and indispensable ex of the neutrality of the Spanish territory. It is penses which tbey have been compelled to incur not, however, to those documents, but to the iwo by the prosecution of this war, which Spain was (numbered 13 and 14) as annexed to that letter, bound io prevent. The revenue collected in the Nos. 66, 67,) that I wish to invite your attention. places occupied is very far from being adequate No. 13 is the translation of a letter purporting to io that object. As to ihe losses or injuries to the be from Bowlegs, one of the Seminole Indian inhabitanis
, as private property, both at St. Mark's chiefs, most inveterately hostile to the United and Pensacola, bas been inviolably respected, no States, to Don Jose Coppinger, Governor of St. injury can have happened to them for which Augustine. A translation ! you will say. Why the United States should be responsible. a translation ; and from what language? Neither
With respect to the other articles suggested in Governor Coppinger nor Mr. Onis has furnished your propositions of 24th October, and your ob the means of answering that question. They are servacions upon the modifications to them, pro- furnished, however, by the papers of Arbuthnot, posed by me, as well as to other objects of minor which fell into General Jackson's hands. The concernment, to which your last note alludes, I language was English, and the original was am pot aware of any insuperable obstacle
to our written by Arbuthnot. The draught was found coming to an agreement upon them. Should among his papers, and was produced to the court your instructions authorize you to waive the martial upon his trial, (No. 49—No. 2.) We further consideration of the iwo articles upon naturally suppose that Governor Coppinger, upon which I have now communicated to you the final receiving a letter in English from a Seminole determination of the President, and to proceed in Indian chief, must have been surprised, unless he the discussion of the rest, I shall be happy 10 koew from whom and whence it came. The confer with you verbally concerning them as soon substance of his answer shows that he did know as may suit your convenience. After the explicitl both whence it came and the character of him by Relations with Spain.
whom it was written. · By the copies of the two tain how such a reflection would be received, letters, which are enclosed, you will see in that omitted it from the letter itself which was transof Bowlegs a part of the systematic intrigues of mitted to the Governor. Arbuthnot to instigate as well the Spanish com- The papers marked Nos. 62, 63, 64, and 68, are manders in Florida as the savages against the copies of originals, in the handwriting of Arbuth. United States; and, in that of Governor Cop: noi, taken with the rest of his papers, but not expinger, a direct declaration to the Indians that all hibited before the court-martial. The sheet of his supposed cause of alarm and complaint pro his journal is of some importance, as establishing ceed " from the information of persons in whom his connexion and dissatisfaction with Woodbine. be ought not to place the smallest confidence, it No. 65 is a letter from him, said to be to an officer being their principle to employ such opportuni- of rank in England, (no doubt Nicholls,) dated ties for the purpose of seducing him and his peo- January 30, 1818, only three months before he ple from their daily labor.” After offering his was taken. own friendly advice, the Governor adds: “I am The sheet of the journal shows that Arbuthnot fearful, however, that the sentiments of those who arrived with Woodbine from New Providence at come into the territory under the appearance of Suwanee about the last of October, 1816, and that friendship, but with bad intentions, may influence they immediately commenced their operations your minds and obtain your confidence by their with the Indians against the United States. Bowflattering representations." And, finally, he com- legs's letter to Governor Coppinger is dated Noplains that iwo persons had lately presented vember 18 of that year, and apologizes for his not ibemselves as commissioners of the English nation, having sooner answered a letter of September, and carried off several runaway negroes belonging from the Governor, by the impossibility he had to inhabitants of the province. It is apparent been under of finding a person to write the answer from this letter, that Governor Coppinger was for him. Among other complaints against Woodwell informed of the operations of Arbuthnot bine in this journal, there is one, distinctly, that and Woodbine, and thai he saw them in their he had promised the savages assistance from the true colors. How, then, does it happen that, a British Government, without authority, and by year afterwards, the Spanish commandant at St. direct falsehood; and he expresses an apprehen Mark's is found so entirely leagued with Arbuih- sion that when the Indians find out that none of not as to sign his name to the approbation of a those promises are realized, their sury will fall power of attorney: given to him by the hostile upon himself. chiefs, to write letters and deliver ialks in their
No. 1. names; to hold councils of war with them at his
Nicholls's Letter and Proclamation. quarters; to hold as prisoners while persons, inbabitants of the province, taken by them; and to
HEADQUARTERS, PENSACOLA, write a letter to Arbuthnot, asking him to come
August 31, 1814. and confer with him upon subjects which could Sir: I have arrived in the Floridas for the not be committed to paper? The original of that purpose of annoying the only enemy Great Britletter, which is in bad French, and in the hand. ain has in the world. As France and England writing of the commandant of St. Mark's, signed are now friends, I call on you, with your brave by bim, is in our possession, (No. 48.) A copy followers, to enter into the service of Great Britof it is among the papers enclosed. We cannot ain, in which you shall have the rank of captain. doubt that the Spanish Government will consider Lands will be given to you all, in proportion to it as a proof of the conspiracy of the commandant your respective ranks, on a peace taking place; of St. Mark's, with Arbuthnot and the Indians, and I invite you out on the following terms: against the Voited States. Should he be pui your property'shall be guarantied to you, and upon his trial, as you are instructed to demand, your persons protected. lo return for whicb, I the original letter itself will be transmitted to be ask you to cease all hostilities against Spain or exhibited to the court.
the allies of Great Britain. Your ships and vesIt is to be observed that the original draught sels to be placed under the orders of the comin Arbuthnot's bandwriting of the letter from manding officer on the station until the comman. Bowlegs lo Governor Coppinger differs in several der-in-chief's pleasure is known; but I guaranty paragraphs from the translation cominunicated their fair value at all events. by Mr. Onis as received by him from Governor I berewith enclose you a copy of my proclaCoppinger. The following passage particularly, mation to the inhabitants of Louisiana, which which appears in the draught produced before will, I trust, point out to you the honorable inthe court-martial, is not in the translation fur.tentions of my Government. You may be a usenished by Governor Coppinger: “The Spanish ful assistant to me in forwarding them; theresubjects in the Floridas are too much in ihe in- fore, if you determine, lose no time. The bearer terests of the Americans to be our friends. For of this, Captain McWilliams, will satisfy you on the governors I shall always entertain the greate any other points you may be anxious to learn, as est regard; but for the people, they do not act so will Captain Lockyer, of the Sophia, who carries as to merit my esteem and protection." The re- him to you. We have a powerful reinforcement mainder of the letter is nearly the same. We do on the way here, and I hope to cut out some other not suppose that the omission was made by the work for the Americans than oppressing the inGovernor; but rather that Arbuthnot, yet uncer- habitants of Louisiana. Be expeditious on your
Relations with Spain.
resolves, and rely upon the veracity of your hum- of those factions which hurried you into this cruel, ble servant,
unjust, and unnatural war. At a time when EDWARD NICHOLLS, Great Britain was straining every nerve in the Lieut. Col. Com'g H. B. M.'s forces. defence of her own, and the liberties of the To Mopsieur LAFFITE,
world; when the bravest of her sons were fight. or the Commandant at Barrataria.
ing and bleeding in so sacred a cause; when she was spending millions of her treasure in endea
voring to pull down one of the most formidable By Licutenant Colonel Edward Nicholls, commanding and dangerous tyrants that ever disgraced the
His Britannic Majesty's forces in the Floridas. form of man; when groaning Europe was almost Natives of Louisiana, on you the first call is
in her last gasp ; when Britain alone showed an made to assist in liberating from a faithless and undaunted front, basely did these assassins endeaimbecile Government your paternal soil. Span
vor to stab her from ihe rear. She has turned iards, Frenchmen, Italians, and British, whether on them, renovated from the bloody but successsettled or residing for a time in Louisiana, on you ful struggle. Europe is happy and free, and she I also call to aid me in the just cause.
The now hastens justly to avenge un provoked insults. American usurpation in this country must be show them that you are not collectively unjust; abolished, and the lawful owners of the soil put leave that contemptible few to shift for them in possession. I am at the head of a large body selves; let those slaves of the tyrant send an of Indians, well armed, disciplined, and command-embassy to Elba, and implore his aid; but let ed by British officers; a good train of artillery, every honest, upright American spurn them with with every requisite, seconded by the powerful merited contempt. After the experience of aid of a numerous British and
Spanish squadron wenty one years, can you any longer support of ships and vessels of war. Be not alarmed, in those brawlers for liberiy, who call it freedom, babitants of the country, at our approach ; the and know not when themselves are free ? Be no same good faith and disinterestedness
which have longer their dupes; accept of my offer; everything disting shed the conduct of Britons in Europe I have promised in this paper ! guaranty io you accompany them here. You will have no fear on the sacred honor of a British officer. of litigious taxes imposed on you for the purpose
. Pensacola, the 29th of August, 1814.
Given under my hand, at my headquarters, of carrying on an unnatural and unjust war ; your property, your laws, the peace and tranquil
EDWARD NICHOLLS. ity of your country, will be guarantied to you by men who will suffer no infringement of theirs;
No. 2 a. rest assured that these brave men only burn with Copy of a letter from Col. Nicholls to Col. Hawkins. an ardent desire of satisfaction for the wrongs they have suffered from the Americans to join
APPALACHICHOLA, April 28, 1815. you in liberating these Southern frontiers from Being absent from this post when your letter iheir yoke, and drive them into the limits formerly of the 19th ultimo arrived, I take this opportunity prescribed by my Sovereign. The Indians have to answer it. On the subject of the negroes lately pledged themselves in the most solemn manner owned by the citizens of the United States, or not to injure in the slighiest degree the persons or Indians in hostility to the British forces, I have properties of any but enemies to their Spanish or to acquaint you that, according to orders, I have English fathers. A flag over every door, whether sent them to the British colonies, where ihey are Spanish, French, or British, will be a sure pro received as free settlers, and lands given to them. tection. Nor dare any Indian put his foot on the The newspaper you sent me is, I rather think, threshold thereof, under penalty of death from incorrect; at all events, an American newspaper his own countrymen. Not even an enemy will cannot be authority for a British officer. Therean Indian put to death, except resisting in arms; with enclose you a copy of a part of the ninth and as för injuring helpless women and children, article of the treaty of peace relative to the Inthe red men, by their good conduct and treatmeni dians in alliance with us; they have signed and to them, will
, if it be possible, make the Amer- accepted it as an independent people, solemoly icans blush for their more than iphuman conduct protesting to suspend all hostilities against the lately on the Escambia, and within a neutral people of the United States. Within these few territory.
days I have had a complaint from the Seminoles' Inhabitants of Kentucky, you have too long chief, Bowlegs. He states that a party of Amer. borne with grievous impositions. The whole ican horse bave made an incursion into the town, brunt of the war has fallen on your brave sons; killed one man, wounded another, and stolen some be imposed on no more ; but either range yours of his callle; also, that they have plundered some selves under the standard of your forefaibers, or of his people on their peaceable way from St. observe a strict neutrality. If you comply with Augustine. May I request of you to inquire into either of these offers, whatever provisions you this affair, and cause justice to be done to the send down will be paid for in dollars, and the murderer, and have cattle restored ? I strictly safety of the persons bringing it, as well as the promise you that, for any mischief done by the free navigation of the Mississippi, guarantied to Creeks under me, I shall do all in my power to you. Men of Kentucky, let me call to your punish the delinquents, and have the property view, and, I trust, to your abhorrence, the conduct I restored.
Relations with Spain.
The chiefs here have requested me further to I certify, on honor, that this is a true copy of declare to you that, in order to prevent any disa- the original. greeable circumstances from happening in future,
ELI LESTER, they have come to a determination not to permit
U. S. Storekeeper, Fort Lawrence. the least iotercourse between their people and those of the United States. They have, in con
No. 3. sequence, ordered them to cease all communica
Colonel Nicholls to Colonel Hawkins. tion, directly or indirectly, with the territory or citizens of the United States; and they do take this British Post, APPALACHICOLA RIVER, public mode of warning the citizens of the Uni
May 12, 1815. ied States from entering their territory, or com- In my letter to you of the 28th ultimo, I remunicating directly or indirectly with the Creek quested you would be so good as to make inquiry people. They also request thai you will under into the murder and robberies committed on the stand their territories to be as they stood in the Seminoles belonging to the chief called Bowlegs; year 1811. In my absence, I have directed First at the same time declaring my determination of Lieutenant William Hambly, the head interpre- punishing, with the utmosi rigor of the law, any ter, to communicate with you on any poiot rela- one of our side who broke it. Of this a melantive to the Creeks; and I have given him my choly proof has been given, in the execution of most positive orders that he shall at all times do an Indian of the Ataphalgo town, by Hothly his best to keep peace and good neighborhood Poya Tustunnuggee, chief of Ockmulgees, who between the Creeks and your citizens.
found him driving off a gang, of cattle belonging I ain, sir, your very humble servant,
to your citizens; and for which act of justice I EDWARD NICHOLLS, have given him double presents, and a chief's Com'g British forces in Florida.
gun, in the open square before the whole of the No.2 b.
chiefs, and highly extolled him. These, sir, are
the steps I am daily taking to keep the peace with [Paper enclosed in the above letter.]
sincerity; but I am sorry to say the same line is Part of the ninth article of the treaty of peace between not taken on your side, nor have you written to
His Britannic Majesty and the United States, rela- say what steps you are taking; or intend to take, tive to the Indians who have been in alliance with to secure this mutual good. Since the last comGreat Britain, and in hostility with the U. States. plaint from Bowlegs, I have had another from
The United States of America engage to put him, to say your citizens have again attacked and an end, immediately after the ratification of ihe murdered two of his people; that they had stolen present treaty, to hostilities with all the tribes or a gang of his cattle, but ihat he had succeeded in nations of Indians with whom they may be at regaining them. war at the time of such ratification, and forih with I asked him what proof they had of their being to restore such tribes or nations, respectively, all killed. They said they had found their bloody the possessions, rights, and privileges which they clothes in the American camp, which was hastily may have enjoyed or been entitled 10 in 1811, evacuated on their approach. Now, sir, if these previous to such hostilities: Provided always, enormities are suffered to be carried on in a That such tribes or nations shall agree to desist Christian country, what are you to expect by from all hostilities against the United States of showing such an example to the uocultivated America, their citizens and subjects, upon the native of the woods ? (för savage I will not call ratification of the present treaty being notified to them—their conduct entitles them to a beller such tribes or nations, and shall so desist accord- epithet.) I have, however, ordered them to stand ingly.
on the defensive, and have sent them a large supe We, the undersigned, chiefs of the Muscogee ply of arms and ammunition, and told them io nation, declared by His Britannic Majesty to be put to death without mercy, aby one molesting a free and independent people, do, in the name ihem; but at all times to be careful and not put of the said nation, agree to the ninth article of a foot over the American line; in the mean time, the treaty of peace between His Britannic Majesty that I should complain to you, that I was conand the United States; and we do further declare vinced you would do your best to curb such inthat we have given most strict and positive famous conduct; also, that those people who did orders to all our people that they desist from such deeds would, I was convinced, be disowned hostilities of every kind agaiost the citizens or by the Government of the United States, and subjects of the United States.
severely punished. They have given their conGiven under our hands at the British fort on sent to await your answer before they take reThe Appalachicola, the 20 day of April, 1815. venge; but, sir, they are impatient for it, and,
HEPOAETH MEICO, his X mark. well armed as the whole nation now is, and
HOPOY MEICO, T.P., his X mark. a stronghold to retire upon in case of a superior Witnesses:
force appearing, picture to yourself, sir, the misEd. Nicholls, Lt. Col. Com'g Indians. eries that may be suffered by good and innocent R. BANKES, Com'g H. M. Brig Forward. citizens on your frontiers, and I am sure you G. WOODBine, Capt. 1st. brig. R. C. M. will lend me your best aid in keeping the bad Wm. Hambly, L., and head interpreter. spirits in subjection. Yesterday, in a full assemRelations with Spain.
bly of the chiefs, I got them to pass a law for tile to the United States, is an erroneous one, as four resolute chiefs to be appointed in different there is not one Creek who has negroes so situated. parts of the nation, something in the character of The Creek chiefs (to use a courtly phrase) bave our sheriffs, for the purpose of inflicting condign just cause, at least, to say this is ao" unjustifiapunishment on such people as broke the law; and ble aggression.” You having acted by orders,
will say this much for them, that I never saw and it being now beyond your control, a remedy men execute laws better than they do. I am must and will be sought for elsewhere. also desired to say to you, by the chiefs, that they The documents you enclose, signed by three do not fiod that your citizens are evacuating their chiefs, purporting to be the agreement of the lands, according to the ninth article of the treaty Muscogee nation to the ninth article of the treaty of peace, but that they were fresh provisioning of peace, I shall lay before the chiefs of the nation, the forts. This point, sir, I beg of you to look at a convention soon to be held at Coweta, and into. They also request me to inform you ibat send you the result of their deliberations on it. they have signed a treaty of offensive and de- The result of my reflections, with due deference, fensive alliance with Great Britain, as well as I give you, as on the envelope it purports to be one of commerce and navigation, which, as soon on his Britannic Majesty's service. li is within as it is ratified at home, you shall be made more my knowledge that one of the chiefs is a Seminole fully acquainted with.
of East Florida, and has never resided in the I am, sir, your very humble servant,
United States; and that peither of the three has EDWARD NICHOLLS, ever attended the national councils of the Creeks, Com'g H. B. M. forces, Creek nation.
or is in any way a part of their executive gove To Colonel BENJAMIN HAWKINS,
ernment. If the four witnesses had signed it as Commanding at Fort Hawkins. principals, and the three chiefs as witnesses, it
would bave been entitled to equal respect from No. 4.
me.* Could you be serious in communicating Colonel Hawkins to Colonel Micholls.
such a nullity with their mock determination not
to permit the least intercourse between their CREEK AGENCY, May 24, 1815. people (meaning the Creek nation) and those of On the 18th I had the pleasure to receive your the United States ? &c. As to the territory of communication of the 28th ultimo. I expected, the Seminoles, it being out of the United States, from the tenor of your orders, which I conveyed it is an affair belween them and the Governmeni to you from Admirals Cochrane and Cockburn, of Spain ; and that of the Creeks is as fixed and on the 19th of March, that you had left the guarantied in their treaty stipulations with the Floridas ere this with the British troops under States. I do not know that any occurrences can your command, and that Spain and the United happen which will render it' necessary for me to States would have no more of British interfer- communicate with Lieutenant William Hambly. ence in the management of their lodian affairs. If by doing so I can render acts of kindness to The newspaper I sent you was one in which the Indians or others, it would afford me pleasure; official acts of our Government are published. but, under present impressions, the fifth article of There could be no motive for falsification; your the treaty of friendship, limits, and navigation deeming it incorrect must have proceeded from a between the United States and the King of Spain knowledge that your conduct, in relation to the will govern me in all cases respecting the Indians negroes, was at variance with it. It would have in the two Floridas. been acceptable in the communication relative to I am, with due regard, sir, your ob’dt servant, the disposition of "the negroes taken from the
BENJAMIN HAWKINS. citizens of the United States, or Indians in hostility to the British,” 10 bave received the pum
No. 5. ber, particularly belonging to the latter. As
Colonel Hawkins to Colonel Nicholls. peace is restored between Great Britain and the United States, I feel a reluctance to put on paper
CREEK AGENCY, May 28, 1815. anything that may have the tendency to tarnish On the 24th I wrote to you in reply to yours of the British character, or that of any officer of its the 28th ultimo, and since have had the pleasure Government; but I owe it to the occasion to state to receive yours of the 12th. I bad received from ibe declaration of Captain Heory, that "the Eng- Bowlegs, direct. a complaint of an outrage comlish are sent out by their great father and King mitted by the people of Georgia, who bad gone to restore his Indian people to their laods, and we into East Florida, driven off his cattle, and deare desired by him not to take away their negroes, stroyed his property." I have sent this complaint unless they freely give them to us, or sell them to the Governor of Georgia, who will readily cofor money, is violated. It is proper
, also, to add, operate with the officers of the General GoveroI did not eorol any Indians into the service of the ment to cause justice to be done to the injured, United States until after the negroes of Marshall, if the complaint is true. The laws of the United Stedham, and Kinoard, three half-breeds, were States provide completely for the protection of taken from them, by force or stratagem, by Britisb officers. Your restriction, of the Captain's de- The witnesses, we believe, were Colonel Nicholls, claration, to negroes belonging to Indians friendly Captain Woodbine, Lieutenant Hambly, and Captain to Great Britain, if by that is meant lodians hos- | Henry.
15th Con. ad Sess-62