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Relations with Spain.
I shall only make one more observation, and ceived and imposed on, we withdrew our grant that will show from whence I came, and whether about three years since, which, from the stipulaI came amongst the Indians as a revenger, or as tions contained therein not being fulfilled on the the friend of peace and harmony. part of Mr. Forbes, we conceived we had a right to In the Spring of 1816, Mr. Hambly sent Gov-do. Secondly, Mr. Doyle and Mr. William Hamernor Cameron a letter containing talks of the bly, the two persons left in the nation to carry on chiefs of the Indian nations: they were forwarded Mr. Forbes's business have, for more than two to England, and his excellency banded me, on years, been endeavoring to influence us to join my leaving Providence, an answer thereto from the Americans; and finding that fair means the right honorable Earl Bathurst, one of His would not swerve us from our attachments to Majesty's chief Secretaries of State, that I might our ancient friends, the English, they have remake the same known to the chiefs on my arrival cently had recourse to threats of bringing the in the nation. What will Governor Cameron Americans down upon us; and that people only think of the man who, in 1816, could write against want a pretext to attack us, which the said Doyle the encroachments of the Americans on the In- and Hambly attempt to give them by spreading dian nation, and in the Spring of 1817 call the false reports of ur murdering the Americans, chiefs of that nation, for whom he more especi-stealing their cattle, and preparing for war against ally wrote, outlaws? Mr. Hambly may sell his them, while, in fact, it is the Americans who services to America, but no man can expatriate murder our red brethren, steal our cattle by hunhimself from the allegiance due to his native dreds at a time, and are daily encroaching on our country; and a Government may call on a lands, and maintaining the settlers in their illfriendly nation to give up a subject that has se- gotten possessions by armed force. riously wronged her.
I recommend Mr. Hambly to be content with the douceur he may have received, and permit the unlettered Indian to live quietly and peaceably on his native land.
I shall send a copy of this letter with the one from you, to be read to the chiefs of the nation, and shall, at the same time, take an opportunity of explaining myself more fully than I did in the note sent by Opony. Wishing you a speedy recantation of your errors, and a return to your former way of thinking, I am your obedient
Letter from A. Arbuthnot to the Governor of Havana. The chiefs of the Creek nation, whose names are hereunto annexed, beg leave to approach your excellency and represent their complaints. Long imposed on by the persons keeping stores in this country, in charging us exorbitant prices for their goods, while they only allowed us a very trifling one for our peltry, we have found it necessary to look out for a person that will deal fairly with us, and we wish to establish a store for him on Appalache river. We have made application to the commandant of St. Mark's, and he has referred us to your excellency. It is not alone the impositions that have been practised upon us that has made us presume to address your excellency; we have complaints of a more serious nature against the persons employed by the only house that has been established among us, that of Mr. Forbes. In the first place, some years back, under false pretences, they attempted to rob us of a very large portion of our best lands, and we the more readily acceded to it, from the faithful promise given us that they would get English people to settle it and live among us; but far from doing this, Mr. Forbes attempted to sell it to the American Government, and settle it with Americans. Thus finding ourselves de
On the Choctawhatchy river there is a large body of Americans, forming settlements, and more are daily joining them. As this river is far within that line marked out by your excellency's Government and the Americans some years since, (though that line was unknown to us until very lately, and we never gave our sanction, nor, in fact, knew of any sale of our lands being made to the Americans,) we trust your excellency will give orders to displace them from within the line, and send them back to their own country. Our delaying to address your excellency to represent the afore-mentioned grievances has been owing to the want of a person to attend to our talks, and put them in writing for us. The commandant of the fort of St. Mark has heard what we have done and what we are doing, and all our talks and complaints. He approves of it is by his recommendation we have thus presumed to address your excellency.
We have the honor to be your excellency's most obedient and very humble servants, A. ARBUTHNOT.
His Ex'cy the GOVERNOR GENERAL, &c.
Know all men by these presents, that we, chiefs of the Creek nation, whose names are affixed to this power, having full faith and confidence in Alexander Arbuthnot, of New Providence, who, knowing all our talks, is fully acquainted with our intentions and wishes, do hereby, by these presents, constitute and appoint him, the said Alexander Arbuthnot, our attorney and agent, with full power and authority to act for us and in our naines in all affairs relating to our nation, and also to write such letters and papers as to him may appear necessary and proper for our benefit, and that of the Creek nation.
Given at Ochlochnee Sound, in the Creek na
Relations with Spain.
tion, this seventeenth day of June, one thousand
Cappachimico, his x mark; Kenhagee, chief
Charle Tustonaky, his x mark: Charle Ni-
and in nowise molested the Americans, though we see them daily encroaching on our territory, stealing our cattle, and murdering and carrying off our people That same officer also told us, we, as allies to the great King, our father, were included in the treaty of peace between our good father and the Americans, and that the latter were to give up all the territory that had been taken from us before and during the war. Yet, so far from complying with the ninth article of that treaty, they are daily making encroachments on our land, getting persons who are not known to the chiefs, and without any power or authorAtta-ity to grant and sign over lands to them. Thus they deceive the world, and make our very friends believe we are in league with them.
Otos Mico, his x mark; chief of the Con-
Lahoe Himathlo, his x mark; chief of the
Homathlemico, his x mark; chief of the
Talmuches Hatcho, his x mark; Peter
Hillis Hadjo, his x mark; Francis, the
Opoithlimico, his x mark; a Red Stick, created chief by the lower towns. Witness: PETER SHUGERT, Interpreter.
I certify that the Indian chiefs whose signatures are placed above to the full powers granted to Alexander Arbuthnot are the chiefs of the towns and places above named.
Private Secretary to Com'g General.
SIR: I had the honor of receiving your letter of September, but the impossibility of finding a person to write an answer to the same is the cause of this apparent neglect.
The principal chiefs of the nation, with the head warriors, assembled at my town on the 8th instant, and came to the resolution of informing the British Minister at Washington of the conduct of the Americans and the officers of their Government towards us; it has been done accordingly, and copies sent to England. We demand of the King, our father, to fix some of his people among us, who may inform him from time to time of what is passing, and see the Americans do not extend themselves on our lands. The Spanish subjects in the Floridas are too much in the interests of the Americans to be our friends. For the Governors I shall always entertain the greatest regard; but for the people, they do not act so as to merit my esteem and protection. You desire I would chase those marauders who steal my cattle: my people have lately driven some Americans from Lahhewary, and I have no doubt the Americans will lay hold of this as a pretext to make war on us, as they have before done, in stating we harbor their runaway slaves.*
To His Ex'cy Don JOSE COPPINger,
SIR: Kenhagee, the head chief of the Lower Creek nation, has called on me to request I would I shall be very happy to keep up a good under- represent to you the cruel and oppressive conduct standing and correspondence with you, and hope of the American people living on the borders of you will, when occasion offers, advise me of such the Indian nation, and which he was in hopes, from things as may be of service to myself and people. a talk you were pleased to send him some weeks My warriors and others that go to St. Augustine since, would have been put a stop to, and peace return with false reports tending to harass and restored between the Indians and American people. distress my people, and preventing them from But, far from any stop being put to their inroads attending to their usual avocations. At one time and encroachments, they are pouring in by hunthe Americans and upper Indians, supported by dreds at a time, not only from the land side, a force of about three thousand men, were run but ascending the Appalachicola in vessel-loads. ning lines far within the Indian territory; at Thus, the Indians have been compelled to take another time, they were collecting a force at Fort up arms to defend their homes from a set of lawMitchell, in the forks of Flint and Chatahoochee less invaders. Your known philanthropy and rivers, to fall on the towns below. Now, sir, we good will to the Indians induce the head chiefs to know of no reason the Americans can have to hope that you will lose no time in using your inattack us, an inoffensive and unoffending people.fluence to put a stop to those invasions of their We have none of their slaves; we have taken lands, and order that those who have already prenone of their property since the Americans made sumed to seize our fields may retire therefrom. peace with our good father, King George. We have followed the orders of his officer that was with us, (Lieutenant Colonel Edward Nicholls,)
* See this letter, (No. 66,) and Governor Coppinger's answer.
Relations with Spain.
The Indians have seized two persons who they think have been greatly instrumental in bringing the Americans upon them, and they are now in their possession as prisoners. It is even reported they have made sales of Indian lands without the knowledge, consent, or approbation of the chiefs of the nation; and, from their long residence in the nation, and the great influence that one of those people formerly enjoyed among the chiefs as their chief. there is some reason to believe he has been guilty of improper conduct with regard to the Indian nation.*
Agent for Indian Affairs.
Petition of the chiefs of the Lower Creek nation to
We, the undersigned, have been deputed by the chiefs of the Creek nation to wait on your excellency, and lay before you their heavy complaints. To the English we have always looked up as friends, as protectors; and on them we now call to aid us in repelling the approaches of the Americans, who, regardless of treaties, are daily seizing our lands and robbing our people. They have already built seven forts on our lands; they are making roads and running lines into the very heart of our country; and, without the interference of the English, we shall soon be driven from the land we inherited from our forefathers.
The Americans tell us the English will regard us no more, and that we had better submit to them; but we cannot submit to their shackles, and will rather die in defence of our country.
may be able effectually to repel the attack of the Americans, and prevent their further encroachments; and if we return without assistance, the Americans, who have their spies among us, will the more quickly come upon us. We most humbly pray your excellency will send such a force as will be respected and make us respectable.*
[The following endorsed on the foregoing.] Charles Cameron, Esq., Governor, Commander-inchief, &c.
I beg leave to represent to your excellency the necessity of my again returning to the Indian nation with the deputies from the chiefs; and as my trouble and expense can only be defrayed by permission to take goods to dispose of among them, I pray your excellency will be pleased to grant me such letter or license as will prevent me from being captured, in case of meeting with any Span
ish cruiser on the coast of Florida.
B. Moodie to A. Arbuthnot.
January, with an enclosure, which I forwarded
To A. BOUDINOT, Esq., Nassau.
Mr. Bagot to Mr. Moodie.
SIR: I duly received your letter of the 20th
When peace was made between the English and Americans, we were told by Lieutenant Colonel E. Nicholls that the Americans were to give up our lands they had taken, and we were desired to live quietly and peaceably, in no wise molest-instant, enclosing one from Nassau. I shall be ing the Americans. We have strictly followed obliged to you if you will take an immediate these orders; but the Americans have not com- opportunity of writing to the gentleman from plied with the treaty, Colonel Nicholls left Wil- whom you received that letter, acquainting him liam Hambly in charge of the fort at Prospect from me that the expenses of postage are so conBluff, with orders to hear us, if any cause of com-siderable that I must request, if he has occasion plaint, and represent the same to the British to write to me again upon the same subject, he Government; but he turned traitor, and brought will forward his letters by private opportunities the Americans down on the fort, which was only. blown up, and many of our red brethren destroyed in it. The ammunition and stores intended for our use were either destroyed or taken off by the Americans. We have sent several messengers to inform your excellency of these proceedings of the Americans, but they have never returned to us with an answer. Three of our red brethren have lately been killed by the Americans, while hunting on our own lands; and they threaten to attack the towns of Mickasuky and Suwanee, the only two large towns left us in the Creek nation; and, without aid from your excellency, we cannot repel their attack. We are therefore deputed to demand of your excellency the assistance of troops and ammunition, that we
For the remainder of this letter see No. 6. 15th CoN. 2d SESS.-65
I am, sir, your obedient, humble servant,
Copy of a letter from A. Arbuthnot to General Mitchell, (enclosed by Col. Brearly, 27th February, 1818.)
SUWANEE, LOWER CREEK NATION, January 19, 1819. SIR: Kenhagee, head chief of the Lower Creek nation, had called on me to request I would represent to you the cruel and oppressive conduct of the American people living on the
The paper following (No. 71) is supposed to be the answer to this petition.
Relations with Spain.
borders of the Indian nation, and which he was in hopes, from a talk you were pleased to send him some weeks since, would have been put a stop to, and peace restored between the Indians and the American people; but far from any stop being put to their inroads and encroachments, they are pouring in by hundreds at a time, not only from the land side, but both troops and settlers ascending the Appalachicola river in vesselloads. Thus, the Indians have been compelled to take up arms to defend their homes from a set of lawless invaders.
Your known philanthropy and goodwill towards the Indians in general induce the chiefs to hope that you will lose no time in using your influence to put a stop to those invasions of their lands and paternal birthright, and also order that those who have already seized on their fields may retire therefrom.
The Indians have seized two persons known to have been greatly instrumental in bringing the Americans down on their lands, and they are now in their possession as prisoners; and they have it in report that sales of their lands have been made by those two people without the consent, approbation, or knowledge of the chiefs; and from their long residence in the nation, and the one having enjoyed great confidence in the nation, and with the chiefs, as English interpreter, there is some reason to believe those reports, when leagued with the swarms of Americans coming from Mobile and other places, seizing the best of the Indian lands. Such improper sales have actually been made.
defence, to tire the patience of the court by a minute reference to the voluminous documents and papers, or to recapitulate the whole of the testimony which has come before this honorable court in the course of this investigation. Nor is it the intention of the prisoner to waste the invaluable time of this court by appeals to their feelings or sympathy, though I am persuaded that sympathy nowhere more abounds than in a generous American breast. My only appeal is to the sound and impartial judgment of this honorable court, the purity and uprightness of their hearts, that they will dispassionately and patiently weigh the evidence which they have before them, apply the law, and on these, and these alone, pronounce their judgment.
If this honorable court please, I shall now proceed to examine the law and evidence that is relied on by this honorable court in support of the first charge and specification.
Winslett, a witness on the part of the prosecution, says: The Little Prince showed him a letter written in June last, signed A. Arbuthnot, requesting his friendship with the lower nation of Indians. The same witness stated he believed the letter to be now in the possession of the Little Prince. Here, may it please this honorable court, I would call their attention to the law relating to evidence; first premising that the rules of evidence are the same, whether in civil or military tribunals. (McCom. 99.) This point being conceded, the next inquiry is, what are the rules of evidence with respect to the admission of letters or papers of private correspondence in a court of criminal jurisdiction? May it please this honorable court, must you not produce the original letters and papers, if they are not lost or mislaid so that they cannot be obtained? And, in case they are lost, proof must be made of the handwriting being the same as that of the original, before they can be received as evidence. (McCom. on Courts-Martial. Peake's Evidence. Gilbert's Law of Evidence.) No instance can be cited where a copy of a letter was read as evidence when the original could be obtained, much less the giving in evidence the contents of such letter from bare recollection. The only proof that this honorable court has of the existence of such a letter being in the hands of any person, or its contents being known, is the vagrant memory of a vagrant individual. Make this a rule of eviThe foregoing letter was produced to A. Ar-dence, and I ask you where would implication, buthnot, on his examination before me, and acknowledged by him to have been written by him to General Mitchell, agent for the Creek nation. ANDREW JACKSON.
In taking this liberty of addressing you, sir, in behalf of the unfortunate Indians, believe me I have no wish but to see an end put to a war which, if persisted in, I foresee must eventually be their ruin, and, as they were not the aggressors, if, in the height of their rage, they committed any excesses, that you will overlook them as the just ebullition of an indignant spirit against an invading foe.
I have the honor to be, &c.
CAMP BEFORE ST. MARK'S,
Present: Mr. FULTON.
April 8, 1818.
May it please this Honorable Court:
The prisoner arraigned before you is sensible of the indulgence granted by this honorable court in the examination of the case now before them. It is not the wish of the prisoner, in making his
construction, and invention stop? Whose property, whose reputation, or whose life, would be safe? Here I would beg leave to mention a remark made by the president of this court in the course of this investigation, which was, that, notwithstanding the letter was proved by the witness to be in the possession of the Little Prince, this court could not notice that circumstance, because there was no means by which it could be obtained. I would ask the honorable court what means have they adopted, or what exertions have they made to procure this letter? If the honorable court please, I shall here close the defence on the first charge and specification, believing
Relations with Spain.
that they are neither supported by law nor evidence.
May it please the honorable court, I will now come to the second charge, and first specification of that charge. In support of this charge and specification, the evidence before the court is a letter written to my son. If the court please, this letter was written in consequence of the situation of my property at Suwanee, and the large debts that were due me from Bowlegs and his people. Nothing, I believe, of an inflammatory nature can be found on reading the document marked A, authorizing the opinion that I was prompting the Indians to war. On the contrary, if the honorable court will examine the document marked A, they will see that I wish to lull their fears, by informing them that it was the negroes and not the Indians that the Americans were principally moving against.
Charges against Robert C. Ambrister, now in cus-
brister did give intelligence of the movements
CHARGE 2. Leading and commanding the Lower Creek Indians in carrying on war against
the United States.
If the honorable court please, I will make a few remarks upon the second specification, and brister, a subject of Great Britain, which GovSpecification 1. That the said Robert C. Amthen close my defence. In proof of this charge, ernment was in peace and amity with the Unithe court have before them the evidence of Ham-ted States and all her citizens, did, between the bly, Cook, and sundry letters purporting to be written by myself to different individuals. May it please the court, what does Cook prove? Why, that I had ten kegs of powder at Suwanee. me appeal to the experience of the court, if they think that this quantity of powder would supply one thousand Indians, and an equal number of blacks, more than two months for hunting. As to the letters named in this specification, may it please the court, the rules of evidence laid down in the first part of this defeace will apply with
equal force in the present case. It remains now, may i please the court, to say something as to Hambly's testimony. And may it please this honorable court, the rule laid down in this case as to hearsay evidence will be found without a precedent. A strong case was stated by an intelligent member of this court, on the examination of this part of the evidence; that is, "would you receive as testimony what a third person had said, who, if present, you would reject as incompetent ?" Apply this principle to the present case; could an Indian be examined on oath in our courts of judicature? If, then, the testimony of savages is inadmissible, Hambly proves nothing. Here, may it please the honorable court, I close my reply to the charges and specifications preferred against me, being fully persuaded that, should there be cause for censure, my judges will, in the language of the law, lean to the side of
1st of February and 20th of March, 1818, levy a war against the United States, by assuming command of the Indians in hostility and open war with the United States, and ordering a party of them to meet the army of the United States, and give them battle, as will appear by his letters to Governor Cameron, of New Providence, dated 20th March, 1818, which are marked A, C, and D; and the testimony of Mr. Peter B. Cook, and Captain Lewis, of the schooner Chance.
By order of the court:
J. M. GLASSELL, Recorder.
To which charges and specifications, the prisoner pleaded as follows, viz:
To the first charge and specification, not guilty.
To the second charge and specification, guilty, and justification.
The court adjourned until to-morrow morning, at seven o'clock.
FORT ST. MARK's, April 28, 1818. The court met pursuant to adjournment. Pres