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Affairs can readily obtain the funds from Congress and our board will coöperate with him most heartily in making this affair a success.

With great respect, your obedient servant,



Secretary of the Board.

Washington, D. C., January 14, 1871.

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith the following papers: Copy of a letter addressed to William Clinton, superintendent of Indian affairs for New Mexico, with an indorsement thereon by Mr. Clinton, who referred the same to George W. Getty, colonel of the Third Infantry, and with Colonel Getty's indorsement thereon.

This letter gives this Department information that the Apache Indians are impressed with more friendly feelings toward this Government than heretofore manifested, and also that they desire to be placed upon a reservation, with a view to cease their nomadic habits and enter into friendly relations with the Government.

This letter has been referred to the Indian commission, and was answered by a letter from Vincent Colyer, esq., secretary of the board of Indian commissioners, dated January 7, 1871, and addressed to the President of the United States, in which Mr. Colyer recommends that the Apaches be invited to this city, with a view to the negotiation of terms for peace and friendship. The letter also suggests that a proposal be made to Congress for an appropriation to meet the expenses of such conference.

Mr. Colyer's letter, and the letter from Mr. Clinton with its indorsement, were referred to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, who, under date of January 10, approves the suggestion of Mr. Colyer, and recommends that an effort be made to procure the appropriation from Congress. Copies of all these documents are herewith transmitted. The whole subject has been presented to the President, who approves the suggestions to which I have already alluded.

I have the honor, therefore, respectfully to request that this subject receive the attention of the Committee on Indian Affairs of the House of Representatives, and I deem it also proper to add that in my opinion it would be wise to make the required appropriation, $50,000, for the purpose of accomplishing the objects hereinbefore referred to. The Apaches, heretofore, have been unfriendly and disposed to war with the Government. It is very desirable that the expenses necessarily resulting from their hostility should be avoided. It is also desirable, if possible, to bring them under the influences of civilization, and it seems to me that if the appropriation suggested be made, these laudable objects will be accomplished.

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The Indians-Important council in their behalf-The peace commissioners and missionaries in conference-All denominations represented-Interesting topics discussed-Measures agreed on for Indian amelioration.

An important Indian council was held on the 13th January, 1871, called together by the board of Indian commissioners now in session in this city. There were present of the board Mr. Brunot, of Pittsburg; R. Campbell, of St. Louis; John V. Farwell, of Chicago; John D. Lang, of Maine; William E. Dodge, Nathan Bishop, and Vincent Colyer, of New York; George H. Stuart, of Philadelphia, and Edward S. Toby, of Boston, being a full board; and, by invitation, H. A. Spalding, the veteran missionary of the Nez Perces of Idaho, Presbyterian; Father De Smet, Roman Catholic, (a veteran Jesuit missionary of the Upper Missouri;) Thomas Wister, of Philadelphia, (Orthodox Friend) who was imprisoned under General Taylor for his attacks on the Indian ring under Taylor's administration; Benjamin Tatham, New York; John Garrett and Mr. Earl; of the Orthodox Friends; Samuel Townsend, of Baltimore, of the Hicksite Friends; Dr. Harris, secretary of the Methodist Missionary Society; Dr. Ferris, of the Reformed Church; Dr. Whipple and General Howard, of the American Missionary Society; Dr. Lowe, of Boston, and Rev. Mr. Hinkley, of this city, of the Unitarians; Colonel S. S. Tappan, Secretary Delano, Commissioner Parker, and Hon. William Welch, were present.

The chairman opened the meeting by proposing the question: "What measure of responsibility belongs to the religious body that nominates agents ?"

A general discussion ensued.

The second question was, whether Western men residing in the neighborhood of the reservations only should be nominated as agents.

Rev. Dr. Ferris stated that the reservations in Arizona had been committed to the care of his society by the President, and the society felt that if they were to be held responsible for the moral conduct of their agents, they must nominate men with whom they were familiar, and they therefore had to take men from east of the Mississippi. The general sense of the meeting was, that the society should be left free to choose from either section.

The following resolution was then adopted:

"That, in the opinion of this conference, it is necessary that religious or benevolent associations which are called upon to recommend Indian agents shall be at liberty to select such agents as they have full confidence in, and shall be willing to become morally responsible for, without reference to the locality of their residence or their political opinion, provided they shall be restrained from using their positions for partisan purposes."

The third question was: "Is it good policy to have ministers of the gospel as agents?" The general sense of the meeeting was against the practice, but that it should be left open.

The following resolution was then adopted:

"That, in the opinion of this meeting, it is very desirable that the agents of any religious association should be constantly watched by the association, and its aid invoked in promoting the civilization and Christianization of the Indians.

"That in the event of a person recommended as an Indian agent not being satisfactory to the President or to the Senate, it be respectfully requested that the religious body authorized to make the recommendation be notified immediately and asked to suggest another person, in accordance with the practice of the Department."

The next question was, "Should school-houses on reservations be built at the expense of the Government or by the missionary societies?"

The majority declared that the expense would be too heavy for the missionary societies to undertake. Mr. Welch was, however, in favor of it.

The following was then passed:

"That this conference, composed of the President, Board of Indian Commissioners, and the official representatives of the religious bodies invited by the Government to coöperate with the administration in its efforts to civilize and Christianize the Indian race, in recommending agents for the management of the different tribes, regard the policy of the President as one of the most philanthropic measures that the Government has ever undertaken; and that having faith in its success, we heartily commend this policy to the good judgment and cordial coöperation of the people of the United States." Secretary Delano expressed great gratification at the general character and unanimity of the meeting. He said the President's policy was an admirable one, but had a great work to do. He said: "The agents sent to the Indians are your own, and we intend that they shall be emphatically your own. The only right we reserve is the right of instantaneous dismissal where they are unworthy."

The following resolution was passed:

"Resolved, That as one of the most effective means of creating a correct public opinion in support of the President's policy in reference to the Indians, and of deeper conviction of moral accountability to Christianize them, it is desirable that voluntary associations be formed in the larger commercial centers in the country, as has already been done in New York, Massachusetts, Oregon, and elsewhere."

Commissioner Toby warmly advocated the last above-mentioned resolution.

The meeting having transacted the business immediately before it, which occupied the time from 1 p. m. till dark, passed the following resolutions:


"In the opinion of this convention, it is important that the military officers stationed

in any agency shall be in harmony with the policy of the President.

"That this conference freely sympathize with the determination of the Government to secure to the Indians their reservations, and protect them from encroachments on those lands."

Indian Peace Commission-Convention in the Interior Department-Important measures proposed and discussed—Address by Secretary Delano.

[Special dispatch to the New York Times.]

WASHINGTON, January 13.

The board of Indian commissioners, generally known as the "Indian peace commission," together with the official representatives of the several religious associations which have, at the request of President Grant, suggested the names of the Indian agents under whose supervision the active duties of the Bureau have lately been

executed, met in the Interior Department this morning, and, after paying a brief visit to the White House, during which they presented their report to the President, reassembled for general consultation. There were present representatives of every denomination, including the Roman Catholic and excepting the Jews, who have been interested in the movement. They at once resolved themselves informally into a convention, and proceeded to discuss the question of the responsibility of their several associations for the acts of their agents. The Orthodox and Hicksite Quakers, through their delegates, made the best showing as regards the completeness of the system under which they operate, for they not only employ agents at their own expense, becoming sureties on their bonds, but have established supervisory agencies, the duties of which have been to travel and make thorough inspections of the condition of affairs in the districts under their charge. Opinions were freely expressed regarding the question, suggestions made and experience related, which finally resulted in the adoption of a resolution declaring it to be the duty of all organizations making recommendations for appointment to assume a moral responsibility for their agents, and providing that they shall refrain from the use of their positions for partisan purposes. The most important incentive to the adoption of this resolution was a desire to combat the influence of the politicians to destroy the present Indian policy of the Government, by statements that the Christian agents are really politicians in disguise. Another was to obtain a declaration from those interested regarding the propriety of appointing agents from localities far distant from the scene of their active duties. The result is that the associations will now select any one they please, under the restriction of moral responsibility for their acts. Another subject discussed, but on which no action was taken, because the foregoing resolution virtually settles it, was the propriety of appointing ministers of the gospel. The only objection urged against it was the probability that persons of that class could not always be found possessed of sufficient mercantile experience or commercial education to make them efficient officers. A second resolution was adopted, advising the establishing of inspecting agencies, and a discussion followed regarding the propriety of requesting the Government to inform associations whose agents were to be suspended or removed of that fact, and allow them to make investigations. Secretary Delano appeared in their midst at this juncture, and effectu ally disposed of this question by asserting that the Government would prefer to act without interference from outside parties under such circumstances. Some desultory conversation followed relative to a proposition requesting the Government, in case of a rejection of a candidate by either the President or the Senate, to inform the society which had made the recommendation of that fact, and finally a resolution embodying the request was adopted, to which was appended the statement that it is at present the custom of the Interior Department to do so. The only reason given for the adoption of this resolution was that its publication would notify outside parties that their efforts to accomplish the defeat of nominations sent to the Senate would only result in the nomination of some one else with the same recommendations. A proposition demanding that the Government should construct school-houses, churches, and other necessary buildings, or give titles of the lands on which they have been built to the associations who have erected them, was then submitted, but without action was referred to the commission proper for consideration.

After it had been disposed of, Secretary Delano addressed the convention briefly, stating that the Government was well satisfied with the present progress of the efforts of its Christian friends to accomplish the civilization of our Indians, and laid great stress on the fact that to President Grant, and to no other person, belongs all the credit for having inaugurated the successful policy under which they have operated. He assured them that their recommendations would be accepted as all-sufficient, and that as soon as they were received the nominations should be made; "but," he added, "the Administration will reserve to itself the right to chop off the political heads of your friends whenever occasion may require it, and you must not complain of this. We treat congressmen in the same way; that is, we accept their recommendations for nominations, and then, when their candidates are in office, we reserve to ourselves the right to judge whether they shall remain in their places. I do not expect that you will always make good selections. I have not always succeeded in doing that myself. But you must use every endeavor to do so. It is not sufficient alone that a man should be a good Christian brother to make him an efficient officer, although that is the first requisite; but he must have health, energy, and experience in business affairs; he must be possessed of characteristics calculated to make him actively efficient in his official, as well as his religious, relations with those under his charge."

Having concluded this pointed speech, the Secretary withdrew, when a resolution was presented and adopted, cordially indorsing the President's policy and approving the philanthropic efforts of the Government to christianize the Indians. Reference having been made to the efficiency of commission organization during the war, it was suggested that a similar effort might be made available for the object in view. Finally a resolution calling upon the friends of the Indians in the several moral and commercial centers of the country to establish societies for the collection of money and the pro

mulgation of religious truths among them, like those which are now in successful operation in New York and Massachusetts, was presented and adopted, when the convention adjourned. Throughout the whole proceedings frequent allusions were made to President Grant in terms of warmest praise, and the evident feeling of every member present toward him was that of grateful friendship and affection.



Tahlequah, the capital of the nation, contains about three hundred inhabitants. There are several hotels and boarding-houses to accommodate the legislature when in session. The principal hotel is a large two-story brick. There are no church buildings; all denominations worshipping in Masonic Hall. A little outside is the Baptist Mission house, established by the American Baptist Home Mission Society of New York. The First Baptist Mission was established in 1821, while the Cherokees lived in North Carolina, by the Board of Foreign Missions, and was afterwards transferred to the Home Mission Society. The building is a fine two-story brick, and is in charge of the Rev. John B. Jones, who has been recently appointed United States agent of the Cherokees.

A number of members of the upper and lower houses board at the Mission house. There is a post office, and a mail three times a week each way. There are three stores and a weekly newspaper, "The Cherokee Advocate," which is published in Cherokee and English by W. P. Boudinot, a native.

On a commodious elevation outside the town are seen two separate institutions in an incomplete state, for educational purposes.

The State capitol was erected at a cost of $20,000; it is of brick, situated in the centre of the public square, and its appearance is that of a first-class court-house in the interior counties of Missouri and Illinois.

The upper and lower houses, analogous to our Senate and House of Representatives, have halls on the lower floor; the supreme court room, office of the treasurer, and various committee rooms are on the second floor, as is also the executive chamber, in which is a picture of William Penn making a treaty, and a likeness of George Guess, the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet. This body was having an extra session, called by Chief Downing to finish up business left undone by the regular session, which closed on the 6th instant.

On the day we arrived the new session commenced and organized. The regular sessions are limited to thirty days, but the called sessions are unlimited. The senate is composed of eighteen members, two from each of the nine districts into which the Territory is divided; Captain Archibald Scraper is the president.

The council, or lower house, is composd of twenty-nine members, according to the present apportionment; the two districts of Tahlequah and Illinois, for instance, sending each four members; the other seven districts send three members each. Jumper Mills is the present speaker. Most of the speaking in the lower house is in the Cherokee language, but the upper house uses Cherokee and English about equally.


To-day Commissioners Campbell and Lang were invited to visit the senate chamber, and the invitation was accepted. Mr. Lang remarked the contrast, he having twentyeight years ago participated in a council which took place in a log-hut, on the site of the present capitol. On entering the senate chamber, that body was in session. Chief Jumper, the principal dignitaries of the nation, and Ex-Governor Fletcher, were present. Mr. Scraper, a dignified looking officer, occupied the chair. One of the senators was dressed in buckskin; and one of the officials present wore a blanket. The chamber resembled a Congregational chapel, with a modest-looking pulpit for the president; two tables in front for the secretaries, the members being seated on chairs. The preliminary proceedings were conducted with perfect decorum, and according to parliamentary usages. No such machinery as the "previous question" is in vogue. The session was opened with prayer in Cherokee, by a senator kneeling by his chair.

Some action was taken in reference to a deceased personage, when Mr. Alex. Hawk arose and moved that a committee be appointed to inform the lower house that the two commissioners were present, and invited them to visit the senate chamber as a body. The motion was carried, and a committee appointed. In a few minutes the members of the other house, numbering twenty-seven, entered the senate chamber in a body, and were provided with seats.

The president addressed the commissioners, who were seated on the left, stating that the other house was present and they would be glad to hear from them.

S. Ex. 39--8


Commissioner Campbell entered the desk, and said that he felt grateful for the honor done them in inviting them to be present. He and Mr. Lang were on their way to the council, and felt exceedingly gratified in seeing such an intelligent body, illustrating as it did the progress made by the Cherokees from the" wild state," as Colonel Adair, on a former occasion, had expressed it. The object of the commission is to visit the different tribes of Indians, and see if they have been properly dealt with by the agents of the Government. He hoped to see the example set by the Cherokees have its effect upon the wild tribes, and hoped ere long to see all the latter assembed in council, as the Cherokees. When they went out to see these wild tribes they should take pleasure in holding up for their imitation the example before them. He concluded by stating that the commissioners were on their way to Ockmulgee, and thanked those present for their kind attention.

Commissioner Lang then came forward. He said he felt happy in having the privilege of meeting so many of his red brethren. It was about twenty-eight years since he visited an assembly like this, in this place, where their great men of that age, John Ross, Jesse Bushyhead, Young Wolf, and others met in a little log-house built on this very spot. They have since gone to their long homes. During that visit he held councils with twenty tribes of Indians, from the north to the south. Many years have rolled away since that time, but he had never forgotten his Cherokee friends. He had known their history from reading it, and his sympathies had been with them since they started from Alabama and Georgia. When he looked around and saw this intelligent body, with a full reliance on the Great Spirit that watches over us, he felt that his belief in an overruling Providence was strengthened. He knew that the land they occupied was once thought not fit to live upon, yet God has raised them up by his supporting hand and made them what they are. While there were bad-minded men who had no sympathy for the Cherokees, he knew there were thousands and hundreds of thousands in the East whose hearts were warm in sympathy for them. The Cherokees, he said, had annihilated the idea which prevails among white people, that nothing can be done to improve the Indian-that he will be an Indian still.

Mr. Lang spoke at some length, proffering some excellent advice on their Christian duties, and concluded by assuring his auditors that his heart was warmed up in sympathy by thus meeting them again, after nearly thirty years. The commissioners were greeted with applause, their off-hand remarks having been interpreted by Mr. Jones. The presiding officer, Mr. Scraper, said that he was much rejoiced for these expressions of kindness and sympathy by the commissioners, and he would not forget them. He had not been accustomed to be addressed in that style, and he could make no oration, but would not forget what was said as long as he lived. He said he would throw the doors open for any member of either house to respond to the commissioners.

Chief Downing then rose, and expressed in warm terms the satisfaction he felt in listening to the remarks of the commissioners. He then gave to the joint session the history and the objects contemplated by the President in the appointment of commissioners. He was greatly obliged for the words of sympathy and comfort expressed by the commissioners. He informed the latter that all were gratified by this token of good feeling and sympathy.

On the suggestion of the chair, all the members of both houses then passed around in single file, and warmly shook hands and greeted the commissioners in person.

The occasion was a most agreeable one and there was a universal desire expressed that the commissioners remain over till the next day. After much hand-shaking, and unmistakable expression of good feeling, the commissioners took their leave.



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Ockmulgee, the capital of the Muskegee Nation, where the general council was in session, is a small hamlet, containing four large-sized frame buildings, used as stores, and about fifty log-houses, with a public square, in the center of which stands the capitol, a double block-house open through the center, and with both wings under one roof. The legislative body, which holds an annual session in this building, is composed of an upper and lower house, called the house of kings and the house of warriors. The general council was held in the house of kings, and on the day of our arrival had adjourned over till the Monday ensuing. This council was assembled in accordance with the provisions of the twelfth article of the treaty made and concluded in the city of Washington in the year 1866, between the United States and the Cherokee Nation, and similar treaties between said United States and the Choctaw and Chickasaw, Muskegee, and Seminole tribes of Indians, of the same date. The powers of the council were clearly defined. It contemplated the establishment, for many purposes not inconsistent with the tribal laws and existing treaties with the United States, of a territorial government, with the superintendent as governor,. the Territory being named Oklahoma.

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