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Proceeded on Monday, rode thirty miles, and encamped. Tuesday, to Cahawba Falls, by nine, A. M., to breakfast. Day fine. Thence on to Sawyer's Mills, where I encamped. Reached Foreman's, on the pine flats, on the 24th, and tarried there for the night. Crossed the Alabama on the 25th, and arrived at Montgomery, where I remained all night. Met there with the number of the North American Review containing a review of my“ Tour to the Lakes.” Read it with eagerness, and with satisfaction. The commendations were far above what I had hoped for.
Rose early, and pushed on for my place of destination, the Creek agency, at Fort Mitchell, in Alabama, on the Chattahoochee. Fell in with the agent, Colonel Crowell, some ten miles from the agency, who accompanied me to his home, where, as soon as I arrived, I commenced operations for convening the Creeks, in council, at Tuckhabatchee. Despatched a messenger with a talk, to Opothleyoholo, he being the organ of communication, as speaker of the Creek councils, to the nation, inviting him to come and see me.
His answer foreboded difficulties. He could not come, assigning as the reason that he was not well enough. I succeeded, however, in getting him to meet me. The result was a call of the council, and a final arrangement by treaty, and settlement of all the difficulties that had for so long a time existed between the Creek nation, the State of Georgia, and the federal government. Every foot of land remaining to the Creeks, of what was once their immense domain in Georgia, was now ceded; and henceforth they were to be confined to their possessions in Alabama.
Having disposed of my horses, and travelling and camp equipage, to Colonel Crowell, I took the stage at the door of the agency, having adopted, at the request of their parents and friends, two Indian youths, William Barnard and Lee Compere ; the first a Creek, the other a Uchee; and these, with the Honorable William R. Ring, then a senator
in Congress, now minister to France, were my companions.
My little Indian boys were about ten and thirteen years old, Lee being the youngest. His Indian name was Arbor. After leaving the agency some thirty miles, this little fellow gave signs of great restlessness, and kept muttering something in Uchee, which William interpreted. “He wanted to go home.” This was the burden of his muttering. So I thought I would test the self-relying feeling which I had often heard attributed to Indians, even of his tender age, as also their trust in their instinct. I knew he could have no knowledge of the way he had come, for he, and William, and Ben, had occupied the front seat of the stage, and had travelled backwards. I called to the driver, requesting him to stop. He did so. Now, William, tell Lee he can go home, if he wishes to go. This was scarcely said, before the little fellow, who had learned some English at the missionary school, seized his bundle, and was, in a twinkling, out at the side of the stage, and going down over one of the fore-wheels; when, seeing him determined
I told Ben to reach out and take him in. He was inconsolable, and remained so till we reached Augusta, in Georgia.
On arriving there, I sent Ben out with them, with directions to clothe them in the best manner, and to buy for each a plaid cloak, and a handsome cap. Ben was fortunate in securing quite a handsome and perfectly well-fitting suit, including the cloaks and the caps. I then had their hair cut. Ben took them into a chamber of the hotel, and gave them a thorough cleansing ; when they were brought to me, dressed, not in a very handsome suit of clothes, only, but in smiles. A couple of prettier boys could be found nowhere.
I had rode all night, after leaving Augusta; and stopping at a public stand to breakfast, I directed Ben to go with the boys to the breakfast-table, and attend to them there,
while I shaved. On going in myself, I saw the two boys with Ben, standing at the back door of the passage. What, Ben, I inquired, through with breakfast already ? “Oh, lord, sir,” said Ben, “I was sent out in a jiffey.” Why, what's the matter? “The lady, sir,” answered Ben, “says she don't allow Indians to eat at her table.” I took the boys, each by a hand, and went in, and as I was about seating them, each on one side of me, the good lady, at the head of the table, sprang to her feet, gave her chair a push backwards, threw her head well up, and, with her arm extended, and her fist clenched, accompanied by a wild and vengeful expression, her lips compressed, she looked at me, saying, “Sir, I will not allow Indians to come to my table.” I am sorry, madam, I replied, to be obliged, on this occasion, to trespass on your rules, but these little boys must have their breakfast, and just as they are now seated, with me. I am their protector, and have taken care of their persons, so as to render them quite prepared for your table, or any other table in Georgia. She flew out of the room, saying—“I send my
* On my arrival at home, these little boys were made part of my family; and were adopted by the government. Their education, and the supervision of their entire circumstances, devolved on me. I sent them to a school, at that time kept in Georgetown, and upon the principle of the West Point Academy. The uniform required to be worn, I knew, would furnish a tie to this school, of the most agreeable sort. Both these children made the usual progress in learning, and were tractable, and well disposed. The little one, Lee, had in him a portion of obstinacy which never ehowed itself in William. He was, however, younger, and had not been favored with so many advantages in instruction, at school and otherwise, as had been enjoyed by William. Strong attachments were formed in them, both for me and my family, as the sequel will show.
When I was dismissed from office, I included in my arrangements for leaving Washington, a plan for the furtherance of the welfare of these children. They had been confided to me by their parents and friends, and I felt bound, besides the interest I took in their welfare, to carry out what I knew was the will of their parents, as well as to make good all their expectations, so far as it might be in my power to do so. In a word, I felt the trust to be a sacred one. Accordingly, I applied to President Jackson, for his permission to take them with me to Philadelphia. It was refused. On making this known to the boys, they grew sad, and
I shall pay
band after you.” By the time Ben " had poured out the coffee, the good man of the house entered, saying, “Sir, this is against my rules.” I can't help it, sir. Your's is a public house. We are travellers. Those little boys are very near to me, and I shall see, wherever I
that they occupy the same level which I do; and my advice to you, as a friend, is to keep cool, and leave the room. you for our fare. “Well, sir,” said he, “ I suppose it must be so," and went out! gave signs of great distress. At last, of their own accord, they wrote, and took to the President the following note :“ Great Father
“We are in trouble our friend Colonel McKenney is going away—we want to go with him. We don't want to stay here without him. He is our friend. We love him, he is good to us—do not, Father, let us be taken away from him. We ask you to let us go with Colonel McKenney. He is like a father to us. We came from our nation with him. When we leave here, we want to go back ; but we do not want to go back, if we can go with him. We come to see our Father with this talk--we hope he will not deny what we come for.
LEE COMPERE." There is no date to this. It is in the hand-writing of William. The original is now before me; and I have copied it, in all respects. They kept together, and avoided seeing anybody—and would not come to their meals till after the family had separated. I said to them, perhaps your Great Father, if you were to see him, and tell him you wish to go with me, would gratify you-he may not know it is your wish. William replied—“We have been to see him, and (pulling from his pocket the foregoing letter,) handed him that.” After I had read it, I asked what his answer was. “ He said you can't go with him-you must go home to your people.” I retained the paper.
In making my arrangements to leave Washington, I concluded such as embraced the comfort of these poor boys, until the President should dispose of them, by taking board for them, and continuing them at school. The day I left Washington, they were inconsolable, and wept bitterly. I soothed them by telling them I should come again, before long, and see them—when the carriage drove off. Just as we were ascending the capitol-hill, a gentleman called. The coach was stopped. “ Colonel,” said he, “ your little Indian boys are trotting after the carriage, and seem much fatigued.” I stepped out, and told them, if they loved me, they must go back. I reasoned with them, and they became more composed, when I called a hack, put them in it, and we parted. I have never seen them since. They were sent home to their country soon after. Of William, I heard that he never recovered from his depression-became desperate—and, getting into an Indian quarrel, a fight ensued, in which some of the parties were killed, he left the Creek country, and joined the Seminoles in Florida. Of Lee, I have never heard anything.
RETURN TO WASHINGTON.
CHANGE OF ADMINISTRATION.
Arrival at Washington-Mr. Barbour's estimate of my services-Adjustment of
my accounts—Political agitation—Personal abuse—Duff Green's accountHis “ mark”—The work of proscription going on-Pledges honestly givenHow fulfilled-Duff Green's first appearance at Washington-How he went ahead-Strife for office-Interview with President Jackson-Charges—Satisfactorily answered—Result-A call at my office—An office not wanted— The office of Indian affairs—General Eaton and Duff Green—General Houston“Proposal”—A second and third interview-Proposals for contracts to supply the Indians-Ben Hawkins, alias General Houston-A rat behind the curtain“ Bids”-Actual cost of rations, and removal of the Indians-Extracts from documents—Bold favoritism--General Houston in a rage—A scene with my clerks—Almost displaced.
On my arrival at Milledgeville, I announced the adjustment of the difficulties. See Appendix, (H.) The annunciation that a treaty had been made, preceded me by a day. I had scarcely time to reach Washington in season for the President's message; but, by constant travelling, night and day, I arrived there just three days before the message was sent in—leaving me time only to make up my official report. The appendix, as referred to, contains my report to the Secretary of War, embracing, in an official form, all that had been accomplished under my commissions, during those travels, since parting from General Cass.
On reaching the War Department, I was met in the passage-way, by the Hon. James Barbour, then Secretary of War, who, reaching out both hands, grasping one of