Cherokee Removal of 1871

The New York Times, Friday, August 18, 1871

-Moving the North Carolina Cherokee* West-

THE NORTH CAROLINA CHEROKEE.

The Cherokee Indians of North Carolina will, for the most part, accept the provisions of the law by which they are, in accordance with their own wishes, to be removed to a reservation in the Indian Territory. There are eighty-nine now in camp at London, Tenn., thirty-three of whom are under twelve years of age. There are two other parties in North Carolina of about fifty and thirty respectively. These are awaiting the arrangements for transportation and other preliminaries to their departure. Chief JAMES OAHDIAH will send a complete roll to the Indian Office of those who are to remove, showing the age, sex & etc., of each individual. The Indians are anxious to get away as soon as possible.


Appendix A c

REPORT OF COMMISSIONER JOHN D. LANG

Removal of the Cherokees from North Carolina and East Tennessee to the Indian Territory

Vassabboroughm Twelfthmonth 6th, 1871

ESTEEMED FRIEND: Permit me to report that during thy absence in Oregon I was requested to take special charge of the removal of a band of Eastern Cherokees, then in readiness and awaiting transportation at Loudon, Tennessee, to join, by invitation, their brethren, the Western Cherokees; an efficient assistant was assigned me in the person of D.C. Cox, clerk in the Department of the Interior. This band, about one hundred and thirty in number, came in from the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, having been dispossessed of all their lands and property fraudulently, which will appear more fully hereafter by their plea and written statement addressed to our board. We left Washington about the 28th of Ninthmonth, (September), and found this company located in a valley near Loudon Railroad Station in a destitute and suffering condition. We held a council with them all--- men, women, and children; we read to them a kind letter from the President, which cheered and encouraged them; we gave them such advice as appeared necessary. The day of departure was agreed on, and they accordingly got ready, and we set off on the day specified. Provisions for their subsistence on the journey were furnished by the War Department, as had been the case for their support of several months previous. Secretary Delano furnished funds, and we expended about $1,000 economically for clothing, shoes, & ect., for men, women, and children. He also furnished "rations for subsistence" enough to support them for a short time after their arrival at their new homes. We continued our journey, in good passenger cars, day and night, until we arrived at Chouteau Station, about the center of the Cherokee nation. Here they camped on a very fertile prairie, adjoining a fine belt of timber abounding with small game, deer, wild turkeys, & etc., and near the Neosho River, which contains fish in abundance, all of which was pleasing to the Indians. A much larger number were left behind in Tennessee and North Carolina, not being prepared to remove; but a delegation of fifteen came from them on foot, some sixty and others one hundred and fifty miles, to inform us of their intention to follow their brethren as soon as they could get ready. An arrangement was made with the railroad managers to take them as they came, and to convey them in the same manner, in good passenger cars, and to the same station as those we accompanied personally. I may say, respecting the above journey, that all went on quietly and peaceably--- no trouble and no disorder, and with no guards but my friend Cox and myself. Upon our arrival we sent a messenger and letter also to the governor, agent, and head men of the nation, inviting them to come and take charge of our company. Some few came before we left, and others were expected, who would give such information and advice as they needed.

Duties requiring our return to Washington early, we parted with the Indians in good feeling, and they expressed gratitude for their comfortable journey and for our kind attention. This remnant of the Cherokee tribe, by reliable accounts, rendered valuable assistance in the infancy of our Government, and have occupied lands in North Carolina aud Tennessee upward of a century, and have received little or no care (by way of education or otherwise) from any body of white people, and now to be deprived of and forced off from their lands, and deprived of money due them, appears hard to them. They allege that their lands were sold by Government agents, who used the money to pay their private debts, their bondsmen and others connected with them as pretended claim agents, without the consent of the Indians, and against their protest, which they will show on a fair investigation of this fraudulent transaction. It appears to be the Quapaw payment (witnessed last year) over again; the same parties concerned in that are alleged by the Indians to be concerned in this case of theirs now pending in a suit brought by the Attorney General for restitution.

The Cherokee name has long been familiar to our nation. Their grievances and wrongs have claimed the sympathy of all the good and virtuous, and I hope this poor remnant will share largely in the good fruits of the present policy and peace and good will. I wish to curtail this report as much as possible, expecting reports from other members, of the board will require much space; continued ill-health in my family, and being very much worn from constant engagement by day, and much night-travel, has prevented my reporting earlier.

With esteem and kind regard, thy friend, respectfully,

J.D. LANG

F.R. Brunot

 

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