Commissioner of Indian Affairs dated July 3, 1837

Extract of a letter from Messrs. W. Lumpkin and John Kennedy, commissioners, &c, to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs dated July 3, 1837.

“As to the kind of funds which would be received at this time here, in discharge of claims under the treaty, it is proper to remark that every recipient would prefer specie, because it is worth more that the paper of any bank which has suspended specie payments; yet all recipients who expect or intend to use their funds in Georgia, would take the bills of the Augusta Bank, rather than lie out of the money.

“The recipients who wish to use their money in the State of Tennessee, will be satisfied with nothing but specie, and would not take the bills of the Tennessee Bank at all in payment of their demands against the Government. Our only object in giving you this retrospective sketch, is to afford the means of correcting the evils of which we complain, hereafter.”

Extracts of a letter from Captain J. P. Simonton to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, dated Athens, Ga., August 10, 1837.

“I have the honor to inform you that since my last to you, in June, I have been endeavoring to procure the funds deposited in the Bank of Augusta, Georgia, for the purpose of carrying out the Cherokee treaty. I have finally procured $200,000, and am now on my way to New Echota. Ten thousand dollars was all that was offered in specie, ten thousand in United States bill, and the balance in the bills of the Bank of Augusta. After consulting with Commissioner Lumpkin, it was thought best to comply with these terms, as the demand for money by the holders of certificates has been very urgent.

“My instructions from the commissioners in the first place was to demand $50,000 in specie, which the bank considered unreasonable, in the extreme. It was not until after several days negotiation that I was able to effect the present arrangement. It is the best, I believe, under existing circumstances, that could be made. The credit of the Bank of Augusta stands high in the country, and I think there will be little difficulty in disposing of the amount of their bills which I have drawn to the numerous certificate holders among the whites. It is, however, of great importance that some speedy arrangement should be made to procure specie for the Indian recipients.”

Extracts of a letter from Messrs. Wilson Lumpkin and John Kennedy to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, dated September 8, 1837.

“Since we obtained the funds from the Augusta bank and the Treasury drafts, we have had but little difficulty in meeting the requisite payments under the treaty. It is true, however, that almost every recipient would prefer specie—confidence in paper not having yet been restored—and because specie can still be sold for a premium; we hope, however, to experience but little difficulty hereafter upon the subject of funds.”

“No arrangement has yet been made with the Tennessee Bank, nor can there by any at present, upon the terms proposed by the bank, viz: from 71/2 to 10 per cent, in specie, and the balance in its own bills. Public confidence in the bills of the bank is not such as to reconcile any of the recipients, under the treaty, to the reception of these bills in the payment of their dues from the Government.

Trail of Tears Roll

Cherokee, Letter,

United States Congress. 25th Congress, 3rd Session Senate Report. United States Government. 1838.

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