James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Willie Blount, 28 January 1810

From Willie Blount

Knoxville Jany 28th. 1810


John Walker1 a half breed Cherokee who resides on the eastern side of Highwassee river, in the neighbourhood of the Garrison in the Cherokee Nation, and who is an influential man in his Nation & who conducts himself well has requested me to represent to you that he and some of his friends have a wish to commence a trade to Mobile, and wishes your permission and protection to him and his associates to pass and repass with produce & goods from where he now lives thro’ the Creek and Chickasaw Country. His rout will be up Highwassee to the mouth of Amoie, up it so high as to afford convenient portage from that river to Canasaugga, which portage will not exceed nine miles, thence down the navigable waters which lead to the navigable waters of Tombigbe and Mobile. He asks this because it may be that the Creeks and Chickasaws may not like it unless permitted by the President of the United States & thinks if he had his permission to do so that they would not find fault or be the least dissatisfied. I have the honor to be with perfect respect your Obt. Servant

Willie Blount

RC (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, B-47:5). Docketed by a War Department clerk as received 22 Feb. 1810. On the cover Secretary of War Eustis has written “File—write Hawkins to give facility to Traders.”

1John Walker, the son of a Loyalist father and a Cherokee mother, rose to prominence as a leader of the eastern band of the Cherokee Indians. Related by marriage to the Indian agent Return Jonathan Meigs, Walker favored rapid acculturation between Indians and whites, and during the War of 1812 he raised a volunteer corps to fight with Andrew Jackson against the Creek Indians. He met JM in March 1816 while visiting Washington as a member of a Cherokee delegation. His subsequent support for the federal government’s policy of Indian removal led to his murder after the meeting of the Cherokee National Council in August 1834 (William G. McLoughlin, Cherokee Renascence in the New Republic [Princeton, N.J., 1986], pp. 20, 60, 111, 115, 144, 157, 182, 188, 190, 193, 199, 204, 210; Woodward, The Cherokees, pp. 133, 169, 171–72, 177).

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