James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Creek Nation, 29 May 1815

Alabama River 29th May 1815

We the Natives of the Creek Nation, Relation of Alexander McGillvery most respectfully beg leave to present this our humble Petition to the Presedient of the United States for a redress of Greivances of the most serious nature that can happen us.

After having shown an inviolable attachment for the Government of the United States through the whole of the late war in which our property has been destroyed, our lives threatned with indiscriminate carnage, not one of us but who lost Relatives both near and dear to us on that memorable day that Fort Mimms was taken by the dreadful massacre that the Hostile Indians made there; We have at all times evinced a willingness and readiness (as many of the Officers of the Army can testify) to coopperate and contribute to every measure that was calculated to prosecute the war with success in behalf of the United States. And we in common with every good citizen of the Government rejoiced at the fair prospects of peace - but our prospects are darkened and we are placed in a most critical situation.

Many Citizens of the Mississippi Territory have moved over the boundery line betwixt the United States and the Creek Indians on the Alabama River as highup as Fort Claiborne in which distance the greatest number of us who are called Half breeds were born and raised. They have taken forcible possession of our fields and houses and ordered us off at the risk of our lives. They have reproached us with our origins, insulted us with the most abusive language, and not content with that they have even proceeded to blows an⟨d com⟩mitted private injury on our Stocks and prop⟨erty.⟩

We have sought for redress bo⟨th⟩ to the civil and military authority. The ci⟨vil⟩ cannot be applied to our aid as the legisl⟨ature⟩ of the M. Territory the last session did ⟨not⟩ extend its jurisdiction over the former bo⟨un⟩dery line of the Creek Nation and the mil⟨itary⟩ cannot act without your immediate a⟨nd⟩ express order. We are therefore the passive sufferers who with no small degree of conf⟨i⟩dence supplicate your immediate interposition for our safety and protection.

The illustrious General Jackson gave ⟨us⟩ to understand that by the Treaty which he made with the Chiefs of the Creek Nation ⟨that again⟩ all actual settlers who were Natives ⟨and⟩ decscendents of the Indians would be ⟨enti⟩tled to a lease of six hundred and ⟨   ⟩ acres of land. Some think differently o⟨n the⟩ subject now, that females with families ⟨will⟩ not be entitled to any. However, they hop⟨e it⟩ is not too late to petition Government ⟨on⟩ that subject next session: And from Gener⟨al⟩ Jacksons observation we have been enc⟨ou⟩raged to remain on our farms which we had occupied for years before the war

If there is any redress for our Grevien⟨ces⟩ we pray that your wisdom and justice ⟨may⟩ devise such measures as may be compatib⟨le⟩ with the justice of our cause, the dignity of the laws and the honor of the President: and we your suppliant Petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray &c

Lauhlin Durant

Samuel Brashiere

Wm. Mcgirt

Rachel Walker

Sophiah McComb

Peggy Summerlin

Nancy Summerlin

Leonard McGhee

Lemi McGhee

Alex: Brashiere

Harriett Linder

DNA: RG 75—LSIA—Letters Sent by the Secretary of War Relating to Indian Affairs.

Index Entries