« AnteriorContinua »
out his consent; and did use the same in construction of barracks, and repairs of public buildings, and for coffins for deceased soldiers. The quantity he does not recollect, but believes it to have been worth from 150 to $200. In his explanatory deposition, he says that this lumber was taken from Sandwich, and not from any building or fence; and that he never received of the United States any pay therefor himself, nor ever paid, or agreed to pay, the petitioner therefor, or any part thereof.
The committee would require the testimony of James McClosky, the Quartermaster General, or who was acting in that capacity, if he were alive; but he is dead.
It is satisfactorily proved that the petitioner's lumber was taken from Sandwich, and used in the reparation and building of barracks and public build•ings, necessary for the use and comfort of the army, or for coffins for deceased soldiers; and that his fence and boards from his shop in Detroit, was also taken to supply the necessities of the army. What the value of all this lumber was, is not so easily to ascertain. In 1815, all that the petitioner claimed, amounted to $123 only; and this claim had relation to lumber taken in Sandwich, in whole or part, and was proved by the deposition of James Conner. In 1820, a claim was made for boards to the value of $90, intending, evidently, to leave out those taken from Sandwich, and this.prov. ed by William Watson. In 1829 and 1830, that portion taken at Detroit from fence and shop, is proved by Conner and Miller, who testify they appraised the boards by direction of McClosky; and Conner says nothing about that taken at Sandwich, and which must have been named in his first dedeposition. To render it still more embarrassing as to value and amount, the petitioner's account extends that taken at Sandwich, to $375 certain, and indefinitely for boards and shingles beyond that sum. · The committee would not be too captious, but it does not perceive any satisfactory reason why the whole claim was not exhibited in 1815, and to the full extent of it. The value of the lumber must then have been better known than it can be now. No reason is offered why the appraisment of Miller and Conner was not resorted to in 1820, to shew the value of the lumber taken in Detroit. Under all these circumstances, the committee cannot come to any other conclusion, than that the whole lumber of the petitioner, used for the benefit of the United States, wherever that lumber might have been found, and for which he considered the United States bound to pay, was not of greater value than the amount of his first claim in 1815. The committee, therefore, report a bill for $123, as a full satisfaction for the petitioner's whole claim for his lumber taken for public use.
ANTHONY FOREMAN AND JOHN G. ROSS.
APRIL 16, 1830.
Mr. WAITTLESEY, from the Committee of Claims, made the following
The Committee of Claims, to which was referred the memorial of the
Cherokee Delegation in behalf of Anthony Foreman and John G. Ross, report:
That, by the act of 30th of March, 1802, entitled “ An act to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, and to preserve peace on the frontiers,” our citizens and other persons are prohibited from going into the Indian country without a permit, and it is provided in that act, that, if our citizens should pass into the Indian country, and commit larceny, robbery, trespass, &c. (if the act was punishable in the States) that they pay to the Indians whose property was destroyed or taken, twice the value of such property so destroyed or taken, and, if the offender was unable to pay a sum, at least equal to the just value, whatever such payment fell short of the just value, was to be paid out of the Treasury of the United States.
If the Indians trespassed on the property of our citizens, the damages they sustained were to be deducted out of the annuities of the Indians.
It appears in this case, that, in December, 1813, a man by the name of James S. Cunningham, obtained a warrant from a Justice of the Peace in Tennessee, and entered the Indian country, and took two negro women and a negro boy, a son of one of the women, from the possession of Anthony Foreman, and from the possession of a man by the name of Maw, to whom Foreman had sold one of the women, under the pretence that Foreman, in the year 1791. had stolen the women from his father. The negroes were taken off by an armed force, and although pursuit was made by Foreman's son, accompanied by another person, no delivery of the property was made, nor could young Foreman find a lawyer who would undertake to commence a suit against Cunningham, as he passed through Maryville, and the excuse was, that an Indian could not obtain justice where a white man was a party. It does not appear that Cunningham further prosecuted his warrant, than to use it as a means of taking possession of the negroes. Foreman made complaint to this Government, and the Cherokee Agent was directed to investigate the subject, and prosecute Cunoingham, if he could be found. The facts were investigated, and found to exist as stated by Foreman, but the residence of Cunningham could not be ascertained, or his person identified.
The Agent reported, that he had heard of one or more persons of that name, who had lived in South Carolina, but, that, if they were then living, they were insolvent. The opinion of the Agent was, that the claim was a good and subsisting one against the United States. There is no value put on these negroes except the boy. A man by the name of Cunningham, a trader, states, he was at Foreman's when “James S. Cunningham took the negroes away; that the boy, Cæsar, was fourteen or fifteen years old, and was worth three hundred dollars, and that he had offered that price for him to Mr. Foreman.
John Walker and Alexander Sanders testify, that, in the year 1814, they were called on to arbitrate between Thomas Foreman, executor of Anthony Foreman, and Thomas Maw, to whom one of the negro women had been sold by Anthony Foreman, and from whose possession she was taken by Cunningham, and that they awarded that Thomas Foreman should pay to Maw five hundred dollars. The proceedings in this case are too vague and indefinite for the committee to rely on, as furnishing correct data by which to ascertain the value of the negroes. The claim has been lately examined by the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, who made a favorable report, which has met the sanction of the Secretary of War; but, inasmuch as there is no appropriation of money out of which the sum due can be paid, the Secretary has recommended the Agent of the Cherokee Delegation to present the claim to Congress. The committee are satisfied with the justness of the claim; but, being unadvised as to the value of the negroes, they will report a bill directing the Secretary of War to ascertain their value. It has occur. red to the committee, that, in fixing on the amount, the prices fixed by the Commissioners under the Ghent treaty, will be of much assistance.
The claim of John G. Ross is for a quantity of corn cut down by Colonel Turk, under the following circumstances: Colonel Turk was directed by the Agent of the War Department, in October, 1823, to go into the Cherokee nation with an armed force, and remove intruders from the Indian lands, and destroy their crops, where they were standing. A white man, by the name of Stower, had raised a crop of corn that season on the land of John G. Ross, on shares. Stower not coming within any of the excepted or privileged white persons, who were permitted to be in the Indian nation, Turk, in the execution of his orders, cut down one half of the corn Stower had cultivated, supposed to be equal to his share of the crop. Ross contends that he had a right to employ a white person to cultivate his land, and if not, that he had purchased the right Stower had in the corn, and of course, that the whole was his, and as the owner, that his rights should have been protected. The claim has been examined by the Superintendent of Indian Alfairs, and rejected as inadmissible. There is much contradiction as to the facts between the witnesses, whose depositions have been taken by Ross, and the report of Colonel Turk. They concur in this, that Stower cultivated the corn. Considering that the Government, for the purpose of protecting the Indians in their rights, have adopted the policy to prohibit white persons from going on to Indian lands, unless connected with the nation by marriage, or having a permit, they think that an individual member of the nation cannot defeat the operations of this Government by employing a white man to cultivate his crops. If the committee are mistaken in this, they think, from the report of Colonel Turk, confirmed as it is by the season of the year the corn was cut, that no damage was sustained by cutting it down, or, if any, that it was comparatively trifling. Ifthe corn was, ripe as stated, and the owner had taken measures to gather it, he could not have sustained any damage by the cutting.