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Report from the Secretary of War

With a resolution of the Senate of the 13th instant, in relation to an exchange of lands with the Pottawatomie and other Indians.

JUNE 25, 1838.
Read, and ordered to be printed.

June 23, 1838.

SIR: Herewith I have the honor to transmit a report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, in reply to the resolution of the Senate, of the 13th instant, requiring information as to the steps "taken to carry into effect the object of two resolutions of the Senate of the 21st of May, 1836, requesting the Executive of the United States to exchange lands southwest of the river Missouri, for lands owned by the Pottawatomie and other Indians."

Very respectfully,
Your most obedient servant,
President of the Senate.

Office Indian Affairs, June 22, 1838.

SIR: In obedience to your direction I have the honor to report on the resolution of the Senate of the 13th instant.

In compliance with the resolutions of that body, passed in May, 1836, measures were taken to procure the assent of the Pottawatamie, in Indiana, to their removal beyond the Missouri river, which were successful.

By treaty with the Miamies, concluded in 1834, provision had been previously made for the extinguishment of their title to a large portion of the lands held by them in the same State. This was ratified in December, 1837, and it is now proposed to send a delegation to explore the country southwest of the same river, preparatory to a final cession. The superintendent of emigration has forwarded an estimate of the expenses of the party, the organization of which, he says, "may be relied upon, with great confidence, in the course of the ensuing summer." I submit a copy of the estimate, in addition to which a small sum will be required, to meet the expense of holding a treaty with them, should Congress think proper to authorize one.


A part of the United Nation of Ottowas, Chippewas, and Pottawatamies, having emigrated, instructions were given to the proper agents, east and west of the Mississippi, to ascertain if they would take lands south of the Missouri, for those held by them north of it, under the treaty of Chicago, of 1833. The information that has been transmitted leaves little room to doubt that they look to their removal from the latter as certain; but some of them object to joining the Pottawatamies on the Osage river, as a location too far south, and would prefer apart of the country of the Otoes and Omahas, further north. With all, however, it appears to be a matter of calculation; they wish all the stipulations of the treaty for improving the lands assigned them shall be executed and then they will dispose of them to the United States at the enhanced value thus imparted to them. The department has not countenanced these views, but has withheld, so far as was proper, the means provided in the treaty of 1833, believing that if they did remove, they would be most essentially benefited by the expenditure at their permanent homes. It is proper for me to add, that the sum of $5,000, for the expense of a negotiation to accomplish their removal to the Osage river, has been included in the estimates for the Indian Department, now before Congress, and should it be appropriated, measures will be promptly takes to effect that object.

Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
C. A. HARRIS, Commissioner.
Secretary of War.

Estimate of the amount required to defray the expenses of the five Miami delegates to explore the country west.

One horse, saddle, bridle, saddle bags, &c., each $140.00
One suit of clothes for each 50.00
One pair of Mackinac blankets for each 12.00
  x 5
total $1,010.00
Conductor of delegation, ninety days, at $1 per day 360.00
One man and two horses to take charge of and convey baggage, seventy days, at $3 per day 210.00
Interpreter, seventy days, at $2.50 per day 175.00
Transportation for conductor and interpreter, seventy days each, at $1 per day 140.00
Travelling expenses for eight persons, seventy days, at $2 per day, each 1,120.00
One field tent, pack-saddle, &c. 30.00
Contingent expenses 500.00
Total $3545.00