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Beyond Penn's Treaty

Committee on Indian Concerns Scrapbook

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We were kindly received and entertained by the Sub. Agent during our
Stay at the Acengy, And every facility afforded for conversing with the
Indians through his son who is an Interpreter, that their circumstances
would admit of (it being a very busy time with them while we were there
The Indians were coming in from all parts of the Indian country to receive
their Annuity in money which was to be paid out to the head of every family
immediately after our leaving the place, I think we were informed that
about twenty eight thousand dollars was to be paid them at this time in
money and that not a dollar of it would remain in the hands of the poor
Indians in one week after the payment was completed, or at most but a
very small part of it The Whiskey dollars, and Indian traders are generally
prowling about the Indians, ready to seize upon the first opportunity
of getting hold of the money or any other thing of value that the Indians
may have, and this too for a little whiskey or some other trifling gewgaw
of no real value to the Indians. Unless some thing is done to better the condition
of this tribe and to prevent the introduction of whiskey amongst them
they must soon all be waisted and Gone. We had two talks with a
number of their chiefs and about 30 of their principle men.
They listened very patiently to what we had to say amongst them
manifested, their satisfaction that we had come so far to pay them a
visit. They apeared sensible of the injury that whiskey was doing them
and wished that it were otherwise, said before they were acquainted with
white men they lived comfortable and happey, but as son as white
men came amongst them they began to be sickly and diseased. Their
young men and women died off, whereas before that time none of their
young men died, but on the contrary all their people lived to be white
headed, and that they had no sickness among them, but all died of old age
One of the Chiefs told us in his talk to us that he supposed that the
white men must have got the Fire Water from the bad Spirit for he was
very certain that it never came from the Good Spirit. And that they should
be glad of it could be kept away from them, but so long as it was
within their reach they could not refrain from drinking it and they
could not keep their young men from drinking and Getting drunk
and when they were drunk they could not tell what they did but
that they became unmanageable and killed one another. He said that
their great Father the president had promised them that he would keep
the whiskey dealers away from them but he had not done as he promised
and they supposed he had so much great business to attend to that
he could not find time to attend to there small concerns, and now
it was to late to do them any good. We told them that we did not
think it was told and that we wold try to let there Great Father
know their situation and ask him to extend some relief to them, we also
told them that they had a great many friends away to the east who
loved the red man and who were trying to help them, &c.

After spending about three days at this place and collecting what
information are could from the Indians, visiting them at their lodges
and collecting from the Agent and other white residents at the place (of
whom there are about twenty) all the knowledge of the manners and customs
of the Indians which they were able to give in so Short a time as will as thru
suggestions of the most judicious method to be adapted for their
benefit, we left for Dabuque

, a distance of 100 miles across the prairie
We were well satisfied in taking this journey, We then went aboard a
Steam boat, and landed at, Burlington on the Misissippi about 30
miles from Salem Henry Co. the principle Settlement of Friends in Iowa