George Izard

Date Original

1825 August 3


Letter from George Izard to the Secretary of War discussing Native American removal.


[Page 1] To the Secretary at War.
Little Sept 3d 1825
I have been honoured in the
course of the last month with several
letters from the Department of War.
A long and dangerous malady has till
within a few days disabled me from
all exertion. To this I must refer as
the excuse for my silence.
I informed you on the 2d July that
a small party of Quapaw (more properly
Gappa) Chiefs were to visit the Country
of the Cadeaus to examine the lands
on which they are to settle themselves
next winter. They returned ten
days ago, and I was gratified to hear
[Page 2] from themselves that they were
pleased with their destined residence
and with their reception by the Cadeau
Tribe. In this transaction the character-
istic independence of the Indians
is strongly exhibited. They had con-
cluded their Treaty with us, and
had remained since last November
in their own country without in-
forming the Tribe to whom they
have stipulated to aggregate
themselves of their intentions.
The Cadeaus and Gappas have a
tradition of having been allied in
some wars many years ago, but
they have had no intercourse with
each other for a long time, and their
languages are totally different.
The accidental circumstance of a
Gappa hunter's having resided some
months with the former tribe, fur-
nished them with an interpreter;
they would otherwise have been
obliged to employ two of ours to trans-
late their speeches into French & English
and thence again into their respec-
tive tongues. From a humane
regard for the weak and infirm
[Page 3] part of their population the Emigrants
are desirous of commencing their removal
early in the autumn. I am in daily
expectation of learning the time of
their departure, which was to be
fixed upon at one of their Councils.
The last visit of the chiefs to me was
made previously to seeing their own
people on their return from the South.
As soon as I shall have due notice
the advertisement for their supplies
shall be published in conformity with
the intstructions in your dispatch of
the 8th July, received by the last week's
Of the Choctaws I have heard nothing.
Major McClellan, whose appointment
as agent to that tribe you gave me
notice of, under date 1st July, has not
yet made his appeareance here. So soon
as I have conferred with him, the orders
of the Department on that subject
shall be executed. I trust that before
the arrival of those Indians steps will
have been taken to remove from the
Frontier posts at Cantonments Towson
& Gibson the whole of the present Garrison
officers & men. Further outrageous scenes
[Page 4] have taken place at the former of those
stations; the animosity between the
Citizens & soldiers is carried to excess,
and the esprit de corps has rendered
the troops at Post Gibson as violent
on the subject as if they were
immediately concerned in it. In
my opinion the whole of the two
detachments should be replaced
by others; and if possible the relief
should be effected without permitting
the new-comers to have any intercourse
with the others, lest they should
imbibe the same feelings of irritation.
I communicated my ideas on this
subject in a private letter to Genl
Scott, two months ago. The sanguine
expectation which I entertained
of effecting an exchange of the
country occupied by the Cherokees for lands west of our territorial
boundary has been entirely defeated
by the caprice of that people. Your
letter on this subject transmitted
by Major E.W. Duval, the Indian
agent, and the conversation I had
with that gentleman on his passage
[Page 5] up the country, led me to believe
such a negotiation was desired by themselves.
in consequence I instructed him to
invite the chiefs of the Cherokee nation
to a conference at this place at some
convenient time. In a few weeks
after Mr. Duval's arrival at his agency,
he wrote me the note No. 1, of which
I forward you the original. Nothing
more was said by me on the subject.
I availed myself however of occasional
visits made to the Indian settlements
by Citizens of my acquaintance
to inquire into the sentiments of those
people, and from their reports I in-
ferred that the greater number
were disposed to seek better hunting
grounds in the half-breeds and whites
established among them. This des-
cription of persons form no incon-
siderable part of the Cherokee population
with some property, more intelligence
than the pure aborigines, monopolizing
the trade and advantages resulting
from the periodical disbursement
of annuities, and entirely free of the
numerous burdens inseparable from
[Page 6] a civilised state, as well as of all
check upon the indulgence of their
passions in their domestic relations
it is not surprising that this class of
inahbitants should be strongly
opposed to any arrangement which
would disturb their present situation.
By the last mail from the agency
I received the paper No. 2 forwarded
by Major Duval. John Jolly is the
principal chief of the Arkansas Che-
rokees. I have replied to it by a
message which I have directed the
agent to deliver to this individual
in the following terms (the underscored
passages in my letter of 30th August
to E.W. Duval) - The proclamation
referred to was published to repress
roving bands of savages from
various tribes, who have for some
time molested over settlers.
I should regret the course which
the intended negotiation with the
Cherokees has taken had I not
become better acquainted with
[Page 7] the Country which it was intended
to offer in exchange for their present
possessions, in the contingency of their
declining to migrate to the westward.
The portion of the Arkansas Territory
which is interposed between the Indian
settlements & its western boundary
is invaluable from its mineral
treasures. Alt springs abound
in that district; from the salines
already established the settlements
on the Arkansas River are all
supplied with salt at a compa-
ratively moderate price. The prin-
cipal works are those of two brothers
of the name of Bean. These gentlemen
had a lease from my predecessor
for three years, which expired the
beginning of last month. They had
made repeated applications in various
quarters for a renewal of this lease
but from some cause unknown
to me, they had obtained no answers.
When addressed on the subject
nearly a month ago, I made the
[Page 8] agreement with them detailed in
the note No. 3, accompanying this
letter. The whole quantity which
they expect to make in the ensu-
ing twelve months ins 5000 bushels
of mmerchantable salt. They are
active & enterprising individuals,
and are, as I understand, already en-
gaged in opening a road to the White
River in the northern part of this
territory, by means of which they
will supply that and the circum-
jacent country with this indispensable article,
at an average price lower by 2/3 or
than it has been hitherto procurable
for. If what I have done in this
matter be approved, I will conclude
the lease for the term proposed,
after the lapse of which government
will be entitled to take possession of
the sorks; their value will in
all probability be greatly increased
at that time. I have also authorised
a Mr. Reid Price, to work a collection
of Salt Springs which he has dis-
covered on Deer Creek, about 20 miles
[Page 9] north of Fort Smith, and on the appli-
cation of one Jonathan Calloweay,
of Clark Co., who has purchased the
improvements at some salt works on
the Washita Sline from Richd Possten
for a valuable consideration, I have
promised to represent his case to govern-
ment that he also may have permission
to work his mine.
In a few days I shall have the
honour, sir, of laying before you
some of the views for the improvement
of this promising country, which have
presented themselves to my mind, during
my residence in it. Entirely unaided
in any of the duties of my officials situ-
ation, the multiplied correspondence
which I am olbiged to keep up with
every part of the Territory, especially
on the subject of the militia, en-
gages much of my time; and my recent
malady has left me in a very deli-
bilitated state. The mere labour of
transcribing is attended with fatigue
& annoyance.
I am

Physical Description



Native Americans; Caddos; Quapaws

Geographical Area





SMC.0009.0012, Item 12


Small manuscript collection


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Letter from George Izard to the Secretary of War, September 3, 1825, Small manuscript collection, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


Use and reproduction of this lesson plan supplemental material for instructional purposes is allowed without prior written permission. For further information on reproducing images held by the Arkansas State Archives, please call 501-682-6900 or email at


image preview



Download Full Text (73.8 MB)

Letter from George Izard to the Secretary of War, September 3, 1825