Transcribe this: Creation of a School for Indian Children

May 12th, 2015

In the first of these two letters, David Fowler wrote to Secretary of War Henry Knox on March 13, 1793, and two days later, Knox corresponded with General Israel Chapin regarding the matters Fowler discussed in his letter. Fowler, a Native American, is writing to Knox about the inhabitants of Brotherton, most of whom are poor as a result of being forced off their plantations and subsequently “lost all during [the] late war.” As a result of their economic condition, Fowler is obliged to ask for the assistance of the United States government in establishing a school for the children of Brotherton. Fowler states that he and his son have been traveling through New England “among the remnants of the tribes of Indian dwellings” that had been given to Brotherton by the Oneidas years ago in an attempt “to remove the White intruders.” The journey has resulted in much expense, and Fowler and his son also need a sum of money in order to return home.

Knox wrote to Chapin, the agent of Indian Affairs for New York, and sent him a copy of Fowler’s letter. Knox requests that Chapin look into Fowler’s request, and states that “if it should be your opinion, that granting his request would conduce to the general object of the United States” then Chapin should give a sum not exceeding fifty dollars per annum in order to establish the school. Knox notes that he provided Fowler with thirty dollars so that he and his son can travel home.

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Community Transcription – Forty-Eight Months

May 4th, 2015

April was the forty-eighth month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription. We are still receiving regular requests for transcription accounts. Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for the month:

As of April 30, we had 2,220 users, with 65 new transcribers registered since the last update. Those volunteer transcribers have made 14,728 saves to War Department documents, which is about 384 additional edits since the last update. The average number of edits before a document is saved continues to be three. We have had 244,565 total page views.

Among those who signed up to transcribe in the last month included university students, members of the Choctaw Nation, the Gun Lake Tribe, the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, a retired member of the United States Marine Corps, and librarians and archivists. We had a large influx of genealogists sign up this month thanks to a post on the Legal Genealogist blog about the Papers of the War Department. Those who specified an interest or focus mentioned the history of North Carolina, Georgia, and Maine; payroll records and pension paperwork; the 1791 Battle of the Wabash; the relationship between Native Americans and the United States government and military; the infrastructure of the War Department; and the constitutionality of the Militia Act.

As we continue to move forward with the project, individuals may still register for a transcription account.