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Commisioners' Report on Negotiations with the Creek Nation

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionNational Archives and Records Administration: Senate, Treaties, RG46 view image
PublicationLowrie, Walter and St. Clair Clarke, Matthew, eds. American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 Vols. Washington, DC: Gales and Seaton, 1832. (no image)
Document Information
Date November 20, 1789
Author Name Benjamin Lincoln (primary) Location: New York
Recipient Name Henry Knox (primary)
Summary The Commissioners--Lincoln, Griffin, and Humphreys--report on their mission to negotiate a treaty with the Creek Nation. Since their mission was unsuccessful, they make recommendations regarding the measures needed to protect frontier settlers. They also suggest that further efforts should be made to improve relations with the Creeks. They have much to say about the Creeks and other southern tribes with respect to their culture, traditions, governments, etc.
Document Format Letter Signed
Document Notes Lincoln, Griffin, and Humphreys are the Commissioners appointed to treat with the Indians south of the Ohior River.
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Henry Knox; Benjamin Lincoln; Cyrus Griffin; David Humphreys; Creek Nation; Spaniards; Lower Creeks; Alexander McGillivray; the White Lieutenant; the Mad Dog; Upper Creeks; Cusetah King; Tallassee King; King of the Seminoles; Head Men; hunters; slaves; Indian traders; Cherokees; Choctaws; Chickasaws; Commissary of Indian Affairs in the Southern Department; ;
Related Places New York; settlements upon the Cumberland River; stations in Georgia; navigable waters of St. Mary; Breed's Bluff upon the Altamaha; Rock Landing; Augusta; Flint River; Bryant's trading house on St. Marys; Spanish settlements; Mississippi; Choctaw and Chickasaw Country; great bend of the Tennessee [River]; Appalachacola; ;
Keywords treaty of peace with the United States; sudden impassions of the Indians; magazines; alarm of dangers; middle trading post; offensive plan; arms of the Union; navigation; wagon road; boats; rifles; ammunition; presents [gifts]; time of war; Great Council; Indian corn; potatoes; cattle; plough; furs; beaver; otter; mink; fox; squirrel; deer; skins; European goods; good roads; intelligence; permits to those employed in Indian commerce; Treasury of the United States; disbursements; ;
Key Phrases ...defensive and offensive measures as may be thought best to protect the citizens on the frontiers; a line of six posts ought to be established on the frontiers of Georgia; places of deposit of magazines; should hereafter be formed; the mother towns have the principal direction in national affairs; Mr. McGillivray, of the half-breed, is the most influential chief throughout the [Creek] nation; Among the Upper Creeks the White Lieutenant has the ascendency and is considered in some respects the rival of McGillivray; the Mad Dog is the next in authority; Their kinds of government approach the qualified monarchy...; they have Head Men who are much respected and have authority, both in peace and war, in their respective towns; They are in great measure hunters, however they cultivate some Indian corn and potatoes, possess cattle, a few slaves, and lately some instances have introduced the plough; We could not with precision ascertain the nature of the connection which the Creeks have formed with the Spaniards...; Mr. McGillivray has often mentioned and declared that a connection with the United States would be more natural to the Creek Nation if they could obtain such conditions of inerest and friendship that would justify and induce them to break with the Spanish government; the Cherokees and Chicasaws cultivate the ground more than other Indians and possess cattle proportionately in greater numbers; ...It appears to us expedient that some adequate means of supplying them with goods and ammunition at moderate prices should immediately be adopted; While we sincerely regret that our negotiations with the Creek Nation have not terminated in a Treaty of Peace, we hope it will be found the the Commissioners have been as diligent and attentive to the subjects of the mission and as economical in the expenditures of public money as the nature of things would permit;

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