1825 Miller County Petition

Arkansas Territory

   This petition can also be found transcribed on pages 136-142 of The Territorial Papers of the United States, The Territory of Arkansas 1825-1829, Volume XX, compiled and edited by Clarence Edwin Carter, Government Printing Office, 1954.

   Copies of the original 1825 Miller County, Arkansas Territory petition were a little harder to locate. A microcopy of the original petition is located on National Archives Microfilm Publications, Microcopy No. 234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-81, Roll 29, Arkansas Superintendency, 1824-1834, The National Archives, National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, Washington, 1957.  Special thanks to Mary Frances Ronan, Indian and Land Records, Archives 1 Reference Section, Research Services, National Archives, Washington for her assistance in locating the microfilm roll upon which the 1825 petition was located.

   A similar petition was submitted to the Governor of the Arkansas Territory in 1828. See a complete transcription of the 1828 Miller County Petiton here.

   The Reference section of the Clayton Library in Houston, Texas produced an excellent scan of both the 1825 and 1828 petitions as transcribed by Clarence Edwin Carter. Click here to read both petitions.

   *Montgomery County, Texas historians should notice Andrew Montgomery's signature on both petitions. In the 1820s, Andrew Montgomery was not operating a trading post in what is today Montgomery County, Texas. He was living in Miller County in the Arkansas Territory of the United States of America during the 1820s.



To the President of the United Sates

   The Petition of the undersigned Inhabitants of that Part of Miller County, in the Territory of Arkansas, ceded and confirmed to the Choctaw Nation of Indians, by Treaty made with them at Washington City, in the present Year (1825).  Respectfully Sheweth.—

   That the tract of Country upon which Your Petitioners reside, was acquired by the United States from the Quapaw Nation of Indians by Treaty made with them about the Year 1818.—By which said Treaty, the said tract of Country became a part of the public Lands of the United States.  And that the Legislature of the Territory of Missouri (within which the said tract of country was then situated) included the said tract of Country upon which Your Petitioners now reside, within the Civil Jurisdiction of Hempstead County of that Territory, by an Act of the legislature thereof (which has since been divided and Miller County erected out of the Western part of said County of Hempstead).  That about the Year 1819, a part of the same public Lands upon which Your petitioners now reside, were under the authority of the United States surveyed into Townships, and subdivided into sections, as far as Ranges 38 and 39 West, and within about eight miles of the present western boundary of Arkansas Territory, as established by Act of Congress, and lately surveyed and marked.  That on the 5th January 1819.  (see accompanying document No 1.) by Authority of an order from the Secretary of War, a few Settlers that were on Red River above Kia Miche, and on the Arkansas above the Poto, were removed below, and East of those Rivers, to where no prohibition to settling then, or since, existed, and within a few Miles of which point (Kia-Miche on Red River) the public Lands were about that time, or soon afterwards surveyed into sections, as if to facilitate Settlers in acquiring titles to the Lands they choose to settle, in the usual way provided for by law.  That under these encouragements by the Authorities of Government, there was an immediate and considerable Increase of the settlements at and below Kia Miche, on Red River, upon and near the lands surveyed into sections as aforesaid, most of which settlements were made with a view to being perminant, and improvements large and valuable.  That Your Petitioners became greatly alarmed by a Treaty made with said Choctaw Nation of Indians at Dokes stand, about the year 1820, by which the country upon which Your Petitioners reside (together with other large extents of adjoining Territory) was then ceded to said Indians,—But were soon afterwards reconciled by assurances from the President of the United States, received by James Miller, Governor of Arkansas, that it was not the view or intention of the General Government, to remove any of the Settlers from the Lands then ceded to said Indians and that the then settled parts of said country so ceded to said Indians would be repurchased from them, which assurances have been by the Delegates of Congress from said Territory, frequently since that time renewed.  And under which assurances, Your Petitioners became satisfied, and have continued enlarging their farms and improvements.

   Your petitioners further respectfully represent, that from the time of their first settlement where they now reside, Civil Government, and Civil Jurisdiction has been extended to them, and Courts of Law established and held, within the tract of Country lately ceded and confirmed to said Choctaw Indians by the aforesaid Treaty of the present year (1825) and that under the authority of an Act of Congress (passed 1824) granting rights of pre-emption for lands on which to establish permanent seats of Justice of New Counties, a quarter section of land had been selected by the proper commissioners of said County of Miller, and part of the public buildings contracted for.  Under which assurances of protection and Civil Government a large number of Settlers (see accompanying Document No. 2) have continued to enlarge their improvements, plant Orchards, and increase their Stocks &c, up to the present time, and that now to abandon their plantations, and remove their families and property, is to them ruinous and impossible.

   Your Petitioners are aware, that the General Government have heretofore remove[d] from Indian lands, Citizens of the United States, who settled upon lands owned at the time of such settlments by Indians, Where the settlement at the beginning were upon Indian lands, but Your present Petitioners respectfully deny having settled upon Indian lands: They settled upon the public lands of the United States, where settlments were not prohibited by any order of the Government, where part of the public lands were surveyed into sections (a thing Never done for Indian purposes) and where, after the same country was first ceded to the Choctaws, the people have had assurances from the highest Authority, that the settled parts of said Country should be repurchased, and Your Petitioners afforded an opportunity of acquiring titles to their possessions, in the way that the Settlers upon the public lands have usually done , in Ohio, Indiana, Illinoise, Missouri, Alabama &c.  Yet notwithstanding all the foregoing circumstances and assurances, Your Petitioners are now informed, that the lands they now occupy, are ceded and confirmed to said Choctaw indians, and that Your Petitioners are shortly to be removed from their farms, without payment or recompence for their improvements, to give Place to Indians!! An Act that would have no example in any civilized Government, under the same circumstances which these settlements were made.  An improved Country of Citizens where they have had the protection of Civil laws and Civil Government for more than six succesive Years, to be ceded by their Government to a Nation of Indians, has, it is believed , No examples.

   These settlements, not having been commenced upon the lands of the Choctaw Indians, but upon the public Lands of the United States, then surveying for market, still claim the same protection of the same laws and Government, under the faith of which they commenced their settlements.  To be forced and driven by our own Government from the farms and improvements we have laboured for years to make, for the support of our families, in order to give place to Indians, would under all the circumstances and assurances before mentioned, appear so unjust and unprecedented, and to the Settlers so ruinous, that its enforcement would produce the greatest possible excitement.  Your Petitioners therefore respectfully ask of Your Excellency to suspend the survey of the eastern boundary of Territory, lately ceded to said Choctaw Indians, and to suspend the time of giving said Indians  possession of said Territory, and cause to be re-purchased from them, the parts of said Territory settled and improved by Citizens of the United States, as aforesaid East of the Kia-Miche on red River, and of the Poto on Arkansas, where settlements by Citizens has never been prohibited, but approbated and encouraged as before mentioned.

   As Your Petitioners in duty bound will ever pray

Petitioners Names

Aaron Coe.—

Bailey English

Jesse Cheek

Joseph English

Micajah Reder

Solomon Moffitt

John Swagerty

Allon Rains

Thomas Gatathite

Thomas Wafer jun

Thomas Wafer Snr

Mabry Wafer

Josiah Trent

John Trent

Rucker Tanner

joseph Porter

John J Mors

Lewis Potter

Zachariah Thompson

Wesley Tollett

Elijah Tollett

James Watt

Walter Hogon

Henry Tollett

Henry K Brown

Asa Hartfield

James R, Brown

Travis G Wright

John Hinds—10

John Adams

D Clark

Johnston Bowers

Jonathan Poole

Franklin Greenwood

John Greenwood

Joel Greenwood

Henry B Greenwood

Philip Henson

Nathaniel More—10

William Hensley

Thomas More

John Tucker

Thomas J Garner

Nicholas Porter

Samuel Strickland

John Green—

Butler Roberts

Otho, B Cocke

Paul Scarbrough—10

John farley

Adam Hampton

Thomas Owen

Wm Slingland

Wilobe Sparks

Will Woods

Joshua Ewing

Jessey keliher

George Wilson

Maurice Pendergast

Arther Leebe—

Lewis Boatright

Alexander Linch

Mathew Sparks—

Thos Boatright

William Modglan

David Gutman

Philip Tramell

Allon Miller

Thomas Linch

Thomas P French

Joseph French

Levy C. French

Amos Strickland

Wm Brice Jr

James Amburn

Thomas Cheser

David Fraser

Taylor Polk

Thomas Tramel

James Polk

Ruland Polk

William Bradford

James S. Hanks—

Richard Stiles

John Emmerson

Allen Carter

John Will

Elijah Carter

Ad. Chr. Hartung

Joseph Reed

John Stiles

James Harrell.

Joel Harrell

Isaac Harrell

Timothy Harrell

Joshua Harrell

Hodg P Raburn

Jacob Nidever

George nidever

Mark nidever

Mitchel crownover

Joseph Adkison

David Frame

Joseph Jenkins

Willam Stiles

Jesse Perkins

Patrick T Carnall

William Forsyth

Absolom Sparks Jnr

Isaac N Charles

William Brice Junior

Peter Miller

John Morton

Samuel Brice

James Brice

Jas Clark

T. B. Ballard

John McVay

John Kerley

John Wood

Noah Reeder

Samuel Guthry

Thomas Guthry

William Guthry

Gorge Lawrence

Jams Lawrence

Walter Poole

David G Strickland

Ezra McElvey

Maurice Pendergast

Hugh McElvey

David lawrence

Wyat Hanks

Jas Strickland

Amos Strickland

Jas McElvey

John Hudson

Adam Lawrence Junr

John Chumney

Ambrose Hilburn

Joseph Clark

 John Deck—

Joseph Deck

John Roberts

Luke Robberts

John Wolsey

Wreding Robberts

ElsBerry Sparks

John Woolsey

Jonathan Franklin

James Smith Sen

A: Hanscom

Elijah Reid—

Charles Curtiss

Abram Tidell

G. G McKinny

Thos Potter

J. C. Ragsdall

James Smith Junior

Samul. S. Fench

M Rulong

Absolam Sparks

I.G. Pennington

Nathl Dixon

Wm Porter—

B L Kavanaugh

William Long

Isaack Murphy

George Carlton

John H. Fowler

Benjamin Crownover

G. C Wetmore

Jas Furguson—

Jacob Black

George F. Lawton

John Ring

John Edmondson

Joshua Calloway

William Montgomery

B. Gooch

Andrew Montgomery

W. P. Ferguson

L. M. Rice

David Clap

Jacob Shurley

Nathaniel Mare Junior

Evritt Edwars

Stephen Wiley Jun.

Thomas Wiley

Holawar Noll

Clark, Robinson

Y E Bradshaw

John Newman

Daniel Conner

Thos Coil

Ralph Shelton

Bengeman Geames

Asa Blankinship

Roabit Slaven

Joseph James

Stephen Wingate

Thomas Swagerty

Isaac Landers

Abrm Landers

John Lackey

Mark Lewis

Jane Brown,

Margaret Tollett

Pharoah Kitchen

Preston Kitchen

Clayborn Wright

William Fagan

A Carnall

Silas C Blair

Hiram Tidwell

J H Carnall

Partrick Carnall

E G blair

James Brown—

Leonard M Simpson

William King

J. G. W. Pierson

John Noll

Thos Barrow

William Harse

Larken Noll

Elizabeth Denton

Samuel French

John Ball

Levi C. French—10

Samuel Moren

Abram Ogdon

Cornelius Martin

John Robins

Alexr O. Wetmore

Nathaniel Robbins

John Dunlop

Lewis, B. Dayton

William Humphry

William Woods—10

James J. Ward Sr—

James J. Ward, Jun—

Joshua Robbins

Hugh B. Shaw

Alfred Sain

James Burkm

J E Hopkins

Ed Hopkins

Benjamin Polk

Richd Harvey

Danl Wilson

John Oniell

Hiram Tidwell

David Tramell

Dennis Tramell

Ritchard Boatright

Mongomer Roberson

William Brice Snr

John Bowman

henry nidever

James Lawrence

Jesse Robinson

James gillelad

Richard Wilson

Edward Taylor

John Lawrence

Wiat Anderson

Samuel Brown

Benjamin Rains

Richard boatright

Daniel gilleland

James Rains

Daniel Wilson

Adam Laurance

Jesse Shelton

James Andeson

William Shelton

G. N. Martin

Matthew Martin

Jessey Moren

Jason Pate

Eligah Cutbuth

Martin g. Noll

Thomas Paterson

William Noll

Samuel Clark

James Hall

Silus Rogers

John McMurry

Joseph Green

William Collins

John Spurlock

James Taylor

Samuel Wyley

Cornelius Wiley

Isaack Tyler

Willis McConn

Charles Moore

Samuel Burnam

John Dollarhide

William Bartlet

George Halbrook

David umphry

Andrew Dollarhide

A. H. Ash

Young Bradshaw

Sherod Bradshaw

Absalam Bauren

Francis Hopkins

Henry Wyatt Seign

Henry Watt Junior

N. Thomes

George T Boren

   [Endorsed] Petition of sundry inhabitants of Miller County in Arkansas Territory, praying that measures be adopted to relieve them of the difficulties under which they are placed by the late treaties with the Choctaws, giving them lands in Arkansas.