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tribe, our land — all we had. We do not want it in money, as the
Interior Department recommended.

Where would vou get your conservation from if it was not for
the lands that you got from the Indians? See the millions of acres
of land you have given to other soldiers. My people gave you
Pennsylvania, part of Ohio, Indiana, and a large part of Missouri,
which' they received from Spain. My people fought in Texas
under Gen. Macv to protect the State, and the records of the Red



6 COMPENSATION OF DELAWARE INDIANS.

River expedition show that over 100 of our soldiers fought there,
for which Texas gave them a grant of 40 miles square and then
took it away from them. I have the maps of these lands and I
have the records of the grants; but we have no title to the land to-
day. We believe we should have the 160 acres bounty due to each
Delaware Indian and we should have it without any more restric-
tions than is imposed on any other soldier. It was the tribe under
two treaties as a tribe that enlisted their men; and you don't even
keep the names in the War Department of our soldiers who en-
listed, but simply mention the numbers. How could you expect to
pay them, then, as individuals? You should at least have the names
the individuals who served ; but when you do not have the names
of these warriors, guides, and scouts which the Delawares sent you,
then you should settle with the tribe that furnished them.

On the subject of heirship, and as to whether or not the descend-
ants of these particular members of the Delaware Tribe who par-
ticipated in the various wars referred to could be ascertained, per-
mit me to say no such thing as individual heirship existed under
the laws and customs of the Indians. All property possessed or
acquired by an Indian or a band of Indians belonged not to such
Indian or band of Indians, but to the tribe. During the period of
these wars referred to any compensation made to an Indian was
made to the tribe and not to any particular individual Indian,
though it might have been for the services of some individual In-
dian.

When an individual Indian dies, under the laws and customs of
the Indians he left no such thing as heirs. If one or more mem-
bers of the Delaware Tribe performed services for the colonists
or the Government of the United States it was deemed to be the
services of the tribe, and not of any particular Indians. This has
been repeatedly recognized in treaties and court decisions. Com-
pensation for such services in such cases was always made to the
tribe to which the individuals belonged or of which they were mem-
bers.

Therefore whatever the United States owes for the services of
the individual members of the Delaware tribe is owed to the tribe,
and not to the individuals or to the descendants or heirs of the in-
dividuals.

A reference to the early treaties shows that the Delaware Nation
as a tribe furnished the warriors, supplied them and United States
soldiers with provisions, and as a tribe cared for and supported the
families of the Delaware warriors who were away in the service of
the United States.

24



COMPENSATION OF DELAWARE INDIANS. 7

I do not know that I can take very much of your time.

The Chairman. You will be permitted to revise and extend
your statement unless there is some objection on the part of the
committee.

Mr. Raker. May I ask Mr. Adams a question?

Mr. Adams. I will be very glad to answer any questions that
I can.

Mr. Raker. Where are those 1,101 Delawares now?

Mr. Adams. In Oklahoma.

Mr. Raker. They have transferred from the East to the West.
^ Mr. Adams. Yes; they made a good many moves from the
East. They first went to Indiana, and some of them to Missouri,
where they acquired a grant from Spain, and from there, after
making a treaty, they went to Kansas, and from Kansas to Okla-
homa.

Mr. Raker. What part of Oklahoma are they living in?

Mr. Adams. In the Cherokee Nation.

Mr. Raker. Are they practically all together?

Mr. Adams. Not all together; they are in a territory of from
30 to 80 miles.

Mr. Raker. Has any provision been made for them by the Gov-
ernment ?

Mr. Adams. They bought their rights from the Cherokee Na-
tion, paid $1 an acre for the land, and $128,000 for citizenship,
and when the Cherokee lands were allotted they received their pro-
portionate share, but they have received nothing as gratuity from
the Government.

The Chairman. How many Delawares are now living?

Mr. Adams. According to our last census, 1,101.

Mr. Graham. That includes all grades of blood?

Mr. Adams. Yes.

Mr. Graham. Mixed bloods. Are there many full-blood Dela-
wares ?

Mr. Adams. There are a little over 200.

Mr. Maher. Was not a similar bill to this introduced?

Mr. Adams. Yes, sir; there was a similar bill to this.

Mr. Maher. I would like to ask what action was taken on that
bill?

Mr. Adams, There was a subcommittee report n that^ bill,
which rendered a favorable report. I have a copy here which I
want to file with this committee. I have several copies. I want

25



b COMPENSATION OF DELAWARE INDIANS.

also to refer Senate Document No. 483, Sixty-first Congress, sec-
ond session, to this committee, which will show our loyalty from
first to last and the ingratitude of this Government for our loyalty
and services.

There can be no doubt in the minds of this committee but that
the Delaware Indians are entitled to at least 176,000 acres of boun-
ties; there can be no doubt in the mind of the Interior Department
of this fact, and there can be no question but what they would be
entitled to recovery under existing law if the heirs of the Dela-
wares who served could be ascertained. The only thing we want
is that the tribe shall receive the bounties and be considered the
heirs of these soldiers who served, and we pray the passage of H.
R. 755 as it stands, and this will satisfy the Delaware Indians, and
should be done cheerfully and without hesitation by this great Gov-
ernment, in settlement of the Government's obligation to my peo-
ple.

There was granted 80,2S2,461 acres of lands to soldiers and sail-
ors who served in wars before 1855. (See pp. 230-237 of the
Public Domains, 1883-84.)

To Compensate the Delaware Indians eor Services, etc

Mr. Reynolds, from the Subcommittee on the Public Lands, sub-
mitted the following report (to accompany H. R. 220G9).

The Subcommittee on the Public Lands, to whom was referred
H. R. 22069, have had the same under consideration and return it with
the following report :

Your committee are of the opinion that there is justice in the claim
of the Delaware Indians for services rendered to the United States
in various wars prior to 1855.

It is evident to your committee that the Delaware Indians, as a tribe
or nation, furnished soldiers to the United States in all of its wars
from and including the Revolutionary War down to and including the
Civil War. The Secretary of the Interior has so reported to this
committee and it is also shown by many authentic reports, documents,
and historical reference to which this committee has been referred,
some of which are mentioned in Senate Document No. 483, Sixty-first
Congress, second session, and in Senate Document No. 501, Fifty-
ninth Congress, first session, and in the memorial submitted to your
committee.

It appears that the Delaware Indians were the first people to come
to the aid of the American colonists in their struggle for independence ;
that the first treaty that this Government made with any nation or
people was made with the Delaware Indians. By this treaty the Dela-
wares, as a nation, formed an offensive and defensive alliance with
this Government. Article III of said treaty, which was made Septem-
ber 17, 1778, reads as follows:

26



COMPENSATION OF DELAWARE INDIANS. 9

"Article III.

' ?lu ln ^ defen r s V and su PPort of life, liberty, and independence
against the King of England and his adherents, and as saMKing is
yet possessed of several posts and forts on the Lakes and other place
the reduction of which is of great importance to the peace and security
of the contracting parties, and as the most practical way f or the
troops of the United States to some of the posts and fort is by
passing through the country of the Delaware Nation, the aforesaid
deputies, on behalf of themselves and their nation, do hereby stipulate
and agree to give a free passage through their country to the troops
atoresaid and the same to conduct by the nearest and best ways to the
posts forts, or towns of the enemies of the United States, affording
to said troops such supplies of corn, meat, horses, or whatever may be
in their power for the accommodation of such troops, on the command-
ing officer s, etc.. paying or engaging to pay the full value of whatever
they can supply them with. And the said deputies, on behalf of their
nation, engage to join the troops of the United States aforesaid with
such a number of their best and most expert warriors as the y can
spare consistent with their own safety, and act in concert with them •
and for the better security of the old men, women, and children of the
atoresaid nation whilst their warriors are engaged against the common
enemy, it is agreed on the part of the United States that a fort of suffi-
cient strength and capacity be built at the expense of the said United
States with such assistance as it may be in the power of the said Dela-
ware Nation to give, in the most convenient place and advantageous
situation, as shall be agreed on by the commanding officers of the troops
aforesaid, with the advice and concurrence of the deputies of the afore-
said Delaware Nation, which fort shall be garrisoned by such a num-
ber of the troops of the United States as the commanding officer can
spare for the present, and hereafter by such numbers as the wise men
of the United States in council shall think most conducive to the com-
mon good."

It appears that pursuant to the terms of this treaty a large number
of Delawares joined the American Army, serving for various periods
and under many different commanders, and frequently under their own
officers. They were used as scouts and guides and emissaries to other
tribes, and in' various capacities, as well as warriors, and were espe-
cially valuable aids because of their familiarity with the country in
which military operations were carried on and also because of the
influential position they occupied with other tribes of Indians.

Col. George Morgan, who was the first Indian agent in what was
then the Middle West, refers most favorably to the services of the
Delawares during the Revolution, calls them ""the chiefs of our allies,"
and reports that these Indians were rendering valuable services to the
Government.

Upon the recommendation of Col. Morgan, made in 1778, Congress
granted a colonel's commission to White Eyes, a Delaware chief, and

27



10 COMPENSATION OF DELAWARE INDIANS.

under date of May 12, 1784, Col. Morgan recommended to Congress
that the Delawares be granted 286,000 acres of land in recognition of
their services to the American colonists during the Revolutionary War.

In 1785 and 1789 treaties were made between the United States and
the Delawares which contain further evidence of the friendship and
loyalty of the Delawares to the United States. In 1791 they were
selected by the Secretary of War as guides and friendly emissaries to
accompany Col. Thomas Proctor on a Government mission to the
Miamis.



By the treaty of July 22, 1814, between the Delawares and the
United States, the Delawares —

"Engage to give their aid to the United States in prosecuting the
war against Great Britain and such of the Indian tribes as still con-
tinue hostile, and to make no peace with either without the consent
of the United States.

"The assistance herein stipulated for is to consist of such a number
of their warriors as the President of the United States, or any other
officer having his authority therefor, may require."

It was largely owing to the efforts of the Delawares that many of
the northwestern tribes joined in friendly treaty relations with the
United States. This is further evidenced by the treaty of September 9,
1815. The commissioners of the United States appointed in 1815 to
negotiate a treaty with the tribes west of the Mississippi report "the
alacrity with which they (the Delawares) afforded their cooperation
with us in the late war." Another evidence of the loyalty of the
Delawares to the United States is shown in the treaty of September 29,
1817, between the United States and the Delawares.

The Delawares were also active in the American cause in both the
Florida War and the Mexican War. Sprague in his history speaks of
174 men and 4 officers from the Delaware and Shawnee tribes who
were allied with the American forces. The muster roll of two of the
companies, showing double enlistment of each company, is at hand ;
one company consisted of 37 officers and men and the other company
of 50 officers and men.

The muster roll of Capt. Black Beaver's company of 37 officers and
men is at hand. Thomas Hill, a Delaware war chief, was at the head
of a band of Delaware scouts in the Mexican War, and in token of
his valiant services was presented with a silver tomahawk, which is
still in the possession of the Delaware Nation.

The Delawares, unlike other soldiers, have never received from this
Government any compensation for their military services. Not even
a statue has been erected to them or to any of their warriors who fell
in the cause of this Government. Yet no other people, nation, or
tribe of Indians rendered like service to the United States. In the
case of the Delawares their warriors, for the most part, were fur-
nished by the tribe as a nation, and the families of the warriors were
supported by the tribe while the warriors were away fighting.

28



COMPENSATION OF DELAWARE INDIANS. 11

And since the Government itself has preserved no military records
of these Indians, to require strict proof of heirship, as required by
the general bounty law, would make it impossible for the Delaware
Indians to obtain bounty compensation for their services in the various
wars prior to 1855.

Your committee is of the opinion that the Delaware Indians are
entitled to compensation for their services in these various wars. To
this the Department of the Interior agrees. It is proposed by this
bill to provide this compensation and that it be made to the Delawares
as a tribe and not to the heirs of the individuals, who fought in the
various wars. If it should be required that the heirs of the individuals
prove their heirship, this would forever foreclose any compensation
ever being paid to the Delawares. The impossibility of securing the
strict proof of heirship required by the general bounty law is largely
due to the neglect of the Government to keep authentic records and to
the fact that many records were destroyed by the British at the time
they burned Washington.

The fact that the Delaware warriors were furnished by the tribe,
the families of these warriors supported by the tribe while the war-
riors were away fighting, and the Delawares fought more as allies
than as individuals, mainly under their own officers, places them in a
class by themselves. Under such circumstances to make the compensa-
tion to the Delawares as a tribe will be just.

In view of the peculiar circumstances surrounding the case of the
Delaware Indians and in view of the valiant long-continued service
rendered to this Government, especially in its time of greatest need,
your committee recommend that compensation in the way of bounties
for these services aggregating 176,000 acres of land, pursuant to the
terms of the bill, be granted the Delaware Indians as a tribe, and that
the Government pay in cash to the Delaware Indians as a tribe for
said bounties the sum of $1.25 per acre, or the aggregate sum of
$220,000, and that this compensation be disposed of by the Indians in
council, pursuant to their usages and customs.

Your committee recommends the passage of the bill with the follow-
ing amendment to be added on page 2, line 11, and after the word
"premises" :

"And that the United States pay in cash to the Delaware Indians as
a tribe for said bounties the sum of one dollar and twenty-five cents
per acre, or the aggregate sum of two hundred and twenty thousand
dollars, and that this compensation be disposed of by the Indians in
council pursuant to their usages and customs."

Jno. M. Reynolds,
Dick T. Morgan,
Edw. T. Taylor.

Subcommittee.

29



]g COMPENSATION OF DELAWARE INDIANS.

[S. Doc. No. 483, 61st Cong., 2d sess.]

Claims of Delaware Indians.

Mr Gore presented the following memorial of the Delaware
Indians known as the "Head of the Algonquin Confederation," m
support of a bill (S. 6940) to compensate the Delaware Indians for
services rendered by them to the United States in various wars.

Memorial of the Delaware Indians.

[In re S. 6940 and H. R. 22069.]

7 o the Congress of the United States:

The purpose of this bill is to compensate the Delaware Indians for
services rendered by them to the United States in various wars.

Your memorialists represent —

That the Delaware Indians, known as the "head of the Algonquin
Confederation," furnished, as soldiers and allies in the various wars
prior to 1855, more than 1,500 warriors, and from smallpox contracted
in the War of the Revolution and the War of 1812 lost more than
15,000 of their people; smallpox was a disease unknown among the
Indians prior to the advent of the white man.

That the Delaware Indians were the first people to come to the aid
of the colonists in their struggle for independence. That the first
treaty this Government made with any nation or people was made with
the Delaware Indians. That in that treaty the Delaware*, as a nation,
formed an offensive and defensive alliance with this Government.
That they were to be recognized as the head of an Indian State with
representation in Congress as part of their compensation. That the
Delaware Indians carried out their part of these treaty obligations, did
furnish warriors and use their influence with other tribes in the inter-
ests of the United States, did give free access across their territory- to
the Revolutionary troops, did consent to have forts built on their
property, did assist in the building of these forts, did act as spies and
scouts and guides and furnish information to the Government as to
the strength, position, and purpose of the enemy, and did receive
nothing in return therefor.

That few, if any, of the promises made to them by the Govern-
ment have ever been fulfilled. That when their assistance was no
longer needed they were insulted and outraged. That finally, to avoid
trouble, they gave up the territory which had been solemnly pledged
to them forever, to become the fourteenth State in the Union. That
thereupon, relying on this Government and its promises contained in
the treaty of" 1804, thev removed farther west into what is now
Indiana. That then came the war of 1812, and the Delaware Indians
again came to the assistance of the Government and rendered it in-
valuable aid. That the soldiers who passed through this new terri-

30



COMPENSATION OF DELAWARE INDIANS, 13

tory (Indiana) saw and praised the value of this new land and cov-
eted it. That finally, by coercion and persuasion, the Delawares were
again induced to give up this land to the United States and move
farther west.

That the services they rendered were in conflicts that were not theirs
and in wars for which they were not responsible. That they gave
their blood and their land and were reduced in less than two genera-
tions from over 20,000 people to less than 4,000. That still they
remained loyal to this Government and assisted in the wars that fol-
lowed, including the various Indian wars, the Florida War, the Mexi-
can War, and the Civil War.

That the services they rendered and the promises made to them
entitled them to expect the friendship, consideration, and gratitude of
this Government. That all of these services have been rendered with-
out compensation or pay. That not even a statue has been erected
to them or to any of their warriors who fell in the cause of this
Government. That, as Indian Commissioner Manypenny says, no
people, State, or community has ever done so much or submitted to
such injustice and ingratitude without revolt. That the French allies,
who had a great grievance against the English and who were really
fighting on their own account and for their own ends, were liberally
rewarded by this Government. That all other soldiers who have
served this Government in its early wars received pay and bounties
under laws made to meet their cases, but which are inapplicable to
these Indians. That the Delawares have now been stripped of prac-
tically all of their lands and are now reduced to less than 1,500 people.
That they now make claim for the bounties to the same amount and
to the same extent as under existing laws would be given to other sol-
diers in like circumstances, the only difference being that inasmuch as
the Delawares furnished their warriors as a tribe they ask that the
bounties be issued to them as a tribe to be distributed by them in
accordance with their traditional customs. That the Delawares are
justly entitled to many times the compensation they are seeking to
obtain by H. R. 22069, as will more fully appear herein.

In the early days of the colonists the Delaware Indians were a
numerous, bold, and daring tribe and occupied large portions of what
are now the States of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and adja-
cent country, and numbered many thousands. At and just prior to
the Revolutionary period the greater part of them were located in Ohio.
When the Revolutionary War broke out, the different bands of the
Delawares were divided in opinion. Some desired to remain neutral,
others desired to assist the Americans. Two bands, under Chief
W'hite Eyes, who subsequently obtained a colonel's commission in the
American Army, and Chief Killbuck, openly and valiantly espoused
the cause of the colonists. An interesting and instructive account of
the actions of the Delawares at this time is found in c u ipters 13 and
14 of Heckewelder's Narrative. The Journal of the Continental Con-
gress of April 10-11, and December 16, 1776, records the visits of the
Delaware chief. White Eves, to Congress and the value in which Con-



14 COMPENSATION OF DELAWARE INDIANS.

gress held the services of himself and his followers. During these
early years of the Revolution Congress passed many resolutions looking
to the preservation of friendly relations with the Indians and to ob-
taining their aid and assistance in the war. ( Manypenny, Our Indian
Wards, p. 50.) In March, 1778, Congress authorized Washington to
employ a body of Indians in connection with the military operations
against the British. (Idem, p. 51.)

On September 17, 1778, tbe first treaty entered into by the United
States with any Indian tribe was made with the Delawares. Attention
is especially directed to this treaty, and to the fact that the Delaware
Indians, as a nation, entered into this treaty with the United States.
Article III of this treaty read as follows :

"Article III.

"And whereas the United States are engaged in a just and necessary
war, in defense and support of life, liberty, and independence against
the King of England and his adherents, and as said King is yet pos-
sessed of several posts and forts on the lakes and other places the
reduction of which is of great importance to the peace and security
of the contracting parties, and as the most practicable way for the
troops of the United States to some of the posts and forts is by passing
through the country of the Delaware Nation, the aforesaid deputies,
on behalf of themselves and their nation, do hereby stipulate and agree
to give a free passage through their country to the troops aforesaid
and the same to conduct by the nearest and best ways to the posts,
forts, or towns of tbe enemies of the United States, affording to said
troops such supplies of corn, meat, horses, or whatever may be in.
their power for the accommodation of such troops, on the commanding
officer's, etc., paying or engaging to pay the full value of whatever
they can supply them with. And the said deputies, on behalf of their
nation, engage to join the troops of the United States aforesaid, with
such a number of their best and most expert warriors as they can
spare, consistent with their own safety, and act in concert with them;


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Online LibraryRichard Calmit AdamsClaims of the Delaware Indians; → online text (page 3 of 6)