A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 208 pages of information about A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America.
upon their arrival on Arkansas, thirty dollars per head for each emigrant.  This they have not received.  But the acting sub-agent, in the spring 1829, finding their wants very pressing (indeed many of them were in a famishing condition), gave to each one his due bill, in the name of the agent, for the amount of bounty due them, and took their receipts for the amount, as vouchers for the agent, to settle his account by with the government.  The consequence was, that the Indians, not regarding paper as of any real value, would go to the traders, and sell the due bills at what they could get for them.  And the traders having no confidence in the promises of the government through its agents, united with the hazard of delay at all events, would not give the real value of the amount promised by the due bills.  If the Indians attempted to trade them to the whites for cattle, or any thing which they stood in need of, the consequence was, that they were compelled to make a discount upon them.  Not finding them worth as many dollars as they purported to be for, they were willing to let them go upon any terms, rather than keep them in their possession.  The due bills amounted, in all, to about twenty-one thousand dollars, which due bills are now in the hands of the original holders, or the purchasers, but not lifted by the agent according to his promise. (Is not the government bound by the acts of its agent or attorney?).  It is but fair to estimate the loss of the Indians at one third of the sum above stated, and this loss owing entirely to the government, by its agent’s withholding the fulfilment of its contract with the M’Intosh party.

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“Mr. Joseph Brearly was left here by his father, the agent, in charge of his affairs, and being apprised of a party of emigrants about to arrive, was making preparations to obtain the provisions necessary to subsist them for one year; and for that purpose had advertised to supply six thousand bushels of corn.  The day came for closing the contract, when Colonel Arbuckle, commanding Cantonment Gibson, handed in a bid, in the name of the Creek nation, to furnish the amount of corn required at one dollar and twelve cents per bushel; the next lowest bid to his was one dollar and fifty cents; so that Colonel Arbuckle saved the government 2,280 dollars.

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“Mr. Blake, the sub-agent sent by Colonel Crowell, had superseded Mr. Brearly, and was engaged in giving his receipts for the corn delivered under the contract.  A speculation was presented; and as the poor Indians were to be the victims of rapacity, why, it was all very well.  The aforesaid Major Love, to secure the speculation, repaired to St. Louis, with letters of credit from Mr. Blake, the sub-agent of Colonel Crowell, and purchased several thousand dollars’ worth of merchandize, and so soon as he could reach the Creek agency, commenced purchasing the corn receipts issued by the sub-agent.  It is reasonable to suppose that the goods were sold, on an average, at two hundred per centum above cost and carriage; and by this means the Indians would get about one third of the value of their corn at the contract price!—­they offered to let the receipts go at twenty-five per cent. discount, if they could only obtain cash for them.

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A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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