“Resolved, That the Government of the Confederate States has witnessed with feelings of no ordinary gratification the loyalty and good faith of the larger portion of its Indian allies west of the State of Arkansas.
“Resolved further, That no effort of the Confederate Government shall be spared to protect them fully in all their rights and to assist them in defending their country against the encroachments of all enemies.” [Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States, vol. vi, 113].]
boldly said that their country had “been treated as a mere appendage of Arkansas, where needy politicians and proteges of Arkansas members of Congress must be quartered.” The Seminoles followed suit, although in a congratulatory way, after a rumor had reached them that the Creek request for a separate department of Indian Territory was about to be granted. The rumor was false and in June Tandy Walker, on behalf of the Choctaws, reopened the whole subject. A few days earlier, the Cherokees had filed their complaint but it was of a different character, more fundamental, more gravely portentous.
The Cherokee complaint took the form of a deliberate charge of contemplated bad faith on the part of the Confederate government. E.C. Boudinot, the Cherokee delegate in the Southern Congress, had recently returned from Richmond, empowered to submit a certain proposal to his constituents. The text of the proposal does not appear in the records but its nature, after account be taken of some exaggeration attributable to the extreme of indignation, can be inferred from the formal protest against it, which was drawn up at Prairie Springs in the Cherokee Nation about fifteen miles from Fort Gibson on the twenty-first of June and signed by Samuel M. Taylor, acting assistant chief, John Spears of the Executive Council, and Alexander Foreman, president of the convention. To all intents and purposes the Cherokees were asked, in return for some paltry offices chiefly military, to institute a sort of system of military land grants. White people were to be induced to enlist in their behalf and were then to
[Footnote 793: June 6, 1863, Official Records, vol. xxii, part ii, 1120.]
[Footnote 794: June 24, 1863, Ibid., 1122-1123.]
[Footnote 795: Steele’s letter to Kirby Smith, June 24, 1863 [Ibid., 883-884], gives some hint of its nature also.]
[Footnote 796:—Ibid., 1120-1122.]
be allowed to settle, on equal terms with the Cherokees, within the Cherokee country. The proposal, as construed by Taylor and his party, was nothing more or less than a suggestion that the Cherokees surrender their nationality, their political integrity, the one thing above everything else that they had sought to preserve when they entered into an active alliance with the Confederate States. So sordid was the bargain proposed, so unequal, that the thought obtrudes