February 24th, 1817
Editor's Note: This letter from the Tuscarora Indians to
the War Department focuses on Erastus Granger's distribution of the tribe's $8000.00 award.
This letter shows the suspicion and bewilderment of the Indians regarding Granger's
keeping the amount of $350.00 from them, and their insistence on finding out why it
was kept from them. The Indians also take issue with their having to sign reciepts
for the whole $8000.00 despite the absence of the said $350.00. Whatever the
ultimate truths or misunderstandings were underlying, this letter shows
the desperation of a people striving to receive any and all amounts of money
due them from an increasingly unresponsive American government. [It is
presently unclear if Nicholas Cusick will have a bio here]
Niagara County, NewYork
Lewiston, 24 February, 1817
Honorable Secretary of War [Acting Secretary, George Graham]
Our good friend and agent, J.Slade Esq’re of North Carolina has
written to us that he will
send to you some money for us, which we want very much and would be glad
if you would inform us as soon as you receive it.
Our great Father, the President of the United States, for our good appointed
Erastus Granger an agent to take care of Indians. He has been our agent
many years. We do not wish to find fault, but we want to know whether
our Father pays Mr. Granger or not. In war time we lost our property.
Our good Father gave us eight thousand dollars. It came into the hands
of our agent. Part of it he paid us some time since, and a part lately.
But he keeps from us three hundred and fifty dollars for his trouble.
He would not pay us what we received until we signed receipts for the
whole eight thousand dollars. We would be glad if you would shew this
to our Father the President. If he says it is right, we will not complain,
but we want him to see and know all about the affairs of his children
in this country.
May the great Spirit preserve you. We are your friends and Brothers.
Saccarissa, Head Chief
(signed) Solomon Long Board
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