Indian Relations in Texas

Anson Jones to John Forsyth, December 31, 1838

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Anson Jones to John Forsyth, 1838

last and the marching of Miracle to the villages of those bands in Texas
and him leaving them and pursuing the direct rout[e] to the Cherokee
Country in Arkansas several hundred miles before he was killed
induce Those in Texas best acquainted with the Indian character and
the peculiar relations which exist between them, the United States and
Texas, to suppose that Miracle was sent, or going, to attend the great
Council in Missouri for the purpose of combining the Arkansas
Indians with those of Texas for the conquest of the latter country.

The discontented Indians of Arkansas are continually
removing to Texas and joining those of other tribes who preceded them thith-
er which is gradually increasing their number, and consequently the
danger to Texas in case of an open rupture with them. The hunting
grounds of the Colorado, Brassos [Brazos], Trinity and Red Rivers and their
tributaries present strong allurement to the bold, enterprizing, [sic] and
somewhat civilized Indians of Arkansas, occupying as they do dis-
tricts less favorable to the enjoyment of their pursuits and dispositions.
It is therefore, most sincerely hoped by the Government of Texas that
this circumstance will not be viewed with indifference by the
United States and that the greatest vigilance and precaution will be
directed on its part to prevent in future, such emigration to Texas.

I am also instructed by my Government to represent
that the Indian disturbances in Eastern Texas have been aggravated
by the uncertainty of the true boundary line and the absence
of a Military force at the most eligible point to restrain the Uni-
ted States Indians from crossing Red River into Texas, which they
now do at pleasure far above Fort Towson, without hindrance.

In contravention of treaty + + + + + stipulations,
the Caddoes, numbering about three hundred warriors, shortly after
the sale of their lands to the United States in 1834 availing themselves of
the unsettled state of this boundary and of other circumstances favorable to their
enterprize, [sic] without asking or obtaining the consent of the Government of Texas,
removed to it and associated themselves with the Prairie Indians; and have
been ever since, with the exception of a few short intervals[,] committing
depredations on our frontier settlements and are at this time combined
with them and jointly waging an active marauding warfare against
those settlements.

The injuries which these perfidious Indians have
inflicted, severe it is true, are small when compared with the con-
sequences which will necessarily ensue should they be allowed to
remain among the wild Indians. The latter when the former went
among them, carrying rifles, powder and lead in abundance which
had been obtained by the sale of their lands on Red River to the Uni-
ted States, were but little acquainted with the use of fire arms. Since
then by the facilities offered them by the Caddoes they have become
tolerable hunters, and are much more efficient in war, and will ere
long[,] should such a state of things continue, be equal to North American
Indians.

These and other concurrent circumstances and consider-
ations, while the propriety of the expulsion of these intruders is indicated,
render it extremely desirable by the Government of Texas that the boundary
line between it and the United States should be run with as little delay
as practicable.

I avail myself of this occasion to renew the assuran-
ces of my distinguished consideration.

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Anson Jones to John Forsyth, December 31, 1838. Texas Secretary of State. Diplomatic correspondence, letter books, 1836-1846. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: September 20, 2011