Today in Chickamauga History - February 4
1818, February 4: ARKANSAS TERRITORIAL PAPERS VOL XIX – Page 33 – 34 - WILLIAM BRADFORD " TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR - [NA:WD,SW Lets. Recd., B 286:CJ - FORT SMITH BELL POINT Feb 4, 1819
SIR Your favour of the 7'b August " was received by the last mail after going the rounds by Natchez; which accounts for its long delay. Had it been received in time the-Government would have been Saved the expence of taking the Cherokee and Osage Nations to St. Louis to conclude a treaty of peace; as it was the Wish of the Chiefs of both Nations that their intervew should have taken place at this post.
I have the honor to report to You that these nations are again on the eve of War. This information has been given me by Capt Nath' Prior late of the Army;80 and who is a trader with the Osage Nation. After they had held their War Counsel he Was So polite as to Come immediately and inform me of the result of their deliberations; which were a positive determination on War, unless those of their Nation who the Cherokees retain as prisoners; are immediately given up I agreeably to the Stipulation of their Counsel at st Louis. They gave Capt Prior the promise however; that they would Suspend the Tomahawk until his return
That the Cherokees are aggressors there is not the least doubt they have lately Stolen from the Osages forty horses; out of which in taking them home, they killed four and wounded three others Their killing the horses is looked upon by the Osages as a War measure ; and I believe is considered as Such among all nations of Indians-After the Cherokees had taken the first horses which were five in number; the Osages found some furs belonging to them which they took into possession to keep until their own property Should be restored Upon hearing of these Circumstances I went to the Osage Nation for the purpose of having their dificulty with the Cherokees amicably adjusted. They promised me that the furs Should not be traded away until they heard from me again; which promise I learn they have as Yet faithfully kept I wrote to Mr Reuben Lewis, 11 agent for the Cherokee Nation an Account of their conduct; He has since been here and informed me that he had seen some of the Stolen horses; and would use his influence
to have them immediately restored.
I should not have left my post to Visit the Osage Nation; having no discretionary power to Act in that way; had I not known it to be the wish of the Government to preserve harmony among the tribes in Order to encourage the emigration of the Cherokees from the Old Nation to the Arkansas
The Osages evince a great desire to maintain the peace between the two nations; but Complain Much; that the Cherokees have not given up their prisoners agreeably to the treaty made at St Louis
I learn that there are a number of the Sacks, Ioways; Mohaws; 12 and Zotos 13 among the Osages urging them to Commence hostilities and offering their assistence in Carrying on the War-I Shall visit the Osages again and endeavour to prevent their resorting to hostile measures; or get them to meet the Cherokees at this Garrison; and settle their dificulties54
I am Sir Yours Respectfully
WILLIAM BRADFORD Capt R Regt Com1 Fort Smith
THE HoNB' J. C CALHOUN Secretary at War
[Addressed] The Hon b• JC Calhoun Secretary of War Washington. City D. C Mail
[Postmarked) On Service W Bradford Major Rifle Regt
[Endorsed] Maj Bradford rec4 224 May 1819 L E.