Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Monday, September 30, 2013

Mappy Monday - The Elk River Intruders

The Intruders were white settlers who were (supposed to be) passing through lands in southern Tennessee/northern Alabama that then belonged to the Cherokee and Chickasaw.  After the Cherokee ceded lands in 1806, more settlers came in and essentially squatted on the land.  Federal troops tried to remove them periodically, but many ended up staying, among them one of our ancestors, Henry Evans.  Henry was actually part native American and his wife Nellie, is said to have been a full-blood Cherokee.  The Evans family remained in Mississippi territory (now Alabama), living in what is now Jackson County, Alabama.  Henry's name appears on a petition in 1810 to the President and Congress by the intruders, asking to remain on the land.  Federal soldiers had made numerous trips into the area to remove the intruders after 1809 and the 450 people whose names appear on the list were actually living in Limestone, Alabama, at Simms Settlement, when they filed this petition. 

106 [--108]       Mississippi Territory

[WD:AGO, Old Recs., Div.:DS]

Mississippi Territory, Elk River, Sims'es Settlement
September 5th 1810--      

To his Excellency James Maddison President of the United States of
   america and the honourable Congress assembled:

   We your petitioners humbly sheweth that a great many of your fellow citizens have unfortunately settled on what is now called chickasaw land- which has led us into difficultys that tongue cannot express if the orders from the ware department are executed in removeing us off of said land. However in a government like ours founded on the will of the people we have reason to hope and expect that we shall be treated with as much lennity as the duty you owe to Justice will permit. We therefore wish, Without the shade or colour of falshood, to leve to your consideration the main object of our setling of this country In the first Place, we understood that all the land on the north side of tennessee river was purchased of the Indians which was certainly the Case, and further we understood that this was congress land as we call it and by paying of two Dollars per acre we should obtain An undoubted title to our lands and avoide the endless law suits that [107] arise in our neighboring states in the landed property under these and many other impressions of minde that appeared inviteing to us to setle here a great many of us solde our possessions and Came and settled here in the winter and spring of 1807 without any knoledg or intention of violating the laws of government or Infringing on the right of another nation and we remained in this peacefull situation untill the fall of 1807 when General Robertson Came on runing the chickasaw boundary line and he informed us that, though the cherokees had sold this land, yet the chickasaws held a clame to it as their right. And now as booth nations |had| set up a clame to this land and Government haveing extingushed the cherokee clame; and we who are well acquainted with the boundarys of this country do think in Justice that the cherokees had undoubtedly the best right to this land we could state our reasons for thinking so, in many cases, but we shall only refurr you to one particular, that is when Zacheriah Cocks (1) made a purchase of parte of this country and came in order to settle it he landed on an island in the Mussell Shoals, and was making preparations to ingarrison himself but when the cherokees Understood his intentions they got themselves together and sent in messingers to him telling him if he did not desist and remove his men out of their country they would certainly imbody themselves and cut him off. And Cocks took the alarme And left the Island in the night. And if the cherokees had not defended this country at that time it may be persumed that it would have been taken from the chickasaws without asking of them anything about their right to it. For the cherokees do say that they have held an antiant clame to it which they never lost by sword or treaty untill extinguished by government. And should this be the camse and appeare to your satisfaction that the cherokees had at least as good a right as the chickasaw and you haveing that right invested in you-and you are allso willing to pay the chickasaw for their clame and they refuse to sell it where then can there remain a single doubt In the publick Minde of doing the chickasaws any kind of unjuistice in makeing use of the cherokee clame and saying: if they will not take a reasonable price for their clame we will not remove our fellow citizens off which will bring many women and children to a state of starvation mearly to gratify a heathan nation Who have no better right to this land than we have ourselves And they have by estemation nearly 100000 acres of land to each man Of their nation and of no more use to government or society than to saunter about upon like so many wolves or bares whilst they who would be a supporte to government and Improve the country must be forsed even to rent poore stony ridges to make a support to rase their famelies on whist there is fine fertile countrys lying uncultivated and we must be debared even from inJoying a small Corner of this land but we look to you the [108] boddy of government as a friendly father to us and believe it Compleatley within your power Whilst you are administering Justice between us and the chickasaws to say with the greatest propriety that we have once purchased this land and we will not remove our fellow citizens off but let them remain as tennants at will untill the chickasaws may feell a disposition to sell us their clame therefore we your humble petitioners wish you to take our standing duely into consideration and not say they are a set of dishoneste people who have fled from the lawes of their country and it is no matter what is done With them.for we can support our carractors to be other ways and it is our wish and desire to protect and supporte our own native Government we must informe you that in the settling of this country men was obliged to expose themselves very much and the Climate not helthy a number of respectable men have deceased and left their widows with families Of alphan [orphan] children to rase in the best way they can And you might allmost as well send the sword amongst us as the fammin the time being short that our orders permits us to stay on we wish you to send us an answer to our petition as soon as posable and, for heavens Sake Pause to think what is to become of these poore alphan families who have more need of the help of some friendly parish than to have the strictest orders executed on them who has not a friend in this unfeeling world that is able to asist them Either in geting off of said land or supporting when they are off we are certain in our own minds that if you could have A true representation of our carractor the industry we have made. and the purity of our intentions in settling here together with the justice of our cause you would say in the name of God let them stay on and eat their well earned bread. Perhaps our number may be fare more than you are apprised of from the best calculation that we can make there is Exclusive of Doubleheads reserv (2) 2250 souls on what is called chickasaw land and all of us could live tollerabie comfortable if we Could remain on our improvements but the distance is so great if we are removed off that we cannot take our produce with Us and a great many not in a circumstance to purchase more will in consequence of this be brought to a deplorable situation We shall therefore conclude in hopes that on a due consideration we shall find favour in the sight of your most honourable Body which will in duty binde your petitioners to ever Pray &c.

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