Monday, April 15, 2013

Red Bird

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Scroll down to # 86. I think it says "Native American Documents", or something like that. Click on it. In the search engine provided at the web site type in “red bird”. You will see a record of the death of a Cherokee named Red Bird, and a friend named “Will”. What is written below is left as it was transcribed on that website. They also provide the originals as *.jpg files.

Letter to the Indian chiefs 1797
Knoxville 5 March 1797
Your letter of the 4th came to hand to day [today], in which You Say that your people have done no damage on either the [deleted: property] person or property of [deleted: any] [added: the] whites. [deleted: Man] I wish this was the case, and I make no doubt [deleted: but] you think so, but you may be sure, several is killed one in powels Valley by a fellow called Dick, [added: can talk some english,] [deleted: who] has hunted there [deleted: and was], and is well known [added: by the people]; [deleted: can talk some english,] I mention this that You may know the person, -- there has also been a great Many horses taken from Cumberland and one Man killed And Another Wounded, [deleted: there] And yesterday another Was killed and scaulped [scalped] on little pigion about thirty miles from this place, [deleted: this]
This conduct my brother has a bad appearance and as I told you before will be attended with disagreable [disagreeable] events Should your people be so foolish And unwise Not to decline Such practices.
You mention that I wrote you in a threatning [threatening] Manner, but my brother if you listen to the Words of my letter, there is no threats [added: in it], I have only spoken to you the [added: language of] truth, and the fatal consequences, that Must attend your Nation , should you be so imprudent As to again go to War -- I dont nor never did
Speak to you with a false toungue [tongue], nor do I wish your people to be treated ill, but on the contrary that they may live in peace and safety and raise their children in Quietude
I know very well, that some of [deleted: our] [added: the white] people are bad men and have been guilty of a horrid Crime in killing the red bird and Will, and [deleted: I expect that] when ever [whenever] they can be taken they [deleted: will] [added: shall] suffer for it, one of them has run away and the other as yet is not taken; as I told you in my last I tell you in this, that the innocent ought not to suffer for the guilty, neither ought your people to take Any Satisfaction until you had first made your complaint And stated your sufferings. It is impossible for me to know when damage is done to your people without you inform me; and your own good sense will point out to you that A Murderor [Murderer] seldom ever discovers upon himself, which I Suppose is the reason why your people denies they have done any Mischeife [Mischief]
You say you have been a long Journey and While at Philadelphia received very different talks from that of mine; and say that I say you are but a handful of people and in consequence of our superior [added: ity] in Numbers [added: Suppose] we have aright [a right] to do as we please -- I deny saying we had aright [a right] to do as we please [added: &] on any such a supposition, neither is there any such a word in any letter
it is true I said you were only a handful of people, which is the truth and I also advised you of the danger of going to war ; If the people at Philadelphia have told you that you [deleted: were] [added: are] a Numerous and strong people, and that you ought to go to War and kill your white brothers, they have not told you that which is true, nor that which would be for your good and the interest of your nation [added: was you to take such advice]. [deleted: I spok] what I said in my letter was to convince your nation of their danger and the Great evils that always attend a war, and the distressing condition your people would be in, Should Such a thing take place -- [deleted: You say that] you Wish I would talk to My people and tell them not to cross the River Tennessee or to survey your land -- I have often told them that, neither do I wish or intend any such thing should be done. But you know I am agreat [a great] Way from that place, and cant See what every foolish Man is doing, I expected that the gaurds [guards] at Tellico, [deleted: and your own] would stop such people from Crossing Over, and I Suppose, [added: they] Would was they to see them, but neither them nor myself can see the transaction of every bad man, no More, then [than] you can your people, who come over on our side And kill our people and steal our horses.
Now brother I hope I have Said enough to convince You, that I dont Wish our people and yours to [deleted: go] enter into War against each other, and I hearby [hereby] declare that
I wish to have peace and friendship subsisting between the two Nations, and shall with all my heart and strength do every thing [everything] in my power to promote the same -- I hope You will [deleted: do the same and] [added: also] endeavor to keep your people Within the bounds of reason; and let us try to prevent Any further effusion of blood. I wish us to live friendly and bury all Anemosities [Animosities] deep in the earth, If you have complaints, the government will redress them, and you know they are taking measures to effect the same, but if your people will undertake contrary to the [deleted: treaty] Articles of the treaty to redress themselves, you cant expect the government will do it -- I request that you will make enquiry into the murder lately done on pigion; and if [deleted: You can] [added: possible] have [deleted: them] [added: the murderors [murderers]] punished agreably [agreeably] to the Articles of Treaty. -- your people could have no [unclear: color] of excuse for committing Any depredations on that Quarter for they are not on lands claimed by your Nation, Neither have they interupted [interrupted] Any of your people --
I hope to have an answer from you as soon as possible
Your friend
[Signed] J. [John] Sevier
John Watts and other Cheifs [Chiefs] of the Cherokee Nation
Knoxville 17 March 1797
Yours of the [deleted: 8th instant] 10th Instant I am duly honored With. and shall observe the contents,
The wanton and unprovoked murder Committed on the red Bird and [added: another] [deleted: others] Indian of the Cherokee tribe, is a crime so Atrocious and Agrevating [Aggravating] in its nature, that [deleted: I am determined] [added: it is my Sincere wish & desire] to have the perpetrators apprehended, in order they may Suffer agreably [agreeably] to the demerit of their Crimes. The taking of them will be Attended with Some difficulty. Levinstone, I have been informed left this state in A few days after it was known he had been guilty of the murder, and [deleted: the other] [added: Mitchell] is constantly on his Gaurd [Guard] in Such a manner, that [deleted: it] will render it difficult to have him apprehended -- you may rest assured that nothing shall or will be lacking in the executive, to have them taken and safely conducted into [deleted: your] the State of Kentucky, if by any means the same can be accomplished.
I have the honor to be very respectfully Your Excellencys Mo. ob. Hbe, Sert. [Most obedient Humble, Servant]
[added: By the governor]
His Excellency
Governor Garrard
Governor of Kentucky
17 March 1797
No [Number] 9
State of Tennessee
To the Sherriff [Sheriff] of Hawkins County
I am just [added: now] informed by an express from the Governor of the state of Kentucky, that a Most Cruel daring and unprovoked murder was perpetrated by Edward Mitchel and John Levingston, Citizens of this State And inhabitants of Hawkins county, on two indians [Indians] of the Cherokee Nation(one of the name of red Bird) who was hunting in the state of Kentucky, On the waters of Kentucky river.
The perpetration of [deleted: so] [added: Such [deleted: a] ] horrid and unwarranted [deleted: An] [added: an] Act is contrary to the treaties existing between The united States and the indian [Indian] tribes, as also All laws human and divine, and Such aggressions Ought to meet examplary [exemplary] and adequate punishment [deleted: According] [added: Suitable] to the demerit of [deleted: the] [added: their] Crimes, agreably [agreeably] to the laws they have, so flagrantly and wantonly violated.
In conformity to the demand made by his Excellency the Governor of the State of Kentucky, and Agreably [Agreeably] to an act of Congress in such Cases made and provided: I do hereby command you, to take the Aforesaid Edward Mitchel and John Levingston, or either of them if to be found in your County, and them or either of them Safely and Securely to convey Unto the public Jail of Kentucky, then and there, them or either of them, you are to deliver unto the keeper thereof.
In order that you may be the better enabled to apprehend, take, and convey the said Edward Mitchel and John Levingston, or either of them as aforesaid, you are hereby impowered [empowered] to apply to, and call upon, Any officer or officers, either Civil or Military Within this State, to furnish you with Such gaurd [guard] or Gaurds [Guards], as may be adequate and necessary for the purpose of taking, and Safely conveying them, to the public Jail of Kentucky as aforesaid. I also command And enjoin that all officers [deleted: both] Civil and military, [deleted: to] be aiding and assisting in having the aforesaid Edward Mitchelland John Levingston apprehended And taken in order [added: that] they may be dealt with as the law in such Cases may direct.
           Given under my hand and seal in Knoxvillethis 19th day of March 1797
Signed By the Governor
[Signed] John Sevier
Sheriff Hawkins county;
          19th March 1797

          28 March 1797
I have recd. [received] an express from the Governor of Kentucky which informs me that two men Citizens of the State of Tennessee, [added: has] murdered two men of your nation (one of the name of Red Bird. ) This murder was committed within the bounds and State of Kentucky, and the Governor thereof has demanded of me to send them into that State to be tryed [tried] for the murder agreably [agreeably] to the laws of the [deleted: that] State -- I have sent forth orders to have the Murderors [Murderers] taken, and when taken to be immeadiately [immediately] sent to Kentucky in order that they may [deleted: receive their] [added: be] tryed [tried], and receive [deleted: their] [added: the] punishment [added: due their crime] if found Guilty -- now my brothers you have had time enough to find out the persons that have killed the [added: several] people belonging to the state of tennessee, one has been Killed and another wounded on the Kentucky road Since I wrote you before; I therefore request and demand of you, that you have those Murderors [Murderers] apprehended and punished Agreably [Agreeably] to the treaty entered into between your nation And the United States. I am determined to have the white transgressors taken and punished if it Can be done, And I shall expect [added: You will apprehend themurderors [murderers] on your part & have them punished] [deleted: it will be the Case with your nation] -- let us convince Such disorderly people, that they Shall not be the Cause of Sheding [Shedding] the blood of innocent people And bringing about a War, which never fails to produce very fatal and disagreable [disagreeable] event.
I have frequently informed you how disagreable [disagreeable] A War would be to the white people [added: of this State] And the United Statesin General, and also the dangerous consequences, that in all probability might and would attend your nation Should Such an [deleted: thing take] event take place --
I hope your nation will consider well the dangerous consequences, and put a [added: final] Stop to the further effusion of blood, other ways [otherwise] I am a fraid [afraid] it will tend to bring about Very disagreable [disagreeable] events, which [deleted: it] is the wish of this government to prevent.
          Your friend
          [Signed] John Sevier
          The Warriors & Cheifs [Chiefs]  of the Cherokee Nation

         Was the Red Bird killed in southern Kentucky in 1797 a Chief?
         Consider the treaties of 1785, 1791, 1794 and 1798:
Of the treaty of 1794, there are 13 Cherokee names – NONE of which are “Red Bird”.
The treaty of 1791 was signed by FORTY Cherokee – NONE of which was named “Red Bird”.
The treaty of 1785 includes 32 signatures – NONE of which is a “Red Bird”.
          There is no chief named “Red Bird” prior to 1797 when he was killed.
The treaty of 1798 has the signature of 34 Cherokee, none of which is “Red Bird”.
The treaty of 1805 is the first to mention Red Bird, who is called “Tochuwor”.
Who was this? Where was he from? The answer to these questions can be found on page 3 of “The Emigration Rolls of 1817-1835”, as transcribed by Jack D. Baker. One line reads; “Apr 13, 1818, Toochalar, chief, 12 [note: this number denotes the number of persons who intended to emigrate to Arkansas with him]; “Willstown”. [note: he was chief of Willstown]. Please know he did not live in Kentucky, but rather in Northern Alabama. There was no reason to believe he was related in any way with the Red Bird killed in Southern Kentucky some 21 years earlier. He is mentioned in records of the Arkansas Cherokee and was a well-known chief in Arkansas.
In fact Toochalar is listed as an Arkansas Chief already, in the 1817 treaty. You can not confuse an Arkansas Chief in the 1820s with an ordinary hunter who was killed in 1797. You can not assume the “Red Bird” in Arkansas was related to the “Red Bird” killed in Southern Kentucky in 1797 any more than you can assume two people named “Joseph” are related.
All we know of the hunter named Red Bird is that he was a hunter. Cherokee had for generations travelled northwards into their traditional hunting grounds of Kentucky to provide game for their families. There is no proof this was any more than that. NOTHING about the original papers call him “Chief”. The stories he was a Brock are NOT PROVEN. The researchers who looked into this should mention this, and they don’t! I have family stories we are related to Sequoyah, but we have no proof of it. Those who research these Brocks should say the same thing – they have family stories but no proof! That is my argument with them. Instead of claiming they have proof they should be saying they have evidence. And if you have proof -- please cite it!
Is that too much to ask?


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