Letter from General William Clark

"Superintendency of Indian Affairs.

"St. Louis, May 28, 1831.

"Sir: I have the honor to inclose you a copy of a letter of 26th inst., just received from the Governor of Illinois, by which you will perceive he has thought it necessary to call out a force of about 700 militia for the protection of the citizens of that state, who reside near Rock River, and for the purpose of removing a band of Sacs which he states are now about Rock Island.

"As the commanding general of this division of the army, I have thought it my duty to communicate to you the above information; and for the purpose of putting you in possession of the views of the government in relation to this subject, as well as to inform you of the means which have been heretofore employed for the removal of the Sacs now complained of, I enclose to you herewith copies of my correspondence with the war department and with the agent for those tribes, also extracts from such of their reports as had immediate relation to the subject.

"The Sacs and Foxes have been counseled with on the subject of their removal from the lands which they had ceded to the United States. The prospect of collisions with the white settlers who were then purchasing those lands, and the interminable difficulties in which they would be involved thereby were pointed out, and had the effect of convincing a large majority of both tribes of the impropriety of remaining at their old village. They, therefore, acquiesced in the justice of the claim of the United States and expressed their willingness to comply with my request to remove to their new village on Iowy River, west of the Mississippi, all but parts of two bands headed by two inconsiderable chiefs, who, after abandoning their old village, have, it appears, returned again, in defiance of all consequences.

"Those bands are distinguished and known by the name of `The British Party,' having been for many years in the habit of making annual visits at Malden in Upper Canada for the purpose of receiving their presents, and it is believed to be owing in a great measure to the counsels they have there received, that so little influence has been acquired over them by the United States agents.

"In justice to Keokuk, Wapello the Stabbing Chief, and, indeed, all the other real chiefs and principal men of both tribes, it should he observed that they have constantly and zealously co-operated with the government agents in furtherance of its views, and in their endeavors to effect the removal of all their property from the ceded lands.

"Any information in my possession which you may deem necessary in relation to this subject will be promptly afforded. With high respect, I have the honor to be

"Your most obedient servant,

" WILLIAM CLARK.

"Major-General Edmund P. Gaines, Commanding Western Department, U. S. A.

"P. S. The agent for the Sacs and Foxes (Mr. St. Vrain) has received his instructions and will perform any service you may require of him with the Sacs and Foxes."

Early Settlements of Rock County 

 

Source: Historic Rock Island County, pub. Kramer & Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1908

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