Last evening I returned from
distributing the foods among the Indians at Colberts ferry the number of
Indians that attended at the distribution was two thousand
Six hundred and fifty four -- the accounts given in of those that Staid at home
and ware absent was one thousand Seven hundred and forty Six Waryers
that are fit for the field are about
Six hundred and Eighty the whole number of including men and Women &
Children appear to be four thousand four hundred,
I have endeavored to fulfill the purpose of your Orders by giving to
merits its due and have discrimonated the
following persons to whom I have given the various sums
annexed to & opposite their names which distribution
I hope will meet the entire
approbation of the Government of the UnStates and be well
approved of by you as I believe it has by every Indian of the
Chickasaw Nation, after giving to every
Indian present as near as I conviniently could their Salable
part of the goods and apportioning the residue for the benefit
of those that tarred at their homes. I delivered them to the four
principle Leaders for the use of the absentees which leaders
ware Tessua Mingo, William McGilbery, Peason Tubba & Samuel Siley.
The sum I gave Genl William Colbert was $100
Colo George Colbert $75, Major James Colbert, $50. = $125
Levy Colbert $50, King Chennubbe $50. = $100
Tessua Mingo $50, Capt Wm McGilbery $25. = $75
Capts Poyahomo & Saml Siley $25 each. = $50
Capts James Brown & Tuskhopo $25 each. = $50
Capts Poyholotta & Poyohomo $25 each. = $50
Captn Nobbet, = $25
Capts Cohomotler & Mucklushopoy $25 each. =$50
Capts Tuscamba & Pasons Tubbe $25 each. =$50
Capts Wm Glover & Emithermuo $25 each. =$50
The old Horton & George Billy Grove $25 each. =$50
Simon Burney & Samuel McGee $12½ each. =$25
The above sums have been given to the
above persons The two last mentioned I distinguished on the recommendation of
Colo John McHee under whose Command their gallant Conduct & Bravery was
most conspicious at the Battle on the Black Waryer.
If Sir at any time I have omited to do what my Government or
any of its friends have thought my duty
I have one comfort that none can deprive me of and that
is I always have done & will continue to do what my best
Judgment Shall instruct me to believe my duty.
Your friend & obdt Servt
Wm Cocke agent for UnS to Chickasaws
William Cocke (1747 ~ 1828). Autograph
letter signed as United States Agent to the Chickasaw Nation. Chickasaw Agency
House (near present Columbus Mississippi), 30 September 1815. 2½pp, 4to.
To Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson, who docketed
the letter with a seven-line inscription on the verso. Integral address leaf
present: Chickasaw Agency/2nd Octr.//Major Genl
Andrew Jackson/Nashville/(manuscript 25½ rate).
Cocke, whose short lived
appointment as agent to the
Chickasaws by President Madison was likely due to Jacksons recommendation,
reports on the size of the Chickasaw tribe,
and accounts for the payment just made. Through a treaty in 1806,
the US government agreed to pay cash in annual installments to the
Indians in return for peaceful relations, and eventually their lands.
Mentioned by name are the most of the important leaders of the Chickasaw
Nation-William Colbert, James Colbert, Levy Colbert, Chinnubby ~
King of the Chickasaws, Teshaumingo, William McGivery,
etc. These payments, referred to by some as bribes,
eventually lead to the Jackson Purchase, through
which the US bought all the land in Tennessee and Kentucky between the
Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers.
In his closing
lines, Cocke reaffirms his commitment to
his duties and to the instructions of Jackson.
resident of Hawkins County at his home known as
Mulberry Grove (now inundated by a TVA lake), was one of the most
important figures in Tennessee history in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries.
Transcription and Notes by George E. Webb, Jr.From the Collection of
George E. Webb, Jr.
Provenance: Walter R. Benjamin, Inc., 1986
1. Colberts Ferry
was located at the Tennessee River in northwest Alabama
where the Natchez Trace crosses that river.
2. This historically
significant letter would value in the four figure area.