The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944

LETTERS AND DOCUMENTS
DR. JOHN SIBLEY AND THE LOUISIANA-TEXAS
FRONTIER, 1803-1814
JULIA KATHRYN GARRETT
(Continued)
LETTER 15
Natchitoches Jany 30th 1810
Sir
Upwards of three years ago I received Instructions from your
precedessor General Dearborn, and Mr Jefferson the late president
likewise wrote to me himself on the Subject to Select eight or ten
principal Chiefs of some of the Indian Tribes in my Agency &
Come with them myself to the City of Washington, & I received
Enclosed in a Tin Case all the Necessary papers & passports
for the purpose, which I now have;72 I made the Selection of
Chiefs Accordingly, had Horses & Mules provided for the Jour-
ney & Sent them Over the Mississippi to the pasture of my
friend Mr. Dunbar,73 but just as we were about setting off the
Spaniards made an Irruption into the Country on this side the
River Sabine,74 went to the Caddo Nation, menaced the Indians,
Cut down & took away with them a United States Flag which
I had given the Caddo Chief, persued & turned Back an ex-
ploring party ascending Red River by order of our Government
under the direction of Mr Thomas Freeman, took several Citi-
zens of the United States Prisoners within three or four Leagues
of this Town & Sent them beyond the River Grand, & Com-
72When the Secretary of War, General Dearborn, notified Sibley of his
appointment as Indian agent in a letter dated October 17, 1805, he also
expressed the hope that Sibley "had succeeded in making a proper impres-
sion on the Indians in the vicinity of St. Bernard Bay," and that he should
secure a party of principal Chiefs, bringing them to visit the President.
Secretary of War, General Dearborn, to Sibley, October 17, 1805, Letter
Book B, April 1804-July 1809, 122-123, Department of Interior, Office of
Indian Affairs.
73William Dunbar, former leader of the Hunter-Dunbar expedition, who
had been commissioned in 1804 to explore the Ouachita River country,
and in 1805 had been appointed to explore on Red River, had a plantation,
"The Forest," which was four miles east of the Mississippi, and nine miles
south of Natchez. Dictionary of American Biography, V, 507-508.
74Sibley refers to the boundary dispute between the United States and
Spain in 1806. Sim6n Herrera, commanding 600 men, crossed the Sabine
and advanced to within a few miles of Natchitoches. Claiborne, Letter
Books, III, 290, 381, 383-386, 387, 389, 397-398.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146054/. Accessed September 20, 2014.