The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898 Page: 40
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40 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
spring a few rods from his house, and, seated on a log, received the
communication of the President. After it was read and interpret-
ed, he remained silent for a time, and then made a denial of the
charges contained in that communication, and said the wild In-
dians had done the killing and stealing, and not his people.
He then entered into a defense of the title of his tribe to the
country which they occupied, as I have described it. He said that
after his band separated from the old Cherokee nation, they, under
him as their chief, settled at Lost Prairie, north of Red river, now
in Arkansas; that after living there for a time, they moved to the
Three Forks of the Trinity river, now Dallas and the surrounding
counties; that he had intended to hold that country for his tribe,
but that the other Indians disputed his right to do so, and claimed
it as a common hunting ground; that he remained there with his
tribe about three years, in a state of continual war with the other
Indians, until about one-third of his warriors had been killed; that
he then moved down near the Spanish Fort of Nacogdoches (I use
his expression); and that the local authorities permitted him to oc-
cupy the country which his tribe then occupied; that he then went
to the City of Mexico, and got the authority of the Mexican gov-
ernment to occupy that country, and that during the Revolution
of 1835-36 the Consultation representing Texas recognized his
right to that country by a treaty.
It is proper here to state that the Consultation did appoint Gen-
eral Houston and Colonel Forbes, and authorized them to make a
treaty with the Cherokees. I am not informed as to the extent of
the powers conferred on them for that purpose. A treaty was
agreed to between them and the Cherokees, and reported to the
Consultation, which adjourned without ratifying the treaty so
made; and it, with its powers, was superseded by the Convention,
which formed the Constitution of the Republic; and that Conven-
tion rejected the treaty which had been agreed to by General Hous-
ton and Colonel Forbes. That is the treaty to which Chief Bowles
referred. So that the Cherokees had no higher title to the country
they then occupied than the privilege of occupancy during the
pleasure of the sovereign of the soil.
After his statement as to the right of his tribe to that country,
Chief Bowles stated to Mr. Lacy that he had been in correspond-
ence with John Ross, the chief of the original tribe of Cherokees,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898, periodical, 1897/1898; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101009/m1/51/: accessed March 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.