The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949 Page: 34
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The Governor and Council of the Provisional Government,
which immediately succeeded the Consultation, had not only the
power but also the duty of treating with Indian tribes relative to
land claims and the establishment of friendly relations. In his
first message to the Council, on November 15, Governor Henry
Smith referred to the unrest created among the Cherokees and
their associate bands by the surveys and locations which had been
made on lands to which it was "generally understood" they had
an equitable title. He then recommended in this connection that
the measures of the Consultation be carried out.4 At San Felipe
one week later Houston wrote Colonel Bowl, the military chief-
tain of the Cherokees, that the Indians had been secured in their
lands; and that the "bad men" who had made surveys therein
would never get a foot of them. A treaty would be made, Houston
said, to fix the boundary line, adding that he expected to be sent
to the Indians for that purpose.5 Houston was right in that re-
spect; for on December 22, he, John Cameron, and John Forbes
were duly elected by the Council to execute such a mission.,
Near the end of December the Council provided for the com-
missioners a series of instructions which may be summarized
briefly. They were to proceed as soon as practicable to Nacog-
doches to draw up a treaty which would in no wise transcend the
Declaration of the Consultation. In their negotiations they should
be just and equitable towards the Indians, but at the same time
protect all honest claims of the whites agreeable to such laws,
compacts, or treaties which the redskins had made with Mexico.
In the treaty the Indians must agree never to alienate their lands,
separately or collectively, except to the government of Texas
which would stand ready at any time to purchase their claims at
a fair and reasonable price. The commissioners were authorized
to exchange other lands, not already appropriated, within the
limits of Texas for those claimed by the Cherokees and their
associate bands. Finally, the governor was required to issue such
additional instructions as might be necessary to secure the effec-
4See ibid., 557-560.
iHouston to Colonel Bowl, November 22, 1885, included in Amelia W. Williams
and Eugene C. Barker (eds.), The Writings of Sam Houston: x793-1863 (6 vols.,
Austin, 1938-1942), III, 7.
6Gammel, Laws of Texas, I, 688.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949, periodical, 1949; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/m1/40/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.