The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949 Page: 36
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the laws of Texas. For the general purpose of keeping out in-
truders and seeing that no injustice was done the bona fide inhab-
itants, the treaty provided that one or more agencies should be
created among the Indians, with at least one resident agent
assigned to the Cherokee villages. Lastly, the government of
Texas reserved the right to regulate the trade of the Indians,
with the understanding that no tax would be levied thereon.
The above brief digest of the treaty shows that the commis-
sioners did not exceed their instructions. Neither did they gain
all that had been desired. When reporting the treaty to Governor
Smith on February 29, 1836, Houston in a poorly and somewhat
vaguely worded letter explained among other things that an
insistence upon exchanging lands outside the limits of the In-
dians' claims for unoccupied portions within their boundaries
would have caused a complete breakdown of the negotiations.
Nor at the time would the tribes agree to an enrollment of force
against our "common enemy," but there was some reason to
believe this might be done later.'0 At least, Houston might have
added, the treaty provided for their neutrality.
Obviously, before giving way to the Convention which assem-
bled on March 1, the Provisional Government as such had no
occasion in which to take action on the treaty. Although the
available records do not bear him out, on several subsequent
occasions Houston stated that its approval was included in a
general provision of the Convention which confirmed all the acts
of both the Consultation and the Provisional Government; and
that thus the treaty had force as the supreme law of the land." On
oTreaty with the Cherokees, MSS., in Indian Affairs, Archives, Texas State
Library. A copy of this treaty is printed in E. W. Winkler (ed.), Secret Journals
of the Senate, Republic of Texas, in First Biennial Report of the Texas Library
and Historical Commission, March 29, z9o9-August 3z, z9zo (Austin, 1911), 36-39.
This work will be cited hereafter as Winkler, Secret Journals of the Senate.
loHouston and Forbes to Smith, February 29, 1836, in Williams and Barker,
Writings of Sam Houston, I, 356-358. As noted, the letter was signed also by John
Forbes but not by John Cameron who apparently did not actually serve on the
commission which drew up the treaty.
"1See a letter written by President Houston to the Texas Senate on May 21,
1838, and one to Congress on November 19, 1838, in Williams and Barker,
Writings of Sam Houston, IV, 55-60, and II, 299-301, respectively. True enough,
a Committee on Public Documents, after considering the papers and documents
of the Provisional Government which had been turned over to the Convention,
recommended the ratification of a treaty drawn up with Indian tribes, since it
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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/m1/42/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.