East Texas Family Records, Volume 6, Number 3, Fall 1982 Page: 4
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EAST TEXAS FMILY RECORDS VO,. 6, NO. 3, FALL 1982
blood Mexican interpreter named CORDAY. letter dated June 27, 1839, President
The letter also advised BOWLES that LAMAR instructed the commissioners to
they would be premitted to remain in un- "Negotiate removal of the Cherokee and
disturbed enjoyment of their present all other tribes by peaceful means if
possession until Congress shall be able possible. They should not agree to pay
to make some final arrangements, satis- the Indians more tharn $25,000 but under
factory to both parties, for their re- no cir-cumstances can they be permitted
turn to their own tribes beyond the L ed tr: rc,-mnain n the country longer than is
River.12 required to make the necessary preparations
for their removal. Unless they
LACY, REAGAN, JOWERS and CORDRAY consent at once to receive a fair comrode
into the Cherokee village and to pensation for their improvements and
the Chiefs cabin, which was located a- other property and remove out of this
bout six miles east of the Neches River country, nothing short of the entire
in what is now Smith County, close to destruction of all they possess and the
the present day town of Bullard. He extermination of their tribe will apgreeted
them, led them to a deep, cool pease the indignation of the white
spring behind his cabin and invited people aginst them.14
them to sit down on a dead tree. After
the interpreter read the letter to the General RUSK'S East Texas Regiment
Chief, BOWLES told LACY that he could was the first to arrive upon the field.
not reply to the letter until he had rhey first went to Fort KICKAPOO, lotalked
with his headmen. He asked Agent cated at the abandoned Kickapoo village
LACY to come back in ten days for his in northeastern Anderson County, 24
answer. So, LACY and his companions miles southsouthwest of Frankston. But
rode away.13 on July 10, they moved across the
Neches River and set up Camp JOHNSTON.
When the ten days had elapsed, LACY Prior to this move, the Commissioners
and his same companions rode back to the had conducted their negotiations from
Cherokee village where BOWLES again led Fort KICKAPOO. They had even written
them to the spring behind his cabin and up their so-called "Articles of Agreeinvited
them to sit down on the dead ment" for BOWLES and his headmen to
tree, and told them that his young sign, while there. One part of this
warriors wanted war because they be- agreement stipulated that all of the
lieved they could whip the Texans. How- gun locks except fifty would be turned
ever, he said that he and BIG MUSH did over to the Texans. This really upset
not want war. He added that if he the Indians for they feared that as
fought the whites they would kill him, soon as they turned their gun locks
but if he did not fight them, his braves over to the troops they would be killed.
would kill him. He told them he was an Chief BOWLES refused to sign the
old man 83 years of age and would not treaty.15
live much longeutir but he had led his
people too l ong to quit them now. After Camp JOHNSTON was the final assembly
BOrWLES'S answer was reported to LAMAR, poitL.t for the volunteer troops and
he appointed Vice-President David G BURLESON'S regulars of the First InBURNrT,
Secretary of War. Albert Sidey fantry Regiment. The site was in exJOHNSTON,
General Thomas J. RUSK, Major treme southwestern Smith County, adJames
S. MAYFIELD and I. W. BURTON as jacent to the Neches Saline, about five
commissioners to negotiat he immediate miles southwest of the town of Flint
removal of the Indians to the area north ara2 in the vicinity of Teaselville.
of the Red River where the eastern Cheer- The site is marked by a granite marker
okees had been removed to from Georgia across the .road in front of the old
the year before in what would .become John DEWBERRY house,16
known as the "Trail of Tears". In a
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East Texas Genealogical Society. East Texas Family Records, Volume 6, Number 3, Fall 1982, periodical, Autumn 1982; Tyler, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth38048/m1/6/: accessed May 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting East Texas Genealogical Society.