Thomas Jones v. Joseph Lewis, Sheriff of New Madrid
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ThomasThomas Jones JonesThomas Jones 5 of the Borough of
Viniennes in the Territory of IndianaIndiana by WilliamWilliam O Allen
his attorney begs permission humbly to represent to
His excellency Fred Bates esq, now in the excuse of
the Government of LouisianaLouisiana Territory, and ex official
Intendant of Indian affairs, in and over the said

Respectfully Sheweth,

That, in the month of January 1806 two Indian men, of the
Cherokee nation, by the names of WilliamWilliam Wibber and John
Hill (alias continue, came from their residence on the
River St Francis (in the southern parts of your Territory) to the store of
your petitioner, in the Brough aforesaid, with poltries, furs & to
purchase goods : That from a knowledge obtained, by your petitioner,
of those Indians, he [ lurnt ] that they had very much benefited, by the
benign influence of the General Government, and were taught under
its auspicious, to prefer the pusuits of [ sevilized ] life to the uncertain
pittance derived from the Chase, That in consequence of their change
of manners, they had become of property were honest in
their transactions, and worthy of credit and in consequence of that
information, your petitioner had a desire to let them have more
Goods than they could, at that time pay for: But before he would
venture upon that measure he consulted with John Rice JonesJones
Esq. late the attorney general of his Territory and after stating the
case to him, your petitioner, requested to know, whether he would
"be justified in [ leting ] those Indians have goods on credit" to infact
"Pay from the proceeds of the goods when traded, by them to their
"own nation"? His answer was given, as stated in his affidavit
marked A and prayed to be taken as part of this petition:
That opinion your petitioner to make the advances,
as in the copy of an invoice marked B., and also
prayed to be taken as part of this petitioner and in further support
of the [ verity ] of this transaction your petitioner prays, that your
Excellence will take and receive a joint note of hand given by
the before mentioned Indians, to his clerk, for his benefit marked
C., as conclusive proof, and you will believe that the whole of
that transaction was conducted with as much as could be
expected, between such a man as your petitioner, who is illiterate
and half civilized savager.

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From January 1806, to the latter part of the summer 1809, your
petitioner had been constantly (as appears by the Invoice. B.) in the habit
of selling those Indians goods and receiving from them the proceeds
of their sales, and he felt secure in the legality of his intercourse
with those Indians, for he had never been taught to knows, 1th that
he had no right to credit Indians: and 2ly That he was limited in
the amount of the credits he had the right of giving. Your petitioner
therefore most humbly conceive, that if he had the right to credit
and was not limited in the amount, he certainly had not in any
one instance violated the Laws of the U.S. regulating the trade
and intercourse with the Indian tribes, in that tansaction But,
[ altho ] such was the firm conviction of your petitioner, yet nevertheless, a
certain James McFarlain, who had been appointed a deputy Indian
agent, in the year 1808, by the then governor of your Territory, made a
visit to the lower or southern parts of louisiana, and when on that
tour, he recieved information from diffrent persons, that the said
indians were engaged in a trade, that was very profitable to themselves,
with their Brother Indians: It is verily believed, that all his informants,
were either actual indian tradees, or such as acted under their influence
And may have been fearfulshould not be destroyed
That Indians trades might supplant white men and that the time
might unfortunately come, when members of the same tribe, whether
white or red, would be permitted to reap the benefit of trading,
with their own tribe! As to the Indian agent McFarlain your
petitioner states and it will not be denied) that he had been
before, and ever since an indian trader: That, his being thus informed
by persons, interested and himself possibly, improperly influenced,
he did unjustifiably alarm the said indians by inquires and threats
enquiring "whether they had a license" threatening "that if they had
not they should suffer". Thus those semi-savage men were intimidated,
and induced to deny, that the goods were theirs, but stated, that they
were exclusively the property of your petitioner. Sometime thereafter
the said McFarlen as your petitioner has been informed returned to
St LouisSt Louis, and obtained a warrant from the then Executive of your
Territory, authorizing him to seize the goods, remaining unsold in
the store of the said Indians, and to place them in the hands of the
Sheriff of New Madrid District; as will be infered from an extract
of the Excutive Journal here unto annexed and maked D., and