Thomas Jones v. Joseph Lewis, Sheriff of New Madrid
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made part of this petition: That in conformity to the said Warrant,
the said McFarlen went to the before mentioned , and took from
thence a very large quanity of goods, as is proven, by a copy of an
invoice, taken from the original, in the hands of the said Sheriff
which is offerd as a further exhibit, and marked E.

Your petitioner, also states, that the first named Indian WilliamWilliam
Wibber did sometime in the early part of the year 1810: That the
other John Hill alias Boniture, is residing in a remote &
part of your territory: That, whether a white man can, by a cause
of Law, so recover, as to obtain the payment of a debt, from an
Indian, who is not, properly speaking, living amongst us, is a question,
as novel, as it is difficult: That by an attention to the principles,
which universially govern Courts of Conscience, and frequently controll
the decisions of Courts of Common Law, your petitioner would be
entitled to the before mentioned goods- because the said Indians
(or the representatives of them) are now actually indebted to your
petitioner in a large sum, as must, appear from the foregoing
documents; and more especially, when your Excellence shall take
the following view of the subject to wit, 1th Whether a penal Law, is
not to be considered ethically? and 2 ly Whether Indians, are contemplated
by the Laws of the United StatesUnited States, the intercourse
with the Indian tribes- particularly, the part, which requires, every
trader to have a license? If then, penal Laws, all construed strictly,
and when, in conformely to such a construction, you should be of
opinion, that Indians are not within the pervious of that Law- your
petitioner would humbly ask, how it came to pass, that the aforesaid
goods, were liable to seizure? The before mentioned note of hand
C, together with the Invoice B. furnish proof, that the transction was
substancually, as your petitioner has stated it. And from the knowledge
your Excellence has of Indian character, you will at once
recognise the fact, that an Indian is [ allways ] of the opinion, that no
property is his, for which he has not made, full and entire payment!
therefore, it was natural for him to say, that the goods, for which he had
Credited were not his: And much more so, when it is remembered,
that they were men of property, and had been so testified, by an
uninformed and blustering deputy Indian agent, that they believed
their property in danger, and that they must loose it, by falling under

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the penalties of the U.S. Indian Law, or secure it, by saying what
they did; , that your petitioner "was the owner of the goods"!
owns them, just as all other merchants own the goods, for which
they have given credit- from the proceeds of their sale, he did expect
the principal part of his pay- So do other merchants that give credit
to persons in trade.

It is reported to your petitioner, that the before mentioned goods
are yet in the hands of the Sheriff aforesaid, and believing that as
they have not been offered for sale for until this time, which is
two years, that the United StatesUnited States, in their goodness are unwilling
further to prosecute a measure, which in its commencement was
wrong; therefore your petitioner humbly solicits, that your Excellence
will order and direct the said Sheriff to deliver the aforesaid
goods to your petitioners attorney, or to his Order, and that he may
thereby, in part, obtain payment for his before mentioned debt.
And all other and such other relief in the premises as may
neet your Excellencies approbation, or may be compatible with
the policy of the United StatesUnited States.

And as in duty bound he will even pray & C.

WmWilliam O Allen O AllenWilliam O Allen Atty for
the Petitioner

Saint LouisSt Louis
5th Oct 1811