Thomas Jones v. Joseph Lewis, Sheriff of New Madrid
View original image: Page  001
[missing figure]

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.

View original image: Page  002
[missing figure]

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

View original image: Page  003
[missing figure]

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

View original image: Page  004
[missing figure]
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

View original image: Page  004
[missing figure]

JonesJones Petition to the
Executive of LouisianaLouisiana
No. I.

returned to
the to
5 ' 11-

View original image: Page  005
[missing figure]

To the Honorable the
Judges of the General
Court, of LouisianaLouisianaTerritory
sitting in chancery
humbly complaining
unto you honors

That your orator Thomas JonesThomas Jones of
the Borough of IndianaIndiana
territory who is now, and has been,
for a long time a merchant, engaged
in the vending of goods, did
in the year of 1806 sell to and
commence a correspondence with two
Indian men of the Cherokee nation
by the names of WilliamWilliam
and John Hill/alias/Coniture
residents within your Territory and
your orator continued to sell to the
said Indians, and to credit then for
a part amount of the sales and

View original image: Page  006
[missing figure]
to receive pay from them, in the
ordinary way of trade, from year, to
year, untill the summer of 1809, when
by the a proceedure as illegal as injust
the aforesaid Indians were by the machine
of many evil designed persons a
misuse, and as to be totally
unable to pay your orator a large
sum of money which was then
due him for goods previous to that
time sold and delivered to them; as
will fully appear by reference
to a petition marked as No. I and
to documents therein referred to all
of which is prayed to be taken as
part of this his bill.

By the documents above mentioned,
your honors will discover, that
archives of no country, where
governs, nor the records of no court
on judicial tribunal where a due

View original image: Page  007
[missing figure]

attention to principle proceedings uniform
and just decisions, can there
be found its parallel no case
where , blinded by ignorance
or in attention, has ever before, so
much distorted the law and
assumed the rights of the general
courts of LouisianaLouisiana

Your orator begs permission of
your honors, more fully to represent
his case, and to charge in
First that the aforementioned goods,
were both equitably and legally
the property of the said Indians
at, and for some time before
their seizureof by That the said
Indians had actually commenced
on mercantile establishment, which
so to improve their
by an increase of

View original image: Page  008
[missing figure]
their fortunes as to make them merchants
of sufficient information &
records to furnish their own tribe
with all the [ merchantilize ]required
by their months, or made
by the increase of their
civilization; and lastly, that the
said Indains, often expressed to your
orator, a hope that they would
soon be in a situation to do, for
their people, what was done by
the white traders, and expected,
much benefit to ersult from
such a change; that, the said
deputy indian agent, as heretofore
stated, did by his unjustifiable
conduct cause the said Indians
to say "that the goods" before
mentioned "were not theirs" but
your orators: That the said Indians

View original image: Page  009
[missing figure]

did, before, and at the time of
[ seijure ] of the said goods, owe to
your orator for the purchase of
many large quantities of goods,
of which said quantity of goods,
those noor in the hands of the
sheriff of New MadridMadrid are a
part: That he charged the said
sheriff, whom he prays may be
made defendant hereto, with
taken and received into his
hands the goods mentioned in
the exhibit E: your orator calls
upon him the said sheriff to
say, whether he has not the said
goods in his possession? when and
him, he came of them?
By what kind of
where and
returned? whether, if the said
is returned, he has since that

View original image: Page  010
[missing figure]
time received any instructions
or orders, from the executions or
judiciary of LouisianaLouisiana or the UnitedUnited States
StatesUnited States of AmericaAmerica, or from any
person or persons authorised by them
or either of them? Finally, what
is the present situation of the
said goods? And that he may
give, and reveal to your orator, all
other information known to the
said defendant.

Your orator is confident, that
from an entire and impartial run
of every fact and circumstance at

tending this that gave new,
to the debt that is now due by
the Indians or their representatives to
your orator to that it was
the of the said goods by
your orator to the said Indians!

View original image: Page  011
[missing figure]

And when, to that important
fact your honour will add, the
well known and ever acknowledged
principles of equity That "equity
will cause that to be done right,
which has been done" - that it
will give protection and support
to the or injured - that
I will discountenance any
of judicial power that universal
justice, founded on natural right,
and governed by established principles,
is alone its guide - And that
it will, always give, a right or extend
a priviledge to whosover it shall

And for as much as your orator is
except by the inter positions, of
this this honorable court: Therefore
your orator prayed, that your honors,
will grant to him, the UnitedUnited States

View original image: Page  012
[missing figure]
StatesUnited States writ of injunctionin
joining and directing that one
or more and For be appointed to
enquire into and ascertain what
sum or sums is or are due from
the said Indians or their representatives
to your orator, and how
much: That, you cause the said
sheriff to deliver, to the order of
the said auditors the goods afore

said: That the said auditors be
authorized, to transport at the court
possible expense the said goods, to
the city of Saint LouisSt Louis, & where to
sell them for cash, or on such
credit as your honors may direct:
That, the auditors be directed, to
allow, the said sheriff dollars
and of the proceeds of the sale
of the said goods: That, the

View original image: Page  013
[missing figure]


said auditors be allowed
percent of the amount of sales for
their trouble: That, the nettbalance
be paid into the hands
of your orators attorney
And, That a perpetualinjunction
be granted to slay every person
or persons claiming under the
said Indians, or their representives
of all manner of claim
or claims to the aforesaid goods
or any part thereof and all
other, and such other relief
as in consistent with equity &
good conscience, and your orator
as in duty bound will ever
pray & C


for the

St LouisSt Louis10th Oct 1811

View original image: Page  013
[missing figure]

WmOAllen attorney against for the
above & The S. Jones makes oath that
the facts stated in this Bill, as of his own knowledge
are true & those stated upon the information of other
persons by beliving to be true.

Wm OAllen

View original image: Page  014
[missing figure]

Jones No 3
The Sheriff of N.M.

No 2

october Term in Court

View original image: Page  015
[missing figure]

The separate answer of JosephJoseph Lewis
LewisJoseph Lewis to a bill of injunction
exhibited against him byThomasThomas Jones
JonesThomas Jones of the Borough of
Vincennes, or to so much there-
of as he is advised in mentioned
for him to answer saith:

That this respondent states that
he did take from the hands
of the deputy Indian agent JosephJoseph
McFarlan mentioned in the 1st
[ complainents ] bill and that they
an the same mentioned in the
said exhibit E. He admits that
the said goods are now in his
posession he states that she said
Indian agent put into his hand
at the same time that he gave
him the goods, a writ which
now signed by the then Governor

View original image: Page  016
[missing figure]
his excellency MM Lewis .LewisM Lewis Esqr. which
ordered him to take and to keep
the said goods a copy of said
writ with an inventory of the
said goods I have heretofore returned
to the said executive and
is I suppose now of file in the
secretary of states office for this Territory.

He never has since the
return of the copy of said writ
received any orders or instructions of
any kind from any person and
in fact he is ready and willing
to surrender the said goods to any
person or to their order that may
be legally authorised to receive the
same - Your respondent is not
of any other information
relative to the matters and things

View original image: Page  017
[missing figure]

complained of in the complainent,
bill, and prays to be
dismissed with his costs. and
&. C &. C

JosephJoseph Lewis LewisJoseph Lewis

Sworn to & subscribed this
10th day of October 1811
open court


View original image: Page  018
[missing figure]



View original image: Page  019
[missing figure]

A copy of an invoice of goods, now in the hands of the New
MadridMadrid Sheriff, which were seized by McFarlane Esquire Sub Agent
of Indian Affairs, some time in the Year 1809, Taken from the original, by
WilliamWilliam O Allen Attorney at law

28 small
12 large ditto
20 small
4 thirty four
12 spars
1 of
1 Law
1 of
1 of Fujal
16 lead

2) 9 Middle
1 Indole
6 wool hats
1 brown Cloth

dittos of blue
1 cloth
1 piece
2 (the article he read)
7 Cloth
11 red cloth
2 green

2) 16
5 small
26 small ditto
4 small plates
6 coffee pots
15 goods
1 paper books
18 car
5 large
2 paper coated
1 paper
4 papers of small
2 papers of

6 papers of
35 Broady
1 paper
1 paper green
8 tea spoons
9 plain
4 spectacles
2 papers
2 of Tape
1 paper of
94 small looking Glasses
14 small
17 cotton

2) 12 CottonCotton Shawls
2 of

2) 21 CottonCotton Shawls
25 of

View original image: Page  020
[missing figure]


2) goods of
4 cloths
2 small
2 bed spreads
5 of
9 cases

9 do

2) 33

Thewords that are underlineddenote that the quantity of the article
is not, but should have been a prefixed in those intent; The Mark they
2) is placed against said articles which are of the same , and yet are
twice mentioned, in fact the whole invoice, to say the least thoughly
a .

WmWilliam O Allen O AllenWilliam O Allen

A copy of J.B.
View original image: Page  020
[missing figure]



View original image: Page  021
[missing figure]


Know all men by there merits that we John Rice LewisLewis
of the Town of the Genevieve in the Territory of MissouriMissouri and
PierrePierre Menard MenardPierre Menard of the [ Kahokias ] in the Territory of IllinoisIllinois are
held and firmly bound unto Joseph Louis Esquire Late Sheriff of
the District now County of New MadridMadrid and his
an offical for the use of those concerned in the and full
Sum of forty five hundred dollars current of the UnitedUnited States
StatesUnited States, to be paid to the said LewisLewis and his therefor an
office for the use as aforesaid, to which payment will and
truly to be made we bindourselves our heirs and
by these

Sealed with our Seals and dated this fifteenth day of october in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred and thirteen
The condition of the above obligation is held that whereas ThomasThomas
Louis by a Deeree of the General court of the Territory of MissouriMissouri,as
as a court of chancery has been permitted to take posession of
certain goods in the and keeping of the said
LewisLewis appraised at two thousand dollars if the
Said Thomas Lewis shall abide by and carry into effect such decree as
the said general court shall render trading the said goods, then their
obligation to be void, otherwise to be and remain in full force
and virtue

Signed Sealed & delivered
in the presence of

John Scltt


[missing figure]

PierrePierre Menard MenardPierre Menard

[missing figure]

View original image: Page  022
[missing figure]

PierrePierre Menard MenardPierre Menard

filed October 16th 1813


View original image: Page  023
[missing figure]

Territory of LouisianaLouisianaGeneral court
In Equity

ThomasThomas Jones JonesThomas Jones
JosephJoseph Lewis LewisJoseph Lewis Esquire Sheriff of the
District of New MadridMadrid & other

on Petition for an injunction
Whereas Thomas JonesThomas Jones of the Though of borough
IndianaIndiana Territory did at the last general court of the Territory of LouisianaLouisiana
as a court of at the october Term of the said court in this same year and
file in the said court his petition against Joseph LewisJoseph Lewis esquire sheriff
of the District of New MadridMadrid stating among other things that some time
in the year 1806, he did sell to two Indians of the CherokeeNations
Webber and John (alias Couiture) an equipment of goods for the Indian
trade and did from time to time afterwards supply the said Indians with
such other goods as the trade they were engaged in might require
that the said Indians had always been punctual in their payments until
the summer of 1809 when the said Indians, by proceedings as illegal
as they were until then, unheard of, became disposed of their goods, and
thereby of the means of to the said JonesJones , their the
of the said goods they by him advanced to them - That the said goods to
seized and taken out of the posession of the said Indians were lodged into the hands of the
said JosephJoseph Lewis LewisJoseph Lewis sheriff of the District of New MadridMadrid in whose custody
they now remain, for by the answer of said sheriff to this bill now on
file, appears - and praying the writ of the united states
of injunction for the appointment of one or more Auditors to inquire into and
of certain what sum or sums is or are due the said Thomas JonesThomas Jones from the
said judiciary: that upon the order of the said auditors, the goods aforesaid
may be left to delivered to them to be transported to the of St LouisSt Louis;
there to be sold for cash and after deducting from the sale of the same
such sum or sums as this Honorable cort shall award

View original image: Page  024
[missing figure]
to the said sheriff the auditorsand other expenses attending they
the balance be paid into the hands of the said ThomasThomas Jones
JonesThomas Jones or his attorney or Agent whereas the said general court setting
as aforesaid, did on the sixteenth day of October with the year and of the term aforesaid
order that a notice of the demanded exhibited by the complainant should
be served on the Executive of the Territory or the attoney general of the same
and be for two months in the LouisianaLouisianaGazette all persons concerned of the
demand set up by the complainant and further that the said complainent
be permitted to take posession of the goods in question, having first filed with
the clerk of the general court, a in the penality of double the of the
appraisement of said goods conditioned to abide by and carry into effect
the final decree of the said court in said can to be rendered, the
of the security in said Bond to be determined by one of the judges of the general
court after said appraisement be made by three appointed
by the court of common pleas of the District of New MadridMadrid

now thereofre notice is hereby given to the excutive aforesaid the Attorney
general and others concerned that unless they appear and be made codefendants
to the said Action, the said complainant having complied with the requests
of the order, such other and farther relief and decree will be made
by the said court as to them of right and according to law and equity
shall deem to be done

View original image: Page  024
[missing figure]

Thomas JonesThomas Jones
Sheriff LewisLewis
copy notice






View original image: Page  025
[missing figure]
Thomas JonesThomas Jones
The Sheriff of n. 112

On an injunction
From a full examination
of the Bill, answer and exhibits, it appears,
that this cause has grown out of an improper
constrution of the laws, governing the Indian
trade. It appearing
whereas The goods which form the subject of this
Injunction, and are now in the hands of
the sheriff of New MadridMadrid, were taken by
a warrant issued & signed by the late
governor of this Territory which instructs
the said goods to remain in the
hands or posession of the said sheriff to be
"disposed of according to law." and that the AttorneyGeneralwhere official
duty it is to
advocate the rights & to protect the interest of
of the U.S. - has withdrawn from this cause,
& thereby all of claim of the
U.S. to those goods: And, as John H M bonne too
alias Couiture (from whom the goods were taken)
has transfered his right, in the said goods, to the

View original image: Page  026
[missing figure]
complaintant the court which trespass of file & is made an exhibt in this cause & not discovering
any reason why they should not be granted the prayer
if the Bill therefore It is
and ordered by the said court follows To wit,

That the said sheriff of New MadridMadrid
give up and surrender to the complaintant,
his agent or attorney, the goods and
merchandise mentioned by the said sheriff
in his return on the aforesaid warrant a
copy of the return shall accompany this
decree: the said sheriff receive such fees & for the the said good and all charge against the said
is fall charges he may have
the said goods: The said goods shall be taken
by the said plaintiff his attorney, or by the
order of either to the town of S LouisS Louis and
sold, as they may for cash as may be necessary to paid S Sheriff & the fees of the officers of this court out of
the proceeds of the sale of said goods, the clerk
of this court shall be paid his fees, and the
plaintiffs attorney shall be allowed dollars
as his fee and a perpetualinjunction is
hereby awarded against all person or persons
claimming the said goods or any part thereof

View original image: Page  026
[missing figure]

The his agent or attorney having first filed a Bond with
Security in the office of clerk of Gen Court that all the costs attending the safe keeping of the said
goods, and all the costs of fruits shall be paid on demand of
the several officers entitled to the same

goods as the Court of common pleas for the D of P. M.

the saidCourtof Common pleamakereturn of
of their proceedings is to our General court
as a court of chancery to be held in and for the said Territory at the
town of St LouisSt Louis on the first in october