Munsee Agreement with the Cherokee

Posted By BrokenClaw on January 14, 2007

In the summer of 1868, Ignatius Caleb and Moses Kilbuck traveled to Cherokee Nation territory to try to move their dwindling tribe into a confederation with the Cherokee. The following document shows that they were successful in getting the Cherokee leadership to agree in principal.

The provisions of the agreement were for the Munsee to pay a sum of $4,000 to the Cherokee National Fund and in return, the Munsee would receive all the rights and privileges of the Cherokee Nation. It is interesting to note that Caleb and Kilbuck got the Cherokee to add a clause to provide for a new Moravian Mission. However, when the agreement was ratified by the full council, the statement for the Mission was struck from the agreement. Noticeably absent from the document is any mention of the Swan Creek and Black River Chippewa, with whom the Munsee were currently sharing a reservation.

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An Act Approving of the Agreement made with the Munsee, or Christian Indians, of Kansas.

Articles of Agreement, made and entered into this Sixth day of August, A. D. 1868, between the Cherokee Nation of Indians, represented by the following duly authorized Delegates and Representatives, viz: Lewis Downing, Principal Chief; H. D. Reese, Chairman; W. P. Adair, J. P. Davis, E. C. Boudinot, Arch. Scraper, Samuel Smith, and J. A. Scales; and the Munsee, or Christian Indians, of Kansas, represented by their duly authorized Councilmen, Ignatius Caleb, and Moses Kilbuck.

Witnesseth: That the said Cherokee Nation, actuated by motives of humanity, and a sincere desire to do good to all civilized Indians, hereby agree to receive said Munsee, or Christian Indians, into the Cherokee Nation, and to confer upon them all the rights and privileges of Cherokee citizens; and the said Munsee, or Christian Indians, by their Representatives, as aforesaid, hereby agree to abide by, conform to, and obey the Constitution and Laws of the Cherokee Nation.

In consideration whereof, the said Munsee, or Christian Indians, by their Representatives, agree to pay to said Cherokee Nation, to become a part of the National Fund of said Cherokee Nation, the sum of Four Thousand Dollars, (this being the amount of available means for that purpose,) the same to be paid within sixty days after the Treaty concluded between the United States and said Munsee, or Christian Indians, June 1, 1868, shall have been ratified by the Senate of the United States.

It is hereby agreed further, by and between the parties hereto, that the consent of the Cherokee National Council shall be procured for the use and occupancy, by a Missionary for the Munsees, or Christian Indians, of a quantity of land; not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres, in the Cherokee country, in accordance with the provisions of the fourteenth article of the Treaty concluded between the Cherokees and the United States, July 19, 1866.

In testimony whereof, the parties hereto have set our hands and seals, the day and year first above written.

LEWIS DOWNING, L.S.
H. D. REESE, L.S.
W. P. ADAIR. L.S.
SAMUEL SMITH, L.S.
ARCH. SCRAPER, L.S.
J. PORUM DAVIS, L.S.
E. C. BOUDINOT, L.S.
J. A. SCALES, L.S.
IGNATIUS CALEB, L.S.
MOSES KILBUCK. L.S.
Witnesses:
WILLIAM HAYES,
EDM. F. BROWN.

Be it enacted by the National Council, That the foregoing agreement, made and entered into between the Cherokees and the Munsees, or Christian Indians, be, and the same is hereby approved and ratified, by striking out the clause providing for a Missionary Reservation.

JOHN YOUNG, Speaker of Council.
Concurred in:
PIG SMITH, President of the Senate.
Approved:
LEWIS DOWNING, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

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Despite the agreement reached between the tribal representatives, the Act was never ratified by the U.S. Senate, and the Munsee did not emigrate to Cherokee Nation territory. Fourteen years later, in 1882, Caleb made another visit to the Cherokee, this time with Joseph McCoonse, representing the Chippewa. Dennis Wolfe Bushyhead, the Cherokee Principal Chief, received them and once again recommended acceptance, but once again, nothing came of it.

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