July 19th 1855
Col. A. Cumming
Supt. Ind. Affairs
Sir I enclose herewith a hand Bill giving “Public Notice” to persons settling on the Iowa Cession and the land contigious thereto. The same Notice is published in the St. Joseph Gazett. That some will have to be forced off their land by the Military I am now convinced, for there are combinations in existance to oppose the monitory efforts of the Government to prevent persons from settling these lands in violation of the treaties. If the Government intends to support the Indian Department it should be clothed with ample power to carry out the stipulations of the treaties. The Department will by this time see that an agent who conscientiously aims to perform his duty is met by the insults of those who are put forward to Bully and abuse the agent of the Government because in their efforts to perform their duty they see that he has neither the means or the force to carry out the instructions of the chief of the Indian Department whose efforts seem to be wholly to maintain the integrity and faith of his branch of the administration
and whose every act is dictated by an honest conviction. That he is only in the performance of his duty by thus enforcing the Treaties and laws relating to management of Indian Affairs and in protecting them in their rights. These difficulties would doubtless not have assumed the character of settler opposition, where it not from the fact that vast numbers have combined for the purpose of occupying these lands regardless of all law because the responsibility seems to be divided among them and many of these men as individuals would long hesitate to violate the law in so flagrant a manner, who are now led into this course by the association with numbers and who when thus combined prep each other even to the consumation of extreme acts, and which, if one man alone had committed whould be at once pronounced as dishonest. For Instance, the cutting of valuable timber upon land now held in trust for the Indians & consequently lessens the value. Cutting the best trees for miles from the place they have located for speculation. This is now going on and perhaps any one of these men would charge dishonesty on any other who whould cut much less valuable timber from land in which they themselves werein the actual ownership. Some of these men pretend to hold
a prominent rank in society and are seeking for public favor. but such is the strange working of the mind of many men in regard to property belonging either to the Government or to the Indians. In the former they can see no lassitude of morals but it is criminal if the same thing is done to their property.
To prosecute men under the law of 1807 within this territory with the hope of convicting I regard as time and labor thrown away. The Juries would doubtless consent in every instance of a majority of those interested. The Attorney Genl Judges & Marshal, have, if my information is correct, already committed themselves in a public manner in support of those now settled in the city of Levensworth and on Delaware land if this is so, and the Government can have those who are depredating on Iowa land taken before a circuit court of the U. S. say at St Louis, there may be something effected to prevent this improper use of valuable timber, held with the land on which it stands by the U. S. in trust for the Indians.