1831: Charles G. Troup to Joseph Fellows

This letter was written by Charles G. Troup, the son of Robert Troup (1757-1832). Robert was a lawyer and land agent from New York State. He served as an officer with the continental army during the American Revolution, practiced law in Albany and New York City, was elected to the State Assembly, and in 1796 was appointed judge of the United States district court of New York. From 1801 to 1832 he was land agent of the Pulteney Estate of England for properties in western New York.

Troup wrote the letter to Joseph Fellows, agent for the Pulteney Estate of England, who resided in Geneva, New York.

Stampless Letter


Addressed to Joseph Fellows, Esq., Geneva, Ontario County, New York

New York
24th February 1831

My dear sir,

Page 1

Some time ago I received your favor to Mr. [Thomas Ludlow] Ogden and myself of the 22d ultimo, enclosing two warranty deeds of small lots in Buffalo forces to execute. This letter I have suffered to remain unanswered in consequence of the absence of Mr. Ogden at Washington. He has now returned to this city. On conversing with him about executing these deeds I find both of us have a repugnance to make ourselves personally liable by a covenant of warranty. The title, it is true, we think undoubted; yet questions may arise about it — one of boundary, for instance, which may occasion trouble to us or those who come after us. In the power of attorney we gave Mr. Potter, we were careful to guard against his binding us personally to warrant the title: and he ought to have made his contracts accordingly. Mr. Ogden suggests, in order to get rid of this part of the contract, that we offer to make the purchase a reasonable abatement in the price; or that we offer to make an allowance out of the purchase monies to Mr. Potter himself to warrant the title in our stead. The deeds I have left with Mr. Ogden; we will retain them in order to have new ones prepared from them in pursuance of the arrangement that may be made.

Page 2

Mr. Ogden, I am sorry to inform you, has left Washington without being able to bring the Indian business to a favorable issue. The Menomonie [Menominee]  and New York Indians had satisfactorily adjusted their differences by arrangements among themselves at Green Bay; and sent a joint delegation to Washington accompanied by Stambaugh, the Indian Agent, to get the President to approve of the settlement. Instead of doing this, Stambaugh carefully kept the Menomonie Chiefs, at Washington, apart from those of the New York Indians; and the Secretary at War and Stambaughas Commissioners made a treaty, at Washington, with the Menomonie Chiefs for the purchase of a large portion of their territory for the U. States: embracing the purchases of the N. Indians in 1821 & 1822, the greater part of which had been conformed to the New York Indians by the President; and which the N. Y. Indians had hoped for. The treaty contains a stipulation on the part of the Menomonies that the N. Y. Indians shall have a tract of about 500,000 acres in lieu of their former purchases and their improvements on them. This tract lies on the N.W. side of the Fox River, and is said to be sterile & swampy. The New York Indians have refused coming into the arrangement. The Executors persist in it. The whole matter will probably soon come before the Senate for their approval of the treaty. Mr. Ogden has taken the precaution of  putting in the hands of each senator a copy of the printed statement of the claims of the N. Y. Indians prepared by him. General Root proves himself to be a decided and zealous advocate of the New York Indians against the course the executor has taken. He remains at Washington. So does Mr. [Eleazer] Williams, the Oneida clergyman.

I must also acknowledge the receipt of your kind favor of the 12th instant in relation to the demand I have against Mr. E. O. Halsted: pray accept of my thanks for our attention to this business.

With sincere regard, I am dear sir, very respectfully yours, — Charles G. Troup


The referenced treaty reads, in part:

“Whereas, This subject was agitated in a general council of the Six Nations as early as 1810, and resulted in sending a memorial to the President of the United States, inquiring whether the Government would consent to their tearing their habitations, and removing into the neighborhood of their western brethren, and if they could procure a home there, by gift or purchase, whether the Government would acknowledge their title to the lands so obtained in the same manner it had acknowledged it in those from whom they might receive it; and further, whether the existing treaties would in such a case remain in full force, and their annuities be paid as heretofore: and,

“Whereas, With the approbation of the President of the United States, purchases were made by the New York Indians from the Menomonee and Winnebago Indians of certain lands at Green Bay, in the Territory of Wisconsin, which, after much difficulty and contention with those Indians concerning the extent of the purchase, the whole subject was finally settled by a treaty between the United States and the Menomonee Indians, concluded in February, 1831, to which the New York Indians gave their assent on the seventeenth day of October, 1832: and

“Whereas, By a provision of that treaty, five hundred thousand acres of land are secured to the New York Indians of the Six Nations and the St. Regis tribe, as a future home, on the condition that they all remove to the same within three years, or such reasonable time as the President shall prescribe, and

“Whereas, The President is satisfied that various considerations have prevented those still residing in New York from removing to Green Bay, and among other reasons, that many who were in favor of emigration

preferred to remove at once to the Indian Territory; which they were fully persuaded was the only permanent and peaceable home for all the Indians. And they therefore applied to take their Green Bay lands and provide them a new home among their brethren in the Indian Territory: and

“Whereas, The President, being anxious to promote the peace, prosperity and happiness of his red children, and determined to carry out the humane policy of the Government in removing the Indians from the east to the west of the Mississippi, within the Indian Territory, by bringing them to see and feel, by his justice and liberality, that it is their true policy and for their interest to do so without delay,

“Therefore. Taking into consideration the foregoing premises, the following articles of a treaty are entered into, between the United States of America and the several tribes of the New York Indians, the names of whose chiefs, head men and warriors are hereto subscribed, and those who may hereafter give their assent to this treaty in writing within such time as the President shall appoint.”


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