[Letter to Lieutenant A. M. Wright in Mackinac about a Deputation of Indians Led by William Clark]. George Gibson.

[Letter to Lieutenant A. M. Wright in Mackinac about a Deputation of Indians Led by William Clark].

Washington, D. C., 11[?] August, 1824. 8vo bifolium. 1 p. manuscript letter.

A brief but interesting letter from an important period in US–Indian relations, with mention of William Clark.

George Gibson, then the Commissary General of Subsistence responsible for feeding the military, informs Lieutenant A.M. Wright that “deputation of Indians amounting to 28 persons will pass Mackinaw on their return from the City to their residence on the upper Mississippi” and tells him that “should rations be required for their subsistence you are instructed to furnish them.” He mentions the deputation being “under the charge of” General Clark, who, among many other things after his explorations with Lewis, served as the St. Louis Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Now returning home, this deputation had resulted in a treaty signed August 4th, selling Ioway tribal lands to the US government and thereby accelerating the Ioways’ “process of civilization.” A note in the lower right corner reads “the number of persons is increased to 36.”

As Commissary General of Subsistence, Gibson’s work had a powerful impact on the United States’ ability to effectively and reliably distribute rations to its troops. He began his career in a time when military rationing was supplied through contractors, and the emergency aid he provided to Andrew Jackson when a contractor failed during a campaign against the Seminole Indians undoubtedly led to Jackson’s creation of the Office of the Commissary, as well as a close friendship with Jackson himself. Gibson held his post until 1861, and was the oldest officer in the U.S. Army.

CONDITION: Very good.

REFERENCES: American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, Vol. II, pp. 525; Martha Blaine, The Ioway Indians, pp. 140–144; Stephen Rockwell, Indian Affairs and the Administrative State in the Nineteenth Century, p. 170 footnote 41.

Item #3711

Price: $750.00

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