"I FIND MYSELF SINGULARLY ABSORBED IN INDIAN AFFAIRS" HITCHCOCK, ETHAN ALLEN. Group of 4 Autograph Letters Signed, "E AHitchcock," to his mother ("Dear Mother" or "My Dear Mother"), concerning his possible resignation from the Army, Indian Affairs work involving a piece of pending legislation, and the management of payments [to native Americans]. Together 11 pages, 4to, each with integral address leaf; folds. Vp, 1839
25 January: ". . . [A] journey over the mountains at this season of the year . . . is attended with some peril. . . . I have had the hardest journey in some respects I ever made. The National Road . . . has been completed with stone only to Springfield Ohio. . . . ". . . The Secretary of War and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs both tell me they have been waiting [for] my arrival & wish me to explain my views in regard to some Bill for the Ind'n Dep't and I shall probably go before the Committee of the Senate or House or both on the subject. . . ." 28 January: ". . . [U]nexpectedly I find myself singularly absorbed in Indian Affairs, and obliged to give up my private wishes to act for the Department. If I do not greatly deceive myself I have the entire confidence of some high in power here . . . ." 1 April: ". . . Everything has been done to accommodate & please me that the Secretary can do . . . to testify his satisfaction for my conduct at St. Louis in stopping the payment of the 100,000$ . . . . [T]he Secretary of War . . . [has] the wish to testify his obligations to me for saving the Department, as he expresses it, 'from the odium of one of the most shameful transactions he ever knew.' . . ." 15 May: ". . . I may be obliged to stop at Prairie du Chien some days or weeks to make the payment to the half-breeds which I stopped last Fall. . . . The old commissioners & the speculators are hostile to me beyond measure . . . . "If you see anything in the papers you must not mind it for the government & all honest men are on my side. . . ."
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