AUGUST 1, 1799

To the honorable the Congress of the United States of America, the petition of the Subscribers, Inhabitants, of the settlements of Tombigby and Tensaw, in behalf of themselves and others concerned, respectfully shews--

That your petitioners from the change of government which has lately taken place, and which change they have long anticipated with the most anxious solicitude, are, in a situation and predicament, perhaps very different from most of their fellow Citizens. This peculiarity of their circumstances give rise to apprehensions which, your honorable body only, are competent to obviate.

There are some who claim lands lying on these rivers, under old Brittish Titles the record whereof is not within our knowledge; but we in general claim and possess by virtue of Spanish Grants, obtained since the Cession of the Florida's to Spain, and some hold by settlement and Ocupancy.-

It is evident, that in the first two cases, the different Titles will in many instances interfere and clash as the former rights are generally covered by the latter. This may be a source of discord, and a subject of perpetual discontent and litigation, and endless expence, which your petitioners are unable to support, and which from a principle of amity and social duties they are entirely averse to. We pray that your honorable body may take this subject into consideration and make such fair and equitable arrangements and regulations, as in your wisdom may seem most salutary and operative to avert the grievances herein contemplated-.

Such of your petitioners as hold lands by settlement and occupancy, are mostly natives of the Southern States, and have been usually entitled to the priority of saving their settlements by applying, according to the established regulations, as this seems just: they with deference suggest, that similar regulations would conduce most to the advantage of these inhabitants, and not prove detrimental to the government.
Your petitioners residing on a very limited Tract not exceeding fifty miles from the Indian above, to the Spanish line below, (the vacent lands of which are inconsiderable) and of this small Tract it is only the lands immediately on the rivers, and some of them must be excepted, that are worth cultivation. In general within two miles of the rivers, the Country is a continued pine-Barren in many places not arrable, and every where steril and unproductive. Thus limited and circumscribed, your petitioners are induced to solicit an enlargement of Territory, which they apprehend might at an early period, be obtained on good terms should Congress be disposed in their favor-The Indians of both Nations it is believed would readily agree to a sale of the lands lying between the two rivers; below a line drawn from the place where the old Choctaw line strikes Tombigby, near HatcheeTigbie, directly east ward to the Allibama, thence in the same direction a few miles, and thence by a line drawn south until it strikes the old Creek line below Little river. This acquisition of Territory will unite the Settlements of Tombigby and Tensaw; will admit an increase of population, will add to the stability and safety of the settlements, and we apprehend will pertain to the advantage of the United States-

Your petitioners are differently circumstanced from their fellow-Citizens of the Territory residing on the Mississippi, with respect to Commercial and Marine relations. They have not been informed that there has been any special agreement made for the free Navigation of these Rivers or the freedom of the ports of Mobille and Pensacola, and it is by a naval intercourse only, with the United States, the West Indies and Europe, that the Citizens of these settlements can send the surplus of their produce, or command a recompense for their labor and industry. On this point they are the more urgent, as they now experience from necessity, what they lately did from force, all the grievances possible, resulting from extortion and imposition, practised by foreign Adventurers and Traders residing near, and coming among them.

Your petitioners represent as a greivance, that there should be posts for the distribution of presents to the Indians, and that Indian Traders should be suffered to reside and deal within the settlements. These people on their way to and from the posts or places of Trade, are guilty of every species of theft violence and out-rage natural to the rudeness and ferocity of their manners-

Attached to the United States in general by birth, United to them by choice and by principles, your petitioners are the more confident in soliciting your honorable body to take the primises into Your most serious consideration and grant such relief, and make such provision, as in your wisdom may appear just and adequate.

August lst 1799

Berry, Presley

Berry, John

Blackwell, Nathan

Boykin, Francis

Brewer, Charles

Brewer, Geo

Callier, John

Chiney, Emanuel

De Castro, Julian

Denley, James

Gains, Young

Hollinger, Adam

Hunt, Henry

Hunt, William

King, Ben

Lee, Rd

Lukas, William

McGrew, John

McGrew, FLd

McGrew, Clarke

McGrew, Will

Morgan, Hiram

Mounger, Sampson

Rogers, Wm

Stringer, Francis

Vardeman, Wm

Vinson, Jas

Welch, Robert

Wootan, Harde

All spelling and punctuation were copied exactly from Territorial Papers (HF:6 Cong., 1 sess.:DS).