1805 – Petition to Congress by Inhabitants of Fort Massac

[as published in Territorial Papers of the United States: The Territory of Indiana 1800-1816, Vol. VII, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office (1939), pp. 252-55; original available at: Document HR 9A-F5.1, Unbound Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, Ninth Congress, 1805-1807, Microfilm M1709, Roll 7 (Petitions and Memorials, Resolutions of State Legislatures, and Related Documents That Were Referred to Committees), National Archives and Records Administration]

(HF: 8 Cong., 2 sess.: DS)
(January 10, 1805)

To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representative of the United States in Congress assembled—

The petition of the subscribers inhabitants and Citizons of the United States resideing at and near Fort Massac in the Indiana Territory humbly sheweth that in the Year One Thousand Seven hundred and ninety-four Majr Thomas Doyle was sent to Fort Massac by General Anthony Wayne with Orders and directions there to build a Garrison and indulge a Settlement on the Lands Round the said garrison by granting permission to such Characters and persons as might feel disposed to settle thereon and improve and Cultivate the same for the purpose of Obtaining supplies for the Troops that might be kept there in consequence of which encouragement your Memorialists were induced to become adventurers and to remove with their Families to Fort Massac then a Wilderness situate several hundred Miles from any Settlements on the River Ohio where they were not only exposed to the ravages of the Indians but to malignant fevers which is well known to have raged there at perticular seasons of the Year your Memorialists remain’d surmounting these calamities and a variety of other hard ships and dificulties improveing a portion of those Lands to the benefit of the United States and to the great comfort and Support of the troops stationed there even Unto this day being upwards of nine Years whilst many of their fellows were call’d to the silent shades of death and entombed in the rubish of the wilderness leaving Widows and orphen Children depending on the favour and generosity of Congress to provide for a Confirmation of those Grants Claims and to pass a Law to give them their possissions and to make them some additional donations for their services.

Your petitionars beg leave to State that in their opinion the improvements which they have made has greatly raised the value of the United States Land in this quarter and will tend so much to facilitate future settlements that purchasers will hereafter be induced to give larger prices then they would have been warrented in doing had the Country remained a Wilderness unsettled by them.

Your petitioners therefore pray that your Honorable body will be pleased to take their Case under your wise Consideration and to pass a Law confirming to the following persons Sundry small tracts and parcels of Land which they Claim in virtue of Grants made by the several respective Commanding Officers at Fort Massac consisting of a Town Lot of five Acres One half Acre and an Out Lot of five Acres to each person to Wit—

Thomas Wilson, John McFarlin, Isaac Wilcox, Charles Wilcox, Hugh Wilson, John McClain, John Hammell, Soloman Thorn, John Baptiste Richards, William Kelly, Samuel Bradley, John Dorrett, Joseph Tarecott, Joseph Culton, Mallicah Byrns, Isaac Sharp, John Paul, Levi Flecher, Barthallamew Richards, John Henry, Richard Lord, Robert Colter, James Hazel, John Moore, Nathaniel Goodspeed, Issiah Peckard, Prince Bryant, Jon Baptiste Dumais, Thomas Prichard, Comfort Joy, Isaac McHenry, Patrick McGinnis, James Burk, James Merill, James Black, John Kelly, John Carpenter, James Haly [Healy], Siles Moody, Lawrence Lacy, Thomas Oliver, William Chribbs, Robert Mitchell, Peter Drulliard, George Drulliard, Mathew Kelly, Jacob Garnhart, William How, Joseph How, William Baker, Henry Smith, Pierre Jerro.

Granted in the Year 1794 & 1795 by Majr Thomas Doyle also to John Prichard, Thomas Prichard Junier, Drury Prichard.

Granted them by Leiutt Aron Gregg in 1795 & 1796 also to Chribbs & Mitchell, James Kinkade, Mitchel Lasurce, Frederick Grantere, John McGlaughlin by Captain Zebulon Pike in the Year 1796 and to the legal heirs and assignes of those persons respectively as the case may be and your petitioners further beg lave that the following is a correct list of the heads of Families no residing on the Lands above mentioned with the numbers in each samely to Wit—

Heads of Families [and] Numbers in Family
No 1 Isaac Wilcox  8
2 John Prichard  7
3 John Dean  6
4 William Evens  8
5 Druary Prichard  2
6 Henry Cochran  6
7 John Cochran  4
8 Jacob B Fruh  6
9 Mitchel Lasurce  3
10 Frederick Grantere  11
11 Widow Johnston  6
12 John Johnston  2
13 William Chribbs  13
14 Thomas Wilson  3 pr Wife
15 John Hammill  3 pr Ditto—
Joseph McCourtney  Wife & Child
[total] 81

and do farther pray that the Honorable Congress will be pleased to extend their generosity favour and protection so far as to wards them as to grant to each of those Heads of families respectively a donation right of four hundred acres of Land to be laid off set a part and Surveyed to their use by the Surveyor General of the Territory aforesaid or to grant Them such Other relief in the premises as may seem to Congress just and right as in duty bound your petitioners will ever pray—
10th January 1805

Wm Chribbs
Richard Lord
Wm Kelley
Joseph McCourtny
James Johnston
John McClain
John Prichard
Thomas Prichard
Richard Prichard
Drewry Prichard
Isaac Wilcox
William Deane
Elija Evins
Michel Lasuce
Frederich Grater
Samuell Harrison
Doshe Wilson
Eunis Prichard
Sarah KinCaid

(Endorsed) Petition of sundry citizens and inhabitants at and near fort Massac, in the Indiana territory. 6th January, 1806. Referred to the Committee on the Public Lands. (Mr. Gregg.) Petition and Memorial of the Inhabitants and Settlers at Fort Massac Jany 10th 1805 to Land Commee

(Enclosures: DS)

Deposition of William Kelley

Randolph County ss
(January 28, 1805)

Be it remembered that On the twenty Eighth day of January One thousand Eight hundred and five Appeared before me Robert Reynolds One of the Judges of the Court of Common Please for the County Aforesaid William Killey and after being duely Sworn On the Holy Evengelist of the Almighty God deposeth and Sayeth that in the Year 1794 he the said Kelley arrived at Fort Massac in Company with George Turner Esquire One of the Chief Judges of and for the N. W.est Territory and said Turner &c Majr Thomas Doyle Commandant of F Massac Granted a Town Lot of any Quanty the Setler might Clear & Cultivate which Town lot of piece of Land would entitle the Setler to four hundred Acres of Land so soon as the Same lands became the property of the United States in Consequence of which promise of the said Turner Esquire & Doyle Commat Many of the Within mentioned reposeing special Confidence in the proposials of said Turner & Doyle. Aron Gregg Leiutenant who succeeded Doyle made the like Grants. Captn Zebulon Pike Lt Griggs also made the like Grants. Pasture Thomas Captain of said Fort Massac also Capt Jess Lukins Commandant of said place Lt Robert Parkinson & Captain Daniel Bissill all acted in like manner and supported each and every of the within mentioned Claiments in their several Claimes & possions—
Wm Kelley
Robt Reynolds

Deposition of Richard Lord

(January 28, 1805)
Be it remembered that on the twenty Eighth day of January One thousand Eight hundred & five personally Appeard before Robert Reynolds one of the Judges of the Court of Common Please for the County of Randolph Indiana Territory of the United States Richard Lord and after being duely Sworn On the Holy Evengilist of the Almighty God sayeth that Captain Zebulon Pike Commandant of Fort Massac Surveyed and granted to each and every Setler who requested the same One in Lot of half Acre & One Out Lot of five Acres as a Donations for or in consequence of their remaining at Massac—in the Year 1796.
Richard Lord
Robt Reynolds