1854 Petition Council at Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids May 29th 1854

Hon. Franklin Peirce
Washington D.C.

Dear Sir,

We the subscribed take the liberty of addressing you and asking your assistance to help us.

We have written some four or five letters to the commissioner of Indian Affairs and asking him to appoint a Blacksmith at this place and appoint one that we should recommend also an interpreter and he has totally disregarded our wants and has decidedly refused to answer our letters, thus we have sent to him and if it has not been the custom of our agents to ask us we should not insist upon it now. We have also asked him to write out and give us a statement of all of our affairs from the time of our first payment up to the present time, as our annuities are very near paid up we wish to know the amount due us so that we can live up to the stipulations agreed upon in our Treaty with the United States, and we also complain of our agent at Detroit and we are satisfied that he is not a man that works for our interest but works for his own pocket.

At a council held by us the 28 day of May we have all agreed upon one thing and that is that we shall visit Washington this summer for the purpose of a full and satisfactory examination of all our affairs that is due us and we all ask it. We were in hopes that our commissioner would have saved us this trouble and answer our letters that we have sent him, but he has not done so and now we appeal to you.

You will please call on the commissioner and notify him that we shall draw a draft on him for the amount of our expenses to Washington and back.

We want to see you expressly and have us talk with you and if we come to your place this summer we will then give you a history of the acts of our agents and the manner they have treated us.

We now ask you to aid us, and lend us your assistance in the work before us and you shall have our best wishes and respect.

Yours Respec.

P. S. This is to certify that I attended the council of the Ottawa Chiefs on the 28th day of May 1854 at their principle village and that the within letter was written with their advice and consent and authorized me to send it to the president of these United States.

Sam. L. Squier
Grand Rapids

P. S. Answer by return mail and oblige as they are anxious to hear from you. S. L. S.

Mackinac Agency
Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1828-1880
National Archives Microfilm Publications M234 Roll 404 1853-1855