TYLER, John (1790-1862)
Partly-printed vellum document signed, as President, approving the sale of 281 acres of land in Alabama from Creek Indian "Yar-har-tus-tee-nug-gee" to John Fontaine
Washington: August 3, 1841. 1p. Approximately 17 1/2 x 12 inches. Countersigned by J. Williamson, recorder of the General Land Office. Paper seal intact.
The Trail of Tears.
Although U.S. presidents after Andrew Jackson generally did not sign land deeds, a notable exception concerned land owned by Native Americans. The present document approves the sale of land in Alabama from a Creek Indian (Yar Har Tus Tunnugga), who had received limited title according to the terms of the 1832 Treaty of Cusseta. That treaty, in which the Creek Nation was compelled to cede their remaining lands in Alabama east of the Mississippi River, allowed for limited reserves for Native Americans for a five year period, after which, and in accordance to a Congressional Act of 1837, the land could be sold. Almost immediately following the Treaty, squatters began occupying the Creek land, leading to numerous conflicts and the Creek War of 1836, which in turn resulted in many Creek being forcibly deported to Oklahoma. Others, presumably like Yar-har-tus-tee-nug-gee, had little choice but to sell their land. A scarce Presidential document, and a reminder of the forced removal of the native tribes of the Southeast.