Petition of Puckshunubbee and Homastubbee

The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 44: 1 July to 10 November 1804
(Princeton University Press, 2019), 283


The Petition of the Chactaws by the undersigned Mingoes in behalf of the whole Nation Humbly Sheweth.—
That Whereas our whole Nation is embarrassed by heavy debts to the House of Panton Leslie & Co, and we finding ourselves unable to discharge the same without disposing of Land for that purpose and knowing that we cannot make any Sale to private Individuals.
We Humbly pray Our Father to accept of Land bounded on the Mississippi West, and between the Yazoo & the Chickesaw Country, extending Eastward so as to include the Lands between the Yazoo & Big Black, or so much of the same as Our Father the President by his Commissioners may deem sufficient to pay the same.
And to prevent any mistake hereafter or remove any doubt respecting the amount of our debt, we only request to have paid for us, the amount thereof exhibited by the said House (of Panton, Leslie & Co) to Silas Dinsmoor, our Father’s beloved man in our Nation, the last To fa, or Summer, as every other claim against Our Nation, by other Merchants & Traders has been cancelled, and we further pray Our Father, that our Petition may be taken into his immediate consideration and the prayer thereof Granted, and your Petitioners will ever pray
Given under our hands this twenty third day of August 1804 at Hobukintoopa



Silas Dinsmoor Agent to the Chactaws
Ephm Kirby Judge of the Mississippi Territory
Tr (DNA: RG 11, Ratified Indian Treaties). Tr (DNA: RG 75, Ratified Treaties).
The War Department received this PETITION in October, along with some other materials from Silas Dinsmoor, U.S. agent to the Choctaws. Dearborn subsequently shared the petition, or at least conveyed its contents, to the president. The proposal was essentially identical to the one Dearborn outlined in a letter to Dinsmoor following the visit of Puckshunubbee and Homastubbee to Washington in December 1803 (DNA: RG 107, RLRMS; Vol. 42:130n; Memorandum for Henry Dearborn on Indian Policy, 20 Oct.).
AMOUNT OF OUR DEBT: the administration later reported that the Choctaws owed $46,091.02 to Panton, Leslie & Co. (ASP, Indian Affairs, 1:700).
LAST TO FA: toffa is the Choctaw word for summer (Cyrus Byington, A Dictionary of the Choctaw Language, Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 46, John R. Swanton and Henry S. Halbert, eds. [Washington, D.C., 1915], 353).