1834 Autograph Letter Signed from James C. Dunn in Mississippi reporting on the former Chickasaw Indian Nation

1834 letter from Mississippi to Amos Kendall, U.S. Treasury official and influential adviser to President Andrew Jackson, reporting on the land investment opportunities in the “Chickasaw reserves” there.

James C. Dunn, possibly a land agent, writes from Columbus, Mississippi in the southeast portion of the Chickasaw lands which before 1833 had been the territory of the Chickasaw tribe of Native Americans. After passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, President Jackson himself attended a treaty signing ceremony in Franklin, Tennessee. This treaty resulted in the eventual ceding of Chickasaw lands in Mississippi and the tribe’s removal west of the Mississippi River. After its cession, the land was quickly occupied by settlers. Dunn writes, in part:

I have just returned to this place from an excursion to the Chickasaw Nation and find your esteemed favor of the 15th ultimo which had been forwarded here by the postmaster of Springfield … The Chickasaw reserves are well worthy of the attention of Capitalists. With a reasonable degree of caution, & an accurate knowledge of the country, immense profit will be realised, & if your friend from the West has not already possessed himself of the latter, I fear he will be too late, as a large number of the reservations have been already contracted for, & located on best lands. … When I conversed with Dr. Broadhead I supposed that you could have an interest in the Company with which I am connected, & wrote to Col. [Daniel D.] Broadhead of Boston, who was about to visit Washington, to make you work acquainted with the particulars of our contract & general plan of operations & suppose he has done so.

When Dunn noted Kendall’s “friend from the West,” was he referring to President Jackson?


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