Monday, May 06, 2013

" would be expedient to authorize the loan of muskets..."


The following Bill reported by the Committee Military Affair in the Senate, is now depending that body:

A Bill to provide for the armed occupation and settlement of that part of Florida, which is now overrun and infested by marauding bands of hostile Indians.
Be it enacted, &c. That there shall be granted to first white settlers, not exceeding ten thousand men, able to bear arms, who shall settle in such parts of Florida, east of the Suwannee and south to Cape Sable, as be designated by the President of the United States, a bounty of three hundred and twenty acres of land each, upon the following conditions:

First. The settlements to be in stations, designated the commander of the United State troops in Florida, according to a general plan to be Approved by the President; not less than forty, nor more than one hundred settlers to be at each station, nor the stations to be nearer than ten miles to each other; each settler to himself with arms for his defence, and implements husbandry to cultivate the ground for his support, to remain at his station Until the Indians are removed, without being absent therefrom, except temporarily, for necessary supplies, or for objects connected with subsistence, security, and defence of the station; and settler shall absent himself from the district in which he may settle as hereinafter defined, without leave the commanding officer of the United Statvs troops within the district.

Second. Each settler to engage in the cultivation grain and vegetables for his own support, or for sale others, for which purpose tho public land about the station may be freely used.

- Benjamin Homans, Army and Navy Chronicle, Volumes 8-9, Vo. VIII.--No. 3.] WASHINGTON, THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 1839 [Whole No. 211.

Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States,
MONDAY, March 9, 1840

On motion of Mr. Downing,

Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs be instructed to inquire into the expediency of causing to be furnished to each able bodied citizen on the Indian frontier, within the Territory of Florida, one of Colt's patent revolving rifles, complete, with the proper accoutrements, the better to enable the citizens of that distressed country to defend themselves and their families from the midnight and murderous attacks so frequently occurring in that Territory.

Journal of the Senate of the United States of America,
WEDNESDAY, May 11, 1842

But, to render this system of protection effectual, it is essential that settlements of our citizens should be made within the line so established, and that they should be armed, so as to be ready to repel any attack. In order to afford inducements to such settlements, I submit to the consideration of Congress the propriety of allowing a reasonable quantity of land to the head of each family that shall permanently occupy it, and of extending the existing provisions on that subject, so as to permit the issue of rations for the subsistence of the settlers for one year. And as few of them will probably be provided with arms, it would be expedient to authorize the loan of muskets, and the delivery of a proper quantity of cartridges, or of powder and ball. By such means it is to be hoped that a hardy population will soon occupy the rich soil of the frontiers of Florida, who will be as capable as willing to defend themselves and their houses, and thus relieve the Government from further anxiety or expense for their protection.


Washington, May 10, 1842

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