Gaines Asks Aid From The Governor

After the council, General Gaines at once sent by special messenger the following letter to Governor Reynolds: ” Headquarters, Rock Island, June 5, 1831. “John Reynolds, Governor of Illinois. “Sir: I do myself the honor to report to Your Excellency the result of my conference with the chiefs and braves of the band of Sac Indians settled within the limits of your state near this place. “I called their attention to the facts re-ported to me of their disorderly conduct towards the white inhabitants near them. They disavow any intention of hostility but at the same time adhere with stubborn pertinacity to their purpose of remaining on the Rock River land in question. “I notified them of my determination to move them, peaceably if possible, but at all events to move them to their own side of the Mississippi River, pointing out to them the apparent impossibility of their living on lands purchased by the whites without constant disturbance. They contended that this part of their country had never been sold by them. I explained to them the different treaties of 1804, ’16 and ’25, and concluded with a positive assurance that they must move off, and that I must as soon as they are ready assist them with boats. “I have this morning learned that they have invited the Prophet’s band of Winnebagoes on Rock River, with some Pottawatomies and Kickapoos, to join them. If I find this to be true, I shall gladly avail my-self of my present visit to see them well punished; and, therefore, I deem it to be the only safe measure now to be taken to request of Your Excellency the battalion of mounted men which you did me the honor to say would co-operate with me. They will find at this post a supply of rations for the men, with some corn for their horses, together with a supply of powder and lead. “I have deemed it expedient under all the circumstances of the case to invite the frontier inhabitants to bring their families to this post until the difference is over. “I have the honor to be, with great respect, “Your obedient servant, ”EDWARD P. GAINES. “Major-General by Brevet, Commanding. “P. S. Since writing the foregoing remarks, I have learned that the Winnebagoes and Pottawatomie Indians have actually been invited by the Sacs to join them. But the former evince no disposition to comply: and it is supposed by Colonel Gratiot, the agent, that none will join the Sacs, except, perhaps, some few of the Kickapoos. E. P. G.”

 

Early Settlements of Rock County 

 

Source: Historic Rock Island County, pub. Kramer & Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1908