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Description

Interesting early manuscript document, recording a meeting between Iowa Territorial Governor John Chambers and the Winnebago Indians in the so called Neutral Grounds in July of 1843, wich occurred 4 months after the ratification of a 1842 Treaty with the Sauk & Fox, by which it was agreed that the Sauk & Fox would vacate the area and relocate to their reservations in their reservation in what would become Indian Territory. Our brief research found no record of such a meeting with the Winnebago after the signing of the 1842 Treaty, but admittedly our research was far from exhaustive.

The manuscript receipt dated November 18, 1843 and signed by John Chambers and Jacob O. Phister, reflects Phister's request for and acknowledgement of receipt of compensation for Phister's services as secretary to Chambers during negotiations with the Winnebago Indians. Phister's compensation for this meeting is curious, as served as Chambers' private secretary from 1841 to 1845 and would seemingly have already been employed by Chambers.

The accompanying map, published in 1841, shows the extent of the public surveys in Iowa Territory and identifies the so called Neutral Grounds, beween the lands of the Sioux Indians and the surveyed regions of the Territory.

The receipt itself states:

July 27, 1843

For 18 days services as Secretary to his Excellency John Chambers Commsioner to treat with the Winnebago Indians for their removal from the Neutral Ground at $3 per sday.

Mileage in going to and returnin from the Agency of said Indians on Turkey River, 10 cts. per mile.

Received Burlington, I.T. November 18th 1843 of John Chambers Commssioner to treat with the Winnebago Indians the sum of One Hundred and fifty dollars in full of the above account.

(signagure duplicate) Jacob O. Phister.

I certify on honor that the above account is correct and just and that I have actually this day November 18th 1843 paid the amout thereof.

John Chambers.

Both Chambers and Phister's names are identified in the Treaty with the Sauk and Foxes, 1842. Oct. 11 1842, 7. Stat., 596 Proclamation Mar. 23, 1843, with Phister identified as one on of the witnesses to the signing of the Treaty.

John Chambers (1780-1852) was a U.S. Representative from Kentucky and the second Governor of the Iowa Territory. He was born in Lexington, Kentucky. In 1794, he moved to Washington, Mason County, Kentucky. He was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1800. Chambers served as aide-de-camp to General William Henry Harrison in the War of 1812. Chambers served as a member of the Kentucky State house of representatives in 1812, 1815, 1830, and 1831. In 1825, Chambers was appointed judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals. He resigned in 1827. He was elected to the United States Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Thomas Metcalfe and served from December 1, 1828, to March 3, 1829 and later elected as an Anti-Jacksonian to the Twenty-fourth Congress, and reelected as a Whig to the Twenty-fifth Congress (March 4, 1835-March 3, 1839).

Following his terms a a Congressman, he was appointed Governor of the Iowa Territory in 1841, serving until 1845. In September 1842, Governor Chambers, who was also Superintendent of Indian Affairs, negotiated a treaty with the Sac and Fox Indians by the terms of which they ceded to the United States all of their remaining lands in Iowa, to the Missouri River and agreed to remove to their Kansas reservation at the expiration of three years. At the same time, he called upon the War Department to expel settlers who had prematurely settled in the lands affected by the Treaty. Although several military detachments were sent into the area to remove premature settlers and an old American Fur Company outpost temporarily occupied as "Fort Sanford" for the purpose of preventing incursions, the rush of settlement persisted.

Jacob O. Phister served of Fayette Country served as John Chambers "Private Secretary" during his 5 year term as Governor and list listed as Secretary of Iowa Territory from 1841 to 1845 in at least one reference work (Zachariah F. Smith, The History of Kentucky: from its earliest discovery and settlement . . .1895, p.846)

Condition Description
size is for map.