Finding Aid: John Drew Papers

Institution: Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive
Language of Material: English
Description: 1,485 items
Period covered: 1812 - 1916
Subject matter: A miscellaneous  collection reflecting a long and busy life of John Drew (c. 1800-1865), a leading Cherokee, both at the time of removal and later as a representative of the tribe in Washington. Drew served as a Confederate soldier and officer; he was also a banker, a lawyer of sorts, and a storekeeper.
Much of the collection consists of business papers and some give information as to the cost of living over a long period of time. They also reflect the financial difficulties of cotton raisers and cattlemen. A wide variety of concerns are addressed in legal documents, family letters and social invitations. Many documents are about tribal matters, ranging from trivial claims of individuals to matters pertaining to the tribe as a whole versus the U.S. Government. Many of the papers also deal with the concerns of his descendants. This collection is important because it sheds light on early to mid-nineteenth century Cherokee leaders’ involvement with slavery, often revealing its dehumanizing and tragic nature.

Biographical Information

Background: Staff, interns, and volunteers of the Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive have contributed to the organization and maintenance of the files since the collection passed to the City of Tulsa in the 1950s. The Gilcrease Foundation acquired these materials before 1964 and is housed in the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR). The library currently receives most materials through community donation, board members, artists and the acquisition of manuscript collections.

Restrictions: Please, contact the Rights and Reproduction Department for information on publishing or reproducing materials included in these records. Permission will be granted by the Gilcrease Museum as the owner of the physical materials, and does not imply permission from the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all necessary permissions from the copyright holder.
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Availability: This collection is open for use by appointment only at the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR). Contact the Library at 918-631-6441 or renee-harvey@utulsa.edu in advance to inquire if materials exist pertaining to your research interests.

Arrangement Title Description Date
John Drew, Folder 11 Drawing on sheet of paper

Drawing included the words: Fire Place, Pans, Masonry Sections.
Folder 11

late 19th century - early 20th century
John Drew, Folder 12 Note from E. Hanks to Mr. McCorkel

Note from E. Hanks to Mr. McCorkle requesting help in time of need and willingness to trade cow for payment. Folder 12

1830s
Promissory note to pay Drew and Fields

Promissory note to pay Drew and Fields twenty-six dollars and fifty cents signed by a mark and witnessed, both names illegible.
Folder 12

1830s
Receipt to Thomas Chisholm

Received of Thomas Chisholm seven dollars and fifty cents giving him claim on the pay he is to receive from the United States for losses sustained by the white people on the Canadian, word in Cherokee syllabary under his mark.
Folder 12

1830s
John Drew, Folder 13 Promissory note from James Star to Hicks Holt or William Holt

Promissory note from James Star to Hicks Holt or William Holt the sum of ten dollars signed by Campbell. Folder 13

1830s
Note fragment mentioning 3 pairs of children's shoes and a boys coat

Folder 13

1830s
Fragment of letter signed by Charles Bailey

Folder 13

1830s
Fragment of Claims on the Nation

Fragment of Claims on the Nation naming Joseph Cooksons, Nancy Levill, John Carson, Heirs of Delilah McNarins, J. McClaine.
Folder 13

1830s
Fragment of her mark, Chaw u Kes

Folder 13

1830s
Fragment of letter signed from your Brother Suggs

Folder 13

1830s
Fragment mentioning Polly McDaniel, Vina, Cyrus, Ruth, Alford, Nancy Shepard, Easter

Folder 13

1830s
Fragment

Folder 13

December 2, 1850
Fragment

Folder 13

1830s
Promissory note fragment

Promissory note fragment, one side mentions Cherokees and arrival west of the Mississippi signed by Smith, Superintendent of Cherokee Removal, reverse side names Joseph Speors seventy-five dollars, 1839 nothing due.
Folder 13

October 10, 1837
Fragment account statement of John Smith

Folder 13

June 3, 1839
Fragment promissory note instructing payment to John Drew

Fragment promissory note instructing payment to John Drew in the sum of thirty seven dollars and fifty cents signed by John Pelts, Creek Agency.
Folder 13

May 8, 1833
Fragment of letter

Folder 13

1830s
Fragment

Folder 13

1830s
Fragment

Folder 13

1830s
Fragment

Folder 13

July 8, 1817
John Drew, Folder 14 Fragment of account statement from Thomas Jefferson Pack

Fragment of an account from Thomas Jefferson Pack listing various articles of clothing with individual prices on each with receipts and acknowledgements of amount owed and payments. Includes names of Thomas Jefferson Pack, John Drew, Enoch Tucker, Richard Thompson and Johnson K. Rogers.
Folder 14

1834 - 1838
Fragment or an order by W. Shoney Coody to Stirling Scott

Fragment or an order by W. Shoney Coodey to Stirling Scott to pay $30.00 to a third party bearer.
Folder 14

December 27, 1839
Fragment of an order by Josiah Clark to John Drew

Fragment of an order by Josiah Clark to John Drew to pay and unknown person John $13.00.
Folder 14

October 10, 1832
John Drew, Folder 16 Fragment of a bill of sale of a slave girl

Fragment of a bill of sale of a Negro slave girl names Lisey from John McIntosh of the Cherokee Nation to James McDaniel for $250.00. Folder 16

May 21, 1831
John Drew, Folder 17 Fragment of a list of certificates held by John Drew listing their names and remarks

Fragment of a list of certificates in the hands of John Drew which were issued by the Chiefs in the apportionment of $50,000 of funds, showing their names, number in family and any remarks. Folder 17

May 30, 1831
John Drew, Folder 18 Fragment of a list of certificates taken from a census book by John Drew

Fragment of list of certificates of fourteen named individuals taken from a census book by John Drew which were not on a list presented by him, nor included in lists presented by others as transferred by him. Folder 18

June 17, 1831
John Drew, Folder 19 Fragment of a statement of amounts due to Louis Riley and James Blackcoat in settlement of an estate

Fragment of a statement of amounts due to Louis Riley and James Blackcoat, Administrators, in settlement of the estate of Betsy Girty. Folder 19

March 2, 1832
John Drew, Folder 20 Fragment of a statement of amounts due in settlement of an estate

Fragment of amounts due to Richard Drew in the settlement of the estate of Elizabeth Brown. Folder 20

March 31, 1833
John Drew, Folder 21 Fragment of an unexecuted bond of John Drew concerning a Negro slave and her children

Fragment of an unexecuted bond of John Drew and Unknown, agreeing to deliver a Negro slave Eliza and her two children upon termination of a lawsuit between Peggy Starr, Administrator of the estate of Elinor McDaniel and John Drew. Folder 21

October 19, 1833
John Drew, Folder 22 Fragment of a list of unpaid claims of individuals for spoliation

Fragment of a list of claims that have been unpaid to the twenty-one individuals for spoliation under the Treaty of 1828, sent to the Chiefs, Major Jolly, Black Coat and Colonel Webber of the Western Cherokee Nation. Folder 22

November 1833
John Drew, Folder 23 Fragment of a list of Cherokee persons with numbers next to their names

Folder 23

19th century
Fragment of a list of persons with accounts due to John Drew and Company

Fragment of a list of persons with accounts due to John Drew and Company totaling $6,877.11. Folder 23

1834
John Drew, Folder 24 Fragment of an order by James W. Gray to B.F. Curry to pay Gilllenwatters and Coldwell

Fragment of an order by James W. Gray to B.F. Curry to pay Gilllenwatters and Coldwell $9.56 out of "the price of my improvements". Folder 24

February 11, 1834
John Drew, Folder 25 Fragment of an unsigned declaration by John Drew, John T. Vann and Richard Crossland

Fragment of an unsigned undertaking by John Drew, John T. Vann and Richard Crossland to deliver certain Negro slaves to Suwaki Benge, Sheriff of Canadian District upon termination of a lawsuit by Peggy Starr against John Drew. Folder 25

March 5, 1834
John Drew, Folder 26 Fragment of a sheet showing the division of sixteen Negro slaves between Richard Ratcliffe and Thomas Chisholm Estate

Fragment of a sheet, signed by John Drew and William L. Holt showing division of sixteen Negro slaves between Richard Ratcliffe and the Estate of Thomas Chilsom under order of the National Council at Tolluntusky. Folder 26

June 26, 1835
John Drew, Folder 27 Fragment of a declaration by the General Convention of Texas canceling land grants to Texas Cherokees but recognizing their rights to lands

Fragment of a declaration by the General Convention of Texas at San Felipe de Austin, canceling all land grants to the Texas Cherokees and pledging Texas government protection or the Cherokees, recognizing their rights to lands. Folder 27

November 13, 1835
John Drew, Folder 28 Fragment of a decision of the Cherokee Claims Committee for reimbursement for cattle destroyed by Whites

Fragment of a decision made by William Thornton, Cherokee National Council, Acting Committee on National Claims in favor of John Crossland's claim for 158 cattle valued at $699.00 which were destroyed by Whites in Arkansas. Folder 28

October 31, 1836
Fragment of a list of old Cherokee spoliation claims for which John Drew held powers of attorney

Fragment of a list of old Cherokee spoliation claims of named individuals for which John Drew held powers of attorney with requisition on disbursing agent by M. Stokes, sub-agent. Folder 28

May 25, 1836
John Drew, Folder 29 Fragment of a letter to the President of the United States from Cherokee West Chiefs, John Jolly and John Brown in Arkansas discussing a treaty with the Cherokee Nation East

Fragment of a letter to the President of the United States from John Jolly and John Brown, Principal Chiefs of the Cherokees West, in Arkansas stating that a delegation of John Looney, John Drew, Joseph Vann, Aaron Price and Dutch will appear to protest objectionable provisions in a late treaty with the Cherokees East. Folder 29

December 14, 1836
John Drew, Folder 30 Letter from Samuel Walker to John Drew

Letter from Samuel Walker, Vicksburg, in route to New Orleans to John Drew, near Fort Gibson, Bayou Menard, Cherokee Nation. Regarding groceries and dry goods purchased for delivery to John Drew. Requesting the $7000 cost be paid one half in 12 months and the other half in 18 months. Folder 30

May 22, 1837
John Drew, Folder 30A Note referencing collection notes to John Drew by S. P. Hildebrand

Note by S.P. Hildebrand referencing notes left with John Drew for collection (notes not included). Notes can be found in folders 41 and 138.
Folder 30A

September 15,1837
John Drew, Folder 32 Power of Attorney to John Drew by Sam Walker to represent Cherokee claimants before Commissioners of the U. S.

Power of Attorney to John Drew by Sam W. Walker transferring his power to represent various Cherokee claimants before Commissioners of the U. S. in Calhoun, Tennessee. Adjusting the Cherokee claims for land, improvements and other property under several treaties with the Cherokee Nation. Executed before M. Stokes, Indian Agent at the Cherokee Agency, Fort Gibson. Folder 32

July 20, 1838
John Drew, Folder 33 Permit from Cherokee Agency East allowing Benjamin Bracket family to migrate to Cherokee Country West

Permit signed by Nat Smith, Superintendent Cherokee Emigration, Cherokee Nation East allowing migration of Benjamin Bracker and family by contract to the Cherokee Country West where they are to report to the agent. Amount of two hundred and fifty dollars. Unexplained noted on permit. Folder 33

October 30, 1838
John Drew, Folder 34 Statement of John Drew's testimony supporting Samuel Mackey's claim for subsistence of 41 Cherokees against U. S.

Statement of John Drew's testimony supporting Samuel. Mackey's claim for subsistence of 41 (13 named) Cherokees against U. S. made before Captain James R. Stephenson, Fort Gibson. Folder 34

October 30, 1839
John Drew, Folder 35 Incomplete and unsigned claim of Polly Vann regarding property in Georgia abandoned by her in 1833

An incomplete and unsigned claim after 1836 of Polly Vann for two thousand fifty nine dollars and fifty cents representing the value of a saw mill and gristmill and other improvements on land in Georgia abandoned by her in 1833 and claimed by a U.S. citizen under the lottery law. The document indicated Polly was the wife of Joseph Vann. Folder 35

1830s
John Drew, Folder 36 Synopsis of Anna Irons claim against William Rogers for slaves and other items in the estate of Joseph Rogers

Synopses of undated claims of Anna Irons against William Rogers for slaves, the estate of Joseph Rogers for a one thousand eight hundred seventy five dollar note, and William Rogers for a farm. Names noted in the document include Arlcy Flowers, John Alberty, John Flowers, E. R. Williams, and Almira Farrington. Folder 36

1830s
John Drew, Folder 37 List of subsistence claims due Cherokees

List of subsistence claims due to forty two named Cherokees showing the number in the family and all or a fraction due them.
Folder 37

1830s
John Drew, Folder 40 A protested draft sent to Richard Cox, Esq. for collection

A protested draft sent to Richard Cox, Esquire for collection. The draft was given in favor of F. A. Kerr on Melham Armstrong, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, which was protested by Armstrong. A request was made and signed by John Drew, Esquire, Fort Gibson, Oklahoma to get this draft and place it in the hands of an attorney for collection.
Folder 40

1840s
Order from H. B. Gaither to Wm. S. Holt to pay C. Runyan $35

Order from H. B. Gaither to Wm. S. Holt to pay a sum of thirty five dollars to C. Runyan, "the amount I loaned you at the Bayou".
Folder 40

November 25, 1842
Note from G. N. A. Castes regarding a saddle worth $17. given to W. Saunders

Note from G. N. A. Castes, Fort Gibson, indicating "a saddle worth seventeen dollars was given to W. Saunders and charged to you".
Folder 40

August 14, 1848