The article in your Nov. 16 edition concerning the wreck of the ship Monmouth caught my eye, since my wife Verlia Mae Kennedy’s father was one-fourth Creek Indian, whose forebears escaped being forced to walk to Oklahoma in what is known as the Trail of Tears. President Thomas Jefferson ordered the peaceful Creek and other Florida and Alabama natives to be forced to leave their homes and farms and shipped or driven to Oklahoma by Gen. Jackson, because Jefferson wanted their land for European settlers. The Monmouth was used to take a portion of them to Arkansas, as stated by Yvonne Lewis Day, when the wreck happened near Profit Island.
Years ago, the government made an attempt to make reparations for the land and property that was seized illegally. All of Mae’s Creek relatives filed for money (she was told about $l0,000) but very few could furnish sufficient proof demanded by the government. Mae, my wife, does have a cousin in Florida who gets a pension for his mother.
I have often thought Congress should reopen this case and correct its failure of responsibility.
T. Med Hogg