1843 Creek Census, summary

[M234, roll 923, frames 544-45]

T. Hartley Crawford Esqr.
Commr. Indian Affairs

Creek Agency
10 Sep. 1842

I received last mail the circular relative to taking a census of the Creeks.  It will not be possible to comply with the instructions of the Department, in time for the result to be embraced in the annual statements to Congress, nor can it be done at all without an expenditure of money say $750.  The Creeks are about 20,000 strong, scattered over a large space of country.  The plan of taking a census at the payment of the annuity will not answer in their case.  Not one-eighth of them attend the council, and if the chiefs were to direct them to attend, or the heads of families, there are a great many who would not do so.  Many of them are very poor and old, many of them widows, and the only mode will be to visit each family, beginning next Spring by which a pretty accurate census may be taken.

If the head chiefs of the towns were assembled it could not be derived from them, as there are in some towns from 200 to 300 families, and they seldom keep any account of ages.  The takers of the census will have to judge of the ages.

There are among the Creeks moreover, bands speaking different languages, the Uchees, Hitchitys, Natchez, Piankeshaws, Cooshatties, & c, to communicate with whom will require the aid of different interpreters, all of whom will not act without compensation.  At this season the men are scattering out on hunting expeditions, which will at present throw further difficulties in the way.  I think it proper to state these things in time, to guard against any disappointment that may ensue, as to the time in which it can be done according to instructions.

It will require two persons, besides interpreters, to accomplish it in a reasonable time (say 3 months) beginning on the 1st of March next, and I estimate the expense at $750.

It will be impossible for me to attend to it in person without totally neglecting my regular duties and I would moreover require several months time, and exactly the same expenditure of money for assistants, interpreters, & c.

When the general council meets in December, I will procure the best information I can relative to the points required, as far as the chiefs can give it, which may answer the view of the Dept., until more exact information can be procured.

It is a work of far more difficulty than taking a census of white persons.

If the Dept. should deem the expenditure of $750, warranted by the object in view, it may be embraced in the next appropriation for the Indian Dept.

I am sir very respectfully
Yr Obt. Servant
J. L. Dawson
Creek Agent

[M234, roll 227, frame 138]

T. Hartley Crawford Esqr
Commr Indian Affairs

Creek Agency
8 Novr. 1843


I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 5th ultimo, settling a principle relative to bonds & liscenses in certain cases. The Census of the Creeks will be completed in about two weeks, and I will immediately communicate to you the general result by letter, as it will require sometime to make a detailed copy of the returns in a proper manner.

The whole may be looked for however about the middle of next month.

I am Sir
Very Respectfully
Yr Obt Servant
J. L. Dawson
Creek Agent

[M640, roll 4, frame 1175]

Statement of General result of the Creek Census
(circa 1843?)

In the Nation

6350 males       
6140 females
1600 males under 10
1350 females under 10
4660 males over 10 & under 40
4500 females over 10 & under 40
670 males over 40
690 females over 40
1077 Slaves
50 free Blacks


In the Cherokee Nation700Estimated by
General Roly
Head Chief
In the Chickasaw Nation500
In the Old Nation300
In the Miss. Swamps150
In Texas250
In Mexico & Hunting Grounds  100
Add in the Nation12490
Add Negroes1077

J. L. Dawson
Creek Agent