Petition of Doctor Philemon Tracy Seeking Compensation for Services Provided a Member of the Eastern Pequot Tribe

To the Honorable General Assembly of the State of Connecticut to Be Holden at Hartford on the First Wednesday of May 18251

The petition of Doctor Philemon Tracy of Norwich in said state humbly sheweth that on the 25th day of May 1821, he, the said Tracy, was requested by the late Colonel Thomas Wheeler of Stonington (said Wheeler then being overseer of the Stonington Tribe of Indians) to visit John Miller, an Indian man of said tribe, and to continue to render him such medical services as his case might require.  He, the said Miller, then being sick with an inveterate dropsy2 at the Indian town of Mohegan, for which services he, the said Wheeler, acknowledged himself to be responsible in his capacity as overseer of said tribe.  And in conformity with this request said Tracy visited and continued to render said Miller every medical aid in his power, until the death of said Miller.  The sum for which services, agreeably to the practice of other physicians in similar cases, amounts to seventy- six dollars and fifty cents, as said Tracy’s bill on file will show.  And now your petitioner further says that the late Colonel Thomas Wheeler during his lifetime never paid to your petitioner the whole nor any part of said bill, although he always freely acknowledged the justice and legality of the claim but declared that no surplus funds for such extra services were derivable from the income of the Indian lands under his care.   And that the whole income from said lands was expended in the ordinary support of said tribe; which declaration your petitioner has every reason to believe was true.  And your petitioner further declares that he has never received, since the decease of the late Col. Thomas Wheeler3 for the same reason from said Wheeler’s successor in the overseership, any remuneration for said services nor in any other way.  Neither does there exist any probability that he will ever receive his pay from the Indian funds from the same cause.  All which will fully appear from the testimony to be adduced.

Therefore, your petitioner is in great danger of wholly losing his just demand for said services, except Your Honors in your wisdom should see fit under the peculiar circumstances of the case to direct that his bill for said services should be paid from the state treasury which your petitioner humbly requests may be done.

And he as in duty bound will ever pray.                                   

Philemon Tracy
Norwich, May 2, 1825    

Legislative Action:

Petition of Doctor Philemon Tracy / Number 57, May 1825, praying compensation for professional services rendered an Indian of the Stonington Tribe / In House of Representatives, May Session 1825, not granted, Martin Welles, Clerk / In Senate, June 1825, Concurred with House of Representatives, Samuel H. Huntington, Clerk / xd /  FairchildStewart / Newcomb Kinney, Isaac Thompson, Burrel Woodworth4



  • 1. The first Wednesday of May 1825 was May 4th.
  • 2. Dropsy is an antiquated term for edema.
  • 3. Wheeler died on August 26, 1824. Find A Grave (Wheeler Cemetery, North Stonington, CT).
  • 4. These three representatives' names were written in pencil.