Letter from Peter Comstock to the Chairman on the Petition of Vine Utley

To the Chairman of the Committee on the Petition on Dr. Utley,

Dr. Utley states in his petition that I paid last June five dollars and fifty cents of the claims allowed by George Griswold which is true, and the reasons for doing so are that Benajah Parsons and Lydia Waukeet, named in said petition as owing, are still living, and I paid that sum out of their separate funds on their private account, but have never recognized any claims against dead Indians (which was not authorized at the time, by the overseer of said tribe) to be paid out of the tribe fund.  If that principle was adopted there would be claims enough against the different individuals to take all their living for many years to come and totally defeat the law made for their protection and benefit.  If the approbation of an overseer ten or fifteen years after an unauthorized account is made and after the overseer (at the time) is dead and the Indians charged are dead is valid, then all the old claims against the individuals of the tribe may now be approbated by the overseer and the tribe made liable twenty years hence.

Peter Comstock, Overseer to the Niantic Tribe of Indians

Legislative Action:

On Vine Utley’s Petition