« PrejšnjaNaprej »
May 19, 1830.)
Removal of the Indians,
(H. OF R.
to I will not undertake a sweeping vindication of men whom " From the rigor of this system, however, as practised mal do not know, against a vague charge of this kind, made by Great Britain and all the other European powers in without the least specification of facts. If there are some, America, the humane and liberal policy of the United *who, from unworthy motives, have affected an interest in States bas voluntarily relaxed. A celebrated writer on the
his good cause, it is no more than happens in every other law of nations, to whose authority British jurists have taken good cause. I know none such; I defend none such, if particular satisfaction in appealing, after stating, in the most
they are known to others. But, with respect to the indi. explicit mander, the legitimacy of colonial settlements in iwidual most meritoriously conspicuous for his efforts in this America, to the exclusion of all rights of uncivilized locause, the author of the essays of William Penn, (so often dian tribes, has taken occasion to praise the first settlers Galluded to on this floor, but which stood in no need of nuch of New England and the founder of Pennsylvania, in bavDeption to give them reputation in the country), I will say ing purchased of the Indians the lands they resolved to of that gentleman that he is quite above the reach of that cultivate, notwithstanding their being furnisbed with a amputation, come it whence it may. He needs no defence charter from their sovereign. It is this example which against it. It cannot attach itself to him, not even as pos- the United States, since they became, by their indepensible to be conceived of. Sir, I will go further: With some dence, the sovereigns of the territory, have adopted and
means of information, though not of my own seeking, I will organized into a political system. Under that system, the say that not a shadow of proof has been adduced that one In lians residing within the United States are so far indedollar has been expended by the Indians to procure or to pendeat that they live under their own customs, and not scompensate any exertion that has been made on their be under the laws of the United States ; that their rights upon ball. I have no belief that a dollar has been so expended the lands where they inhabit or bunt are secured to them by them.
by boundaries defined in amicable treaties between the say this, because I think it due to truth and fact, and United States and themselves; and that, whenever those not because there would have been aby impropriety in boundaries are varied, it is also by amicable and voluntary such an expenditure, applied in a proper way, and as it treaties, by which they receive from the United States is constantly done by men who have large interests at ample compensation for every right they have to the lando stake. So far from its being improper, had I, when these ceded by them." troubles began, three or four years ago, been called upon Such, in 1814, was the opinion entertained of our Indian by the Cherokees for my humble advice, I would, in lieu relations, by John Quincy Adams, James Bayard, Henry of every thing else, have advised them to retain the ser. Clay, and Albert Gallatin. vices, at any cost, of the ablest counsel in the United But I pass to a narrower view of the subject. I shall States. How can it be expected that this friendless, un treat this matter plainly and practically. I shall go into no represented people, with no voice in our councils, no access abstractions, to refinements.go to ibe substance. What to our tribunals, no place in our community, should, with is the question ? It is, wbether, by passing this bill, we out aid, plead their own cause effectively against the will furnish the means to carry into effect the policy "preStates that surround them, and the General Government scribed” by the Executive for the removal of the Indians. itself! I am only astonished that they bave been able to Yes, sir, "prescribed ;' I use the word, but it is not my sustain their cause as they have; and had their whole annuity owo. At an early stage of the session, the course for which been applied for the purpose I bave named, it would bave this bill furnishes an appropriation, was by a member of been the best use that they could have made of it. Had this House, friendly to the bill, said to be prescribed” by this been done, their fate would not vow be trembling on the President. This language, I believe, is novel on this our decision, coerced under the previous question, in a floor. I dever beard it, por beard of it before, in any conmidnight session.
nexion with this House. I was not avare that there exAs I have already stated, I shall not go into the consti- isted an authority on earth that could prescribe any thing tutional argument. It has been most ably treated, and an to this House. It struck my ear, but it seemed to excite array of authorities set forth, which has not been, and, in po surprise; it passed as matter of course; do obe promy judgment, cannot be shaken. I will, in passing, but tested against it as an infringement of the privileges of add one to their number, which has not yet been cited, this House. I did, indeed, theu almost give up the cause and wbich shows that the principle on which the Govern in despair. What bope could be left, when, organized as ment has hitherto acted toward the Indians, and which it parties are, in and out of this House, a measure like this is now proposed to repudiate, has been incorporated, as far could be said to be "prescribed” by the Executive ? as it was in our power to incorporate it, into the law of What, then, is this preecribed policy ! It is to co-operate nations. We were happy enough to lay down those prin- with the States, and particularly with Georgia, Alabama, ciples as the basis of our policy toward the Indians, when and Mississippi, in removing the Indians. I name these that policy was under discussion at Ghent, in 1814. The States, for a reason that I shall presently state. I omit British negotiators then made this allegation against our North Carolina and Tennessee, because the provisions of en voys:
the bill do not apply to them. In the State of Tennessee "The American Government has now, for the first time, there is a large and valuable tract of land, occupied by the in effect, declared that all Indian vations living within its Cherokee lodians. Those lands lie north and east of the line of demarcation are its subjects, living there upon suf- congressional reservation line of the State of Tennessee. ferance on lands which it also claims the exclusive right The United States have long since ceded their interest in of acquiring; thereby menacing the final extinction of them to the State of Tennessee ; and wbenever the Indian these nations."
title to them is extinguisbed, it will of course be, as in Such was the charge of the British negotiators, in their similar cases it always has been, at the expense of that letter of 4th September, 1814. To this charge the Ameri- State. For this reason and to prevent the provisions of cau envoys made the following reply:
the bill, as originally draughted, from applying to the States "If the United States had now asserted that the In- of North Carolina and Tennessee, an amendment was dians within their boundaries, who have acknowledged the moved by a Senator, and adopted as a feature of the bill.* United States as their only protectors, were their subjects, Those States have no interest in it. living only at their sufferance on their lands, far from being the first in making that assertion, they would only have • The amondment referred to is in these words: "Within the followed the example of the principles uniformly and in-bounds of any one or more of the States or Territories, where the variably asserted in substance, and frequently avowed in hand claimed and occupied by the Indians is owned by the United
States, or the United States aro bound to the State, within which it express terms by the British Government itself.
lies, to extinguish the Indian titlo thereto."
H. of R.)
Removal of the Indians.
(May 19, 1830.
The bill then provides the means for co-operating with | and Alabama. These States, claiming to be the only the States of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, in re- sovereigns within their limits, extended their laws over
1 moving the Indians within their limits. It is not a substan. the Indians, which induced the latter to call on the United tive measure, ending where it begins, in the legislation of States for protection." Congress and the action of the General Government. It The President, after an argument on the extent of the is a joint policy. We are to do part, and the States to do right of the Indians to erect an independent Goveromet
, part. We are to furnish the money, and a portion of the ad argument sufficiently examined already in this debate, machinery. The great principle of motion proceeds from goes on to say: the States. They are to move the Indians. We are to Actuated by this view of the subject, I informed the pay the expense of the operation.
lodians inbabiting parts of Alabama and Georgia, that their What is the warraut for such a statement? I admit, as attempt to establish an independent Government would amply as gentlemen please, that it has long been the pot be countenanced by the Executive of the United States, policy of the General Government to remove the Indians and advised them to emigrate beyond the Mississippi, or from their lands, if their consent could be obtained, in submit to the laws of the States." treaties negotiated with them, as thus far independent bo It is plain that it was the first part only of this adrice, cieties. It is a policy we bave long pursued, and with a viz. the removal, that the President thought it for the insuccess which, one would think, would satisfy the warmest terest of the Indians to follow. This we see in the followfriend of Indian cessions. We have acquired east aud ing language of the Secretary of War, in his instructions to west of the Mississippi, by treaties, about two hundred and Generals Carroll and Coffee, bearing date 30th May, 1889: thirty millions of acres of land. I do not wish to be un “A crisis in our Indian affairs has arrived. Strong indi derstood as condemning this policy. The consideration paid cations are seen of this in the circumstance of the Legislato the Indians bas, I believe, generally been to them a fair tures of Georgia and Alabama extending their laws over equivalent for the value which the lands ceded poseeseed the Indians wiibid their respective limits. These acts, it is in their hands. But with the four southern tribes, the reasonable to presume, will be followed by other States policy had been pushed so far, and so rapidly, that they interested in those portions of their soil, vow in the ottehad come to the resolution that they would cede no more. pancy of the Indians. In the right to exercise such jurz We tried it with each tribe; through the agency of the diction, the Executive of the United States fully codears; most respectable and skilful commissioners ; by the offer and this bas been officially announced to the Cherokee It of the largest bribes; by the force of the most unwearied diaps. The President is of opiniop that the only mode importunity. The answers came, at last, in terms from left for the Indians to escape the effects of such enactments, one of them, and in substance from all: “ that they would and consequences yet more destructive, which are consenot cede another foot of land.” Such, no doubt, was their quent on their contiguity with the whites, is to emigrate." determination, but they could not have adhered to it; and The President views the Indians as the children of the if the States had been willing to exercise a little patience, Government. He sees what is best for them; and that s there is no doubt that they would, in the course of no long perseverance in their refusal to fly the dangers that sorperiod of years, bave obtained all they wish. This they round them, must result in their misery and final destroe did not think it expedient to do. The United States baving tion. He would, if appeals to their reason fail, induce abandoned for the present the hope of obtaining by treaty them, by rewards, to avoid the threatened calamity. any more lands from the southern tribes, and it having “ Your first business, should you consent to engage in been determined, in the words of President Monroe, that this work of mercy to the Indians, would be to ascertain force was not to be thought of, the matter must, under the upon whom, as pivots, the will of the Cherokees and Creeds constitution and laws of the States, for the present, bave turns. Go to them, not as a negotiator, but frieod. Open rested where it stood three years ago. There is no way to each a view of bis danger, and the danger that threaten known to the constitution and laws of the United States, bis people. This may be made up of references to their by which the Indian land can be acquired, but conquest in present state, as to vumbers, when compared with the past; open war, and amicable agreement by treaty.
the causes that have produced this thinuing of their bemHere, then, the States step in with the novel, and, as I bers; and here you might enlarge on their comparatire regard it and deem it fully proved in this debate, the un. degradation as a people, and the total impossibility of constitutional and illegal'extension of their ordinary civil their ever attaining to bigber privileges while they retain and criminal jurisdiction over these tribes, accompanied their present relations to a people who seek to get rid of with enactments peculiarly operative and oppressively them; to the inefficiency of their own laws for their sit binding on them. The Indians (with whom we have ne- vancement; and, finally, to the fact that these will be super gotiated treaties promising them protection, come and seded and trodden under foot by the exercise over them ask to be protected against this unbeard of assumption of the laws of the States. And here you night amply They ask us to ward off the blow aimed at them; to arrest illustrate the really difficult relation which the Cherokees, the strong arm stretched out against them. The Presi- particularly, bear to this question, by the passing over dent tells them he cannot do it. The Executive Govern. them of the various laws of four States." ment reiterates that we cannot, shall not, will not give This is the language held by the President and Secretary them this protection; and the President advises them to re- of War, as to the character and effect of these State laws move westward.
That the Indians regard them in the same light as connect Now, what are these laws | I will not dow specify their ed with their own removal, is seen, if it deed confirmatico, provisions. It is sufficient to say, in the general, that they in Governor Carroll's despatch to the Secretary of War. are such, by all admission, that the Indians cannot live in a letter dated Winchester, Tennessee, 20 September, under them. The Indians say they cannot live under them. 1829, that most respectable and distinguished citizen uges The Executive tells then they cannot live under them. the following language: The States evidently do not expect that they can or will « The truth is, they (the Indians) rely, with great cutlive under them. The laws were, beyond all question, fidence, on a favorable report on the petition they have not passed with any such design; they are not so regarded before Congress. If that is rejected, and the laws of the by the Indians, nor by ourselves. What says the Chief States are enforced, you will have no difficulty in pro Magistrate ?. “A portion of the southern tribes having curing an exchange of lands with them." mingled much with the whites, and made some progress Sir, I have seeu au authentic account of the proceedin the arts of civilized lise, have lately attempted to erectings of the Choctaw council, lately convened to consider an independent Government within the limits of Georgia this subject of emigration. It was a scene, we are lodd
May 19, 1830.)
Removal of the Indians.
[H. OF R.
by the Mississippi papers, that could not be witnessed with, he says: “ By persuasion and force they have been made 2 out tears. After the new chief had been installed in office, to retire from river to river, and from mountain to mounL“ be introduced to the council the subject of a removal in tain." When were any means employed to detrude the
this way: he first stated some of the laws of Mississippi, Indians, better entitled than these laws to the vame of # and then inquired of them whether they would remain force ? He does not probably refer to open wars against
where they were, and submit to these laws, or remove hostile nations in which he has been himself, so benefii over the Mississippi. He also stated the substance of the cially for his country, and so much to his own fame, dis
last talk to them of the President of the United States. The tinguished. No. I take the message to inter.d legislative i captains and others rose and spoke: the general sentiment force, moral force, duress, the uptiring power of civilized was, we are distressed--we cannot endure the laws of Mis man pushing his uncivilized neighbor farther and farther
sissippi-we do not think our great father loves us—we into the woods. This I take to be the force to which the i must go, as he will not help us while we remain here." President alludes. And if this kind of action, unavoidably
If another authority is needed, I will add that of Gene- incident to the contiguity of the two races, be justly called ral Coffee, in a letter to the Secretary of War, dated Creek force, how much more so the legislation of which the Ini Agency, October 14, 1829: “They express a confident dians complain, avowedly instituted to effect their removal, hope that Congress will interpose its power, and prevent and confessedly insupportable ita nature ! the States from extending their laws over them. Should Sir, it is force. It is because it is force that our interthey be disappointed in this, I hazard little in saying that ference for protection is invoked. I know it comes in the
the Government will have little difficulty in removing them form of law; but is not the law force Suppose the Inwest of the Mississippi.".
dians disobey the laws, (and they are no more bound to If the States enforce the laws they will be glad enough obey them than the Mexicans are,) is there no force then! - to go!
Are not the sheriff, the constable, the jailor; the execuThe States declare they will enforce them. The In- tioper, ministers of force ! No force ! A law passed over dians cry to us for protection. We tell them we will not my head by a power which I cannot resist, a law intended protect them; and the consequence is, they go.
to make me fly, the country, because I cannot live under This bill is to appropriate the funds for their removal. it, and I not forced to go ! There was no force, then, ap
Such is the bill of which we are told that there is nothing plied against the Huguenots by the revocation of the edict in it objectionable, that it contemplates nothing compul- of Nantz. They bad only to adopt the catholic faith, and sory. This is the removal which is said to be voluntary. dragoons were sent among them to assiet in their converThese are the laws which are said to have no connexion sion. There was no force employed by the British Gowith the subject; into wbich, we have been told, it is irre- vernment towards the puritans. They needed ovly to conlevant and idle to inquire.
form to the established church, and they would then be Nothing to do with the subject ! Take the bill as it is ! safe from the visitations of the star chamber. But it was Not to presume that Georgia, Alabama, or Mississippi has well known that these victims of power could not and passed, or can pass, any law that varies this question i Wby, would not submit; and history has recorded that they were it is the very point on which the rightfulness of the mea- driven by force from their native land. I do not say that sure turns. Here is wrapped up the great objection to the State laws are as oppressive as these odious measures the removal, that it is compulsory ; an objection which we of a dark and bigoted age in Europe. I do but take their published ten thousand copies of the report of the Indian admitted character, which is such that the Indians cannot committee to obviate; and which is not touched, I believe, live under them. The peculiar kind and degree of the in that report. The State laws nothing to do with our le- disability imposed by the laws are immaterial, if
, in the gislation | Why, they are the very means on which our general result, they are, as they are admitted to be, inagents rely to move the Indians. It is the argument first tolerable. and last on their tongues. The President uses it; the Se. I say agaiu, then, that legal force is the most efficient cretary uses it; the commissioners use it. The States have and formidable that can be applied. It is systematic, it is passed the laws. You cannot live under them. We can calculated and measured to effect its end. The sovereign not and shall not protect you from them. We advise you, power sits calmly in its council chamber, and shapes its as you would save your dear lives from destruction, to go. measures most effectively to the desired object. Actual
1 appeal to the House if I overstate this point. physical force is either tumultuary, as that of the mob,
The question, then, is, shall we nerve the arm of this and of consequence transitory; or it is thac of the military State legislation, which is put forth forcibly to remove the arm of the Government, which, from the nature of things, Indians ? That is the question for us to decide . It is the is put forth only at a crisis, and to meet the exigency of only question, and we are the only authority. This Cod- an occasion. But force embodied in the form of law, a gress is the only tribunal clothed with power to decide it. compulsory legislation, a code beneath which I cannot live, It depends on our vote; and it depeuds on nothing else. a duress which surrounds me, and pursues me whithersoever It is the business of the President to enforce our laws, not I travel, wherever I abide; ever acting by day, ever watchthe laws of the States. He is soleinnly sword, to the best ful by night, co-extensive with the land in which I live; of his ability, to “preserve, protect, and defend the con- sir
, I Bubmit to this Congress of reasonable men, that it is stitution of the United States," to take care that the laws the most effectual, and the most appalling form in which we pass are faithfully executed; and “this constitution and force can be applied, the most disheartening. All other the laws of the United States made in pursuance thereof, force awakens a manly courage of resistance. But this and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the deadly influence of an unfriendly legislation, tbis cold authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law averted eye of a Government, which has checks and reof the land, and the judges in every State shall be bound straints for you, but do encouragements por hopes : in thereby, any thing in the constitution or laws of any State short, this institution of things which is intended to deto the contrary potwithstanding."
press, harass, and prostrate you, beneath which you feel The President, then, bas no power in this matter but to you cannot live, and which drives you as an outcast from execute the laws and treaties of the United States. The your native land; this is the force wbich every freeman great question is to be settled by us. We are to protect would most deprecate. the Indians from this legislation, or abandon them to it. Sir, I acknowledge my mind has been strangely conNo other power op earth can do it.
founded by the propositions laid down by the ExecuSir, it is force. The President himself authorizes us to tive Government, and those who support its policy tocall it force. In his message, at the opening of the session,' ward the Indiaus. I am ready to think that they or I
H. Or R.]
Removal of the Indians.
(May 19, 1830.
have lost sight of the ordinary sigoificancy of terms. I had fear from this law of Georgia! He has this to fear. The supposed the general idea of the pature of law was set-citizens of Georgia, I admit, freely and cheerfully, to be tled in the common agreement of mankind. Sages, when as orderly, virtuous, and humane å people as the citizens they attempted to describe it in its bighest conception, of any other State of the Union.
I presume, however, bad told us that its seat was the bosom of God, and its that in Georgia, as in every other State, there are indi voice the harmony of the worlds. I had been taught to viduals, in considerable numbers, who regard the law only reverence the law as a sort of earthly Providence; as the for its terrors; whom justice and honesty do not control, er great popular sovereign; the unthroned and scepterless cept as they are enforced by the law. Such men exist in priuce ; the mild dictator, whose province it was to see that all the States ; they keep our courts of criminal jurisdic not a single subject of its sway received harm. With these tion constantly employed. In my own State, and in per conceptions, how can I understand it when I bear that the haps the most orderly community in it, the country has Indians claim to be protected against the laws of the States ? lately seen, with horror and astonishment, that there are Protected against the laws! I thought it was the object men capable of atrocities which would shock the brigands of the law to protect every good man from all barm what- of Calabria Well, then, sir, suppose the State of Geors ever ; and even to visit on the bad man only tbe specific gia to contain some such ; they bave but to cross the Cheropenalty of his proven offence. But protection against the kee line; they have but to choose the time and the place
, law; protection against the protector! Sir, I cannot un where the eye of 'no white map can rest upon them, and derstand it: it is incongruous. It confounds my faculties. they may burn the dwelling, waste the farm, plunder the There must be fatal mischief concealed in so strange a con property, assault the person, murder the children of the tradiction of language.
Cherokee subjects to Georgia, and, though hundreds of the It has been asked, in a highly respectable quarter," what tribe may be looking on, there is not one of them that can has a Cherokee to fear from the laws of Georgia!" Is it be permitted to bear witness against the spoiler. When I necessary for me to answer that question, and tell what a am asked, then, what the Cherokee has to fear from the man has to fear from laws under which it is admitted he law of Georgia, I answer, that, by that law, he is left at cannot live? But I will answer the question specifically : the mercy of the firebrand and dagger of every unprido and, in the answer I give, I implore gentlemen whose pled wretch in the community. Am I told the laws of duty it is to vindicate the bonor of Georgia, not to under-| Georgia are kindly administered towards this people; that stand me as casting any imputation upon it. I will say po- they have often obtained justice in the courts of Georgia! thing which the most tender sensibility can construe into I do not doubt it I know it, on the best authority. But an aspersion of her honor, because I mean nothing which the law of which I speak, is a new law; it has not yet gone can be so construed. I will state, then, what a Cherokee into operatiou ; and, when it bas gone into operation, let it bas to fear from the laws of Georgia.
be adıninistered as mildly as you please, it cannot admit By the fifteenth section of her law of 19th December, an Indian's testimony against a white man not resident in 1829, it is provided “ that do Indiau, or descendant of any the nation. Indian, residing within the Creek or Cherokee nation of What has a Choctaw to fear from the laws of Mississip Indians, sball be deemed a competent witness in any court piHe has this to fear. The fifth section of one of those in tbis State to which a white person may be a party, ex. laws provides" that any person or persons who shall sscept such white person reside within the said nation." sume on him or themselves, and exercise, in any manner
It would be going out of my way to dwell on the point, whatever, the office of chief, mingo, head man, or other yet I cannot but remark, in passing, that this law makes a post of power established by the tribal statutes, ordinances
, singular discrimivation, both as respects the credibility of or customs of the said Indians, and dot particularly recre Indian testimony and the rights of Georgian citizens, whom nised by the laws of this State, sball, on conviction, opoo it is the presumable intention of the law to protect against indictment or presentment before a court of competent jų. evidence which cannot, in its alleged pature, be sufficient- risdiction, be filled in any sum not exceeding one thousand ly responsible. Georgia bas attached the different portions dollars, and be imprisoned any time not exceeding twelve of the Cherokee country to her several adjacent counties, months, at the discretion of the court before whom convie and made them parts of those counties. It is well known, tion may be had." also, that, in proportion as the Cherokees have been drawn Now, sir, there is a treaty between the United States off by emigration, citizens of Georgia bave advanced into and the Choctaw nation, negotiated at Doak's stand, not the country, and numbers of them are now resident there. ten years ago, and signed on bebalf of the United States Against these latter, the Cherokee is a competent witness by the present Chief Magistrate, and the respectable mettin a court of law. Here, then, we have the singular incon- ber [Mr. HINDS] from Mississippi. The thirteenth article gruity that Indian testimony is good against a Georgian of that treaty is as follows : to enable the mingoes, ebieis, citizen in one part of a county, and not good against and head men of the Choctaw nation to raise and organize him in the other. Thus the citizen of the county of Gwin a corps of light-borse, consisting of ten in each district, ** nett, who lives at Lawrenceville, is safe against Indian tes- tbat good order may be maintained, and that all men, both timony. But the citizen of the same county, west of the white and red, may be compelled to pay their just debts
, Cbatahoochee, may be tried and convicted on that testi- it is stipulated and agreed that the sum of two hundred mony in the same court. So, too, the Cherokee is an in-dollars shall be appropriated by the United States for each competent witness; he cannot give testimony, on a suffi- district annually, and placed in the bands of the agent, to ciently responsible sanction, against any citizen of Law.pay the expenses incurred in raising and establishing the renceville; butftbe court will receive bis testimony as ade- said corps; which is to act as executive officers, in maat quate in any cause in which a citizen of Georgia from the taiping good order, and compelling bad men to remote other side of the river is a party. It is an obvious conse from the nation, who are not authorized to live in it by a quence of this state of things, that the same Indian, in the regular permit of the agent.”. same court, and on the same day, is and is not a compe Now, as I understand the law of Mississippi, any person tent witness. This hour, be is, according to the argu- who should presume to act as a chief among the Choctas, ment, an upcivilized pagan, possessing no religion por su- and to exercise the authority given bim by this treaty, ssd perstition by which the court can bind his conscience ; the put in action the force which the Voited States not only next hour he may swear away the life of any Georgian re-recognise aud sanction, but support and pay, would be sident in the Indian country. Does not this show that the subject to fioe and imprisonment. If tbey come to the law has no foundatiou in any political or social necessity! President and say, bere is the treaty, and here is your own
But I return to the question, what bas the Cherokee to l signature and seal; the President has been induced, by bis
May 19, 1830.)
Removal of the Indians.
(H. OF R.
official advisers, to tell them he cannot protect them, and for the voluntary removal of the Indians ; and this, as I to prison they must go, and their fine they must pay, have said, was long before the attempt bad ever been whenever it shall be the interest of any one to drag them made, by the States of Georgia, Alabama, or Mississippi, before the courts of Mississippi. Sir, it has been stated to extend their laws over the Indians within their limite. to me. I do not vouch for the fact, but so I have been in- That this pretension is of the most recent character, the furmed, that, since the passage of this law, the whiskey passages cited by the gentleman from Maine [Mr. Evans] traders have made their inroads into the Choctaw country; from the speech of the Senator from Mississippi, in 1827, the chief dare not exercise their own strict laws against abundantly prove-if, indeed, the fact be not too notorious them, for fear of incurring the severe penalties above re. to require proof. cited ; and thus the first-fruits of this Siate legislation has I therefore pronounce again the policy of this bill to be been to arrest the progress of the reform, which had com. wholly novel. Its great distinctive element, the part to menced and made the most extraordinary progress among be performed by State legislation, is entirely new. It is not the nation, in that vice to wbich they are supposed to have three years old. When gentlemen tell me this is the anthe strongest natural disposition.
cient policy of the Government, let them point out the I have shown, sir, what au lodian has to fear from the laws, passed by the States, under which it was impossible laws of the States. I now feel warranted in repeating that for the Indians to live, and which required them to remove it is the object of this bill to appropriate a sum of money, in order to escape destruction. These laws cannot be to co-operate with the States in the compulsory removal pointed out. It is a new policy: The State laws are not of the Indians.
two years old; and the refusal of the Executive of the Notwithstanding all that has been said to the contrary, United States to protect the Indians against them, is not a I pronounce this to be a new policy. We have been told year old. On the 11th of last April, the officer at the head that it is the established policy of the Government; that of the bureau of Indian Affairs informs the Cherokee dele. many successive Presidents have recommended it; and gation, by direction of the Secretary of War, “That the many successive Congresses have appropriated funds to Secretary is not now prepared to decide the question, incarry it into effect; and much surprise is expressed that volved in the act of the Legislature of Georgia, to which now, for the first time, it should meet with opposition. I you refer, in which provision is made for extending the maintain, on the contrary, that it is a new policy, and I laws of Georgia over your people after the 1st of June, challenge the proof that it is not.
1830. It is a question which will doubtless be the subject Sir, I do not know that even the voluntary removal of the of congressional inquiry, and what is proper in regard to Indians was ever regularly considered and adopted by Con- it will no doubt be ordered by that body.” gress, the only power competent to adopt it. I koow that, So late, then, as the 11th of April of the last year, the from time to time, steps have been taken to effect such a essential feature of this "ancient policy" bad pot received voluntary removal by treaties, and that appropriations the sanction of the present Executive. On the 30th of have been made to carry the treaties into effect. This is the May following, (not yet a year,) we learn from the inthe most that has been dope by Congrese. I am aware structions of the Departinent to Generals Carroll and Cofthat, at the second session of the eighteenth Congress, a fee, that, “in the right to exercise syeh jurisdiction"bill passed the Sennte, but was not, I believe, acted on tbat of the States over the lodiaps—" the Executive fully in the House, which made an approach toward a systematic concurs." removal of the Indians ; carefully guarded, lowever, to be It is, in my judgment, much to be regretted that the purely voluntary; and this bill passed at a time before the President should bave felt himself authorized to decide this coerciou of State laws was thought of. The provisions of question, wbich, about six weeks before, bad been prothat bill are widely different from the provisions of the bill nounced by the Secretary of War to be a matter ip regard before us, and coincide with the judicious amendment to to which“ do remedy exists, short of one which Congress the latter whicb the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. alone can supply." | HEMPHILL) has already announced the intention of otfer On the strength of these documents, I may venture to ing, and for which I tender bim my hearty thanks. The pronounce this policy (wbich has been recommended to us third section of the bill which passed the Senate in 1825, as the ancient and established policy of the Government) provideg
to be the growth of the last twelve months. * That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized, And now, sir, let us proceed to contemplate it in some by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to ap- of its details. The notion which seems to accompany this point five commissioners, to receive a reasonable compen- plan of removal, in both the voluntary and compulsory sation, wbo shall, under his instructions, hold treaties with forms, the notion, I mean, of an Indian State to be elevated the Osages, the Kanzas, or any other tribe having just to an equality with the political inembers of this Union, claims to the country, for a cession of territory westward appears to have presented itself
vaguely to the old Conof the State and Territory aforesaid, for the purpose above gress. In the treaty with the Delawares, negotiated in specified: and to visit the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, 1778, it is provided as follows in the sixth article: and Chickasaws, residing in North Carolina, Georgia, Ten " It is further agreed op between the contracting parties, nessee, Alabama, and Mississippi ; the Delawares, Kicka- (should it for the future be found conducive for the mutual poos, Shawnees, Weas, loways, Piankeshawa, Cherokees, interests of both parties,) to invite any other tribes, wbo and Osages, residing in Missouri and Arkansas ; and the have been friends to the ioterests of the United States, to Wyandota, Shawnees, Senecas, Delawares, Kaskaskias, join the present confederation, and to furm a State, and the Miami aud Eel river ludians, residing in Obio, Illi- whereof the Delaware nation shall be the head, and have pois, and Indiana, in order to make known to them the a representation in Congress." It was also provided in the views of the Government; and, under the directions of the treaty of Hopewell with the Cherokees, in order that President, and with the consent of the Indians, to adopt such the lodiang may have full confidence in the justice of the measures, and form such arrangements, or to enter into United States, respecting their interests, they shall have such treaties, as may be deemed proper to effect the same, the right to sebd a deputy, of their choice, whenever they and to pledge, in such manner as he may direct, the faith see fit, to Congress." of the nation, as he is above authorized to do; the said It is unnecessary to say that these stipulations were never commissioners to act either jointly or separately, as he way carried into effect. They are properly quoted as illustrntdirect."
ing the opinions, held at that period, on the subject of InThis is the nearest approach that I am aware was ever dian relations. Each of these treaties existed prior to the made to the enactment, by Congress, of a systematic plan constitution, and was recognised by that instrumeut, and,