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MAY 19, 1830.)
Removal of the Indians.
(H. of R.
Spited States to hold a conference with the Cherokees He reminds them that the Secretary of War has told
t Turkey Town, on Coosa river, for the purpose of ex: them they deserve the severest censure; that, after the singuishing part or all the Cherokee claim of land, but did ratification of the treaty, resistance to its fair execution sot, at that time, get his ends accomplished. Some time cnn be considered little short of hostility; that threats of fter this, Governor McMinn was appointed commissioner fered to those who choose to emigrate, or take reserva? conclude said treaty at Hiwassee, when we fully un- tions, cannot be allowed; that such measures are in open erstood our country was to be given up as a part of violation of the treaty, and will in their final event avail nid cession ; but, finally, they did not treat with Governor them nothing; that the United States will not permit the IcMion, and appointed a delegation altogether from the treaty to be defeated by such means. pper part of the nation, giving us do chance to be heard He tells them it is vain for tbe Cherokees to bold the Sall. These went on to the federal city, and made a high tone which they do about their independence as a kreaty to please then,selves, which made ihem and their nation : for daily proof is exhibited, that their existence is viends all rich, by getting money and reservations of six preserved by the protecting arm of the United States. Ejupdred and forty acres of the best lands in all the coud He tells them the United States cannot protect them in sy; in the mean time, getting rights in fee simple for all their present condition, and concludes by saying: • Your Deir relations, (a great part boys and women,) that never people, as well as others, must become industrious from
ad been of apy service to their country, and leaving men decessity, for pone ever will be so from choice; and the - at who have been of essential service to the United States. greater space they have to occupy, the greater will be quch as Captain John Thompson, for one, whom you were their inducements to idleness." well acquainted with during the war. True it is, some of In a subsequent communication, he calls on them to disp did eprol our pames as Arkansas emigrants, not know. avow, is suitable terms, the improper interference of their ug but our lands were sold at the same time; and fiuding, officers in opposing the execution of the treaty, and to shortly after, they were not, we sat still on our farms that decree in future that it shall be criminal in their officers se bad made, thinking no one had a better right thao we and citizens to use violence or threats against the properbo made them. Nevertheless, we plainly see there is no ty or persons of those who had removed, or wish to reeace for us on this side the Mississippi. Therefore, we move beyond the Mis-issippi. ave sent our long tried friend, Capiain James Reed, to In another, be expresses his astonishment at their conou, for the purpose of getting you to use your iufluence duct, and traces it to their having been taught to believe, ith the General Government, and your State members in as their council expressed themselves at Oostonally, “ we ongress, for us, the Creek Path people, to have privi. consider ourselves as a free and distinct nation, and that ge to sell our own part of the country, at a reasonable the United States have no police over us, furtber than a rice, to the United States, and for us to reap the benefit friendly intercourse in trude."
the proceeds of the sales, to enable us to move away in The Indians, in their concluding letter, decline making eace, well knowing the United States is not bound to fur- provisions for taking the census, and refuse to enact the ish us with any thing, without an equivalent, to defray laws proposed for the protection of the emigrants.
le expense io removing away. We are not able to move It appears, in the course of that correspondence, that ithout we can bave that privilege. The upper chiefs are every obstacle was thrown in the way of the execution of the ow in council, as we understand, for the purpose of sell-treaty of 1817, by the Indians. One of the plans laid for g all the Cherokee lands in the chartered limits of the this purpose, was " that the Cherokee light-borse should tate of Georgia. The next will be ours, if they can. wrest the property from the emigrants, which should be ur request is a reasonable one. We only want from the given to them by the United States, and apply it to debts outh of Short creek down, which is only eight miles contracted by them in the year past." pove Deposite, on Tennessee river; then to Coffee's bluff: The commissioner's firmness defeated this scheme. He sen, with the crooked lipe that General Coffee run, for threateved to consider it as an act of hostility against the e express purpose of favoring the Creek Path people, United States, and puvish it accordingly. herwise it would have been Government land before ibis Mr. W. next read an extract from Governor McMinn's
correspondence in 1818, 7th July: letter to Secretary of fx " The bearer can give you full information on the subject, War. saving lived among us for several years.
" The council, in answer to me, say, they disavow the 2.5" In confidence, we conclude, and remain your respect- right of reservations being made, except on the lands cedil brothers, as long as we live
ed at the treaty; but, to their countrymen, they openly [Signed] WASSAUCY,
denounce the pevalty to be death; the literal fulfilment of SPEAKER,
which many of them believe in with as much certainty GEORGE FIELDS,
as the christian in his God. Were it not for these declaGEORGE GESS,
rations, I should be able to enrol for emigration nearly the JAMES SPENCER,
whole nation." YOUNG WOLF,
To obviate these restraints, he told them, the United JOHN THOMPSON, Interpreler.” States stand pledged to protect the emigrants to Arkansas : Some idea may be formed of the proceedings of part of " yet so completely are they under the control of Hicks she tribe to defeat or evade the execution of the treaty of and others, that those who have given me assurances of
817, by a reference to the official documents of that day, their going to the West, dare not even look at me, or Y'or the purpose of showing these, and the threats held speak to me, unless after night; and then they would keep »ut against such of the Indians as should emigrate, or at themselves concealed in the grass and bushes, as if in the
tempt to emigrate, Mr. W. begged leave to read an ab- lands of their enemies." tract of Governor McMinn's correspondence, as United Mr. W. quoted an abstract from the correspondence of states' commissioner, with the Cherokees, in 1818. Messrs. Campbell and Meriwether, United States' comig! He tells them, the treaty of 1817 had its foundation in missioners, with the Cherokees, in 1823. They tell them,
heir own application to President Jefferson, in 1809, for that “ If they cherish the idea of independence and selfy eave to exchange their own country, in wbich game was government within the States,) tire sooner it is corrected, xhausted, for a country west of the Mississippi. the better. The United States will not permit it. While
He submits to them the choice, under the treaty, of re- they are within the limits of the States, the State sovereignty moving west of the Mississippi, or remaining on reserva- must prevail, and they must become merged in the white ions, and becoming citizens of the United States. population, and take the standing of individual citizens.
H. OF R.)
Removal of the Indians.
(MAY 19, 183.
The Secretary of War, J. C. Calhoun, in his letter, 30th | pot till then, does he come under that obligatiou., T.€ January, 1824, tells the Cherokees:
and not till then, has be invoked the vengeance of his dai' “ You must be sensible that it will be impossible for you ties upon the guilt of perjury. Sir
, can you perform the to remain for any length of time in your present situation, ceremonies in a court of justice? Can such a man be ! as a distinct society or nation, within the limits of Georgia a witness there? or any other State. Such a community is incompatible But it is said that these Indians are christians : a lees with our system, and must yield to it. Surrounded as you very few of them may be so; and there was, in his are by the people of the several States, you must either no doubt that the just poiut of discrimination would set cease to be a distinct community, and become, at no dis- dily be seized by the Legislature of the State of Gen. tant period, a part of the State within whose limits you are, But as to the christianity of the mass of the Cherokees
, tal or remove beyond the limits of any State.”
asked leave to quote the testimony of a witness wbovc; "The Cherokees reply that they will cede no more be allowed competent, even by the gentleman from ble land.” “They recommend the United States to indemnify sachusetts, (Mr. EVERETT) and the gentlemen from Cut Georgia, by ceding Florida to her;"" and that they cannot vecticut : [Messrs. EllSWORTH and HUNTINGTON] he sp* recoguise the sovereignty of any State within the limits of of the reverend Mr. Evarts; and the passage bestui their territory."
quote was to be found in the appendix to the reverend 114 "In the letter of the Georgia delegation in Congress to Morse's report. the President of the United States, dated March 10, 1824, “ Notwithstanding these encouraging appearances, bar. they ask, “ how bas it happened that the Cherokees of ever, it is not to be disguised that mapy things still rethe upper towns, most of whom were without the limits of maining among the Cherokees are greatly to be depleta Georgia, and who desired to be permanently fixed on the Much poverty and wretchedpess, several gross ricet
. lands upon which they then lived, were induced in 1819 ticularly drunkenness, and an almost total ignorades to abandon their designs, and many of them to become iv. God, bis law, and the plan of salvation." habitants of the region beyond the Mississippi; while the These are the men, all of whom are worthy to be tiCherokees of the lower towns, most of them within the desses, and this is the witness who has been called to test State of Georgia, anxiously desiring to remove 1817, fy in their favor! were in 1819 tempted to remain, and were filled with the Mr. W. said he would offer a few reflections on the sh desire of a permanent establishment there ?"
ject of State legislation over the Indians. Mr. W. continued :
The strong necessity there exists of providing for the The character of the legislation of Georgia has been ob government, is proved by the universal practice. Every jected to. Sir, no State in the Union has exhibited more one of the old States, except Georgia, subjected the regard for the lives, liberty, and property of the lodiaps, vages to their laws, as soon as they could do it with sakty than Georgia.
Georgia has been the last, because the conduct of the GX As early as 1774, the murder of an Indian was made as verument of the United States fastened, for a longer tad penal as the murder of a white man. Rescuing a prisoner a greater number of Indians on her territory. In cont committed for such a crime, is made felony.
mation of this, be referred to pages 5, 8, and 9 of In 1783, when the land office was opened, burveys made Bell's report, and the compilation of State and colociz
? on Iudian lands were declared to be void. Twenty shil. laws relative to the Indians, published by order of the lings an acre penalty was imposed for making such surveys: House. He did not advert to those laws at present for upon an average, about three times as much as the value any other purpose than to prove the fact of legislson of the land.
How-in what spirit for what purpose was a matter is. The act of 1785 contained similar provisions. By the those wbo passed them, not for bim. The fact unde in act of 1787, persons making such surveys were subjected edly was, that, while the Indians were strong, the swd to corporal punishment, not less than one hundred nor gave the law: when they became weak, the law assumed more than five hundred lashes for the first offence, and the the sword. No state, no colony, vo christian commut second was made felony: So the law stauds to this day. had ever recognised their perfect and entire sovereig: All the land acts contain provisions securing the Indian They have always been held dependent on the christus hunting grounds.
nation which claimed the country they inbabit. They ar The act extending the laws of Georgia, so much com- not allowed to treat with foreign nations. They do at plained of, contains no disabilities, imposes no bardships. coin money. They cannot be said to send ambassades They are put upon the footing of citizens; they are not They have no freedom of commerce. They cannot be said taxed. The proposal to tax was rejected, lest it should to bave a regular form of Government or system of laes. be supposed that there was a determination to sell their The punishment of crimes is generally left to private të lands upon the non-payment of the tax. Georgia forbore geance. The practice of acquiring or extinguishing tter to include them in her census, and thereby swell her re- occupancy of the soil, was established and continued as 3. presentative population, which she might have done agree- matter of convenience and expediency, not of rigbt. Eres ably to the constitution, simply, because, by including them the right of making war, which seems to have been ki: as “ Indians taxed," she might be accused of using taxa- them as a relic of incurable barbarism, which could not be tion as an instrument of oppression.
restrained without punishing them for murder, vas The provision, with respect to Indian evidence, bad proposed to be taken from them, by such benevolent ol. been well explained by his eloquent friend and colleague, pious individuals as those who now rely upon the possessica [Mr. Forsytu) in another body; certain he was, that any of that very power as a proof of Indian independence. gentleman who had the pleasure of hearing that explana In the fifth annual report of the United Foreign Ms tion, must be perfectly satisfied. That provision of the siopary Society, the war then raging between the Dark act was, in truth, a relaxation of the common law rule of and the Cherokees of Arkansas is adverted to, and the evidence. By what form of ndjuration will you bind the ure of a bill reported in Congress, empowering the Presil conscience of an Indian Will you swear him on the Old dept to suppress Indian wars by military force, lamected or the New Testament, on the Koran or the Shaster? Sir, The subject States of the Roman empire, to which is he believes in none of these, Under what circumstances tel denies the character of nations, were much better edoes he conceive himself under an obligation to tell the titled to assert it than the Indians. What does be car. truth, and nothing but the truth? After his conjurors have sider as the indicia of sovereignty! Property in the sa performed their superstitious rites, and he has drank the incident to permanent occupaney, division and culins black drink, and assembled at the council fire, then, and tion; the right to make peace and var, contract alliane
May 19, 1830.)
Removal of the Indians.
[H. of R.
coin money, regulate trade, sell lands, punish crimes com It is depied that they are justly liable to either censure. mitted in their territory, &c.
The treaty of Hopewell was protested against as If they are sovereigo, upon what principle does a power manifest and direct attempt to violate the retained soveto regulate our commerce with them, in our own constitu- reignty and legislative right of the State, and repugnant
tion, authorize us to interdict their commerce with foreign to the principles and harmony of the Federal Union; in as in powers ? Upon what principles do we execute our reve- much as the aforesaid commissioners did attempt to exer
pue la our crime acts, our intercourse laws, and our cise powers that are not delegated by the respective States laws against the slave trade in their territory ? Upon what to the United States in Congress assembled." principle do we draw by our tariff some half a million of This protest is dated 11th February, 1786, and is now dollars annually, taken from the fruits of their labor in on your table. the chase, and levied on their necessaries of life?
The State of North Carolina, also, protested against If it were proposed now, as it was by General Washing that treaty, and her protest, also, has been reprinted at ton, in 1791, to establish a free port for the Indians upon this session. the Appalachicola, would the gentlemen who are such The State of Georgia, also, protested against the treastrenuous advocates for Indian rights, agree to it? Would ties of New York and of Coleraine, and against the interIndians have a right to hold slaves within a State where course act in 1797 ; that representation and remonstrance slavery was probibited! Could they proclaim freedom to are, also, before the House. all who touched their soil, in a State where slavery exists i Sir, at every step, Georgia has asserted her rights, and Could you not seize Africans illegally imported into the warned the Government of the United States of their inLudian country? Sir, it has been done.
fraction of them, This mockery of sovereignty-This phantom of indepen Now, sir, as to the reasonableness or unreasonableness dence this idle pageantry of a distinct Government with of them. The United States, by the treaty of New York, in the limits of the States, las long been regarded in its actually re-ceded to the Creeks a whole county in Georgia; true light. He referred to all the messages and docu- and, by their treaties with the Cherokees, what was called ments already quoted, and to the correspondence of Gene Wafford's settlement; wbich tracts of country bad previral Jackson with the War Department in 1821. The Chero. ously been ceded to the State by the Indians. kees were long since admonished that it must cease. These were among the subjects of complaint and re
In addition to the letter of Col. Mckenpey to the Secre. mopstrance. Well, sir, what did the committee to which tary of War, already quoted, Mr. W. said he might refer the reinonstrance of 1797 was referred, report? I bave to the opinion of Mr. Attorney General Wirt, upon the pre- that report before me, and will submit it to the House. tension set up by the Cherokee council to regulate their That a certain tract of country, within the limits of own trade, in which that pretension was resisted.
the State of Georgia, bounded by a line beginning at the Mr. W. next considered the character of the different fork of the Occupee and Oakmulgee rivers, and thence runportious of the Cherukee population.
ning in a southwest direction until it intersects the most White citizens, and their descendants. Can thuse men southern part of St. Mary's river; thence, down the said shake off their allegiance, by entering the Cherokee bunt- river, to the old lige, was ceded by the Oreek vation of ing grounds ?
Indians to. the said State, by a treaty beld between the Are not the children of citizens born on our soil, citizens ? commissioners of said State, and of the Creek Indians at Would they not be liable by our laws to the penalties of Galphiptou, on the 12th of November, 1785; which tract treason ?-of bigamy! Sir, questions eminently practical of country was, by the Legislature of the said State, formed must arise out of this state of things.
into a county, by the name of Tallassee county; and the Questions of inheritance. White men have, in some in. cession thereof was afterwards confirmed, at a treaty held stances, abandoned their white families, settled among the between the same parties, at Shoulderbone, on the 3d day i Iudians, married Indian women, and acquired, by marriage of November, 1786.
or otherwise, large personal estates. By the Indiau law, “ Your committee further report, That, by the treaty it is understood the children by the last wife take all. made at New York, between the United States and the
Questions must also arise out of the pursuit of fugitives Creek Indians, bearing date on the 7th of August, 1790, and slaves.
a boundary line was established between the said pation Questions about the recovery of debts. By the Indian of Indians and the United States, whereby the above delaw, as it appears by the report of Governors Cass and scribed tract of country, named Tallassee county, was deClark, all debts not paid within the year are considered clared to be within the Indian territory.
dead debts; and an Indian feels himself under po obliga • The committee bave pot been able to discover upon ition to pay them. This mode of liquidation would usually what principles this relinquishment of the territory of the Mfiud favor on one side of the contract ouly.
State of Georgia was assented to on the part of the United Looking at all these topics, Mr. W. asked, which of the States. It is therefore to be presumed that it was dones States—what christian nation, if such a community was set upon principles of geceral policy, with the intention of down in their
erritory to-morrow, would hesitate a mo- establishing a permanent peace between the United States ment about the wisdom, justice, propriety, and necessity of and the said Dation. They are therefore of opivion that executiug their laws upon it?
compensation ought to be made to the State of Georgia In short, sir, there seems no escape from the conclusion for the loss of this territory, and recommend to the House of a learued and eminent chief justice of New York. to adopt the following resolution : "I know of no half way doctrine on this subject. We " Resolved, Tbat the United States will make compensahave either an exclusive jurisdiction, pervading every part tion to the State of Georgia for the loss and damage subof the State, including the territory held by those Indians, tained by that State, in consequence of the cession of the or we bave no jurisdiction over them whilst acting within county of Tallassee, made to the Creek dation by the their reservations."
creaty of New York, unless it shall be deemed expedient Mr. W. said he would bere say something of the com to extinguish the Indian title to the said land. plaints of Georgia.
"Your committee bave paid particular attention to that At one time the Legislature and the people of that State part of the memorial which relates to the operation of the are represented as sanctioning, by their acquiescence, intercourse laws, and are uf opinion that part of that law every thing the United States bave done.
requires revisal and explanation ; but, on account of the adAt another they are charged with clamorous impatience vauced period of the session, and the variety of important and unreasonable discontent.
business ww before the House, they recommend that such
H. OF R.]
Removal of the Indians.
(May 19, 1830.
revisal be postponed until the next meeting of the Legisla., ment, is usually the first to lose his temper; and, if w ture."
the gentleman was clearly in the wrong. The gentlemsa In the compact of 1802, what do the United States ad- was very lavish in his censures-contrary to all maxims of mit? They say, sir
, in the fourth clause of the first article: political economy, as he feared it would procure do ade "That the United States shall, at their own expense, qnate return. The gentleman was very much shocked at extinguish, for the use of Georgia, as early as the same what Georgia had done. Mr. W. would tell him what can be peaceably obtained, on reasonable terms, the In Georgia had not done. She had never offered a premius dian title to the county of Tallasbee, to the lands left out by for Indian scalps. She had never given a bounty for rais the line drawn with the Creeks, in the year 1798, which ing dogs to hunt the Indians. She had never declared that had been previously granted by the State of Georgia ; an Indian tribe, by their hostilities, bad committed treasca, both of which tracts had formerly been yielded by the In- and forfeited their lands. dians," &c.
If such things had been done, the gentleman from Mat Now, sir, how was it with respect to the treaties of Gal. sachusetts could perhaps tell who did them. Had it really phinton and Shoulderbone, made by the savages with escaped the penetration of the gentleman, that the com Georgia in 1783 and 1786 1 The Indians complained of plaint of Georgia against the iutercourse act was, that it those treaties. Commissioners were appointed by the violated the constitutional rights of the State, and was a United States to investigate the complaints of the Indians usurpation of authority on the part of the Federal Go and the fairness of the treaties made by Georgia. These vernment ! Whether well or ill founded, this was the subcommissioners were among the most distinguished men of ject of remonstrance. their day : they were Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, Col. David Mr. W. said he did not intend to follow the bodorable Humphreys, and Cyrus Griffill, formerly President of Con- gentleman from Massachusetts, [Mr. EVERETT) who pre gress. What did they report?
ceded bim, through the course of his argument, but boped “The commissioners beg leave further to report, that, he might be indulged whith one or two observations. The after the most accurate investigation in their power to gentleman was willing to tote millions, without poreber, make, after consulting the best documents, and having re- to effect the object of removing the Indians peaceabls, course to credible depositions, they are unable to discover and with their own consent, and complying with the adbut that the treaty of Augusta, in 1783, the treaty of Gal. Imitted obligations of the United States to Georgia, if it phinton, 1785, and the treaty of Shoulderbone, 1786, were could be done without a violation of national faith, and a all of them conducted with as full and authorized re- due regard to humanity. And yet the gentleman entered presentalions, with as much substantial form and good faith, into a minute, and, as Mr. , W. thought, an exaggerated as Indian treaties have usually been conducted, or perhaps calculation of the expense, as if to terrify gentlemen can be, when one of the contracting parties is destitute of who might be less liberal than himself. He complained the benefit of enlightened society; that the lands in ques- that it was proposed to remove the lodians “ oot in cartion did, of right, belong to the lower Creeks as Their riages, por on horseback, but on foot." Did the gentlensa hunting grounds; have been ceded by them to the State really imagine he could get one Indian in ten to enter s of Georgia for a valuable consideration, and were possessed carriage ? If the gentleman desired they should be furand cultivated some years without any claim.or molesta pished with post-coaches, that, too, would bare been a tion by any part of the Creek nation."
fair item in his estimate of expenditure. Such, sir, 18 a specimen of the unreasonableness of the Sir, the gentleman from Massachusetts wished to find complaints of Georgia.
bimself under a moral necessity to vote for this measure. Then came the compact of 1802. The mode in which He has not been able to find that necessity now, though be that contract has been attempted to be executed or evaded, found it some years since, in 1826, when he voted for the on the part of the United States, has been examined ; and appropriations to assist certain Indian tribes to emigrate I ask any honest, candid, dispassionate man, after looking west of the Mississippi, according to the provisions of the at these facts, to answer me, upon bis honor, this question : Creek treaty. [Here Mr. Everett asked Mr. W. in s Has Georgia no reason to complain ?
low tone, " And who voted against that bill "] Mr. W. The arrangements of Mr. Jefferson with the Cherokees, said be would tell the gentleman from Massachusetts, since in 1807 and 1809, and the treaty of 1817, held out to us he bad asked the question. Nearly all the Georgia dele the delusive hope that the just expectations of Georgia gation. And why, sir ? Georgia affirmed the validity of were at last to be fulfilled. The Cherokees within our the treaty of the lodian Springs, and denied that of the limits were willing to go; they had applied to be allowed treaty of Washington ; and the then Executive of the to go. Six thousand had gone. Wlien, suddenly, witb. United States bad intimated the necessity of using the milout any just, reasonable, or assignable cause, they are tary power of the United States to coerce Georgia to submade to stay, the treaty of 1817 is abandoned, and that of mission. Sir, this roused the feelings of the people of 1819 substituted. Sir, had not the delegation from Geor- Georgia to a state of which I presume the gentleman from gia a right to ask, “ How bas it happened ?”
Massachusetts has no idea ; but he may perhaps form some, Sir, that question has not yet been answered. It never when I tell him I have seen the mother teaching to be will be answered. The people of Georgia indeed have child, as the first prattle of infancy, the then watch word their own conjectures how it happened. But I am not of the State rights party, Troup and the treaty ! going into that matter now.
Sir, I beg pardon for being moved a moment from my Tho gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. BATEs] had philosophy, by the question of the gentleman from Masenumerated, among the complaints of the people of Geor- sachusetts. That controversy is decided. The people gia, in tbe memorial against the intercourse act of 1797, bave passed upon it. I do not desire to revive it now that it restrained them from killing an Indian when they and bere. But if the gentleman bas been able to find, pleased. The gentleman seemed to suppose, or wished in the vote of the then delegation of Georgia, any other others to suppose, it was one of the customary amusements motives than those I bave mentioned, he has discovered of the country. Was not the gentleman apprised that, as more than was ever known to them or their constituents. early as 1774, Georgia, by her laws, had made the mur. Sir, (said Mr. W.] ve bave heard the most contradie der of an Indian as penal as the murder of a white man ! tory arguments on this subject, in the course, sometimes
, But the character and temper of that gentleman's remarks of the same speech. At one moment we are shocked seemed to have ove object-exasperation. So far as be wtib the intelligence that we are going to send the per [Mr. W.] was concerned, they would not produce any Indians into a sterile and inhospitable wilderness, or rather Buch effect. The party who has the worst of an argu-desert, to perish ; the next, we are about to concentrate
May 19, 1830.)
Removal of the Indians.
(H. Or R.
formidable bands of furious and savage warriors, to deso Mr. TEST, of Indiana, rose, and said, that, after so prolate our frontiers, and become allies of Great Britain and tracted a debate, he was not at all inclined to detain the Mexico. Now, we hear that the country is without wood House by the discussion of topics which had before been
or water, and utterly uninbabitable; and, apon, that this presented to its consideration; and though the subject is of 1 is a plan to check the progress of our western settlements, the highest importance to the country, not only in relation
and to prevent the springing up of new States and flourish- to its financial concerns, but to its honor, its justice, and iug cities west of the Mississippi. Sir, all these arguments national character, yet I should, [said he] under any other cannot be sound for they destroy each other.
circumstances but those in which I find myself placed, have But the race of Indians will perish! Yes, sir! The In- been coutented with giving a silent vote. But, sir, my' dians of this continent, like all other med, savage or civil. situation is peculiar; the bill under consideration has passized, must perish. They must perish, whether they re- ed the Senate, and both the Senators from the State which
main upon this, or remove to the other side of the Missis. I have the honor in part to represent, have found it their į sippi. Would gentlemen bave them immortal upon earth? duty to give it their support. Both my colleagues, too, I
Upon what people-upon what individual has heaven, in understand, have expressed opivimus favorable to it, and, its wrath, pronounced so cruel a malediction? Wbat is besides this, the Legislature of my State bas recommend bistory but the obituary of nations ? Where is Carthage led the removal of the Indians, upon just and liberal prin
and Tyref and Sidon i and Nivevili ? and Babylon ! Where ciples. Under those embarrassing circumstances do I find i are the aboriginals who were driven out or massacred by myself, while I feel that I am, at the same time, bound in
the forefathers of these Indians! Where are those count- conscience, in bonor, and in justice, to raise my voice less empires whose names are lost, or whose existence and against it. destruction are only proved by ruins of their works, or In relation to the recommendation of the Legislature of fragments of their records or their language? Gone, sir! the State, I know they would never recommend to me to Falling or fallen, into that abyss which awaits man and all do a thing that was not entirely consistent with the interest, bis marvels
. Ayel and the moral of their story, though the honor, and dignity of the country; and I feel assured, told by Tasso aud by Byron, is better told by one word, that if this question were presented to them in the same and that word, oblivion.
form it is to me, they would decide upon it as I have done. Whose fate do we lament? The present generation of Sir, I have looked at the wrong side of this question, I Indians ? They will perish like the present generation of have been led to distrust my own judgment, labored to see wbite men.
Is it distant generations? Sir, if the race if I could not bring my mind to a different conclusion from perishes, those distant generations will never be born. that to which it has arrived, but all in vain. I cannot reAnd if it were possible to perpetuate the race of Indians, concile it with niy duty to sustain the bill, notwithstanding what would be the consequence? Why, that a hundred the many powerful motives to do so, avd my duty I cannot or a thousand fold the number of white men would not be postpone for any consideration under heaven. Sir, I can born, because the Indians would roam over and possess, see no benefit which is to result to the country from the without enjying, the land which must afford the futura passage of this bill, while I cannot avoid seeing the irrewbites subsisteuce. And, if our far-sighted, prospective trievable ruin into wbicb it plunges that unbappy race who' humanity must weep over distant contingent generations, are the subjects of its operations. And bere, sir, I beg is it not as fair a subject of grief to lameut the millions of leave to remark, ouce for all, that I cannot help thinking whiles who never will exist, in the one case, as the thou, my colleagues are laboring under the impression that this sands of Indians who will not receive life, iu the other? bill is calculated to serve the purpose of extinguishing the
But, before we indulge our tears at the extinction of the Indian title to lands in our own State: it is not 80; it does Indiau race, let us inquire what it is we lament. Let us, if not answer us at all. The bill only authorizes the Presiwe can, analyze our own ideas.
dent to exchange lands beyond the Mississippi, for lands on Wheu gentlemen talk of preserving the Indians, what is this side: it does not authorize him to extinguish the Init that they mean to preserve? Is it their mode of life? No. diap title in any other way than by an exchange of lands
You intend to convert them from hunters to agriculturists with them; and the truth is, the Indians within our own or herdsmen. Is it their barbarous laws and customs ! State, I understand, do not desire an excbange of lauds ; No. You propose to furni-h them with a code, and prevail they have lauds beyond the Mississippi : a part of them upon them to adopt habits like your own. Their language? have already gone there, and those remaining desire to No. You intend to supersede their imperfect jargou, by dispose of their claims for money, and property such as teaching them your own rich, copious, energetic tongue. may be suitable for them, in order that they may go and Their religion ? No. You intend to convert them from join their brothers in that country: All they ask is a fair their miserable and horrible superstitions to the mild and price for their possessions, and they are pot only willing cbeering doctrines of christianity.
but anxious to go. This measure is calculated more parWhat is it, then, that constitutes Indian individuality- ticularly to affect the southeru Indians in Mississippi, Alathe identity of that race which gentlemen are so anxious bama, and Georgia. I have thought it proper to say this to preserve? Is it the mere copper color of the skin, much of the peculiar attitude in which I stand in relation which marks them-according to our prejudices, at least, to the question now under consideration. I have, thereau inferior-a conquered—a degraded race?
fore, thought it my duty to render the reasons whicb goSir, I use the ideas of one who bas seen and written well vero me in this case, potwithstanding the value of the time and much on this subject : I would use his language, if it of the House. I could, it is true, have given them in the were at band.
domestic forum : but the immense interests involved, and But, alas ! the Indians melt away before the white man, the vast consequences to result from the measure, not only like snow before the sun! Well, sir ! Would you keep the to the present generation of the aborigines, but perhaps snow and lose the sun!
to millions yet unborn, bave induced me to offer them here, It is the order of nature we exclaim against. Jacob will although I can scarcely hope to change a single vote. There. forever obtain the iuberitance of Esau. We cannot alter fore, without further introduction, I will endeavor to prethe laws of Providence, as we read them in the experience sent to the House my views of the subject, according to the of ages.
order in which I have considered it. The earth was given for labor, and to labor it belongs. The first thing that strikes the mind in the case, is, its The gift was not to the red, or to the white, but to the hu- vovelty. The Government, ever since its establishment, man race—and the inscription was, to the wisest—the has viewed these Indians in the light of sovereign commu. brayast-to.virtue-and to industry!
nities, and treated with them as such. In all our intercourse