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FEB. 14, 1831.)
[H. OF R.
toisisuki have been to propose a law abrogating the Jefferson gave this people the first elements of a system treaties and repealing the intercourse law of 1802. But of government, adapted to their condition, which i will a different course was pursued. A bill was presented, venture to read to the House. ably drawn and carefully worded, so as to leave this ques. My children, deputies of the Cherokee Upper Towns: tion entirely aside. Although the bill was an integral part “I have maturely considered the speeches you have of the policy of the States, designed to co-operate with delivered me, and will now give you answers to the seveit, and in fact built upon it as upon a foundation, it was ral matters they contain. so worded as not, in terms, to afford it any
“You inform me of your anxious desires to engage in were obliged to go to the President's message, and to the the industrious pursuits of agriculture and civilized life; reports of the committees of the two Houses of Congress, that, finding it iinpracticable to induce the nation at large to ascertain its character. We did so; and we discussed to join in this, you wish a line of separation to be estathe policy, as it discovered itself in those documents. blished between the Upper and Lower Towns, so as to
But, harmless as the bill was in its terms, it could not include all the waters of the Hiwassec in your part; and have passed, but for the amendment moved by the gen- that having thus contracted your society within narrower tleman from Pennsylvania, (Mr. Ramsey,] by which limits, you propose, within these, to begin the establishamendment it was provided that “nothing in this act con- ment of fixed laws and of regular Government. You say, tained shall be construed as authorizing or directing the that the Lower Towns are satisfied with the division you violation of any treaties existing between the United propose, and on these several matters you ask my advice States and any Indian tribe.” I was perfectly well per- and aid. suaded, at the time, that this proviso would be without “With respect to the line of division between yourpractical effect, but it saved the bill from being lost; and selves and the Lower Towns, it must rest on the joint connow, from one end of the continent to the other, this pro- sent of both parties. The one you propose appears viso is held up to show that the Indian bill of last winter moderate, reasonable, and well defined; we are willing to does not sanction the compulsory removal of the Indians; recognise those on each side of that line as distinct societhat the treaties are to be held inviolate; and that the ties, and if our aid shall be necessary to mark it more Indians are to be protected in their rights; all the while plainly than nature has done, you shall have it. I think that it is perfectly notorious, as I shall demonstrate before with you, that, on this reduced scale, it will be more easy I sit down, that the Indians are not to be protected; that for you to introduce the regular administration of laws.
the treaties are violated; and that this proviso is a dead " In proceeding to the establishment of laws, you wish di letter.
to adopt them from ours, and such only for the present as The bill passed, we all remember how, under the se- suit your present condition; chiefly, indeed, those for the verest coercion by the previous question, that I have ever punishment of crimes and the protection of property. known, applied, too, for the purpose of shutting out the But who is to determine which of our laws suit condiamendment of the gentleman from Pennsylvania, (Mr. tion, and shall be in force with you? All of you being HEMPuill, ) the object of which was to obtain information equally free, no one has a right to say what shall be law for in respect to the character of the country to which the the others. Our way is to put these questions to the vote, Indiars were to be removed. For I beg it may be re- and to consider that as law for which the majority votescollected, after all we have heard of the factious course the fool lias as great a right to express his opinion by vote pursued by the minority, that all we asked was the adop- as the wise, because he is equally free, and equally magtion of the amendment of the gentleman from Pennsylva. ter of himself. But as it would be inconvenient for
nia, which proposed to send a respectable commission into all your men to meet in one place, would it not be better in this region, to see if it be fit for the habitation of the fel- for every town to do as we do--that is to say: Choose by so in low-beings whom we are driving from their homes; and the vote of the majority of the town, and of the country peo
that this was denied us. Still the act seemed to promise ple nearer to that than to any other town, one, two, three, something to the Indians, for it bore on its face, that the or more, according to the size of the town, of those treaties were not to be violated. The money which it whom each voter thinks the wisest and honestest men of granted was granted conditionally: the condition was con- their place, and let these meet together, and agree which tained in a proviso; and, if that proviso were not acted up of our laws suit them. But these men know nothing of to, no appropriation was made, and no expenditure was our laws. How then can they know which to adopt? lawful
. Just two, or perhaps three days after the passage Let them associate in their council our beloved man living of the act, the Georgia laws took effect and went into with them, Colonel Meigs, and he will tell them what our operation over all the Indians included within the nominal law is on any point they desire. He will inform thein also boundaries of the State.
of our methods of doing business in our councils, so as to And here I reach a part of the subject, on which I preserve order, and to obtain the vote of every member dwell with great pain--the legislation of Georgia over the fairly. This council can make a law for giving to every Cherokees. It is my duty to inquire into the character of head of a family a separate parcel of land, which, when he the Georgia laws, against which our interference is in- has built upon and improved, it shall belong to him and his yoked, and our protection demanded. I speak of the descendants forever, and which the nation itself shall have laws of Georgia individually, and not of the other States no right to sell from under his feet. They will determine, who have extended their jurisdiction over the Indians, too, what punishment shall be inflicted for every crime. because the legislation of Georgia is better known. I do In our States generally, we punish murder only by death, hot single out her laws invidiously. Neither do I pretend and all other crimes by solitary confinement in a prison. an acquaintance with her whole code. I have not seen it. “But when you shall have adopted laws, who are to A few laws only, that form a part of it, have come to my execute them? Perhaps it may be best to permit every knowledge; but these are sufficient to establish my propo- town, and the settlers in its neighborhood attached to it, to sition, that these Indians have great and just cause to louk select some of their best men, by a majority of its voters, to us for protection.
to be judges in all differences, and to execute the law acI will first speak of the effect of the Georgia legislation cording to their own judgment. Your council of repre. upon the Cherokee Government. The Cherokees, sir, sentatives will decide on this, or such other mode as may have a very respectable representative Government; re- best suit you. I suggest these things, my children, for the spectable in its character; respectable in its origin. The consideration of the Upper Towns of your nation, to be first sketch of it proceeded from the same pen that draught- decided on as they think best, and I sincerely wish you ed our own declaration of independence. In 1809, Dir. may succeed in your laudable endeavors to save the re.
'[FR. 14, 1991,
mains of your nation, by adopting industrious occupations stitute is provided, has been abated and broken down as and a Government of regular laws. In this you may rely a nuisance. on the counsel and assistance of the Government of the But among the laws of Georgia, extended over the United States. Deliver these words to your people in Cherokees, there are some which, from their nature, my name, and assure them of my friendship.
must take an immediate effect; and among these I cannot “ THOMAS JEFFERSON.
but notice several whose operation must be as injurious “ JANUARY 9, 1809.”
to the welfare of the Indians, as the entire system is de
structive of their rights. At the late session of the Georgia In 1817, this Government received the sanction of the Legislature, a law was passed, “ that no Cherokee Indian United States, in a treaty negotiated in that year by the should be bound by any contract, hereafter to be entered present Chief Magistrate, as a commissioner plenipoten- into, with a white person or persons; nor shall any Intiary for that purpose. In the preamble to this treaty, the dian be liable to be fined in any of the courts of law or incidents of 1809 are alluded to; the purpose of the Che- equity in this State, on such a contract.” I am aware rokees who remained on this side of the Mississippi, to that laws of this kind have been found necessary among begin the establishment of fixed laws and a regular Go- the dwindling remnants of tribes, in some of the States, vernment, is recognised, together with the promise, made whose members are so degenerate that they are unable by Mr. Jefferson, of the patronage, aid, and good neigh- to preserve, against the arts of corrupt white men, the borhood of the United States, alike to those who emigrat- little property they possess. But among the Cherukees ed and those who staid behind. This treaty was unani- are men of intelligence and shrewdness, who have acquir. mously ratified by the Senate of the United States. Thused and possess large accumulations of property-houses
, originated and thus confirmed, the Cherokee Government shops, plantations, stock, mills, ferries, and other valuable subsequently assumed a highly regular form, and an im-possessions; men who understand property and its uses as proved organization. Its practical operation was excellent, well as we do, and who need all the laws which property and it did the United States no harm, because it was as- requires for its judicious management. Notwithstanding sumed as the principle of our Government, that no change this, Georgia, at one blow, makes all these people incapawas to be wrought by the improved institutions of the ble of contracting. Men as competent as ourselves to all Cherokees on thieir relations with us.
business transactions, are reduced by a sweeping law to a of the orderly and becoming manner in which the Che state of pupilage. rokee Government was conducted, we have the satisfactory [Mr. FOSTER, of Georgia, explained, that this law testimony of Messrs. Campbell and Meriwether, who was passed for the benefit of the Indians, to prevent their went among them to negotiate a treaty in 1823. I read an being imposed on. That it did not release white men extract from a letter addressed by them to the council from their engagements to Indians, but Indians from their of the Cherokee nation, dated Newtown, 16th October, engagements to white men.] 1823:
I understood and stated the law, said Mr. E., precisely “ Friends and brothers: We are happy that a short as the gentleman from Georgia states it. I know this time has been consumed in the correspondence between character may be claimed for the law. But how does it you and the State commissioners.
seek the benefit of the Indians? By reducing them to a “ This has afforded us an opportunity of becoming par- state of minority. Sir, it is for the benefit and protection * tially acquainted with several members of this council. of chiklren, that they are unable to contract; but still • For the whole body we entertain a high respect, and we they are children, and the law holds them to their infancy: • trust that with some of you we have contracted indivi- And what sort of a boon is it to men of large property and • dual friendships. In saying this, we do no violence to active dealings, to pass a law releasing them from their
our feelings, neither do we lower the elevated character contracts? Does it not directly follow, that, if they can. • of the United States. People who have never seen you, not be held to their contracts, no one will contract with • know but little of your progress in the arts of civilized them; and that the apparent limitation of the law, which • life, and of the regular and becoming manner in which exempts the Indian, while it binds the white man, is illuyour affairs are conducted.
sory; for who will contract with a person who is, by law, “ Your improvement reflects the greatest credit upon exoncrated from compliance with his engagements? Such ' yourselves, and upon the Government by which you a law can have no other effect among Indians than among • have been improved and fostered.”
white men; and what would be the effect on the business Such was and is the Cherokee Government which Geor- of a community of white men, to enact a law releasing gia has avowed her purpose, by one sweeping act of le-them from all engagements into which they might enter gislation, to put down. That State has enacted a law By the law of Georgia, of 1829, the testimony of an making it highly penal to exercise any of the functions of Indian was declared inadmissible in any case in which a this Government. Chiefs, headmen, members of the white man is a party. This law was generally condemned council, judicial and executive officers, are all subject to during the discussions of last year. The objections taken four years' imprisonment in the penitentiary, if they pre- to it were declared by some of the advocates of the course Bume to exercise any of the functions of Government pursued by Georgia to be unreasonable, captious, and within their own tribe, and under that constitution which groundless, and were set down to the score of morbid senwe originally and repeatedly exhorted them to frame.
sibility and political philanthropy. Now, what has been the In this way the greatest confusion is at once introduced practical operation of this feature in the Georgia law? Gointo the concerns of this unhappy people. Their own vernor Gilmer thus describes it in his message, at the openGovernment is outlawed, and it is made highly penal to ing of the late session of the Georgia Legislature: execute its functions. The protection of the United States “It is also due to our Indian people, that that provision is withdrawn, because Georgia has extended her laws in the law of 1829 should be repealed, which prevents over the Indians; and Georgia herself, although asserting, Indians, and the descendants of Indians, from being comand in many respects exercising, her jurisdiction, has not petent witnesses in the courts of the State, in cases yet organized it in such a manner as to keep the peace where a white man is a party. The present law exposes among this afflicted race. Their system of Government, them to great oppression, while its repeal would proba. instead of being regarded as almost all Governments, how- • bly injure no one. Attempts have been made to strip ever defective, are entitled to be, as an institution neces-them of their property by forged contracts, because of sary for the wellbeing of the people, which ought to be the impossibility of defending their rights, by the testi treated with tenderness, and not be destroyed till a sub-mony of those who alone can know them. And althoingh
the moral feeling of our frontier community has been as the listory or the memory of this generatinu lat is, *too correct to permit such infamous proceedings to sir, as long as the earth and the heavens shall last.* The * effect their ends, yet the character of our legislation law I have quoted is supposed to aim at thcir exclusion. • for justice requires that the rights of those people Thus far it is possible that Georgia (and I again beg *should not be exposed to such danger.”
leave to say that I name that State not invidiously) may Such is the character which Governor Gilmer gives of be thought by some persons not to have gone beyond this law, and of its operation. I have heard some details some abstract right of civil jurisdiction, capable of being of the oppressions to which he alludes. I have no reason reconciled with a “possessory right,” in which the Indito doubt their truth; but I will not repeat them to the ans were promised by the Executive to be protected. House, without vouchers to support them. I will only But Georgia has not stopped here. In the course of the add, that this law rejecting the testimony of Indians, re- year 1829, it was found that this region possesseil, and mains unrepealed; and that their rights and property are probably in abundance, veins of gold. As soon as this still dependent on “the moral feeling of the frontier com- discovery was muie, intruders from every quarter, and munity” of Georgia. That frontier community must have from all the States in the neighborhood, focked into the betier feelings and principles than usually actuate a part, gold region, and overran the land. The Indians demandof every community, if, in the continued operation of ed their removal by the agent. The agent referred the this law, the Indians are not subjected to the most grievous case to the Secretary of War, and the Secretary of War oppressions.
gave the requisite orders for their removal. This took I will incrition another law of the new code. Its design place before the 1st day of Jume, 1830. That day the may be imperfectly apprehended by me: and if I err in laws of Georgia took effect. And very shortly afterwards the motive for which I suppose it was enacted, I hope I I read a proclamation in the papers, proceeding from a shall be excused, on the ground of the great difficulty of gentleman whom I most highly respect, the present Go. picking up here and there-one law in this newspaper, vernor of Georgia, and which appeared to be of a character and another in that-the information which, as it seems so strange and unexpected, that I could scarcely credit to me, ought to have been spread before us, in an ample my senses as I read it. Letine read a portion of this pro. detail, to enlighten and guide our legislation. The law clamation to the House, which bears late 3d Jue, 1830. to which I allude, subjects all white persons, who shall "Whereas it has been discovered that the lands in the reside within the Cherokee country without a permit • territory now occupied by the Cherokee Indians, withfrom the Governor of Georgia, or slich agent as the Go- in the limits of this state, abound with valuable minerals, vernor shall authorize, and who shall not have taken an and especially gold: and whereas the State of Georgia oath of allegiience as a citizen of Georgia, to four years' • lias the fee simple title to said lands, and the entire and imprisonment at hard labor in the penitentiary. Now, I'exclusive property of the gold and silver therein: and should be glad to be informed where, on her own prin- whereas numerous persons, citizens of this and other ciples, Georgia gets the right to exact such an oath from States, together with the Indian occupants of said terriall
persons resident on her soil, granting the Cherokee tory, taking advantage of the law of this State, by which country to be her soil. The constitution of the United its jurisiliction over said territory was not assumed until States gives Gcorgia no such right. It is there provided, the 1st day of Jane last past, have been engaged in digo that “the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the ging for gold in said land, and taking therefrom great privileges and immunities of citizens of the several States.'' amounts in value, thereby appropriating riches to then. Grant that the country is subject to lier laws: what right. selves, which, of right, equally belonged to every other has she to tender to the citizens of another State an oath citizen of the State, and in violation of the rights of the of allegiance as citizens of Georgia? If I go to Savannah State, and to the injury of its public resources, &c. And or Milledgeville, and demean myself peaceably, I wish to then the Governor warns "all persons, whether citizens know what right, under the constitution, Georgia pos..of this or other States, or Indian occupants, to ce:ise all sesses to shut me up to hard labor in her penitentiary, if further trespass on the lands of this State, and especially I will not take an oath, as a citizen of that State. i am from taking any gold or silver from the lands included told that this law is intended to strike at the missionaries. · within the territory occupied by the Cherokee Indians, I do not assert the fact, nor ascribe motives to men or &c. All further trespass on their own lands, and all furborlies of men. If this is its design, as it will unquestiona- ther digging for their own gold! bly be its effect, I trust it will be borne in mind that the It is true the Governor, in his message at the opening missionaries were introduced into the Cherokee nation of the late session of the Legislature of Georgia, attempts under very respectable auspices. It was during the ad. to justify this strange pretension. "The right thus as
ministration of Mr. Madison, and with the express consent serted,” says he was supposed to be established by See and approbation of Mr. Crawford, while this gentleman the customary law of all the European nations who macie
held the office of Secretary of War. His letter to Mr. discoveries, or formed colonies, on the continent, by the * Kingsbury, to this effect, is among the documents for- fee simple or allodial title, which belongs to the State, to
merly communicated to the House. The missionaries were all lands within its limits, not alreally granted away, and * then promised the protection, countenance, and co-opera- the absence of all right in the Indians, they never Living
tion of the Gwernment; and the annual appropriation for appropriate the mineral riches of ile earth to their own civilizing the Indians was recommended to be made, and use.” Neither had Georgia appropriated these mines by has been applied in firtherance of their operations. They occupation. As soon as the Cherokees knew ther existare, to say the very least, an innocent and harmless class ence, they proceeded to take possession of, :end to work of men. They expressly disclaim having interfered in the them, till they were driven away by the laws of Georgia, politic. I relations of the Cherokees with the United States. and the troops of the United States. What force there They have unquestionably been the instruments of great can be in tile English common law of fee siinple and illogoorl
. If this region, and its ill-Pated inhabitants, were dial title, to control the stipulations of a treaty between swallowed up to-morrow by an earthquake, and sunk the United States and a tribe of Indians, I contess my inafrom existence, the missionaries would have left monu- bility to imagine. The argument from the customary law ments of their benevolent labors, which will last as long
'Much information relative to the character and orations of the These are the terins of the oath: "1, A. B., do soleinnly swear, missionaries among the fudendo tribes. indy be fitted in the memorial or affirm, as the case may b, that I wil suppore and delenit ihe 10 Congress of the Prudential Commlice of the Burrd of Commitse Coastution of Georgia, riid uprighils dumeain myself u a crizen sjoki's vi Foriin Nissions, peenivel 10 ile Jituse of krpretena.
brex by Mr. E, ou the 141!1 of Fibruary.
of the telepealt conju stuurts pris û gotial de alto
f uredi. Tiisilt, jikte!!! much. It would justify the Governor, not only in seizing put wily warranted to take, occasio. ed a fost de incurthe gold mines, but in reducing the Indians themselves to sion from Georgia, in the result of which one Indian was bondage, and to labor in the mines. The Portuguese did killed, and some others wounded and carried prisoners this, and so did the Spaniards. The slave trade was pro-into Georgia. This occurrence occasioned the detachjected by the benevolent Las Casas, to relieve the Indians ment of a party of United States' troops into the Cherofrom digging their own gold for their conquerors. kee country, who accordingly caine, rather, as it would
When this subject was under the consideration of the seem, to protect the intruders from the Cherokees, than the House, at the last session, I certainly did not entertain Cherokees from the intruders. Being there, orders were very favorable auguries of the treatment which the Che given to the troops to remove intruders from the gold rerokees were likely to receive; but it never entered into gion, and these orders were at first complied with, but my head that they were to be denied a right to their own with partial success: for, as soon as a band of gold dig.
On the contrary, I assumed it as a matter of gers were driven from one spot, they settled in another, course, that they were the lawful and admitted owners of like hungry vultures frightened from their prey: They this mineral wealth. Having, in the course of my re- are said to have been a colluvies of all classes and characmarks on this subject, had occasion to allude to the in- ters; a lawless and desperate gang. And here ensued a truders into the gold region, before I could finish the scene of a character bordering on comedy, if any thing sentence in which I made that allusion, a gentleman, who can be considered burlesque in so grave a matter. I give voted for the Indian bill, interrupted me, with the prompt it as it is related in the memorial of the Cherokee Indians, assurance that these intruders were ordered to be re-on our tables: moved by the Executive. I was gratified at the informa “ In another case, in the name and authority of George tion, although it was then no more (as I thought) than a R. Gilmer, Governor of Georgia, a bill was filed in chanmatter of course. My rrext information on the subject cery, in the superior court of Hall county, in July last, was derived from Governor Gilmer's proclamation, claim against certain sundry Cherokees, praying for an injunc. ing for Georgia the absolute property of the gold mines, tion to stop them from digging and searching for gold and warning the Indians to desist from digging them. within the limits of their own nation; and the bul being
Extraordinary as this is, I fear something more extraor- sworn to before the same A. S. Clayton, he awarded an dinary remains to be told. By the intercourse law, the injunction against the parties named in the bill as defend. Executive is authorized to employ the military force of ants, commanding them, forth with, to desist from workthe United States to remove intruders from lands belong-ling on those mines, under the penalty of twenty thousand ing or secured to Indians by trenty. This power has se- dollars, at a time and place where there were unmolested veral times been exercised.' But the Indians also possess, several thousand intruders from Georgia and other States, by treaty, the right of proceeding summarily to redress engaged in robbing the nation of gold, for which the themselves. They possess the right by the treaty of owners were ordered not to work by the said writ. C'roHolston, negotiated in 1791. The Secretary of War, in der the authority of this injunction, the sheriff of Hall alluding to the right which the Indians thus possess, under county, with an armed force, invaded the nation, consist. the treaty of Holston, speaks of it disparagingly as a treaty ling of a colonel, a captain, and thirty or forty militia of forty years old. But it will be recollected that, with all the State of Georgia, who arrested a number of Cherothe other treaties, it was confirmed by an express article kees engaged in digging for gold, who were at first reso in that of 1817. What are the terms in which this right cued by the troops of the United States stationed near is secured to the Indians by the treaty of Holston? the place, and the sheriff and his party themselves made
“If any citizen of the United States, or other person, prisoners, and conducted fifteen miles to the military not being an Indian, shall settle on any of the Cherokee camp, when a council of examination was held, and the "lands, such person shall forfcit the protection of the exlibition of their respective authorities was made, which * United States, and the Cherokees may punish him or resulted in the release of the sheriff and his party, and a 'n10t, as they plcase."— Treaty of Holston, Art. 8th. written order by the commanding officer of the United
In pursuance of this right, guarantied by treaty, but States' troops, directing the Cherokees to submit to the flowing from that law of nature which is before all treaty, authority of Georgia, and that no further protection could the Indians have exercised this power of protecting them- be extended to the Cherokees at the gold mines, as he selves from intruders: nor was it, that I know of, ever could no longer interfere with the laws of Georgia, but questioned by any administration till this. It has re- would afford aid in carrying them into execution. On the ceived the sanction of the present Chief Jagistrate in the return of the sheriff and his party, they passed by the amplest terms. In a letter to Path Killer, and other Che-Cherokees, who were still engaged in digging for gold, rokee chiefs, dater Head Quarters, Nashville, 18th Jan. and ordered them to desist, under the penalty of being 1821, General Jackson thus expressed himself:
committed to jail, and proceeded to destroy their tools “ Friends and brothers: I have never told a red bro- and machinery for gleaning gold, and, after committing "ther a lie, nor deceived him. The intruders, if they at- some further aggression, they returned. Shortly after tempt to return, will be sent off. But your light-lioise wards, the sheriff, with a guard of fou men, and a proshould not let them settle down on your land. You cess from the State of Georgia, arrested three Cherokees sought to drive the stock away from your lands, and de- for disobeying the injunction, while peaceably engaged in Oliver the intruders to the agent; but if you cannot keep their labors, and conducted them to Wadkinsville, à disintruders from your land, report it to the agent, and, on tance of seventy-five miles, before the same A. S. Clar. his notice, I will drive them from your land. I am your ton, who then and there sentenced them to pay a fine of -frienıl and brother,
nineiy-three dollars, cost, and stand commited to prison "ANDREW JACKSUN.” until paid, and also compelled them to give ilieir bond in
the sum of one thousand dollars, for their personal ap. In pursuance of the authority conferred on the tribe, pearance before his next court, to answer the charges of by the treaty of Holston), an authority to the exercise of violating the writ of injunction aforesaid. In custody they which they liad been exhorted, a few years ago, by Gene- were retained five days, paid the cost, gave the required ral Jackson, and of which the validity was, I believe, never bond, and did appear accordingly, as bound by Judge questioned before, the Cherokecs, in the course of the Clayton, who dismissed them on the ground that the Golast year, in consequence of the number and disorderly vernor of Georgia could not become a prosecutor in the conduct of the intruders upon their lands, proceeded to case. For the unwarrantable outrage committed on their
liberty and persons, no apology was made, and the cost the United States, the President could feel himself authothey had paid was not refunded."
rized to employ the armed force of the United States in I confess, when I first read the account of this incident, removing gold diggers, lawless or lawful, Indians or white in the papers last summer, I supposed it was the wild men, from the gold mines of Georgia, if Georgia's they freak of some inconsiderate subaltern; I did not imagine must be? It is not his duty to enforce the laws of Georthat it could have tuken place by order from the Execu- gia, nor to protect her property: She maintains that she tive of the United States. The affair is but partially ex- is able to do it herself. Nay, the still broader question plained in any document I have seen; but thus much is presents itself—what right, on the ground assumed by certain, that orders were sent by the Secretary of War to Georgia and the Executive, have we to go upon the soil the Cherokee agent, and to the officer commanding the of Georgia to remove or bribe away a part of her subtroops of the United States, to forbid the Cherokees as jects or citizens? What right to keep an agent there, or well as the intruders from digging the gold mines. On to pay them an annuity? Am I answered, it is done in the 26th June, 1830, an order was issued from the War pursuance of treaties?' The treaties are declared unconDepartment at Washington to the officer commanding the stitutional and void. Sir, it happens now to accord with United States' troops in the Cherokee country, “direct- the interest of Georgia to permit it, but surely she will
ing him, until further orders, to prevent all persons not bend her principles to her interest. * from working the mines, or searching for or carrying It has been urged against the Colonization Society, on away gold or silver, or either metal, from the Cherokee very high authority, that it is unconstitutional for the nation.”
United States to go into a State to remove a part of its This order was communicated by the agent to Mr. colored population. In a very able report made to the Ross, the principal chief of the Cherokees, in a letter Senate, I think at the first session of the twentieth Condated 10th July, 1830, in which he says: “I have also gress, I find the following argument: enclosed you a copy of a letter from the War Depart * Before they leave this part of the subject, the com"ment, on the subject of the gold mines, by which you .mittee will observe that the framers of the constitution will see that all persons are ordered to be kept from most wisely abstained from bestowing upon the Gorerndigging for gold until further order; and have to request' ment, thereby created, any powers whatever orer the co
that you will, in such way as you think best, make it lored population, as such, whether this population was 'known to the Indians, and also that you will advise them bond or free. 'to desist for the present, as I am very desirous that 10 “If the United States possess the right to intrude into difficulties should take place between the United States' any State, for the purpose of withdrawing from thence 'troops and them on the subject.”.
its free colored population, they undoubtedly must exert And now, sir, I think I may safely appeal to many gen- • practically the power of previously deciding what pertlemen of the House, who voted for the Indian bill last sons are embraced within this description. They must winter, whether it entered into their imaginations that have the power of determining finally not only who are under that bill, and with its proviso, the Indians should colored, but who are free persons. This committee bebe prohibited by the armed force of the United States' lieve, however, that any attempt, by the United States, from digging gold within the limits secured to them by 'to exercise such a power, would not only be a direct vio. numerous treaties. There were gentlemen, I know, wholation of the constitution, but must be productive of the voted for the bill, condemning the policy of which it ts a worst effects.” part
, but deeming it necessary to save the Indians. Others Now, sir, it is not necessary to consider how far this thought something ought to be done, in consequence of argument applies to the operations of the Colonization the compact of 1802. Others were influenced by some Society. But on the principle that the Indian country is
refined notion of a jurisdiction co-extensive with the char- a part of the soil, and its occupants a portion of the peoter. Did any of them mean or intend that, within less ple of the State, I confess I do not see how gentlemen than a twelvemonth-within less than three months--after who stand on the ground of State rights and strict con
a proviso that the treaties should not be violated, struction of the constitution, can more an inch in this the Cherokees should be driven, by the bayonet of our matter. What, sir, constitutional for the General Govern, United States' troops, from gold mines within the boun- ment to go into the counties of Georgia, into Hall and daries secured to them by treaty and law? The winding Habersham, to get the people of those counties together up of this affair was in keeping with its commencement --people subject to the laws of Georgia--make a compact and progress. The object of marching the troops into with them to move away in a body--take millions of mothe Cherokee country, according to Major General Ma- ney out of the treasury of the United States to effect this comb, “was to guard against the difficulties which it was object—to enable the President to go upon the soil of apprehended would grow out of the contiicting operations Georgia, and buy off her people! In what part of the of the Cherokees and the lawless intruders upon the mi-constitution, on the principles which gentlemen set
up, is neral district within the State of Georgia. Having ful- there a word to warrant such a policy, or to justify an apfilled the instructions of the Government, the troops were propriation of money to carry it into operation? directed to return for the winter to their respective I know it has been answered, that it is constitutional to quarters."
fulfil a compact. I must own that this mode of getting at on the 29th of October last, Governor Gilmer wrote a grant of power is, for statesmen who advocate a strict to the secretary of War, requesting the removal of the constitution, liberal enough. According to this principle, troops, on the ground that the State of Georgia could en- the General Government may enter into a compact to do
On the 10th of November, the Se- an unconstitutional thing, and it thereby becomes consticretary answers him, thet, previously to the receipt of his tutional. On the ground upon which this new Indian letter, (two days before, the troops had been ordered policy rests, thie compact of 1802 was itself unconstituout of the cherokee nation, because the purposes for tional, and was so argued to be in the Senate last winter. which they had been sent into it were, in a great mea- If the soil and jurisdiction of this territory were already sure, accomplished. This object, according tử the gene Georgia's, the United States had no right to interfere with ral commanding in chief, was to prevent collisions it
, not even to extinguish the Indian title on peaceable and between the cherokees and lawless intruders into the reasonable terms. Unless the principles of the constitugold district. It was answered, by removing both! tion vary with the complexion of those who are the sub
And here it is obvious to ask, low, on the ground as- jecis of its provisions, the United States have just as little - sumed by Georgia, and sanctioned by the Executive of right to enter into compact to extinguish the title of the
force her own laws.