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H. OF R.)
(Fr.B. 14, 1831.
red men of one county of Georgia, as that of the white The only mitigation of the severity with which this bl men of another county. The gentlemen are actually acts on thie Indians, is the provision contained in the obliged to come to us for principles on which they can re- thirty-first section. By this section, it is directed that "the more the Indians. Unless the treaties are valid, the United Indians and their descendants, who liave made impruveStates have no power to act in this matter. Gentlemen ments upon the territory, are to be protected in the pos. deny the validity of the treaties, in order to get at the soil; session of those improvements, and of the lots of land and then come back to the treaty-making power, to get upon which the said improvements are made, until other. the budians removed from it.
wise directed by the General Assembly, or until they are The conduct which Georgia has pursued with respect voluntarily abandoned by the Indian occupants. Indians to the gold, forcibly reminds me of the opposite course not allowed to sell their right of occupancy to any person, adopted by Mr. Jefferson, in reference to some iron unless it be to the Government of the United States, or mines discovered at the mouth of the Chickamauga, in the Government of Georgia, for the use of the persons Tennessee. Tennessee did not claim these mineral trea- drawing such improved lots in the lottery, and no grant sures, but the Indians themselves expressed a wish to cede to be issued until the Indians shall bave abandoned the these mines to the United States, for the purpose of having lots in their occupancy; the fortunaie drawers of such them wrought. Mr. Jefferson accordingly negotiated a improved lots to forfeit their draws, should they, by threats, treaty of cession for six miles square, including these or menaces, or violence, remove, or attempt to remove, mines, and gave the following reasons to the Senate as his any Indian from such improved lot." inducement: “As such an establishment would occasion How much this mitigation is worth, may be judged of, a considerable and certain demand for corn and other pro- by considering that it exists only during the pleasure of visions and necessaries, it seemed probable that it would the General Assembly, and that the evidence of the Indian immediately draw around it a close settlement o, the occupants, and of all those able to support his title, isinad. Cherokees; would encourage them to enter on a regular missible in the Georgia courts. In this state of things, it life of agriculture; familiarize them with the practice and little matters whether he be expelled at once, or his estate value of the arts; attach them to property; lead them of be thrown into a land lottery, to be drawn as a prize, and a necessity, and without delay, to the establishment of laws " fortunate drawer" planted at his door, or viogging him, and Government, and thus make a great and important ad- wherever he goes, till he voluntarily abandons his home. vance towards assimilating their condition with ours. Especially when we recollect that, objectionable as this
But the seizure of the gold mines, violent as that mea- law is, a still more objectionable and oppressive measure sure is, beyond any thing that was or could have been ap- was proposed and strenuously advocated, and, if I am not prehended, loses its importance, when contrasted with misinformed, adopted, in the House of Representatives of another act of great, of unexampled, and, I must add, Georgia. I derive my information from a letter written stupendous injustice. I refer to the law which has passed from Milledgeville, and published in the Augusta Chroni. the Legislature of Georgia, for the survey and disposal of cle. I know nothing of its author, but that, as appears the lands of the Cherokees. Let it be remembered, then, on the face of the letter, he is a friend of the present ad
1. That there is a boundary between the Cherokees ininitration.
Extract of a letter to the Editor of the Augusta Chronicle, 2. Let it be remembered that the treaty of Holston, from a correspondent in Milledgeville, duted 27th Norer which was negotiated in 1791, on instructions previously
ber, 1830. ratified by a unanimous Senate, contains this simple and “The particular question now and for several days past expressive pledge: “The United States solemnly guaranty before the House, is the adoption of Mr. Hayne's subst tute to the Cherokee nation all their land not hereby ceded.” to the bill reported by Judge Schley, from the Committee
3. That, as late as 1817, this, as one of the previous trca-on the state of the Republic. This contemplates, as you ties, was declared to be as in full force,” with all its “im- are aware, the taking immediate possession of the Indian munities and privileges;” and that this confirmation is con- lands, and forcibly driving the Indians therefrom. How tained in a treaty, negotiated by the present Chief Magis- such a bill can be the subject of a moment's consideratrate, and unanimously ratified by the Senate.
tion in a christian land, is to me the subject of the deepest 4. And that the intercourse aet makes it highly penal astonishment, and yet many intelligent men believe and to survey the lands belonging or secured to any Indian fear it may be successful. For ny own part, I will not i tribe by treaty:
believe it possible, and indeed should scarcely credit the And now, sir, I hold in my hand a law of Georgia, au evidence of my own senses, if such were the fact. God thorizing the survey of the lands thus solemnly guarantied; forbid such a fatal consequence! and I will confidently their division into districts and sections, and their distri- rely on his overruling goodness and protection to avert bution by a land loitery!
it, to save the Indians nay, tenfold more, to save our There is a provision in this act of Georgia, by which, own State from the serious evils wliich must inevitably fol. if the President of the United States should execute his low it. I must not trust my feelings furiher on this point; sworn duty, in enforcing the laws of the United States, he they are perhaps too deeply and unnecessarily wounded. would subject himself to imprisonment for five years in We will at least hope so. One thing is certain, that no Georgia penitentiary; that being the punishment denounced effort is or will be spared to prevent the adoption of the by this Stale law on any person who shall obstruct the measure; and I am proud to see among its opponents many, surveys, which it is most assuredly the duty of the Presi- very n any, of the tirst and ablest men of the Assembly of dent to do.
both parties. Indeed, it is by no means a party matter, &c. The law provides for the survey of the country into “ Numerous as are the advocates of this incasure, the sections and districts. The scctional surveyors, twelve in array of talent against it is very powerful, and the argunumber, are to proceed, with as little dely as possible, to ments of its opponents are sound and incontrovertible. the duties assigned them. The survey of the districts is to say nothing of humanity; the want of necessity or exto be suspended until the next meeting of the General pediency; the ingratitude ot'opposing the Pres.dent and his Assembly, and until further enactments for that purpose. administration, which have long been and sullare making The number of district surveyors is one hundred and every possible effort in our benall; the fuliy vf now neces. ninety-six, and the Governor is aisthorized to call out a sarily idrating then against us, contrary to their will, and mary force to protect them in the discharge of thwr lof direcily giving their and our enemy, Mr. Clay, sull duties.
further and greater power against them; the imminent
FER. 14, 1831.)
En. 14, 1991.]
FH, or R.
danger of a direct and violent controversy with the Gene- dians aforesaid, as well for themselves as the said nativi, ral Government, all of which are directly opposed to this do give up, release, alien, relinquish, and forever quit measure, the faith and honor of the State stand openly and claim to the same, or any part thereof." irrevocably pledged against it. But for this pledge given Now, what would have been thought of the transaction by our representatives, Mr. Wilde and others, on the floor if, the day after signing this treaty and accepting this ces. of Congress, last session, against the exercise of any force sion, Georgia had laid claim to all the rest of the land; had against the Indians, any effort to drive them forcibly from passed a law disposing of it; had gone into the country their lands, the bill to encourage their emigration to the (supposing her to have been, what, at that period, she west of the Mississippi would not and could not have been most assuredly was not, strong enough for that purpose) passed.”
with an army of surveyors; and divided it out for distribuThis bill with some amendments passed the House of tion by a land lottery? It would have been thought an Representatives of Georgia, 76 to 55.' I read this to show unparalleled breach of good faith. that it is not merely “the white savages of the North," But I will go further than this: Suppose there had been nor the opponents of this administration, who condemn no treaty at all--not even a state of peace-suppose that the course pursued by Georgia. But I do not find that the armies of Georgia had done what, at that time, it was the law passed is essentially better. The evil is only de- wholly impossible for them to do--suppose they had overlayed. The lands improved by the Indians are not exempt- run and conquered the land, even then the laws of nations ed from the lottery. An amendment to that effect was and civilized warfare would not have justified this measure. rejected, by a vote of nearly two to one; and after the lot. Why, sir, as a war mea ure, and in the hot blood of victery is drawn, the unhappy occupant is only to keep pos- tory, such a thing has never, in modern times, been heard session till “the fortunate drawer" can persuade him to go. of, as the forcible seizure of the entire domain of a con
And now, sir, is there a member of this House, who quered people, a partition of it into sections, the unoccucan recollect that the United States have solemnly guaran- pied part of which are to be immediately taken posses. tied this land to the Indians; that we guarantied it for a sion of, and the improved parts thrown into a lottery with valuable consideration, which we keep; that we guaran-the rest. It comes up to the precedent of the Norman tied it voluntarily, unanimously, and before the compact conquest, and goes beyond the partition of Poland. . I of 1802, and not feel that the guaranty ought to be re- doubt if a single Polish proprietor has been disturbed in deemed; that the pledged faith of the country ought not the possession of his estate, from the date of the first parto be violated?
tition to the present day. Suppose that Russia, and AusI again appeal to gentlemen, who, without approving of tria, and Prussia, in addition to extending their laws over the principles of this policy, gave their votes for the bill the Poles, had enacted a code, under which it was admitof last session, qualified as it was by the proviso, whether ted that they could not live, had cut up their lands into they would have lent their sanction to the measure, had districts and sections, thrown their estates into a land lot
they believed that, within a twelvemonth, a law would be tory, granting to the proprietors no other privilege but is passed by Georgia, to send any army of surveyors into the that of occupancy, till they could be induced by legal
territory of the Cherokees, and to subject any person who duress and governmental persecution to emigrate to the should presume to execute your laws, to the punishment deserts of Bucharia! What language would have furnishof the penitentiary, from the President of the United ed adequate terms for the condemnation of such a policy? States down to the lowest officer in the service?
The very ground on which Georgia claims the right to Why, sir, granting that all these treaties made by the pursue this course, is the strongest reason why she should United States are unconstitutional and not binding; grant- not pursue it. Sir, she denies that they are an indepening the truly atrocious proposition, that we can break the dent or even separate community: She says they are her treaty, and keep the consideration; granting that Georgia citizens or subjects; calls them “her people;" constitutes still possesses the power, which, if she ever had it, by them an integral part of her community; and then passes adopting the constitution she gave up to the United States, a law to distribute their lands by a lottery. Does not this and that things now stand as they stood under the old con- show the injustice of the measure? Let her pass a law to federation, all this would not mend her title to these lands. dispose by lottery of the property of the people of ChatUnder the confederation, she admitted the right of the ham and Effingham, of Richmond and Columbia; let her Cherokees to treat as an independent nation. She treated plant a “fortunate drawer” at the door of each man's shop with them herself; the treaty of Augusta in 1783 stands in and house, and the gate of his plantation, to worry him off her statute book; and in that treaty, in words evidently of to the foot of the Rocky Mountains. No, sir, the very her own choosing, words of the English common law, she process of reasoning, by which Georgia would withdraw accepts a cession of land from the Cherokees, and in so doing the Cherokees from our protection, can serve only to recognises their right to cede, and to keep what they do bring them under her own, and is itself the most incontronot cede. I will read to the House the first and sixth vertible of all arguments against this oppressive policy: articles of that treaty.
But we live under a Federal Union, designed to bring “Whereas a good understanding and union between all the States, to a certain degree, under one Government, the inhabitants of the said State and the Indians afore. and possessing tribunals of eminent jurisdiction, for the ' said are reciprocally necessary and convenient, as well adjustment of controversies which are placed by the conon account of a friendly intercourse and trade, as for the stitution within the province of such tribunals. What is purposes of peace and humanity; it is, therefore, agreed the aspect of this affair, in reference to this Federal Union, "and covenanted
and the authority of its tribunals? “1st. That all differences between the said parties, Let it then first be borne in mind, that Georgia in 1789 heretofore subsisting, shall cease and be forgotten. voluntarily became a party to the constitution, “ which is
"6th. And lastly, they, the said headmen, warriors, the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every State and chiefs, whose hands and seals are hereunto affixed, shall be bound thereby, any thing in the constitution or do hereby, for themselves and for the nation they are em- laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding;" and powered to, and do effectually, represent, recognise, de- that it is also a provision of that constitution, to which clare, and acknowledge, that all the lands, woods, waters, Georgia is a voluntary party, that “the judicial power of
game, lying and being in the State, eastward of the line the United States shall extend to all cases, in law and hereinbefore particularly mentioned and described, is, are, equity, arising under the constitution, the laws of the Unitand do belong, and of right appertain, to the people and ed States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under 'Government of the State of Georgia; and they, the In- their authority.'
H. OF R.]
[FEB. 14, 1831.
Under her new laws, Georgia has proceeded to take the affirmed on behalf of the Indian. The citation issues in life of an Indian, for a murder alleged to have been com- the usual form, the form in which it has been respected mitted on another Indian, within the Cherokee boundary. by the courts of the most powerful and enlightened States It belongs, in no degree, to my argument, to inquire into of the Union, who understand and love their rights as the guilt of this person. I have seen but an imperfect well as Georgia. This writ the Legislature of Georgia newspaper report of his trial, in a paper friendly to the instructs the Governor and all other officers “to disrepolicy of Georgia, which I mention only as authorizing the gard, and with it every mandate and process that has presumption that the report is probably not strained been or shall be served upon him or them, purporting against Georgia. From that report, it appears that Corn 'to proceed from the Chief Justice or any associate jusTassel (such is the name of this Indian; it is also the first tice of the Supreme Court of the United States, for the Indian name subscribed to the great Hopewell treaty).purpose of arresting the criminal laws of this State." was found guilty of murder, chiefly on evidence which In other words, Georgia repeals for herself a considerwould not be admissible against the life of a white man, (1 able portion of the 25th section of the judiciary act of mean Indian evidence,) and on the testimony of a white Congress, and annuls, in all criminal cases, the 2d section man, whose evidence is contradicted by the judge in his of the 3d article of the constitution of the United States. charge. Now, whatever may be said against the admis- Georgia, on the principles she has now asserted, has only sibility of Indian testimony in cases of property, I am clear to make it penal to do any act or thing under a law of the that, in a case of life and death, as good evidence ought to United States, and she thereby acquires exclusive jurisbe required to convict an Indian as a white man. The diction over the subject, and annuls the law. jury that puts an Indian to death, needs, I think, as clear This is a much more compendious process than a cona warrant of credible evidence against him, as the jury vention of the people of a State, elsewhere proposed. that puts a white man to death. The other testimony, to And almost at the moment that this House resolves, by a which I have alluded, is that of the officer who arrested majority nearly unexampled, that it will not repeal the Tassel, who testified that at first he talked only in the In- 25th section of the judiciary act, Georgia repeals one-half dian language, but afterwards spoke English intelligibly. of that section, and of the clause of the constitution on The judge, who sat in the trial, mentions it as a circum- which it is founded. Where is this to stop? Is it to stop stance to be regretted, that the prisoner at the bar “could any where? What laws of the United States have not not understand him."
been declared unconstitutional? What laws and treaties But though I am inclined to think there was not evi- will not be acted on, as if they were unconstitutional, if a dence to establish the malice, I waive that point entirely, process so summary is permitted to obtain? and do not pretend that Tassel is an object of sympathy, I will observe, in conclusion, that, till the validity of I go upon the assumption that he was guilty, though I these treaties has been settled by that tribunal which is do not think that proved on the trial as reported. This alone competent under the constitution to entertain the "unfortunate”. being, (as he is justly called by Judge question, and settled in favor of Georgia, Tassel could not Clayton,) on his trial before a court and jury, whose lan- be put to death by any lawful warrant. The very judge guage he did not understand, pleaded by his counsel to who tried him is made in the report to say that he the jurisdiction of the court. The ground of this plea “ belongs to another nation.” And, till it is settled by appears to have been, that, under the treaties between the the competent authority, that this other nation is subject United States and the Cherokees, the latter were inde- to the laws of Georgia, the death of Tassel remains illegal
. pendent of the laws of Georgia. This plea was reserved At the same time I admit there may be difficulties in the for the consideration of all the judges. They overruled case. The constitution is clear, but it is not certain that it, mainly on the ground that these treaties were uncon- the judiciary act gives full force and effect to all the prostitutional, and could not bind Georgia.
visions of the constitution. But although there may be Here the momentous bearings of the question begin to no remedy for the wrong done to the being whose life is appear. Georgia decides that numerous Indian treaties, taken, (if he has lost that life at a bar to which he was negotiated during nearly fifty years, sanctioned by every not amenable,) this want of remedy for the wrong proves branch of the Federal Government, under every adminis- nothing in favor of the right of Georgia. It is greatly to tration, and by Georgia herself, at whose request, and for be lamented that she had not imitated the best part of the whose benefit many of them were entered into, are all New York precedent, and granted a pardon or reprieve unconstitutional and void. Whence the courts of Georgia to Tassel. As a first case, a case of life and death, of an derived the power to decide on the constitutionality of individual of a different nation and language, appealing treaties and laws of the United States, I do not know. to the faith of the Union, and asking only to be tried by Her constitution does not give it to her; and if it did, it that tribunal by which (if the treaties are indeed valid) he would be a void grant, for Georgia is a voluntary party to had a right to be tried, it is greatly to be deplored that a the federal constitution made prior to her own.
little time could not have been granted. The right of deciding in cases arising under the con I will only add, that as there was a United States' force stitution, laws, and treaties, is one of the rights expressly in the country when Tassel was arrested, and as Congress granted by the people of Georgia to the federal judiciary. had just enacted in a law, which the President signed, The allegation, that the Indian treaties are unconstitui- that the treaties should not be violated, I think those tional, is no more than might be made of any other trea- troops would have been as well employed in protecting ties, that of Louisiana, for instance, (which was at first the life of a fellow-being, pending his appeal to the courts supposed by Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Madison to require an of the United States, as in driving the Cherokees from amendment of the constitution to carry it into effect;) and their own mines. if the judges of a State can entertain the question of the And here I may suitably consider the plea, that Georgia constitutionality of the Cherokee treaties, I see no reason has done no more in this matter than other States, and par ; why they cannot do it in the case of any
ticularly New York. No argument is more apt to be falit will easily be supposed, that the unfortunate being lacious than the argument from analogy. There is great whose life was at stake, would be disposed by his counsel danger of mistaking slight and merely circumstantial to mainta'n the validity of these treaties; and he accord points of resemblance for entire parallelism. I will ex: ingly applies for that writ of error, which, under the ju. amine this case briefly but fairly. I will admit the points diciary act, issues, as a matter of course, when duly de- where it is a precedent in favor of Georgia, and I will pont manded. This was
a case arising under the law and the out those where it is not; premising, that if the legislation treaties, the validity of which was denied by Georgia, and of Georgia violates law and treaty, it by no means follows
31 Feb. 14, 1831.]
(H. OF R.
that the Government of the United States may withhold that the early settlers of New England were a blood. the protection which it owes, and which is demanded by thirsty race, and treated the Indians barbarously? Is any those who are the victims of that legislation, because New thing gained for Georgia, and her sister States, by proving York has adopted similar acts of legislation.
that fact? Those who would get an argument to support It is matter of surprise, too, if the legislation of New their policy, out of the fact, that, in the seventeenth cen. 24 York affords a sanction to that of Georgia, that it was not tury, some Indians were sold to the West Indies as slaves,
insisted on sooner. Three great negotiations have been need not go so far back. The slave trade, till very lately, held by citizens of Georgia since the New York law of was carried on throughout the civilized world. All na
1822, with the Creeks or Cherokees, and this precedent tions were stained with its guilt. The States of New Some was never pleaded, as far as I can find, in the record of England brought the slaves from Africa; the Southern From the negotiations.
States bought them into bondage. And what then? Now let us compare the cases. New York, in 1822, the traffic less atrocious? or is it inconsistent for any one, passed a short law extending her criminal jurisdiction over north or south, at the present day, to denounce and re. the dwindling remnants of tribes within her borders, and probate it? there she has stopped. She leaves her Indians as she Let me not, however, be thought to admit the charge
found them. She makes no attempt, by severe penal en- of barbarity against the early settlers of New England i actments, to break down the organization of their tribes. towards the Indians. Some incidents occurred, in the
She has neither claimed nor surveyed their lands, nor perilous condition in which the colonists, in the early pe. seized their mines. As to the individual condemned by riods of their settlements, were placed, which I surely will her courts, Soo-non-gize, her assembly pardoned him. not vindicate; but their conduct towards the Indians in the Her law, I understand, has not since been acted upon; main was honorable and kind. The charges against them, and it is the opinion of the highest legal authorities in the from whatever quarter, are substantially unjust. They had State, that it leaves the rights and condition of the Indians a right to come to this continent; they were guided hither where it found them. Here then are points of great and by the hand of the same Providence that had planted the Invital difference.
dians before them. There was room for both. Our foreThe New York law, in its terms confined to crimes and fathers had a right to a part of the soil, to be obtained by offences, was evidently intended, in its origin, to arm the honest dealing with the natives. I have never pretended State with power to protect the Indians against the evil that the Indian had an exclusive right to all the land he of imaginary and superstitious crimes; a power, as the could see from the top of a mountain, or over which the event shows, designed to be called forth only when such deer may fly before him in the chasc. But what follows a peculiar occasion should require it. The Georgia code from this admission? That after we have made an agree. is one of civil and criminal jurisdiction, the last of a series ment with an Indian tribe, and got all we need, and guaof measures, having for its great and avowed object to rantied the rest, we shall not be bound to the faith of our effect the removal of the Indians. Hence, while New compact? I trust not. York stops at the claim of criminal jurisdiction, and does How then is the question of right affected by the prac. not, in point of fact, enforce that, Georgia enacts the tice of the colonies? It is said they legislated over the severest laws against the entire social existence of the Indians. But this is vague and general. I want sometribe, claims their lands, seizes their mines, and substan- thing specific and distinct. Did they, after making a long tially drives them from her borders. If New York had series of treaties with the Indian tribes, fixing boundaries, gone into the Seneca reservation with a score of survey- accepting cessions, and guarantying unceded lands, did ors, declaring the alternative of removal to the West, or they turn round, declare those treaties null, break down
extinction, and drawing a lottery for their lands, the case the boundaries and seize upon the land, in time of proin would have been more nearly parallel. Accordingly we found peace, and under the pretence that the treaties
find, in the last place, that the Senecas never invoked our were unconstitutional? This is the kind of precedent protection, because no practical evil was done or threat. wanted; not one resting in mere political metaphysics. ened; the Cherokees invoke our protection, because the But grant they did all this, (no part of which they did,) choice is set before them, of subjection to State laws, and grant they did it as independent States, before the under which they are told they cannot live, and removal constitution of 1789. All this would not help the arguto a desert, where they believe they must die. There is, ment. The States, under the confederation, were clothed therefore, the greatest difference in all the matters of fact, with many attributes of sovereignty, which they gave up which give a character to the two cases. In point of on entering the Union. They coined money, enacted equity and justice, the New York precedent could not of navigation laws, imposed tariffs to protect manufactures. course alter the case, as one wrong affords no justifica- The right to treat with the independent tribes of Indians tion of another.
was not one of the rights ceded to the States, although I will here also answer the argument drawn from the conflicts existed between the Congress and some of the example of the colonies, and of the States, before the con- States as to the extent of their power in this respect. But stitution. The argument from the practice of the colonies all the sovereign powers I have enumerated were given is of twofold aspect, looking to the question as one of hu- up by the states in adopting the constitution. When manity and of right.
Georgia adopted the constitution, the treaty of Hopewell First
, as to humanity. Grant that the treatment of the was in existence, containing the most decisive guaranties Indians, by the colonies, was barbarous and cruel. We of the rights of the Cherokees.' Before the constitution, have lately been taunted with the fact, that, when taken as Georgia claimed the right of treating with the Indians; but prisoners of war, they were sometimes sold as slaves to the afterwards never. She frequently has requested the West Indies; and our recollection has been refreshed with United States to treat for her benefit, and the United States the circumstance, that, according to Cotton Mather, on have done it. And now tlie argument is, that Georgia has a occasion of storming an Indian fort, the huts within it right to annul all these treaties, because, in former times, the took fire, and several of the wretched inmates were (as colonies or the States extended their laws over the Indians! this author with detestable quaintness expresses it) broil But it is said that the late administration pursued the ed” to death. These are the facts quoted against us. same policy of removing the Indians, and the friends of They were the incidents of a war of mutual extermina- that administration are charged with inconsistency in now tion, between the colonies and a powerful savage foe. opposing it. No one denies that the late administration But I let that pass. What is gained by citing these facts? earnestly desired the removal of the Indians. It saw, what Suppose they prove the only thing they seem to prove, every body sees, the inconveniences incident to the resi
H. OF R.]
(FEB. 14, 1831.
dence of the Southwestern tribes in the neighborhood of selves, had no right to change it. If this were true, it the States, so resolutely bent on acquiring their lands. It would not affect the case, because the treaty of the Indian is well known that the project of colonizing them west of Springs, which gave Georgia all the Creek lands, being the Mississippi was submitted by Mr. Monroe to Congress, fraudulent in itself, could never have given any rights, and near the close of his administration, and again, with some was solemnly annulled by the Senate, the present Secremodifications, by Mr. Adams in 1828. But it is a matter tary of War voting in favor of annulling it. Nevertheless, of equal notoriety, that neither the last administration, nor passing by the treaty of Washington, which fixed the that which preceded it, contemplated the attainment of boundary, and acting under that of the Indian Springs, this object in any other way than by the joint and volun- which the Senate declared void, the President has under tary co-operation of the Indians themselves, and the Unit- taken to settle a new boundary, equally to the dissatisfaced States. The idea that the States could annul the trea- tion of the Cherokees and Georgia; and has actually disties, was never countenanced by the late President for a possessed the Cherokees, by a simple executive order, moment. It cannot surely be forgotten in what emphatic enforcing a treaty declared by the Senate to be fraudulent
, language, on a very trying occasion, Mr. Adams avowed null, and void, of four hundred and sixty-four thousand his resolution to support the Indians in the rights secured six hundred and forty-six acres of land, occupied, as they to them by treaty and by law.
allege, by their tribe for generations. Georgia had passed a law authorizing the survey of a I might also speak of the countenance which has been portion of Creek lands, ceded by the treaty of the Indian given to intruders, in establishing themselves on lands vaSprings, which the Senate of the United States had an- cated by the emigrants to Arkansas, by which serious evils nulled, and not ceded by that of Washington. Mr. Adams and constant vexations are occasioned to the Cherokees; immediately ordered the arrest and prosecution of the but I forbear, for want of time, to dwell on the subject. surveyors. Georgia declared a determination to support Nor is the order given last summer, to change the mode her surveyors by military force; and the President sub- in which the annuities are paid, less vexatious. It has mitted the subject to Congress. In the message sent for been called, and I think with justice, a small business. that purpose, he used this language: “It ought not, how- The annuity due to the Cherokees, amounts, I believe, to ever, to be disguised, that the act of the Legislature of but six thousand six hundred and sixty-six dollars. It is Georgia, under the construction given to it by the Gov- by treaty due to the nation. Since the Cherokees took ernor of that State, and the surveys made or attempted by our advice, and established a regular Government, it has his authority beyond the boundary secured by the treaty been paid to the treasurer of the nation. It constitutes a of Washington of April last, to the Creek Indians, are, in considerable part of the little revenue of the tribe. The direct violation of the supreme law of this land, set forth President has seen fit to order its payment to the treasurer in a treaty, which has received all the sanctions provided to be discontinued, and to be made hereafter to the Indians by the constitution, which we have sworn to support and individually. It amounts to about forty-two cents for each maintain. In the present instance, it is my duty to say of the population. It must of course be paid in specie. that if the legislative and executive authorities of the State A part of the tribe live a hundred or two miles from the of Georgia should persevere in acts of encroachment upon agency. Shall it be sent to them? Shall they travel this the territories secured by a solemn treaty to the Indians, distance to receive their few cents? What is the object and the laws of the Union remain unaltered, a superadded of this change? I have understood that it has been stated obligation, even higher than that of human authority, will by the Secretary of War, in a letter published in the course compel the Executive of the United States to enforce the of the last summer, that complaints had been made that laws and fulfil the duties of the nation, by all the force some of the Indians are defrauded by their chiefs of their committed for that purpose to his charge.'
share. However this may be with other tribes, to which I may be permitted to add that this message, and other the same change extends, and of this I know nothing, I important documents in the Georgia controversy, were believe it is not so with the Cherokees. I have seen a committed to a select committee of this House, of which letter from Mr. Montgomery, the Cherokee agent, dated I had the honor to be chairman, from which a report pro- last October, in which he declares that no such complaint ceeded, supporting, in all points, the principles laid down has ever come to his knowledge. I hope there is no rea. by the President in the message I have just cited. It is son for the suggestion which bas been made on very good obvious, therefore, that there is no foundation for the authority, that this change in the mode of paying the an. charge that the last administration was friendly to the policy nuities has been ordered, to deprive the Cherokee Goof removing the Indians as now pursued. In fact, it is vernment of the funds necessary to enable them to carry matter of surprise that a charge so notoriously groundless on the arduous and discouraging contest in which they are should be adventured. Had Mr. Adams done what is now now involved with the Executive authorities of the United pretended; had he countenanced Georgia, Alabama, and States and with Georgia. Mississippi, in their policy, the South would never have I have confined myself, for the reasons stated in the outbeen consolidated, as it was, against him; and I much doubt set, almost entirely to the case of the Cherokees. There if the chair of State would have been filled as it now is. is a memorial from the Creeks on our tables, from which
Sir, I think I have made out my case. I have shown it would appear that they suffer from the same policy: that the Cherokee Indians have been invaded in the terri- They are overrun with intruders, whom the Government tory and rights secured to them by treaty and by law. of the United States does not remove; and the legislation In addition to the particulars which I have mentioned, of Alabama has been extended over them. I find the folthere are others set forth in their memorial, well deserving lowing account of it in a letter, apparently by a member the consideration of the House. Most of these, for want of the Legislature of Alabama; «Tuscaloosa, (Alabama,) of time, I must pass over; but on two of them I will dwell 9th January. The Indian bill, which has been passed in for a moment Georgia has contended for a boundary line, the House of Representatives, provides for extending over under the treaty of the Indian Springs, of 1825, and in the different tribes within the territoriul limits, the civil contravention of that of 1826 at Washington, by which the and criminal laws of the State, prohibiting them from treaty of the Indian Springs was annulled,) which would enacting or executing any laws of their own-tases their take a million of acres of land from the Cherokees. The black population, between the ages of twelve and sixty, ground of this claim on the part of Georgia is, that the with a poll tax of fifty cents. The Choctaw and Chickaancient boundary between the Creeks and the Cherokees saw nations are, however, to be exempt from the operawas greatly to the north of the recent boundary; and that tions of this act, so soon as the treaty concluded by their the Crecks and Cherokees, by compact between them- respective nations with the United States shall have been