Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

May 15, 1830.]

Removal of the Indians.

(H. OF R.

*

ery properly upfettered from two limitations in the arti-i principles, remain as irrevocably and eternaily with the fles of confederation, which reader the provision obscure one as the other." od contradictory. The power is there restrained to In The negotiation proceeded. Beverly Randolph, Benja. Jians not members of any of the States, and is not to vio- min Lincolo, and Timothy Pickering were pomivated to the

ate the legislative right of any State within its own limits. Senate, on the 1st of March, as commissioners, and their Vhat description of Indians are to be deemed members of appointment confirmed. Their instructions are expressed

State, is not yet settled, and has been a question of fre- on the face of them to have been given by General Knox, uent perplexity and contention in the federal councils." by the special direction of the President of the United ind how the trade with Indians, not inembers of a State, States." A part of their address to the Indian council is

et residing within its legislative jurisdiction, can be regu- as follows: ited by an external authority, without so far intruding on " Brothers--Now listen to another of a claim, which, "he internal rights of legislation, is absolutely incompre- probably, has more disturbed your minds than any other ensible. This is not the only case in which the articles of whatever. konfederation have inconsiderately endeavored to accom " Brothers—The commissioners of the United States

lish impossibilities: to reconcile a partial sovereignty in bave formally set up a claim to your whole country southbe Union, with a complete sovereignty in the States ; to ward of the great lakes, as the property of the United ubvert a mathematical axiom, by taking away a part and States, grounding this claim on the treaty of peace with etting the whole remain."

your father, the King of Great Britain, who declared, 28 All which can be said, in any sense, to have passed to we have before mentioned, the middle of those lakes, and je United States, or to the States, from the Crown, was a the waters which upite them, to be the boundaries of the aked right of pre-emption to what were called the Crown United States: ands. I speak advisedly when I say that the United “ Brothers-We are deterinined that our conduct shall states have solemnly and deliberately admitted it. This be marked with openness and sincerity. We therefore "uestion was fully examined by the Government

, almost frankly tell you that we think those commissiouers put an Orty years ago; and we stand pledged in such express erroneous construction on that part of our treaty with the arms to the Indian nations on this point, that our lips are King. As he had not purchased the country.of you, be zaled. They can show you a case on their part, that de could not give it away. He only relinquished to the United es all cavil and all criticism. I know that this is strong States bis claim to it. That claim was founded on a right anguage ; but I have measured my words. I know well acquired by treaty with other white nations, to exclude le extent of wbat I say, and what I pledge myself to them from purchasing or settling in any part of your how in saying what I do. It is not a thoughtless pledge, country, and it is this right which the King granted to the od it shall be redeemned by proof from the archives of United States.

our own Government, which all the subtleties of ingenuisv cannot evade, and which will annihilate that learned “ Brothers We now concede this great point. We, by od labored bypothesis on which the rights of the lodians the express authority of the President of the United States, ave been denied by this administration and in these halls. acknowledge the property or right of soil of the great

invite the attention of gentlemen to the papers, which country above described to be in the Indian nations, so can be produced, on this subject, and should be gratified to long as they choose to occupy the same. We only claim ear what answer is to be made to them.

particular tracts in it, as before mentioned, and the geneBefore General Wayne moved with the army, in 1793, ral right granted by the King, as above stated." eneral Washington determined to make one more effort These papers are to be found in the manuscript volumes ir peace with the Indian nations then confederated against of the Senate. They were communicated to that body by * The cabinet was convened, and the whole subject of General Washington. The originals were doubtless in the

negotiation was laid before them. The question as War Department when the present Secretary wrote bis the rights of the Indian nations was there deliberately letter of the 18th of April to the Cherokee delegation. kamined, and the opinions of the cabinet were required in an address of Mr. Jefferson to the Cherokees, during y the President. In the first place, Mr. Jefferson has fur- bis administration, he says: shed us fully with his own opinion, in the late publica " I sincerely wish you may succeed in your laudable enjou of his papers.

deavors to save the rempart of your nation, by adopting - “ February 26, 1798.

industrious occupations, and a Goverument of regular law. " First question. We were all of opinion that the treaty In this you may always rely on the counsel and assistance aould proceed, merely to gratify public opinion, and not of the Únited States." om an expectation of success."

These, sir, are "the lights that flow from the mind that

founded and the mind that reformed our system;" speaking : " Second question. I considered our right of pre-emp- of which, one has said to his country, that a diffidence, op to the Indian lands sot as amounting to any dominion perhaps too just, in bis own qualifications would teach him er jurisdietion, or paramountship.whatever, but merely in to look with reverence to the examples of public virtuo left de nature of a remainder after the extinguishment of a by bis illustrious predecessors. resent rigbt, which gave us do present right whatever, Mr. Jefferson's opinion to General Knox, in 1791, speaks ut of preventing other nations from taking possession and a language that cannot be misunderstood. He there says, efeating our expectancy : that the Indians had the full and Government should firmly maintain this ground, that ndivided sovereiguty as long as they chose to keep it, and the Indiaus have a right to the occupations of their lands, pat this might be forever; that as fast as we extend our independent of the States within wbose ebartered lines ghts by purchase from them, so fast we extend the limits of they happen to be; that until they code them by treaty, or ur society; and as soon as a new portion became encircled other transaction equivalent to treaty, do act of a State zithin our line, it became a fixed limit of our society." can give a right to such lands ; that neither under the pre

Another question seems to have arisen in the cabinet, sent constitution, nor the apcient confederation, bad apy hich, as far as I can gather from the book before me, State or persons a right to treat with the Indians, without or I have not been able to lay my hand on the original the consent of the General Government." Wbat is the apers,) involved a re-cession to ihe Indians of certain lands answer, sir, wbich the Cherokees and Creeks have received urchased before. Mr. Jefferson was of opinion that the to all this? The modern records of the Department of overnment could " no more code to the Indians than to War, and the papers op our table, will show us no yery pe English or Spaniards, as it might, op acknowleged I enviable contrast to that just and humane policy which

VOL. VI.-127.

H. OF R.]

Removal of the Indians.

(May 15, 1830.

[ocr errors]

the administration of Washington solemnly pledged us to nothing settled in the Government. Every thing is to be follow in our intercourse with these unfortunate people. kept floating. We shall never know what our institutica If nny thing can vind a Government, we have not a pre- are, por will others koow when or whether to trust use text for denying the qualified sovereignty of the Indians. all. The mischiefs wbich are to follow to the Cherokes We bave dealt with them by commissioners appointed un. are incalculable. They were told forty years ago what der all the forms of the constitution. We bave asserted we then admitted their rights to be. They are now in s our compacts to be definitive treaties with them as nations. great measure reclaimed, under our councils, from their We have ratified them like other treaties. They are pro- former condition, and have begun to realize the blessings mulgated in the statute book as the law of the land. We of civilization. When they have just reached that point have not only recognised them as possessed of attributes of which is successfully calling forth their talent, and develop sovereignty, but, in some of these treaties, we have defined ing their capacity for moral improvement, we are about what these attributes are. We have taken their lands as to break up their society, dissolve their institutious, sad cessions—terms totally senseless if they are citizens or in. drive them into the wilderness. They bave lived for a dividuals. We have stipulated for the right of passage short time under a Government of their own, wbich very through their country, and for the use of their harbors, for able counsel (Mr. WHITE, of the Senate] bas vindicated in the restoration of prisoners, for the surrender of fugitives one of the most learned and conclusive opinions I here from justice, servants, and slaves. We bave limited our ever met with. Their right to adopt for themselres the own criminal jurisdiction and our own sovereignty, and institutions which they have established, and to assert the have disfranchised our citizens by subjecting them to other qualified sovereignty which they claim, is demonstrated in ponishments than our own. With the Cherokees you have, that paper, and settled upon ground that no argument se in one treaty, stipulated the manner of proceeding for in- ingenuity can shake. This opinion, too, was given upos juries, by a formal declaration of hostilities before war. great deliberation, and shows that the whole question wa These are some of the most prominent and remarkable of cautiously as well as thoroughly examined. It is not to be your acts. You cannot open a chapter of Vattel, or any viewed in the light of a mere professional opinion. It es writer on the law of nations, wbich does not define your bibits the deductions and convictions of the mind of a cui duties and explain your obligations. No municipal code lian and statesman, drawn from a comprebensive and 38 reaches them. If these acts of the Federal Government terly view of the subject in all its bearings and relatista do not show them to bé sovereign to some extent, you can. If there could be a doubt up any point considered in it not show that you have ever aeknowledged any nation to we might question the right of the Oberokee Government be so. The condition of these Indian nations is not treated to tax the United States traders. Their treaties had con of by authors of public law in Europe, because no such ceded that the regulation of their trade should be manager condition of things exists there. You may find some by the General Government, and such an exercise of powe analogies in former times, but they will turn out to be on the part of the Cherokees might essentially defeat the against you. If you look to the moral law, you can find objects and stipulations of the trenties. What, sir, is the no escape there. 'I might ask, where was your authority to character of this Government of the Cherokees, which sp make the compact with Georgia ! The lands to be acquired pears to have offended the pride of Georgia 80 bigbly were not to be of the domain of the General Government, They claim po jurisdiction over the concerns of abybody What is the bill now before us? Who are the nations" but themselves. They have always had this, and alway with whom we bave "existing treaties " Who are to-re-exercised it. Their Government bas lately assumed ceive new guaranties from the United Stater, if, after this, more convenient form, and better adapted to their in they will accept another from us! Wbo are those that the proved condition. Their domestic institutions show men President is to exercise a "superintendence” over? Are of civilization and good order than we bave seen amo they citizens! The framers of this bill have not been able them before, and I hope we do not reproach them to make its provisions intelligible, without admitting much that. Their regulations for the allotment of their lands which they deny in sustaining it. The guaranty now pro and the better government of their own people, interfer posed is as much a disraemberment of the sovereignty of with nobody. I have never yet been able to see the fan the United States, as former ones were of Georgia. The of that suggestion which treats them as a State within the only difference is, that the President alone is to act in this sense of that part of the constitution which forbide the matter, while your treaties were made by the States in the erection of any new State within the jurisdiction of a Senate, where the sovereignty of Georgia was represented. other without its consent. I think it has no appliestas If there is any thing in this part of the argument against to the case. The Cherokee Government has neither bees the Cherokees, gentlemen are bound to protect the sove formed or erected as one of the States of this Union, er reignty of the United States, by voting against this bill. be admitted into it. It is no more calculated to alarm the The President informs us that they are to have “Govern- jurisdiction of any State, than a certain kingdom lately pro ments of their own choice," located on our domain. jected on Grand Ísland, the iostitution at New Lebanon, care

There is nothing alarming to our own security or our the family government at New Harmony. pride in admitting this sovereignty in the Indian nations. But it has been said, in answer to the claims of the InWe took care in the first instance to obtain all necessary dians, that we hold our sovereignty over them and their limitations of it. They confessed themselves to be under lands by conquest as well as discovery. I shall our protection--that their lands should be sold to us only, little as to that pretension. They may bave been defested that we should regulate their trade; and we stipulated for in battle. Their country may have been overrun by csi various other restrictions on their part. Great foresight armies. We may have iövaded them, and sometimes bort and wisdom in this respect were shown by those who first their towns and driven them into places of concealmes admitted them to their present condition. The treaties But it is essential to title by conquest that we should have will show how carefully this matter was guarded, and we exercised the right which the laws of war allow to the have suffered no inconveniences from it, of which reason. conqueror. Have we taken away their lands, abolished able men should complain. We have made them subordi- their governments, and put them in subjection to our lui pate to us in all essential points, by express treaties. Our If this has not been done, (and history shows that it bss intercourse laws are founded on the system we have adopt- not,) it is too late now to say that there has been a tiss ed : and though their constitutionality has been questioned, when we might have done it

. So far from claiming to es ton, it is not probable that Mr. Jefferson approved any ercise this right, we bave closed our hostilities by treatie law that palpably violated the reserved rights of the States. ever since we became an independent Government, an If the question before us is not settled at

this day, there is "both parties were restored to their original condition,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

May 15, 1830.]

Removal of the Indians.

[H. of R.

cept on points which the treaties provided for. It must in the course of his profound investigations, that the ques. be considered, too, that when we set up the title of coo- tion to be examined was, whether this was really the inquest, we seem to feel that discovery alone would not bave terpal affair of Georgia only, or not! It would have been reached the rights of soil against the native inhabitants ; better to have proved this conclusion, than to have assumed and I thought the gentleman from Tennessee felt pressed it. He began to reason at the wrong end of the matter, in making out bis case, when he assumed that discovery and that is the misfortune of his whole argument. It must zave us the right to follow it up by couquest. The war strike the mind of others, too, if the Secretary himself must at least be lawful, to justify that title in any case on failed to discover it, that the powers which Georgia bas, the score of morality. I do not think that the positiou can in fact, parted with to the General Government, must be be sustained, that because we have discovered any new exercised within the States, or they cannot be exercised country, we have the right to conquer it. If we choose anywhere. Yet Georgia remains an independent GovernPo put it on the ground of mere force, I will not say that ment as to all the sovereignty she has reserved. What title by conquest may be depied, though the war may more is there in that paper but a jargon of words ? Adhave been uplawful. But I do not agree that this was verge authority-exercised authority-confederate authoHope on the discovery of America. Our bistory does not rity! I wish to bold the Government of my country in ahow it.

some respect, if I can; but I was ashamed to find the jusI forbear to take up more of your time on this part of tification of one of its measures put forth in such a paper che question, for I fear that I have already wearied your as this from one of the Executive Departments. I trust soutience. But, before I leave it, I beg leave to call your that he answers for himself only, when he speaks of our attention to one of the many luminous papers which have knowledge of the principles of our own Government, Essued upon this subject from the Department of War. and then I will agree, that, if we are to judge from this We have found a pamphlet ou our tables, containing a let- paper, he knows very little about them. ver of the 25th of August last, to the Rev. Eli Baldwin, We

e are less justifiable in applying the principles which secretary of a board formed in the city of New York for bave been asserted to the Indian nations in Alabama and she " salvation of the Indians." This board is pledged in Mississippi. Before these States were erected, they were ts constitution to co-operate with the Federal Govero- the territory of the United States. The jurisdiction was nept in its operations on Indian affairs. But this article in the General Government. There were no State rights ans fortunately restricted that basty pledge by an ex- in existence there. We had solemnly guarantied to the press condition “at no time to violate tbe laws" of the Creek nation all their lands, and recognised their sove. Jnion. Of these laws, the intercourse acts and treaties reignty under various treaties. These States have but reire certainly the most sacred in right and morals. In recently been admitted into the Union. Yet the President plying to a letter communicating to the President a copy bas said in bis inessage, “it is too late to inquire whether of the constitution of this benevolent association, the Secre- it was just in the United States to include them (the Inary of War availed himself of the occasion to take it upon dian natoins) and their territory within the bounds of new ainself to instruct the board in that casuistry by wbich States, whose limits they could control. That step canhe faith of our treaties might be impaired successfully. not be retraced. A State cannot be dismembered by The' argument is very brief, and the process quite Congress, or restricted in the exercise of her constitu- summary, by which be accomplished this political absolu- tional power.” It is not denied bere, vor could it have iop in our behalf. I do not feel at liberty to hazard the been, that while this was the territory of the United States, smission of a single word that might impair its merit or it was competent for the Government to admit the sovebscure its clearness, by undertaking to repeat it from me- reignty of the Creek nation. But it is assumed that the norry

erection of this territory into States, under the same con" How can the United States' Government contest with stitution which sustained the treaties, has abrogated our teorgia the authority to regulate her own internal affairs ? obligations. This casuistry will bardly mislead any very

f the doctrine everywbere maintained be true, that a plain man. We are to be released from the effect of our State is sovereigo, so far as, by the coustitution adopted, it treaties by our owo act, against the will of the other party, las not been parted with to the General Goveroment, who has faithfully kept them. Is it indeed too late to inben it must follow as matter of certainty, that within the quire if this be just 1 I know of no such maxim among imits of a State there can be done others than her own dations, if it is to be found anywhere. The constitution

overeign power that can claim to exercise the functions secures the inviolability of these treaties as effectually, as it of Government. It is certainly contrary to every idea of has the federal sovereignty of these new States. In acin iudependent Government for any other to assert ad- ceding to the Union, they become bound with the other rerse dominion and authority wiibin her jurisdictional States in all their political and conventional obligations. imits; they are things that cannot exist together. Be. If the older States remain bound by these treaties, (and ween the State of Georgia and the Indian tribes within no one, I presume, denies that,) the new States; as conher limits, no compact or ngreement was ever entered into; stituent parts of the federal sovereignty, are bound to revho then is to yield 1 for it is certain in the ordivary course spect and fulfil them too. of exercised authority that one or the other must. The The history of our guaranties to the Cherokee and inswer heretofore presented from the Goveromeut, and Creek nations, is stated at large in the Executive Journal which you, by your adoption, bave sanctioned as correct, of the Senate. General Wasbington came with General s the only one that can be offered. Georgia, by her ac- Knox to the Senate chamber, and laid before the Senate powledged confederative authority, may legally and the state of the difficulties existing between North Carorightfully govern and control throughout her own limits, lipa and Georgia and these Indian nations. These States relse our knowledge of the science and principle of go- bad protested against the treaties of the old Congress, as 'vernment, as they relate to our forms, is wrong, and has infringements of their legislative rights. General Wash. been wholly inisunderstood.”

ington stated that the Cherokees had complained that their Now, sir, all this may seem to be very clear demonstra- treaty bad been violated by the disorderly whites on the tion to its autbor. I do not doubt that be honestly thought frontiers, but that as North Carolina bad not acceded to it must prove quite convincing to all who should bave the the Union, it was doubtful whether any efficient measures goud fortune to meet with it." With your leave, sir, could be taken by the General Government. Jo relation * I'll talk a word to this samo learned Theban."

to the difficulties between Georgia and the Creeks, it was

stated to be of great importance to Georgia as well as the I should like to know whether it ever occurred to him Voited States, to settle those differeneer, and that it

H. of R.)

Removal of the Indians.

(May 15, 1830

would be highly embarrassing to Georgia to relinquish it, and the Secretary of War well underetands that to be certain lands, which she alleged the Creeks had already the inevitable consequence of them. I infer, from a de ceded to her, and which her citizens had settled upon. eument on your table, that he bas instructed your 08 To fix certain principles as instructions to the commis- agents to make use of them for that purpose. A lette sioners, General Wasbington stated several questions to from the Choctaw interpreter to the War Departme: the Senate for their advice. Among these was the subject of the 27th of November last, says: " I was put in pis of a cession from the Creeks of the lands in controversy, session of the contents of your letter of the 31st ultimo :: And one of the conditions to be offered then on that point Colonel Ward, United States' agent to the Choctawa, uai was as follows:

was ordered by him to interpret and fully explain the * “ 4th. A solemn guaranty by the United States, to the ture of the laws of Mississippi that were about to be e Creeks, of their remaining territory, and to maintain the tended over them, and the bad consequences that would sane, if necessary, by a line of military posts.”

attend, as they were not prepared to live under said lass The Senate advised and consented to this, and the I have advised them op all occasions to ipake tbe best ar treaty was negotiated and ratified. The differences with rangement with the Goverument they possibly can, ani Georgia appeared then to be finally settled.

emigrate to the west of the Mississippi.” The Secretary On the 11th of August, 1790, General Washington wrote to the agent of the Cherokees, since this measure stated to the Sepate in a message, that, as the obstacles to has been pending : " The object of the Goverument is e closing the difficulties with the Cherokees had been re- persuade, not coerce their ludian friends to a removal from moved by the accession of North Carolina to the Union, ihe land of their fathers. Beyond all doubt, they canood be should now execute the power vested in him by the be peaceable and happy where they are ; yet still si constitution, to carry into faithful execution the former they be protected to the extent that right and justice and treaty of Hopewell, unless a new boundary was agreed the powers possessed require. Beyopd this the president has upon, and proposed to the Senate several questions as to peither the inclination por the authority to go. It is idle the compensation to the Cherokees for that purpose, and to talk of rights wbich do not belong to them, and of pry the followiog condition :

tection which capoot be extended. The most correct " 3d. Sball the United States stipulate solemnly to gua- plan is to disclose the facts as they exist, that all in init "ranty the new boundary which may be arranged ?" rest may be warned, and by timely precaution escape

Tõe Senate consented that this guaranty should be those evils of which experience has already afforded given, and the treaty of Holeton was made in conformity abundant indication there is no avoiding, situated ubert to it. It was negotiated by Governor Blount. The ma- they are.”. We can all understand language of this sort nuscript volumes of the Sevate show certain instructions without the aid of an interpreter. But the Cherokee from the Government to Governor Blount, of the 27th of aud Creeks bave declared that tbey will not leave their August, 1790, which are so highly characteristic of the ad. country. They peremptorily refuse to go over the Mal ministration of General Washington, that I have taken a sissippi

. Wby, then, bave these laws of the States beer brief extract from them, wbich I beg leave to read. extended to them at this particular time? We are told

" In order to effect so desirable a purpose upon proper that this bill is only to come in aid of their voluntary emi principles, it is highly necessary that the United States gration. But you have had their answer to that for year should set the example of performing all those engage. Your table is covered by their memorials and proteza ments which by treaties have been entered into uoder against it. You have made large appropriations betwe their authority. It will be in vain to expect a consistent now to effect that object, and have failed. Wby, iban conduct from the Indians, or the approbation of the im- are you repeating these appropriations at this particular partial part of mankind, while we

violate, or suffer a vio- time! They are at your door, and tell you they will com lation of our engagements. We must set out with doing accept them. Is there not reason, then, to believe tha: justice, and then we shall have a rigbt to exact the same they are to be removed against their real consent and is conduct from the Indians.”

clinations, though no actual force is meditated in a This is the history of your guaranties, and these the quarter & Individuals may doubtless be found to surrez professions which you made when you offered them. der the lands of the nation which they happen to occurs

They were given on mature deliberation—with the full These lands then pass to Georgia. The nations are to by knowledge of the claims of all parties, and were entered put at variance among themselves. Their social institu! into with a solemnity which admonisbes us that they can- tions are to be destroyed The laws of the States berk Dot be safely trifled with. Against whom were they to done that effectualiy. The lands surrendered are to bel operate! Not against foreign powers, for they had no covered with white men. Can the Cherokees then line claims, por against the General Government. It was the there? Is that the protection which you have promised! claims of the States to their country which we stand | Is that the execution of your solemo guaranties i is that pledged to resist, until they consent to part with it peace your dealing with your plighted faith and national boner! ably. It is claimed again now by some of the States, that Sir, the coufidence of these nations in the securities oil our power to contract with these nations, as qualified so their treaties and your good faith, is shakes. They keel vereignties, violates their jurisdiction. But we have seen that they are abandoned that your laws have censed te that ibis question was fully before the Senate when we protect them---that their institutions are destroyed gave these guaranties, and General Washington said that, the pressure to be inflicted on them is such that they eat since North Carolina had acceded to the Union, be should not bear it, and that they must abandon their country #bes put forth the strength of the executive power entrusted this House shall bave sanctioned the measure before yos to bim by the constitution, to execute the treaty of the The Government is undoubtedly right when they s old Congress with the Cherokees. These guaranties can that the Indians cannot live where they now are, unde not be executed at all, unless the treaties and the inter. these laws. And why, then, were they passed : We are course laws are paramount to the laws of the States. told in one breath that they are mostly mere savages, and

The operation of the laws of Georgia, as well as Mis- that all the efforts to reclaim them have failed; and is the sissippi and Alabama, shows this. I know that there is next we hear, that, to carry into effect a very benevolen * nothing on the face of these laws which proposes to exert plan for their improvement, they are to be placed wie any direct force for the removal of the Indians. But, under ihe strict regulations of our state of society. Are we ta the existing condition of things there, the moral effect of understand by this that they are to be civilized by a legis these measures will as effectually accomplish this end as lative act ! It is useless, sir, to consider this matter gravein your army could do it. The - ladians themselves believe in that way. We do not deceive ourselves by it, and abs

May 15, 1830.)

Removal of the Indians.

[H. or R.

[ocr errors]

6

mislend nobody else. There is sagacity enough in the ple. It is the first time, so far as my knowledge extenda people wbom we represent to understand it. Think you ibat such a practice has been upblushingly avowed. that, with the Georgia report before them, they will be There is more, too, before us, vbich should attract the lieve that the object of these laws is to reclaim the Indians attention of this House, I see by a pamphlet before me, and improve their condition, so as to attach them more tbat our superintendeut of lpdian Affairs, in the War Destrongly to their country? The Government bas put this partment, was sent to New York last summer to aid the s in its true light. The consequence will be, that, in their benevolent institution to which I have already alluded,

state of society, they can enjoy vone of the practical bene- with such information as he might possess in regard to fits of the general laws of these States, and will be sub- these Indian nations. He delivered an address on that jected at the same time to the whole range of their ordinary occasion in one of the churches of that city. In this be criminal jurisdiction, as well as another code applicable to said, that if the Indians were present he would address themselves ouly. We hear it sometimes said that they them thus : are to be admitted to the privileges of citizens, as if some · Brothers: Whether it is wise in you thus to linger out

substantial privileges, wbich they do not now enjoy, were a chafed, and impoverished, and disheartening existence, s to be couferred on them. Why, theo, do we find this bill and die as your fathers bave died, and leave the same des.

here, exactly at that time when they are to receive these tiny to your children, or to leave your country and the favors? If they are really to receive any new privileges, bones of your fathers, which cannot benefit you, stay will they not be more contented where they are, and less where they are as long as you may.” inclined to go beyond the Mississippi 1 It will be asked, I was shocked, sir, when I met with the ebameless avowtoo, by many, who cannot understand this sort of reasoning, al of such a sentiment, and addressed to such an audience, what particular benefits these States expect to obtain by too, by an agent of this Government. I have no language extending their laws over some thousands of people who are that can express my detestation of it. No man wbo ebesaid to be wild Indians, and bringing them within the pale rished a spark of virtuous feeling in his heart, could have of their society. There is certainly no State pride to be given it utterance. It deserves the marked reprobation of gratified by that. I shall not take up your time to an- this House, as the guardians of the honor of the country, swer questions of this sort. If these laws do not speak and the Government ought vot to retain him in his place a language that can be uoderstood here, they will be very a single bour. well understood elsewhere. There is no reason to believe I am admonisbed, sir, by the duty which I owe to the that Indian communities will disturb the peace of these States House for their indulgence, to occupy your time no longer. if their own citizens will let them alove. The only suf But I ask gentlemen to review the bistory of this Goferers in that respect are the Indians. There are laws vernment faithfully, and say, if, ou looking to the afflictenough to meet that case, if Goveroment will do its duty, ing condition of those people, and the certain consequenand execute them faithfully. The Indians are a peace- ces which are to follow, they can lay their lands upon able and inoffensive people, advancing rapidly in moral their hearts, as honorable men, and say that they feel improvement, cultivating their lands, establishing schools clear iu conscience is going any further with this measure. and churches, and disturbing bobody. They have already We are not dealing fur ourselves in this matter. Our own patiently borue what we should not submit to ourselves, reputati p is not alone concerned. The character of the and they will bear much more, if we ehoose to inflict it country is deeply involved in it. We shall not be able at upon them. But they are not prepared to live under our last to disguise our co-operativu iu removing these nations Jaws, if we had the right to extend our protection over from their country. We may now flatter and deceive them without their consent. The courts of justice in these ourselves as we may, but the time will come when our reStates will doubtless see that right is dune, so far as they sponsibility can peither be evaded nor denied. It must be are to administer the law in particular cases. But they met, and it is better for us to consider now what we must will afford a slender protection against the operation of meet. Our relations with the Indian nations are of our moral causes which will reduce them to the coudition of own seeking. We assumed our guardianship over them outlaws in society.

voluptarily, and we justified it, too, in the pame of religion I am not satisfied that the funds to be provided by this and humanity. We claimed it to be due from us as a bill are to be used in such a manner as we shall be willing civilized, enlightened, and christian people to them to hereafter to approve. The Secretary of War said last our own character, and the opinion of the world. They year to our commissioners, “ Nothing is more certain than never asked it of us. We stretched out our arms towards that if the chiefs and influential men could be brought them, and they took our band, in the confidence that we into the measure, the rest would implicity follow. It should act up to our professions. It was we who solicited becomes, therefore, a matter of necessity, if the General their friendship, and not they ours. It was done for our Government would benefit these people, that it move upon convenience, too, and not theirs. We offered them our them in the line of their own prejudices, and, by the adop- faith, and they trusted to us. To attest our sincerity and tion of any proper means, break the power tbat is waver- win their coutidence, we invoked the sanction of our holy ing with their best interests. The question is, how can religion, They have confided in us like children, and we this be best done Not, it is believed, for the reasons sug- bave solemnly pledged our faith before God and all man. gested, by means of a general council. There they would kind, to fulfil our promises to them righteously. We came be awakened to all the intimations which those who are bere, and set ourselves down in their country, and not opposed to their exchange of country might throw out; they in ours. They were then strong, and we were weak and the consequence would be, wbat it bas been, a film and helpless. They could have crushed us in the hollow refusal to acquiesce. The best resort is believed to be of their hand. But we had fled from oppression and perthat which is embraced in an appeal to the chiefs and in-secution in our owo native land, and they received us bere fluential men, not together, but apart

, at their own houses, in theirs as friends and brotbers. We have perpetuated and, by a proper exposition of their real condition, rouse their hospitality to our fathers on the gorgevus pannels them to think of that ; wbilet offers to them, of extensive which surround us. If we cherish in our hearts the reservations in fee simple, and other rewards, would, it is slightest sentiment of bodor, or the least spark of gratihoped, result in obtaining their acquiescence."

tude yet liogers there, we sball not be able to lift up our Now, sir, dieguise these suggestions as we may, there eyes and look around us when we enter these balls, with. can be no successful dissimulation in language of this sort. out feeling the smart of that rebuke wbich we deserve and

It is sheer, open bribery—a disreputable proposition to must suffer for our perfidy. These memorials of their buy up the chiefa, and reward them for treason to their peo- | bospitality caduot be effaced uptil we shull bave dilapidated

2

« AnteriorContinuar »