Imágenes de páginas

H. OF R.]

Removal of the Indians.

(May 17, 1830.

the law of Georgia, which the gentleman from New York, the Secretary on the invincible champion who has stepped says will have the effect of compelling them to remove forward in bis defence; and from the zeal and spirit which had not even been passed. But the President, appealed bas been manifested, the bead of the State Department to as he was, in a spirit of the most open frankness, and may feel perfectly secure from all attacks. If, however, with a special regard for the welfare of the Iudians, ad- the gentleman's knowledge of the President's character dressed them in the most affectionate terms; he told them had been equal to his apxiety for the Secretary's reputathey knew him, and they knew he would not deceive them; tion, he might easily bave quieted all his apprehensions. in that peculiar and eloquent language which they so well our present Chief Magistráte, while he will cheerfully, understood, he told them he spoke with a straight and listen to the opivions and suggestions of his constitutioual not with a forged tongue. If you remain where you are, advisers, will not submit to the directions or dictations of (said he) you cannot escape the operation of the State any one; and, lenst of all, will be ever attempt to shelter laws; you are included within the bounds of the States himself from the responsibilities of bis measures, by palmwhich have this right, and it is in vain to think of resisting; ing them on his ministers. if you choose to remain there, you shall be protected in But to return to the treaty of Holston. Suppose the the possession of your lands ; but I will not beguile you guaranty bad expressly extended to the protection of the with the hope of the protection of this Government against Indians, and to restrictions upon the rights of the States, State authority. But if you choose to remove, I will pro- which the United States liad no power to impose-in vide you a country beyond the Mississippi, wbere you may other words, suppose the provisious of the treaty to have escape the evils you apprehend—there you shall be pro- been plainly and palpably unconstitutional: now the adtected—there you may live and be happy.”. And this, sir, vocates of the Indians kneist that the President has do is the language of a despot ! this is the style suited to the right to notice this unconstitutionality,he is bound to court of Henry VIII! this is the power which is so alarm- execute the treaty. From this doctrine, sir, I humbly ing, that the gentleman from New York would prefer a beg leave to dissent. The President, on coming into dictator at once, rather than have a President so self-willed office, took a solemn oath to support the constitution of and tyrannical i Really, sir, 80 solemn and impressive was the United States—å treaty repuguant to this constitution the gentleman's manner, so awful and terrific the picture bas do binding force, and the enforcemeut of it by the he drew, that my fears were bigbly excited— I was ready President would, it seems to me, be a direct violation of to conclude that the days of this hapy republic were bis oath. But the honorable gentleman from New York numbered, and my imagination sickened at the contem- contends, that if there be any difficulty as to the meaning plation of liberty expiring in convulsive ngopies. But, or obligations of a treaty-at least, such as those with the sir, when the alarm bad ceased, and I had time for a little Indians—the President should refer the matter to Coscalm reflection, I found that the country bad, in the view gress-that it is our

province to ascertain and determine of the gentleman, been brought to the verge of this aw- the extent of these obligations. I should be very glad to ful catastrophe by a little friendly and parental advice from know where Congress derives this power. In what part the President to these children of the forest, and by a re- of the constitution does the gentleman fiod it! He will fusal to array this Government against that of the States search for it in vaio. No such power exists. Whenever acting within their own sphere. But, in the glow of the execution of a treaty is coufided to the President, be all his ardor, and while sounding these terrible alarms, is necessarily clothed with the power of construing it ; and indulging in such mild terms as " tyrant,” « despot," and so long as the executive chair is filled by our present

dictator," &c., the gentleman is considerate enough to Chief Magistrate, that power will be exercised. And remind us that bis opposition to the conduct of the Presi- whenever

you attempt to compel him to adopt a construcdent is prompted by no political opposition—" this is no tion of a treaty entrusted to his execution, which he be party question." Oh no! " no party question !" certainly lieves to be uuconstitutional, and then require him to act pot. Wby tell us this? Who could have thought of charg: on that construction, he will tell you: "No, I cannot II ing the opposition of that gentleman to the ivfluence of you choose to impeach me, do so. Drag me to the bar of political or party motives ? I am sure no member of this the Senate, and accuse me before that august tribunal; but committee can be so uncharitable. But, lest there might I will not go to the bar of my God with the dancing sin be some ungeperous suspicion of that kind, the gentle upon my conscience of having openly and knowingly vioman gives us the strongest assurance of bis sincerity, in lated that great charter of our Goveroment which I had the anxiety he evinces to throw the responsibility of the Pre-solemnly sworn to support and defeod.” sident's conduct upon some one else. " It was certainly Not only are the recommendations of our statesmen, not the suggestion of bis owo miod;" and yet, after ranging and the character of our people, a sufficient guaranty the fields of bis imagination, extensive as they are, he is against oppression towards the Indians, but, by a recurunable to whom to attribute this cruel policy. Finally, rence to the past, we can give the strongest assurance however, and without the shadow of pretext, be travels that our courts of justice will afford them ample protecout of his way to make what at first appeared a very in- tion. I stated to the committee, in the outset of my residious attack on the Secretary of State. After telling us marks, that it had frequently been my lot to be employed he cannot imagine who could have advised the President as counsel for the Cherokees in our courts; and, as the in this matter, he expressed the most fervent hope that it character of the State in relation to its treatment of these was not the first officer in the cabinet. Really, sir, at people is so deeply concerned, I hope I shall be indulged first I thought this was bitter irony; and that the gen- in stating one or two cases which have come within my tleman's object was to render the policy as odious as pos- personal knowledge. In the treaties of 1817 and 1819, sible, and then, by expressing the hope that it was not ad- made between the United States and the Cherokees, by vised by the Secretary of State, to make directly the op- which a portion of the territory in the occupancy of the posite impression upon the minds of the committee. But Cherokees was acquired for Georgia, "the United States when a gentleman of his standing makes such a solemn agree to give to each head of an Iudian family six hundred averment, we are bound to believe him. From the rela- and forty acres of land in the territory ceded," on certain tions formerly existing between the Prime Minister and conditions. The Legislature of Georgia, conceiving this the gentleman from New York, it might be a matter of was a disposition of the property of the State, wbich the curious inquiry how long this extreme solicitude for the Federal Government had do right to make, ordered the fame and character of the Secretary of State bas existed. lands thus secured to the heads of Indian families to This is a matter, however, which it would be highly iv- be surveyed with the rest of the territory, and granted in delicate for me to inquire into. I can only congratulatel like navner. This produced a contest between the State

MAY 17, 1830.)

Removal of the Indians.

[H. oF R.

grantees and the Cherokee claimants, and a series of law- | proaches and abuse which have been so upsparingly lavishsuits ensued. When the causes came before the court, ed upon us ! But, sir, if the cases to which I have referred, the title of the Indian countrymen was defended on the together with other facts kpown to this committee, are ground that the land which they contended for bad never pot satisfactory, ask the Cherokees, whose rights and inbeen ceded; that the Indian title had never been extin- juries have been the subject of investigation in our courts ; guished ; that, being in possession, their title of occupancy even they will bear testimony in our favor-they will tell was sufficient to protect them; and that, although in the you that they have ever found ready access to the justice treaties the words the United States agree to give," Beat, and a listening ear to their complaints. Yes, sir, I indicated a disposition of the land which they could not feel proud that I can stand up here, and proclaim to the make, yet it amounted to nothing more or less than a Representatives of the American people that the records reservation by the Cherokees of that much land from the of our courts furnish po upjust judgmenta against our ied territory ceded. Conflicting claims thus arising, pro- neighbors—our altars have never been crimsoned with the duced, as may well be supposed, much excitement in the blood of an innocent Cherokee; and, at this moment, the counties where these lands were situated; but, after long gloomy cells of our peniteutiary can furnish witnesses who and solemo investigations, the court sustained the right of will testify that the rights of the Indians are not to be viothe reservees, and determined that the State grantees lated with impunity, could not recover the possessiou of the land until the lo: I will now recur to another, aod a very striking part of dian claimant abandoned it, or his title was extinguished. the remarks of the gentlemau from New York. Towards And this decision was made by a judge, * not only of dis. the close.of bis eloquent argument, he took up this book, tinguished ability, but one than whom the State of Geor- (Jefferson's Memoir) and told us that be then beld in bis gia does not contain a citizen more devoted to ber rights hand an authority wbich could not be resisted ; that it had, and interests. But, dear as these were to him, and although probably, never been seen before by any gentleman here; niany of our most respectable citizens entertained a differ- and that it must seal the lips of every friend to this bill, eot opinion, yet, when called on to decide this delicate and who had any reverence for those whose opinions he would bigbly interesting question, he met it with the integrity presently read. Sir, the committee cannot have forgotand firmness which should ever characterize a judge, and ten the gentleman's impressive manner, nor the sarcastic our people acquiesced with that respect which they never tone with which he prefaced his reading with the remark fail to render to the laws of the State, and to the con- that they were the sentiments of the mind that founded stituted authorities by whom they are administered. The and the mind that reformed our political system.” consequence was, that the United States' Government, But let us examine a little into these conclusive and prompted by a disposition to do justice to all parties, au- irresistible authorities, and see whether indeed “our affairs thorized the purchase of the Indian claim to these lands; have grown thus desperate.” In this (the fourth volume of the reservees finally received from one to four thousand Mr. Jefferson's Memoir, &c.) we find what appears to be dollars each for their reservations; and the incumbrances an extract from bis journal

. It seems that, during the on the Georgia title being thus removed, the citizens came existence of hostilities with the northwestern Indians, in into the peaceable and undisturbed possession of the pro- the year 1793, and while preparations were making for perty

a vigorous campaign, General Washington advised with his Another, and a still more serious case. Iu one of the cabinet as to the propriety of making one more effort to counties where these controversies for land titles bad ex- restore peace, and prevent the effusion of blood; and it isted, and where the excitement between the whites and was in answer to certain questions submitted by the Pre

Indians had been greatest, a Cherokee, charged with the sident, that Mr. Jeffersou gave the opinion which was i murder of a white map, was arrested, indicted, and put read by the honorable gentleman from New York. What upon his trial. There he appeared friendless and for those questions were we cannot ascertain ; but, from saken. Not one of his tribe came forward to aid in his some of Mr. Jefferson's remarks, it would seem that they defence, or witness his trial—they despaired of bis life-- related to the boundaries which sbould be proposed to blood bad been shed; and, judging from their own usages the Indians to be established between them and the whites. * and customs, they supposed that blood must answer it And bere let me remiod the committee, that, at the time

During the trial, the prisoner exhibited no fear-not even this opinion was expressed, the cessions of the territory sa murmur escaped him; he looked round upon the scenes north west of the Obio had already been made to the

and ceremonies of the court as unconscious of danger, or United States ; it was their property ; no part of it was enindifferent to his fate. In the course of the investigation, closed within the limits of any of the States. Let it also it was proved that a white man was also engaged in the be remembered that, at that time, the nature of the Indian murder, and, indeed, the principal-be filed, while the In- title bad not been seriously investigated—the principles on dian remained. This circumstance was seized on to esta- which their claims rest had not been settled.

It was un blish the guilt of the one, and the innocence of the other. der these circumstances, at that early period, that Mr. JefSome other facts were disclosed, inducing some doubts as ferson gave this opinion, which I will again read to the to the part which the Indian took in the affair, which re- committee: sulted in the bloody deed. The advantage which this " I considered our right of pre-emption of the Indian

doubt afforded was not uverlooked. That bumade and long lands not as amounting to apy dominion, or jurisdiction, Sestablished principle, that where there is doubt there or paramountship whatever, but in the nature of a remaioshould be an acquittal, was urged in behalf of the accused, der after the extinguishment of a present right, which and recognised by the court in its charge to the jury, gives us do present right whatever, but of preventing The result of the trial was, e verdict of not guilty; and, other nations from taking possession, and so defeating our this Cherokee was again restored to his tribe, who had expectancy; that the Indians bad the full, undivided, and abandoned bim to what they supposed bis inevitable fate independent sovereignty as long as they chose to keep it, I could refer to many other cases, but it would be impos- and this might be forever." ing too much on the patience of the committee. Is this, Sir, there is no man who has a higher reverence for the then, sir, the State wbuse laws and whose courts are so opinions of Mr. Jefferson than I have not even the bonor

oppressive to the Indians—whose people disregard all the able gentleman from New York; but if he intended to be obligations of humanity, and trample on the rights of the understood as advancing the opiuion that the Indian tribes weak and defenceless ravages ? Do we deserve the re-possess entire and unlimited sovereignty over the contr

which they claim, I cannot yield my assent. The decisions • Judge Clayton.

of the Supreme Court, the writers on national, law, and

H. OF R.]

Removal of the Indians.

(MAY 17, 1830.

almost every distinguished man who has expressed an could not be made so but by vesting in them the paramount opinion on the subject, are opposed to this doctrine. title, but this the United States could not do, because they

But, although Mr. Jefferson uses the expression, “ full, had no right wbatever to the territory in question. Take undivided, and independent sovereignty," I very much either horn of the dilemma, then, and the argument is unquestion whether he intended to go to the extent which availing. If the original title was good, the guaranty w these words import; for, immediately preceding them, be superfluous—if it was not good, the guaranty could pot aid says that we

the right of "preventing other nations it. But neither General Wasbington nor the Senate infrom taking possession of the Indian lands, and defeating tended any thing more by this guaranty than protection to our expectancy” Here he qualifies this sovereigoty at the Indians in the possession of their lands—and this Gene once; for, if the Indians possessed "full sovereigoty,” ral Jackson has assured the Cherokees they shall bave, if they could dispose of the country to any other nation—the they choose to remain where they now are. These, thee, denial of the right to do this is a very material and import- sir

, are the imposing authorities which the honorable gep ant abridgment of their sovereignty. But the opinion tleman las presented in such terrible array against us. It proceeds further: "That as fast as we extend our rights by remains for the committee to say wbether he bas not overpurchase from them, (the Indians,) so fast we extend the calculated the effect which they were to produce on the limits of our society; and so fast as a new portion became principles asserted and maintained by the State of Georgia. encircled within our line, it became a fixed limit of our 80 Notwithstanding, however, the gentleman conceived ciety, that the Executive, with either or both branches of himself so ably sustained, we could but remark the de our Legislature, could not alien any part of our territory; spondency indicated by his closing remarks. The Senate, that, by the law of nations, it was settled that the unity be tells us, have yielded-they have registered the exeand indivisibility of the society was so fundamental, that it cutive edict, and responded the servile “ amen" to the could not be dismembered by the constituted authorities, royal mandate and that bere is the last hope of the Cheexcept when all power was delegated to them, (as in the rokee. But fearful that the powers of bis eloquence, and case of despotic Governments,) or, second, where it was the pathetic appeals to our sympathies, may all prove un expressly delegated; that neither of these delegations had availing, be at last attempts to terrify 118. * Pass this bill," been made to our General Government, and therefore that he exclaimed in a most solemn manner, " and the Indians it had no right to dismember or alienate any portion of must remove. Yes, sir, they will go; and, from tbe gloomy territory once ultimately consolidated with us ; and that we wilds of the Mississippi

, they will send back upon you could do more cede to the Indians, than to the English or their bitter execrations." Sir, the gentleman again draws Spaniards, as it might, according to acknowledged pripci- on bis imagination : here I bave the advantage of him-1 ples, remain as irrevocably and eternally with the one as appeal to facts. Hundreds of the Cherokees have already the other."

removed to that country, and we have never heard that Here we have another instance of the devotion of this they have execrated us for inducing them to go. Others illustrious statesman to his favorite doctrine of confining have explored the country, and bave brought back a gond the Federal Government to the powers expressly delegated report, and will remove if the means are provided. In to it. And after a refusal of the convention to give this travelling through the nation last spring, I saw an Indian Government the power of fixing the limits of the States countrymau just preparing to emigrate; and bis anticipethen existing, and with the provision in the constitution, tions wore very different from those of the bonorable genthat no new State shall be erected within the bounds of tleman from New York. He was a man of large family any other State without its consent, I put it to the capdor and considerable property ; his improvements had been of the gentleman to say whether Mr. Jefferson would bave valued, and he was to set out in a few days; he expressed sanctioned the idea, that, by a treaty with an Indian tribe, himself perfectly satisfied with the terms on which he was this Government could bave authorized the establishment removing, and appeared delighted at the prospect bis der of an independent, sovereign Government within the limits home presented. Sir, I do not think this individual had of one of the States. Sir, it would be doing violence to the laid up any bitter execrations to send back upon us. No, first principles of his political creed.

sir, these execrations come from a different point of the The other authority, on which the gentleman so much compass. relied, was the fact of General Washington's asking the But I must bästen to a conclusion. There are other advice of the Senate as to treating with the Cherokees in points on which I intended to bave touched, but I bare the year 1795, and whether he should propose to guaranty already so far transcended the limits I had prescribed for to them their lands not ceded. Now, here the committee myself, that it would be inexcusable in me longer to abuse will remark, that, at that time, the population of Georgia the patient attention which has been so indulgently exwas sparse, and her frontiers exposed to continual ravages tended to me. Permit me, however, before I close, to ask and murders by the Indians ; nearly the whole of the coun. the committee, if they refuse to pass this bill, what course try, from the Oconee and Altamaha to the Mississippi, was this Government will adopt. Will they attempt to inter! in the possession of pumerous and fierce tribes : and for the fere with the jurisdiction of the State of Georgia, and arpurpose of arresting bloodshed and all the horrors of an rest the eration of her laws over the Indiaus Sir, this Indian war, these propositions were submitted. In addition is a most momentous question. We are indeed brougbt to this, the guaranty had been previously made by the to a crisis--we are npon the very banks of the Rubicontreaty of Holston. Under this existing emergency, then, a very narrow boundary divides you from State jurisdietico the Senate advised that the guaranty be proposed. The ---cross it, and we may not be able to calculate the conse constitutional power to give it does not seem to have been quences—there may, then, indeed, be scenes and snbjects agitateu; and although, as I think I bave clearly shown, the abundantly sufficient for the exercise of all the feelings of power did not exist particularly if it extevds to autho- philanthropy. I tell you, sir, Georgia bas taken ber course, rize the Cherokees to establish an independent Govern- and she will not retire from it. Nor has she acted bastils; ment there was some excuse for it in the motive which eighteen months ago she gave notice of her intentions, and prompted it.

at the last session of her Legislature she resolved to carry But does the honorable gentleman from New York per- those intentions into execution. Sir, her laws will be et ceive the difficulty in which be involves himself by insist forced; of this an earnest has already been given. It has ing so strenuously on the effect of this guaranty 1 For if been recently determined by one of our courts, that the the original title of the Cherokees be valid, wherefore the State's right of jurisdiction does extend over the whole of necessity of a guaranty! This could not strengthen a title the territory within her chartered limits; and the courts already complete. And if their claim was not valid, it will be sustained by the people. I hope I am not misco

* May 18, 1830.)

Duty on Salt.-Removal of the Indians.

[H. oF R.

derstood in these remarks; they are not made in the spirit introduction with a motion for the previous question, he ali either of threatening or defiance-far from it. On the felt himself justified in embarrassiug the resolution by all peste contrary, our people implore you, by all the ties which the means which the forms of the House permitted him to te bind us together-by the common sufferings, and dangers, use.

and triumphs of our ancestors--by the principles of that The motion for a call of the House was negatived with. i constitution by which our rights are secured and protected out a division; and

-not to violate the rights of Georgia as a sovereign The House refused to second the call for the previous member of this Union, por interfere with the exercise of question, 79 rising for it, and 89 against it.

her legitimate powers. But do not mistake this appeal Mr. REED, of Massachusetts, then oftered the following * it is not the entreaty of suppliants; it is the sincere and substitute for the resolution, viz:

affectionate remonstrance of brothers-of a generous and " That the Secretary of the Treasury be instructed to. high-minded people. And will you disregard them? Will inform this House, at the next session of Congress, 1st.

you turn a deaf ear to our appeals, and resolve, at all the quantity of salt manufactured at the various salt works bilde hazards, to prevent the exercise of those rights which the in the United States, and at each factory. 2d. The price

State of Georgia brought with her into this Voion—which exacted for salt at each of the manufactories. 3d.' The she has never yielded—which most of her sisters have long quality of the salt manufactured at each of the manufacexerted without interruption and which have been but tories. 4th. The prices of salt in various parts of the

now recognised by the President of the Senatel And if country.” w you should, is it reasonable to suppose that Georgia will

Mr. REED followed his motion to amend with an argusubmit to be restrained from the exercise of these rigbls meut of considerable length, to show the impropriety of by the arm of the General Goveroment!. No, sir, I assure hasty action on so important a subject, without full informyou she will nother course is determined on, and she ation

on it. He combatted, by a train of reasoning, the will pursue it with a resolution which no threats can fallacy, as he conceived it, that the repeal of the duty on intimidate, but with a justice and moderation which will salt would render the article cheaper, or conduce to the leave no cause for reproach.

general interest; stated briefly the reasons why he was [Here the debate closed for this day.]

opposed to the tariff laws, and his objections, since the

system had been adopted, to breaking in upon it to relieve TUESDAY, MAY 18, 1830.

the pressure upon one interest, while others were sufferTHE SALT DUTY.

ing a greater pressure ; and mentioned particularly the

navigation of the country, in wbich every person in the The House resumed the consideration of the resolution Union was interested, and which was depressed by a beavy of Mr. TALIAFERRO, proposing a gradual repeal of the tax, and the only direct tax imposed by the Government. duty on salt—the motion for the previous question pending He was willing to go into the tariff subject generally, for - which being announced by the Chair,

the purpose of better adjusting and equalizing the system, Mr. BURGES moved a call of the House,

but was decidedly opposed to picking out one subject of Mr. CHILTON deprecated any attempt to defeat the duty alone, and which was, in fuct, beneficial to the counproposition by uppecessary motions, which could only pro- try; Before he had concluded bis remarks, he gave way to duce delay. He hoped geotlemen would not endeavor, by Mr. TALIA FERRO, who said, if it was in order, he such menus, to prolong a tax which griods the people in would withdraw his resolution; and was proceeding to the interior of the country to a degree which gentlemen on explain his reasons for so doing, when he was admonished the seaboard had no idea of. While the latter were by the Chair, that, if the motion was withdrawn, it would wallowing in luxury, the poor people of the interior bad be irregular to make any remarks. Mr. T. acquiesced, and often to sell their very clothes to procure salt, without wbich the resolution was withdrawn. they could not subsist. The high duty on this pecessary

REMOVAL OF THE INDIANS. of life produced extreme distress amongst hundreds and Ai thousands of the people of the West—be might call them The several special orders of the day were then, on

scenes of carnage which the gentleman from Rbode motion of Mr. BELL, further postponed, and the House Island could not look upun with com posure. He entreated again resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole, Mr.

bim, therefore, to withdraw bis opposition to the resolution, WICKLIFFE in the chair, on the bill to provide for an exBus and that other gentlemen would not endeavor to embarrass change of lands with the Indian tribes, and for their rethe proposition by useless motions.

moval beyond the Mississippi. Mr. BURGES replied, and justified his motion for a call Mr. EVANS said : The object of the bill under consider. of the House. His object was not to embarrass the pro- ation has been fully stated by the chairman of the Com

position, but to obtain a full House for its decision, and mittee on Indian Affairs, [Mr. Bell] and by the gentlemen hile that whatever was done on a subject so important should from Georgia, [Messrs. LUMPKIN and FOSTER] who have

be done by a majority. As to the duty itself, he was op- preceded me in this debate. It proposes, as they have in posed to its repeal, not because he wished to keep a bigh correctly said, an appropriation of money to be expended

tax on the people, but to preserve a system by which salt by the President in effecting the removal of the Indians as well as other necessaries would become cheaper, &c. now residing within the limits of the States and Territories,

Mr. HOFFMAN rose to justify his course in the motions to a new residence west of the Mississippi. We bave been wbich be made on this subject, and was proceeding to make told that this has long been the settled policy of the Governsome remarks, when

ment; and gentlemen express much surprise that any opMr. McDUFFIE rose to a question of order. He hoped position should now exist to the accomplishment of an obthe time of the House would not be consumed by debate ject so often sought, and represented as bighly desirable. which was out of order; and, as it was out of order to de. Sir, if this has been the settled policy of the Government,

bate the resolution on the motion for a call of the House, wbich I shall not now stop to consider, there has been also will be trusted the rule would be enforced.

another policy and another practice pursued towards the The CHAIR sustained the call to order, and required Indian tribes which Providence has cast upon our care, that the member to confine himself to the precise question, seems at the present juncture to be wholly forgotten. It wbich was on a call of the House

is this : in all our relations with them, to respect their rights Mr. HOFFMAN said, he intended only to reply to re- of soil and of jurisdiction-to treat with them as free and marks which had been permitted to be made. He avowed sovereign communities. We have uniformly acknowledged that, as the mover of the resolution had followed up its the binding force of our engagements with them, and we


H. OF R.)

Removal of the Indians.

[May 18, 1830.

bave promised that we would be faithful and true in the Among these proceedings, I fiud, also, a letter written by performance of all our stipulations. We have never at the superintendent, under the direction of the Departtempted to drive them from their ancient possessions, por ment of War, to a gentleman in Boston, (J. Everts, Est) to permit otbers to do so, by withbolding our promised upon the same subject-disclosing the views of the Gprotection. We bave dever endeavored to deceive them rernment, and soliciting his attention to the condition of as to the nature and extent of their rights, nor to intimidate the Indians, and inviting his co-operation is measures cal. them into an acquiescence with our wishes. Is such the culated to improve their situation. The gentleman from language now addressed to them i Is Buch the course now Georgia has alluded to a series of letters with the sigua. about to be pursued ! Sir, when gentlemen refer us to ture of William Penn, and has denounced the author as sa the past policy of the Government, and ask us still to ad- "intermeddler” in matters wbich do not concern him, here to it, I tell them to take the whole policy together. and "a zealot,” intruding his opinions upon this House Hold out as many inducements as you please, to persuade and upon the country. Now, sir

, io attributing these letthe Indian tribes to exchange their country for another ters to the gentleman I have already adverted to, (Mr. beyond the Mississippi,fbut at the same time assure tbem Everts,) I disclaim all knowledge of the fact that is not that until they freely and voluntarily, consent to remove, common to every member of the House. I know him eply they shall be protected in the possessiou and enjoyment of as possessing a reputation for intelligence, philanthropy, all the rights which they have immemorially possessed, and benevolence, and untiring zeal in the promotion of human which we bave recoguized and solemnly guarantied to them happiness, which any one upon this floor might be proud in subsisting treaties. But the gentlemen bave said, and to possess. Is be an intermeddler | Has he obtruded bis reiterated, that the bill contemplates only the voluntary opinions upon this subject ? Sir, was he not invited and removal of the Indians, and they are astonished that the solicited to its consideration! He was; and be did consider proposition should meet with any opposition. Sir, have and investigate, and bas given the result of his researches they yet to learn that there is no opposition to their free, and reflections. What was he to do I Hold his opinions in unconstrained, voluntary removal ? Has any man, upon this subserviency to the will of the Government! Do gentle floor, or in this Congress, opposed it? Do the pumerous maen forget in what age and in what country we live! memorials which weigh down your table, oppose it? The Are we retrograding, while the spirit of free inquiry and hovorable member from Tennessee, [Mr. Bell] to sustain uprestrained opinion is pushing its onward progress even bis assertion that the public mind bad been perverted, under monarchies and despotism ! Is it in this country deceived, and misled upon this subject, said, that the only to be met with checks and rebukes ! Sir, bare the uniform language of all the petitions was, that the Indians free citizens of this nation no right to investigate subjects might not be coerced and compelled to remove--that the so bighly interesting to our pational prosperity and characpublic faith might be kept and redeemed. ow, sir, is there ter, and to form opinions, except in accordance with the any remonstrance against the voluntary removal of these views of Government? The gentleman regards it perfectly tribes ? Is there an objection to it from any quarter, unless proper and correct to form religious associations, and issue it is to be accomplished by coercion, or force, or withhold. pamphlets even in the northern States, when the objeet is ing from them that protection which we are bound to afford ! in aid of his designs. But when a sense of right and jusI know of none; and I tell the gentleman, once for all, that tice and humanity leads to a different conclusion, then the the only opposition is, to a forced, constrained, compulso- gentleman can hardly find terms strong enough to express ry removal." The gentleman from Georgia, who first spoke his abborrence of intermingling religious considerations upon this subject, (Mr. LUMPKIN] has gone further, and with political movements. Sir, I wish gentlemen would discovered the sources of the opposition, and the motives fairly meet and answer the arguments which bave been adfrom wbich it springs. He has told us that it has its origin dressed to us, and not content themselves with the use of among enthusiasts in the purthern States, who, under the harsh epithets, and the imputation of base motives. When pretence of philanthropy and benevolence, bave acquired was this complaint about enthusiasm and mixing religion a control over the Indian councils—have sent missionaries with politics first heard of? Missionary establishments had among them who " are well paid for their labors of love," long existed among the Indians, with the approbation and and who are actuated by a sordid desire for “ Indian appui- by the aid of Government. Their object was to amelioties." The gentleman bas reproached the memorialists wbo rate the condition and elevate the character of these tribes, have addressed us, as “intermeddlers" and "zealots,” and thereby rendering them better neighbors to Georgin, and expresses his strong disapprobation of appealing to religious essentially promoting her interests. Not & syllable of comassociations, or intermingling religious considerations in aid plaint was heard. Georgia was perfectly satisfied, and tbe of political and public objects. Sir, I am not about to vin- other States were left at full liberty to send their missionadicate the policy which the gentleman bas reprobated. The ries, and expend their funds in improving the Indians within occasion does not call for it. But does be know upon whom her borders. But, when a new crisis has arisen, and the his reproaches fall! Does he remember the first pamphlet claims of these Indians to their own lands come in question, which was laid upon our table, in reference to this sub- then, if they are found not to coincide in the schemes of ject! It is entitled “ Proceedings of the Indian Board in Georgia and of the administration, it is all * enthusiasm, the city of New York;" and I call the attention of the gen- " fanaticism," “ sordid interest," "selfishness," "delotleman to it, if he wisbes to ascertain who are endeavor- sion," " hypocrisy." I do not know, sir, that it is necesing to enlist religious societies and associations in the con- sary for me, or for any one, to stand here in vindication of cerds of Government. What was the origin of this “In the motives of those intelligent and estimable men mbo dian Board !” and of whom is it composed? It originated bave devoted time and treasure in the benevolent purpose with the Government. The Superintendent of Indian Af- of converting the Indians to civilization and christianityfairs, acting under the auspices, and by the direction of who have established schools and churches and bave been the Department of War, opened a correspondence with the means of their improvement and advancement in the divines in that city-be invited the formation of the society arts of social life. The country will do justice to their mofor the purpose of aiding the objects of Government--he tives and their actions. It is one thing to inake no impeachwas sent on to deliver an address explanatory of the pur- ment, but quite another thing to sustain it. The gentleposes of the administration, and to assist in the establish: man has been liberal in accusations of the most odious ment of the association. It was formed, and is composed complexion--and by what are they sustained i By that chiefly of religious men, who have solely in view, I doubt gentleman's opinion, and by nothing else he brings to not, the benefit and preservation of the Indians, and have facts to corroborate it ; And he must pardon me if I decline been made to believe that bumanity requires their removal. Ito adopt his conjectures, or to regulate my action in any

« AnteriorContinuar »