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H. OF R.)
Removal of the Indians.
[MAY 24, 1830. is
if tbis measure shall be carried by a single vote, or by your partake of what the providence of God had given to bim casting vote, Mr. Speaker-and no one more siucerely and his fathers as an iuberitance" that, as original wishes you such an accession of honor to that you have tenant of the soil, by immemorial possession, he holds already reaped in this struggle, and which pever before, a title beyond and superior to the British Crown and her in the bistory of legislation, has been placed by fortune colonies, and to all adverse pretensions of our confederaBo repeatedly in the power of a presiding officer in a single tion and subsequent union.”* Sir, we meet the honorable contest* -the good which shall be dope, eveu in the life- gentlemen who so fondly revert to the rights of these early time of those who are in the van of opposition, shall give and first lords of the soil
, and deny that the Indian had to them a mortifying retrospection. But, sir, I will neither either ownership: proprietary right, or tenancy by occutriumph in anticipation, nor permit myself to use an ex: paucy, to the lands over which he roamed. It is comm
amonly pression offensive to the most delicate of this humane and said, our ownersbip exists by purchase from the Indiay, conscientious opposition, however mnch its earvestness and that be was proprietor and sovereign of the soil. may have obliterated the memory of the recept past, and But both are said, only because he was found upon the though it acts with a terrible energy in an opposite direc- continent at its discovery. That he was in possession of tion to that which it took some three years since. Among portions of land, which were in savage cultivation, over those, sir, who have most cause to be offended, I can never which be roamed for game and war-that several of the theless look with serenity upon this opposition, and calmly tribes had designated natural boundaries as the limits of detect the elements which compose it; admire the arrange their bunting grounds, and claimed such an exclusive use ment which has embodied the discontented in this House of it, against other tribes, no one will deny. But did the into a single phalanx, presenting uniformly, at every bour extent of their patural rights against each other give such in the night and the day, when a vote is to be taken, an a title or occupancy to all that they aggregately claimed, unbroken body of philanthropists, uniting in the single as to include a power to exclude others from seeking this chorus,
continent as a resting place from persecution and want, "The miserable have no other medicine,
and making it the land of civilization and christianity. Sir, But only Hope."
they were proprietors of what they used, so long as it was And, in looking at the opposition out of this House, I, sir, used; but vot sovereigns of any part. The one depotes a must be permitted to distinguish from the deluded, and, to thing or place in possession : the other is, strictly, an artispeak of him with respect, the venerable man who pre. ficial term, applicable only to that state of society where sided at the meeting wbich issued the New York memorial, Government is sufficiently advanced to class those living thinking of bim only as bearing a name associated with re- under it in the community of nations ; where there is indicollections which Americans love to cherish, and as an viduality of possession and pursuit, and a recognition of artist whose works will live when we are dead; and, if ihe leading principles of conduct between nian and man public report has assigned the authorship of " William with customs or laws to enforce the observance of them ; Penn” to its proper owner, mistaken as are the principles and that com pacted existence of a people, which separates of that publication, misled as the writer is, in the very heat them from others, and gives to them the name and attitude of this controversy, I do not besitate to bear witness to bis of a nation, in its relative position with other patiops. Sobeing a mau whose name will be put high upon the cata- vereignty over soil is the attribute of States; and it can logue of christian philanthropists, when our contentions never be affirmed of tribes living in a savage condition, shall be buried in the grave of coming generations. The without any of the elements of civilization, as they were cause we advocate needs not the proscription of its adver-exbibited in the nations of antiquity, or in those of modern saries; and the principles which sustain us, should induce times ; whether they live under the pressure of Asiatic suus to forbear, and to repress resentment at opposition, ex- perstitions, or in the emancipated privileges of christencept where opposition has become - misrepresentation. dom. Among the Indians of North America, an approThough in its consequences it may seem to bear hard upon priation of the soil to individuals was unknown—nor bad the interests of a State of which I am a citizen, I am glad any of the tribes any institutions to indicate that the proto see it, for it will be another assurance to the world, that perty in the soil was in the tribe, as was the case among though our countrymen may have a mistaken subject of the ancient Germang, except the fuctuating limits which excitement, they are always alive to what may seem to press a stronger tribe chose to assume, from time to time, to upon human rights; and that, in this land, nothing can be prevent hunting excursions within them by a weaker. done to affect them, which will not stand the test of rigid Theirs was the hunter's state, and in a lower condition of and jealous scrutiny. It assures the world, too, that what- it than bad been known before by civilized man. Their ever may be done, in this instance, can only be done with hunger being appeased, from flood and field, individuals, the consent of a majority of twenty-four States ; the great- or parties of each tribe, roved over the land in pursuit of er number of them baving no interest in the question, and game, without regard to the place in which it was taken ; therefore without temptation to be misled-thus presump and their wanderings in the chase knew no bounds, extively vindicating whatever may be the result.
cept as they were regulated by the quantity of game, or But, sir, I proceed to the discussion of the subject : and as they ascertained the existence of some otver tribe, using the first point of inquiry is, what was the condition of the the adjacent land for the same purpose. Without formal Indian, in regard to bis right to land or soil upon this con conventions to fix boundaries, the tribes in the neighbortigent, before and at the time of the arrival of the white bood of each other, in the course of time, knew the buntman? This inquiry into the Indian's ownership of the buil, ing grounds as they were separately claimed. A trespass when he was first visited by the colonists, is forced upon by either upon the grounds of another, was followed by us by the manner in which the whole question has been individual contentions or tribal war. Wars taugbt the argued by our adversaries in and out of this House. I savage prudence, or rather how to smother his revenge, would willingly have avoided it, if it had not been made until time or accident placed it in his power to slake his the source of fruitful imposition in this controversy.. For demon remembrances of supposed or actual wrongs in effect, and to produce a sympathy to interfere with the the blood and entrails of bis enemy. When the relative understanding of the argument in support of the measure strength of tribes prevented one from extirpating or ennow before us, the Indian has been called the owner of slaving another, the fears of each conceded to the other the soil--that he generously permitted our ancestors to rights, not to the land or soil, but to the fish in its streams,
and to the animals on its surface; and this usufructuary * In the course of the passage of this bill, Mr. Speaker Stevenson gave the casting vote three times in favor of the bill, and each of enjoyment was all that the Indian claimed. Cap such a them were vital questions.
use of a country give a property in the soil ? or did it, by
MAY 24, 1830.]
Removal of the Indians.
(H. OF R.
the law of nature, empower the ladian to exclude the from New England interpose to defeat, with an unfilial diswhite man from making a settlement within the limits of regard of the source from which we draw the example of the hunting grounds of the former, and maintaining his our conduct! Whenever it is said, then, that the Indian possession by force, if he bad ability to do so ?
permitted the white man to occupy the lands we now posBut, sir, this question is settled for us; and, until this con- sess, no more is meant than that he stipulated, for a price, troversy began, I bad not supposed it would have been to abstain from using the power of numbers to repress overlooked or denied, and it is with some surprise that I the settlement of a colony in its jofancy. Every contract bebave heard it stated, iu the course of this debate, that it tween the early settlers and the Indians will show it to have was the generous consent of the Ivdians which permitted been the apprehension of the former that they were buyour ancestors to begin the settlement of these glorious ing peace, and not lands--though, to preserve the first, it States, that we were intruders upon their possessions, and was necessary that some boundaries should be determined were now to repay their kindnesses to our forefathers by by tbe parties, within which each were to live in their driving them into annibilation, Vattel says, folio 92, sec accustomed manner. To acknowledge in the Indian a tiou 81: “ The whole earth is appointed for the nourishment greater right in the soil than has been stated, and to bave of the iuhabitants : but it would be incapable of doing so, allowed it in practice, would be an admission of the prowas it uocultivated. Every nation, is, then, obliged, by the priety of his continuing to live in bis irrational condition ; law of nature, to cultivate the ground that has fallen to its | irrational because their numbers might have been supplied share ; and it bas do right to expect or require assistance with food by the cultivation of a bundreth part of the from others any further than as the land in its possession is territory which the tribes claim for the chase. For, potincapable of furnishing it with pecessaries. Those people, withstanding it suits the purposes of gentlemen to call like the ancient Germans and modern Tartars, who, having them great and powerful nations, which have dwindled fertile countries, disdain to cultivate the earth, and choose into insignificance from their contact with the white man, rather to live by rapine, are wanting to themselves, and de- who does not know that the fears of the colonists, the datuserve to be exterminated as savage and pernicious beasts. ral love of the marvellous in the savage, and bis metaphoriThere are others, who, to avoid agriculture, would live only cal expression of numbers, magnified hundreds into thouby hunting and their flocks. This might, doubtless, be al sands, and the hundred tribes into which they were divided lowed in the first ages of the world, when the eartb, with into millions of persons! Trumbull
, in his history, gives out cultivation, produced more than was sufficient to feed a condensed but very satisfactory view of this point, which its few inbabitants. But at present, when the human race corresponds with the researches of the best writers upon is so greatly multiplied, it could not subsist if all nations the subject; and the question in regard to aboriginal popuresolved to live in that manner. Those who still retain this lation in the United States, when the colonists landed, is so idle life, usurp more extensive territories than they would well settled, thal even the warmest adınirers of New Enghave occasion for, were they to use honest labor, and bave, land antiquities no longer repeat the delusions of Mather therefore, no reason to complain, if other pations, more la- and Neale. What, then, becomes of the positiou, 90 vauntborious and too closely confined, come to possess a part. ingly assumed and repeated in the course of this debate, Thus, though the conquest of the uncivilized empires of that God, in his providence, planted these tribes in this Peru and Mexico was a notorious usurpation, the establish- western world, and made them tenants of the soil by immeut of many colonies on the continent of North America memorial possession ? The Indian tbe tenant of the soil! may, ou their confining themselves withiu just bounds, be He never was so, in any sense of the word. But it is by the extremely lawful. The people of these vast countries misapplication of such terms to his condition, to which ratber overran thap inhabited them."
civilized man has affixed a distinct meaning, descriptive of Aod the same writer, in his chapter upon the establish- individual ownership in lands, that we are misled as to Inment of a nation in a country, remarks : "There is an- dian rights. other celebrated question, to which the discovery of the Sir, God, in his providence, bad been pleased to reveal New World bas privcipally given rise. It is asked, if a himself to the map of another continent-his purposes toDation may lawfully take possession of a part of a vast wards him, in time and for eternity-what was his rational country, in which there are found none but erratic nations, condition, his rights over the earıb, though the penalty of incapable, by the smallness of their numbers, to people his transgression-how the proper use of it would conduce the whole. We have already observed, in establishing to his comfort, and the increase of his species, and, by the obligation to cultivate the earth, that these nations can- binding men in communities, would keep alive a social deDot exclusively appropriate to themselves more land than votion to his Maker, and the remembrance of a hereafter, they have occasion for, and which they are unable to settle in wbich men are to live a life of immortality. It was this and cultivate. Their removing their habitations through providence which gave to our fathers the right to plant these immense regions cannot be taken for a true and legal themselves by the side of the Indian-to draw themselves, possession; and the people of Europe, too closely pent up, and to teach their degradəd brother to draw, from their loding land of which these nations are in po particular mother earth, bounties which he neither knew how to want, and of which they make no actual and constant use, produce nor to enjoy. What though the Indian roved may lawfully possess it, and establish colonies there. We ibrough the forests of America cotemporaneously with the have already said that the earth belongs to the human wanderings of God's chosen people in their escape from race in general, and was designed to furnish it with sub- Egyptian bondage-time could give to him no right to more sistence. If each nation bad resolved, from the beginning, of the soil thanhe could cultivate; And the decree which to appropriate to itself a vast couptry, that the people denied him to be lord of the domain, was the Almighty's might live 'only by huntiug, fishing, and wild fruiis, our command to his creatures to till the earth. globe would not be sufficient to maintain a tenth part of Compare the present population of the world with its its present inhabitants. People bave not, then, deviated magnitude; and, if men were still roving tribes, without from the views of nature, in confiving the Indians within civilization or fixed babitation, its spontaneous producnarrow limits. However, we cannot help praising the tions of vegetables, fish, fowl, and animals, would be moderation of the English puritans who first settled in sufficient to prevent mankind from degenerating to the New Eugland, who, notwithstanding their being furnished condition of cannibals. Sir, the civilized man of Europe with a charter from their sovereign, purchased of the In- pinched by want, and worn down by intolerance, neither dians the land they resolved to cultivate " And. sir, is needed the edicts of popes, nor the charters of kings, to not this commendable moderation in regard to the Ivdians, authorize him to make this western world his refuge. His which we now propose to pursue, but which gentlemen wants admonished bim to seek a land where his labore
H. or R.]
Removul of the Indians.
[May 24, 1830.
would be rewarded by plenty ; tyranny absolved him from tribes having the semblance of goverument—the Five all allegiance to the place of bis nativity; and bis right to Nations. They are termed, in the treaty, the subjects of make this continent the grave of himself and the home of England, and are distinguished from other Indians living his posterity, was, that the Indian claimed territories too within the grants of the King, who are called the friends large for the condition in wbich God inteuded man should of England, but had not ackuowledged themselves to be be; and that the land which was not in individual as well subjects. In regard to the latter, it is sufficient to assert, as in tribal use, and only in use for buptiog, was not such an what cannot be denied, that all the tribes in the provinces, occupaucy as excluded othets from its enjoyment. or which or on their borders, bad acknowledged themselves to be created an ownersbip wbich it was upjust to invade. Nor subjects of the King previous to 1766, and no tribe more can the rigbt for which I contend be refuted, uutil it can be poiutedly than the Cherokees. As early as the year 1730, shown that no pressure of want or tyranny will justify ex: they acknowledged England's King as their monarch, and patriation, and that, in our necessities, we are debarred received from the hands of bis envoy, Sir Alexander Cumfrom casting our eyes to those new regions which science ming, a commander in chief for the Cherokee dation. and enterprise bave discovered, and which God intended They sent a deputation of chiefs to England—“ laid the for the support of all wbich its surface, aided by cultivation, crown of their pution, with the scalps of their enemies can maintain. The Indian, a creature like ourselves, bad and feathers of glory, at bis majesty's feet, as a pledge of his share in this new world—and christians, coming among their loyalty.” They not only stipulated, by treaty, to be them, had no right to trespass, but only to partake. This the allies of England, in war and peace—but, by treaty, was only a share-not a political right, or jurisdiction or they were to surrender their own people for a violation of ownership, because God had placed bim in the midst of the rights of Englisbmen, as well as Englishmen who might these groves, mountains, aud streams, to deprive bis more trespass upon them. By ibis treaty the King acquired a civilized brother from resting in their shade, enjoying their right to give a title to Cherokee laods, and the Cherokees grandeur, or partaking of their products, and to commit became individually bis subjects. Nor was their depenthem as an inheritance to endless generations. I will not dency and subjection to Great Britain in any way interpresume to inquire by what tremendous moral or natural rupted for twenty-five years. convulsion a portion of the human race were separated from When the disputes between the French and English, the rest, and allowed degenerate into barbarism ; but, concerning their territories in America, brought on war, knowing the fact, reason and the records of dividity tell me, the Cherokees again acknowledged their fealty to the King as well by precept as by example, that, when resisted by of England; and though, at the termination of the war, the man of Europe, the savage of America was not in the they were seduced from their allegiance by the artifices condition which God intended his creatures to be—that of the French, and by the misconduct of some of our their rights over soil or territory were limited to what people, yet the war with them ended in their complete they could catch or kill, to appease the cravings of hunger subjugation by Grant, Montgomery, and Stewart. Hos-to the spois upon which they may have built their buts tilities, it is true, ceased by treaty, but they were pot treat-and that they bad no such jurisdiction over the land, ased with as equals: and the King of England re-affirmed would bave justified them in refusing to receive from the his sovereignty and jurisdiction over them, but left them emigrant a something as the pledge that they were to live in the undisturbed occupancy of their bunting grounds in amity with him.
still retaining the right to grant them, oply subject to such Io this branch of the discussion, sir, I have advanced no occupancy. And this sovereignty and jurisdiction were principle inconsistent with the most rigid morality--none exercised in various ways, for more than twenty years, which it not bas been convenient to gentlemen, in the ar- and were shown in the most undeniable character, when, dor of their opposition, to forget; and I have been forced in the war of the revolution, the Cherokees obeyed to occupy the time I bave taken, the more effectually to the orders of England, and laid waste the frontiers of disabuse the minds of many of a misconception of Indian the Carolinas and Georgia. When the constarcy of our rights over soil and territory, and of that amiable sympa- people terminated what had been gloriously beguo, by thy for early Indian generosity, which has been so dex á glorious peace, England, subdued where she had trously turved into opposition to the present administra- waged the war, surrendered her sovereignty and jurisdiction by the plaintive retrospection of our adversaries. tion of every kind over all the people within the bounda
It is time, however, sir, to inquire into what was the ries of the United States. From ibat moment, not only political condition of the Indians in regard to England, Georgia, but every State in the confederacy, where loafter the country was colonized. Did they continue to be dians were, asserted, by their legislation, å jurisdiction independent of that Government ? And, if not, what por- over them and their lands; and, until very recently, nottiou of their independence was surrendered voluntarily, withstanding the nature of the intercourse between the or taken away by conquest ! Did the Indian, after baving tribes and the United States, this jurisdiction of the States surrendered the right which he claimed to sell bis hunting over the lodians within their limits had not been devied, grounds, by acknowledging the pre-emption of them to be even by implication. Nor is it now denied entirely, exin Great Britain, retain any thing to bimself but a quali- cept in bebalf of the Cherokees, who are supposed to be fied right of occupancy, with a political and civil jurisdic released from its operation by virtue of treaties between tion over their persons and lands in the King of England ? tbat tribe and the United States. The weakness, bowever, I shall vot, of course, detain the House with references to of such a pretence shall be shown, when the provisions of the bistory of the many tribes of Indians which acknow. those treaties shall be examined, as they will be before I ledged themselves to be subjects of the King of England conclude. previous to 1756 : but, in illustration of the jurisdiction The jurisdiction, sir, of which I speak, did not extend claimed by the English over the Indian, and practically to a right, upon the part of tbe States, to deprive the Inasserted, it will be well to refer gentlemer who deny any dians of their hunting grounds, without a cause, and withjurisdiction to the States over the Indians living in their out compensation; but it was exercised, as it had been done limits to the bistorical recollections of the treaties of Rys: by England, in preventing them from selling any of their wick and Utrecht, between the English and French, and land without permission from the States—though they the last of which was ratified in 1713. In those treaties were granted by the States without consulting the tribes, we find the English claiming dominion, exercising sove and the grantees took their titles, disburdened of every reigoty, which was acknowledged by the Indians them lien or encumbrance except Indian occupancy. Tbe selves, and admitted by the French, over the most formi. States claimed, and without any exception the Indians acdable negociation of savages in North America, and the only kpowledged they bad a pre-emption of their landa The
MAY 24, 1830.)
(H. of R. States regulated their trade; and this without treaty slipulWhile, sir, I am upou the subject of Massachusetts julations, but in virtue of the authority to do so, wbich the risdiction over the Indiaus, permit me to remind those of Jodians had conceded to England. The States punished her citizens representing her in this House, and who are so them for violations of law, whether committed within the tender of Cherokee rights, that their State has distinguisbterritory which had been reduced practically under their ed itself by one memorable instance of punishment for police, or without it. And, in short, the jurisdiction was a denial of her sovereignty over the Indians. The name asserted in every particular, and nothing was left to the of Ruger Williams is familiar to the ears of gentlemen from Indians but an authority over each other, which, as savages, the East; and the memory of the man is dear to all who they bad exercised, and whicb, in our then condition, it love to trace the beginning of that christian liberty which was iuconvenient for the States to assume. This jurisdic. is now exhibiting itself in triumph in every part of Europe, tion was asserted by Massachusetts as early as 1672; and and which we so fully enjoy ; für be was among the forethe lodians' right to land in that “jurisdiction," was limit. most, if not the first, of those men in England or America, ed by statute to such as they had “possessed, improved, who well understood, and were bold enough to preach and subdued.” At the enme time, the lodinns' riybt to christian toleration. Williams, however, was a politician sell land was prohibited, by severe penalties, without as well as theologian; and though there was much con" license from thint court." Nor' were they permitted to tention concerning his orthodoxy, which exposed him to "make grants for a term of years.". All trade with the persecution, his life will bear me fully out in the declaraIndians in that province was forbidden, under the penalty tion that he would never bave been banished, if, in the of a confiscation of the merchandise, “ because the trade zeal for Indian rights, he had not said that the charter of of furs with the Indians in this jurisdiction doth properly Massachusetts was good for nothing, as the soil and rovebelong to the commonwealth.". And his excellency the reignty were not purchased from the Indians. Neither Governor, with the cousent of his council, was empowered threats nor persuasions could prevail upon bim to refrain to “appoint and commissionate discreet persons, within from the promulgation of this political opioion; and the several parts of this province, to have the inspection and magistrates of the commonwealth combatted it in the shortmore particular care and government of the Indians in est way, by & sentence of banishment. Sir, the State of their respective plantatious; and to bave, use, and exercise Georgia claims at the hands of the delegation from Massathe power of a justice of the peace over them, in all matters, chusetts, in her present controversy, the benefit of this civil and criminal, as well for the bearing and determining instance of the exercise of her sovereignty; and leaves, for pleas between party and party, and to award execution their consolation, the reflections which may be drawn from thereon, as for examining, hearing, and puni: hing of crimi- the remembrunce that the jurisdiction over the Indians nal offences, according to the acts and laws of this province, within her limits, for which she contends, is sanctioned by so far as the power of a justice does extend; as also to the persecution of one of the most remarkable men of the nominate and appoint coustables and other proper and age in which he lived, on account of his denial of it to Decessary officers among them.”
Massachusetts. It would only have been discreet, too, in gentlemen Connecticut, too, sir, was not beliiod her elder sister in from Massachusetts, Maive Connecticut, and New York, the assertion of her jurisdiction and sovereignty over the who bave zealously distinguished themselves by opposition Iudians within ber chartered limits; and we find her early to the measure now before us, to bave examined more declaring " that all lands in this Government are holden minutely than they appear to have done, into the nature of the King of Great Britain, as the lord of the fee; and and extent of the jurisdiction claimed by the States over that po title to any lands in this colony can accrue by any Indians living in their limits. If they had done so, it is purchase made of Indians, on pretence of their being nareasonable to think that the fear of the re-action of their re- live proprietors thereof, without the allowance and approprvacbes against the Sate of Georgia, for having excluded bation of this Assembly.” She restrained and regulated the Cherokees from giving testimony, but in certain cases, trade with them as she pleased: and directed her selectin her courts, would bave restrained them from the free men to endeavor to assemble the Indians annually," and indulgence of their regrets in that regard. Sir, in the acquaint them with the laws of the Government for the State just mentioned, as the law stands at this day, the punishment of such immoralities as they may be guilty of, evidence of an Indian, though sustained by strong con- and make them sensibte that they are not exempted from curring circumstances, amounting to a high presump- the penalties of such laws, any more than his Majesty's tion," in the only case in which an Indian is permitted by other subjects in the colony are.” Purchases of lands from statute to testify, is nullified by the accused, if he will but the Indians, " under color or pretence of such Indians gwear the accusation to be uptrue. Nny, sir, so far is tbis being the proprietors of said lands by a native right,” withjurisdiction carried by Massachusetts, lhat a devise of real out leave from the Assembly, are forbidden, under severe estate by ap lodian was, and is to this day, pull and void : penalties. The testimony of an Indian, though sustained and so uninterrupted has been the paternal superintend-by stroug circumstances, is of no avail
, if the accused will euce of that State over these children of the forest, who but swear to his inpocence. And, potwithstanding Conhave been cruelly subjected to laws, under which at least necticut, by her representatives on this floor, remonstrates their numbers bave not increased, though admirably cal. against any civil jurisdiction over the Cherokees by the culated to give bappiness, strength, and respectnbility to State of Georgia, her legislators, in 1808, and only so far their masters, that, as late as 1805, we find statutory guar- back as 1821, passed acts subjecting Indians in ber limits diaps appointed to have the care and oversight of said lo to the same punishments as are to be inflicted upon white dians and their property, with full power to superintend men who may transgress her laws; and the regulation of the same. All conveyances by them of lands in fee, or their property and persons is committed to that kind guardfor a term of years, are declared to be " utterly void, and iapship which their degraded condition requires, and withof done effect, except approved by their guardians." out which they would be constant victims of imposition. And, by a statute passed in 1810, so wholesome has been Sir, I pass over the laws of Maine, New Hampshire, the operation of Massachusetts løgislation upon the morals Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virand increase of the Indians within her limits, and so care ginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, in all of which fully bave they assured to them the rights of freemen, jurisdiction and sovereignty over the lodians in their rethat no action can be sustained "in any court of law iu spective limits are asserted, as well before the revolution as that commonwealth, where an Indian is a plaintiff, ubless after it, and practised to the present day ; and, though the the original will be endorsed by two or more of their gentleman from New York (Mr. Stores] bas, by his manguardians."
ner of arguing this question, subjected the State which
H. of R.]
Removal of the Indians.
[May 24, 1830.
he represents, in part, to some animadversion, and bimself protecting and supporting the said Six Nations of Indians, to reproof, I will coutent myself with remarking that no and their tributaries, for upwards of one hundred years State in the Union has more positively insisted upon her last past, as the dependents and allies of the said Governsovereignty over Indians, and their lands within her limits, ment." than New York; and that her civil jurisdiction over their 3d. “That the Crown of England has always considered persons, both by the decision of her courts and her statutes, and treated the country of the said Six Nations, and their is affirmed in the strongest terms, as well over those Iu- tributaries, inbabiting as far as the forty-fifth degree of north diana who have not ceded their lands to that State, as over latitude, as appendant to the Government of New York.” those who have: and this, botwithstanding the establish 4th. “ That the neighboring colonies of Massachusetts, ment by the Indians of a Government for themselves, claim-Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virgivia, have, ing to be independent of that State, as the Cherokees do also, from time to time, by their public acts, recoguised, of Georgia, and the existence of treaties between those In- and admitted the said Six Nations, and their tributaries, to dians and the United States, containing the same assurances be appendant to the Government of New York.” of protection and guaranties of territory, which, it is suid And, as a further reason for accepting the cession of by gentlemen on this floor, make the Cherokees a distinct land from the State of New York, to which this report and independent nation. Nor, sir, should we bave beard related, it is concluded in these remarkable words: “That, a denial of the jurisdiction of the States over Indians with. by Congress accepting this cession, the jurisdiction of the in their limits, it the too zealous anxiety of gentlemen to whole western territory, belonging to the Six Natious avd defeat the administration, in this prominent point of its their tributaries, will be vested in the United States, greatly policy, had not caused an oblivion in their minds of the po- to the advantage of the Union." Words plainly showing litical history of our country. We have the records to show the jurisdiction to be in the State, and the State's right to that this claim of jurisdiction was collectively adınitted by transfer it. Nor, sir, must it be said tbat these repeated the States, from the beginning of their first confederacy recognitions by Congress of the States' jurisdiction over until after the adoption of the present constitution ; and it Indians within their limits, was owing to the terms in which will be for those opposed to us to prove when, how, and that part of the vinth article of the copfederation giving to by what States, it bas been surreudered to the United Congress “the sole and exclusive right and power of reguStates. We call for the convention, agreement, the direct lating the trade and mavaging all affairs with the Indians clause in the constitution, by which it is given up; or for pot members of any of the States," is expressed; for the any other which, by inference or construction, can take it article is no more ihan the concession, embodied, of ihe away.
States' jurisdiction: and the care with which it was intendWhen a petition from a part of Virginia was laid before ed to be retained by the States, is shown, by Congress only Congress, on the 1st of June, 1775, intimating fears of a baving conceded to it the power to regulate
ade and rupture with the Indians, on account of Lord Duomores manage all affairs “ with the Indians dot members of any conduct," and desiring commissioners to attend a meeting of the States," and this, too,“ provided the legislative right of the Indians at Pittsburg, it was ordered that the above of any State, within its owo limits, be not infringed or be referred to the delegates of the colonies of Virginia and violated." But, in virtue of the authority given to ConPennsylvania.” Nor were there any subsequent proceed gress by the States over the Indians, Congress, by its proings in regard to it, without the consent and co-operation of clamation of September 2d, 1783, exercised the authority those States. In less than six weeks, Congress, aware of which the Crowo of England bad done, iu probibiting setthe efforts made by Euglish emissaries to excite the Indians tlements and forbidding purchases of lands inhabited or to take up arms against the colonies, took such steps as the claimed by Indians, without the limits or jurisdiction of exigency required, to secure their friendship and neutrality; any particular State." When it became necessary to preand three lódian departinents were formed—the Northern, pare an ordinance for regulating the Indian trade, Con. Middle, and Southern. But in none of their subsequent gress exhibited the same commendable caution in regard measures was the jurisdiction of States, over Indians in to the States' jurisdiction over Indians in their limits, by their limits, in any way infracted. And the first proof in resolving " that the preceding measures of Congress relasupport of the declaration I have made, is to be found in tive to Indian affairs shall not be construed to affect the the proceedings of Congress on the 21 November, 1782, territorial claims of any of the States, or their legislative when a deputation from the Catawba tribe urged Congress rights, within their limits." But wby, sir, should I fato secure to them certain lands in South Carolina, to pre. tigue myself, and exhaust the patience of this House, by serve them from being “intruded into by force, and not to citing additional proofs of what was the universal apprebe alienated, even with their owu consent.” Congress bension of the jurisdiction possessed by the States over knowing where the jurisdiction was,
Indians and their lands? Those wbo are curious in this Resolved, “ That it be recommended to the Legislature of matter, will see, by consulting the journals of the convenSouth Carolina to take such measures for the satisfaction tioo, bow repeatedly, in framing the articles of confedera, and security of the said tribe, as the said Legislature shall, tion, it was acknowledged. There is enough, sir, to shield in their wisdom, tbiuk fit."
the State of Georgia from the imputation of setting up aby And for the particular information of the gentleman from povel pretension in her claim of jurisdiction over the Che. New York, [Mr. Storrs) that be may hereafter know the rukees, and their lands lying in the State, and pursuing the true ground of that State's jurisdiction over lydians within course to which she has been urged by circumstances, ber limits, and, in bis future discussions of this subject, regardless of what may be said or thought. The State is either privately or in this House, that he may not mistake, prepared to maintain the position she has taken, against and mistake it to be from voluntary concessions by Indians any coercion which may be attempted, and her fuuctionato the State, I refer him to the report of a committee of ries are ready to defend her rights before any tribunal Congress, May 1st, 1782, and ask to be permitted to read it: by which they can be constitutionally investigated. We
1st. “ It clearly appeared to your committee, that all the ask for no more than other States have and continue to lands belonging to the Six Nations of Indians, and their exercise, without baving their claims of jurisdiction over tributaries, have been, iv due form, put under the protec. the Indians in their limits questioned; and our authority, tion of the Crown of England, by the said Six Nations, as proceeding from the same common fountain, we shall not appended to the late Government of New York, so far as permit to be lessened, or any restraint to be imposed respects jurisdiction only."
upon its exercise. Repeated calumpies against the State 2d. "'That the citizens of the said colony of New York bave taught her people to bear, with dignity, every slanbave borne the burden, both as to blood and treasure, of! der upon its bonor: and it is our pride that, though, in