Imagens das páginas

May 15, 1830.]

Removal of the Indians.

(H. oF R.

dian nations to abandon their country, and seek a new ly turned, and the influence of which has been felt by one home in a distant land, he has explicitly stated, too, that of the great parties which divided the country, it was the

“they should be distinctly informed that if they remain apprehension that the new Government was either too mowithin the limits of the States they must be subject to narchical in principle, or would turn out to be so in prac. their laws"-and that, “in return for their obedience as tice. This aların, too, was chiefly founded on the opinion

individuals, they will, without doubt, be protected in the that the constituțion had provided no adequate security to enjoyment of possessioG8 which they have improved the States, by imposing definite and effectual limitations by their industry. But," he adds, it seems to me vision on the executive power and executive discretion. It has ary to suppose that in this state of things claims can be al- been a fruitful source of crimination, whether just or unlowed on tracts of country on which they have neither just, upon one of the parties, and especially upon Genedwelt nor made improvements, merely because they have ral Hamilton and his friends, that the tendency of their seen them from the mountain, or passed them in the principles, and the measures which they had advised was chase." These are the doctrines of the Executive, in the to invest the President with powers, which must prove fa. words of the message. They are little short of a copy of tal to the wholesome influence of the House of Representtheir original, and I might almost as well have read them atives, and destroy the control of the States in the Senate. from the report and resolutions of Georgia. These are Under these banders battles bave been fought and wondoctrines, too, which the United States set up in the face of and laurels bave either been or thought to have been gathe treaty of Holston! The guaranty of that treaty, sir, thered. They have certainly been claimed as the rewards was to the Cherokee nation, and to the lands of the nation, of victory, and are even yet worn here as the hereditary and not to individuals. Now, wbat, ou the other hand, is bopors of the field. the palpable operation, indeed, I may say, the express The question before us does not involve the right of the enactments of the laws of Georgia, but to annibilate com- President, in the recess of Cungress, to decide, in the first pletely the political capacity, and abolish the Government instance, for the regulation of his conduct until they can of the Cherokees, and reduce them all to individuals ? be convened, the mere construction of the terms of a treaThere is to be no longer any dation there. In the lan-ty-nor to determine the effect of an infraction of any of guage of the message, they are to receive protection bere. its engagements by the other party. There is nothing after “like other citizens'—of Georgia, I presuine-and ambiguous or of doubtful interpretation on the face of the not from the United States. The other party to our Cherokee and Creek treaties, and no pretence bas been treaty no longer exists. The bill before you follows out set up that they have been disregarded by the Executive, these principles, and authorizes the President to purchase because these nations bave not observed them on their the improvements on the lands of the Cherokee nation part, and kept their faith with us honestly. They were from the individuals who bappen to cultivate them for the well under sod originally on sides, and are framed in time being, under their own regulations among them. language that cannot be perverted. There can be no selves, and expressly prohibits any Cherokee from re-oc- quibbling as to the real intention of both parties. The cupying them afterwards. These lands then pass to terms are not susceptible of different significations, and Georgia under our compact

. The Executive has express the expressions used are definite, and suitable to the subly yielded to Georgia the power to accomplish this object,ject-matter of them. It is enough, however, tbat the by the extinction of the national capacity of the Cherokees Executive has not assumed to act on this ground, and the under her laws. It is an idle waste of words to enter upon complaints of bad faith are, unfortunately, all.on the other any formal reasoning to show that be has thus assumed the side. Nor are we examining whether the casus fæderis power to abrogate the treaty itself. If he has the power has occurred under any treaty with a third party, by which under the constitution to do what he has done, it is a nere any engagements on our part, not operative before, have mockery, and an insult to the Cherokees and to common come into force. He claims the broad power that it is sense, to talk about the treaty of Holston as a thing wbich for the Executive to determine the abrogation of our stipuhas any existence. I do not know whom he may have con- lations, because Georgia bas enacted certain laws for more sulted or who has recommended to him the course which effectually exercising the jurisdiction which she claims he has seen fit to adopt with this treaty; but I trust, at over the Cherokee pation aud their lands. He maintaina least, that this illustration of our notions of public faith has the right, in that department of the Government, to treat received no countenance from that member of his cabi- the obligations by which the United States are bound on net whom we have been accustomed to consider as stand the face of the treaties, as apnulled from that time—that ing in the nearest relation to his person, and whose duties they shall be reduced to mean nothing any longer—in a have made bim the confidential adviser of the President in word that from that time they have no existence as treanegotiations with other powers..

ties with the Cherokee or Creek nations. This is the docAt the threshold of this inquiry, we shall find ourselves trine which must be sustained, and it is this stretch of exemet with a very grave question, intimately connected with cative power which must be vindicated by those who the treaty.making power, which I hope those who intend support the measures of the President. The doctrine to sustain what has been done, will be able to answer to will reach our treaties with other powers, too, as well as the satisfaction of the House. I am the more anxious to those now before us; for we are examining the right of the know their views of it, as we bave heard some specious Executive Department to determine such a question at all, appeals to the friends of State rights, to come forward on in any case, and not whether be has decided

it correctly in this occasion, and sustain their principles. The alarm has this. But, sir, the power asserted will be found to be been sounded, and they have rushed to the standard with much higher than the Executive claims it to be. The as. an alacrity which leaves us no reason to doubt that they sumption on which it ostensibly rests in the message, is, have really believed their favorita doctrines to be in jeo- that, by the happening of the contingency that Georgia pardy. I fear that these appeals have had some influence has “ extended” her laws over the Cherokees, the treaty upon the question before us. Their principles, or at least has now come into collision with the jurisdiction of the what others bave assumed for them to be so, have been State, and must therefore be yielded. But the principle pressed into service with a zeal indicative of such confi- which lurks under this disguise, really goes to the total dence

, that consistency required them to come forward, annihilation of the treaties from the beginning, and asand give their support to the course which has been taken sumes that they were never binding on the United States - by the Executive with these treaties.

at all. If they ever were so, no act of one of the States If there was any point on which, more than any other, could discharge our obligations. The jurisdiction

of Geor the opposition to the

adoption of the constitution original gia must have been as perfect when these treaties were

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H. OF R.)

Removal of the Indians.

(May 15, 1830.

first made, as it was in 1827, and the general laws of the Its validity rests upon that, and its force and operation are State must have always been applied, to the Cherokee coun- sustained by that. When once fixed, and adopted as the lat try. If the treaties are invalid dow, they were always so. of the land, the Executive has no dispensing power. His The right of Georgia to the improvements of the Chero- own duty is plainly prescribed in the constitution. The outkees, too, is as perfect as it is to their vacant lands—there trol of the tates over his will has been constitutionally inter is no hiding place half way. There is no middle ground posed to very little purpose, if treaties are to take effect on on which the Executive can stand. I doubt if there was not, or be suspended in their operations afterwards, at his ever meant to be any, for less than the whole would not pleasure, without any violation of them by the other party. reach the object to be attained. The principle set up They are clothed with a sanctity wbich entitles them to bigtcannot be arrested at any point short of the total prostra- er respect than our mere munícipal regulations. There are tion of the treaties, and the unqualified power in the Exe- two parties to them, and the public faith secures their in cutive to mould and fashion them, and to annihilate these, violability. And yet it has been gravely asserted, and at or any other treaties, at bis owo will and pleasure. He iempted to be maintained, that after the States bave enterasks no advice from any other department, and consulto ed into treaties, the Executive may revise their solemn no co-ordinate branch of the Government. He acknow- acts; that he may judge over the States and above the ledges no obligation to submit such a question to Congress, States ; that he may entertain an appeal from them to binor even to the Senate. His march is onward to the direct self or his cabinet; that he may virtually abrogate their accomplishment of the executive will, as if the whole ac. treaties by an order in council, and give the force of la tion of the Government on this subject was the exclusive to an executive proclamation. The treaties and the law attribute of executive power. It is this, sir, wbich bas of nations constitute the public law of the Union. They led to all our embarrassments, and brought about the pre- deeply concern private right as well as the political relasent disorderly condition of the Government in this inat- tiòns of the country. If a question should arise between ter. It is to support measures and doctrines like these, one of your citizens and the Government, or a foreign that appeals have been made, on this occasion, to the power, would the judiciary regard an interposition of the friends of State rights. I think that, if they examine their executive power, which professed to exercise the right or principles carefully, we have reason to believe that they impugning the integrity of your treaties | The power, sir

, will be found on the other side of the question.

to adjust and settle the conventional law of all countries, It is well known that the disposition of the treaty-mak- must exist somewbere in all Governments. It is vested i ing power was one of the mosi difficult points to be set. bere in the States themselves, and, when they have esta tled in the convention of 1787. In Europe, it was in the blished it, the political rights of others become irrevocable. bands of the sovereign, and was liable to the greatest You are denied the power of upsettling it, or revoking abuse. It had been used there for personal objects, and your obligations at your own pleasure. Above all things. perverted to the most mischievous designs of aiubition, we bave never trusted the Executive with that dangerous The whole policy of many of the European Governments prerogative. The Sevate was vested with the power to had been seriously involved in the exercise of this, power, determine the conventional law of the Union, because they and it bad led to measures the most fatal to their prosperity are the peculiar guardians and conservators, as well as the and peace. Indeed, sir, many of the calamities which representatives of the States, in the exercise of that fudothey suffered for a century, may be traced to the abuse of tion of their sovereignty. In such matters as, in the everthis power in the bands of the Crown. It was in the view cise of this high political attribute, might affect her citizens of this evil

, that under our constitution it was considered or their own jurisdictions, it could be safely trusted nounsafe to trust it to the Executive. [n Europe it was pre where else. The individual States were denied this power, rogative, but here it was to be limited by the constitution, because that migbt defeat the conventional law of the and subjected to the control of the States in the Senate, wbole. There is nothing new, or suggested now for the where their sovereignty was equal. It was a political first time, in that operation of treaties wbicb to some ex power which so seriously affected the general policy of the tent affects and controls their domestic jurisdiction, and country, in its relations with other nations, as well as in its impairs, in some degree, what gentlemen bare s9 tenaoperation on the prosperity of the States at home, that it ciously held to as the reserved rights of the States. Every, was even considered 'upsafe to entrust it to a majority of treaty of limits must have that operation. The treaty of the States, and the concurrence of two-thirds of the Sena- 1783 abrogated all the State laws which impeded the retors was therefore required. For this purpose the Senate covery of British debts, and prohibited the States from is the council of the States, and the treaties are the acts passing any in future. Yet the old Congress bad no jurisof the States. The Executive is little more, in that respect, diction over that matter, except as the result of the treaty thay the agent or organ of the States, in matters of nego-making power. In the letter of Mr. Jefferson to Mr. Hamtiation. He may refuse to act at all, aud shut the door of mond, of the 29th of May, 1792, he says tbat it was always negotiation, or decline to submit bis preliminary arrange perfectly understood that the treaties controlled the laws ments to the Senate. This was deemed to be quite as of the States—the confederation baving made them oblimuch power as could be safely trusted to his discretion. gatory on the wbole; that Congress bad so declared and His will or his opinion, however, was nothing without demonstrated them; that the Legislatures and Executives their sanction. The treaties, therefore, express the will of most of the States bad' admitted it; and that the judi! of the States, and not the capricious inclinations or the ciaries, both of the separate and general Governments, had pleasure of the Executive Department. They would have so decided. He stated further, that the formal repeal of

! beou the supreme law of the land under the law of na- the laws of the States was all supererogation, and showed tions, without any express provision in the constitution, that Georgia herself had so considered it, and her courte but that sanction has been superadded, that there should bad so adjudged. It is everywhere considered that these be no question of their supremacy. As they constitute laws of the States were appulled by the treaty. It would the public law of the country, the treaty-making power be quite easy to refer to bumerous instances of the same was withheld from the Executive, because, under our con- sort, in various treaties since the adoption of the present stitution this was to be a government of law, and not of constitution. As it was foreseen that such must of Deces: prerogative, and especially not of executive prerogative; sity be their effect by the law of nations, that feature of for if his will was to have the force of law, that was, to the old confederation, which retains ibis power in the a certain degree, despotism. Wben the executive and hands of the States by the federative representation of the States have entered into a treaty, the constitution these sovereignties in the Senate, is continued under the has attached its sanction to it, and given it all its efficacy. present constitution. It was confided to, or rather reserv



ed to, the States there, as a political confederation of so-ranty, could in the least affect the question; and the message vereigoties, that they might determine for themselves how simply announced the issuing of the proclamation and its real far and to what objects the conventional law of the Union object. Mr. Madison has furnished us with his opinions on the should be extended. It is not, in any sense, the dismem- nature of the treaty-making power, in the letters of Helveberment of the sovereignty of the States : that suggestion dius. The friends of State rights may clearly see in that comis a mere abuse of words. It may as well be said that the mentary, in what direction the Government is advancing, sovereigoty of a particular State is dismembered by the if the measures of the Executive, since the adjourdment constitutional operation of the laws of Congress for regulat- of the last Congress, are sanctioned by this House. The ing the commerce of the country. The thing of which power he has exercised involves the assumption of the gentlemen speak is the totality of sovereignty, which exists most transcendental sovereignty of the States, and prognowbere under our institutions. I consider that the States trates every other department of the Government. The have, in the strictest seuse, retained to themselves, in the Executive may in other ways bring you into collision with Senate, their own control of their reserved rights in the foreign nations on his responsibility to those who may exercise of the treaty-making power. It is safely placed constitutionally call him to answer; but, in the case before there under their own conservation, and they are bound us, I consider that he has acted by open usurpation. It in good faith to the Union to respect the treaties which are should be quite enough that he may, in the exercise of his there entered into. They are represented and act there as confessed powers, force you into war against your own in their original capacity. They could not act with con- will, without yielding to him the power to enthrone himvenience or usefulness in any other way. Their rights are self above the constitution. If op any question which insafe in their own council. What is constitutionally settled volves the construction of a treaty-much more its validity becomes their public law, and they are bound to observe -he may assume the powers of the Senate, the Judiciary, it. It is not perhaps strictly a legislative power, though and Congress, there is no longer any power in the Govern

Mr. Madison has treated it, in a publication to which I ment which can be said to have been limited by the conshall presently refer, as partakiog much of that character. atitution at all. It is a bold step indeed of executive preThe constitution declares that all legislative powers” rogative; and I have been surprised to find that gentlemen therein granted ahall be vested in Congress. It is not, in this House have sat down so quietly under it. I was however, essential to the views which I take of the ques- anxious, in the early part of the session to know how it tion, to consider that point.

might be received by the Senate, but my doubts were The course of the Executive Department has overturned entirely removed when this bill appeared at your door. these constitutional securities of the States, and swept away They have capitulated. They are completely disarmed, their power. His doctrines fall nothing short of an assump- and have been marched out of their entrenchments withtion of the power of Congress to abrogate the public trea out the honors of war. The duty of the Executive in this ties in a case of high and uncontrollable necessity, or by matter was exceedingly plain. If he doubted as to the exercising the power of declaring war. If the friends of validity or operation of these treaties, the examples of his State rights propose to sanction the violation of these In- predecessors were before him. He should have at least diun treaties, they must bear him out to the full extent otpaused before he moved so rashly-have kept all things this thoughtless usurpation. This question is not altoge in the condition in which they stood, and submitted the ther new, though no stretch of executive prerogative like whole case to Congress. The first suggestion made to the this has ever before occurred or been claimed under any Cherokee delegation was right, and it is to be lamented administration. I presume that gentlemen are familiar that it was ever reyoked or withdrawn. What is to be with the history of the proclamation of neutrality, issued our security for our European treaties? If the Executive by General Washington in 1793. This declaration by the doubts as to the construction or validity of those, too, sball President of the disposition of the Government to remain he cut the knot for himself

, and dissolve their obligations ? at peace, and warniug our citizens to abstain from any acts Our commercial treaties have no greater sanctity than any that might in volve them or the Government in the war, was others. Is your foreign trade and intercourse with other looked upon with jealousy. It was a topic of much remark, nations to be at his mercy, too! I am not aware that the and was closely scrutinized. Yet it violated no treaty. It laws of Congress have any greater sanctions than your assumed to suspend none of our obligations, and settled no treaties. You have many treaties with other pations for question arising upon them. General Washington neither the advantage of your citizens. Shall the Executive so claimed or exercised such a power

. The proclamation was deal with these, too, as to prostrate your navigation, or precisely what it professed to be, and no more. The subject it to retaliation ? He may annul the stipulations of administration assumed a posture of neutrality, and the treaties made to favor your own trade; for if he can overproclamation declared the intention of the President not leap the law of nations and the constitution, by revoking to change the relations of the Government, until Congress those which favor others, you have no better security than should convene and settle that question. In the mean his will for yourselves. He can release them from their time, our citizens were forewarned, that, if they mingled stipulations in your favor, as well as those which operate

with the parties to the war, and took part with either side, against them. If he should think that all his predecessors the Government would not extend its power for their pro- and former Senates have been wrong beaded on other tection. It was unayimously sanctioned in the cabinet. points, and that they have been too liberal to particular Mr. Jefferson approved it, and has informed us that he interests, or have favored commerce, or navigation, or “admitted that the President, having received the nation, manufactures too much, it is only for the Executive to put at the close of Congress, in a state of peace, was bound to forth his prerogative, and your constitutional securities are preserve them in that state till Congress should meet in his hand. again, and might proclaim any thing which went no I am ready to admit that a case of high and uncontrolfurther." Whether the proclamation was to be treated as lable necessity may occur, 80 deeply involving the fate of implying a pledge of future neutrality, was another matter, the country, or so seriously affecting its safety, that the and a speculative question. But General Washington and President, submitting himself to a high responsibility, may his administration were uncommitted to any such construc- feel it to be his duty to decline the execution of a treaty tion of it. It was an abstract question, and the President, until Congress can be convened. But his duty in such a at the opening of the next session of Congress, laid the case is very clear. He may suspend aeting upon it altowhole subject before them for their constitutional action gether, but he has no power

to determine such a question upon it. General Hamilton fully declared that no opinion of finally for himself. He must submit it to Congress. If a a the President, on the point of neutrality, or the French gua-. treaty is to be declared yoid, it is for Congress only to an

VOL. VI.-126.

H. Or R.)

Removal of the Indians.

[May 15, 1830.

pul it. The President and Senate cannot do it unless by trayed their country, and the power of that whole cont. negotiation. But, sir, these are extreme cases, and that pent is swayed by bands of reckless despote. Yet while before us is not one of them. The President has not acted, their liberties have been crushed, we find in Europe, ths, or professed to act, with any such views. He has given in spite of the power of kingly alliances, the Parliament to the other party his own final determination of the ques- of one Government at least, and that, too, once the most tion, and has acted upou it throughout. He declined to despotic of them all

, is successfully limiting the power and suspend the matter at all till the case could be sent here, finfluence of the Crown. Shall we, then, strengthen the and directed the Secretary of the War Department to in- bands of the Executive here as one of the securities of the form the Cherokee delegation that the course of the Go- rights of the States ? I know very well the apswer which vernment was changed, and to communicate to them his gentlemen are ready to offer on this occasion. We are to be final decision. He asks us now for po opinion upon it; told that his decision has been in favor of the States. It is but, considering it settled, we are called upon to appro- this which leads us to look upon bis measures with complspriate some millions to relieve the other party from the cency, and this is the soothing opiate by which he has quiet condition to which his decision has reduced them. I know ed our fears. I should like to hear the answer to another that there is apathy bere under these assumptions of the question: What will be the decision of the Executive in the Executive, but we are bound to resist these encroachments Dext case? Will that be in favor of the States, or agaisst on the powers of Congress at the beginning. This is not them! I will tell you, sir. They will not be suffered to a distant alarm—the invader is within this hall-bis madi- ask that question. When they have conceded the power festo is on your table, and at the next step we, too, shall to settle such a matter for bimself, the Executive will take have surrendered at discretion. I have often thought that, care to exercise bis new prerogative without cousulting after all, those who usurp authority were not so much to them. We may see on this occasion in the clearest ligtit blame as we commonly consider them to be, when we find the tendency of executive power in those collisions which others so ready to yield up the powers of Government occasionally spring up in every Federal Government be into their hands. Rome preserved her liberties until her tween the members of it and the head. This department public councils prepared the way for one family to esta- is constantly on the watch, and seldom fails to secure to blish itself on their ruins ; and the Tudors and Stuarts did itself the arbitrament of every such matter. This third not rule in England by proclamation, until servile Parliaparty is ever lying in wait for power. Under some plas: ments looked upon the advances of prerogative at least sible disguise it attracts the confidence of the parties and with indifference. If these encroachments of the Execu- pot upfrequently, by appeals to the pride as well as the tive Department are not met and repelled in these halls, interests of the States, it secures itself in its usurpation, they will be resisted nowhere. The only power which and leads them willingly to rivet their own chains.“ If the stands between the Executive and the States, is Congress. Executive bad decided that all our former treaties with the The States may destroy the Union themselves by open Cherokees and Creeks bad been void as to the eersions of force, but the concentration of power in the hands of the land which some of the States have received under them. Executive leads to despotism, which is worse. Of the two should we not have witnessed a very different feeling here! evils, I should prefer the pullifying power in the States Should we not have heard something—and that too, guite -it is less dangerous, and admits of surer remedy. A earvestly-of plighted faith, of solemo treaties, and the single State may occasionally sit unquietly under the mea: constitutional securities of the States ? By what process sures of Government, but the good sense of the people will of infatuation, or by what operation of self-love or State get all things right in the end. But the Executive De- pride, bave we brought ourselves to yield to the Executive partment never yields up power. The whole Union will, the power to pronounce these treaties to be worthless to Booner or later, feel the shock, if this control of our trea. the other parties? There can be po tyranny worse than ties shall be surrendered—the mischief will reach every that which refuses to be governed by its own rules where, and is irreparable. The judiciary may partially I find that we bave entered into more than two hundred protect individual Tight, but there are two parties to the treaties with the Indian vations since the declaration of istreaties, and one of them will not always be under your dependence. Fifteen are with the Cherokees alone, and control. We bave already reached a point in legislation at all but one of these have been made since the adoption ei this session, where we should pause, and seriously consider the present constitution. They have been made under in what fpath we are advancing. There are several bills every administration from the time of General Washing now on your table, formally prepared in the committee ton. Commissioners for treating bare been nominated to rooms of this House, and reported here, which confer powers the Senate, and regularly commissioned for this purpose. of an extraordinary character on the Executive. When Every. Senate, since 1789, has ratified them, and they are you shall have passed the bill now under consideration, proclaimed by the Executive like all other treaties. Tbe which places your territory west of the Mississippi at bis statesmen whose dames have sanctioned them, are, Wastsole disposal, the two bills relating to the army and navy, ington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe the reciprocity act reported a few days ago by one of my among them, too, the pame of the present Chief Magis colleagues, and yielded up the power claimed over your trate. It is in the face of such a case as this, that we bava treaties, this Government will scarcely be a masked mo- heard the validity of Indian treaties denied, and the hisnarchy. The constitution will have become blank paper, tory of this Government, for half a century, treated as a and the first dictator may come to your table and write deliberate system of jugglery and imposture

. If there is his decrees upon it at his pleasure. It may not become any foundation for the doctrines which bave been put forth me to address an admonition to this House, and it would to justify ourselves in disregarding these treaties, we are profit nothing from me, or any man, if bistory has already bound to make out a case so clear that no plausible donbi done it so often in vain. But it is at least time for us, can be started against

us. Our path must be free, open, as prudent men, to open that book, at almost any page, and unobstructed, and we must not only see that we cau and read the fate of all republics that have gone before us go there, but that we can do it with safety and bonor. I and perished; or, if we are not admonished by the past, to there can be any doubt, it becomes us, if we regard cut look around us, and see what is passing in the world in our faith, to ask ourselves, as honest men, which party is en own day. What is now the condition of South America, titled to the benefit of it in morality

R-the ignorant or tha in whose emancipation we felt so deep an interest, and enlightened !--the weak or the strong i-the defenceless where we hoped to find the cause of "free Government or the powerful! We should take care that on such : strengthened against the alliances of its enemies? Disunion question it shall not be said of us that we bave thrown has' blasted our hopes. Slavish Congresses have there be our sword into the scale. The Cherokee treaties, and our

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i guaranties to them, have been made for compensntions / and granted all their lands to that State, and the occupa| granted to us on the face of them. Now, what says natu- tion of certain portions of the lands thus ceded was al

ral justice in such a case you have taken these compen- lowed them by the State in the same treaties. The Stocksations, and are in the enjoyment of them to this day. Can bridge and Brothertown Indians came into that State from you restore to the other party what you have taken from some of the New England States. None of these tribes him, and what you tempted him to vield to you! Can you therefore hold any lands there under their native or origive back the rights which he has surrendered? Can you ginal title. Whether they are to be treated as aliens or place him in the situation from which you have enticed not, or whatever their relation to the State may be, they him ? Is this now in your power, if you were even dis- are subject, like all aliens as well as citizens, to the crimiposed to do it! These are questions, sir, which will be bal jurisdiction of the State. But as these tribes as well asked, and they ought to be asked. It is better for us to as others have been placed under her protection, she has ask them now; for they must be answered, too—and an- recognised her obligation to secure them against the swered honorably, for you or your country is disgraced frauds and encroachments of white med. She was bound before the world. You are handling no light or trifling in the treaties I have referred to, to do this as to their matter. You are pressed on every side by circumstances lands, and she has ever respected them honorably. Acwhich should constrain prudent men to look well to their cordingly, it has been made unlawful for her citizens steps. While these treaties are lyiug opeu before you, or any other than Indians to settle among them, or to purand you are compelled to look such an array of names as chase their lands, or to prosecute against them any action these in the face, he must be a bold man, and one baving upon any contract in her courts. Surely New York may u very good opinion of bimself, who can step forward and regulate the conduct of her own citizens in these matters efface the most honorable portion of your history, and as sbe pleases. But she has not stopped there. Agents hold

up the illustrious men who founded this Government and attorneys for them have been appointed, and paid too as ignorant of the first principles of the constitution. I by the State to advise them in controversies among thembave too much confidence in the honor and justice of this selvès or with others, to defend them in all actions brought House, to believe that we are prepared so soon to blemish against them, and to prosecute for them. Yet I find these the reputation of those names which we bave been taught laws, passed for their protection, among those gravely reto venerate from our childhood.

ported from the Committee on Indian Affairs under a reI have carefully examined the report of the Committee solution of this House, and laid upon our tables, to show, on Indian Affairs, to find on what ground this bill is to be I presume, that New York claims the same power over supported; and, great as my personal respect is for the the Indian tribes and their lande, that Georgia, Alabama, genilemen who are on that committee, I am constrained and Mississippi bave done over the Indians within their to say that I have found in that paper subtle principles limits. Why, sir, if these laws are carefully examined, thrown out, but not established-ingenious doctrines start- they would show nothing to that effect, if these Indians ed, but not proved, and refined theories projected, which still beld their lands and sovereignty under their native "I think the history of the country will not sustain. The claim and right. So careful has New York been on the 3 positions relied on to support the argument of the com- point of Indian litle, that, although the Mohawks were

inittee against the right of the Indian nations to soil or driven into Canada at the close of the revolution, and sovereignty, are, that“ possession, actual or coustructive, their country wrested from them by actual conquest, we of the entire habitable portion of this continent, was taken find that as late as the 29th of March, 1797, she purchased by the nations of Europe, divided out and held originally their title at a treaty held at Albany under the authority by the right of discovery as between themselves, and by of the Federal Government. It purports to have been the rigbt of discovery and conquest as against the abori- made with the Mohawk nation of Indians residing in ginal inhabitants ;" that although the practice of the the province of Upper Canada, within the dominions of Crown of England was not marked with an equal disre- the King of Great Britain," in

presence of Isaac Smith, gard” (as that of Spain) “ of the rights of personal a commissioner appointed by the Uoited States. By anliberty in the Indians, yet their pretensious to be the other treaty, held at New York on the 31st of May, 1796, owners of any portion of the soil were wholly disregard- the State purchased of the Seven Nations of Jodiaps of ed;" that "in all the acts, first of the colonies and after- Canada," all their claims to lands within her limits, rewards by the States, the fundamental principle, that the serving a small tract at St. Regis. Indians had no rights, by virtue of their ancient possession,

The Seneca nation still claim to hold their lands under either of soil or sovereignty, has never been abandoned their original title. But New York has no interest in 1 either expressly or by implication," and that the recogni- them. The pre-emptive right was conveyed to Maseation of these principles may be seen in the history of the chusetts many years ago, and is now held by individuals Federal Government.

under purchases from that State. I have noticed in the Before I proceed to a more particular examination of Executive Journal, that on the 24th of February, 1827, these positions, which have been advanced with so much a conveyance by treaty from the Seneca nation for part of confidence, I feel it to be a duty to the State which I have their lands to some of these individuals

, made in the prethe hobor in part to represent here, to say something of sence of a commissioner of the United States, was laid her policy towards the Indians within her limits. I have before the Senate by Mr. Adams. On the 29th of Februbeen somewbat surprised to hear on several occasions ary, 1828, a resolution to ratify it was negatived, the Seduring this session, that New York had some interest in pate being equally divided on the question. On the 26th this question, and that ber policy since the revolution of March, the following resolution was submitted by one would be found to sanction the principles which have been of the Senators from Georgia, (Mr. BERRIEN.) advanced in relation to the Cherokees. I feel bound not Resolved, That by the refusal of the Senate to ratify to let this opportunity pass, without setting that matter the treaty with the Seneca Indians, it is not intended to right. I depy, sir, that there is any just ground for these express any disapprobation of the terms of the contract assertions, and more especially I deny that she has main. epiered into by the individuals who were parties to that tained any doctrines which go to impeach the sanctity or contract, but merely to disclaim any power over the subimpair the obligations of any treaties made by the General ject-matter." + Government with the Indian nations in tbat State. By the This resolution was modified on the 4th of April, by treaties of Fort Schuyler, of September 12th, 1788, Sep- omitting the latter words, and inserting so as to read, " to tember 22d, 1788, and of Albany, of February 20th, 1789, disclain the necessity of an interference by the Senate with the Onondagas, { Oveidas, and Cayugas expressly ceded l the subject-matter," and passed in that form. These pro

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