« AnteriorContinuar »
On May 17, 1830.]
Removal of the Indians.
[H. OF R.
** in order to avoid the causes of war, as well ae to save the the Indian tribes, without the restriction in the eighth arti1 Indians from the iotrigues of individuals, and from alliances cle of the confederation.
with foreigo powers. These Indians were likewise very In 1790, the second session of the first Congress, this pe formidable and dangerous. Under the old Congress and power was carried into effect, by first appropriating twenin the confederatiou, all our intercourse with the Indians was ty thousand dollars to make treaties. And at the second tire in our national character. As such we made treaties with session they passed the act to regulate trade and inter# them, offensive and defensive-induced them to forego all course with the Indian tribes, which expired in 1793, and e connexion with other nations, and to commit themselves has been redewed from time to time, until, in 1802, it was
and their concerns into our bands. As a nation, too, from permanently enacted, substantially as it now is. The treao the first, this Goveroment has admitted their independent lies with the Cherokees, and the provisions of the inter
existence, and their full right to the soil. We have never course law of 1802, all now in force, are substantially the
usurped their rights, but have maintained a friendly con- same. I ask the attention of the committee to them very me nexion with them, and purchased their lands when we particularly, for I bold them to be indubitable evidence of wanted them and they would sell.
the national character in wbich we acted, utterly inconsisIn 1785 we made our first treaty with the Cherokees. teut with the assumed jurisdiction of Georgia, and such Io the treaty we agreed that they should have a delegate as imperiously demand of us to resist the claim of Georgia, in Congress. The treaty begins thus: “ the commission or abandon our treaties and our laws. ers plenipotentiary of the United States of America in 1st. The boundaries of the Indian country are express: Congress assembled give peace to all the Cherokees, and ly, by treaty and legislative enactment, recognised and es
receive them into the favor and protection of the United tablished, and the President is directed to ascertain them. din States of America, on the following conditions :
2. By treaty and legislative enactment, the Indians " Article 3. The said Indians, for themselves and their cannot sell any of their lands to third persons or foreign respective tribes and towns, do acknowledge all the Che- States. rokees to be under the protection of the United States of 3. By act of Congress, no person can enter the Indian America, and of no other sovereign whatever.
territory to trade, without license, and giving bond of one " Article 9. For the benefit and comfort of the Indians, thousand dollars, with surety ; por can a foreigner ever ob. and for the prevention of injuries or oppressions on the tain license at all.
part of the citizens or Indians, the United States in Cop 4th. No person shall settle in the Indian territory, por egress assembled shall have the sole and exclusive right of sball survey or mark out the same; and if he does, the
regulating the trade with the Iudians, and managing all President may remove him by military force. their affairs in such manner as they thiok proper.
51h. No person shall purchase of the Indians clothing, “ Article 12. That the Indians may bave full confidence guns, or implements of husbandry. in the justice of the United States respecting their ivterests, 6tb. Every' white man found over the line, may be seiz. they shall have a right to send a deputy of their choice, ed by military force, and carried into any one of three adw benever they think fit, to Coogress.
joiding States, and tried. * Article 13. The batcbet shall be forever buried; and the 7th. So be may be seized and tried wherever he may be peace given by the United States, and friendship re-esta- found. blished between the said States, on the one part, and all 8th. All crimes committed by Indians shall be tried in the Cherokees on the other, shall be universal; and the the United States' courts. contracting parties shall use their utmost endeavors to 9th. The tribes first, and Government finally, are liable maintnip the peace given as aforesaid, and friendship re- for all depredations by the Indians, demand being first established.”
made on the superiotendent. The same provisions and mutual stipulations are to be 10th. Indian agents are located among the tribes, and found in the treaty of Holston, made in the year 1791, and they only can designate places of trade. so in the subsequent treaties down to the present day. ilth. The President may regulate and forbid the sale of
Can we need other evidence that our relation to the In- spirituous liquors among the Indians. dians has been national, exclusively, from the first ! The 12th. The President may cause them to be furnished
States and individuals have been probibited the purchase with domestic animals and implements of husbandry, and in of Indian land. All our dealing with the Indian tribes with goods and money.
bears but one interpretation—that of two distioct parties 13th. To prevent their further decline, the President treating in their national character.
may appoint persons to instruct them in agriculture and Sir, at the time when these States established the pre- knowledge, and ten thousand dollurs is appropriated annuseot Government, how did they find these Indian tribes, ally therefor. and our relations with them?
Now Georgia bas assumed the entire civil and criminal They found
jurisdiction over all this Indian territory withio her limits, 1st. Treaties of friendship and alliance existing between as bas Alabama and Mississippi; and they claim that, let them and us, containing reciprocal obligations and gua- their laws be what they may, the United State cannot raunties.
interpose ; no, pot if they pass a law to put every man of 2d. They found their national domain marked out and them to death. These States bave driven the United States defined.
out of their State limits, and now deny their right, by 3d. They found them nations in claim, in enjoyment, treaty or legislation to interfere in the internal and doinesand right acknowledging no dependence.
tic concerns of the Indians. At one blow our treaties and 4th. They found that, under existing treaties, the Unit- laws fall to the ground. And we are to sanction and sused States had excluded the whites from the Indian terri- tain these measures, by appropriating the funds of the Gotory, and had regulated all trade and intercourse with vernment ! I ask this House to consider the cbaracter of them, as it is now done. The Obio river was made to di- the laws of Georgia, and say if they are willing to aid in vide them into two departments, the North and the South. the execution of her designs. Before 1787, there had been three departments. The
But, sir, aside from the injustice, upon general princiold Congress, in 1787, appropriated thirty-four thousand ples, of removing the Indians, I ask if this Government is dollars for the makiog treaties with the Indians.
not bound by treaties to protect them against everybody, In this state of things the present Government was Congress, under ibe power of the coustitution, has re. formed, and to it is given the power of regulating com- peatedly entered into compact with the Indians. merce with foreiga nations, between the States, and with 186. She bas made appropriations beforehand, to ena-"
H. of R.)
Removul of the Indians.
(MAY 17, 1830.
ble the President to make treaties. She did this at her secret ageuts to advise them to go? Why have these States first session, appropriating twenty thousand dollars. She passed their unequal and unprotecting laws! Does this has done it every year since; and most of the treaties we look like a wish on the part of the Cherokees to remove! expressly enumerated and approved in the act of 1826. And wby, let me ask, have they so long refused the offers The treaty of the removal of the Creeks was made by the made them by the Government! But it is said, the chiefs! the President, but is, I trust, binding on the country.
chiefs ! they are the mischief-makers--they advise the In | But, sir, if Congress bad not expressly directed the Pre- dians to stay. And bas it come to this, that we are to find sident to make treaties, and had not ratified bis acts after fault with the poor Indian, because be regards the advice they were done, be has the power given him in the con- of bis chief and guardian Do not we and other nations stitution. We have been making treaties with the Indians the same l Shall we take the ground that the Indians are from the first. We know that Washington, Adams, and willing to remove, because we, in our humanity, think they every President sioce, bas acted upon ihe idea that this ought to be. They have, and still do, as a patiun and as Goveroment possessed the power. By virtue of these individuals, declare they are not willing to remove ; and treaties we have obtained the country of the Indiaus— among other things, they give, as a reason for their unwilthat which we never claimed as ours-aud for it we bave lingness, that they have examined and do not like the counstipulated to pay anpuities. Are all these things mere try beyond the Mississippi—that they cannot be happy waste paper ! Can this Government say we have no power and secure there. And may they not judge for themselves ! to treat, while we are constantly doing it, and now bold Sir, there are many considerations pertaining to this much of their land under treaties?
great subject, which I must leave to other and abler bands. But, sir, let us not forget that, by treating with the In- I will cluse my remarks with noticing one objection to the dians, we have ivduced them to throw themselves into our Iudings remaining, and establishing a Government where arms, and to commit themselves to 18. Take, as a just they are. It is said, and it is so declared in the President's illustration of this sentiment, the first treaty of the Indiaus message, that it is against the theory and constitution of under the constitution. They abjure every other power, our Government that the Indians should have a distinct State, or individual; commit their couptry and their af- existence in the bosom of a State. My answer is, that these fairs to the United States, exclusively, aud with us enter southeru tribes always had a Government--they are exerinto treaties of ulliance, offensive and defensive. So, too, cising no new power-it is not a pew nation, an " imperium we receive them; guaranty their country; define and in imperin," springing up. They have, it is true, withio a bound it, and take a part of it to ourselves; avd by legis- few years, new modelled their Government, in imitation lative enactments regulate their trade and exclude all per- of ours, aud iufused into it something of its spirit and priosons from their territory, and send them implements for ciples; but they assume no new authority. The whites the purposes of busbandry. Can we now say we have no bave established themselves around the ludians, and it is power, and capuot redeem our pledge? I hope this Go- pot a new power springing up and planting itself in a sorevernment will not stoop to such infamy and perfidy. reigo State. The objection takes for granted the whole
lo 1819, Congress pussed a law to appropriate ten thou. matter iu dispule. Itiny views are right, the Indians can sand dollars annually, to co-operate with benevolent socie urge this objection with more force than we can. In most ties io civilizing and reclaiming the Indians--aye, to co- of the States the lodians bave melted away, and thereby operate with the “fanatics of the North,” us the gentlemad lost tbe power of self-goverumeut and distinet existence; from Georgia calls them. The Choctaws bave appropri: but this is not true of the Cherokees and other southern ated twelve thousand dollars for thirty years, appually, and tribes, who bave claimed and exercised the power of selfthe Chickasaws, thirty thousand dollars--and now, since government, and, for aught I see, may do it with as much some of them are begioning to be what we have long la propriety as ourselves. Sir, I will close with saying that bored to make them, we are about to abandop them for- ibis emigration of sixty thousand Indians, of different tribes, ever. If, sir, our treaties or laws are of any force, how to a new country, now occupied more or less with hostile can the acts of Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama stand ? tribes, is an experiment of such serious magnitude, that we One or the other of these powers only can extend its juris- ought not to force it upon them, but leave it really to diction over the Indians.
their free cboice. And who, sir, can tell us of the expense It has been said that the Indians in the southern States of this reinoval? We are first to purchase the country will soon become extinct—that bumanity dictates their re- they leave, theu to remove them, to conquer or purchase moval. Sir, wby not leave the Indians to judge for them the country assigned them, and, after this to sustain and selves in this matter? They have the deepest interest in defend them for all future time. How many millious will it, and they are sufficiently intelligent to discover what is this cost? best for themselves. Sir, I confess I do not like this pa We must be just and faithful to our treaties. There is rade of humanity. Nor, if there be a willingness ou the po occasion for collisiou. We shall not stand justified bepart of the Indians, would Georgia need to puss her extra-fore the world iu taking any step which shall lead to opordinary laws. But, sit, who constituted us judges over pression. The eyes of the world as well as of this nation, them! We may as well set ourselves up as judges for are upon us, I coujure this House not to stain the page any other people—for Spain or France, for iustance, and of our listory with national shame, cruelty, and perfidy. force upon them republican Government, if we thought Mr. FOSTER said that the interest which the State of it would be better for them. How comes it to pass that Georgia bad in the bill then under consideration, would, be some of the tribes, the Cherokees especially, are increasing boped, be a sufficient apology for his engaging in this disin population and wealth? Does this look like their extinc-cussiou. I am, however, (said Mr. F.] not a little discoution? When did Georgia, permit me to ask, first feel this raged, from a consciousness that anything comiug from a impulse of humanity for the Cherokees?. Not until they representative of that State, on this subject will be re began to be a growing tribe. If she wishes to save the ceived with great caution, if not distrust. We are cousiIudian, why does she deny him the benefit and protection dered (as to a considerable extent, we really are) parties in i of her laws? Why does she leave him to the merciless interest, as advocating our owo cause--and an argument rapacity of his white neighbors ?
which comiug from some otber quarter, would be consiBut it is said the Cherokees and other tribes are wil. dered as entitled to some weight, will, I fear, lose its effect ling to renjuve. What, then, mean these memorials of when urged by one of us. Sir, I hope gentlemen will touching entreaty on our tables, signed by some thousands guard themselves against any influence of this kindof them, begging that they may not be forced to leave tar, especially, us concerns the humble individual who dov their country? Why has Goverument sent iu among them addresses you, I beg them to consider the cause, and not
MAY 17, 1830.]
Removal of the Indians.
[H. OF R.
the advocate, and not to resist the argument merely on (vernment bad driven out the patives with fire and sword, account of the source from which it proceeds.
and taken possession, as it was after a purchase from those But we have to contend with another very serious diffi- natives. culty. We cannot shut our eyes to the fact that there is But further, as regards this right acquired by discovea strong and powerful feeling in favor of the Indians, ry—it has been repeatedly determined, and indeed never which pervades an extensive portion of this country, the controverted, that the discovering nation bad not only & influence of which is very perceptible in this House. right to acquire the country from the natives, but also the Of this I am not disposed to complain—the feelings of hu- right to prohibit them from disposing of it to any other manity are honorable to our nature, and, even whea mis- nation or to individuals. And will it be pretended that a guided, are entitled to our most charitable indulgence ; people who were denied the privilege of disposing of but gentlemen will pardon me when I admonish them that their own property, either as a nation or as individuals
, this is the very kind of feeling which is most calculated to and that by a foreign power, were sovereign ? What kind mislead the judgment. Sir, grave and important ques. of sovereignty is this which is subject to be thus qualified tions are now submitted for our deterinination, and they and controlled ! Sir, it is in vain for gentlemen to conshould be gravely and dispassionately considered. So far tend that the Indian tribes were sovereign and indepenas respects the indulgence of a kind and friendly feeling dent when they were subjected to such restrictions. But towards our red brethren, I yield to no gentlemau on this the whole difficulty is removed when we advert to the floor. With many of the Cherokees I am personally ac- character of the Indian title. They had nothing like naquainted- I have stood in a relation to some of them cal- tional sovereignty, as understood by civilized nations: their culated to inspire a deep interest in their fate; it has fallen right to the land they occupied grew out of their possesto my lot, on various occasions, in ibe courts of Georgia, sion; it was strictly the title of occupancy-an individual to have been engaged as their advocate in the defence of right; and so long as the possession continued, the right their rights and interests. Sir, they are my friends, and was valid; but when the possession was abandoned, the
they have full coufidence in my friendship for them-and title ceased. It is very obvious, then, that, as occupancy * I would be the last man to encourage an act of injustice alone could vest the title, the aborigines could have no or oppression towards them,
right to the vacant lands around them; these, on the disAnd, while I thus frankly state the spirit with which I covery of the country, the subjects of the discovering o enter into this debate towards the Indians, I shall en- vation might occupy. By this occupancy they acquired
deavor, in the remarks which I may offer to the commit- an individual title ; and, upon receiving an act of incorpotee, carefully to avoid using any expression which might ration from their sovereign, they became a part of the offend the feelings of any one, either here or elsewhere. empire, and entitled to the protection of the law; and Even the numerous memorialists who have loaded our ta- thus followed the sovereignty. Such, sir
, are the docbles with their petitions and remonstrances in bebalf of trines laid down by the writers on national law-they are the Indians, and whose language, in some instances, to not new, they existed long before any controversy be
wards the people of Georgia, gives them very little claim tween Georgia and the Cherokees. But, by way of susall to our furbearance, veed entertain no apprehensions of taining them still more fully, permit me to present to the # retaliation from me. I have no disposition to recriminate. committee the opinion of a distinguished citizen of this # Sir, I have a higher purpose in view-defence is my object country, which certainly will command their respect. Be
I take my stand ou the borders of my State, for the pur- fore I do so, however, I will refer to the President's mespose of repelling the attacks which bave been made, and sage at the commencement of the present session, and are still making, upon her rights and character; and if, in read a short extract from it; and really if it were not so the prosecution of this duty, I should find it necessary to well known that he is the copyist of no man's style or make an incursion into the territories of our assailants, I sentiments, we might almost charge him with plagiarism.
shall endeavor to do it in such a way as to be guilty of 00 Speaking of subjectiog the Indians to the laws of the si departure from the established rules and principles of a States in which they live, the President says, " in return strictly defensive war.
for their obedience as individuals, they (the Indians) will, The gentleman from New York has gone into a very without doubt, be protected in the enjoyment of their posminute and critical investigation of the right by which sessions which they have improved by tbeir industry. But our ancestors obtained the possession of this country. He it seems to me visionary to suppose that in this State of tells us that discovery only gave the title as between the things claims can be allowed on tracts of country on which European nationsmand nierely conferred the right, on they have neither dwelt nor made improvements, merely the discovering nation, of acquiring the territory from the because they have seen them from the mountain, or passsavages : thus discovery gave the right of obtaining possesed them in the chase." I will now turn to the opinion of sion, and the possession when procured completed the title; the distinguished gentleman to whom I first alluded. I read 80 that our title to the country is really that of purchase from an oration delivered by the Hon. John Quincy from the aborigines. The gentleman here, too, took oc Adams, at Plymouth, on the anniversary festival of the casion to remind us that the theory of the English tenures, sons of the pilgrims in the year 1802. “There are moralthat title by which lands are held, is, that they origioally ists (says the orator) who have questioned the frightfof belonged to the Crown, and were granted out by the King. Europeans to iutrude upon the possessions of the aborigiAnd
pray, sir, what is our theory upon this subject | lonals in any case, and under any limitations whatever. But it not precisely the same I Go into any of our courts, and have they maturely considered the whole subject? The witness the trial of a suit for land. What is the very first Indian right of possession itself stands, with regard to the lipk in the chain of title which a party introduces to es greatest part of the country, upon a questionable foundatablish his claim! Is it not the grant or patent from the lion. Their cultivated fields, their constructed habitaState or United States? Do the courts go beyond these to tions, a space of ample sufficiency for their subsistence, ascertain how the granting power acquired the right to and whatever they had invested for themselves by personal dispose of the land ? Is the inquiry ever made how the labor, were undoubtedly, by the laws of nature, theirs. But territory was procured from the aborigines & No, sir; such what is the right of a buntsman to the forest of a thousand questions are never heard of: it makes no difference miles, over which he has aocidentally roamed in quest of whether the lands were obtained by purchase or conquest. prey Sball the liberal bounties of Providence to the whether by formal and regular treaty, or at the point of the race of man be monopolized by one of ten thousand for bayonet. "The title of a patentee from the Crown would whom they were created ? Shall the lørdly savage out ouhave been as valid and incontrovertible, if the British Go- ly disdain the virtues and enjoyments of civilization bimself,
H. OF R.]
Removal of the Indians.
[May 17, 1830.
but shall he control the civilization of a world ?” And, was settled by the Europeans; and it will readily occur to after proceeding with a series of questions, forcibly and every gentleman that they give the death blow to this dev elegantly expressed, and so framed as to expose the ab- doctrine of Indian sovereignty. For, if the aborigioas surdity of the doctrine against which he was contending, really possessed sovereign authority over the country, it the speaker thus beautifully answers them: “ No, generous was a direct and illegal encroachment upon their national philanthropists! Heaven has not been thus inconsistent in rights for any other nation, or the subjects of any other na. the works of its bands! Heaven bas not thus placed at tion, to attempt to occupy any part of it, without permission. irreconcilable strife its moral laws with its physical But, sir, the hoporable gentleman from New York creation! The pilgrims of Plymouth obtained their right [Mr. STORBS) will, I suppose, treat the opinions I have of possession to the territory on which they settled, by read as he did those of "Chancellor Kent, Mr. Dane, and titles as fair and unequivocal as any human property can some others, which were quoted by the honorable chairman be held. By their voluntary association they recognised of the Committee on Indian Affairs, (Mr. BELL.) Perceirtheir allegiance to the Goveroment of Britain; and in pro- ing how directly those opinions were at war with the princess of time received whatever powers and authorities ciples for which he is contending, the gentleman from Nes could be conferred upon them by a charter from their York endeavors to break their force and effect by telling us sovereign. The spot on which they fixed had belonged to that they were obiter dicta-mere passing remarks-dot an Indian tribe, totally extirpated by that devouring solemn adjudications. Why, sir, the gentleman certainly pestilence wbich had swept the country before their arri- forgets where be is. We are not in a court of lav. We val
. The territory thus free from all exclusive possession, do not refer to decisions of courts as binding upon us; but they might have taken by the natural right of occupancy. the opinions of judges, and of all other gentlemen of disDesirous, however, of giving ample satisfaction to every tinguished talents, are certainly entitled to weight in our presence of prior right by solemn and formal conventions deliberations. with the chiefs of the neighboring tribes they acquired But I will meet the gentleman on bis own ground; and the further security of a purchase." This, sir, is the very as nothing but adjudicated cases is regarded by him as doctrive for which I am contending. The Indians held competent authority, I beg leave to refer to the decisions of their lands by virtue of their possession ; their fields and the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of houses belonged to them on account of their personal labor Johnson vs. McIntosh, (8 Wheaton's Rep.) And, sir, when which they bad bestowed on them; but Mr. Adams, while I remember the tribute, as equivalent as it was just, which he bestowed merited praise on the fathers of New England was paid a few weeks ago by my friend from Connecticut for their anxiety to give ample satisfaction to the natives, (Mr. HUNTINGTON) to the venerable jurist at the head of expressly asserts that “they might have taken possession that court, I feel that this decision will not, at least by of the vacant land, the territory free from all exclusive some gentlemen here, be lightly esteemed. In delivering possession, by the natural right of occupancy."
the opinion of the court, Chief Justice Marsball says: To this opinion of Mr. Adams, I beg leave to add that " While the different nations of Europe respected the right of a gentleman of the bar, whose name I am unable to of the natives, as occupants, they asserted the ultimate give, but who is stated by the Rev. Dr. Morse to be an dominion to be in themselves, and claimed and exercised, eminent lawyer. In 1821, Dr. Morse was appointed by as a consequence of this ultimate dominion, & power to the War Department to obtain information as to the state grant the soil, while yet in possession of the patires and condition of the Indiav tribes generally; and with These grants have been understood by all to convey a title his report, which he has published, he compilest his opinion, to the grantees, subject only to the Indian right of occu and which seems to have been given in a case stated pancy. The history of America, from its discovery to the relative to the nature of Indian titles to their lands : present day, proves, we think, the universal recoguition of
The European settlers of this country," says this ged- these principles.”. After speaking of Spain and Portugal, tleman, “ claimed to have a right to appropriate it to them as resting their claims to portions of this continent on disselves; and the mildest and least exceptionable form in covery, the court proceeds: "France also founded her which they exercised that right, was, to treat the abori- title to the vast territory she claimed in America, on disco ginal inhabitants as entitled to a limited or qualified pro- very. However conciliatory her conduct may bave been, perty, a right to occupy and enjoy under certain modifica- she still asserted her right of dominion over a great ex tions, but with po power to convey nor indeed to do any tent of country not actually settled by Frenchmen, and other act of ownership. The right of soil, or the absolute the exclusive right to acquire and dispose of the soil which property, aod the jurisdiction over it, were, in the mean remained in the occupation of Indians.” Again : " No one time, deemed to belong to the sovereign or State under of the powers of Europe gave its full assent to this prineiwhose authority the discovery and settlement were made, ple more unequivocally than England.” And, after stating and to the grantees of such sovereign or State. The in- the different grants, patents, and charters, granted by the terest of the soil carried with it the right to buy off, or King of Great Britain to different companies, the court otherwise remove, the incumbrance, which right, as re- adds, “Thus has cur whole country been granted by the spected the sovereign or State, was of course full and ab- Crown while in the occupation of the Indians." With resolute, but, as respected individuals, was subject to such gard to the territory ceded by Virginia to the United restrictions as might be thought fit to be imposed, either States, the Chief Justice says: The ceded territory was by general legislation, or by terms andexed to the respect- occupied by numerous and warlike tribes of Indians; bot ive grants." " At the revolution the rights of territory and the exclusive right of the United States to extinguish their jurisdiction, which belonged to the foreign sovereigo, and title, and to grant the soil, has never, we believe, been Buch sovereign rights as had been granted by him to indi. doubted.” Again :.“ The United States, theq, bave une viduals or bodies, became vested in the States of this Union quivocally acceded to that great and broad rule by which within whose limits the territory lay. Among the rights its civilized inhabitants now bold this country. They hold, which thus became vested in the States, was the sovereign and assert in themselves, the title by which it was acquired authority over the lands inhabited by the Indians within They maintain, as all others have maintained, that discotheir bounds, and not yet become the subject of individual very gave an exclusive right to extinguish the Indian title ownership or claim. It comprehended the right of soil, of occupancy, either by purchase or by conquest, and gare the jurisdiction, and the exclusive authority to purchase, also a right to such a degree of sovereignty as the circumor otherwise extinguish, the qualified property of the stances of the people would allow them to exercise." Indians."
" If the discovery be made, and possession of the country Such are the principles upon which this vast continent be taken, under the authority of an existing governmeni,
May 17, 1830.)
Removal of the Indians.
[H. of R.
which is acknowledged by the emigrants, it is supposed knowledge themselves to be under the protection of the to be equally well settled ihat the discovery was made for United States, and of no other sovereign whatever.” This the whole pation, that the country becomes a part of the is not the language of the Indians; for although some of nation, and that the vacant soil is to be disposed of by that their chiefs signed the treaty, it was undoubtedly dictated organ of the Government which has the constitutional power by the United States' commissioners. These Indians were
to dispose of the national domains; by that organ in which in the bounds of the States of North and South Carolina 17 all vacant territory is vested by law.
and Georgia. The only power which Congress then had " So far as respects the authority of the Crowu, no dis-in matters of this kind, was " to manage the affairs of the tinction was taken between vacaut lands and lands occu- Indians, so that the legislative rights of the States should pied by the lodians. The title, subject only to the right not be violated." And yet, by this treaty, the United of occupancy by the Indians, was admitted to be in the States are constituted the sole sovereigns over these InKing, as was his right to grant thut title.
dians. Was not the legislative power of the State set at The very grant of a charter is an assertion of the title complete defiance ! But let us examine this guaranty. of the Crown."
The treaty of Holston, in which it is contrived, was And, sir, on examination, it will be found that most of made in 1791. Here the United States again obtained these grants convey both soil and the right of dominiou to from the Cherokees the acknowledgment that they were
the grantees. Hence arose the colonial goveruments under their sole protection, and of no other sovereign & The colonies were a part of the empire, but, under their whatever; and then they solemnly guarantied to them all
grants or charters, they had the right to government and their lands not ceded. Here let me inquire what was the jurisdiction within their limits. Accordingly, we find object and meaning of this guaranty: * Does any gentlemany of them at an early period of their history making mau believe it was designed to authorize the Cherokees to laws for the government of the Indians within their re- organize or establish an independent Government 1 Can any spective bounds, and governing them as completely as the one seriously pretend that such a thing was contemplated,
whites. Nor do we learn that this right was ever contest- either by the United States' commissioners, or by the InNed. Some of the colonies (amoug them Georgia) having dians ? Such an opinion will not be bazarded. The utsi a vast extent of country witbin their limits occupied by most extent to which this guaranty was intended to go,
Indians, and but a very sparse population, did not attempt was to secure the Indians in the possession of their lands.
to exercise this power. This, however, was a question of This idea of an independent Government is of recent si expediency merely; and a failure to exert the power is no date. The right of the Indians to form it, and claim the i argument agaiost the right.
protection of the United States, under the treaty of HolSuch was the situatiou of affairs at the revolution. By stop, never suggested itself until Georgia threatened to exthe declaration of independence, the colonies declared that tend the operation of her laws over that part of her teris they were “ free, sovereign, and independent States." ritory in the possession of the Cherokees. Then it was
Whatever right of dominion or sovereigoty then existed in that a delegation from that tribe came on to this city, do Great Britaiu, passed to the States, on the establishment and applied to the President to protect them against the s of their independence. By the treaty of peace this iude- operation of the Georgia laws. And it was in answer
pendence was acknowledged; the boundaries of the thir: to this application that the President gave the answer
teen States were specified; and all the country included which the gentleman from New York complains of, and py within the specified limits was withiu some one of the Stales: characterizes as arbitrary and despotic. He says that
there was nothing yielded to them as a consolidated repub- the President should have waited for Congress; that it lic. They were not only independent of Great Britain, was our province to bave decided on this subject, and bis, but of each other, and were under no obligation to each to execute the laws of the land, one of the highest of which other, further than the solemo pledge in the declaration of was the treaty, Sir, one who knew nothing of the facts independence, and the articles of Union and confederation, in this case, and had only heard them as disclosed by the
If there had been no confederation, each State would gentleman, would bave supposed that the President was have possessed within its limits all the rights which before entirely a volunteer; that on coming into office he had belonged to the Crown or the colonial Goveroment; aud heard of the intention of Georgia to exercise her right to these have been shown to have been full and ample. extend the operation of her laws over the whole of her
I come now, sir, to that part of this subject which is territory, and that he had forthwith told the Cherokees considered the most interesting—the treaties made by the they must remove; that the laws of civilized man would United States with the Cherokees, and the guaranty con- soon be enforced against them, by which they would be tained in the treaty of Holston. This, sir, is the strong grievously oppressed; and that although be bad found in ground of our adversaries. Here the Cherokees have some old treaty a guaranty by which the Government were plauted their standard, and run up the flag of indepen- bound to protect them, yet be should pay no regard to it; dence, with "UNITED STATES GUARANTY,” in- and if they would not remove, he should leave them to seribed in staring capitals. Sir, I am not to be alarmed by their fate. But was this the case! Wbat, sir, is the bistory this guaranty, imposing as it may be considered. I shall of this matter? The legislature of Georgia, eighteen contend, and trust' I shall be able to show, that the United months ago, asserted, by resolutions, her right to extend States had no right to make it; and, if so, Georgia certainly her jurisdiction over the Cherokee country, and advised is rrut bound by it. Sir, there are other treaties besides a future Legislature to exercise this right the Indians that of Holston; there is one of prior date, entered into applied to the President, complaining of the designs of between thirteen independeut States, of which Georgia Georgia, and asking the proteotion of the Federal Go. was one-I mean that constitution of which I have just verament. Now, what should the President have done been speaking, and to which this Government must look Make no reply-remain perfectly silent, or tell them he for its powers.
In that instrument not only are these was not at liberty to give any opinion, got even to form ane, powers specified, but the Government is prohibited from as to the intent of the treaty referred to ? Is this the the exercise of powers not granted to it. But, sir, the course of conduct for a President of this republic to purFederal Government, very early after its formation, began Bue! Would this have been like Andrew Jackson Sir, to evince
sposition, which its subsequent history bas it would have been at variance with every act of his life more openly developed, to increase its puwers. We have and every feature of his character. What, then, could he a striking instance of this in the treaty of Hopewell have done, other than that he did? The Indians had not the first treaty which it entered into with the Cherokues. been interrupted-there had been no attempts to drivo lo the second article of that treaty, "the Cherokega gc- them from their ļand, nor was this even threatened; and