Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

AAY 19, 1830.)

Removal of the Indians.

(H. OF R.

iver, which limits the northern bouudary of the Chootavs bable that, by a conciliatory system, the expense of manag; i that quarter."

ing the said Indians, and attaching them to the United On tho 3d of February, 1826, Mr. Secretary Barbour's States, for the next ensuing period of fifty years, may, on eport on the subject of Indiau cologization was made. an average, cost fifteen thousand dollars annually.

In 1828, Mr. Adams submitted to Congress his views on "A system of coercion and oppression, pursued from ais topio; and at the same session was presented Mr. Secre- time to time, for the same period, as the conveulence of wy, Porter's report. These be would not now stop par- the United Stutes might dictate, would probably amount *cularly to examine. He might advert to them here to a much greater sum of money. But the blood and infter. Every gentlemen, he presumed, bad read them, justice which would stain the character of the nation would ud he would be fully borne out in the assertion that they be beyond all pecuniary calculation. greed, substantially, and in priuciple, with the suggestions "As the settlements of the whites shall approach near (Mr: Monroe and Mr. Calhoun. On these documents, be to the Indian boundaries established by treaties, the game rould offer only one reflection. From the days of Mr. will be diminished, and the lands being valuable to the Inefferson to the present, this policy had been steadily kept dians only as hunting grounds, they will be willing to sell

view by the Government. It had always been deemed further tracts, for sınall considerations. By the expiration, rise, practicable, and just. Wby, then, are we told it therefore, of the above period, it is most probable that the · Dew and visionary that we have not sufficient informa- Indians will, by the invariable operation of the causes on on wbich to act ? that the plan bas not been duly con- which have hitberto existed in their intercourse with the

dered and matured? Have so mauy enniuent med ainused whites, be reduced to a very small number." Hemselves by throwing out crude notions to Congress and Mr. W. next adverted to the course of the late adminisje people, upou a question so deeply affecting the inter- tration, on the subject of this Cherokee Government. In sts of the Union and the lives and happiness of thousands October or November, 1827, the commissioners of the f their fellow-beings? Have they dared to practise a de- United States, General Cocke and Messrs. Davidsou and eption on the country? and has this deception been re- Gray, communicated to Mr. Barbour, Secretary of War, eated through four administrations ?

the Cherokee constitution, which they say was formed by Mr. W. said, before he left this part of the subject, he white men and balf breeds, who fill nearly all the offices, should advert to what had been said as to to the supposed rule the people, and dispose of the annuities at pleasure. piniou of General Washington and his cabinet as to the In their journal, July 7, they state that they learned ights of the Indians, and the policy to be pursued towards from Elias Boudinot, that the council adjourned without aem. He, too, had had access to the original documents on settling their business amicably, and some of the old inde files of the Senate; and be begged leave to quote a dians were very much dissatisfied, and intended to raise art of them, for the purpose of showing that the course opposition to their new mode of Government, by 4 constidopted was considered as one of expediency chiefly, if tutiou. ot solely.

On the 26th January, 1828, Governor Forsyth addressed The paper he should read was a communication from the President, enclosing & copy of the Cherokee constituGeneral Knox, the Secretary of War, to the President of tion, and asked what measures had been taken to prevent sie United States, dated 15th June, 1789.

the formation of a new Government within the State of * The United States, having come into the possession of Georgia. pvereignty, and an extensive territory, niust unavoidably On the 21st February, Mr. W. introduced a resolution, e subject to the expeuses of such a condition.

of inquiry on the same subject. Oa tbe 22d it was modi. • The time has arrived when it is highly expedient that fied at the suggestion of the honorable gentleman from liberal system of justice should be adopted for the va- New York, [Mr. STORRS) and laid on the table at the sugipus Indian tribes within the limits of the United States. gestion of the honorable gentleman from Kentucky, (Mr.

" By having recourse to the several Indian treaties made WICKLIFFE.) On the 29th the resolution was again moy the authority of Congress since the conclusion of the dified by the mover, and was then agaiu laid on the table, var with Great Britain, exceptiog those made, January, on the motion of the gentleman from New York, [Mr. 789, at Fort Harmar, it would appear that Congress were STORRS.] Ou the 3d of March it passed. When the docu f opinion that the treaty of peace of 1783. absolutely in- ments in answer to the resolution came in, it appeared, ested them with the fee of all the lodian lands within the that, on the 23d February, two days after the resolution imits of the United States; that they had the right to was introduced, the letter of Mr. Barbour, the Secretary ssign or retain such portions as they should judge proof War, to H. Montgomery, agent for the Cherokees, was ber. But it is manifest, from the representatious of the written. By this letter the agent was “ directed by the confederated Indians, at the Huron village, in December, President to converse with the chiefs, and inform them 786, that they entertained a differeut opinion, and that that he wishes them distinctly to understand that this act hey were the only rightful proprietors of the soil; and it of theirs cannot be viewed in any other light than as reguppears, by the resolve of the 20 of July, 1788, that Con: lations of a purely municipal character; and which he gress so far conformed to the idea, as to appropriate a sum wishes them distinctly to voderstand, will not be recog. f money solely to the purpose of extinguishing the Iudian nised as changing any one of the relations under which laims to lands they bad ceded to the United States, and they stood to the General Government prior to the adopvr obtaining regular conveyances of the same. This ob- tion of said constitution." Among the same documents ect was accordingly accomplished at the treaty of Fort was communicated a letter from the officer at the head of Harpar, in January, 1789.

what has been called the bureau of lodian Affairs, (Col. “ The principle of the Indian right to the lands they MoKeppey] to the Secretary of War, in which he ex possess being thus conceded, the dignity and interest of the presses himself thus : " I think it much to be regretted pation will be advanced by making it the basis of the fu. that the idea of sovereignty should have taken such deep ure administration of justice towards the Indian tribes. hold of these people. It is not possible for them to erect

The whole number of Indian warriors, south of the themselves into a state of such independence, and a sepaObio, and east of the Mississippi, may be estimated at four-rate and distinct Government; and the sooner they are en'beep thousand; those to the northward of the Ohio, and to lightened on the subjeot, I think the better. The most the southward of the lakes, at about five thousand. In they can ever hope for, if they retain their possessions addition to these, the old men, women, and children may be estimated at three for one warrior, the whole

• Doc, lat Sess. 20th Cong. pp. 5, 8, 9,

F amounting to seventy-six thousand souls. It is bighly pro f1b.p.9.

VOL. VI.-137.

[ocr errors]

H. or R.]

Removal of the Indians.

[May 19, 1831.

[ocr errors]

within the States, is to hold them under the laws of the Mr. W. asked leave to refer the House to one or two još States as citizens."

cial decisions : At the opening of the next session of Congress, Presi. “ The United States maintait, as all others have met dent Adams in his message expressed bimself thus : "The tained, that discovery gave an exclusive right to exte attention of Congress is particularly invited to that part of guish the Indian title of occupancy, either by purchase i the report of the Secretary of War which concerns the ex. conquest, and gave also a right to such a degree of core isting system of our relations with the lodian tribes. At reignty as the circumstances of the people would aller the establishment of the Federal Government, under the then to exercise." present constitution of the United States, the principle was " It bas never been doubted that either the Unite adopted of consideriog them as foreign and independent States or the several States had a clear title to all the powers, and also us proprietors of lands. They were more lands withiu the boundary lines described in the treaty over, considered as savages, whom it was our policy and peace of 1783, subject only to the Indian right of bece our duty to use our influence in converting to christianity, pancy, and that the exclusive power to extinguish the and io bringing within the pale of the constitution. right was vested in that Government wbich might ex

" As independent powers, we begotiated with them by stitutionally exercise it." treaties; as proprietors, we purchased of them all the lands The case of Jackson and Goodel, in New York, in! which we could prevail upon them to sell; as brethren of been referred to, and made the subject of much diser the buman race, rude and ignorant, we endeavored to bring son. He took that case to be thus : them to the knowledge of religion and letters. The ulti Land had been granted by the State to an individas! mate design was to incorporate in our own institutions that Indian for military services. His ludian beir alienated it portion of them which could be converted to the state of to a white man. The supreme court determined that the civilization.

Indian must be considered a citizeń, tbat bis Indian be " In the practice of European States, before our revo- took by descent, as the heir of a citizen, and that the lution, they had been considered as children to be govern statutes of the State in restraint of Indian alienations, s ed: as tenants at discretion, to be dispossessed as occasion they then existed, did not extend to the alienation of might require ; as hunters, to be indemnified by trifling individual Indiau conveying land granted to his Indian a concessions for removal from the grounds from which cestor for military services. their game was extirpated. Iu changing the system, it The court of errors held it was not necessary, to deter would seem as if a full contemplation of the consequences mine the question of citizenship, that the patent was of the change had not been taken. We have been far express legislative grant, enabling the Indian heir to bude more successful in the acquisition of their lands, than in im. That the laws in restraint of Indian aliepation, then parting to them the principles, or inspiring them with the force, extended to individual Indians as well as to trita spirit of civilization. But, in appropriating to ourselves That, if it were necessary to decide the question of eittheir hunting grounds, we have brought upon ourselves zenebip, the Indian could not be deemed a citiz-n. the obligation of providing them with subsistence; and There is much speculative reasoning, certainly, on the when we have had the rare good fortune of teaching them condition of the Indians: and what is the conclusion! That the arts of civilization and the doctrines of christianity, they are placed under our protection, and subject to we bave unexpectedly found them forming, in the midst our coercion, so far as the public safety requires, and of ourselves, communities claiming to be independent of further." ours, and rivals of sovereignty within the territories of the If they are admitted to be under the protection, sed members of our Union. This state of things requires that subject to the coercion of the States, so far as the publie a remedy should be provided—a remedy, which, wbile safety requires, and the State must be the judge how fur it shall do justice to those unfortunate children of nature, that is, which I take to be the meaning of the Chancelle; may secure to the members of our coufederation their I do not perceive the wide difference on the poiot between rights of sovereignty and of soil. As the outline of a pro- bim and the Chief Justice of the supreme court of Nes ject to that effect, the views presented in the report of the York, who, in delivering the opinion of that enurt, says: Secretary of War are recommended to the consideration Their condition has been gradually changing, until they of Congress."

bave lost every attribute of sovereignty, and become et Now, sir, [said Mr. W.] if the “ rights of sovereignty tirely dependent upon, and subject to our Government." and soil in the States were not, in the view of the Presi Tue Chancellor bimself, in his commentaries, declares, dent, invaded by this state of things, what remedy could the peculiar character a d habits of the Indian nation be requisite to secure them ?

rendered them incapable of sustaiping any other relation Next, sir, [eaid Mr. W.] let us refer to Mr Secretary with the whites, than that of dependence and pupilege. Porter's report. Wbat does he say? Nothing can be There was no other way of dealing with them, than thai more clear to one who has marked the progress of popula- of keeping them separate, subordinate, and dependent tion and improvement, and is conversant with the pripci- with a guardiav care thrown around them for their pro ples of human action, than that these Indians will not be tection." permitted to hold the reservations on which they live with " It is the law of the land," says Chancellor Kent, speak in the States, by their present tepure, for any considerable ing of the titles derived from conquest and discovery, period. If, indeed, they were not disturbed in their pos- " avd no court of justice can permit the right to be dis sessions by us, it would be impossible for them long to turbed by speculative reasonings on abstract rights." subsist, as they have heretofore done, by the chase, as Mr. W. said he would offer a remark or two on the their game is already so much diminished as to render it Indian intercourse acts. The first act, 22d July, 174, frequently necessary to furnish thein with provisions in makes po peculiar provision, with respect to lodialis with order to save them from starvation. In their present des- in the jurisdiction of a State. titute and deplorable condition, and which is constantly The second act, 1st March, 1793, provides, section 18: growing more helpless, it would seem to be not ouly the “ That pothing in this act shall be construed to preseti right, but the duty of the Government, to take them un- any trade or intercourse with the Indians living on lands der its paternal care, and to exercise over their persons surrounded by settlements of the citizens of the United and property the salutary rights and duties of guardiau. Status, and being within the jurisiction of the individual ship."

States." The third act, 27th May, 1796, is the same, seie With the purpose of showing how this matter of Indian tivu 19, except that it reads "ordinary jurisd ction." de title and sovereignty bad been considered by our courts, The fourth act, 3d March, 1799, is the same as the lash,

66

May 19, 1830.)

Removal of the Indians,

(H. OF R,

33 also the act of the 30th March, 1802. These acts the years, I am well acquainted with their circumstances both

ommittee of Congress, upon the memorial of Georgia, in before and after receiving annuities, and declare that I 4.797, admitted required revision, but alleged it was too have found no reason for inclining to a different opinion cate in the session to act upon them."

from that just now expressed. I am inclined to believe Let us pause now, [said Mr. W.) and consider for a mo- that there are few, if any, Indian agents who are of a difnent the policy we have pursued towards the Indians, and ferent opinion. ts consequences. We gave to their cessions of land the Next as to agents.

ormality of bargains, and some of the empty solemnities Their interest in preserving the present state of things *f treaties.

and often in obstructing the policy of the Government, is ** We established houses of trade among them, at a heavy apparent. They are frequently under temptations from Expense.

this interest to neglect or violate their duty. The misWe appointed agents and sub-agents, and provided chievous effects of this influence, extended over the hem with missionaries, schoolmasters, and blacksmiths. Indians through the instrumentality of sub-agents, artifiWhat have been the consequences ? And first as to treaties. cers, storekeepers, and other white men, permitted to

We incurred the expense of assembling and subsisting reside in the nation, were well known. More than one the Indians, during several ineffectual attempts to treat

. agent had been strongly suspected of using this influence 3y allowing them this show of independence, we fluttered for sipister purposes : he need not particularize. He might be pride and encouraged the obstinacy of the savages, appeal to the statement made before tbe New York Sohereby obstructing our own views. We were often com- ciety for aiding the emigration of the Indians, and would pelled to buy the same land over two or three times, from ask the attention of the House to another passage in Mr. Jifferent tribes.

McCoy's valuable pamphlet. The purchase money was immediately dissipated by “ It is proper, however, before we dismiss this part of he Indians, often before they left the treaty ground. our subject, to observe, that, notwithstanding the preceding

We were compelled to offer inducements to the chiefs remarks, we are well aware of some formidable obstacles or their assent to cessions, in the shape of presents, or as to the proposed removal of the lodians. The obstacles to Ley bave been termed, bribes.

wbich we allude will not derive either their origin or their This produced dissatisfaction among our own citizens, support froun the Indians themselves, but both will be whose consciences were offended by these practices, found in the avarice of wbite men, pear to, or mingling hough inevitable in all treaties with barbarous nations; with, the Indians, whose interest it is for the natives to and hence no treaty could latterly be negotiated without remain where they are, and in their present condition." loud complaints of bribery and fraud.

"1 deeply regret the necessity of inentioning this cirNext followed the modification of the principle of trea- cumstance; but justice to my subject, to the lodians, and ties, contained in the Cherokee treaty of 1817, the Creek to my own conscience, demands it of me. We may pretreaty of 1826, and the treaty of 1828 with the Cherokees pare to encounter a host of opposers, consisting of traders, of Arkansas, by which the eurolment of individuals, with both licensed and unlicensed ; many of them speaking the their own consent, as emigrants heyond the Mississippi, Indian language fluently, and in babits of daily intercourse was provided for, and inducements offered them, similar with them, often allied by marriage, aud otherwise by in character to those in the present bill. Then followed blood; of many others, who protit more or less by a comthe laws of the pretended Cherokee Government, punish- mission from our Government, for the performance of ing, with cruel and sanguinary punishments, any who services in the Indino Department. Remove the Indians, should presume to sell their ini provements, emigrate. or and the fountain fails. Some estimate of the difficulties treat for u sale of land, or meet 'United States' commis- arising from this quarter, may be formed, op considering Biovers to treat for a cession, according to the ancient and the influence which the number of those interested persons, established usages. To these succeeded the law of Geor- under these favorable opportunities, may exert on the gia, intended merely to meet this state of things, and to biods of these ignorant, uninformed people, whose prejupuuish those who should attempt to punish the native dices against us are generally inveterate, and whose jea: Cherokees, most of whom were willing to emigrate, for lousies are ever on the alert; considering, also, that in the the exercise of their own free will.

transactiog of business with the Indians, Government has Next as to trading houses.

generally been under the necessity of availing itself of tbe They entailed on us a beavy expense--they were liable services of these very persons. The story requires much to great abuses they lent us little or no aid ia maintain- delicacy in the telling, and, perhaps, has never been, nor ing an iufluence over the Indian tribes.

will it now be plaiuly told, ibat scarce a treaty with the After a fuir trial they were deliberately abolished by Indians occurs, in which the commissioners of the United ! Congress.

States are not obliged to shape some part of it to suit the Then as to the payment of annuities. They bave been convenience of some of this class of persons." found of little benefit to the mass of the common Iodians. Again: As to scbools and missionaries. He would refer the House to the testimony of the revereud lu speaking of the missionaries, and their representaMr. McCor, a gentlemad worthy of all credit, and speaking tions of the condition and wishes of the Indians, be ivtend! after much experience from his owo observation. ed to do justice to the labors and motives of these pious

The first item alluded to, of sixty-five thousand two and often disinterested men. That they were often misled, hundred dollars, is the aggregate of annuities paid to those and in their turn contributed much to mislead others, was Indians within the district under consideration. There indisputable

. They were often tempted to suppress every | has been a lamentable waste of public treasure upon lo unfavorable statement, lest the faithful and charitable

diao treaties, and I as confidently assert that there is a should weary in the good work. On this subject he would | lamentable waste of public moneys in Indian anpuities. quote the observations of Mr. McCoy, himself a missiona

Our Government is not in the habit of takiug their lands ry, and zealously and honestly devoted to the welfare of for nothing. But it is extremely doubtful whether the the Indians. p thousands of dollars, anually paid to the lodians, as mat Societies and their missionaries should carefully guard ters are, render them any service. My own opinion is, against what we might term bigh coloring. We are nathat, all things considered, their annuities render tbem no turally fond of telling the more favorable parts of the story, service at all, or worse than nove. No person could and rather desire the unfavorable parts to sink into oblihave been more favorably sitnated for arriving at a just vion. I could readily point to statements respecting miscodelusion-ou this point ; being actually among them for ninel cionary operations, which approximate this character too

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

6

H. OF R.]

Removal of the Indians.

[MAY 19, 1830

[ocr errors]

Dearly; but I deem it sufficient to mention only this ge Tennessee, neral and undoubted fact, viz. a man in Europe, by read. Ohio,

1.871 ing the whole of our missiouary jouroals, narratives, re- Mississippi, ports, &c. would be apt to suppose the success of our Alabama.

19.01 labors was such, that the aborigines of our country were Louisiana, rapidly improving their condition, both in respect to chris- Indiana, tianity and civilization. How would such a one be disap- Illinois, pointed on visiting these regions, to find, that, instead of im- Missouri, provement in general, they were rapidly decreasing in pumbers, and perishing under their accumulated misfortunes." All the new States,

61,897 The testimony of the late Secretary of war, [Gen. PORTER] on this subject, is well worth considering. In Peninsula of Michigan, his report to President Adams, accompanying the message Arkansas, of December, 1828, be bas the following remarks: Florida,

“ The annual appropriation of ten thousand dollars to Within the Territories, excluding from Michigan the purpose of educating Indian children, and teaching the country west of Lakes Huron and Mithem the mechanic arts, has had the effect to draw to chigan, almost every Indian reservation, in addition to the agents within the country east of the Mississippi

, and north and interpreters, a considerable number of missionaries of the Ohio, excluding those in the origiand teachers, with their families, who, having acquired, nal States,

41,361 principally by the aid of this fund, very comfortable esta Within the country east of the Mississippi, north blishments, are unwilling to be deprived of them by the of the State of Illinois, and west of the removal of the Indians: and thus we have found, that, three upper lakes, while the agents specially employed by the Government within the country west of the Mississippi

, east for this purpose are engaged in persuading, by profuse of the Reeky Mountains, and not included distributions of money and presents, the ludians to emi in Louisiana, Mississippi, or Arkansas, grate, another set of Goveroment agents are operating In the country east of the Mississippi, and south of more secretly, to be sure, but not with less zeal and effect, the Obio, excluding those in the original to prevent such emigration."

States, except North and South Carolina « These remarks are not intended as a personal reflec

and Georgia

66,000 tion on the missionaries and teachers; much less on the Within the Rocky Mountains,

20,00 pious and respectable patrons of theso benevolent institu- Within the country west of the Mississippi and tions, who, no doubt, are disposed to lend a ready support east of the Rocky Mountains,

108,070 to every humane measure which the Government may West of the Rocky Mountains, between lat. 44 think proper to adopt in favor of these depressed people ;

and lat. 49,

80,000 but are rather intended to show the natural and unavoida- Within the United States,

318,130 ble tendency of the system itself to counteract the leading Their condition would best appear from some extracta policy of the Government."

wbich he would lay before the House. With respect to schools, an extract from Dr. Morse's "The situation of the Indians, and the operation of the report would assist us to conjecture how that matter was settlement and improvement of the country upon them, mapaged. This is copied from the account of a missiona- are without a parallel in the progress of búinad society, ry who visited the school at Elliot, and conversed with They have adopted none of the manners and customs of the scholars.

the people who have succeeded them. In the long in * He told them he was going to Jerusalem, to establish terval which bas elapsed since their first knowledge of the schools there. The boys took the hipt, and brought him a wbites, it would be difficult to find a single improvement dopation of thirteen dollars for the Palestine mission. which has taken place, in their principles, babits, or coo

“They obtained the money in this way: When they dition. They bave generally retired before the advancing were out in the field every morning in the week by such a settlements; and, where they have become stationary ra minute, or bad committed certain lessons in school

, they tracts secured to them, they have declined as rapidly in were entitled to a certain premium, and when they fail morals as in pumbers.” they forfeit something. There is, of course, debit and "They are essentially hunters, fed and clothed from the credit. Some had fifty cents to their credit, some more, products of the chase. The spirit of their institutions, as and some less."

well as their personal feelings, is opposed to labor: it is Such were the inducements held out among the Indians a disgraceful employment." to the study of polite literature; yet the savage little Judging of the future by the past; we cannot erts urchins, in spite of all their bribes, As he supposed the gen anticipating a progressive diminution of their numbers

, tleman froin New York (Mr. STORRS] would call them, and their eventual extinction, unless our border should be seemed to bave no violent affection for letters, since the come stationary, and they be removed beyond it; or unless Cherokee council had found it necessary to pass laws to some radical change takes place in the principles of our in prevent their leaving school, and to compel their parents, tercourse with them, which it is easier to hope than expect." when they did so, to bring them back.

" It is disgraceful for å var party to return withos Mr. W. said, he bad extracted from official documents a success. But one scalp will redeem them from this te statement of the whole number of Indians within the Unit- proach. If any enemy camot be found, it is ofteu taka ed States, which made the number as follows:

from a friend ; and thus our citizens are always exposed, Within the States of Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode when travelling in the vicinity of their war paths." Island, Connecticut, and Virginia,

2,573 The increase of their wants, arising from contact with New York,

4,820 civilization, and the gradual destruction of the game, Pennsylvania,

300 strongly expressed in the speech of a Pawnee chief to the North Carolina,

3,100 President. South Carolina,

300 " There was a time when we did not know the white Georgia,

5,000 Our wants were then fewer than they are now. We had

then seen nothing which we could not get. We could le All the old States,

T'• 16,093 | dowo to sleep, and, when we atoke, we found the buffalo

MAY 19, 1830.]

Removal of the Indians.

(H. OF R.

[ocr errors]

feeding around our camp; but now we are killing them for fans in this jurisdiction have possessed and improved by their skins, and feeding the wolves with their flesh, to subduing the same, they have just right upto, according to make our children cry over their bones.”

that in Gen, i. 28, and chap. ix, 1, and Psal. cxv, 16." Yet, in the same speech, the chief entreats that his tribe They are not allowed to sell peltry except to persons apmay be allowed to continue bunters, and resists the intro- pointed by the commouwealth. duction of schools, missionaries, labor and civilization. None are to buy lands from them; no arms or ammuni

“I am like you, my great father : I love my country, I tion, or liquor, to be sold to them. love my people, I love the manner in which we live, and Foreigners not allowed to trade with them. think myself and warriors brave. Spare me, then, my Io 1693, an act for their better government was passed; father, and let me pursue the buffalo and the beaver in commissioners were appoipled "to bave the inspection, our wilderness, and I will trade the skins with your and more particular care and government of the Indians, people. I have grown up and lived without work. I add to exercise the power of a justice of the peace over hope you will let me die without it.

them, in all matters civil and criminal, as well for bearing

and determining pleas betwixt party and party, and to " It is too soon, my great father, to send those good award execution therein, as for the examining, bearing, nen among us. We are not starving yet. Let us enjoy and punishing criminal offences, according to the acts and he chase until our game is exhausted. Let us destroy the laws of this province, and to nominate constables." wild animals, before you make us toil, and interrupt our A penalty is denounced for selling liquors to them. happiness.”

The accusation of an Indian, with other concurring cirMr. W. said, he came now to consider the condition of cunstances, amounting to a high presumption, in the dishe Indians in the old States. The names only of Indian cretion of the justices, to be accounted sufficient; unless cribes, now extinct, would furnish a loug catalogue. They the party accused will expurgate himself op oath, had perished from the operation of natural causes known Pennsylvania punishes the sale of liquors to them, but o every gentleman, and in part well explained by the re- provides that the Governor and council, or persons by them viewer, whose production he had already quoted. Their authorized to hold treaties with any nation of Indians, may, mprovidence, their degraded condition, was notorious. at such treaties, give any reasonable quantity of rum ab They had in many States mingled with the free blacks, by them shall be thought necessary” 1721. und supk, in all respects, to their level. He referred to In 1744, the criminal law was extended to them. Mr. McCoy's remarks, in his pamphlet already mentioned. Is there any difference between the character of the Speaking of the lodians in the old States, that respectable northern and southern Indians ! Look at the Catawbas, sir; writer observes ; ". Those who are pent up by the whites between seventy and a hundred individuals, wretched and in small reservations, in New Englaud. New York, and depraved beyond description, are all that remain of the Ohio, decline more rapidly in proportion to their pumbers, most generous and formidable of the enemies of the Six han the tribes farther west, on the frontiers of Michigan, Natious! About ten years ago they were computed at four Indiana, and Illinois; and the decline of these latter is more bundred, and they bave had secured to them by the State apid is proportion than those still more remote. Let it of South Carolina one bundred and forty-four thousand be borne in mind, that, wherever we discover a decrease of acres of good land, which they were not allowed to alienate. numbers, we see an increase of calamities." - Page 12. Mr. W. said he would advert, be could not do more, to Again, in page 14, he says : “ I took the liberty, not long the excellent article in the January number of the North zince, of suggesting that the coudition of those email bands American Review, attributed to the pen of a gentleman who are on little reservations in New England, New York, who had had abundant opportunities for observation, and und Ohio, surrouuded by white population, is worse than whose opinions were entitled to the greatest consideratiou. hat of those who bave more latitude op our frontier. To (Governor Cass.) The whole article was so judicious, that his remark, I suppose we ought to except something in he would be at a loss what to select ; and he was conscious * respect to eating and wearing.

he had already trespassed beavily on the patience of the 1 presume thoso small bands live more plentifully for House, but he referred gentlemen to it who really desired Food and raiment, than do the others. But I have no he information ; it would well repay them for the trouble of a sitat.on in repeating that they are more debased in princi- perusal. ple, and positively more worthless, than those with whom Mr. W. proceeded to remark upon the actual condition I am comparing them.

of the Cherokees. These Indians joined the British in the " This sentiment is the result of my own personal ob- revolutionary war. They were conquered, and peace dicaervation, as well as of the concurrent testimony of the tated to them in 1777, when the treaty of Dewitt's corner most authentic information.".

was made, by which they admitted that they were a conIf we look to the legislation of those States where they quered people, and ceded all their country east of the live, we find they are considered spendthrifts and paupers, Únakoi mountain. They again committed hostilities, and and treated as such. Guardians are appointed for them, were again conquered in 1783, and terms of peace again and they are governed as natural and perpetual minors. dictated to them. It has been already shown that they con

Mr. W. would give á sketch of the laws of a few of the tinued to commit hostilities during the administration of cold States, taken from the collection made by the Commit- General Washington, and after the treaty of Hulston. They tee on ludian affairs. These might serve as a specimen. If are now assumed to be a civilized people

, and their congentlemen had a curiosity to look into the matter further, stitution and their press are appealed to as evidence of the they had only to consult the files.

fact. Their constitution bas barbarism distinctly stamped Connecticut appoints an overseer for each tribe ; be bas upon it. It is not destined to live. It has the Hippocratic the care aud management of their lands; they are render countenance. The ancestral likeness evidently appears. red incapable of contracting. In 1672, pow-wows were The fundamental principle is, that the land is to remain probibited, and murders and sabbath-breaking punished. common and inalienable. This

, of itself

, is barbarism. do 1702, an act passed to punish Indians for drunkenness. Separate property in land is the basis of civilized society. Rhode Island" renders them incapable of contracting. Have not all the efforts of all our Presidents to civilize the Suits for trespasses on their lands must be brought by the Indians assumed this principle !

treasurer of the tribe. If residing in any town, and liable This coustitution was the work of white men and half y to become chargeable, they may be removed as paupers. breeds. Its object was to throw the power of the tribe,

They are allowed to take the poor debtor's oath. the lands, the offices, the appuities of the tribe, into their Massachusetts enacts that, "what lauds any of the Indi-) hands. Mady of the old and full blooded Indians are dis

« AnteriorContinuar »