Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

Fes. 1, 1837.)

Indian Appropriation Bill.

(H. OF R.

measure.

endeavor to subdue a fragment of the Seminoles? But which it has been and is now in execution; I complain what care of money? It is the sufferings of our own that it has been executed in violation of national faith, fellow-citizens, the lives of the brave men of our army and of the principles of humanity-by fraud, by force, and militia, perishing amid the pestilential swamps of by war. I refer to the Seminoles and Creeks. In rethat fatal region, the destruction of the deluded Indians lation to the Seminoles I submitted my views to the themselves, the tarnished honor of our country, and not House at the last session. (adhere to them. We have the treasure exhausted in the war, which I deplore. attempted to force upon them a treaty by which they How many generals have left that field of war, baffled, were not bound. They resisted, and still resist it. I if not defeated? Nay, is not the whole army of the Uni- then earnestly desired that measures of conciliation ted States thrown into distraction, and half dissolved, by should be attempted. It did not meet the approbation the contentions of rank, the competitions of service, the of the House or of the Executive. They must be criminations and recriminations, which have sprung up whipped, was the expression used here. An execuin such rank abundance, like some noxious growih of tive order was issued to reduce them to unconditional the tropics, out of the soil of East Florida? And if the submission. Four generals have been in the field; each desperation of a few Seminoles, either by their own ef has given place to a successor; the order remains unforts or the contagion of their example, can excite a executed. war that shall summon to the field regiment after regi- A small portion of the Creeks becoming hostile, a ment of troops, to the amount, it is reported to us, first sweeping order was given to remove the whole nation, and last, of some twenty-five thousand men, what would hostile or friendly-by force, if necessary. The treaty be the consequence if injustice or mismanagement of 1832 secured to the Indians a right in their reserva. should kindle a similar flame among the Cherokees, the tions, and to remain upon them-a right as perfect and Creeks, and the great body of the emigrant Indians? as sacred as that by which any man holds the farm on God forbid that such a calamity should descend upon our which he lives. Yet, sir, this, notwithstanding, on the beloved country.

irruption of hostility of a part of the nation only, this Dictates of duty in this matter are not less imperative sweeping order was given. No previous inquiry was than arguments of policy. The Indians are in our hands. made into the causes of these hostilities, to ascertain They have been sunk to what they are, if not by us, yet whether they did not originate from us. No, sir, the through us. We have assumed the guardianship of order was given, and put in execution as a military them, and have pledged ourselves, by stipulation after

It now appears that the first fault was our stipulation, to watch over their welfare. 'I invoke the own; that the fraudulent and oppressive conduct of the faith of treaties, I appeal to the honor of the nation, I whites was the cause of the Creek hostilities. Specula. demand of its truth and justice, if there be any sense of tors had obtained forged deeds of their lands, driven right in civilized communities, that we act decidedly them from their homes, reduced them to starvation, to and promptly in the execution of sonie well-digested desperation. Sir, under such circumstances, would plan for the benefit of the Indians subject to our author- not white men rise in arms? ity. Let us not speak to them only as conquerors, and (Mr. Holsey called on Mr. EVERETT to state the in the language of relentless rigor; but to the vigor that evidence on which his statement "that the frauds shall overawe and control, conjoin the justice that shall commilted on the Creeks were the cause of their hoscommand respect, and the clemency that shall conciliale tilities” was founded. affection.

Mr. E. said that he was not aware that any one would, Mr. EVERETT said he felt called upon to reply to at this day, question the fact. For the evidence be some of the remarks of the gentleman from Massachus would refer the gentleman to the documents published, setts, (Mr. CUSHING,] to set bimself right before the coun- and particularly to the famous Shorter letters, detailing try. That gentleman bad quoted a passage from the the particular manner in which the forged deeds were report of the Committee on Indian Affairs, presented by obtained, and the extent of the forgeries. A band of bim (Mr. E.) in 1834, in which it is said that the re- from twenty to fifty Indians would be collected in the moval of the Indians to the west of the Mississippi was woods, who would personate the surrounding Indian ihen the settled policy of the Government; and, from reserves, and, for a trifling reward, give deeds of their the general tenor of his remarks, it would seem that he lands. And, under such deeds, certified by a Governrelied on the quotation as an approval of the grounds ment agent on the spot, the Indians were driven from on which it had been adopted, and as sanction for the their settlements. That such acts would and had promanner in which that policy has been since executed. duced the Creek hostilities, was his inference. He desired that no such impression should go forth to Mr. H., after stating that the hostilities did not break the country. That report was entirely a business ar- out in the sections of the country where the frauds were icle; every topic was studiously avoided that might re- committed, called on Mr. E. to designate the parts of pite the angry discussions of the past, or give rise to the Creek country where the frauds were committed. hem in future. The committee found the policy de. Mr. E. said he thought he was entitled to call on the ánitively settled by the act of 1830, and in progress of gentleman to state in what part of the Creek country execution. That such was the settled policy of the the frauds had not been committed.] Government is stated simply as a fact; and that be. I will now call the altention of the House to the mening settled, naught remained but to carry it into ex- per in which the removal of the Creeks is conducted. ecution. The controversy between Georgia and the Whether they are regarded as friendly or hostile, they Cherokees that gave rise to that act was then past, and are entitled to be trealed with at least common humani. the committee did not, on that occasion, desire to re- ty. I say nothing of the removal of some thousand or vive it; nor did he now, notwithstanding what had since more in irons; possibly necessity may require ita possi. occurred, intend to revive it; let it pass. Finding that bly they may have been of the hostile party, or of ihose Policy thus definitively settled, it was the direct object whom force alone could compel to leave their country; of that report to carry it fully into execution. But, sir, necessity may have required it-pass them by. I speak by what measures, and in what manner? By measures of the great mass of the population of men, women, consistent with the principles of good faith, and in man- and children. Since the debate of yesterday, I have ber consistent with the principles of humanity, and by bad put into my hands an appalling description of their ruch only. I bave now nothing to say against the policy; sufferings—of what are probably their sufferings at this Hy only complaint is solely against the measure by moment. The recital is enough to make one's blood

VOL. XIII.-97

H. OF R.)

Indian Appropriation Bill.

(FEB. 1, 1837.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

run cold. It is a letter from a gentleman at Fort Gib. acquainted with the condition of those people; and it is son, published in the Arkansas Gazette. The name of hoped that, when they do become acquainted with the the writer is not given; but the letter carries on its face facts, the philanthropic portion of the community will internal evidence of its truth; and we are relieved from not be fourd wanting in their efforts to alleviale, as far all suspicion of its baving been got up for political effect, as practicable, their extreme suffering. They are in from the fact that the Gazette is an administration pa- want of almost every article in common use in a civilized per. I will ask that it be read at the Clerk's table. community, particularly clothing; and any thing of that

kind would be highly acceptable--such as coarse gowns, From the West.

shirts, coats, pantaloons, shoes, &c, which, if given du. ! "Extract of a letter from a gentleman in the West to ring this winter, might be the means of saving many his friend in this place:

lives.

“DECEMBER 25, 1836. "It should be borne in mind that the Creeks now on “ There is now arriving at Fort Gibson, and on the their way have voluntarily removed from their homes, road between that place and the Mississippi river, near in Alabama, before the time at which they could be pos. 14,000 Creek Indians, under course of removal, by the itively required to move; and that on promises made to Government of the United States, to their new country them, some of which have not, and in all probability on the Arkansas river. The removal is made by a com- will not be complied with; and, after agreeing to re. pany of contractors, who receive a stated sum per move, they left their country in such haste, that many head for each Indian delivered to the officers of Governo of them were not able to make sale of their properly: ment appointed to receive them at the line of their new and those who did effect sales, it is said, did not receive country.

more than half value for the property sold. " Those contractors are bound to subsist them on their "It is thought, by many persons, ihat the Creeks now journey; and the removal of the Indians is, to them, a on their way, and arriving in this country, have been matter of speculation. It therefore becomes their in. recently hostile to the whites, and that they have been terest to rush them on, regardless of either comfort or removed by force of arms from the country east of the convenience to the Indians. And, in fact, those con. Mississippi; but such is not the fact. Apothlahola and his tractors could not reasonably be expected to consult | people, now under course of removal, have been, with the comforts of the Indians to much extent, at iheir but few exceptions, friendly to the whites, and aided own individual expense. Therefore, the policy of re. them in the defeat and subjugation of Nehemsthla and moving them by contract is a bad one, as is well known his two thousand five hundred followers, who were to every one who is at all familiar with Indian removals. brought on to this country early in the fall, and who are

“Those people have necessarily, from the impoverish- at this time hostile in feeling, not only to the whites, but ed condition of many of them, to move slowly; and perhaps to Apothlahola's party. Purthermore, Apothlahola has more so ihan was anticipated by the contractors previous with him the families of near a thousand of his warriors, to their starting; consequently, they may not be able, now serving with our army in Florida. without incurring much individual expense, to extend to “If the removal of the Indians liad been made by offi. the Indians even the indulgence of time that common cers of the Government, whose cominissions would rest humanity requires; and whether they comply with their upon a faithful execution of their duty both to the Gov. obligation in this case, or not, I am not prepared to say; ernment and to the Indians, (as was the case in ihe re. bu', be that as it may, no portion of American history moval of the Choctaws some years since,) the case would can furnish a parallel of the misery and suffering at pres. have been very different from what it has been in this ent endured by the emigrating Creeks. They consist case. The condition of the Indians would have been of all ages, sexes, and sizes, and of all the varieties of better, and the actual expense to the Government would human intellect and condition, from the civilized and have been less; much more indulgence as to time could tenderly nurtured matron and misses, to the wild savage have been extended to them by the Government, than and the poorest of the poor. Thousands of them are could be given by private individuals; they would have entirely destitute of shoes, or covering of any kind for been more comfortable, and consequently less liable io the feet; many of them are almost naked; and but few sickness and death, and to the terrible suffering which of them have any thing more on their persons than a they at present have to endure. light dress, calculated only for the summer, or for a very • I will here remark, that to each separate party of warm climate; and the weather beir.g warm when they four or five thousand of those Indians there is aitached, lesi Alabaina, many of them left their heavier articles of as agent of the Government, an officer of the army, clothing, expecting them to be brought on in steam. which officers have no doubt discharged their duty in boals, which has as yet been only partially done. In the matter to the fullest extent of their power. At any this destilule condition they are wading the cold mud, ra'e, not the least complaint has been heard to have or are hurried on over the frozen road, as the case may been made against any one of them; and they are said to be. Many of them have in this way had their feet frosi. stand high in the estimation of the Indians, and have had bitten, and, being unable to travel, fall in the rear of the considerable turmoil with the contractors. main party; and in this way are left on the road, to await "It is not my purpose to cast any reflection or censure the ability or convenience of the contractors to assist in any particular quarier, but there is a fault someuliere them. Many of them, not being able to endure this un- and it is to be hoped thai tlie inquiring community wil. exampled slale of human sullering, die, and, it is sai'', look to the causes which have led to this great exireme are tirown by the sde of the road, and are covered of human suffering." only with brush, &c., where they remain until devoured On the statement made in this letter I shall make nc by the wolves.

comment. I make no charge against ihe administration "How long this state of things will exist, is hard to con- as having intended or courilenanced this state of thii gs. jeciure. It is now past the middle of December, and I feur, however, that they have not laken all proper the winter, though cold, is by no meang at its worst precaution to prevent it. It is stated, and I am glaciti slage; and when the extreme of winter does fall upon know it, that the officers of the Governnent atiending these most miserable crealures, in their present suffer. the emigrating party are not in fault. They, it :eems ing and desperate cundition, the destruction of human have done every thing in their power. The fault is in lite will be most deplorable.

the contractors. I hope no such case will again occur The American people, it is presumed, are as yet un. It is our duty to prevent it, if possible. I would no

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

place economy against humanity. I should be willing sistence and transportation. Shall your emigrating con. to treble the amount of the appropriation, if necessary, tractors have no less, or will you give them no more! for the comfort of the emigrants. Abolish the removal The same may be said as to rations whilst in a prepara. by contract; subject tbem no more to the avarice of con. tory state to removal. But I will not multiply instances. tractors.

I have already enumerated enough to show that the exMr. PARKER moved to recommit the bill to the ecutive department being charged with the execution Committee of Ways and Means, with instructions go to of the treaty and the removal of the Indians, and these modify and amend it as to strike ont all the general ap- objects being influenced by facts and contingencies

propriations made therein for the Indian tribes, and in. which the Legislature can neither know nor control, 35;sert in their place specific appropriatione, founded on specific appropriations for particular items can only tend

the estimates for which the money is required and stated to clog or defeat the main end and design of the bill, the to be due.

removal of the Indians, and the fulfilment of the national And, on this motion, Mr. P. called for the yeas and obligations. nays.

But, sir, the gentleman from Vermont (Mr. EVERETT) Mr. LAWLER was opposed to the recommitment of has assumed positions in regard to our Indian relations the bill, and was of opinion that the estimate was so per- which, as one of the Representatives of Georgia, I cannot fectly plain, in all its details, that any amendment which permit to pass unnoticed upon this floor. While he ad. might be necessary could be made in the House. He mits it is the settled policy of the Government to transreplied to the remarks of Mr. EVERETT, and contended plant the aborigines beyond the Mississippi, he maintains that the Creek Indians, by their repeated acts of hostil that the portion of the Creeks recently removed to the ity, virtually annulled the treaty which had been made, West have been torn from their birthright and their and operated a forfeiture of that protection from the homes, in contravention of the national faith, solemnly United States, which they would otherwise have receiv. pledged in the treaty of March, 1832. He interposes ed. In relation to the statement which had heen read the same objection to the passage of this bill, which pro. from an Arkansas paper, the details therein set forth vides for the removal of the remaining portion of the must come in a more authenticated form than in the tribe; arrays the frauds perpetrated upon them in the columns of a newspaper, before he, (Mr. L.,) or the sale of reservations by our own people as the causes of House, or the country, would give credit to them. their late hostilities; and whilst pouring out the melting

Mr. HOLSEY said, the gentleman from New Jersey charities of his heart, the deepest sympathies of his soul, has moved to recommit the bill to the Committee of for the injuries and sufferings of ihe degraded sons of Ways and Means, with instructions to specify on the Ishmael, reserves for his own race the freezing admoni. face of the bill a particular amount of appropriation for tion that those who sow the wind must reap the whirl. each item of expenditure for the removal of the Creek wind; who unchain the tiger must abide his fury as he Indians. I am opposed to this motion on two grounds. walks upon his destroying path. Sir, I beg leave to dif. First, because the details upon which the aggregate ap. fer with the gentleman from Vermont both in sentiment propriation is founded have already been furnished by and opinion. I boldly avow my attachment for the race the Commissioner of the Indian bureau, printed, and laid from which I have descended, and with whom I have upon the table of each member, before the bill was taken united in the civil state for the purpose of defence up in the Committee of the Whole on the state of the against foreign invasion. I have no tears to shed for the Union. Secondly, because the execution of the treaty savage who buries the tomahawk in the mother's breast, stipulations being dependent upon facts which this House and imbrues his hands in her infant's blood. I rejoice do not know, and cannot ascertain until the time of the that American arms have been enabled to arrest the bar. actual removal of the Indians, it would not only embar- barians in their march of blood and conflagration, and rass, but even prevent the execution of some of the arti- to transplant them beyond the jurisdiction of the States. cles of the treaty. Upon the first ground, the House The honorable gentleman from Vermont has intrenched will perceive that it is not called upon to vote a sum himself on the high grounds of the treaty, and opened total of the public money without a knowledge of the his batteries upon the Government for a violation of its integral parts which compose it. They have been spread provisions, by removing the Indians against their conbefore us with a minuteness sufficient to satisfy the most A single fire will dislodge him from his position. serupulous, and a certainty to which a nisi prius pleader By the laws of nations, a state of war abrogates pre.ex. could not take exception-a certainty not only to a com. isting treaties. If the Government continues to fulfil the don intent, but in every particular.' There is a special remaining clauses of the treaty, it is only from a princi. count per head for removal after the line of march is ple of humanity, and not from any considerations arising taken up; another for rations whilst in camp preparatory from good faith to the Indians. if they have raised the to removal; a third for rifles, ammunition, blankets, tomahawk and scalping-knife for the adjustment of their blacksmith, &c. [Here Mr. H. read from the estimates wrongs, they cannot complain that the musket and the of the Commissioner of the Indian department the vari- bayonet have been made the umpire of our differences. sus details.) He said gentlemen had called for specifi. The treaty was therefore cancelled by the commence. cations. Tedious as they are, I have given them, be. ment of hostilities, and their removal a military operaause they were demanded, and will ask in return the tion essential to the peace and safety of the frontiers. measure of legal justice, a recovery secundem allegata But the gentleman from Vermont bas said that he has & probala. But the gentleman from New Jersey is con- evidence in bis possession to show that the frauds comtent with the items and their corresponding expenditure, mitted in the sales of Indian reservations were the causes but insists that they should be brought into the bill. А of the recent aggressions on the part of the Creek na. gtance at the treaty presen's insuperable objections. By tion. I demand not only the evidence of fraud, but the 13th article, each Creek warrior is to be furnished proof that, if any were committed, they were the causes with a rifle and ammunition, and each family with a of hostilities. blanket. As the number of these articles must necessa- (Here Mr. EVERETT stated that his opinion was formrily depend upon the number of warriors and families at ed from the reporl of Col. Hogan, an agent appointed the time of executing the treaty, a specific amount for to investigate the allegations of fraud. ] these purposes must run the hazard either of excess or The honorable gentleman prejudges not only the deficiency. Again, sir: you insert in the bill a special charges of fraud, but how far they may have led to the amant ($28 50) per bead, to defray the expenses of sub. war-subjects which are now under the investigation of H. OF R.]

sent.

Indian Appropriation Bill.

(FEB. 1, 1837.

1

[ocr errors]

commissioners appointed under a resolution of the last made and reiterated against the Government. Now, session of Congress. If, as be supposes, the alleged sir, I am at a loss to find the Government in the formafrauds were the causes of the war, we would naturally tion of a treaty without the President. He forms the expect to find the seat of war in the districts where they treaty, and the Senate approves or rejects it. When were committed. But the history of the Creek war is the Government is censured for the formation of an imdirectly at variance with the gentleman's supposition. proper treaty, I take it for granted the President is im. In McHenry's district, where alone there is a single plicated. But my colleague has disclaimed it, and I allegation supported by the least color of proof, the will press it no further. I hope, therefore, the motion natives maintained their friendly relativns, with but few of the gentleman from New Jersey will not prevail, and exceptions. In the district certified by General San. that the House will pass the bill. ford, an officer deservedly high in the confidence of Mr. DAWSON said the course which the debate the Government, and of elevated and irreproacliable had taken on the bill before the House had made it his character, and where I call upon the gentleman from duty, as one of the Representatives of Georgia, to ask Vermont to lay his finger upon a single case of fraud the indulgence of the House, for a short time, that he sustained by a shadow of evidence, the war had its rise, might be heard upon some of the facts stated by genprogress, and end. Thus it seems where there was fraud tlemen, and briefly to reply to some of the insinuations, there was the least aggression, and where there was no charges, and allegations, which had been made in relafraud the war raged in all its horrors. Sir, were I to tion io that part of the Union from which he came. The seek for the sources of the war with the Creek Indians, range of this discussion had been wide, and to his mind, I should dive deeper into the recesses of the human Mr. D. said, in a great measure unauthorized by the heart, and look beyond the sale of Indian reservations, objects of the bill; questions and subjects having but Without reverring to the discovery of the continent, little connexion, if any, had been introduced. and the nature of the causes which have produced the Gentlemen had spoken freely and sympathetically existing relations between the two races, I assume it as touching the policy pursued in relation to the Indians, a fact, verified by daily experience and observation, and especially the Creeks, and had plainly intimated, if that there exists between them a deep national animos. not charged, that humanity had been violated, and the ity, wbich, upon the border, is continually manifesting character of the country blackened, by acts of cruelty itself in open viulence. It is in vain, sir, that you may to them; that the conduct of the citizens of Georgia and look for a state of tranquillity between two people so Alabama to these Indians had given origin to the late opposite in character as savage and civilized man. In war, which, it seems, has not yet entirely subsided, and, vain may you look for it between the red and the white in its consequences, the butchery of men, women, and man, burning under a sense of mulual injuries for cen- children, depredations, and desolation of property. turies. I repeat it, sir, hostilities will ever mark the Mr. Speaker, permit me (said Mr. D.) to say these line of your frontier. They spring necessarily out of allegations contain not the true causes of the war. It is existing relations; and a stale of peace is but a tempora- a mistake, a very great mistake; it is not so. Truth and ry suspension of hostilities. Sir, treat as you please, justice unite, and deny that Georgia and Alabama were act as you please, reservations or no reservations, fraud in fault in this matter to such an extent as to justify so or no fraud, the removal of a warlike tribe of Indians, grave an allegation; and in their vindication, and espelike that of the Creeks, becomes, from the nature of cially those of my constituents who have been denomithings, a military measure. They will not go as abjects; nated the people of the frontiers, and against whom it revenge must sweeten the bitter cup of their departure. has been said the dire calamities which were perpetraWhy, sir, you might give them ten times the value of ted on the eastern and western banks of the Chattahoo. their lands, both by trealy and private contract, and it chee river, during the last spring and summer, were would not affect the result. It is the tempest of the partially chargeable, I may say, without being influenced buman soul, and you cannot bribe it. Neither the inge- by State pride, a more honorable and high-minded popnuity nor the power of man can hush it into silence. ulation inhabit no portion of this Union, and for the fule. As the hour of removal approacbes, portentous clouds filment of their duties as good and worthy citizens, begin to darken the horizon, and the note of prepara politically and morally, are not inferior to any other tion is the electric fire which rends them asunder, and portion of the confederacy. The charge that their concalls dowu all their fury.

duct forced the Indians into a state of desperation, and In spite of all your treaties, your justice, or your caused the bloody and savage acts which they commit. magnanimity, they will not tamely relinquish their soil ted, is not true or just, nor can it with any propriety be to your possession. For it they will exact not only your made. Sir, the people of that section of the country gold, but your blood. Gentlemen are grossly deceived are benevolent and generous, and possess, at least in an who imagine that in the absence of fraud this tribe would equal degree, every sympatby common to our nature, peaceably have emigrated beyond the Mississippi. The and which excites noble and honorable acts, and would supposition betrays an entire want of knowledge of the extend the influence of these virtuous feelings as far as Indian character, and of causes which have been oper- any people on earth. And here, in all kindness and ating for ages past.

good feeling to the gentlemen from Massachusetts and But, sir, my honorable colleague [Mr. Dawson) has Vermont, who, on yesterday and to-day, addressed the imputed this war to the Government as its author. This House with so much sympathy in behalf of the aborigi. is a grave charge, and requires examination. Sir, I had nes, and who depicted, with so much pathos, the op supposed that the Executive Chief of this nation was the pressions and cruelties which bad been inflicted on this last man upon earth on whom this reproach could be race, I can say no man indulges a more sincere desire to

The blood and tears of helpless innocence, whilst alleviate their condition, and improve their minds and falling the victims of Indian barbarity, will never cry to their morals, than I do; and the gentlemen will pardoi Heaven against him.

me for reminding them that the tide, the first wave o (Here Mr. Dawson explained, by saying that he did | which began to flow on the landing of the Pilgrims a not mean to implicate the President, but those through Plymouth, (1620,) and beat on that rock which now oC whose agency the clause for reservations in the treaty cupies, as a curiosity, the centre of the town of Plymouth had been inserted.]

and is to this day respected as sacred, is still flowing I am happy to find my colleague disclaims all impu. and will finally urge this race beyond the Mississippi tations upon the Chief Executive. The charge was without leaving a remnant behind. The waves of lai

Cast.

FEB. 1, 1837.)

Indian Appropriation Bill.

(H. OF R.

tide have, in its floods, left the remembrance of oppres- kindness and generosity to the Indians, sir? Which of sions, and seeming, if not actual, cruelties towards the the States, originally forming the constitution of this people of the forest, wbich the history of the New Eng. Union, has borne such an encumbrance upon its pros. land Pilgrims and their descendants has recorded. On perity? None, sir-none. Is it not, then, unkind and the pages of that history scenes are painted not less ungenerous, yea, unjust and exciting, to be charged at abhorrent to humanity or less appalling to the sickly this day, by those who have swept the Indians from their imaginations of the present than those scenes of cruelty soil years ago, with unrelenting extermination. But the and oppression to which such frequent reference had cry has been raised of cruelty and oppression, and the been made during this debate. May I be permitted to madness of the day must have time to cool. I trust, sir, ask, where are the mighty tribes of Indians who once I may be pardoned for the digressions into which I have occupied the deligktful regions of New England, and been drawn by this debate. from the “ mountain top" limited their extent only by To return to the causes of the late war. It has been the surrounding sky, and who, in their native freedom, asked, if the conduct of the citizens of Georgia and sported on the beautiful rivers, and who spread so much Alabama did not produce the war, what did? I answer, terror and consternation among the first white settlers! the treaty, and the consequences proceeding necessarily They are gone, sir; and the places which knew them from it. Yes, sir, the Treaty entered into at Washington once will know them no more. And by what power city, by the United States and the chiefs of the Creek were they forced, at least, from the land of the Pilgrims? natiun, in 1832. My opinion is, and so is the opinion of

Sir, I will not cry out cruelty, inhumanity, or injus. all who fully understand all its parts, that out of the tice, or indulge in a needless and unnecessary tirade terms of that treaty grew the prime cause of the misfor. about the policy pursued in that section, in that period tunes, butcheries, and desolations, which the people of and since, towards the people whose condition we can. Georgia and Alabama suffered within the last eighteen not improve; it would, perhaps, be unkind so to act or months. Let me explain. The reservations, the Indian to speak, for necessity, no doubt, prescribed the policy reservations, sir, turned the Creek country into a mar. of that day; the same causes would now produce similar ket, overt and covert, for sales and contracts, honest and effects. I will, however, remind gentlemen that the dishonest; for frauds, limited and extensive; and to this same tide which, I might say, was put in motion by the market speculators of all sizes, classes, and characters, Puritans, in its floods, has spread desolation over the individually and in confederacy, and those who were too natives of the forests—first in the East and it will not honest to act improperly in person sent their men. From ebb, I apprehend, until they are utterly annihilated. these reservations spring the contracts and sales, bonest The idea is unpleasant, yet it is clearly the result to be and dishonest, and all the frauds about which so much gathered from the past history of this country, and the has this day been said. And these frauds chiefly, and indications of the future. Let not the East, then, reflect perhaps an unwillingness on the part of the Indian to go on the policy of the General Government, or the States, west of the Mississippi, produced the late war. Hence in relation to the aborigines: necessity and policy pre my assertion is true, that the provisions of the treaty scribe the course of all, mingled with and regulated by created the causes of the war—the frauds, the warhe justice and humanity.

reservations, the frauds—the treaty, the reservations. I trust the House will pardon me for alluding, at this | Hear the 2d article of that treaty; it reads thus: “ The Lime, to the legislation of Georgia, and her course to. United States engage to survey the land as soon as the wards these people. Her laws, when understood, will be same can conveniently be done, after the ratification of approved; her statute books will show the protection the treaty; and, when the same is surveyed, to allow and securities guarantied to the Indians. Their persons ninety principal chiefs of the Creek tribe to select one and property are as inviolable as those of the whites; section each, and every other head of a Creek family to personal wrongs committed on them by the whites are select one balf section each; which tracts shall be re. punished by the same law, and to the same extent, as if served from sale, for their use, for the term of five committed on a white man.

years, linless sooner disposed of by them,” &c. As to the indulgences towards the Indians, the patience The 3d article says: * These tracts may be conveyed with which Georgia awaited the fulfilment of the com- by the persons selecting the same to any other persons, pact of 1802 will show. And it is worthy of remark for a fair consideration, in such manner as the President that, notwithstanding the various tribes which have resi. may direct; the contract shall be certified by some per. ded in that State from the Revolution to this day, her son appointed for that purpose by the President, but history is not stained by a single act of cruelty towards shall not be valid till the President approves the same; that people; nor has an Indian suffered the penalty of a title shall be given by the United States, on the com. the law for its violation, which a white man would not pletion of the payment." Who cannot see, at a glance, bave suffered for the same offence. Nor has the policy that this treaty, concocted, arranged, planned, and rati. of Georgia, within the last forty years, (and I believe fied here, in the city of Washington, ihrew open, wide derer,) nor have the acts of any portion of her citizens, and broad, the doors for speculation, fraud, and cor. involved this Government in a single border war. But, ruption? And, sir, I have no doubt one of the contract. ez, for a few years past, individuals, and perhaps num- ing parties saw it, and knew it, and, it seems, endeavor. bers of very good men, have labored under a delusioned to provide against it; for the 3d article, which con. and belief that Georgia had acted towards the Indians templates a sale, says " these reservations may be sold, within ber limits with great rigor and oppression. This for a fair consideration, in such a manner as the Presi. is not true, to the extent alleged; in fact, every act of dent may direct; the contract shall be certified by some the State had been justifiable, and demanded by the person appointed for that purpose by the President,” state of our Indian relations. No State, Mr. Speaker, &c. Georgia nor Alabama did create this mother of so (said Mr. D.,) in this Union, has exhibited more magna. many evils: no, sir, it took its origin in the city of nimily and indulgence towards the Indians. How long Washington, and was the production of one of the de. have the Cherokees been in the peaceable and quiet partments of this Government. And who should be an. eccupancy of the lands of Georgia, within her constitu- swerable for the dreadful and heart-rending calamities, tional limits, and guarantied by the General Government frauds, speculations, and infamous combinations for un in the compact of 1802? More than half a century, sir! | worthy purposes, growing out of it? The answer is What has arrested the growth of Georgia for so many palpable. fears, and kept her in the rear of the old thirteen? Her And, sir, who has not heard it and seen it in the pub

« AnteriorContinuar »