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of its owners, and in spite of the laws. The Indian nation did not choose to sell; so a few of their vile stragglers were, by temptation and persuasion, to be prevailed upon to assume a right to their whole country, containing thirteen thousand or more inhabitants, living under a wellorganised government, infinitely more civilised than the scoundrels that so eagerly desired to rob them of their country; and which would have been effected through blood and slaughter, had it not been for a few humane men at Washington, who made inquiry into the affair, and found that their own commissioners had knowingly treated with Indians who had no right nor power whatever to treat; and the above letter of the base Indian traitors shows all this. They were promised protection against the wrath of their injured countrymen if they would cede the land. The commissioners gave them good talk :-they listened to the talk, but they finally found that, in their case, there was no honour among thieves, and that they were left to shift for themselves; and instead of receiving the price of the land exclusively to themselves, they received the ball and the tomahawk.
The refusal of the general government to carry out the plans so enraged the Governor of Georgia, that he insisted upon having the land, and prepared to survey it under force of arms. He threatened to withdraw from the Union, and he ended one of his messages as follows:“I entreat you [that is, the people of Georgia] therefore most earnestly now, that it is not too late, to step forth, and, having exhausted the
argument, to stand by your arms. The cause of all this was, that the “ vitiated restless speculators” had just got a lot of new banks, with the notes of which they wanted to be gambling and speculating in the poor Indians' lands; and their influence was sufficient to cause their government to take these rash steps to accomplish their object. If they could have got the land, their intention was, first to gamble it away by lottery, and to pay for the tickets with the new bank notes. The Governor of Georgia, Troup, in the same document from which the above extract was taken, says
“ Since you were last in session much of anxiety and concern have been manifested for all the interests connected with the bank of Darien, The origin of the excitement, and consequent depreciation of the paper of that institution may be considered a fit subject of investigation. The report of a committee, appointed to examine the state of its affairs, having been received and adopted by you, left, at the close of the session, the solvency of the bank indisputable. When, on a subsequent occasion, it became necessary for the executive to pass an order connected with this depreciation and the administration of the finances, I did not hesitate so to act as to confirm the order both to your expressed opinion and the practice of the treasury.. As no change has been made in the
condition of the institution, I would suffer none to be made in the payment and receipts of its bills at the treasury until you should order otherwise; and whilst I would not permit any measure to be taken which would be construed into depreciation at the treasury, I would suffer none that would have the least effect to embarrass the operations of the other institutions: and this was the more proper, because the difficulties of the one institution might be ascribable, in some degree, to remissness or indiscretion in the management, which it was certainly not entitled to in favour; whilst the operation at the treasury still continues favourable to it, inasmuch as the receipts and payments being confined to Darien bills, and the receipts exceeding the payment, there would be constant accumulation of such bills, and, consequently, a subtraction to that amount from the circulation of the country. “ In every
other State of the Union, where bank credit has been sustained, these institutions mutually aid and assist each other, and, by harmonious co-operation, maintain, unimpaired, the circulating medium of that State. Those of Georgia must profit by this wise example. Interest and credit are not to be found in rivalry and discord; and it is sincerely hoped and believed that, in this instance, conflicting opinions have been the result of misapprehension or mistake. The great institution of the United States keeps them all in check, and should, at the same time, keep them all in union."
Here we have an acknowledgment that the government existed only to enable these rascals to plunder the people. See how he talks of the “ institutions," and of the propriety of taking their notes, depreciated or not. The “ institutions" must be aided and protected. No doubt Troup himself, and most of the Assembly, were men to whom the “institutions" belonged; and it is not to be wondered at that the governor should inform the representatives that “whilst he would not permit any measures to be taken which would be construed into depreciation at the treasury, he would suffer none that would have the least effect to embarrass the operations of other institutions.” When one sees that, thirteen years back, this system had become so powerful, and that it has been spreading its influence wider and wider ever since, it is no matter of surprise that honest and industrious people should be ground down, as they
These “harmonious co-operating institutions" will finally dissolve the Union; and they would have done it at that time, if the courage of their members had been equal to their baseness. But the United States sent one of their generals, at the head of troops sufficient to protect the Indians against the ruthless and restless Georgian villains, who were standing by their arms, ready for the conflict. Here, then, was the governor and the president fairly pitted. The eyes of the whole country were upon them; and an account of a battle, of the killed,
wounded, prisoners, and other circumstance of glorious war," expected to arrive by every post, by those who believed that when the “ Cæsars" had resolved, they would certainly execute. By those who had been bred up to consider pledges as sacred, and never to look upon or respect a man that had broken his promise, such men could see no possibility of the backing-out of the valiant Governor Troup; but, on beholding the gleaming bayonets of his adversary, he quickly drew himself into his shell, and has never been heard of since. But, without his further assistance, there have been villains enough found, from one quarter or other, to drive the poor Indians from their natural inheritance.
There are several tribes of Indians in the different states and territories, and the treatment towards them all, by the Americans, has been unmerciful and cruel in the extreme. It would be to extend my remarks too far, however, were I to notice the whole of them, I will, therefore, notice more generally the affairs of the Cherokees, which may, as far as the barbarity towards them goes, be a fair sample of the whole; and what that barbarity consists of will be shown by the following short extract from an official document, independent of what might be learnt from the suffering party. The document alluded to is a report from the pen
of Mr. Secretary Barbour, of the United States War Department, relative to the Preservation and Civilisation of the Indian tribes.” It is dated February 3, 1826, and is addressed to the Hon. John Cocke, Chairman of the Committee on India Affairs.
After some general remarks on the condition of the Indians, past and present, Mr. Barbour proceeds to observe that “ on one side are seen a great people familiar with arts and arms, whose energies are increased by union, and directed by an efficient government; on the other, a few ignorant and divided tribes of barbarians. It is necessary only for the former to express its will, to receive or enforce immediate submission from the latter. The suggestions of policy or necessity should no longer stifle the claims of justice and humanity.
“ Missionaries are sent among them to enlighten their minds, by imbuing them with religious impressions. Schools have been established by the aid of private as well as public donations, for the instruction of their youths. They have been persuaded to abandon the chase-to locate themselves, and become cultivators of the soil : implements of husbandry and domestic animals have been presented them; and all these things have been done, accompanied with professions of a disinterested solicitude for their happiness. Yielding to these temptations, some of them have reclaimed the forest, planted their orchards, and erected houses, not only for their abode, but for the administration of justice, and for religious worship. And, when they have so done, you
send your agent to tell them they must surrender their country to the white man, and re-commit them to some new desert, and substitute as the means of their subsistence the precarious chase for the certainty of cultivation. The love of our native land is implanted in every human bosom, whether he roams the wilderness, or is found in the highest state of civilization. This attachment increases with the comforts of our country: it is strongest when our comforts are the fruits of our own exertions. We have imparted this feeling to many of the tribes by our own measures. Can it be matter of surprise that they hear with unmixed indignation of what seems to them our ruthless purpose of expelling them from their country, thus endeared ? They see that our professions are insincere; that our promises have been broken ; that the happiness of the Indian is a cheap sacrifice to the acquisition of new lands; and, when attempted to be soothed by an assurance that the country to which we propose to send them is desirable, they emphatically ask us, What new pledges can you give us that we shall not again be exiled when it is your wish to possess these lands? It is easier to state than to answer this question.”
Is it not enough to make one hang one's head with shame, when we consider that we form a part of a community that acts so dishonestly, unmanly, and cowardly, towards a people that, in the first place, when they were powerful and strong behaved so kind and generous towards our forefathers ? Are we a brave people? We have taken advantage of their kindness, got hold of their country; and now that circumstances have thrown them altogether into our power, shall we call ourselves “ a great people, familiar with arts and arms," while, to use the words of our own government, “ We drive this remnant of natives from the ocean to the mountains, from the mountains to the more inhospitable recesses, till a wretched fragment only survives of the numerous hordes once inhabiting this country, whose portion is to brood in grief over their past misfortunes, or to look in despair. on the approaching catastrophe of their impending ruin ?" Shall we call ourselves brave, virtuous, and withal “ pious,” when we recognise power as the only standard of right; and fraud and force as perfectly legitimate in the acquisition of territory? The Secretary of War tells we are a great people;” that we have an efficient
governo ment; that the Indians are ignorant and barbarous.” How a people can be said to be “great,” that have done those things which his document says they have done, for my part I cannot understand, unless he meant to say that they are great rogues, great murderers, and great cowards. Certainly, if what he states in his official paper is to be relied upon, and goes to prove anything, it proves these facts and nothing else. And as to the efficiency of the government, if it be eff
cient, why does it not effectually protect these poor creatures against the avarice of these merciless speculators ?
Missionaries, too, are sent among them to “ enlighten their minds," by imbibing them with religious impressionsschools have been established, public donations have been given ; they have been persuaded to abandon the chase, to become cultivators of the soil ; and they yielded to the temptations-reclaimed the forest, planted their orchards, erected their houses and places for the administration of justice and for religious worship; and, says the secretary, when they had so done, you, the government, and your agents, tell them they must surrender their country to the white men, and re-commit them to some new desert. Then, he asks, if it can be a matter of surprise, that the Indians hear, with unmixed indignation, of what seems to them our ruthless purpose of expelling them from their country ? They see, says he, that our professions are insincere, that our promises have been broken, that the happiness of the Indian is a cheap sacrifice to the acquisition of new lands; and when attempted to be soothed by an assurance that the country to which we propose to send them is desirable, they emphatically ask us, what new pledges can we give them that they shall not again be exiled when it is our wish to possess their lands? and, says he, it is easier to state than to answer this question. Then, he adds, “ that this government is continually pressed with applications, from New York to Arkansas, to adopt measures to extinguish the Indian titles to their lands, and to remove them." But, do you read the extract from this official document over again, and you will find that it contains all that could be asked as evidence to prove that these republicans, as a nation, are the most savage and depraved of human beings.
These devils incarnate are now busily at work, and another fraudulent treaty has been matured by a minister of the gospel. But I will let our worthy newspaper editors tell the story: it suits their
purpose, sometimes, to tell the truth and to advocate justice; it is when they have some other wholesale system of plunder in view, that in their opinion may be advanced by this line of conduct. The following remarks are taken from a United States paper of May 5, 1838. The public document which follows will speak for itself :
CHEROKEE WRONGS. “ It may be too late to benefit the poor Cherokees by publishing the recitals of wrongs done them by our government, which has ceased to be just or humane towards the red man; but the facts should be known, that at least the tear of sympathy may be excited, though it be unavailing. The following is part of a memorial of John Ross, and seven other Cherokees, presented to Congress in June, 1836.- About