« AnteriorContinuar »
the improvements in the country where you now live, and for all the stock which you cannot take with you, your father will pay you a fair price. " In my
talk to you in the Creek nation, many years ago, I told you of this new country, where you might be preserved as a great nation, and where your white brothers would not disturb you. In that country your father, the President, now promises to protect you, to feed you, and to shield you from all encroachment. Where you now live, your white brothers have always claimed the land. The land beyond the Mississippi belongs to the President and to none else, and he will give it to you for ever.
“My children, listen. The late murder of one of my white children in Georgia, shows you that you and they are too near to each other. These bad men must now be delivered up, and suffer the penalties of the law for the blood they have shed.
“I have sent my agent, and your friend, Colonel Crowell, to demand the surrender of the murderers, and to consult with you upon the subject of your removing to the land I have provided for you west of the Mississippi, in order that my white and red children may live in peace, and that the land may not be stained with the blood of my children again. I have instructed Colonel Crowell to speak the truth to you, and to assure you that your father, the President, will deal fairly and justly with you; and whilst he feels a father's love for you, that he advises your whole nation to go to the place where he can protect and foster you. Should any incline to remain and come under the laws of Alabama, land will be laid off for them, and their families in fee.
“My children, listen. My white children in Alabama have extended their law over your country. If you remain in it, you must be subject to that law. If you remove across the Mississippi, you will be subject to your own laws, and the care of your father the President.--You will be treated with kindness, and the lands will be yours for ever.
“ Friends and brothers, listen. This is a straight and good talk. It is for your nation's good, and your father requests you to hear his counsels.
(Signed) 6 ANDREW JACKSON. “ March 23, 1829.”
These brave Creeks bore up against oppression, and defended their country against the intriguers and villanous paper-money speculators, until the the year 1836, when they were obliged to give way, and the last I heard of them was as follows:
From the New Orleans Bulletin, July 20, 1836.
“The Creeks amounting to some twelve or thirteen hundred, including men, women, and children, reached our city by way of the lake on Monday last. Until the departure of the boats, which are to convey them to their place of destination, west (of the Mississippi, they have made a temporary lodgment along the bank of the New Canal, below the basin, at the foot of Julia Street. The excessive rains of Monday night, and which continued nearly without intermission all of yesterday, have proved particularly unfortunate to those poor savages in their marshy situation, some thirty or forty having died, as we are informed, since their arrival.
“ With the aid of a few staves and boards, some tattered canvas and soiled blankets, they have put up a few rude tents, which afford them, however, but feeble protection against the driving rain. Should the present wet weather continue, and farther delay be occasioned prior to their departure, it certainly would be an act of humanity on the part of the city authorities to appropriate to their use some more comfortable habitations than those which they now have. The barracks or new city prison might be used for such a purpose.
“These Indians are not chained, as was reported, but are quite at large. They do not appear to be destitute of the proper clothing, and are without arms. We noticed among the group some fine-looking warriors, who with their well chiselled frames, strongly developed muscles, dark hair, hazel eyes, high cheek-bones, and noses that would rival the Greek, in precision of outline, showed a combination of manly beauty and strength, that we have rarely seen surpassed by the pale faces. There are Indian damsels, too, who need only the habiliments and decorations of a more refined state of society, to create no little envy among even more polished dames,' the observed of all observers.'
“ Yet they are all poor untutored savages, wandering from the home of their fathers, and the narrow limits that civilized policy left them but in mockery. They no longer look upon the council groves, bend the bow, and arm the rifle in chase, nor follow unmolested the streams of their once untrammelled domain.
“They find themselves hemmed in by those who have stripped them of their lands, curbed the wild and unshackled reign of their nature, debased them from the majesty of their birth and free condition, and now transport them to other lands, soon in turn to be swallowed by the grasping avarice of their destroyers.
“ Can we think of this, and not see that the Indian has deep and powerful promptings to revenge against those who have thus contributed
to his fallen state, and left him, like the blasted hemlock of his own native forest, leafless and withered both root and branch.”
The following official document, short as it is, is enough of itself to exhibit the true character of the Republicans.
“Major General Scott, of the United States Army, sends to the Chero
kee people, remaining in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama, this Address.
“ Cherokees,—The President of the United States has sent 'me, with a powerful army, to cause you, in obedience to the treaty of 1835, to join that part of your people, who are already established in prosperity on the other side of the Mississippi. Unhappily, the two years which were allowed for the purpose you have suffered to pass away without following, and without making any preparation to follow; and now, or by the time that this solemn address shall reach your distant settlements, the emigration must be commenced in haste, but, I hope, without disorder. I have no power, by granting a farther delay, to correct the error that you have committed. The full moon of May is already on the wane, and before another shall have passed away, every Cherokee man, woman and child, in those States, must be in motion to join their brethren in the far West.
My Friends - This is no sudden determination on the part of the President, whom you and I must now obey. By the treaty, the emigration was to have been completed on or before the 23rd of this month; and the President has constantly kept you wamed, during the two years allowed, through all his officers and agents in this country, that the treaty would be enforced.
“I am come to carry out that determination. My troops already occupy many positions in the country that you are to abandon, and thousands and thousands are approaching, from every quarter, to render resistance and escape alike hopeless. All those troops regular and militia, are your friends. Receive them and confide in them as such. Obey them when they tell you that you can remain no longer in this country Soldiers are as kind hearted as brave, and the desire of every one of us is to execute our painful duty in mercy. We are commanded by the President to act towards you in that spirit, and such is also the wish of the whole people of America.
“ Chiefs, head men, and Warriors !-Will you, then, by resistance, compel us to resort to arms? God forbid ! Or will you, hy flight, seek to hide yourselves in mountains and forest, and thus oblige us to hunt you down? Remember that in pursuit, it may be impossible to avoid conflicts. The blood of the white man, or the blood of the red man,
may be spilt, and if spilt, however, accidentally, it may be impossible for the discreet and humane among you, or among us, to prevent a general war and carnage. Think of this, my Cherokee brethre ! I am an old warrior, and have been preseut in many a scene of slaughter; bu spare me, I beseech you, the horror of witnessing the destruction of the Cherokees.
“Do not, I invite you, even wait for the close approach of the troops ; but make such preparation for emigration as you can, and hasten to this place, to Ross's Landing, or to Gunter's Landing, where you will be received in kindness by officers selected for the purpose. You will find food for all, and clothing for the destitute, at either of those places; and thence at your ease, and in comfort, be transported to your new homes according to the terms of the treaty.
“ This is the address of warrior to warriors. May his entreaties be kindly received, and may the God of both prosper the Americans and Cherokees, and preserve them long in peace and friendship with each other.
“ WINKFIELD Scott. 3 “ Cherokee Agency, May 10, 1838."
So much for the unhappy Cherokees, and so much for American cruelty and baseness. I did not think of noticing the sufferings of any other tribe; but the following letters relating to the Seminoles may not, perhaps, be unacceptable.
“ To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States.
“Washington, March 1, 1826. “I communicate to Congress a letter from the secretary of war, together with the representation from Colonel Brooke, relating to the present condition of the Indians in Florida, and which I recommend to the favourable consideration of Congress.
“ JOHN QUINCY ADAMS."
“ To the President of the United States.
· Department of War, Feb. 14, 1826. “Sir, I have the honour to enclose herewith an extract of a letter from Colonel Brooke, of Florida, to Colonel Gibson of this city, on the present suffering condition of the Florida Indians. The correspondence with the department for some time past confirms the truth of Colonel Brooke's statement; and it was in consequence of these representations that partial relief was authorized by you from the contingencies of the Indian department. Being convinced that the country to which these Indians have emigrated is not suited either in soil or salubrity to their
preservation, instructions were some weeks ago forwarded to Governor Duval to ascertain their disposition in regard to a removal to land west of the Mississippi. It is hoped they may accede to the proposition; meanwhile, however, humanity demands that they should be kept from starving. They are where they are by our seeking, and the country was exchanged, as is usually the case, by treaty ; doubtless with an ignorance on their part of the nature of that to which they consented to emigrate, and erroneous information on ours as to its fitness.
“I respectfully recommend that the subject of the sufferings of these people be referred to Congress, that such relief may be afforded as, in the wisdom of that body, may seem proper.
“Connecting the subject of the removal of those Indians with that of their immediate relief, I would suggest that the sum of 50,000 dollars be appropriated with a view to both.
“ JAMES BARBOUR."
Here is an acknowledgment by the secretary of war that lying, trickery, and deception, are regularly practised by the government towards these Indians; and, of course, those that have hearts containing such baseness will and do practise the same insincerity and villany towards all men, of whatever colour or country, when it can be done with impunity. Here it is stated that the Indians were cheated out of their inheritance; that the poor creatures had confided in statements that were erroneous. “ They are,” says the secretary of war," where they are by our seeking, and their country was exchanged, as is usually the case, by treaty; doubtless, with an ignorance on their part of the nature of that to which they consented to emigrate, and erroneous information on ours as to its fitness."
The following official letters will further show the conduct of American republicans to the unfortunate Indians.
“From the National Intelligencer of Friday.
AFFAIRS IN FLORIDA,
“ Among the additional papers concerning the campaign in Florida, transmitted by the President of the United States to the House of Representatives on Monday last, we find the following letter from General Jesup, of recent date, containing highly interesting information of his movements and views of things in that quarter :
"Head-quarters, Army of the South.
“ Fort Jupiter, Feb. 11, 1838.
“SIR, -I reported to the Adjutant-general, on the 9th inst., the opera