Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

H. or R.)

Removal of the Indians.

(May 15, 1830.

these walls, or another enemy shall kindly inflict upon us | sponsibility that may involve the country in that taint upos a lesser disgrace.

our reputation, por be accessory to it. Ño pride of opisica We came to these people with peace offerings, and they should influence us. There are no laurels to be won in gave us lands. As we ivcreased in numbers we increased this field. There is no victory to achieve over a people our demands, and began to press upon them. They saw in their situation. There is no reward before us but disus hemming them in w every side, and furrowing down grace, and the detestation of our fellow-med. If this wil the graves of their fathers. As their subsistence was wast. passes, Ibey will submit to all the injuries which may be ing away, they remonstrated against us. We were deaf inflicted upon them, for it is wo longer in their power to to their reproaches. They implored us to remember their resist. They will bear it as long as men can bear oppret kindness to us, but we turned away from them. They re- sion, but they will sink under it at last. If we were is sisted at last, and flew to their arms. Fierce and bloody. ibeir situation, we should not leave our own country wil. wars followed. We felt their power; and if they had been lingly. We, who are strong and proud, and restive of te united, or had foreseen what we are now doing, we should straint, should fly to arms for balf of what they bave sufnot now be in these seats. We met again in friendship, fered already. We have done it, but we had friends to and established our treaties with them. We pledged our sustain us. But the Indian must submit. When we have faith, and gave them our solemo guarauties that we would turued him away from our door, be bas no friends any. come no further. I hope that we shall feel it our duty where. Shall we, who boast so much of our institutions, to observe tbem like honest med.

and talk so loftily of patriotism, reproach him because But we are asked, will you leave things in their pre. he loves bis country too well-because his heart is not as sent condition ? Will you refuse to treat with them finty as we would make it-because he hingers too long No. But if I am asked when we shall treat, I am ready among the graves of his fathers ? But, sir, if the fist is to answer: Never, sir, never, till they are at perfect liber- pronounced here, he will go. He must go, for be cannot ty, and free from all restraiut. I should not consider a stay there and live. They will leave the fields which they treaty made with them in their present wretched and for- have reclaimed from the forest and laid open to the sun, saken condition, as murally binding ou them. I will not their comfortable dwellings, their flocks, their schools consent to take advantage of men iu their situation. I am tbeir cburches--aye, sir, their christiao churches, wbich sick-heart-sick of seeing them at our door as I enter we have buit there, and wbicb pow stand where the stake this hall, where they have been standing during the whole of the victim was once planted But they will not leava of this session, supplicating us to stay our baud. There the graves of their fathers. A wbole nation, in despair, is one plain path of hopor, and it is the path of Bufety, be- will piously gather up their bones, and retire to your westcause it is the path of duty. Retrace your steps. Acknow- ern forests. When they shall have reached its nether ledge your treaties. Confess your obligations. Redeem skirts, they will look back for the last time from the moun your faith. Execute your laws. Let the President revise taid over this beautiful land of their fatbers, and then rehis opinions. It is never too late to be just. Let him ex- tiring to the deeper shades within, will curse your perfidy; tend bis hand to them as a brother-as their great father and tench their children to execrate your name. We could indeed. The power of the Goveroment is at bis command bear reproach from the proud and the insolent, but there Let him set them free. Above all things, wio back their is eloquence in the humility with which these people plead confidence. Convince them that they may trust you again their wrongs. We feel our guilt in the very submissiveas friends. If you will do this, and they are free to act with ness with which they approach us. out any coercion, I am ready to execute any treaty which I have viewed this question in all the lights which have they will make with you. But it must be done - peace offered themselves to ny mind, and I can see no way to ablý”-ig the true spirit of our obligations to Georgia, and dispose of it safely, but to stop wbere we are to go ne jo no other way., I wish they were in a condition to treat further ; but to retract openly, honorably, and immedistewith us fairly. I wish it for the sake of Georgia--for them ly. Every step we advance in this injustice will sink.us and for ourselves. But I will not consent that Government deeper in disgrace. But, sir, to reject this measure is not shall operate on their fears. It is upmanly and dishonor- enough. We cannot regnin what we have already lost, able. I will not agree to inculcate on their minds the unless our laws are executed. We cannot leave our seats slightest suggestion that they are not to be protected fully, bere, and do this ourselves. Without the co-operation of fearlessly, and faithfully. They are now sinking under the the Executive, we are powerless ; and if he will not pause terror of the calamities which they believe await them -if he will not execute the treaties—if the laws are sufwhen this bill shall have passed. They believe that the fered to sleep-if reason and justice are slighted, and exlaws of the States are not to be exteuded over them for postulation is in vain-if bis oath will not awaken him to good. It is immaterial whether they are right or not in stretch forth his arm fearlessly and honorably to sustain this belief. They believe it to be for evil, and anarchy is the constitution and laws of the country, and the rights of now there in its worst forms. I bave too much confidence these oppressed people, he shall go ou upon bis owo re in Georgia to believe that she will suffer any violence to sponsibility, and that of those who may be about to place be committed under her autbority. But the effect pro- this measure in his hand. Be the consequences what they duced by her laws has not left these people free agents. may, the stain of whatever may happen shall be upon his These states have no right to ask us to act under such cir- bands. My poor opivion in this matter may be worth very cumstances, or, if they do, we ought to judge of that for little bere, and I may be mistakea in my apprehensions. ] ourselves, and refuse to act if we think the bonor of the will leave this to time and those who come after us But, Government forbids it. Heal the wounds which you have holding the opicions I do, I will take po share of the reinflicted, and convene their councils. If they will then sponsibility of carrying this measure through the House. treat with you, bring your treaty bere instead of this law. On a subject as momentous as this, it is better for us, and We shall then know what we are doing: I will then sus more just to our constituents, that we should postpone this tain the Executive, by my humble vote, in all that he sball measure, and let the question be fairly and fully presented promise in our name. He shall have countless millions to to them before we act upon it finally. They have a right fulfil our faith. The treasures of the nation shall flow like to demand it of us. Let the feeling and judginent of the water, and the people of this country will bear any bur- whole country be consulted. When this bill bas passed, den rather than suffer the bonor of their Goverument to the matter is beyond our reach and theirs. The memobe stained with perfidy. But for coercion, or any thing rials on your table ought not to be lightly trifled with, and

like coercion-moral or physical, direct or indirect, I will will not be safely despised. This thing is not to be done w.vote nothing—not one pour seruple. I will tako do re.. here in a corner without responsibility. It will be stripped

May 15, 1830.)

Removal of the Indians.

[H. or R

[ocr errors]

w of all the mysteries aud vain dieguise in which we may, it, but there will be no refuge for you in the grave. You he hope to conceal its real character, and be put to the se- will yet live in history; and if your children do not disown

verest scrutiny. Surely, sir, we must wish that we felt their fathers, they must bear the humiliating reproaches confident of that enlightened support in public opinion, of their names. Nor will this transaction be put down in without which we cannot be, and will not find ourselves history as a party measure. Our country, too, must bear sustained before the country.

the crime and the shame. I have been a party man, sir, We may differ on points which affect our internal policy perhaps too much so-and I have contributed nothing to only without responsibility to others. But our conduct in place the present Chief Magistrate in the station which

this affects the security of the social law of all mankind, and he now holds-as yet under the constitution and not above I which all nations are interested to sustain. They have the it. But I should deem it a lesser evil and a more support

right to sit in judgment upon us. Thnt part of the law of able calamity-and I declare to you that I had rather see nations which commands the observance of treaties, is the him or any other man created dictator at once, and let law of the whole buman family. Though the present measure bim sway our destinies, for one life at least, than suffer for may not immediately affect them, and they may have no a single bour the slame of feeling that my country must right to interfere, yet they have the right for their own secu- submit before the christian world to the disgrace of berity to put in action the moral feeling of the world agaiust ing set down in history as the violator of her treaties, and the effect of our example. Whatever our opinions may be of the oppressor of this helpless people who have trusted so the invasion of France as a question of original interference, confidingly to her faith. the powers of Europe were fully justified in the measures But I will not despond, or give up all for lost. When which they took in 1815, on the return of Bonaparte from it is considered how little, after all, these States really Elba. As the violator of treaties, be had placed himself have at stake on this question, and how trifing the acquiout of all civil and social relations. There was no secu- sition of this paltry territory must be, I cannot believe rity for any Government, if so dangerous an example, by that they will refuse to make some sacrifice or concession such a formidable power, should have been able to sus- of feeling to the reputation of the country. Are not our tain itself. I bave nothing to say of the subsequent dis-honor and our reputation—our interests and our glory, position of his person. It does not concern the question theirs ? Are they uot bound up with us in one common before us. But the opinion of mankind sustained his ex lot, for good or evil

, as long as this constitution and our pulsion from

France, if not from Europe, and history will Uniou sball endure, and votil the blessings which, under sanction it. The eye of other nations is now fixed upon the goodness of Providence, it may long dispense to our us. Our friends are looking with fearful anxiety to our common country, shall be furever withdrawn i-until that conduct in this matter. Our enemies, too, are watching appalling night of despotism shall descend upon the our steps. They have laio in wait for us for half a cen- world, and ver upon the whole family of man, wben this tury, and the passage of

this bill will light up joy and bright constellation shall have set, and the last hope of hope in the palace of every despot. It will do more to buman freedom has been forever extinguished! What destroy the confidence of the world in free government, are these miserable remuants of Indian land worth to them than all their armies could accomplish. Our friends eve- or to us, if

, in settling an abstract question of jurisdiction, rywhere will be compelled to hang their heads, and sub- we are about to expuse ourselves and them to the imputao permit to this reproach of their principles. It will weaken tion of bad faith! New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and

our institutions at home, and infect the heart of our social Obio have all yielded to the constitutional authority of system. It will teach our people to hold the bonor of the Union, on points quite as essential, in their opinion, their Government lightly, and loosen the moral feeling of to their sovereignty as this. There is nothing to be won the country. Republics have been charged, too, with in- in this controversy that is worth a moment's thought, in

solence and oppression in the day of their power. His- comparison with the condemnation that lies beyond it. wtory has upfortunately given us much proof of its truth, To avert such a calamity, I will yield much, very much. ** and we are about to confirm it by our own example. I will give up almost any thing here. I will claim pothing

But, sir, we must stand at last at the bar of posterity, and of these states that shall offend their pride. The point answer there for ourselves and our country. If we look of honor shall be conceded to them, and our good faith

for party influence to sustain us now, it will fail us there. shall be vindicated by a concession from their patriotism. couple The little bickerings in which we now bustle and show I will not yet give up eveu this hope. Nor will I believe Ti off our importance, will have then ceased and been for that the Chief Magistrate will suffer the reputation of his

gotten, or little understood. There will be po time-serv- administration and the country to be taruished. I will

ing purposes to warp the judgment--no temptations to look there, too, for better councils, and a more deliberate van entice into error-00 adulation to offer unto power, or to examination of the ground on which he has placed him* win the favor of the great-no ambition to be exalted— self. Whether we favored his elevation to his present

and do venal press to shelter wrong, to misrepresent the station or not, we may all unite in wishing that he may al truth, or calumniate the motives of those who now fore- leave it with a solid reputation, and that be may advance lo warn you of your responsibility. The weight of a name the honor of his country beyond even the hopes of his

will not sustain you there, and no tide of popularity will friends. We are all interested in his fame, for it is now

carry you along triumphantly.,. Our country will be identified with his country. There are nobler examples po brought by the historian-custodia fidelis rerum-to that for his emulation than Spain or Carthage. Let him

vindistandard of universal morality which will guide the judg- cate the public faith of his country, and be shall be hailed Moment and fix the sentence of posterity. It will be pro- indeed as her saviour, for he will have preserved ber mnounced by the impartial judgment of mankind, and stand honor. Let bin instruct the world that the sanctity of

forever irreversible. The character of this measure will treaties is no longer the scorn of republics, and he shall then be known as it is. The full and clear light of truth then have truly filled the measure of his country's glory will break in upon it, and it will stand out in history in and his own. Her bistory beams with light upon the path bold relief. The witnesses who will then speak, will be of honor and honest fame. There are bright examples those illustrious men who have not lived to see this day. before him, which any man may be proud to follow and Your bistory---your treaties and your statutes, will con- to emulate ; but the enduring glory of his predecessors front you. The human heart will be consulted--the moral has been won by their inflexible justice and public virtue. sense of all mankind will speak out fearlessly, and you “ Ez omnibus præmiis virtutis, amplissimum esse præmium, will stand condemned by the law of God as well as the gloriam : esse hanc unam, quae brevitatem vitæ posteritatis sentence of your fellow.men. You may not live to hearl memoria consoleretur ; quæ efficerit ut absentes adessemus,

[ocr errors]

H. OF R.)

Duty on Salt.-Removal of the Indians.

(May 17, 1830.

Days, 98.

mortui viveremus; hunc denique esse, cujus gradibus etiam salt, if they would agree to take it up, and let it go to s homines in cælum viderentur ascendere."

Committee of the Wbole House. Mr. LUMPKIN, of Georgia, next took the floor, but Mr. TAYLOR called for the reading of the bill, which gave way for a motion for the committee.

Mr. POTTER objected to, but the reading was ordered.

The question was then put op taking up the bill, and Monday, May 17, 1830.

decided in the negative by the following vote : yeas 92THE DUTY ON SALT.

REMOVAL OF THE INDIANS. The House resumed the consideration of the resolution offered by Mr. TALIAFERRO, to repeal the duty on salt, The House then again resolved itself into a Committes the question being on ordering the previous question, of the Whole, Mr. WICKLIFFE in the chair, on the bill for

Mr. TALAFERRO rose, and offered the following as a the removal of the Indians. modification of his original proposition, viz. Strike out the Mr. LUMPKIN said, his life had never been free from preamble, and all after the word "resolved,” and insert care and responsibility; but, on no former occasion, bad be the following:

ever felt more deeply impressed with a sense of that reThat, from and after the 30th day of September dext, sponsibility, to God and his country, tban be did at the the existing duty on salt shall be reduced to — cents per present moment. The obligations which rest on me (said the measured busbel; that, from and after the 30th day Mr. L.) are common to every member of this House. The of September, 1831, the duty ou salt shall be further re- great importance which I attach to the decision of this duced to — cents per the measured busbel; and that at House upon the bill pow uoder consideration, does not the end of one year from the period when the public debt arise from any apprehension of material effects being proof the United States, on which an interest of more than duced in relation to any one of the States who are interest three per centuin per apoum is payable, shall have been ed. It is true your decision will bave a strong bearing co extinguished and discharged, po duty on salt imported in their interest ; but they have the capacity, to some extent to the United States, or the territories thereof, sball be im- at least, to take care of themselves. But to those remnant posed.

tribes of Indians whose good we seek, the subject before Some difficulty arose on the point, whether the call for you is of vital importance. It is a measure of life and death the previous question, by Mr. TALIAFERRO, on Satur. Pass the bill on your table, and you save them. Reject it

, day, bad been seconded, (it requires a majority of the and you leave them to perish. Reject this bill, and you House.) before the call of the House which was moved thereby encourage delusory hopes in the Indians, which had been decided ; and a good deal of conversation took their professed friends and allies well know will never be place between the Chair and different members as to the realized. The rejection of this bill will encourage and fact--some thinking that the motion had not been second- invite the Indians to acts of indiscretion and assumptions ed, and others that it had. To relieve the House from the which will necessarily bring upon them chastisement and embarrassment produced by this uncertainty,

injury, which will be deplored by every friend of virtue Mr. TALIAFERRO withdrew the modification which and bumanity.' I therefore call upon you to avoid these he offered to bis resolution this morning, and then with evil consequences while you may. Delay is preguant with drew his motion of Saturday for the previous question ; great danger to the lodians; what you do, do quickly, which baving done, he immediately after re-offered his before the evil day approaches. modification, and on its adoption called for the previous I differ with my friend from Tennessee (Mr. Bell) in question.

regard to Indian civilization. I entertain no doubt that a Mr. BURGES thereupon moved a call of the House, and remnant of these people may be entirely reclaimed from demanded the yeas and nays on the motion; which being their bative savage babits, and be brougbt to euter into the taken, the call of the House was negatived: yeas, 70 full enjoyment of all the blessings of civilized society. It

appears to me, we have too many instances of individual Mr. HOFFMAN, of New York, then moved that the improvement amongst the various vative tribes of America, resolution be laid on the table, and demanded the yeas and to hesitate any longer in determining whether the Indians Days on the motion; which being taken,

are susceptible of civilization. Use the proper means, and The motion to lay the resolution on the table was nega- success will crowo your efforts. The means hitherto retived by the following vote: yeas, 87-naye, 97. sorted to by the Government, as well as by individuals, to

Here, the bour for resolutions having expired, improve the condition of the Indians, must, from the prej

Mr. MARTIN rose [he said) to subunit a motion. If the sent state of things, very soon be withheld from these un House, a or majority of it, were disposed to do any thing fortunate people, if they remain in their present abodes; on the subject of the salt duty; if they were sincere in the for they will every day be brought into closer contact and declarations which they made in regard to it, wben before conflict with the white population, and this circumstance the House as an incidental question, it would be very easy will diminish the spirit of benevolence and philanthropy to effect the object of the resolution, by taking up the bill towards them which now exists. now on the table, containing a provision on the subject; I might exhaust what physical strength I bare in reply otherwise, it was obvious, from the proceedings, that the ing to the gentleman from New York, [Mr. STORRS.) He minority on this question would have it in their power to bas consumed much of your time, with bis usual ability and defeat the proposition, in its present shape, to the end of ingenuity. It would require an entire speech to defeod the session. He therefore moved that the House take up my own State (Georgia) from the many imputations cast the bill " to reduce and modify the duties on certain im- on her by that gentleman and others. I must leave much ported articles.” [Reported by Mr. McDUFFIE. from the of this for my colleagues and others who may follow me ib Committee of Ways and Means, ou the 5th of February, this discussion. and ordered to lie on the table.] His object was to have The gentleman's doctrines upon the subject of State it committed to a Committee of the Whole House. Mr. M. rights ought to be met and refuted; severe censures cast asked leave to add a word of explanation. Some gentle upon our Chief Magistrate, and his subordinates in uffice, 'men might suppose that in moving the consideration of should be corrected as they deserve, and the Executive de this bill his object was to get up a tariff dis sion. That fended in his wise, virtuous, and candid course on this subwas not bis object. The tarif' gentlemen might, if they ject. But I shall leave much of this for others, and only insi chose, strike from the bill, by acclamation, every provi- dentally pay my respects to the gentleman from New York, sion but that wbich proposed a reduction of the duty on and proceed directly to the subject under consideration.

Days, 112.

MAY 17, 1830.)

Removal of the Indians.

[H. or R

The bill on your table involves but little that can be to do this, and to request the establishment of a division considered new principle. The only departure from for- line between the upper and lower towns, so as to include w mer principles and practice is to be found in that part all the waters of the Hiwassee river to the upper towo; which extends greater security and benefits to the Indians. that, by thus contracting their society within narrow limits,

The whole of my policy and views of legislation upon they proposed to begin the establishment of fixed laws this subject bas been founded in an ardent desire to bet- and a regular Government: the deputies from the lower ter the condition of these remnant tribes. At the same towns, to make known their desire to continue the hunter

time, I freely admit, their interest alone has not guided my life, and also the scarcity of game where they then lived; I action. From the time I became a member of this House, and, under those circumstances, their wish to remove the great object of my solicitude and labor has been to Across the Mississippi river, on some vacant lands of the relieve all the States (especially my own) from the per- United States : And whereas the President of the United plexities, heart-burnings, conflicts, and strifes which are States, after maturely considering the petitions of both connected with this Indian subjeet.

parties, on the oth of January, A. D. 1809, including other The ground occupied by the gentleman from Tennessee, subjects, answered those petitioners as follows : [Mr. Bell] I shall not again travel over. I never have, "The United States, my children, are the friends of both por ever will consume the time of this House by a speech parties, and, as far as can be reasonably asked, they are of repetition. Nevertheless, I shall necessarily advert to willing to satisfy the wishes of both. Those who remain many of the same points, with a view of corroborating what may be assured of our patronage, our aid, and good neighhas been said by my friend from Tennessee in favor of the borhood. Those who wish to remove, are permitted to

bill. As one of the Committee on Indian Affairs, I shall seud an exploring party, to reconnoitre the country on the not be diverted from whut I consider my duty in defending waters of the Arkansas and White rivers, and the bigher the measures submitted by the committee, by attempting up the better, as they will be the longer upapproached by to follow our opponents in their wide range of irrelevant our settlements, which will begin at the moutbs of those matter and argument,

rivers. The regular districts of the Government of St. Louis I am not only identified with this subject, as a member are already laid off to the St. Francis. of the Indian Committee, but as a representative of the peo . When this party shall have found a tract of country Sple of Georgia, I feel myself bound to defend their rights

. suiting the emigrants, and not claimed by other Indians, My life has been spent on the border of these southern we will arrange with them and you the exchange of that Indians ; ! therefore know much which relates to the bis- for a just portion of the country they leave, and to a part tory of this subject, from my own personal observation of which, proportioned to their numbers, they have a just Upon taking my seat as a member of the twentieth Coo- right. Every aid towards their removal, and what will be Ezress, (without delay) I introduced a resolution, which necessary for them there, will then be freely administered to brought this subject, in all its its bearings to the considera- them; and, when established in their new settlements, we sion of Congress; and the iovestigatious had upon the sub- shall still consider them as our children, give them the sect resulted in providing an appropriation of fifteen thou benefit of exchanging their peltries for what they will Band dollars to defray the expense of preparing for the want at our factories, and always hold them firmly by the hmigration of the Indians west of the Mississippi.

band." My friend from Tennessee (Mr. Bell) having given the Thus we see a deputation of Cherokees, as early as the details of the exploring tour of the agents of the Govern year 1808, visiting this city, anxiously desiring and implornept (under this act) who examined the country west of ing the aid of President Jefferson to enable them to emiThe Mississippi, with a view of ascertaining the quality of grate and settle in the very country where a great portion The country contemplated for the permanent abode of the of them now reside, and where we have procured a most Sodians, and the report of these agents, I will only say, a excellent and ample country for the remainder. Those Fuitable and sufficient country was found a country ad- who have emigrated are delighted with their new homes, nirably adapted to the interest and condition of the emi- and most of their brethren who remain in the States would rating Indians. The report of these commissioners is gus- gladly improve their present condition by joining them : sained by the corroborating testimony of many highly re- but their lordly chiefs, of the white blood, with their *pectable persons. That there is a good and sufficient northern allies,“ will not let them go." Notwithstanding country for all the Indians to emigrate to, can no longer the signs of the times

, the hearts of these rulers have been he doubted, whatever may be said to the contrary by our bardened again and again. spponents.

These movements on the part of the Cherokees, withI will now ask the attention of the committee to the his- out urgency or solicitation on (be part of the Government, sory of Indian emigration. So far as my researches afford have resulted in the treaties of 1817 and 1828, providing,

formation on this subject, I will submit the facts. Emi- as before pointed out, an ample and permanent home for eration commenced with the Indians themselves. Their the whole of the Cherokees. Under the provisions of hwn enterprise (uninfluenced by the Government) led, these treaties they have been going, and will continue to nady individuals of the sonthern tribes, previous to the go, until not a real Indian will be left behind. “Hinder ear 1808, to remove from the east to the west side of the me not,” will be their language, when they are permitted $dississippi, and there take up their abode. A strong im- to express their own feelings, udawed by the tyrannical oulse was given to this spirit of emigration by President enactments of their mixed blooded chiefs. Jefferson, during his administration. What this impulse With the Choctaws and Creeks, treaties have also been vas, may be seen by reference to a talk of Mr. Jefferson made, assigning to them countries west of the Arkansas to the Cherokees, (volume of Indian Treaties, page 140,) and Mississippi. The Creeks have been flocking to theirs, oserted in the preamble of the Cherokee treaty of 1817, and it is satisfactorily ascertained that they would all go, obicb preamble is in the following words:

if the means contemplated in this bill should be afforded to « Whereas, in the autumn of the year 1808, a deputation the Executive. from the upper and lower Cherokee towns, duly autho The whole of the Choctaws are not only willing to go, azed by their nation; went on to the city of Washington, but are actually preparing to go, and have submitted their she first named to declare to the President of the United terms, in the

form of a treaty, to the proper department states their anxious desire to engage in the pursuits of of the Government. The Chickasaws have no country yet griculture and

civilized life in the country they then oc provided for them in the West, but are anxious to emigrate upied, and to make known to the President of the United thither, if they can obtain a suitable country: states the impracticability of inducing the nation at largel The Seminoles of Florida are also desirous to join

VOL. VI.-128.

H. OF R.]

Removal of the Indians.

(May 17, 1830.

their Creek brethren in the West, if they can obtain land. | alluded to, the United States will have to encounter no The Indians in Illinois, Obio, and Indiana, have been emi- conflicting interests with either. On the contrary, that grating for many years past, and the cost of their journeys the removal of the tribes from the territory which they has been paid by the Government, until about two years now inbabit, to that which was designated in the message ago, when the spirit of emigration so far increased the at the commencement of the session, wbich would accomDumbers, that the expense became too great to be paid by plish the object for Georgia, under a well digested plan the means at the disposition of the Executive.

for their government and civilization, which should be The treaties formed with the various tribes of Indians, agreeable to themselves, would not only shield them from providing for their emigration, may be found in the volume impending ruio, but promote their welfare and happiness

. of treaties compiled under the order and direction of Mr. Experience has clearly demonstrated that, in their present Calhoun, while acting as Secretary of War. That with state, it is impossible to incorporate them in pueb Wasses, the Choctaws, of October 18th, 1820, page 166; the treaty in any form wbutever, into our system. It has also de with the Shawnees, 7th November, 1876, page 361, pro- monstrated, with equal certainty, that, without a timely vides for an exchange of lands with those residing both in anticipation of, and provision against, the dangers to which Missouri and Obio ; with the Creeks, 24th January, 1826, they are exposed, under causes which it will be difficult, il page 218; with the Weas tribe, August, 1820, page 261; not impossible, to control, their degradation and extermi with the Kickapoos, 30th August, 1819, page 265; with nation will be inevitable." the same tribe, 30th July, 1819, page 268.

Such were the opinions of President Monroe, in 1825, I had intended to read extracts from all these treaties, supported by an able report, going iuto an important de but I find that my time and strength both admonish me to tail, appertaining to every branch of the system proposed be brief. I have therefore given a reference to the book, by Secretary Calboun. I will give the following short er. the treaty, and the page, and every gentleman can read for tract from the report : “ There are now, in most of the himself.

tribes, well educated, sober, and reflecting individuals, who I can only say that I am greatly surprised to hear the are afflicted at the present condition of the Indians, and opponents of the proposed policy, in the face of the re- despondent at their future prospects. Under the operation cords, laws, and treaties of the country, speak of the pro- of existing causes, they behold the certain degradation, posed measure as being novel as being a change of policy misery, and even fina] annihilation of their race, and, no in our Indian relations, and as being fraught with danger doubt, would gladly embrace apy arrangement which and ruin to the Indians. I feel assured, if the good people would promise to elevate them in the scale of civilization, who have been memorializing us through the wiuter were in and arrest the destruction which now awaits them." possession of the facts which are within the reach of every Mr. Adams, with great force of argument, wbile Presimember of this committee, they would change their poli. dent of the United States, sustained these doctrines and tics, and unite with the friends of Indian emigration. opinions. His two secretaries, Governor Barbour and

I have heard much complaint that we are progressing General Porter, with great ability, repeatedly enforced in the removal of the Indians, without any systematic plan the same doctrines and principles, to their full extent, for their security and goverument when they get into the which may be seen and read, by referring to the State pepossession of their new homes. This objection comes from pers which are on the files of this House, and are always our opponents ; but I confess I agree with them, to a limit- accessible to the members of Congress. I therefore aded extent. I would myself greatly prefer going the whole monish every gentleman of this committee, who may be amount at onee. Nevertheless, I discover that every opposed to this measure, to deal fairly with bis constituents, step we advance in carrying out our plan, the more violent and inform them that this is no new measure, emanating is the opposition. The bill on your table, sir, goes much from President Jackson and the Georgians, but that it is a further in providing for, and pointing out, the landmarks of measure tested by many years' experience, and that it bas an eptire and complete system, than any measure bereto- received the sanction and support of the wisest and best fore acted upon in Congress, and yet we find opposition in men of the age.

Jefferson gave to it the first official impulse ; Madison, If those who wish to see an entire system presented, will Monroe, Adams, Jackson, Calhoun, Barbour, Porter, Earefer to Mr. Monroe's message of the 27th of January, ton, and a majority of the Sepators and Representatives 1825, page 453, volume of Indian Treaties, and also to of the people of this great confederation of States, bare, Mr. Calhoun's report, accompanying that message, they in their official capacities, repeatedly sustained the princiwill find the great outline of the plan laid down, In that ples and policy of the bill on your table. This declaramessage, Mr. Monroe says: “Being deeply impressed with tion is fully supported by the talks, treaties, laws, messages, the opinion that the removal of the Indian tribes from the and reports, to which I have already called the attention of lands which they now occupy within the limits of the seve the committee. It has not only been devised and sustained ral States and territories to the country lying westward and by the ablest statesmen of the country, but has received northward thereof, within our acknowledged boundaries, the approbation of a very large portion of the wise and is of very high importance to our Union, and may be ac- the good throughout our country. Our most enlightened complished on conditions and in a manner to promote the superintendents and agents of Indian Affairs have all beinterest and happiness of these tribes, the attention of the come converts to Indian emigration; our most pious and Goverument bas been long drawn, with great solicitude, candid missionaries have also added their testimony in our to the object. For the removal of the tribes within the favor. limits of the State of Georgia, the motive has been pecu One of the most devoted and pious missionaries (the liarly strong, arising ftom the compact with that State, reverend Isaac McCoy) with whom I am acquainted, has whereby the United States are bound to extinguish the In- said, “What plan will most likely be successful in aceoni. dian title to the lands within it, whenever it may be done plishing the reformation of the Indians ?” He answers: peaceably and on reasonable conditions. In the fulfilment Without ceremony, I offer for consideration the plan of this compact, I have thought that the United States recommended to the wisdom of Congress by Mr. Modros, should act with a generous spirit; that they should omit late President of the United States. The same gentle nothing which should comport with a liberal construction man says: “We are well aware of some formidable obstaof the instrument, and likewise be in accordance with the cles opposed to the removal of the Indians. The obstacles to first rights of those tribes. From the view which I have, which we allude will not derive their origin or their support taken of the subject, I am satisfied that, in the discharge from the Indians themselves, but both will be found in the of theee important duties, in regard to both the parties 'avarice of white men, dear to, aod mingling with, the lo

creases.

« AnteriorContinuar »