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MARCH 18, 1830.
Mr. GILMORE, from the Committee of Ways and Means, to which was
referred the case of Robert Eaton, made the following
The Committee of Ways and Means, to whom was referred the case of
Robert Eaton, report:
It is stated that Robert Eaton, of Ohio, in the Fall of 1817, shipped, on board the schooner Rachel, at Fort Erie, in Upper Canada, two hundred barrels of salt, marked Phineas Thornton, manufactured at the Onondaga salt works, in the State of New York, shipped at Oswego, and conveyed by the way of Queenston, to Fort Erie, to be landed at the Bay of Sandusky, in Ohio. When Robert Eaton arrived at the port of Sandusky, the Collector of the port required a protection, as the law directs. Pnineas Thornton having neglected to take such certificate from the Collector at Oswego, in the State of New York, to legalize the landing of said salt without payment of duty, accordingly, to effectuate a landing, a bond was entered into, the said Robert Eaton as security for the said Thornton, that the necessary certificate from the Custom House officer at Oswego should be produced within six months; this was neglected until after suit brought and judgment obtained. A satisfactory certificate has since been produced; the said Robert Eaton desires to have refunded the amount of damages, to wit, $212, collected from him, as also, the amount of costs by him paid, $76 73. The evidence appears satisfactory. Your committee are of opinion that the damages, to wit, $212, ought to be refunded, but, as the costs accrued in consequence of his own neglect, by which the Treasury was not benefited, that the said Robert Eaton ought to sustain that loss.
A bill is reported in conformity.
INHABITANTS OF HAMPSHIRE COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS, IN RELATION
TO THE INDIAN TRIBES.
MARCH 17, 1830.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of
America in Congress assembled: The subscribers, inhabitants of the towns of Northampton, Easthampton,
Southampton, and Westhampton, in the county of Hampshire, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, RESPECTFULLY REPRESENT:
That it is with great reluctance they approach the Congress of the United States upon the subject of our relations, as a people, with the Indian tribes; but, understanding from various sources, that an effort may be made to withdraw the Government from the high and honorable ground it has hitherto occupied in its intercourse with the aboriginal inhabitants of our country, your memorialists feel constrained to express their earnest hope, that no measure may be adopted by the National Legislature, impairing, or seeming to impair, the rights of the original occupants of any portion of our territory, or violating, either palpably or substantially, the integrity of the national faith.
So far as your memorialists can discover, the more essential rights of our Indian brethren have been recognised and well understood from the first settlement of the country; and, though the sovereignty exercised by the Indian tribes, under the various compacts and treaties made by them with the National and State Governments, is but a qualified one, it is, nevertheless, in the apprehension of your memorialists, a sovereignty still.
But, aside from their original rights as immemorial occupants of the soil, some of those tribes, at least, may appeal with irresistible force in support of their rights of property, and their right also of self-government, to solemn treaty stipulations on the part of the United States. THEIR TERRITORY IS GUARANTIED TO THEM FOR EVER; not as citizens of the States, and subject to the legislative enactments of the State or national authorities; nor as aliens and outcasts, possessing the right of occupancy merely, and liable to be stripped of every thing else at the pleasure of the State within
whose limits they may happen to fall; but, in the character sustained by them when the guarantee was given, as a distinct people, regulating their own concerns, and administering justice among themselves, according to their own forms of government, however imperfect. .
The late President Jefferson, in a letter written by him while Secretary of State, and when acquainted therefore with the views of Washington, and the other great men who then administered the Government, confirms the suggestions we have made by these remarkable expressions: “Without noticing," he says, in his letter to General Knox, in 1791, “ that some of the highest functions of sovereignty are assumed in the very papers which he (Mr. Moultrie) annexes as his justification, I am of opinion that Government should firmly maintain this ground, that the Indians have a right to the occupation of their lands, INDEPENDENT of the States within whose chartered lines they happen to be; that, until they cede them by treaty, or other transaction equivalent to a treaty, no act of a State can give a right to such lands; that the Government is determined to exert all its energy for the patronage and protection of the rights of the Indians; and that, if any settlements are made on lands not ceded by them, without the previous consent of the United States, THE GOVERNMENT WILL THINK ITSELF BOUND, not only to declare that such settlements are without the authority or protection of the United States, but TO REMOVE THEM ALSO BY PUBLIC FORCE.”
Your memorialists are aware, that this question of Indian rights is sometimes spoken of as a great question of national policy; and so, in some respects, it is. But, so far as this view of the subject is intended to throw doubts upon the course we are required, by existing facts, to pursue, or to impair the strength of those engagements, to the observance of which we are bound by the sanctity of the public faith, we might as well ascertain the characterof any other proposed nationalact, setting at nought the principles of national justice and the national honor, by the same standard. If the national faith is pledged for the protection of the Indians, and national policy might authorize a forfeiture of that pledge, the question comes not within its jurisdiction; and, to bring it before such a tribunal, is to place our country, elevated as she is by the virtuous character of her citizens, and the wisdom and liberality of her institutions, upon a footing with the unpricipled despotisms of the old world, where the claims of justice are trampled under foot, because, so iar as man is concerned, they may be thus trampled upon with impunity.
Your memorialists, in conclusion, respectfully pray Congress, that such measures may be adopted as shall effectually protect the Indian tribes within our national limits from all encroachments upon their territory, and all unjustifiable interference with their right of self-government; thus manifesting to the world the benignant influence of those principles upon which our Republican Government rests, not only upon the rights and happiness of its own citizens, but upon the destinies of all others, however feeble and defenceless, who are entitled to look to that Government for protection.
THE CHEROKEE INDIANS,
Signed by their representatives, and by 3,085 individuals of the Nation..
FEBRUARY 15, 1830.
MARCH 15, 1830.
Copy of a note addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives
by the Cherokee Delegation, submitting memorials in behalf of their Nation.
Brown's Hotel, WASHINGTON CITY,
15th February, 1830.
Hon. SPEAKER of the House of Representatives:
Sir: The accompanying memorials you will please lay before the House over which you preside; the one from the late General Council of our nation, and signed by all the members of that body, and principal chief, in behalf of the Cherokee nation, relative to the present unpleasant state of affairs in consequence of certain causes therein stated; the others, twelve in number, are from the native citizens of the nation themselves, and adopted throughout the country, and to which are appended upwards of three thou. sand names. They have been forwarded to us by mail, to be laid before Congress. Their object, as will appear, is to prove to that honorable body. that the many reports of late circulated by officers of the Government, that a greater portion of the Cherokees are favorably disposed to a removal West. ward, and are only restrained by the threats and tyranny of their chiefs, are er. roneous, and entirely unfounded. They wish to speak of their wishes and determination in that respect themselves, and to be heard by the representatives of the United States; they wish them to be convinced, that, to know their feelings and interests, is to know that they ardently desire to remain in peace and quietude upon their ancient territory, and to enjoy the comforts and advantages of civilization; that the great mass of our citizens are opposed to removal, (as has been plainly demonstrated by the offers and inducements lately held out to them) and that it is not the fear of chiefs that