網頁圖片
PDF
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

the law of Georgia, which the gentleman from New York says will have the effect of compelling them to remove, had not even been passed. But the President, appealed to as he was, in a spirit of the most open frankness, and with a special regard for the welfare of the Indians, addressed them in the most affectionate terms; he told them they knew bim, and they knew he would not deceive them; in that peculiar and eloquent language which they so well understood, he told them he spoke “with a straight and not with a forged tongue. If you remain where you are, (said he) you cannot escape the operation of the State laws; }. are included within the bounds of the States which have this right, and it is in vain to think of resisting; if you choose to remain there, you shall be protected in the possession of your lands; but I will not ile you with the hope of the protection of this Government against State authority. But if you choose to remove, I will provide you a country beyond the Mississippi, where you may escape the evils you apprehend—there you shals be protected—there you may live and be happy.” And this, sir, is the language of a despot? this is the style suited to the court of Henry VIII this is the power which is so alarm. ing, that the gentleman from New York would prefer a dictator at once, rather than have a President so self-willed and tyrannical l Really, sir, so solemn and impressive was the gentleman's manner, so awful and terrific the picture he drew, that my fears were highly excited—I was ready to conclude that the days of this hapy republic were numbered, and my imagination sickened at the contemplation of liberty expiring in convulsive agonies. But, sir, when the alarm had ceased, and I had time for a little calm reflection, I found that the country had, in the view of the gentleman, been brought to the verge of this awful catastrophe by a littlefriendly and parental advice from the President to these children of the forest, and by a refusal to array this Government against that of the States acting within their own sphere. But, in the glow of all his ardor, and while sounding these terrible alarms, and indulging in such mild terms as "tyrant,” “despot,” “dictator,” &c., the gentleman is considerate enough to remind us that his opposition to the conduct of the President is prompted by no political opposition—" this is no party question." Qh no! “no party question!" certainly not. Why tell us this Who could have thought of charg. ing the opposition of that gentleman to the influence of political or party motives? I am sure no member of this Sommittee can be so uncharitable. But, lest there might be some ungenerous suspicion of that kind, the gentleman gives us the strongest assurance of his sincerity, in the anxiety he evinces to throw the responsibility of the President's conduct upon some one else. “It was certainly not the suggestion of his own mind;" and yet, after ranging the fields of his imagination, extensive as they are, he is unable to whom to attribute this cruel policy. Finally, however, and without the shadow of pretext, he travels out of his way to make what at first appeared a very insidious attack on the Secretary of State. After telling us he cannot imagine who could have advised the President in this matter, he expressed the most fervent hope that it was not the first officer in the cabinet. Really, sir, at first I thought this was bitter irony; and that the gentleman's object was to render the policy as odious as possible, and then, by expressing the hope that it was not advised by the Secretary of State, to make directly the opposite impression upon the minds of the committee. But when a gentleman of his standing makes such a solemn averment, we are bound to believe him. From the relations formerly existing between the Prime Minister and the gentleman from New York, it might be a matter of curious inquiry how long this extreme solicitude for the fame and character of the Secretary of State has existed. This is a matter, however, which it would be highly indelicate for me to inquire into. I can only congratulate

the Secretary on the invincible champion who has stepped forward in his defence; and from the zeal and spirit which has been manifested, the head of the State Department may feel perfectly secure from all attacks. If, however, the gentleman's knowledge of the President's character had been equal to his anxiety for the Secretary's reputation, he might easily have quieted all his apprehensions. Our present Chief Magistrate, while he will cheerfully listen to the opinions and suggestions of his constitutiousl advisers, will not submit to the directions or dictations of any one; and, least of all, will he ever attempt to shelter himself from the responsibilities of his measures, by palming them on his ministers. But to return to the treaty of Holston. Suppose the guaranty had expressly extended to the protection of the Indians, and to restrictions upon the rights of the States, which the United States had no power to impose—in other words, suppose the provisious of the treaty to have been plainly and palpably unconstitutional: now the ad. vocates of the Indians insist that the President has Do right to notice this unconstitutionality—he is bound to execute the treaty. From this doctrine, sir, I humbly beg leave to dissent. The President, on coming into office, took a solemn oath to support the constitution of the United States—a treaty repugnant to this constitution has no binding force, and the enforcement of it by the President would, it seems to me, be a direct violation of his oath. But the honorable gentleman from New York contends, that if there be any difficulty as to the meaning or obligations of a treaty—at least, such as those with the Indians—the President should refer the matter to Cougress—that it is our province to ascertain and determine the extent of these obligations. I should be very glad to know where Congress derives this power. In what part of the constitution does the gentleman find it He will search for it in vain. No such power exists. Whenever the execution of a treaty is confided to the President, he is necessarily clothed with the power of construing it; and so long as the executive chair is filled by our present Chief Magistrate, that power will be exercised. And whenever you attempt to compel him to adopt a construetion of a treaty entrusted to his execution, which he believes to be unconstitutional, and then require him to act on that construction, he will tell you: “No, I cannot. If you choose to impeach me, do so. Drag me to the bar of the Senate, and accuse me before that august tribunal; but I will not go to the bar of my God with the damning sin upon my conscience of having openly and knowingly violated that great charter of our Government which I had solemnly sworn to support and defend.” Not only are the recommendations of our statesmen, and the character of our people, a sufficient guaranty against oppression towards the Indians, but, by a recurrence to the past, we can give the strongest assurance that our courts of justice will afford them ample protection. I stated to the committee, in the outset of my remarks, that it had frequently been my lot to be employed as counsel for the Cherokees in our courts; and, as the character of the State in relation to its treatment of these people is so deeply concerned, I hope I shall be indulged in stating one or two cases which have come within my personal knowledge. In the treaties of 1817 and 1819, made between the United States and the Cherokees, by which a portion of the territory in the occupancy of the Cherokees was acquired for Georgia, “the United States agree to give to each head of an Indian family six hundred and forty acres of land in the territory ceded,” on certain conditions. The Legislature of Georgia, conceiving this was a disposition of the property of the State, which the Federal Government had no right to make, ordered the lands thus secured to the heads of Indian families to be surveyed with the rest of the territory, and granted in like manner. This produced a contest between the State

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

grantees and the Cherokee claimants, and a series of lawsuits ensued. When the causes came before the court, the title of the Indian countrymen was defended on the ground that the land which they contended for had never been ceded; that the Indian title had never been extinguished: that, being in possession, their title of occupancy Was sufficient to J.". them ; and that, although in the treaties the words the United States “agree to give," indicated a disposition of the land which they could not make, yet it amounted to nothing more nor less than a reservation by the Cherokees of that much land from the territory ceded. Conflicting claims thus arising, produced, as may well be supposed, much excitement in the counties where these lands were situated; but, after long and solemn investigations, the court sustained the right of the reservees, and determined that the State grantees could not recover the possession of the land until the Indian claimant abandoned it, or his title was extinguished. And this decision was made by a judge,” not only of dis. tinguished ability, but one than whom the State of Geor. gia, does not contain a citizen more devoted to her rights and interests. But, dear as these were to him, and although many of our most respectable citizens entertained a differ. 2nt opinion, yet, when called on to decide this delicate and highly interesting question, he met it with the integrity and ness which should ever characterize a judge, and our people acquiesced with that respect which they never fail to render to the laws of the State, and to the conetituted authorities by whom they are administered. . The consequence was, that the United States' Government, prompted by a disposition to do justice to all parties, au. thorized the #. of the Indian claim to these lands; the reservees finally received from one to four thousand dollars each for their reservations; and the incumbrances on the Georgia title being thus removed, the citizens came into the peaceable and undisturbed possession of the pro

proaches and abuse which have been so unsparingly lavished upon us? But, sir, if the cases to which I have referred, together with other facts known to this committee, are not satisfactory, ask the Cherokees, whose rights and injuries have been the subject of investigation in our courts; even they will bear testimony in our favor—they will tell you that they have ever found ready access to the justice seat, and a listening ear to their complaints. Yes, sir, I feel proud that I can stand up here, and laim to the Representatives of the American people that the records of our courts furnish no unjust judgments against our 1ed neighbors—our altars have never been crimsoned with the blood of an innocent Cherokee; and, at this moment, the gloomy cells of our penitentiary can furnish witnesses who will testify that the rights of the Indians are not to be violated with impunity. I will now recur to another, and a very striking part of the remarks of the gentleman from New York. Towards the close of his eloquent argument, he took up this book, Jefferson's j and told us that he then held in his and an authority which could not be resisted; that it had, probably, never $o. seen before by any gentleman here; and that it must seal the lips of every friend to this bill, who had any reverence for those whose opinions he would presently read. Sir, the committee cannot have forgotten the gentleman's impressive manner, nor the sarcastic tone with which he prefaced his reading with the remark that they were the sentiments of “the mind that founded and the mind that reformed our political system.” But let us examine a little into these conclusive and , irresistible authorities, and see whether indeed “our affairs have grown thus desperate.” In this [the fourth volume of Mr. Jefferson's Memoir, : we find what appears to be an extract from his journal. . It seems that, during the existence of hostilities with the northwestern Indians, in the year 1793, and while preparations were making for

* I'erty * Another, and a still more serious case. In one of the counties where these controversies for land titles had exsisted, and where the excitement between the whites and * Indians had been greatest, a Cherokee, charged with the murder of a white man, was arrested, indicted, and p. upon his trial. There he appeared friendless and forsaken. Not one of his tribe came forward to aid in his defence, or witness his trial—they despaired of his life— ! blood had been shed; and, judging from their own usages and customs, they supposed that blood must answer it During the trial, the prisoner exhibited no fear—not even , a murmur escaped him; he looked round upon the scenes and ceremonies of the court as unconscious of danger, or indifferent to his fate. In the course of the investigation, it was proved that a white man was also engaged in the murder, and, indeed, the principal—he fled, while the Indian remained. This circumstance was seized on to establish the guilt of the one, and the innocence of the other. | Some other facts were disclosed, inducing some doubts as to the part which the Indian took in the affair, which re. , sulted in the bloody deed. The advantage which this , doubt afforded was not overlooked. That humane and long established principle, that where there is doubt there should be an acquittal, was urged in behalf of the accused, and recognised by the court in its charge to the jury. The result of the trial was, a verdict of not guilty; and, this Cherokee was again restored to his tribe, who had abandoned him to what they supposed his inevitable fate. ZI could refer to many other cases, but it would be impos. ing too much on the patience of the committee. Is this, then, sir, the State whose laws and whose courts are so oppressive to the Indians—whose people disregard all the oiliigations of humanity, and trample on the rights of the weak and defenceless savages? Do we deserve the re

a vigorous campaign, General Washington advised with his cabinet as to the propriety of making one more effort to restore peace, and prevent the effusion of blood; and it was in answer to certain questions submitted by the President, that Mr. Jefferson gave the opinion which was read by the honorable gentleman from New York. What those questions were, we cannot ascertain ; but, from some of Mr. Jefferson's remarks, it would seem that they related to the boundaries which should be proposed to the Indians to be established between them and the whites. And here let me remind the committee, that, at the time this opinion was expressed, the cessions of the territory northwest of the Ohio, had already been made to the United States; it was their property; no part of it was enclosed within the limits of any of the States. Let it also be remembered that, at that time, the nature of the Indian title had not been seriously investigated—the principles on which their claims rest had not been settled. It was un der these circumstances, at that early period, that Mr. Jef. ferson, gave this opinion, which I will again read to the committee: “I considered our right of pre-emption of the Indian lands not as amounting to any dominion, or jurisdiction, or paramountship whatever, but in the nature of a remainder after the extinguishment of a present right, which gives us no present right whatever, but of preventing other nations from taking possession, and so isko our expectancy; that the Indians had the full, undivided, and independent sovereignty as long as they chose to keep it, and this might be forever.” Sir, there is no man who has a higher reverence for the opinions of Mr. Jefferson than I have—not even the honor.. gentleman from New York; but if he intended to be understood as advancing the opinion that the Indian tribes possess entire and unlimited sovereignty over the contr which they claim, I cannot yield my assent. The decisions

* of the, Supreme Court, the writers on national, law, and

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

almost every distinguished man who has expressed an opinion on the subject, are opposed to this doctrine. But, although Mr. Jefferson uses the expression, “full, undivided, and independent sovereignty,” I very much uestion whether he intended to go to the extent which ese words import; for, immediately preceding them, he says that we have the right of preventing other nations from taking possession of the Indian lands, and defeating our expectancy.” Here he qualifies this sovereignty at once; for, if the Indians possessed “full sovereignty." they could dispose of the country to any other nation—the denial of the right to do this is a very material and import. ant abridgment of their sovereignty. But the opinion proceeds further: “That as fast as we extend our rights by É. from them, (the Indians,) so fast we extend the imits of our society; and so fast as a new portion became encircled within our line, it became a fixed limit of our society, that the Executive, with either or both branches of our Legislature, could not alien any part of our territory; that, by the law of nations, it was settled that the unit and indivisibility of the society was so fundamental, that it could not be dismembered by the constituted authorities, except when all power was delegated to them, (as in the case of despotic Governments,) or, second, where it was expressly delegated; that neither of these delegations had been made to our General Government, and therefore that it had no right to dismember or alienate any portion of territory once ultimately consolidated with us; and that we could no more cede to the Indians, than to the English or jo. as it might, according to acknowledged princi. ples, remain as irrevocably and eternally with the one as the other.” Here we have another instance of the devotion of this illustrious statesman to his favorite doctrine of confining the Federal Government to the powers expressly delegated to it. And after a refusal of the convention to give this Government the power of fixing the limits of the States then existing, and with the provision in the constitution, that no new State shall be erected within the bounds of any other State without its consent, I put it to the candor of the gentleman to say whether Mr. Jefferson would have sanctioned the idea, that, by a treaty with an Indian tribe, this Government could have authorized the establishment of an independent, sovereign Government within the limits of one of the States. Sir, it would be doing violence to the first principles of his political creed. The other authority, on which the gentleman so much relied, was the fact of General Washington's asking the advice of the Senate as to treating with the Cherokees in the year 1795, and whether he should propose to guaranty to them their lands not ceded. Now, here the committee will remark, that, at that time, the population of Georgia was sparse, and her frontiers exposed to continual ravages and murders by the Indians; nearly the whole of the coun. try, from the Oconee and Altamaha to the Mississippi, was in the possession of numerous and fierce tribes: and for the urpose of arresting bloodshed and all the horrors of an !. war, these propositions were submitted. In addition to this, the foot had been previously made by the treaty of Holston. Under this existing emergency, then, the Senate advised that the guaranty be proposed. The constitutional power to give it does not seem to have been agitated; and although, as I think I have clearly shown, the power did not exist—particularly if it extends to authorize the Cherokees to establish an independent Government—there was some excuse for it in the motive which prompted it. But does the honorable gentleman from New York perceive the difficulty in which he involves himself by insist ing so strenuously on the effect of this guaranty? For if the original title of the Cherokees be valid, wherefore the necessity of a guaranty? This could not strengthen a title

could not be made so but by vesting in them the paramount title, but this the United States could not do, because they had no right whatever to the territory in question. Take either horn of the dilemma, then, and the argument is use availing. If the original title was good, the guaranty was superfluous—if it was not good, the guaranty could not aid it. But neither General Washington nor the Senate intended any thing more by this guaranty than protection to the Indians in the possession of their lands—and this Gent. ral Jackson has assured the Cherokees they shall have, if they choose to remain where they now are. These, then,

sir, are the imposing authorities which the honorable get

tleman has presented in such terrible array against us. It remains for the committee to say whether he has not overcalculated the effect which they were to produce on the principles asserted and maintained by the State of Georgia. Notwithstanding, however, the gentleman conceived himself so ably sustained, we could but remark the despondency indicated by his closing remarks. The Senate, he tells us, have yielded—they have registered the executive edict, j responded the servile “amen" to the royal mandate—and that here is the last hope of the Che: rokee. But fearful that the powers of his eloquence, and the pathetic appeals to our sympathies, may all prove un: availing, he at last attempts to terrify us. “Pass this bill." he exclaimed in a most solemn manner," and the Indians must remove. Yes, sir, they will go; and, from the gloomy wilds of the Mississippi, they will send back upon you their bitter execrations.” Sir, the gentleman again draws on his imagination: here I have the advantage of him—I appeal to facts. Hundreds of the Cherokees have already removed to that country, and we have never heard that they have execrated us for inducing them to go. Others have explored the country, and have brought back a good report, and will remove if the means are provided. In travelling through the nation last spring, I saw an Indian countryman just |..."; to emigrate; and his anticipations wore very different from those of the honorable gentleman from New York. He was a man of large family and considerable property; his improvements had been yalued, and he was to set out in a few days; he expressed himself perfectly satisfied with the terms on which he was removing, and appeared delighted at the prospect his new home presented. Sir, I do not think this individual had laid up any bitter execrations to send back upon us. No, sir, these execrations come from a different point of the compass. But I must hasten to a conclusion. There are other

[blocks in formation]

a very narrow boundary divides you from State jurisdiction

—cross it, and we may not be able to calculate the conse. quences—there may, then, indeed, be scenes and subjects abundantly sufficient for the exercise of all the feelings of philanthropy. I tell you, sir, Georgia has taken her course, and she will not retire from it. Nor has she acted hastily; eighteen months ago she gave notice of her intentions, and at the last session of her #. she resolved to carry those intentions into execution. Sir, her laws will be enforced; of this an earnest has already been given. It has been recently determined by one .. courts, that the State's right of jurisdiction does extend over the whole of the territory within her chartered limits; and the eourts

already complete. And if their claim was not valid, it will be sustained by the people. I hope I am not misun

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

: MAY 18, 1830.]

Y

[merged small][ocr errors]

derstood in these remarks; they are not made in the spirit either of threatening or defiance—far from it. On the contrary, our people implore you, by all the ties which bind us together—by the common sufferings, and dangers, and triumphs of our ancestors—by the principles of that constitution by which our rights are secured and protected —not to violate the rights of Georgia as a sovereign member of this Union, nor interfere with the exercise of her legitimate powers. But do not mistake this appeal— it is not the entreaty of suppliants; it is the sincere and affectionate remonstrance of brothers—of a generous and high-minded people. And will you disregard them? Will #. turn a deaf ear to our appeals, and resolve, at all azards, to prevent the exercise of those rights which the State of Georgia brought with her into this {...". she has never yielded—which most of her sisters have long exerted without interruption—and which have been but now recognised by the President of the Senate? And if you should, is it reasonable to suppose that Georgia will submit to be restrained from the exercise of these rights by the arm of the General Government? No, sir, I assure you she will not—her course is determined on, and she will pursue it with a resolution which no threats can intimidate, but with a justice and moderation which will leave no cause for reproach. [Here the debate closed for this day.]

TUEsday, MAY 18, 1830. THE SALT DUTY.

The House resumed the consideration of the resolution of Mr. TALIAFERRO, proposing a gradual repeal of the duty on salt—the motion for the previous question pending —which being announced by the Chair, Mr. BURGES moved a call of the House. Mr. CHILTON deprecated any attempt to defeat the proposition by unnecessary motions, which could only produce delay. He hoped gentlemen would not endeavor, by such means, to prolong a tax which grinds the people in the interior of the country to a degree which gentlemen on the seaboard had no ń. of While the latter were wallowing in luxury, the poor people of the interior had often to sell their very clothes to procure salt, without which they could not subsist. The high duty on this necessary of life produced extreme distress amongst hundreds and thousands of the people of the West—he might call them scenes of carnage—which the gentleman from Rhode Island could not look upon with composure. He entreated him, therefore, to withdraw his opposition to the resolution, and that other gentlemen would not endeavor to embarrass the proposition by useless motions. M. BURGES replied, and justified his motion for a call of the House. His object was not to embarrass the proposition, but to obtain a full House for its decision, and that whatever was done on a subject, so important should be done by a majority. As to the duty itself, he was opposed to its repeal, not because he wished to keep a high tax on the people, but to preserve a system by which salt as well as other necessaries would become cheaper, &c. Mr. HOFFMAN rose to justify his course in the motions which he made on this subject, and was proceeding to make some remarks, when Mr. McDUFFIE rose to a question of order. He hoped the time of the House would not be consumed by debate which was out of order; and, as it was out of order to debate the resolution on the motion for a call of the House, he trusted the rule would be enforced. The CHAIR sustained the call to order, and required the member to confine himself to the precise question, which was on a call of the House Mr. HOFFMAN said, he intended only to reply to re. marks which had been permitted to be made. He avowed that, as the mover of the resolution had followed up its

introduction with a motion for the previous question, he felt himself justified in embarrassing the resolution by all the means which the forms of the House permitted him to use. The motion for a call of the House was negatived without a division; and The House refused to second the call for the previous question, 79 rising for it, and 89 against it. Mr. REED, of Massachusetts, then offered the following substitute for the resolution, viz: “That the Secretary of the Treasury be instructed to inform this House, at the next session of Congress, 1st. The quantity of salt manufactured at the various salt works in the United States, and at each factory. 2d. The price exacted for salt at each of the manufactories. 3d. The quality of the salt manufactured at each of the manufactories. 4th. The prices of salt in various parts of the country.” " Mr. REED followed his motion to amend with an argument of considerable length, to show the impropriety of hasty action on so important a subject, without #. ation on it. He combatted, by a train of reasoning, the fallacy, as he conceived it, that the repeal of the duty on salt would render the article cheaper, or conduce to the general, interest; stated briefly the reasons why he was opposed to the tariff laws, and his objections, since the o had been adopted, to ...; in upon it to relieve the pressure upon one interest, while others were suffering a greater pressure; and mentioned particularly the navigation of the country, in which every person in the Union was interested, and which was depressed by a heavy tax, and the only direct tax imposed by the Government. He was willing to go into the tariff subject generally, for the purpose of better adjusting and equalizing the system, but was decidedly opposed to picking out one subject of duty alone, and which was, in fact, beneficial to the country. Before he had concluded his remarks, he gave way to Mr. TALIAFERRO, who said, if it was in order, he would withdraw his resolution; and was proceeding to explain his reasons for so doing, when he was admonished by the Chair, that, if the motion was withdrawn, it would be irregular to make any remarks. Mr.T. acquiesced, and the resolution was withdrawn.

REMOVAL OF THE INDIANS.

The several special orders of the day were then, on motion of Mr. BELL, further postponed, and the House again resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole, Mr. Wickliff E in the chair, on the bill to provide for an exchange of lands with the Indian tribes, and for their removal beyond the Mississippi.

Mr. EVANS said: The (i.e. of the bill under consideration has been fully stated by the chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs, [Mr. BELL] and by the gentlemen from Georgia, [Messrs. LUMPKIN and FostER] who have preceded me in this debate. It proposes, as they have correctly said, an appropriation of money to be expended by the President in effecting the removal of the Indians now residing within the limits of the States and Territories, to a new residence west of the Mississippi. We have been told that this has long been the settled policy of the Government; and gentlemen express much surprise that any opposition should now exist to the accomplishment of an . ject so often sought, nnd represented as highly desirable. Sir, if this has been the settled policy of the Government, which I shall not now stop to consider, there has been also another policy and another practice pursued towards the Indian tribes which Providence has cast upon our care, that seems at the present juncture to be wholly forgotten. It is this: in all our relations with them, to respect their rights of soil and of jurisdiction—to treat with them as free and sovereign communities. We have uniformly acknowledged the binding force of our engagements with them, and we

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

have promised that we would be faithful and true in the Among these proceedings, I find, also, a lettpr written by

performance of all our stipulations. We have never attempted to drive them from their ancient possessions, nor to permit others to do so, by withholding our promised protection. We have never endeavored to deceive them as to the nature and extent of their rights, nor to intimidate them into an acquiescence with our wishes. Is such the language now addressed to them Is such the course now about to be pursued Sir, when gentlemen refer us to the past policy of the Government, and ask us still to adhere to it, I tell them to take the whole policy together. Hold out as many inducements as you please, to persuade the Indian tribes to exchange their country for another beyond the Mississippi;but at the same time assure them that until they freely and voluntarily consent to remove, they shall be protected in the possession and enjoyment of all the rights which they have immemorially possessed, and which we have recognized and solemnly guarantied to them in subsisting treaties. ... But the gentlemen have said, and reiterated, that the bill contemplates only the voluntary removal of the Indians, and they are astonished that the proposition should meet with any opposition. Sir, have they yet to learn that there is no opposition to their free, unconstrained, voluntary removal Has any man, upon this floor, or in this Congress, opposed it ! ... Do the numerous memorials which weigh down your table, oppose it? The honorable member from Tennessee, [Mr. BELL] to sustain his assertion that the public mind had been perverted, deceived, and misled upon this subject, said, that the uniform language of all the petitions was, that the Indians might not be coerced and compelled to remove—that the . faith might be kept and redeemed. Now, sir, is there iny remonstrance against the voluntary removal of these tribes? Is there an objection to it from any quarter, unless it is to be accomplished by coercion, or force, or withholding from them that protection which we are bound to afford! I know of none; and I tell the gentleman, once for all, that the only opposition is, to a forced, constrained, compulsory remoy The gentleman from Georgia, who first spoke upon this subject, [Mr. Lumpkin] has gone, further, and discovered the sources of the opposition, and the motives from which it springs. He has told us that it has its origin among enthusiasts in the northern States, who, under the pretence of philanthropy and benevolence, have acquired a control over the Indian councils—have sent missionaries among them who “are well paid for their labors of love." and who are actuated by a sordid desire for “Indian annui. ties.” The gentleman has reproached the memorialists who have addressed us, as “intermeddlers" and "zealots," and expresses his strong disapprobation of appealing to religious associations, or intermingling religious considerations in aid of political and public objects. Sir, I am not about toxin. dicate the policy which the gentleman has reprobated. The occasion does not call for it. But does he know upon whom his reproaches falli Does he remember the first pamphlet which was laid upon our table, in reference to this subject It is entitled “Proceedings of the Indian Board in the city of New York;" and I call the attention of the gentleman to it, if he wishes to ascertain who are endeavor. ing to enlist religious societies and associations in the oncerns of Government. What was the origin of this “In: dian Board t” and of whom is it composed? It originated with the Government. The Superintendent of Indian Af. fairs, acting under the auspices, and by the direction of the Department of War, opened a correspondence with divines in that city—he invited the formation of the society for the purpose of aiding the objects of Government—he was sent on to deliver an address explanatory of the purposes of the administration, and to assist in the establishiment of the association. It was formed, and is composed chiefly of religious men, who have solely in view, I doubt not, the benefit and preservation of the Indians, and have been made to believe that humanity requires their removal.

the superintendent, under the direction of the Department of War, to a gentleman in Boston, (J. Everts, Esq.) upon the same subject—disclosing the views of the Gvernment, and soliciting his attention to the condition of the Indians, and inviting his co-operation in measures calculated to improve their situation. The gentleman from Georgia has alluded to a series of letters with the signature of William Penn, and has denounced the author as an “intermeddler” in matters which do not concern him, and “a zealot,” o his opinions upon this House and upon the country. Now, sir, in attributing these letters to the gentleman I have already adverted to, (Mr. Everts,) I disclaim all knowledge of the fact that is not common to every member of the House. I know him only as possessing a reputation for intelligence, philanthropy, benevolence, and untiring zeal in the promotion of human happiness, which any one upon this floor might be proud to possess. Is he an intermeddler? Has he obtruded his opinions upon this subject? Sir, was he not invited and solicited to its consideration? He was; and he did consider and investigate, and has given the result of his researches and reflections. What was he to do? Hold his opinions in subserviency to the will of the Government? Do gentle. Inen forget in what age and in what country we live! Are we retrograding, while the spirit of free inquiry and unrestrained opinion is pushing its onward progress even under monarchies and despotism Is it in this country only to be met with checks and rebukes Sir, have the free citizens of this nation no right to investigate subjects so highly interesting to our national prosperity and charac. ter, and to form opinions, except in accordance with the views of Government? The gentleman regards it perfectly proper and correct to form religious associations, and issue amphlets even in the northern States, when the object is in aid of his designs. But when a sense of right and justice and humanity leads to a different conclusion, then the gentleman can hardly find terms strong enough to express his abhorrence of intermingling religious considerations with political movements. Sir, I wish gentlemen would fairly meet and answer the arguments which have been ad. dressed to us, and not content themselves with the use of harsh epithets, and the imputation of base motives. When was this complaint about enthusiasm and mixing religion with politics first heard off Missionary establishments had long existed among the Indians, with the approbation and by the aid of Government. Their object was to ameliorate the condition and elevate the character of these tribes, thereby rendering them better neighbors to Georgia, and essentially promoting her interests. Not a syllable of com: plaint was heard. . Georgia was perfectly satisfied, and the other States were left at full liberty to send their missiona: ries, and expend their funds in improving the Indians within her borders. But, when a new crisis has arisen, and the claims of these Indians to their own lands come in question, then, if they are found not to coincide in the schemes of Georgia and of the administration, it is all “euthusiasm," “fanaticism,” “sordid interest,” “selfishness,” “delusion,” “hypocrisy.” I do not know, sir, that it is neces. sary for me, or for any one, to stand here in vindication of the motives of those intelligent and estimable men who have devoted time and treasure in the benevolent purpose of converting the Indians to civilization and christianity— who have established schools and churches and have been the means of their improvement and advancement in the arts of social life. The country will do justice to their mo. tives and their actions. It is one thing to make an impeach. ment, but quite another thing to sustain it. The gentle. man has been liberal in accusatious of the most odious complexion—and by what are they sustained i By that gentleman's opinion, and }} nothing else—he brings no facts to corroborate it; and he must pardon me if I decline to adopt his conjectures, or to regulate my action in any

« 上一頁繼續 »