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of any State within its own limits be not infringed or violated.” Georgia protested because she thought her legislative rights were infringed. Her protest was submitted to Congress in 1787, at a time when many of those who had formed the instrument of confederation were administering the Government, and must be supposed to know the extent of the powers which it conferred. A long report was made in Congress o the subject of the protest, denying the ground taken by Georgia and North 8. who had also protested, and affirming that the proviso had no such meaning as was contended. I will read a part of that report: “But there is another circumstance, far more embarrassing, and that is, the clause in the confederation relative to managing all affairs with the Indians, &c., is differently construed by Congress and the two States within whose limits the said tribes and disputed lands are. The construction contended for by these States, if right, appears to the committee to leave the federal powers, in this case, a mere nullity, and to make it totally uncertain on what principle Congress is to interfere between them and the said tribes. The States not only contend for this construction, but have actually pursued measures in conformity to it. North Caro: lina has undertaken to assign lands to the Cherokees, and Georgia has proceeded to treat with the Creeks concerning peace, lands, and the objects usually the principal ones in almost every treaty with the Indians. This construction appears to the committee not only to be productive of confusion, disputes, and embarrassments, in managing af. fairs with the independent tribes within the limits of the States, but by no means the true one. The clause referred to, is: “ shall have the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the trade and managing all affairs with ihe Indians not members of any of the States, provided that the legislative right of any State within its own limits be not infringed or violated." In forming this clause, the parties to the federal compact must have had some definite objects in view. The objects that come into view, principally, in forming treaties or managing affairs with the Indians, had been long understood and pretty well ascertained in this country. The committee conceive that it has been long the opinion of the country, supported by justice and humanity, that the Indians have just claims to all lands occupied by, and not fairly purchased from, them; and that, in managing affairs with them, the principal objects have been those of making war and peace,, purchasing certain tracts of their lands, fixing the boundaries between them and our people, and preventing the latter settling on lands left in possession of the former. The wers necessary to these ... appear to the committee to É. indivisible, and that the parties to the confederation must have intended to give them entire to the Union, or to have given them entire to the State. These powers, before the revolution, were possessed by the King, and exercised by him; nor did they interfere with the legislative right of the colony within its limits; this distinction, which was then, and may be now taken, may perhaps serve to explain the proviso, part of the recited clause. The laws of the State can have no effect upon a tribe of Indians, or their lands, within the limits of the State, so long as that tribe is independent, and not a member of the State; yet the laws of the State may be executed upon debtors, crimimals, and other proper objects of those laws, in , all arts of it; and, therefore, the Union may make stipuations with any such tribe, secure it in the enjoyment of all or part of its lands, without infringing upon the legislative right in question. It cannot be supposed the State has the powers mentioned, without making the recited clause uselens, and without absurdity in theory as well as in practice; for the Indian tribes are justly considered the common friends or enemies of the United States, and no particular State can have an exclusive interest in the man*gement of affairs with any of the tribes, except in some
uncommon cases. The committee find it difficult to recocile the said construction of the recited clause made by the two States, and their proceedings besore menti
especially those of Georgia, with what they conceive to be the intentions of those who made the said motion; for the committee presume that the delegates of Georgia do not mean that Congress is bound to send their forces to punish such nations as the State shall name, to act in aid of the State authority; to send her forces and recall them as she shall see fit to make war or peace. Such an idea cannot be consistent with the dignity of the Union, and the prin.
ciples of the federal compact. But the committee cop
ceive that it is the opionion of the honorable movers, and also the general opinion, that all wars and hostile measures against dians, ought to be conducted under the authority of the Union, at least where the forces of the Union are employed, that the power to conduct a war clearly implies the power to examine into the justice of the war, to make peace, and adjust the terms of it; and that, therefore, the terms or words of the said, motion, if it be adopted by Congress at all, must be varied accordingly.” Such, sir, was the opinion of Congress of its powers under the confederation, and it practised upon that opinion. Not long after this, the present constitution of the United States was formed and ratified, Georgia assenting. One
article of that instrument is : “All treaties made, and
which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land.” The treaty of Hopewell was a treaty then “made." Its validity as a treaty had been already asserted by Congress. Georgia assented to this article of the constitution, thereby sane. tioning the treaty of Hopewell, and giving it validity, if it had none before. Georgia yielded the point in controversy: by virtue, as she supposed, of her reserved legislative rights she had made a treaty, and acquired lands by it. But of what use were that treaty and those lands to her 1 None at all. And, by the compact of 1802, she expressly stipulated that the United States should extinguish the Indian title to the county of Tallahassee—the lands which the Indians had before yielded. Sir, was not this an admission that the treaty which the State had previously made was of no validity; that the Indian title still remained to be extinguished # The coufederation did not recognise the right of Georgia to make a treaty, and Georgia, therefore, did not acquire the lands, but had to call in aid the power of the United States to do it for her. Such was the authority possessed by the United States under the articles of confederation, and such was the ex: ercise of it. Not long after the treaty of Hopewell was made, and the powers of the General Government asserted in the report I have read, the present constitution was adopted, conferring upon the United States the same powers of peace and war—of regulating the affairs with the Indians, without the limitations as to the legislative rights of the States, which was the foundation of the Georgia protest. . The restriction under the confederation was found to be embarrassing and obscure, and therefore was omitted; and, as Mr. Madison, in a number of the Federalist, referred to by the gentleman from New York, [Mr. StoRRs] says, was designedly omitted. The United States, therefore, derives its authority under the constitution and, in the very same year in which it was ratified, ecmmenced negotiations and concluded treaties with Indians living within the limits of a State. Did they do this incan: tiously, ignorantly? No, sir; they proceeded in the most cool and cautious manner. The Government was circumspect and deliberate. The then President did not take a single step without the previous consent of the Senate. He went to that body in person, and inquired whether he would be authorized to offer the guaranty and to pledge our faith. The response was that he should be so authorized. The States interested heard the stipulations which
e Creeks, or any other independent tribe of in
were proposed, and they set up no objection. It was proposed to them that the President should treat with the Indians within the limits of the State, and Georgia assented to it. And now are we to be told that the General Government had no authority, and that Georgia is not bound by the treaty The treaty was made in conformity with their advice and consent, and was subsequently ratified by the Senate also, with the consent of Georgia; and are we now asked where was our authority to make it? Those who deny the right must account for so extraordinary a procedure. Gentlemen say they can well account for it; and the solution is, that the treaty was for their benefit; and, therefore, though the United States had no authority to make it, yet that they submitted to it because it was for their interest, knowing all the time that the Government had no right to do it. Sir, it is a well known rule in morals and in common sense, that every one making a promise is bound by it in the sense in which he knows the other party to understand it. When Georgia, therefore, laid by, and saw and knew the promises which this Government was making to the Indians, and yielded her assent, shall she be precluded from asserting that either she or we are not bound, according to the sense we then knew the Indians put upon those promises i By this rule our guaranty is to be measured; and I, for one, will never move an inch to relieve a State which thus lies by, and permits us to enter into engagements, and receives the benefit of our contracts, and at last comes forward with the complaint that we had no right to make them. I say to Georgia, if we had no right without your consent, your consent has been obtained. It is too late. You are estopped, Sir, we have heard another doctrine, at which I was, I confess, both astonished and alarmed. We are told that these national treaties are “expedients," resorted to merely to accomplish our own ends, made for our interest, and to be construed for our benefit. We have a very extraordinary history of them in the sixteenth page of the com: mittee's report. It is there said that we are in a critical situation. Difficulties existed with respect to the forts on our western frontier, and above the Mississippi, with Great Britain and Spain. . We had just come out of a long war, and were poor: that we were in no condition to incur Indian hostilities; and in this particular juncture General Washington was called upon to settle the mode of conducting our relations with the Indian tribes, and to secure our peace with them; that he adopted the practice of regulating our affairs with them by treaties. Sir, are they any the less obligatory because they were made when we were in difficulty I Had we told these Indians, we are now in a critical condition, we want you to treat with us, but, by and by, when we get out of trouble, and grow powerful and strong, we shall consider our compacts as expedients -mere matters of legislation over you ; do you think they would have ceded their lands ! If the Indians, in the day of our calamity, received our plighted faith, and yielded up their territories, so much the more reason is there that we should now observe them as sacredly bind: ing upon us. There is a moral obligation, beyond all treaties, to keep our promises in good faith in the day of our strength and power, to which in the day of our weakness we were indebted for security and peace. Yet the gentleman at the head of one of the committees of this House has told us that these engagements were mere ...expedients” to obtain peace and get the Indian lands. Sir, if such is that jo opinion, I am sorry he exPressed it to the world; for I am not willing to affix such * Stigma on our national fame; I am not willing to commit the honor of this nation to the gentleman's keeping; and having as one of the humblest citizens of the republic, *one share in her faith and her character, I protest for my**ls, and for those I represent, against any such interpreta
The seventh article of the treaty of Holston contains the guaranty, of which so much has been said in this debate; and this is the explanation which the committee put upon that article— “It was, therefore, thought necessary, in order to ensure peace, that some strong and decisive evidence should be given of the determination of the Government to prevent, by force, any further intrusions upon the lands reserved for the Indians, and a guaranty of their boundary was thought of as the means best calculated to effect that object. It was probably a device, adopted more for the intimidation of the whites, than for any effect it was likely to have upon the Indians themselves." The guaranty was necessary to secure peace; in other words, the Indians would not make peace without the gua. ranty. But, instead of being for their benefit, and obliga. tory upon us, it was probably a device for the intimidation of the whites. Sir, I deny this assertion, and I call upon the gentleman to produce his authority for it. How absurd an ideal how utterly preposterous! Will the gentleman tell me that a solemn promise in a treaty with another party was not intended to have any effect upon those to whom it was made, but was a device to intimidate the party making it? Could we not intimidate and restrain ourselves by laws I repudiate the idea: I cannot consent thus to fix an indelible stigma on the fair fame of my country. Sir, the language of the treaty was sincere, intended to be obligatory upon us, and should be observed most sacredly. The great object of the gentleman is to procure the removal of the Indians; and to obtain their consent, he proposes in the bill that the President shall “solemnly gua. ranty”—the very words of the o of o:...; guaranty to them the country to which we propose to send them. The gentleman says that the guaranty in that treaty was “probably a device for the intimidation of the whites.” Well, sir, let the project be executed, and, within a period that the gentleman may live to see, the whites will again ress upon them, and say you must go—move farther west. hen the Indians inquire, for what cause, the same reasons will be given then that are given now. All history shows that if you remain near us you will be destroyed. The red man cannot live in contact with the white. Humanity and your own interests require your removal. ... Besides, we have a right to the land. Our ancestors discovered it. Are we not civilized And has not civilization a right to prevail over savage life? Suppose it be so, reply the Indians, but we were sent here not by our consent, but by your power; and did you not “solemnly guaranty” to us these limits Very true; but were you so ignorant as not to know that our guaranty was only an expedient f only a device Had you not sagacity enough to J. that it was only a plan to get rid of you to send you off out of the way ere you not told by us at the time, that “Indian treaties were only a species of legislation?” Were you not told by a committee of Congress that these things were only a device . That in our conduct towards you “one of those expedients was to *: to do nothing which concerned" you, “either in the appropriation of your hunting grounds, or in controlling your conduct without your consent " Nothing but appearance—really and truly we did as we pleased. Sir, I have no doubt the gentleman is sincere in the guaranties he proposes to give, and intends to bind the nation in all future time. If he should live to see his assurances thus explained and chaffered away, he will feel something of the emotion which Washington and the fathers of the country would have experienced, could they have anticipated that their solemn assurances are to be thus lightly regarded. Mr. BELL interposed, and said the report had not been
tion of our engagements.
*...* --- * * *
correctly understood—that he did not contend that the
guaranty was not binding.] - * --
Sir, I regret very much if I have misrepresented any sentiment of the report. If the gentleman, will point out any part of it which he wishes to be read, I will cheerfully do so, and abide by his correction. [Mr. BELL declined.] Sir, I have commented upon it as I understand it, and I quote the language which I find in it. The report gives another reason why the guaranty should not be understood in the sense we affix to it— “The victory of the 20th of August, 1794, over the northern Indians, with whom, the Creeks and Cherokees had kept up a regular correspondence; the expedition which was secretly planned, for carrying the war into the Cherokee country, and which was successfully conducted by the suffering frontier inhabitants; and the pacific disposition of the Spanish authorities of Florida which preceded the treaty of 1795 with Spain, were the actual restorers of peace.” “After this time, the Government was under no obliga. tion to renew the guaranty contained in the treaties of 1790 and 1791, with the Creeks and Cherokees, but, as it has done so, it only shows that that stipulation was not believed to affect the nature of the title by which those tribes held their lands, or to introduce any new principle in relation to their rights generally.” Thus, sir, it seems that our pacific relations with the southern tribes were the result of a victory obtained by General Wayne over the northern Indians, with whom the Cherokees and Creeks had some alliance—that they were therefore vanquished—that after this we were under no obligation to renew the guaranty, and, having renewed it, it is not therefore to be construed as affecting the nature of their title, or the extent of their rights. Sir, is this the rule by which treaties and compacts are to be construed I had supposed that the true mode of arriving at the meaning of any clause was to examine and weigh the terms in which it is couched—to compare it with the general spirit of the instrument, and not to inquire into the inducements and obligations resting upon the parties at its formation. Suppose this guaranty to be the merest gratuity in the world on our part, that we were in truth under no obligation to make it, does it thence follow that it is to have no meaning, or a restricted meaning? Have we thence a right to construe it away Surely not. If we have made the guaranty, we must be bound by the guaranty, in its true, full sense, as understood at the time of making it. This idea of abrogating the force of treaties is of modern origin. The parties who now favor it were formerly among the most zealous defenders of the faith and obligations of treaties. In 1827, Georgia contended most manfully that treaties were sacred, binding, immutable. She demanded the full performance of the stipulations with the Creeks at the Indian Springs, and wholly denied the power even of the parties to the compact to rescind it, though it was founded in gross fraud and corruption. In every line of her remonstrance we perceive the tenacity and force with which she clung to the validity of treaties. Sir, in a communication to which I have already referred, from the President to the Creek Indians, in which he endeavors to convince them that the treaties are not binding upon us, if construed as impairing the sovereignty of Georgia, he claims from them the most exact performance of their obligations: “Our peaceful mother earth has been stained by the blood of the white man, and calls for the punishment of his murderers, whose surrender is now demanded, under the solemn obligation of the treaty which your chiefs and warriors, in council, have agreed to. To preserve peace, you must comply with your own treaty.” With what face can we require of them the full, faithful performance of their promises, when in the same breath we tell them that we had no authority to give the assurances on our part Sir, let us construe and so perform our engagements as to preserve the national faith and honor,
as will in no event expose us to the censures of the world. Sir, I have before me many documents which I had intended to use, illustrative of the poliey of the Government towards the Indians, as well of the Crown before the revolution, as of the Congress under the confederation, and since under the present constitution. In all these I find abundant vindication of Indian rights, to the full extent I have endeavored to maintain them ; but I forbear to tres. pass upon the kind indulgence of the committee by consuming their time in reading them. I will now proceed, sir, to a brief consideration of some other topics involved in the bill before us, and which have been discussed at much length by the member from Tennessee, [Mr. BELL] The gentleman computes the expense which will be incurred in the prosecution of this measure, at the most, not exceeding five millions of dollars. The very nature of the subject forbids accurate and minute calculations. As a general principle, we all know that public expenditures vastly exceed previous estimates. Nothing is more common. I am not possessed of sufficient data to form an estimate with any pretensions to ae: curacy: but, sir, when you consider that sixty thousand people are to be removed a distance of several hundred miles; that they are to be subsisted for one year aster they have reached the destined land; that customary presents and rewards are to be given to them ; that all their improvements, possessions, and property, which they leave behind, are to be paid for; that agents, commissioners, and contractors are to be employed and compensated; and, moreover, that you will be obliged to purchase of the tribes beyond the ...P. a right to plant others there; I think the most orthodox believer in the dangers of a redundant treasury will have no occasion to be alarmed for the liberties of the country. Gentlemen who have resisted the prosecution of internal improvement as tending to corrupt the States, will have the satisfaction to see this source of their disquietude removed. But, sir, I shall make no objection on the score of expense. Protect the Indians in their rights and possessions where they now are, and you may have almost any sum to effect their removal, when it can be done with their free, voluntary, unbiassed consent. The gentleman seened to anticipate an objection, on the ground of a want of eonstitutional power in Congress to make the appropriation. I shall say but a word on that subject. If these tribes are to be regarded as distinct communities, independent of the States where they reside, possessed of lands which will be to us when their title is extinguished, I can see no valid objection of the kihd the gentleman anticipated But if they are to be regarded as individual citizens of a State, subject to its laws, possessing property as individuals, and protected in its enjoyment, then I do not easily perceive the authority which we possess to make the appropriation. Suppose, sir, that some fifty thousand of o: citizens of New †. or New England wish to enligrate to the West, and ask the aid of Government to enable them to accomplish that object; would such an applieation be listened to for a moment? Should we not be reminded that the powers of the General Government were all “enumerated,” and among them there was none authorizing it to appropriate the public treasury to enable individuals to change their location? Sir, this hall would echo with the perpetual reiteration of “constitutional scruples.” The gentleman [Mr. Bell.] has urged the passage of this bill, on the ground of humanity to the Indians, and the promotion of their own interests and happiness. He informs the committee that the tribes proposed to be removed are a degraded, deelining race, who are rapidly wasting away, and will, ere long, be destroyed, if they remain in their present situation. The lessons of history are adduced to show that the red man cannot live in contiguity with the white; that it is the inevitable fate of the savage to perish whenever civilization has planted its foot within o:con
fines. However just this may be in the general, it has no application to the southern tribes, particularly to the Cherokees, who are chiefly interested in the subject before us. They are not hordes of wandering savages; they are not hunters. . They till the earth; they have mechanics' shops and trades, schools and churches, cultivated fields and flocks—have made great advances in civilization—formed a written code of government—established a press. Is it for the benefit and happiness of such a people to be ex pelled from their country, and planted again in the depths of the forest, to resume the of state from which they had smerged Sir, I do not find anywhere in the records of history that the condition of such a people can be promoted by such a measure. Least of all do I find that the interest or honor of any nation can be promoted by a violation of its public treaties—an infraction of its plighted faith. Whether it be for the benefit of the Indians to remove or not, is a question for them to decide; and so long as they shall determine that it is not for their advantage and happiness, and refuse to comply, so long are they entitled to protection and security in all their rights. In several of our treaties with them, we have had in view their perma. inent residence in the territories which they possess. We have held out inducements for them to become cultivated, and have stipulated to furnish them “with useful implements of husbandry," for the purpose of reclaiming them from the savage state. The treaty of 1817 is too explicit on this point to be omitted. The preamble recites, that, in 1808, a delegation of the Cherokee nation signified to the President the anxious desire of one part of the nation “to engage in the pursuit of agriculture and civilized life in the country they then occupied;" and that this portion wished for a division of the country, and an assignment of lands for that purpose; that “by thus contracting their society within narrow limits, they proposed to begin the establishment of fixed laws and a regular government.” Another portion of the tribe wished to pursue the hunter life, and for that end, were desirous to remove beyond the Mississippi. The President (Mr. Jefferson) answered, “the United States, my children, are the friends of both parties, and, so far as can reasonably be asked, are willing to satisfy the wishes of both. Those who remain may be assured of our patronage, our aid, and good neighborhood.” Such was the preamble; and it concludes, “Now know ye, that to early into effect the before recited promises with good faith,” &c., the parties concluded the treaty. I ask, if we have not “assured” them of a permanent resigence, if we have not promised them “our good neighborhood;’ and now that the experiment has so far been successful, and they have made rapid advances in civilization, are we to be told that humanity and their own interests require them to be thrust again into the wilderness Sir, what will be their condition in the country to which it is proposed they shall remove The gentleman has described the region, about six hundred miles in length, and two hundred and fifty in width, between the western boundaries of Arkansas and Missouri and the base of the Rocky Mountains, somewhere within the limits of which is to be their ultimate destination. The gentleman's plan is to locate the southern tribes among the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, and Chickasaws, who have already moved. Besides these parts of tribes, the Osages are there, and the warlike bands of the Camanches, Sioux, and Pawnees roam over the yast prairies in search of game, or on their lo excursions. It is now designed to plaut a civiized colony amid a people of these savage habits. They are not hunters, whom we are about to send there. Agriculture is their employment. They are not warriors. We have induced them to lay aside the war club and the tomahawk, and to substitute the peaceful implements of husbandry. They have flocks, and property of various descriptions. . How long can they retain it in the neighborhood of the warlike tribes I have enumerated ; How
long can their schools and their churches be maintained in the bosom of the wilderness? Sir, they will be only objects of plunder to the stranger and more savage bands around them. They will be overrun; and, if they resist, it will only provoke extermination. Can they till the ground, when its fruits will ripen only to be gathered and consumed by hordes of savages, who know no law but force, no right but power Sir, I firmly believe they cannot exist in the country to which you are about to send them; and I can give no countenance to a project which contemplates their removal against their wishes and their remonstrances. We have, among the papers before us, a very affecting account of the distress and privations which the tribes west of the Mississippi already endure. I will read an extract which has been often quoted, but which cannot be too often called to our recollection, from the letter of General Clark. “The condition of many tribes west of the Mississippi is the most pitiable that can be imagined. . During several seasons in every year they are distressed by famine, in which many die for want of food, and during which the living child is often buried with the dead mother, because no one could spare it as much food as would sustain it through its helpless infancy. This description applies to Sioux, Osages, and many others, but I mention those because they are powerful tribes, and live near our borders, and my official station enables me to know the exact truth. It is in vain to talk to people in this condition about learning and religion.” The honorable gentleman answered this objection in anticipation; and what was his answer Why, that distress and suffering of this description were common among Indians—that it is incident to their character and habits and modes of life—that it is not more frequent now than it always has been. And is this a sufficient answer Are we to send a whole people from their abodes of comfort, to scenes of distress like these, with the cold answer that it is no hardship, because such sufferings are common Because the tribes west of the Mississippi are compelled to endure these distressing privations, therefore it is no hardship to send other tribes there to endure them also Will such an answer satisfy benevolence, philanthropy, humanity ? Will it alleviate the pangs of the civilized Cherokee, when he consigns his dead wife and his hiving child to the earth, to be told that such scenes are of frequent occurrence? And, sir, how will these sufferings be aggravated by such an accumulation of numbers! The country does not now afford subsistence enough for its population. How much greater will be the deficiency, when sixty thousand more are added to its starving inhabitants? The gentleman has said that the country is well adapted to their wants—abounding in timber and water, and o: of a high degree of cultivation. If it were so, from the causes I have mentioned they can never possess and cultivate it in security. We have been called upon at the present session to make a military road of several hundred miles in extent upon the western borders of Arkansas and Missouri, and to mount ten companies of infantry for the protection of the white inhabitants against the predatory incursions of the Indians. The delegate from Arkansas assures us that the security of that frontier depends upon these measures. How much more will the feeble tribes you propose to send still farther into the forests, need your protection? The gentleman has not taken into his account of expenses those which will be incurred in keeping up a military establishment in that vicinity, which will be absolutely necessary to preserve peace among the different tribes, who will find perpetual sources of discord when crowded together in the small limits assigned them. But, sir, is the country suited to their wants : The gentleman must allow me to say that I repose little confidence
in the information he has received upon this subject. De
scriptions from other sources give a different account. I will only refer, however, to the opinion of a delegation of the Chickasaw nation, who were sent last year west of the Mississippi, “in search of a home." It is among the documents upon our tables. They could find no country to which they would consent to remove, except one small tract which was already occupied. The vacant lands, they said, were not adapted to their convenience. “If we had found a country to please us, it was our intention to exchange. It is yet our wish to do so. But we cannot consent to remove to a country destitute of a single corresponding feature to the one in which we at present reside.” Such, sir, is the information we have received from the ludians themselves. If they wise to remove, I would furnish them assistance to do it. But I would first secure them in their rights where they now reside. I would then furnish them the most ample information pos. sible of the country in which it is proposed to locate them, give them every means of forming a correct judgment as to their situation and conditiou in their new abodes, and then leave the decision to them. When, sir, under these circumstances they shall decide to remove, I apprehend no objection will be made to it. It has been urged, however, very zealously by the gentlemen [Messrs. BELL and LUMPKiN] that the great mass of the southern Indians are now willing and anxious to re. move, but are restrained and kept in awe by the chiefs and white men who reside among the tribes. Where is the evidence of this Upon what facts do the gentlemen make the assertion ? Is it to be found in the circumstance that they have uniformly and firmly resisted all your offers and solicitations? Commissioners were sent last year to negotiate upon this subject, with instructions so peculiar, that I cannot forbear to advert to them. What were these instructions ! Why, sir, not to permit their official character to be known, but to appear among the Indians as their friends and advisers, solicitous only for their benefit and happiness. In this mode their confidence was to be won. They were not to convene the Indiaus in council, agreeably to uniform custom whenever negotiatious were to be conducted with them, but to see “the chiefs and other influential men, not together, but apart, at their own houses;” and when other arguments aud advice should fail, “offers to them of extensive reservations in fee simple, and other rewards, would, it is hoped, result in obtaining their acquiescence.". So it seems the Indian territory, the property of the whole nation, was to be obtained by offers of * rewards" to the chiefs and iufluential men, to procure their assent. Is this the mode in which Indian rights are to be treated Bribery to the chiefs What is the reason given for not convening the Indians in council A most remarkable one truly. It is in these words; “The past has demonstrated their utter aversion to this mode, whilst it has been made equally clear that another mode promises greater success. In regard to the first, the Indians have seen in the past that it has been by the results of councils that the extent of their country has been from time to time diminished. They all comprehend this.” Now, sir, it is represented that the Indians are willing to exchange their country, and to remove. If so, why not convene them in council, as it is by means of councils that the extent of their country has been diminished Would they have such an “utter aversion to this mode,” if they were really willing to adopt the measures to which such a mode leads? No, sir. They see it has been by councils that their country has been diminished, and they are opposed to councils because they are opposed to any further diminution. Upon this subject we have the testimony of a gentleman resident among the Cherokees, whom the member from Georgia [Mr. LUMPKiN] represents as worthy of all confidence, and whose word surely he will not deny. I will read an extract of a letter from Mr. Worcester, published among the documents of the Senate:
* There is one other subject on which I think it is due to justice to give my testimony, whatever it may be worth. Whether the Cherokees are wise in desiring to remain here or not, I express no opinion. But it is certainly just that it should be known whether or not they do, as a body, wish to remain. It is not possible for a person to dwell among them without hearing much on the subject. I have heard much. It is said abroad that the common people would gladly remove, but are deterred by the chiefs and a few other influential men. It is not so. I say with the utmost assurance, it is not so. Nothing is plainer than that it is the earnest wish of the whole body of the ple to remain where they are. They are not overawed y the chiefs. Individuals may be overawed by popular opinion, but not by the chiefs. On the other hand, if there were a chief in favor of removal, he would be overawed by the people. He would know that he could not open his mouth in favor of such a proposition, but on pain, not only of the failure of his re-election, but of popular odium and scorn. The whole tide of national feeling sets, in one strong and unbroken current, against a removal to the West.” With this evidence before me, I must be pardoned when I tell the honorable chairman [Mr. BELL] that I do not repose confidence in the information with which he has been furnished, and has presented to the House. It seems to be assumed, without evidence, and against evidence, that the Indians are willing to remove, but are restrained by some overpowering cause. In 1827, the complaint of Georgia was, that the Government had neglected its duty, and, instead of adopting a course which would terminate in the removal of the Indians, had pursued a policy calculated to render their residence permanent. +. was no condplaint then against the chiefs. It was all the fault of Government. Well, sir, we have now a Government co-operating with Georgia. This ground of complaint is removed. Still the Indians refuse to go. Some new reason must be found for their refusal. Sir, would it not be better to inquire into the fact, than to be searching for the causes of that which is only assumed to exist 1 Is it not natural and reasonable that they should be unwilling to abandon their homes? Are they not men Are they not capable of at: tachments Have they no ties to bind them to the land of their birth—to the soil which covers the ashes of their fathers? Is not their country dear to them Sir, in their view, that earth wears a deeper verdure, and the beavens pour a more unclouded radiance, than in all the world besides. It is unnatural, it is unreasonable to suppose that they are “anxious” to quit the scenes of their childhood, to seek a new home, far off, in the lands of the setting sun. And, sir, how are they to be removed The only pro
ject I have seen is that contained in the “report from the
bureau of Indian Affairs” to the Secretary of War, and by him transmitted to Congress. The proposition is, that they shall be removed “by contract"—and the recommendation of this plan is, that it can be done much cheaper than in any other mode. By contract, sir! What! are sixty thousand human beings—the sick, the aged, the in: firm, children, and infants—to be transported hundreds of miles, over mountains and rivers and forests, by contract? By those who will engage to perform the service for the smallest sum : Are you to hold out such inducements to long and fatiguing marches—to scanty and chea wisions? Will you place these hapless, deceived, .Po people at the mercy of contractors, whose only object is gain o. in whose bosoms Indian wrongs and Indian suffer. ing will find but little sympathy. Sir, if this is the mode in which the measure is to be executed, I will never yield my sanction to it, though the Indians should be willing to remove. No, sir, if they must go, let their path be made smooth. If the treasury is to be opened, let it be opened wide enough to relieve all their wants; to render their situa tion, bad at the best, as tolerable as the exigency will admit.