usurped by the white man. Seemingly exemplifying the truth of the innate depravity of man, they have adopted all the vices of the pale-face, and have not profited by the blessings his civilization confers. The most wretched of the wretched hamlets of our cultivated land becomes a metropolis, compared with the best of the villages of the most civilized of the tribes on the line. Situated near the whites, they have continual recourse to the groceries, where few groceries but rum are sold; and, continuing from day to day, the imbibing of poisonous spirits, acquire the hebete air of stupidity or recklessness, which gives too often the foundation of the idea which most persons, who have merely looked into the Indian's country, entertain of his character. It is utterly in vain to labor to retrieve him from his fallen state, until this allpowerful influence be removed. The worm of the still must be crushed, or civilization can do but little for him but to teach him its own peculiar vices, to drown his own savage virtues, and stifle the promptings of an erroneous, rhaps, but noble creed, whose teachings instructed them to more wisdom than multitudes have received into their minds, from all the doctrines of a high Christianity. Dearly have they learned the weight of the white man's power. We remember, not many years ago, to have heard one of the best of their speakers, a Choctaw warrior and orator, thus express himself in his own musical and deep accents, when appealed to, to sign a treaty by which he would have relinquished the last foothold upon the home of his fathers. “The red man loves not to write. The Great Spirit speaks: we hear his voice in the wailing of the winds, in the rushing of the mighty waters. He never writes. “We will not write; we stand beside the graves of our fathers, and they speak to us. Could their voices have been

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to the voice of truth and justice, and drive from the vicinity of the Indian, where it has power to act, the living instrument of the destruction of those whom with no little arrogance it terms its children Clad in tatters, like Tom of Bedlam in King Lear, with the garments of either race indiscriminately worn, they present pictures to harrow the hearts of those who have seen them in the wild prairie, and remember the glorious descriptions of them by the Spaniards, Mariana and Bernal Diez, or the true poetry of our own knight errant, Smith. In those days, they were Homeric; and looking back at the traditions of their eloquence, of the scenes of daring presented constantly by their history, we recall such harangues as an Ulysses might have made to his Islanders, and such boid feats as inspired Arminius with his eloquence. A recent writer (Mr. Brown, in his history of Illinois,) has attempted to throw some discredit on the genuineness of the harangues handed down to us from Logan and others, by Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Erskine, and on those of Tecumseh and Red Jacket. That a phrase or two may have been added and a prurience lopped away, all familiar with the mysteries of reporting can well understand; but that the winged thoughts remain as they were uttered is beyond a doubt. The white man has not in his boson a well of such deep emotions as that to which they constantly give utterance. To support this, one has but to stand in the midst of an Indian council, with a competent interpreter, and listen how all subjects, however trivial, become dignified; how the glorious images gathered from the scenery of their mighty forests and endless plains, come rolling forth, unforced, uncalled for, like the streams of the great rivers whose torrents are among the first objects they look upon. Such beings are yet the most degenerate of the broken bands along our frontier. They come always to the council grand and dignified: those who on the day before were prostrate and degraded in the filth of a drinking hut, there assume and wear the port of bronzed Apollos. Certainly, the Indian has many elements of a nobie being. Unlike the white man, or the negro, he never grovels—a redeeming trait; a memory of what he was ever exists in his mind, and the fine passage in Erskine's speech, at Hasting's trial, if false as regards mankind, was altogether true as far as the people from whom he drew his observation, are concerned." The race, that in memory of two generations, produced a Pontiac and a Logan, a Tecumseh, a McIntosh and a Black-Hawk, not to speak of earlier names in their history, was, we cannot but hope, notwithstanding all the melancholy past, formed for brighter and better days. ut whatever of good is to arise for them, must come from their connection with the white race on this continent. We propose to consider the manner in which our government has acted towards them. Of the conduct of the early colonists it is, of course, somewhat aside from our present field of remark to speak— as all that occurred before the United States were a nation. It may be well, however, as it certainly is just, to observe that the whole course of events on the American continent previous to the revolution, if it afford no satisfactory apology for our own conduct, is at least a bar to extreme censure from other nations. The country on the Atlantic, at the time of the discovery, was not densely populated. The eastern declivity of the Alleghanies did not contain over one person to three square miles. The cold winds from the ocean were not congenial to them, and the population of the contiment having proceeded from some point on its western coast, the regions first visited by the white man may be considered the ultima thule for the inhabitants of the centre of the continent, and not fair enough to tempt them to leave the fertile valleys and broad plains of which they were already possessed. The English found, therefore, but abrasions from the larger tribes—scattered, naked and poor—and were under no necessity to begin the usurpation of their hunting grounds, much less so sorrowful an extermination. That the transactions, however, of nearly all the colonial governments were little else than this, will be made but too apparent, we fear, on the pages of history. Much, undoubtedly, is due to those lawless men, whom the disturbances of the English revolution, the wars of the reformation, and the various other conflicts that convulsed for a series of years the heart of Europe, flung in such numbers upon the shores of the New World. Straggling always to the borders of savage life, these vagrants, heartless and grasping, were ready, for

gain, to commit any act of violence. Still, it was the duty of the British authorities to interpose a speedy and thorough check to such ceaseless aggressions. Having possessed themselves of the country bordering upon the sea-shore, and driven back those they found there into the narrow regions, which constituted a kind of debateable land between them and the larger tribes, the English then commenced the system of extending their agencies and trading houses far into the interior of the continent, corrupting, and thereby enfeebling all that came within their influence. England and France were, indeed, but renewing their oldworld jealousies in the unexplored depths of the new, both pressing on to compass the empire of the wilderness; and they used the original lords of the river and forest only as serviceable instruments. The events we are now beholding are the inevitable consequences of the course thus early begun by British cupidity. That no greater progress was made in actual occupation, was only owing to the fact, that under the royal government emigration was counted by scores, instead of the thousands now arriving monthly at our ports from every thoroughfare of Europe. The royal government was more peaceable than our own, because it had not equal capacity to be offensive, nor equal interest in such a policy, as the value of the Indian fur-trade was then of tenfold the annual worth of their territories. At the very commencement of the revolutionary war, a system of acquisition was commenced at Kaskaskia, whose radiations had already reached the heart of the Potawatamies, and prepared the way for that proneness to be controlled by British influence, which has not yet disappeared. During the Revolution the various tribes, with the exception, perhaps, of the Lenupé and Choctaw, seem to have fought for that power which, only till then, they had known. The war had closed—the Cherokees and Muscogees who, under the wise government of Washington had learned to love the new Republic, remained peaceful, and the Shawnees and Potawatamies, among whom British influence yet preserved alive the embers of war, by the continued though sometimes unsuccessful efforts of Harmer, St. Clair and Wayne, were reduced to terms. In the meantime, the Alleganies could not restrain the increasing population. Men who had left their hearth-sides in old England would not be content with meaner homesteads, and in the Edens of the West sought something to recompense them for the loss of their domestic possessions. Then the bitter fruits sown by the parent government, began to ripen. The early colonists had in New England looked upon the Indians as peculiarly liege servants of Beelzebub, to be destroyed, of course, by the children of the Lord ; in New York and Pennsylvania, as simple people not really in possession of their wild lands, since they knew not their value; and in the southern colonies, yet tinctured with the spirit of chivalry, as heathen and pagans whom it was an honor to slay. Thus actuated from the Atlantic to the Spanish borders, they began to conduct in such a manner as to call forth from Washington the following remark in a letter to Col. Humphreys: “I must confess, I cannot see much prospect of living in tranquillity with these people, so long as the spirit of land-jobbing prevails, and our frontier sufferers consider it no crime to murder an Indian.” This state of things prevailed everywhere, but was carried to the extremest limit perhaps in Kentucky, where Boone and his coadventurers canonized themselves by the slaughter of their foes, and by winning for their adopted country the name of the “dark and bloody ground.” Is it then singular, says Mr. Wirt, that the Indian should be implacable, since “they have been driven from river to river, from forest to forest, and through a period of two hundred years rolled back, nation upon nation, till they have found themselves fugitives, vagrants and strangers in their own country;-and look forward to the time when their descendants will be totally extinguished by wars—driven at the point of the bayonet into the western ocean, or reduced to a fate still more deplorable and horrid—the condition of slaves " And when awakened to this necessity, when forced to fly like beasts of prey into the wilderness, what has been our course Followed up to their very lairs, when crouching like Van Amburgh's lions at the foot of the civilized man, even then we have not left them what the subdued beast has in sovereignty, his cage; but we have forced them to move here and there, at the call of each new comer, to lick the hand which subdued them, to submit to the control of a

* Brown's History of Illinois, p. 26.

race they scorn—or one other choice, to fly yet farther into the desert; or, sacrificing nationality, to amalgamate with the i. enemies of their race. This last has been the sad lot of a people from whom most of our instances will be drawn, the Cherokee. Peculiar in their language, or, at least, differing from the tribes which surrounded them, in this respect, their kindred races must probably be sought for among the relics of the first inhabitants we know of, in the West Indian Archipelago, and the main land of South America. The fact of their looking upon the sun with peculiar veneration, if not worship, may also lead us to such a conjecture. They were powerful at the first coming of the white man, extending over the greater part of Georgia, Tennessee, with portions of Virginia, and the Carolinas; to speak concisely, occupying, with the Creeks, the whole country south of the Ohio, and west of the confederacy of Onasahuncanok —or Powhattan. The whites for a long time forbore to interfere with them, and those who lived in their vicinity, far from molesting, esteemed themselves happy that their fate was cast in the neighborhood of a people, so well disposed to be friendly. One of the first steps taken by the Government during the revolution was to send an agent among them to win their silence, and prevent so formidable a people from becoming hostile. Had they not succeeded—had the weight of the Cherokee people been made a point d'appui for the tories of the Carolinas and Georgia, throwing the whole force of the terrible warriors of the southern tribes among the scattered homes of the planters, who can say how much more severe would have been the struggle for our independence: Their forbearance, however, and general good faith, did not avail for their security, o that which other powerful and more hostile tribes had found. Many incidental events, indeed, helped to repare the way for the difficulties that followed. The acquisition of Louisiana was peculiarly fatal to them. The cities of New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Louis had formed around them already the nucleus of thriving population, and the filling up of the old States placed them, as it were, within the midst of the country, though not of it; and a cry was raised, that they ob. structed the march of civilization, and threw obstacles in the way of the execution of the laws of the country. Alarmed by this cry, a portion of the nation, in 1818, or about that time, set out, as Caesar represents the Gauls of old to have done, novas quarrere sedes, and marched onwards, until the fertile plains, near the present port of Arkansas, between the fork of the Arkansas and White rivers, induced them to pause in their course. But the emigrants were not more prosperous than those whom they left behind. The country was too beautiful not to have attracted the cupidity of the white as well as of the red man—and ere long they found themselves closely enclosed on the banks of the western rivers as they had been in the depth of the Alleghany mountains. They moved higher up the river to the site occupied by their tribe at present, and where the government has shown a disposition to protect them ainst the frequent clamors of the people. It is still disposed to do so, but if Texas is annexed to the Union, will it be able to preserve, to a feeble race comparatively, the sovereignty of so narrow a strip of territory, as that now guaranteed to them, and which is already looked forward to by the idlers who infest every frontier city of our land as the ElDorADo, the possession of which is to realize the dreams of their vagabond cupidity ? Those, meanwhile, whom they had left behind them, as sentinels near the graves of their ancestors, had not stood still in the march of civilization, but taught in the rough school of the world, that the devil must be fought with fire, had learned to cheat, lie, and steal as dexterously, as if the knowledge the had acquired were an heir-loom. All things seemed to tend to the ruin of the Cherokee. The discovery of mineral wealth—which, under a truely paternal government such as ours over the Indians professes to be, would have rendered them wealthy and o added to their danger, by holding forth a new temptation to the unprincipled men whom the rumor of gold mines, in all ages, has sufficed to entice from their settled homes. And the aggressors not only injured the Cherokee, by possessing themselves ultimately of their land, but they injured the morals of the nation, by their influence over the women, who strangely enough learned to prefer the most ordinary and illiterate White to a Cherokee, whatever might be his fortune, and though his education should qualify him to take a high position among the gentlemen of any land. This state of things continued; the anxiety which had originated among

the lower classes of the counties immediately upon their border was communicated to the better orders, in their vicinity, and from them to the whole state. The popular clamor increased, till at length the State of Georgia decreed the extension of their laws over the Indians within their limits, whose sires had been the hosts of their fathers. They appealed to the United States, pledged by long treaties, by honor, by all that dignified humanity, to preserve inviolate the Cherokee nationality. If they did so, let the records of the United States show. . It is true the legal functionaries did their duty, but the executive of the land failed in executing that command which it was pledged and sworn to enforce. Public opinion—at least, that which is worth consideration—the opinion of good men, which we are still fain to hope in a free country, always must prevail; sympathy, the talent and education of the land—all were united to sustain them. The eloquence of Wirt, the bitter sarcasm of Randolph, the polished and earnest reasoning of Everett, all were thrown into the scale of justice and honor; the learned and lofty Marshal was there to vouch for the correctness of . each act; yet the executive shrunk from the discharge of his duty—and hencesorth existed that accusation abroad, so hard to be borne—yet supported, we fear, by too many like results since then—that the power of the United States, for unbending adherence to Law and the Right, is but a reed before the headstrong will of any party of recusants that may choose to rise up and dispute its authority. There was indeed, in this case, an unforeseen difficulty in the way of abiding by covenant. The Government was undoubtedly in an apparent dilemma. It was pledged to the Cherokee to do one thing; it seemed pledged to Georgia to effect the reverse. There are not wanting candid men who think the predicament constitutional. We shall not argue the point. Out of these conflicting obligations, the one or the other was to be got rid of. It could not long hesitate; the Cherokees were to go by the board. Yet some nicety of tactics was to be displayed. They still mustered some thousand warriors, who, both by the side of, and against our own troops, had shown what they could do. A treaty was to be made—chiefs were to be bribed—the nation to be corrupted—and no small

tact was necessary to do this effectively. An agent was to be provided. Treaties, till then, had always been made with the Indian tribes by the officers of the army. They were not now to be thought of. It is to their credit that they could not be expected to pander to the cupidity of either a party or the nation. The senators of the land—her eminent men— were passed by, and a wretch found, whose name should not be written, lest he attain the fame of him who fired the temple of Diana. Even he seemed anxious to act honestly if possible, and proposed to the nation to sell or exchange their lands. They refused indignantly, and it became necessary to use the force of guile. It is due to John Howard Payne, who had been one of the most powerful advocates of their cause, and to the capacity with which God had endowed various of the chiefs and principal men of the nation, that the vile plot was not unknown, and at first met with small success. The laws of Georgia, it is true, had been extended over them technically; but the sheriff would have been a bold man who would have dared to execute a legal process within the Cherokee lands. They grew, however, less powerful daily in comparison with the whites; and to avoid the frequent discrepancies of testimony which occurred in their courts whenever a Cherokee was impleaded by a white man, or vice versa, the Indian was placed upon the footing of a free negro, and his testimony rejected. All drawback upon the villainy of the frontier desparado was thus removed ; and thenceforward a white man might rob, steal, and murder with impunity; for the testimony of the whole Cherokee people, unsupported by that of a white, would have infringed as little on a white man's impunity as the blowing of the wind. It was then that Boudinot, the great benefactor of the people, and editor and controllor of their public press, forgetful of his duty to his nation, and of the obligation of a law of which he himself was the proposer, awarding the penalty of death to whomsoever should, in council, advocate the sale of one foot of Cherokee land, suffered himself to be deluded, and signed, or induced others to sign, a treaty. The treaty was invalid of course, because they who did so were entirely without authority from their countrymen; but it afforded a pretext to the

Government to remove them by force. The decree was carried into speedy execution,and one of the noblest of the native tribes of the continent were driven from their homes and ancestral graves, by the descendants of those to whom, but two centuries before, few and unprotected, their fathers had extended, in peace and war, the simple hand of Indian friendship. The Cherokees were no longer savages, having more of the luxuries of life around them than the common people of Ireland, Spain, or Scotland ever possessed, with large mills, orchards and farms, and many good mechanics of their own, and reaping constantly the benefits of education. The sight was peculiar and touching—grandsires, fathers and children, moved in the same procession—the one sad with the memories of the past, the other sorrowful for the loss of the present, and the aged ones hopeless for the future. They yet seemed to nerve themselves for the struggle; and, led on by the hope, that in their new home they would at least find the part of their nation which, in a day of comparative prosperity, had preceded them, eclaireurs of the wilderness, as it were, they showed at least a new feature of good in the red man's character. The shattered nation arrived at the settlements of their brethren ; but they were not received, they thought, with the kindness they expected. Twenty years frequently work great changes, and the old emigrants had forgotten those whom they left behind them. Much had occurred to distract their attention from the past. They had striven against a climate to which they were unused; they had fought with the Osage and predatory tribes of the prairie, unassisted, and ceased to look upon themselves as a colony, but as a separate people. Contention and what Sallust so expressively terms rira, occurred : yet, after some time passing, and the death of Boudinot and other chiefs, they succeeded in establishing a government upon the basis of a constitution similar to our own, with a well regulated police and school system. Under the care of Ross, their principal chief, they are progressing in power and population, and the appreciation of personal comfort. With the exception of a band known as the North Carolina Indians, established in a spur of the Ozark mountains, they have ceased to be characterized by the traits of savage life. It

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