Gambar halaman

puted, the provisions of the Indian habiting it. It also declared all intercourse act, in conformity the Cherokee laws void, and with that construction for nearly rendered it criminal to carry them the same time, were also urged as into effect so far as they provided unanswerable reasons why the for the punishment of Indians for Federal Government should con- selling land or calling or attending tinue to afford its protection to a Council with that view. It was the Cherokees as it had hitherto also declared a misdemeanor to done; and a strong and earnest dissuade the Indians from selling appeal was made to Congress to their lands, and all Indians residprevent the Government of Geor- ing within the Cherokee territory gia from carrying into effect a were rendered incompetent to law so injurious to the natural testify in suits where a white man rights of the Indians and which residing out of the nation was a was a direct and positive violation party. This was a modification of those treaties. This appeal of the bill of 1828, and permitted did not induce the administration Indians to be parties in suits and to forego its resolution to further witnesses in some cases. Most the designs of Georgia. It felt of the provisions of the old law itself strong in the support of a however were left still in force, powerful party in the country and and the Cherokees were in great strong indications were given that uncertainty as to their fate. The the views of the administration States of Alabama and Mississippi respecting the Indians would be partially followed the example of sustained by a large portion of Georgia and took measures to ex

tend their jurisdiction over the InThe government of Georgia dian territory within their respecthowever felt, that the harsh and ive limits. The Legislature of the unjustifiable steps authorized by 1829, passed a law exthe act of 1828, could not be tending the jurisdiction of the carried into effect without ex- State over the Creek nation and citing a torrent of public feeling authorizing a census to be taken too powerful to be withstood. of the Indians. The law of MisThe 9th section of that law, sissippi, which was passed in 1830, which incapacitated Indians from declared all the rights and priviappearing in any character in leges held by the Indians by virCourt was particularly objected tue of their own customs to be to as violating both justice and abolished, and placed them upon humanity. An act was therefore the same footing as the free white brought in at the next ses- citizens of the State. The laws sion of the legislature to repeal of the State were extended over that section of the law of 1828. the Indian territory and it was This new act incorporated the declared to be punishable by fine Cherokee country with the ad- and imprisonment to exercise any joining counties and extended office established by the customs the criminal and civil jurisdiction of the Indians. The

The passage of of the State over all persons in- these laws, together with the un

that party.

constitutional course of Georgia, beyond the Mississippi and withproduced much excitement, and out the limits of the States, to be the humane throughout the coun- guarantied to the Indians forever try were alarmed, lest all the ef- and to be subject to no other conforts of the Government to civilize trol from the United States, than them should be rendered abortive what was necessary to maintain and an irreparable injury inflicted peace and tranquillity. If, howupon the character of the country ever, they should not be willing to for good faith and humanity. emigrate, they ought to be in

There was no prospect, that formed that they must submit to the Federal Government would the state laws, and he had informed interfere to prevent the execution them that the Executive of the of this law, whether it was con- United States would not countestrued to be an infringement of the nance them in their attempts to treaties or not. The President establish an independent Governhad declared, that he did not ment. This subject was referred deem it competent for the Federal by both Houses of Congress to Government to interpose its au- their respective Committees upon thority between the State and the Indian Affairs, and on the 22d of Indians, and this opinion was reit- February, 1830, the committee erated in bis message at the open- of the Senate made a long reing of the 21st Congress. * port to that body, approving the

The late attempt of the Chero- recommendation of the Execukees to establish an independent tive, accompanied by a bill to government within the States of carry it into effect. A similar reGeorgia and Alabama, although port and bill was submitted to the the natural result of the policy House of Representatives on the of the United States, he declared 24th of February, by Mr Bell, the to be inconsistent with our politi- chairman of the Committee of cal system, never contemplated by Indian Affairs in thạt body. This the Federal Constitution and in bill authorized the President to which they could not be sustained. set apart such portion as he should

He had informed the Chero- deem necessary, of the public kees that Georgia and Alabama territory west of the Mississippi, had a right to extend their laws to be divided into districts, for the overthem and that the Federal permanent residence of the emiGovernment could not interfere grating Indians. The President to protect them, and advised them was also authorized to exchange to emigrate beyond the Mississippi these districts with any tribes or to submit to the State laws. thereof residing within the UniWith the view of enabling them ted States, for the land occupied to subsist as an independent com- by them, and to assure them that munity beyond the influence of the United States, will secure the whites, he recommended to such land to them and their posCongress to set apart a territory terity forever; and a patent was

+ Vide Public Documents, page 16.

to be granted to them to that ef- state of things. The resolution fect. He was authorized to pay was accordingly so modified by for the Indian improvements on the administration party in Conthe exchanged lands, and upon gress as to call for the old laws of the payment of the appraised value States, where Indians formerly the improvements were to belong lived, as well as for those of the to the United States. He was to States where the tribes still existed. cause the emigrants to be assisted In answer to this call however the in removing and settling in their most obnoxious law of Georgia, new country, to provide for their that of 1828, was omitted and the sustenance for the first year after whole subject was not fairly laid their removal and to protect them before Congress. The discussion in their new residence against all of the bill was commenced in the other tribes or persons.

Senate on the sixth of April by The same care and superintend- Mr White, the chairman of the ence which the President exer- Indian Committee, who explained cised over the Indian tribes by the objects proposed and went virtue of the acts regulating inter- into an examination of the claims course with them, he was to con- and rights of the tribes, the States tinue to exercise over them after and the General Government. their removal, and the sum of He was replied to by Mr Freling$500,000 was proposed to be ap- huysen who sustained with great propriated to carry the provisions power of argument and eloquence of the act into effect.

the claims of the Indians, and the This bill was laid on the table authority of the United States for some time before it was brought over the whole matter. The disup for discussion. The subject cussion was further continued until however was often agitated, upon the 24th of April by Messrs the presentation of petitions from Forsyth, Adams, and McKinley various quarters, urging Congress in support of the bill and by Messrs to take means to preserve the Sprague and Robbins in opposition faith of the nation inviolate. The to. representatives from Georgia were Messrs White and Frelinghuyunusually sensitive whenever this sen again took part in the debate subject was agitated, and denounc- and various amendments were ed the petitioners as impertinently proposed, which together with the interfering with their local con- bill itself, were decided on the cerns — they even sought to pre- 24th of April. vent the reading of the petitions, The first amendment proposed and when information was required by Mr Frelinghuysen was to proas to the character of the laws, vide for the protection of the Inwhich Georgia had enacted con- dians in their present possessions, cerning the Cherokees, they en- until they chose to remove, and in deavored to divert public attention the enjoyment of all their rights of from that point by including the territory and government as herelaws anciently passed in other tofore exercised. It also provided States, in an entirely different that before the removal or exchange, the rights of the tribe voted with the majority. On should be guarantied by treaty as Monday, the 26th of April, the bill formerly.

was carried to the House, where This amendment was rejected Mr Bell moved, after it had been by a party vote of 27 to 20, all twice read, that it should be rethe administration members ex- ferred to the Committee of the cept one from Pennsylvania voting whole House on the State of the in the negative, and all the oppo- Union and objected to its being sition except two, in the affirina- referred to the Committee on tive. On ihe second part of this Indian affairs, because it was simiamendment, the vote stood 28 to lar to the bill already reported by 19, the Senator from Pennsylvania that Committee. That course voting with his party.

having been taken, it remained An amendment was then pro- on the table until the 13th of May, posed by Mr Sprague, providing when Mr Bell moved, that the , for their protection in their pre- special orders of the day be postsent possessions and in the enjoy- poned with the view of taking up ment of their rights of territory the Indian bill. This motion preand government according to the vailed and the discussion was true intent and meaning of the commenced in the Committee of treaties until they should choose the whole House by Mr Bell, to remove; which was rejected who explained the objects of the by the same vote, 20 affirmative, bill and advocated its policy at 27 negative.

length. He was followed by Mr Mr Frelinghuysen then offered Storrs, who condemned the bill an amendment providing, that the as a violation of good faith and as act should not be construed so as countenancing the violent courso to authorize a departure from, or of Georgia. The discussion was the non-observance of, any com- continued until the 19th of May, pact or treaty then existing be- by Messrs Lumpkin, Foster, iween the United States and the Wilde and Lamar, all from GeorCherokees. This was also re- gia, in favor of the bill, and by jected by the same vote. Mr Sand- Messrs Ellsworth, Evans, Huntford then offered an amendment, ington, Johns, Bates and Everett, authorizing a similar exchange of against it. The advocates of the lands with Indians, who occupied bill contended, that the title of the lands of which the pre-emption Indians to the territory they claimright belonged to a State instead ed was necessarily temporary of the United States, and this and must yield to the claims of being amended by Mr Woodbury civilized man, whenever the land so that the expense should not be was needed for cultivation ; that charged to the United States, was the Deity made the earth to be rejected 37 to 10.

cultivated and improved, and that The bill was then passed, 28 to it would be preposterous to per19, every Senator voting as be- mit large tracts of country, suffifore, except the administration cient for the accommodation of a Senator from Pennsylvania, who numerous population, to be re


served merely as a hunting ground and incumbrance to the States for a few wandering savages. where they resided, it was also a This view of the Indian title had positive disadvantage to the Inalways been taken by the Euro- dians themselves, who were gradpean powers; it had been sanc- ually wasting away under the tioned by the uniform practice of deteriorating influence of idleness the Colonial Governments; by and intemperance. It was also the decisions of the Federal and said, that this bill did not contemState Courts and was taken by plate any forcible removal of the our commissioners at Ghent in Indians, but merely to afford them resisting the pretensions of Eng- aid in emigrating. land in behalf of her Indian al- On the other side it was conlies. As to the Cherokee claims tended that, however undetermiunder the treaties, they denied nate and temporary might have that the treaties were binding; been the original title of the Infirst, because the Federal Govern- dians to their territory, it was cament was not authorized to treat pable of being changed into a with Indians, although a different title as valid and definite as that practice had sprung up through of a civilized community to soil inattention; and even if authorized occupied by its citizens : that this to treat, the States were secured had been done by the treaties by the Constitution from the erec- concluded with these tribes with tion of any new State within the view of attaching them to their their several jurisdictions, without country as a civilized people, and the consent of the State concern- the faith of the United States was ed, and therefore the treaties were now pledged to respect that title void so far as they stipulated to and to secure them in the enjoyguaranty the territory to the Cher- ment of their territory. okees or in any manner for their The Indian title had always existence as a distinct community. been respected by the American The condition of the Indians Government; and although it had themselves, they asserted, would been customary for the Indians to be improved by removal, and relinquish from time to time portheir reluctance to cede their ter- tions of their territory, it had ritory was declared to be solely ow- never been contemplated to reing to a few whites and half breeds move them entirely without their who resided among them and ex- consent. On the contrary, efercised a controlling influence forts had been made by the Genein their councils. They were now ral Government to change their surrounded by frontier settlers habits and to fix them to the soil and the only intercourse they had as a civilized people. Such was with the white men, imparted to the object of the treaties which them the vices and not the virtues were concluded by the Federal of civilization. Their laws and Government with the sanction of customs were still savage, and Georgia herself. The ground while their continuance in their now taken concerning their unpresent location was a detriment constitutionality was entirely new

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »