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and inconsistent with the uniform nant to every principle of fairness practice of the Government ever and justice.' It was a fraud upon since the adoption of the Consti- the Indians and would be so retution, which had, and in refer- garded by the civilized world. ence to this very pretension, pro- The faith of the country was hibited States from entering into pledged to these dependent and any treaty, and conferred upon helpless tribes, and public opinion the General Government the ex- would exact a full compliance clusive power of making treaties, with its engagements. These of regulating Indian commerce engagements were not only to and of repelling Indian encroach- guaranty their territory, but to ments. The whole power was aid them to become a civilized thus vested in the Federal Gov- people. Relying upon this promernment; and it had in conformi- ise, the Indians had relinquished ty with this power proceeded to their savage habits. They were make treaties with the Indian no longer fitted to procure their tribes under every administration, subsistence by hunting. They and almost every year of its ex- were agriculturists. They had istence as a National Government, farms and cattle, and essentially without the slightest objection on lived like their white neighbors. the part of a State, or any inti- They perhaps were not so much mation that such a course was advanced in civilization ; but they unauthorized by the Constitution. had undeniably made great proThe Senate had sanctioned these gress, and they could not relapse treaties session after session ; Con- into a state of barbarism unless gress had made appropriations by a change of policy on the part and passed laws to give effect to of the United States. To that their stipulations, and the whole policy they were indebted for their practice of the Government had elevation, and its effects were seen been in conformity with the prin- in an entire change in the habits ciple that the whole subject was and character of the whole comexclusively under the jurisdiction munity. The increase of their of the Federal Government. In numbers within a few years, the the belief that this was so, the commerce they began to carry on Indian tribes had entered into with the neighboring States; the treaties, had ceded lands and re- establishment of a newspaper linquished claims. The Federal among them, the institution of Government had accepted of their form of government, and the these cessions; the States, and orderly and moral character of especially Georgia, had derived the tribe were all proofs of the efbenefit from them and had acted ficacy of this policy, and so many as if they were valid ; and the testimonials to the good faith and pretension that the treaties were benevolence of the American void, because the Federal Gov- Government. ernment had not been vested with That such was the actual conpower to make them, was not only dition of the southern tribes, apunsound in itself, but was repug- peared not only by the accounts


from the missionaries dwelling made with a part of the Cheroamong them, but by the reports kees had not proved successful. of the public agents themselves ; Scarcely had they settled in their and Congress was adjured not to

new abode when they were resuffer itself to be driven from a quired to remove still further, to policy which had produced such accommodate the people of Arbeneficent results by intemper- kansaw, and it was predicted that ate denunciation, and threats of such would be the fate of all the State authorities. To the ar- tribes who might consent to emigument urged, that this bill did grate beyond the Mississippi. not contemplate coercive mea- Their only chance to preserve sures, it was replied that, although their existence as a people was, it did not directly authorize coer- by remaining among the whites cion, its object was to appropriate and not by receding from them. a sum of money to co-operate with By accustoming themselves to the the States, in the compulsory habits of civilized life and to the removal of the tribes. Some of presence of white men, they might the States, and especially Geor- escape extinction; but how could

; gia, had long aimed at that, and they hope to recede from a nahad been prevented only by the tion which had already reached authority of the Federal Govern- the sources of the Mississippi, and ment from carrying this design which would soon pass the suminto effect. They had lately mits of the Rocky Mountains? passed laws depriving the Indians The pledges now offered, not of their rights as secured by trea- again to disturb them, could afties, and rendering it impossible ford no security. No pledges for them to continue in their pres- could be stronger than those they ent abode without submitting to now had in the treaties, and at the most degrading conditions. some future time the same plea The President upon that informs of convenience or necessity would them that he cannot and will not be used to justify a new violation protect them from the operation of national faith. The precedent of these laws; and upon the as- would be on record, and when sembling of Congress, recom- once a Government violates her mends this bill to facilitate their plighted faith, the rubicon is passremoval. This is directly abet- ed and her course thereafter is ting coercive measures to remove one of dishonor and broken enthem, and renders the Federal gagements. Government responsible for the These objections however were new policy now adopted toward disregarded, and after a discussion them. The measure itself, in its in the committee of the whole, effects on the Indians, was also which lasted five days, the bill severely criticised. The territo- was reported to the House on the ry which was offered for their re- 19th of May. There the discusceptions was declared to be cold, sion was renewed, and an amendsterile and scarcely inhabitable. ment by Mr Storrs was proposed, The experiment which had been prohibiting the occupation or pur




chase of the lands or claims of come to a decision on this subject. any individual Cherokee, without He was not going into the arguthe consent of the tribe by treaty. ment, but he wished to say that The 20th and 21st of May, had this was a practical question. been set apart for special business, Whatever we may think here, said and although the Chairman of the he, the State of Georgia had asIndian Committee moved each sumed an attitude from which she day to postpone the order of the will not shrink; and if we refuse day with the view of proceeding to exercise the power, which we with the Indian bill, the House may constitutionally assume on this refused to suspend the rule - question, the guilt of blood may yeas 107, nays 88. It requir- rest upon us. Idemand the preing a vote of two thirds, to carry vious question. This was not the motion.

seconded; the House dividing On the 24th of May, the Indian 97 affir. 98 neg.: Mr Hemphill bill was again taken up, and the then rose to propose a substitute previous question having been for the bill, which was, to provide demanded, a call of the House for the appointment of three comwas made, when 196 members missioners by the President and answered to their names . 17 Senate, not to be residents of any only being absent.

of the States immediately interestThe previous question was noted, who should go through the seconded, only 78 members rising Indian tribes, east of the Missisin favor of it, and Mr Storrs? sippi, and ascertain their disposiamendment again came under tion to emigrate; then to explore consideration, when after some the country west of the Missisdiscussion, Mr Storrs withdrew sippi, and ascertain the quality his amendment, with the view of and extent of the country which giving Mr Hemphill an opportu- could be offered to the Indians, nity to offer an amendment. The in exchange for their lands east of discussion was again renewed on the river; whether it was adapted the bill and Mr Desha again de to the agricultural and hunting manded the previous question, pursuits of Indians; and on what which was not seconded, 93 affir. terms they would make the exand 99 negative.

change, dispose of their improveThe discussion was continued ments, &c, and remove; and reuntil about 8 o'clock, when the port the whole to the President,

, amendment, reported by the Com- to be laid before Congress at its mittee of the whole viz. that next Session, with an account of in executing the provisions of the the value of the lands belonging bill, the faith of treaties with the to the tribes east of the MississipIndians shonld not be violated. pi, their present state of cultiwas concurred in — 141 ayes, vation, the number of schools and

churches, and of the scholars and Mr McDuffie then rose and members in the same; the presaid, he was satisfied it was the sent moral and political condition

mn duty of the House to of the Indians, and the nature and

53 nays.


103 nays.


extent of their commerce, and reported 98 in favor of, and 98 also an estimate of the whole ex- against the previous question. pense of the removal and main- The Speaker voted in the affirmtaining the tribes one year after ative — and the motion for the their removal, and appropriates previous question was seconded. $30,000 to carry the provisions Mr Miller then moved to postpone into effect. Mr Hemphill said it the bill, but the motion was negawas not his intention to go into tived ayes, a discussion of the bill. But this Bates moved to adjourn, in order had been called a party question, to give an opportunity to a gentleand the advocates of the bill had man absent from indisposition to appealed to the friends of the vote, but the motion was lost administration to support the Pre- 84 ayes, 112 nays. sident in this measure. He de- The previous question was then nied that party feelings influenced put, and the House being equally him. The President had not a divided, 99 affir. and 99 neg., the better friend than himself in the Speaker voted in the affirmative, whole nation ; but on a question, and the main question was orderinvolving as this did, the moral ed, which was, shall the bill be and political character of the read a third time? country, he could not yield up his On this question the House diown judgment to his regard for vided, 102 ayes, 97 nays, and it the President. Mr H. then briefly being late in the night, a motion explained the object of his amend- for adjournment finally prevailed. ment, which was to obtain full in- The next day the subject was formation, and enable Congress resumed, when Mr Hemphill movto act understandingly, on this ed, that the bill be recomınitted, important question. The original with instructions to amend it, as bill proposed to place half a mil- he had proposed to amend it the lion of dollars in the hands of the day before. Executive to effect a removal of With the view of preventing the Indians. This was too great this motion from being put, Mr a responsibility for any Executive. Bell moved the previous question, The house should take the mea- which was again seconded after sure into its own hands, and indi- a call of the House by the casting cate the mode and manner in vote of the Speaker 96 affir., 96 which it should be effected. neg.

Mr Thompson, of Georgia, said Upon putting the previous queshe had forborne to take up the time tion however, it was negatived, 98 of the House in delivering his affir., 99 neg. views at large on the bill, and The effect of this decision was he was therefore privileged, he to remove the bill from before the thought, in again demanding the House for the days which were previous question (which would devoted to other business. The of course put by the amendment.) 26th, the bill was again taken up, Accordingly, sellers were ap- and Mr Hemphill's motion being pointed to count the House, who still pending, the previous question

97 neg.

was again demanded, and after On the face of the law, with having been seconded, 98 affir., the exception of that section, au96 neg., was carried, 101 affir., thorizing the purchase of improve

ments from individual Indians inThe question on the passage of stead of a council of the tribe, the bill was then put and decided there was nothing to which any in the affirmative, 102 ayes, 97 serious objection could be urged. nays. The bill having been ihus It purported to be a law to aid the forced through the House by the Indians in emigrating beyond the strength of the friends of the ad- Mississippi, and did not contemininistration, was sent to the Sen- plate any other than a voluntary ate for its concurrence in the removal. amendments of the House.

But in connexion with the proThe first amendment which ceedings in the legislatures of was one of form, having been Georgia, Alabama, and Mississipconcurred in, a motion was made pi, and the construction put by the by Mr Frelinghuysen to amend President

President on the constitutional the 2d amendment in relation to powers of the Federal Governthe observance of treaties, by ad- ment, it indicated an entire change ding a provision to protect the in its policy toward the Indians. tribes, from all State encroach- Hitherto the Indian concerns inents, until they chose to remove. had been deemed under the care

This motion was negatived, 17 of Congress, and the Executive ayes, 26 nays.

had carried into effect, pursuant An amendment offered by Mr to his oath

to his oath of office, the laws and F. to provide for their protection treaties made by the treaty-making according to the provisions of the department. treaties was also rejected, 18 The President now, however, ayes, 24 nays. Mr Sprague had declared, that he could not, then moved an amendment de- consistently with his view of the claring, that the treaties should be subject, interpose to prevent a . fulblled according to their true State from extending her lawsover intent and meaning, which was the tribes, although in violation of rejected by the same vote, as was treaties. also an amendment offered by Mr The Indian intercourse act Clayton, to confine the provisions made it the duty of the President of the act to the Indians residing to prevent any intrusion upon the within the state of Georgia, The territory of the Indians, with the second amendment was then con- view of preserving the treaties curred in by the Senate, and the inviolate. This act had bitherto bill, after receiving the sanction of been faithfully executed by each the President, became a law. successive administration, and the

The passage of this bill con- military power had been occasionrected with the course taken by ally resorted to, in order to enthe President in relation to the force its provisions. Indians, formed an era in the The laws of Georgia now alllicy of the United States respect- thorized an intrusion upon the ing the aboriginal tribes.

Indian territory, for the purpose


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