« AnteriorContinuar »
ment to the ambitious and restless tiated by Henry Knox, Secretary of Carolinian's attempt at practical Nul- War, “being authorized thereto by lification. “The Tariff," he wrote in the President of the United States." 1834, to an intimate friend in Geor- A further treaty, negotiated in 1798, gia, "was but a pretext. The next under John Adams, recognized and will be the Slavery or Negro ques ratified afresh all the obligations intion.”
curred, the guaranties given, by for
mer treaties. Such stipulations conBut, while Nullification was thus tinued to be made, at least down to sternly crushed out in South Caroli- 1817, when one was negotiated on na, it was simultaneously allowed a our part by Andrew Jackson and complete triumph in the adjoining others, again renewing and confirmState of Georgia. The circumstan- ing to the Cherokees all former stipces were briefly as follows:
ulations and guaranties. The once powerful and warlike Still more: when, in 1814, the Aboriginal tribes known to us as Treaty of Ghent was negotiated, “ Cherokees” and “Creeks," origin- whereby the war of 1812 with Great ally possessed respectively large ter- Britain was terminated, the Britritories, which are now included ish commissioners long and fairly inwithin the States of North Carolina, sisted on including her Aboriginal Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama. allies in that war in the provisWith those tribes, treaties were from ions and stipulations of the treaty, time to time made by our Govern- especially that which exacted a mument, whereof each had for its main tual restoration of all territories or object the transfer, for a specified places taken by one party from the consideration, of lands by the Indi- other during the preceding contest. ans to the United States. One of the Our commissioners naturally demurconditions on which we sought and red to this, preferring to insert an obtained those lands was thus suc- article which set forth the humane cinctly expressed in the treaty with and benevolent principles whereby the Cherokees negotiated on the bank (as it alleged) our Government reguof the Holston, in 1791, under the lates its conduct toward the Indian Presidency of Washington:
tribes within our borders.25 And Mr. 66 ARTICLE 7. The United States solemnly Clay, one of the negotiators of that GUARANTY to the Cherokee Nation all their treaty, declared, in his speech on the lands not hereby ceded."
Cherokee Grievances in 1835, that The stipulations of this treaty were the British commissioners would nevrecognized, and their validity con- er have been satisfied with this, if firmed by the treaty of 1794, nego- they had understood that those tribes
25 The following is that portion of the Treaty | the possessions, rights, and privileges, which of Ghent relating to the Indians:
they may have enjoyed or been entitled to in
one thousand eight hundred and eleven, previ" Article the Ninth. The United States of ous to such hostilities. Provided always, That America engage to put an end, immediately such tribes or nations shall agree to desist from after the ratification of the present treaty, to | | all hostilities against the United States of hostilities with all the tribes or nations of In America, their citizens and subjects, upon the dians with whom they may be at war at the ratification of the present treaty being notified time of such ratification; and forthwith to re to such tribes or nations, and shall so desist store to such tribes or nations, respectively, all / accordingly."
GEORGIA AND THE INDIANS.
held their rights and possessions guar- could be generally known. The anteed to them by Federal treaties Creeks, upon learning that such a subject to the good-will and pleasure pretended treaty had been made, held of the several States, or any of them. a general council, wherein it was
In 1802, Georgia ceded, on certain formally disavowed and denounced, conditions, her.western territory, now and a party was at once dispatched composing the States of Alabama to the home of McIntosh, a chief who and Mississippi, to the Union. Among had signed the fraud, to execute the these conditions, our Government sentence of the law upon him. Mcundertook to extinguish the Indian Intosh and another principal signer title to all lands within the bound were shot dead on sight, and due aries of the State as thereby consti notice given that the pretended treaty tuted, so soon as this could be effect was utterly repudiated. ed "peaceably and on reasonable Governor Troup, of Georgia, of terms.” 26 And this object was ur- course assumed the validity of the gently, perseveringly, and not always instrument, and prepared to take honorably, pursued. In February, forcible possession of the Creek lands. 1825, just as Mr. Monroe's Adminis- The Creeks appealed to the Governtration was passing away, certain ment, demanding the enforcement of commissioners, selected by Mr. Cal the treaties whereby they were guarhoun, then Secretary of War, at anteed protection in the peaceable tempted to obtain from the Creeks, enjoyment of their clearly defined at a council held at Indian Springs, territorial possessions. Mr. Adams, a cession of their lands; but were who had now succeeded to the Presibaffled by the stern resolve of chiefs dency, looked fully into the matter, and people—the tribe. having pre-saw that their claim was just, and viously prescribed the penalty of assured them that they should be dedeath for any one who should fended. Governor Troup threatened make such sale. Thus defeated, to employ force; Mr. Adams did the commissioners resorted to a employ it. He ordered General too common practice: they bribed Gaines, with a body of regulars, to an inconsiderable minority of the the scene of apprehended conflict, Creeks, including one or two alleged and gave Georgia fair notice that she chiefs, to give their formal assent to must behave herself. The Governor such an instrument as they desired. talked loudly, but did not see fit to This sham treaty was hurried to proceed from words to blows. The Washington, and forced through the Indian Springs fraud proved aborexpiring Senate on the last day of tive; but Georgia and her backers the session, before its true character scored up a heavy account against
26 The following is the entire article:
Georgia, both which tracts had formally been
yielded by the Indians; and to the lands within " Fourthly, That the United States shall, at the forks of the Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers; their own expense, extinguish, for the use of for which several objects, the President of the Georgia, as early as the same can be peaceably United States has directed that a treaty should obtained, on reasonable terms, the Indian title be immediately held with the Creeks; and that to the country of Talassee, to the lands left out by the United States shall, in the same manner, also the line drawn with the Creeks, in the year one | extinguish the Indian title to all other lands thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight, which within the State of Georgia."-American State had been previously granted by the State of | Papers, vol. xvi., p. 114.
Mr. Adams, to be held good against | ties, and had eagerly appropriated him not only, but all future Yankee' the lands thus obtained by the Union, and 'Puritan' aspirants to the Presi- and passed directly over to her: but dency.
then, Georgia was a sovereign State, General Jackson was chosen Presi- and entitled to do as she liked with dent in 1828, receiving more than all the lands within her borders, and two-thirds of the Electoral votes, in- all the people living thereon, no matcluding those of all the Slave States ter if in flagrant violation of the laws but Delaware and a part of Mary- and treaties of the United States ! land. In Georgia, there were two And the new President did not scruJackson Electoral tickets run, but ple to assert and reiterate the unnone for Adams. And the first An- truth that the Creeks and Cherokees nual Message of the new President respectively were attempting to gave the Indians due notice that “ erect an independent government Georgia had not so voted from blind within the limits of Georgia and impulse—that their dearest rights, Alabama," ringing all possible their most cherished possessions, were changes on the falsehood, and gravely among her “spoils of victory.” In quoting from the Constitution that this Message, the solemn obligations “No new State shall be formed or which our Government had volun- erected within the limits of any other teered to assume, in treaty after State,” as precluding the maintetreaty with the Creeks and Chero nance by the Creeks and Cherokees kees, were utterly ignored, and the of their governments in territories rights and possessions of the Indians which they had possessed and govdealt with precisely as if no such erned long before Georgia had been treaties had ever existed! Georgia colonized, or 'the name Alabama inhad herself, through her citizens, vented. participated in negotiating, and, This deliberate and flagrant perverthrough her Senators, united in rati-sion of the question to be decided fying those treaties; yet not only was persisted in through several was she held at liberty to disobey pages of the Message. Says the and trample on them, but the United President: . States was regarded as equally ab
“Actuated by this view of the subject, I solved, by the convenient fiction of informed the Indians inhabiting parts of State Sovereignty, from all liability Georgia and Alabama that their attempt to
ESTABLISH an independent government would to maintain and enforce them! No
not be countenanced by the Executive of the one could deny that we had solemnly United States, and advised them to emigrate engaged, by repeated treaties, to pro
beyond the Mississippi, or submit to the
" | laws of those States. " tect the Indians in the undisturbed use and enjoyment forever of the lands What the Indians demanded was which we had admitted to be, and simply that the portion of their immarked out as, theirs. No one could memorial possessions which they had deny that we had obtained large reserved for their own use and enjoycessions of valuable lands by these ment in making liberal cessions to treaties. No one doubted that. Geor- our Government, should still be left gia had urged us to make these trea- to them that they should be protectGEORGIA EXPELLING THE CHEROKEES.
ed in such enjoyment, by the United of whom each was to have a ticket. States, as we had solemnly stipulated A reservation of one hundred and by treaty that they should be, tak- sixty acres to each head of a Cheroing our pay for it in advance. But kee family was made ; but this reserGeneral Jackson, in urging them to .vation conferred or recognized only a migrate beyond the Mississippi, did right of possession during the good not hesitate to speak of their rights pleasure of the State Legislature. and their immunities as follows: The Indians, whose government was
" This emigration should be voluntary; for thus abolished, were allowed no it would be as cruel as unjust to compel the voice in that to which they were arbiAborigines to abandon the graves of their fathers, and seeks a home in a distant land.
| trarily subjected; they could not even But they should be distinctly informed that, give testimony in a Georgia court, if they remain within the limits of the States, they must be subject to their laws. In
though denied a resort to any other. return for their obedience, as individuals, | The fortunate drawer of Cherokee they will, without a doubt, be protected in lands in the Georgia State lottery was the enjoyment of those possessions which they have improved by their industry. But
entitled to call upon the Governor to it seems to me visionary to suppose that, in put him in summary possession, this state of things, claims can be allowed on
pelling any adverse [Indian] claimtracts of country on which they have neither dwelt nor made improvements, merely because
ant. If there were two or more they have seen them from the mountain, or antagonist white claimants, their repassed them in the chase. Submitting to the laws of the States, and receiving, like
spective claims were to be deliberately other citizens, protection in their persons adjudicated by the courts, according and property, they will ere long become to the dictates of ordinary jurisprumerged in the mass of our population.”
dence. If any one sought to legally How “ voluntary” their emigration
hold or recover lands against a claimwas to be, and what sort of “protec
ant under this rule, he must make tion in their persons and property"
express affidavit that he they were likely to receive in case
“was not liable to be dispossessed of said they refused to “abandon the graves land by or under any one of the provisions of their fathers, and seek a home in a
of the said act of the General Assembly
of Georgia, passed December 20, 1833 : distant land,” let the laws which * * * in which issue the person to whom Georgia proceeded to enact bear wit- possession of said land was delivered shall
join: and which issue shall constitute the enness. Grown weary of awaiting the
tire pleadings between the parties; nor shall operation of the methods whereby the court allow any matter other than is conshe had already secured, at no cost to
tained in said issue to be placed upon the
regular files of said court; ** * nor shall herself, the gradual acquisition of said court, at the instance of either party, the greater part of the Indian lands pass any order, or grant any injunction, to within her borders when she acceded
stay said cause, nor permit to be ingrafted
on said cause any other proceedings whatto the Union, that State passed acts ever." abolishing the government of the It can hardly be necessary to say Cherokees, and reducing them at a that the sole, unconcealed object of word to the condition of unprotected this legislation was to deprive the vassals. Their lands were thereupon Cherokees of the protection of the divided into counties, surveyed, and courts of the United States, or any ordered to be distributed by lottery adjudication therein touching their among the white citizens of the State, rights, by precluding any appeal to
said courts for the sake of testing the of Georgia, holding that the treaties validity of these acts of the Legisla- between the United States and the ture of Georgia.
| Cherokees were valid and binding on That State had already decisively all the States, and paramount to all indicated that, if unable to make or State laws, according to that proviscontrol such adjudication, she was ion of the Federal Constitution which abundantly ready to defy it.
prescribes : A Cherokee named Tassells was ar
"Article VI., $ 2. This Constitution, and rested on a Georgia warrant for kill
the laws of the United States which shall be ing another Indian within the Cher- | made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties okee territory. His counsel obtained
made, or which shall be made, under the
authority of the United States, shall be the a writ of error from a United States
supreme law of the land ; and the judges in court, requiring Georgia to show cause every State shall be bound thereby, anything
in the constitution or laws of any State to why he should not be discharged and
the contrary notwithstanding." his case remitted to the Cherokee authorities, according to existing treaties. | The attorneys for the missionaries
Indian. And this finished the case. forced, but could not. General Jack
Some time thereafter, two mission- son was President, and would do aries of the American Board among nothing of the sort. “Well: John the Cherokees were arrested on a Geor- Marshall has made his decision : gia process, tried for, and convicted now let him enforce it !" 27 was his of, inciting the Indians to resist the commentary on the matter. So the policy of the State of Georgia de- missionaries languished years in prissigned to effect the expulsion of the on, and the Cherokees were finally Indians from her soil. They were of (1838) driven into exile, in defiance course sentenced to the State Prison. of the mandate of our highest judiThey appealed by writ of error to cial tribunal.28 Georgia was permitthe courts of the United States, and ted to violate the faith of solemn
had before the Supreme Court at our highest court. South Carolina Washington, the decision being pro was put down in a similar attempt: nounced by Chief Justice Marshall. for the will of Andrew Jackson, not It was entirely in favor of the mis- the Constitution, was in those years sionaries and against the pretensions “the supreme law of the land.” 29
27 I am indebted for this fact to the late Gov. | "refused to sustain those Southern tribes in ernor George N. Briggs, of Massachusetts, who
their attempt to set up an independent governwas in Washington as a member of Congress
ment within the States of Alabama and Georgia.” when the decision was rendered.
Both these gentlemen well knew-Colonel 28 President Jackson, in his first Annual Mes Benton could not but know—that the Cherokees sage, already referred to, had said:
only claimed or sought the rights which they "A portion of the Southern tribes, having had possessed and enjoyed from time immemomingled much with the whites, and made some rial, which were solemnly guaranteed to them progress in the arts of civilized life, have lately
| by treaty after treaty, whereof the subsisting attempted to erect an independent government
validity and pertinence were clearly affirmed within the limits of the States of Georgia and Alabama.”
by the tribunal of ultimate resort. And Colonel Benton, in his - Thirty Years' | 29 The late Jeremiah Evarts, long the efficient View," says (vol. i., p. 164), General Jackson | and honored Secretary of the American Board