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APRIL 8, 1830.]
[SENATE.. Mr. FOOT said he night have misapprehended the bill, eighty dollars. The bill proposes an increase of pay but he was of opinion that it was neither calculated to more than one hundred per cent. of what it now is, while reform nor to decrease our expenses. The first section the officers who perform services at sea, with the excepof the bill proposes that all articles be provided by Go-tion of the captain of a squadron, receive not more than vernient, under the direction of the Navy Department. the purser of a second rate vessel. Now, any one who is at all acquainted with our ign Mr. HAYNE said if there was any thing certain in the stations knows that it is often necessary to make purchases world, it was, that the operation of this bill would be to at foreign ports. Each ship must then have an agent, or reduce the compensation of pursers one-half. The object a new department must be created--a purchasing depart of the committee was to reduce their compensation, and ment, Mr. F. supposed.
there was no doubt whatever but that the bill would Mr. WOODBURY said the second section of the bill produce that effect. Notwithstanding this, it was very Jirovides that, where there is no navy agent to make the true that the change would produce an additional charge necessary purchases, the purser shall be permitted to pur- on the treasury. Mr. H. said, he would explain the subchase any articles for the use of the crew, and then only in ject, by stating the operation of the existing and the proan emergency, and on the authority of the commanding posed rule, and then gentleman could decide which was oficer; for which purchase vouchers will be required. the better. It has been felt as an evil, of which every Mr. W. stated that particular instances had occurred one connected with the navy has complained, that the crew where their emolumentalad been supposed to reach, in a have been invariably divested of their entire pay by the Year, cight or ten thousand dollars, and that a reduction pursers, who are authorized to lay up stores of goods, and would excite less general competition for the office. who derive the greater part of their compensation by the
The bill was then ordered to be engrossed for a third sales of these goods to the sailors, at advanced prices. re-ling:
The United States, as has been observed, allow a comTHE INDIANS.
pensation to the pursers; but this is not their only comThe Senate resumed, as in Committee of the whole, pensation, it is the smallest part of it. They are per: the consideration of the bill to provide for an exchange mitted (said Mr. H.} to carry out stores, and sell them at <if lands with the Indians residing in any of the States or a profit to the ship's company; and, although attempts "Territories, and for their removal west of the river Mis- have been made to regulate these profits, they have, on sissippi.
some articles, it is known, amounted to sixty per cent. Mr. NicKINLEY withdrew the amendment which he Under this system, what must be the effect? "And he proposed to the fourth section, yesterday, intending, as he would appeal to all who were connected with the navy, said, to offer it at a diflerent stage of the bill.
to those who know what effects such causes would proMr. FRELINGHUYSEN then rose in reply to Mr. duce on the human character. He repeated, that the WHITE, and spoke about two hours. At about three purser was permitted to lay up the stores, and, to enable o'clock he gave way for a motion to adjourn.
him to do so, money was advanced to him by the United
States. By the regulations, he is authorized to sell them THURSDAY, APRIL 8, 1830.
at a per centage; thus (Mr. H. said] making it his interest PAY OF PURSERS IN THE NAVY.
to purchase the goods at a high price, and to dispose of
as much as possible. He is not dependent on his salary, The bill “ regulating the duties and providing for the but on the profits to be derived from the sale of the compensation of purscis in the navy," was taken up, and stores to the sailors, who are induced to purchase so read the third time; and the question being on its passage, much, and at so highi a price, that, at the winding up of
Mr. FOOT said that sufficient information had not their accounts, their pay is exhausted by the purser. The been imparted to induce him to agree to the passage of operation of the law [said Mr. H.] was cruel and unjust this bill." He had cxamined into the amount of compen- towards these men, who were the most liable of any to be sation now given to pursers, and he found that this bill imposed upon. By the existing regulations, the purser proposed an entire change in relation to it. The number of is induced to screw from the sailor his last farthing. It pursers in the service, according to the blue book, is forty- was impossible she said] to avoid frauds, under the prethree, and their compensation, at six hundred and sixty dol- sent system. The purser had the opportunity and the lars per annum, the present allowance, amounts to twenty- means to lay up the stores at one price, and charge them ciglt thousand three hundred and eighty dollars. By this at another. Mr. H. said he was not authorized to say that bill the compensation of the purser of a ship of the line such a practice was general, but one case of this characis fixed at two thousand five hundred dollars a year, while ter had been reported by the Navy Department. It apthe captain has but one thousand nine hundred and thirty peared on the trial of a purser, at a late court martial, that dollars; and the purser of a frigate is to have two thou- he had bought goods at one collar and fifty cents, and sand dollars, which also excecds the pay of a captain, sold the saine at three dollars and fifty cents. The frauds unless he is commanding a squadron. The purser on of the purser were detected, he was found guilty, and board of a sloop of war is to have one thousand six cashiered. Abuses had been so interwoven in the system, hundred dollars, and of any other vessel one thousand that they must be practised while it continues. Mr. H. three hundred dollars, both of which sularies exceeal that said he understood the profits of a purser, in this way, for of a master commandant, who, under the present regu- a single year, were ten thousand dollars; and this was not lations, receives but one thousand one hundred dollars. improbable, for they were not requirerl to render an ac. Their pay is proposed to be made greater, also, than that of count of their sales. That such abuses did prevail
, no a lieutenant, who only receives nine hundred and fifty gentleman would deny. By the bill, the goods are to be dollars per annum. They are to receive, too, while not in purchased by Government, under the direction of the service, the same pay as a lieutenant. Mr. F. said he could Navy Department, and furnished to the sailors at an ad. not see whai possible public advantage could be derived vance of ten per cent. instead of allowing the purser to from this alteration. The whole number of ships (he said) draw from the crew ten thousand dollars beyond his pay, as was twenty-five; and allowing a purser to cach, the in- in the instance he had alluded to. Why, he asked, appoint crease of expenditure, accorsling to a calculation he made, pursers at a salary of seven or eight hundred dollars, and would be thirty-three thousand three hundred dollars; the pay them the balance out of the pockets of the poor hardexpense, according to the present system, being twenty- working sailors, who, of all others, required to be decight thousand three hundred and eighty, and according to fended from imposition? It was an act of common justice, the proposed plan sixty-one thousand six hundred and and it was due to our sailors, to their comfort and happi
Pursers in the Navy.
(APRIL 8, 1830.
ness, to protect them. Mr. H. then recapitulated his ar- of purchasing tobacco at high prices, charging accordingguments of yesterday, and, in conclusion, read an extract ly, and made enormous profits. The Government, to from the report of the Navy Commissioners, in recommen- remedy the evil, purchased the tobacco for each slip, clation of the measure proposed.
and, in must cases, the tobacco, in a few months, became Mr. FOOT said there was no doubt that the emoluments damaged, was condemned, and the purser had to purof pursers would, in many instances, he reduced one-half, chase more. Such will be the case here, he feared; and nor was there any more doubt that their pay, when unem- lay up stores how and when you will, they will become ployed, would be increased. He admitted the evil existed, damaged, and be condemned, and somebody must buy but he considered the bill not calculated to remove it. others in their stead, and that somebody will be the purThe saving proposed by allowing the purser ten per cent. ser. But, as navy officers of experience have recomreminded him of the saving made some time ago by the mended this measure, he would vote for it, although he Navy Agent in extra postages. He was, however, in fa. had no confidence in'it, and but little in his own plan. vor of the first section of the bill, but he objected to that His proposition was to alter the component parts of the part of the bill increasing the pay of pursers to that of the ration, so as to allow the sailors to select what luxuries highest navy officers. As the provisions of the bill would they thought proper, in lieu of the unnecessarily large not, in his opinion, correct the evil, and as it would cause quantities they now receive. an additional expense of thirty odd thousand dollars, if Mr. HOLMES said he was disposed to try the experiadopted, with an additional commission of ten per cent. ment. All saw and admitted the evil. He would vote to be allowed by the United States, he felt it his duty to for the bill.
Mr. BENTON opposed the plan proposed, as not calMr. BELL opposed the bill, on the ground that nei- culated to effect its object, although, he was sure, sugther the talents nor experience required to perform the gested by the best motives. He sud, a similar experiment duties of purser, or the responsibility attached to the of. was tried to remedy the abuses and impositions practised fice, justified so high a salary as the bill contemplated. (towards the Indians by the agents appointed to deliver Many revenue officers handle and are entrusted with more them their goods, on the part of the United States. That money and property than any purser, and yet have not a experiment cost the country three hundred thousand dol. salary of more than one thousand dollars a year. Any lars, and, notwithstanding, this had lasted for upwards of person qualified to fill the office of clerk, if a man of pro-thirty years. He recommended the practice adopted in bity, was competent to discharge the duties of purser. the army. The soldiers, he said, were as subject to imThe situation was much sought after, 'as the services re-position as sailors. There they have sutlers, and the solquired were not difficult; and, if the salary was even less, diers may purchase from them, or not, as they please. we would find many anxious to accept of it, sufficiently In reply to the objection which might be urged against qualified. We hear (said Mr. B.) much talk about reform this, that sailors, being at sea, had no choice left, but and retrenchment. He would be glad, he said, to see some were obliged to purchase from the pursers, Mr. R. said of it practised.
that the average time which our vessels were absent from Mr. DICKERSON said he believed reform was neces. a port, was not more than three months--a space of time sary with respect to pursers, but he did not think this was for which they could, while in port, easily provide themthe best way to effect it, by increasing their salaries. The selves in all necessaries. abuses were enormous, and, to remedy them, he would Mr. HAYNE replied that, under the esisting system, suggest, to give to the pursers the salaries they have, and all admitted that evils prevailed, and that a remedy was inflict a penalty on them for whatever abuse in office they required. When an inquiry is made as to the proper remay be guilty of. Let them sell out the goods at a fair medy--and he submitted that every gentleman wanted price, and, if they behave dishonestly, discharge or cash- light on the subject--ought we not, he asked to make jer them, but do not raise their salaries. What reason, application for information to those who are acquainted he asked, was there for raising them to the grade of lieu with the whole system, with the nature and extent of the tenants, when not on service? Is it because they have evils, and who are competent to recommend measures to heretofore made too much, and we do not like to reduce correct those evils? He thanked gentlemen for giving the them at once? Is it through a desire to save, not the Naval Committee credit for good intentions, however United States, but these officers? If a proper accounta- they have failed in carrying them into effect; but he had bility were enforced, the power of the Department would to inform gentlemen that, at every step the Naval Comreach them; and he believed their present compensation mittee took, they felt the want of that practical knowwas amply sufficient, without increasing it. Applications for ledge of the matter which was necessary for their prothis office were numerous, and it was generally thought gress, and had to apply for information to those esperithat the office of purser is the direct road to fortune. enced naval officers, the Commissioners of the Navy. It Although believing it to be the intention of the Committee was in conformity with their suggestions and recommento produce a reform of these abuses, yet considering the dations the provisions of the b:}l were framed, with the bill ineffectual for that object, he would vote against its exception of some slight variation. The measures recompassage; and, as he wished to record his name, he asked mended by the gentleman from New Jersey have been for the yeas and nays, and they were ordered.
resorted to, and have failed; and he would submit wheMr. ŤAZEWELL said he would vote for the bill, be- ther, on such subjects as this, gentlemen ought not to dis. cause it was recommended by the Navy Commissioners, trust their judgments. As to the remedy of the genalthough he had himself but little confidence in the suc- tleman from Virginia (Mr. TazewELL) to alter the rations, cess of the experiment. He had proposed to alter the ra- he did not think it inconsistent with this bill, and if he tions, and to assimilate them to those of the French or (Mr. T.) wished to offer it, there was a bill before the British navy, which, if done, would render this officer, Committee to which it could be appended. He would if at all necessary, merely a commissary, and would make suggest that the President should be authorized to alter the seamen more secure, and frauds less frequent; but the rations from time to time, and that they should not be others, more conversant with the matter than he was, re- fixed by law as they now are. He would not say that the commended this bill, and he was willing to make the ex- rations of our navy should be the same as that of the Briperiment. This was not a new plan. Complaints like tish or French. In the British nary, the sailors are forced the present had been formerly made in relation to the is to drink several quarts of beer a day, to make them suing of tobacco--a very important article in the cori- red-faced; and if the gentleman would look into the rasumption of sailors. The pursers had been in the habit tions of the French navy, he did not think that he [Mr. T.]
Aenil 9, 1830.]
(SENATE.. would consent to put our sailors on such and so small an protected in their present possessions, and in the enjoyallowance.
ment of all their rights of territory and government, as Mr. H. again stated the benefits which would result to heretofore exercised and enjoyed, from all interruptions the sailors, and to the United States, fro.n the adoption of and encroachments. this bill, and then proceeded to notice the objections of “Sec. 10. That, before any removal shall take place of Mr. Berton; who had remarked that the experiment pro- any of the said tribes or nations, and before any exchange posed had been tried with the Indians, and had failed. or exchanges of land be made as aforesaid, that the rights There was a wide difference, (said Mr. H.]; there was no of any such tribes or nations, in the premises, shall be stianalogy whatever between the two cases. In this bill pulated for, secured, and guarantied, by treaty or treaties, guards are proposed which will effectually prevent any as lieretofore made.” abuses. The supplies are to be laid up on requisition, on Mr. McKINLEY then renewed the amendment which the order of the Navy Department, and will be subject he heretofore offered to the 4th section, in the following to inspection. An invoice of them is to be given to the words: commander of the ship and to the purser, who is to “ And upon the payment of such valuation, the im. give a receipt for them, when confided to his care. provements so valued and paid for shall pass to the United He is then held responsible for all, and has to keep States; and possession shall not afterwards be permitted regular accounts with the officers and crew. It is thus to any of the same tribe.” impossible that the stores will not be laid in well, and Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN addressed the Senate about that any frauds or impositions can take place. The situ- two hours, in continuation of his speech heretofore comation of sailors and soldiers was, he said, quite different. menced, when he gave way for an achjournment. The soldier may purchase from the sutler or not, as he pleases, as he has another vender to resort to, but the sail
Friday, April 9, 1830. or has no such chance-there is no competition at sea--the purser has all in his own power. When on shore he
The bill to provide for an exchange of lands with the as the soldier. This bill may not, (said Mr. H.) succeed; Indians residing in any of the States or Territories, and but as those most skilled in such matters advise that it will for their removal west of the river Mississippi, was resumremedy an existing evil, the committee thought it their ed, in Committee of the whole, with the amendment ofduty to lay it before the Senate.
ferred by Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. FOOT said that the bill would cause an increase not
Mr. F. addressed the Senate nearly two bçats in cononly of the expense of pursers, but an increase of es penses, tinuation and conclusion of his speech on the subject. exclusive of that, to the United States. If sugar is laid
(His speech, as delivered on the three søveral days, was up here at twelve and a half cents a pound, and the vessel as follows:] sails for the West Indies, there sugar of the same quality
I propose an amendment, Mr. President, to this bill, can be had for two and a half cents a pound. Slops, as by the addition of two sections in the forms of provisos. they are called, can be purchased in the Mediterra- The first of which brings up to our consideration the nanean much cheaper than here; yet by each of these the ture of our public duties, in relation to the Indian nations; United States will be a loser. He suggested to fix the pre
and the second provides for the continuance of our future mium at ten per cent on issues, and to let the compensa- negotiations, by the mode of treaties, as in our past intertion of pursers stand as it now is.
course with them. The following is the amendment: Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, said that he understood the
(See previous day's proceedings.] chairman of the Committee (Mr. Harve] to state that the
The first of these sections discloses the real object money was advanced by Government in long voyages. sought by this bill, seemingly composed of harmless clauses. Suppose, then, that a vessel goes to the Pacific for three It supposes that the design of the system of which the Jars, the interest on that sum would be equal to the pur- refusal, to subject them to State sovereignty and legislayears, and that Government advances thirty thousand dol. present bill forms but a part, is really to remove all the
indian tribes beyond the Mississippi, or, in case of their ser's pay. In reply to what had been said by Mr. Bextos, Mr. s. said he was correct in stating that the general time tion. The honorable Senator (Mr. WouTE) who yesterof a voyage at sea was three months, but not so in stating day addressed the Senate, found it necessary so to consithat all a sailor had to do when he arrived in port, was to der it; and to anticipate and endeavor to meet all such go ashore and buy what he wanted. The salo: 'has not objections to this course of policy, as he deemed worthy Mr. S.] he would throw it overboard, likely. But suppose before us, that we and the nation may look at it, and freemoney; he takes none to sea with him, and if he did, (said of a refutation.
Sir, I prefer that this latent object should be put fully Jack asks the purser for ten dollars, whether to go on shore for a frolic or buy a coat; the purser refuses him. !y scrutinize it. At an early stage of the present adminJack then says, I want a pair of boots. A sailor (saisi istration, its views and opinions on the interesting subject Mr. S.] never wants toots; but this case had, to his know- of our Indian relations were developed in language not to ledge, occured. Jack, of course, gets the boots; he is be mistaken. It is greatly to be regretted, sir, that our charged fifteen dollars for them; he goes on shore and present Chief Magistrate did not pursue the wise and sells them for two dollars, all which he spends. This, prudent policy of his exalted predecessor, President Wash(said Mr. S.] is in reply to the remedy suggested by the gen- ington, who, at a time of collision and difficulty with tleman from Missouri, and this would be the result of it. these tribes, came before the Senate, and laid open to He said he would vote for the bill.
them, in propositions for thcir approbation, the various The question was then put on the passage of the bill, important subjects involved in our relations. The anand decided in the affirmative, by yeas and biays, 34 to 10 nexed extract from the Journals of the Senate illustrates
the principles of Washington's administration. It follows: THE INDIANS.
“ SATURDAY, August 22, 1789. The Senate resumed the bill to provide for an exchange
“ The President of the United States came into the of lands with the Indians residing in any of the States or Senate, attended by General Knos, and laid before the Territories, and for their removal west of the Mississippi. Senate the following state of facts, with the questions
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN moved to add to the bill the thereto annesed, for their advice and consent.” following:
This was a most important document. It developed all " Sec. 9. That, until the said tribes or nations shall choose the collisions that existed between the Indian tribes and to remove, as by this act is contemplated, they sluill be the States; and referred to the consideration of the Se
(April 9, 1830.
pate certain leading principles of policy which he thought explain away, our public treaties. They are the supreme it was wise to pursue. These principles are embodied in law of the land, so declared to be by the constitution. seven distinct interrogatories; the fourth of which submits They bind the President and all other departments
, rulers to the Senate "whether the United States shall solemn- and people. And when their provisions shall be controly guaranty to the Creeks their remaining territory, and verted; when their breach of fulfilment become subjects maintain the same, if necessary, by a line of military of investigation; here, sir, and in the other Hall of our posts.” This question i was wholly answered in the af. Legislation, are such momentous concerns to be debated firmative” by that body, and the blank (for an appropria- and considered. That we may freely exercise these estion of necessary funds) was ordered to be filled at the sential powers, and review the proclaimed opinions of the discretion of the President of the United States. Again, Executive, I have submitted the first branch of the amendon the 11th of August, 1790, President Washington sentiment. We possess the constitutional right to inquire a special message to the Senate by his Secretary, the sub- wherefore it was that, when some of these tribes appealject matter of which he introduces by the following sug- cd to the Executive for protection, according to the terins gestion:
of our treatics with thein, they received the answer that “ Gentlemen of the Senale:
the Government of the United States could not interpose “ Although the treaty with the Creeks may be regarıl to arrest or prevent the legislation of the States over eil as the main foundation of the future peace and pros- them. Sir, it'was a harsh measure, indeed, to faithful alperity of the Southwestern frontier of the United States, lies, that had so long reposed in confidence on a nation's yet, in order fully to effect so desirable an object, the faith. They had, in the darkest hour of trial, turned to treaties which have been entered into with the other tribes the agis which the most solemn pledges had provided for in that quarter, must be faithfully performed on our part." them, and were comforted by the conviction that it would
He then proceeds to remind the Senate, that, by the continue to shed upon them a pure and untarnished beam treaty with the Cherokees, in November, 1785, (the trea- of light and hope.' Deep, indeed, must have been their ty of Hopewell) “the said Cherokees placed themselves despondency, when their political father assured them tinder the protection of the United States, and had a that their confidence would be presumptuous, and dissuadboundary assigned them;" that the white people settled ed them from all expectation of relief. on the frontiers had openly violated the said boundary by The instructions that bave proceeded from the War De. intruding on the Indian lands; that the United States in partment to the agents of Indian affairs have excited just and Congress assembled, on the first day of September, 1788, strong jealousies of the measures that are now recomhad, by their proclamation, forbidden all sich unwarrant- mended? They have prompted this amendment, in the able intrusions, enjoined the intruders to depart without hope that, by some public and decided expression of our loss of time; but that there were still some refractory in- disapprobation, a train of political management with these trudlers remaining. The President then distinctly' an- tribes may be arrested, and our country saved from the nounces his determination to exert the powers entrusted dishonor of buying over the consent of corrupted chiefs to him by the constitution, in order to carry into faithful to a traitorous surrender of their country. I will read a execution the treaty of Hopewell
, unless a new boundary part of these instructions; they are from the War Depart. should be arranged with the Cherokees, embracing the ment, to Generals Carroll and Coffee, of the date of 30th intrusive settlement, and compensating the Cherokees in May, 1829: “The past (remarks the Secretary, in rethe cessions they shall make on the occasion. And in spect to Indian councils) has demonstrated their utter view of the whole case, he requests the advice of the aversion to this mode, whilst it has been made equally Senate, whether overtures shall be made to the Chero- clear, that another mode promises greater success. In kees to arrange such new boundary, and concludes his regard to the first, (that by councils) the Indians have communication with the following emphatical questiem: seen in the past, that it has been by the result of councils “ Sd. Shall the United States stipulate solemnly to guar- that the extent of their country has been from time to anty the new boundary which may be arranged}" tiine diminished. They all comprehend this. Hence it
It produced as pointed a response: for the Senate is that those who are interested in keeping them where " Resolved, In case a new or other boundary than that they are alarm their fears, and, by previous cautioning, instipulated by the treaty of Hopewell shall be concluded duce them to reject all offers looking to this object. with the Cherokee Indians, that the Senate do advise and There is no doubt, however, but the mass of the people consent solemnly to guaranty the same.' A new boun- would be glad to emigrate; and there is as little doubt dary was arranged by a second treaty; the solemn guar that they are kept from this exercise of their choice by antie was given to the Cherokees; and cogent, indeed, their chiefs and other interested and influential men,” &c. should be the causes that now lead us to think or speak Again: "Nothing is more certain than that, if the chiefs lightly of such sacred obligations,
and influential men could be brought into the measure, I ament, sir, that so bright and illustrious a precedent the rest would implicitly follow. it becomes, therefore; was not regarded, and that the President had not yielded a matter of necessity, if the General Government would to the safe guidance of such high example; and I deplore benefit these people, that it move upon them in the line it the more because it was concerning these very tribes, of their own prejudices, and, by the adoption of any proin the State of Georgia, that General Washington chose per means, break the power that is warring with their to confer with bis constitutional advisers.
best interests. The question is, how can this be best done? Instead of this just proceeding, the present adminis- Not, it is believed, for the reasons suggested, by means of tration have thought proper, without the slightest con- a general council. There, they would be awakened to s'ultation with cither House of Congress; without any op- all the intimations which those who are opposed to their portunity for counsel or conceri, discussion or delibera. exchange of country might throw out; and the consetion, on the part of these co-ordinate branches of the Go-quence would be--what it has been--a firm refusal to acvernment, to despatch the whole subject in a tone and quiesce. The best resort is believed to be that which is style of decisive construction of our obligations and of In- embraced in an appeal to the chiefs and influential men, chian rights. It would really seem, sir, as if opinion was not together, but spart, at their own houses, and, by a to be forestalled, and the door of inquiry shut forever proper exposition of their real condition, rouse them to upon these grave questions, so deeply iinplicating our na- think of that; whilst offers to them of extensive reserva. tional faith and honor. We mustiimly protest against tions in fee simple, and other rewards, would, it is hoped, This Executire disposition of these high interests. No result in obtaining their acquiescence.” one branch of the Government can rescind, modify, or Let us analyze this singular state paper. It does not
April 9, 1830.]
(SENATE. relish the congregation of Indian councils. In these as- early and first lords of the soil? Sir, no record of such semblies, they deliberate and weigh the policy of mea- measure can be found. And I might triumphantly rest sares; they calculate the results of proposed improve the hopes of these fecble fragments of once great nations ments. These councils embody the collected wisdom of upon this impregnable foundation. However mere huthe tribes. Their influence is of the authority of law; man policy, or the law of power, or the tyrant's plea of the people look to them for protection. They know expediency, may have found it convenient at any or in all that in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. times to rececle from the unchangeable principles of eterHence nations, far in advance of the Inclians, always meet nal justice, no argument can shake the political maxim, in council, when their great interests are to be promoted that, where the Indian always has been, he enjoys an absoor defended. But these special agents are discouraged lute right still to be, in the free exercise of his own modes from hoping that the objects can be obtained in this good of thought, government, and conduct. old fashioned way. The Indians are too wise to be caught In the light of natural law, can a reason for a distinction when the net is spread so fully in sight. They are direct- exist in the mode of enjoying that which is my own? If I el to avoid all associations; and, with the public purse in use it for hunting, may another take it because he needs land, to take the chiefs alone; to approach individually, it for agriculture? I am aware that some writers have, by anil at home; “to meet them in the way of their preju- a system of artificial reasoning, endeavored to justify, or dices." I admire the ingenious clothing of a most odi- rather excuse the encroachments made upon Indian terrious proposal.
tory; and they denominate these abstractions the law of A strong hint is
ggested to try the effect of terror, nations, and, in this ready way, the question is despatched. and, by a proper exposition of their real condition, rouse Sir, as we trace the sources of this law, we find its authothem to think upon that, and to follow this up with “large rity to depend either upon the conventions or common offers to them of extensive reservations in fee simple, and consent of nations. And when, permit me to inquire, other rewards.” The report made by one of these agents were the Indian tribes over consulted on the establishment to the War Department, dated September 2d, 1829, still of such a law? Whoever represented them or their inte. further diseloses the nature of the exigencies to which the rests in any Congress of nations, to confer upon the pub. Indians are to be subjected, to constrain their removal. lic rules of intercourse, and the proper foundations of doThe agent observes, “ The truth is, they (Cherokees) re- minion and property? The plain matter of fact is, that all ly witin great confidence on a favorable report on the pe. these partial doctrines have resulted from the selfish plans tition they have before Congress. If that is rejected, and and pursuits of more enlightened nations; and it is not the laws of the States are enforced, you will have no diffi- matter for any great wonder, that they should so largely culty in obtaining an exchange of lands with them.” It partake of a mercenary and exclusive spirit toward the may be true, that if we withdraw our protection, gire claims of the Indians. them over to the high-handed, heart-breaking legislation It is, however, admitted, sir, that, when the increase of of the States, and drive them to despair, that when im- population and the wants of mankind clemand the cultivaproper means fail to win them, force and terror may com- tion of the earth, a duty is thereby devolved upon the propel them.
We shall have no difficulty, the agent assures prietors of large and uncultivated regions, of devoting the War Department. Sir, there will be one difficulty, ihem to such useful purposes. But such appropriations that should be deemed insurmountable. Such a process are to be obtained by fair contract, and for reasonable will disgrace us in the estimation of the whole civilized compensation. It is, in such a case, the duty of the proworld! It will degrade us in our own eyes, and blot the prietor to sell: we may properly address his reason to inpage of our history with indelible dishonor!
duce him; but we cannot rightfully compel the cession of Now, sir, I have brought this measure before the Se- his lands, or take them by violence, if his consent be withnate, and wait with intense anxiety to hear the final dispo- held. It is with great satisfaction that I am enabled, upsition of it. Where is the man that can, in view of such on the best authority, to affirm, that this duty has been policy, open the door, or afford the slightest facility to the largely and generously met and fulfilled on the part of the operation of influences that we should blush with honest aboriginal proprietors of this continent. Several years shame, could we, in an unguarded moment, consent to ago, official reports to Congress stated the amount of Inhave employed with our equal in the scale of civiliza- dian grants to the United States to exceed two hundred tion? It is not intended, sir, to ascribe this policy ex- and fourteen millions of acres. Yes, sir, we have acquir. clusively to the present administration. Far from it. The ed, and now own, more land as the fruits of their bounty ihan truth is, we have long been gradually, and almost uncon- we shall dispose of at the present rate to actual settlers in sciously, declining into these devious ways, and we shall two hundred years. For, very recently, it has been asinflict lasting injury upon our good name, unless we spee- certained, on this floor, that our public sales average not dily abandon them.
more than about one million of acres annually. It greatiy i now proceed to the discussion of those principles aggravates the wrong that is now meditated against these which, in my humble judgment, fully and clearly sustain tribes, to survey the rich and ample districts of their terthe claims of the Indians to all their political and civil ritories, that either force or persuasion have incorporated rights, as by them asserted. And here, I insist that, by into our public domains. As the tide of our population immemorial possession, as the original tenants of the soil, has rolled oni, we have added purchase to purchase. The they hold a title beyond and superior to the British Crown confiding Indian listened to our professions of friendship: and her colonies, and to all adverse pretensions of our con- we called him brother, and he beliered us. Millions after feileration and subsequent Union. God, in his providence, millions he has yielded to our importunity, until we have planted these tribes on this Western continent, so far as acquired more than can be cultivated in centuries and we know, before Great Britain herself had a political ex- yet we crave more.
We have crowded the tribes upon a istence. I believe, sir, it is not now seriously denied that few miserable acres on our Southern frontier: it is all that the Indians are men, endowed with kindred 'faculties and is left to them of their once boundless forests: and still, powers with ourselves; that they have a place in human like the borse-leech, our insatiated cupidity cries, give! sympathy, and are justly entitled to a share in the common give! bounties of a benig Providence. And, with this con Before I proceed to deduce collateral confirmations of ceded, I ask in what codle of the law of nations, or by what this original title, from all our political intercourse ancl process of abstract deduction, their rights have been ex-conventions with the Indian tribes, I beg Icave to pause a tinguished?
moment, and view the case as it lies beyond the ircaties Where is the decree or orclinance that has stripped these made with them; and aside also from all conflicting chains