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[APRIL 17, 1830.
Indians,” which means that we may violate all our engage- kees have no more to spare; they need the residue for ments at pleasure; "their lands and property shall never themselves. Shall they be permitted to retain it? That be taken from them without their consent;" that is, both is now the question. may be taken by violence, against their utmost resistance! To avoid, as far as possible, all questionable ground, I “In their property, rights, and liberty, they shall never at present contend only that the Indians have a right to be invaded or disturbed, unless in just and lawful wars, exist as a community, and to possess some spot of earth authorized by Congress.”
“There shall be laws for pre- upon which sustain that existence. That spot is their venting wrongs being done to them, and for preserving native land. If they have no claim there, they have no peace and friendship with them;" the true construction right any where. Georgia asserts that the lands belong to of all which is, that a State may make war upon them at her-she must and she will have them--even by violence, pleasure, deprive them of their lands, and annihilate their if other means fail. This is a declaration of right to drive nation! To such arguments are gentlemen of great abil. the Cherokees from the face of the earth; for if she is not ity compelled to resort! The rights of the natives, both bound to permit them to remain, no nation or people are natural and conventional, have been strenuously denied. bound to receive them. To that for which I now contend What right, it is asked, have the Indians to the lands they the Indians possess not only a natural, but also a legal and occupy? I ask, in reply, what right have the English or conventional right. These two grounds of claim have the French, the Spaniards or the Russians, to the coun- been blended and confounded. tries they inhabit?
The rights which the United States have claimed with But it is insisted that the original claim of the natives respect to the territory of the aborigines have been twohas been divested by the superior right of discovery. 1 fold-pre-emptive and reversionary; a right to purchase, have already shown that this gives no ground of claim as to the exclusion of all others; and to succeed the natives, against the discovered; that it is a mutual understanding or should they voluntarily leave the country or become exconventional arrangement, entered into by the nations of tinct. It will at once be perceived that this is a right to Europe, amongst themselves, to define and regulate their exclude others from interference, but not to coerce the respective claims as discoveries, in order to prevent inter- Indians. It leaves to them the perpetual undisturbed ocference and contests with each other, all agreeing that the cupancy. They cannot indeed transfer their country to sovereign who should first find a new country should be others, but this does not impair their title, although it may left without interference from them to deal with it and its diminish its value in the market. It still belongs to them inhabitants according to his ability and his conscience. and their heirs forever. If a State should, by law, proBut, we are told, that grants from the king are the high- hibit its citizens from making sale of their lands without est title, and have always been relied upon as such. True, the assent of the Executive, would it destroy every man's as against other grantees from the Crown, or against the title? Nay, the laws do now prevent conveyances to aliens. Government itself; but not as to the natives. If such a The right claimed is merely to exclude all others from title gives any just claim as against them, then they are bound purchasing of the aborigines. It will be divested of much to yield to it: for to every right appertains a corresponding of its appearance of barshness towards them by recurring obligation.
to its origin. It was the primitive agrecment or mutual Were the aborigines bound to yield to such pretensions? understanding between exploring nations, that whichever Suppose that, more than two centuries ago, when in un- should first find a new country, should alone possess the broken strength they held resistless sway over this whole privilege of dealing with the natives; and upon this ground Western world, a royal patentee, with his handful of fol- the discoverer excluded others from becoming purchasers. lowers, just landed on these shores, should have found He had the right of pre-emption. This agreement trenchhimself in the midst of a powerful Indian nation—the coun- ed not upon the title of the aborigines; and as to its af. cil fire is lighted up, and sachems and warriors are assem- fecting the value of their lands, by preventing competibled around it--he presents himself, and says to them: tion in the purchase, there would have been no purchaser
“This country is no longer yours. You must leave the but for the discovery. forests where you hunt, and the valleys where you live. There is no mystery in the international law of discoveAll the land which you can see from the highest mountain ry. So far as it relates to this subject, it is the same as if is mine. It has been given me by the King of the white five or six persons, being about to go in search of sugar men across the waters. Here is his grant-how can you lands in South America, should mutually engage that they resist so fair a title?"
would not interfere with each other in their purchases. If they deigned any other reply than the war-whoop, Such agreement would do no wrong to the original owner. their chief might say
The reversionary claim, as it may be denominated, “ 'The Great Spirit, who causeth the trees to rise from although in strictness that cannot revert to another which the ground towards the heavens, and maketh the rivers to always belonged to the present possessor, is the necessadescend from the mountains to the valleys; who created ry consequence of the exclusion of others from purchasthe earth itself and made both the red man and white man ing. It is merely a right of succession of lands of the In. to dwell thereon; gave this land to us and to our ances- dians when they shall bave become extinct, or have volun. tors. You say you have a grant from your King beyond tarily abandoned them by emigration; as the property of the waters; we have a grant from the King of Kings, who individuals sometimes escheats to the Governinent for the reigns in heaven: by this title our fathers have held it for want of heirs. uncounted generations, and by this title their sons will de The right of the aborigines to the perpetual and exclufend it.”
sive occupancy of all their lands has been always recog. It has been strenuously argued that the overflowing na- nized and affirmed by the United States. It was respect. tions of Europe had a just claim to the occupancy of some ed by Great Britain before the Revolution, as appears by portion of the vacant lands of the aborigines for their own the royal proclamation of 1763, in which all persons are subsistence. The excessive population of China, and of commanded “ forth with to remove themselves” from lands, Holland, have, at this day, the same ground of claim “ which not having been ceded to or purchased by us, are against the United States. May they, therefore, drive us still reserved to the said Indians:" and after reciting that even from our cities and villages, and take all our territo- inclividuals had practised fraud upon the natives, forbids ry by force? We permit then to come and possess, if private persons from making purchases, " to the end that they submit to our laws, and pay us for the soil. The In- the Indians may be convinced of our justice,” and prodians have been more liberal, having ceded both soil and vides that, if “the said Indians should be inclined to dissovereignty to hundreds of millions of acres. The Chero. pose of the said lanıls, the same shall be purchased only
APRIL 17, 1830.]
for us, in our namne, at some public meeting or assembly To see how precisely that case sustains my positions, let me of the said Indians, to be held for that purpose. read a few very short extracts from the opinion of the court,
That right was recognized by the Conferleration, as ap- as delivered by Chief Justice Marshall. It declares that pears by the whole tenor of their proceedings, particular the right of the United States, or the several States, is ly their treaties, by wirich they purchased a part, and " subject to the Indian right of occupancy." That “the guarantied the remainder; by the report of a committee original inhabitants are the rightful occupants of the soil, in August, 1787, which declares tiiat the Indians have with a legal, as well as a just, claim to retain possession of “just claims to all occupied by, and not purchased of, it, and to use it according to their own discretion.” And them;" and the proclamation of Congress, in September, again, “it has never been contended that the Indian title 1788, which luas been already referred to.
amounted to nothing. Their right of possession has neThat, under our present constitution, the rights of the ver been questioned.” natives, and the relation in which they stand to the United Georgia herself has recognized those established rights States, are such as I have described, is clearly manifested of the natives, and the relation they bear to the General by the speech of President Washington to the Senccas Government. By a law passed in 1796, respecting the in 1790, from which I have already presented some ex- vacant lands within her chartered limits, she held the fol. tracts; and by the following explicit and deliberate let- lowing language: “ The territory therein mentioned is ter of Mr. Jeiterson, written to the Secretary of War in hereby declared to be the sole property of the State, sub. 1791-" I am of opinion that Government should firmly ject only to the right of treaty of the United States, to maintain this ground; that the Indians have a right to the enable the State to purchase, under its pre-emption right, occupation of their lands, independent of the States with the Indian title to the same.” A most pregnant act of lein whose charterel lines they happen to be; that until they gislation. It expressly admits “ the Indian title;" that the cede them by treaty, or other transactions equivalent to a claim of the State is only “to purchase" under its pre. treaty, no act of a State can give a right to such lands; that emption "right;" that even this she could not do, unless neither under the present constitution, nor the ancient enabled” by the United States; that the United Staies confedcration, had any State, or persons, a right to treat had “the right of treaty” with the Indians, and that the with the Indians, without the consent of the General Go- claims of Georgia were subject to” that right. vernment; that that consent has never been given to any in the compact of 1802, she stipulated, by reference to treaty for the cession of the lands in question; that the an article of the ordinance before mentioned, for the inGovernment is determined to exert all its encrgy for the violability of the lands, property, rights, and liberty of patronage and protection of the rights of the Indians, and the Indians, upon the territory relinquished; and recogthe preservation of peace between the United States and nized their just claim to lands, in that which was retained, them; and that if any settlements are made on lands not by the article which binds the United States, “at their ceded by them, without the previous consent of the Unit. own expense,” to extinguish “the Indian title" thereto, ed States, the Government will think itself bound, not as early as it could be done "peaceably, and upon reaonly to declare to the Indians that such settlements are sonable terms." without the authority or protection of the United States, The titles of the acts which I read, and several others, but to remove them also by the public force.” Also, by speak of the lands therein disposed of, as “ acquired, the intercourse law of 1790—-forbidding all encroachments obtained,” from the “Creek and Cherokee nations,” by by citizens of the United States, upon the “territory be the treaties held by the United States. longing to any tribe or nation of Indians;" by many other Even the act of December last contains a plenary ad. statutes, particularly that of March, 1805–-by all the trea- Inission that the lands in question were never before subties of purchase and cession--all the laws to carry ject to her jurisdiction. A part of the title is “ to extend them into effect and pay the consideration--and all the the laws of the State over"--" the territory now occuacts for cnabling the Executive to “ extinguish Indian pied by the Cherokees." The sixth section expressly tities."
extends the laws of the State over the same and the inha. The gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Forseth) has refer- bitants thereof. Sir, does not the legislation of every red to the correspondence at Ghent to sustain his denial of State, of itself, operate upon all the country within its rights to the Indian tribes. He relied upon the views of jurisdiction? The laws of Georgia were not before limitthe American Commissioners, in repelling the claims of ed to any parts of the State; they were general; they the British As it is sometimes more satisfactory to read covered the whole; and are now--extended over the refor ourselves, than to take the construction of others, per- sidue ! mit me, sir, to present to you an extract from that corres We have heard a great deal, in this debate, of the rights pondence. “Under this system, the Indians residing with of conquest; and are told, that it is always recognized as u the Cnited States are so far independent that they live valid by the judicial tribunals. True, sir, by those of the under their own customs, and not under the laws of the conqueror. How can they do otherwise? Suppose that United States: that their rights upon the lands where they Congress should now declare a war for the sole purpose inhabit, or hunt, are secured to them by boundaries defin- of wresting Canada from Great Britain, and should suco in amicable treaties between the United States and ceed; could our own courts question this exercise of po. themselves; and when these boundaries are varied, it is litical power, and refuse to sustain our jurisdiction over also by an icable and voluntary treaties, by which they re- the country, however iniquitous the acquisition? And if ceive from the United States ainple compensation for every in this Government, where the political sovereign is under right they have to the lands ceded.” “Such is the relation the restraints of the constitution, the courts cannot interbetween them and the United States: that relation is not fere, how could they in Europe, where this doctrine had nov created for the first time, nor did it originate with the its origin? There, the legislative and political powers are i reaty of Grenville.” And subsequently, “ the treaty of unlimited. Even in England, the Parliament is legally Grenville was merely declaratory of the public law, on omnipotent; and who ever heard of a judicial court unprinciples previously and universally recognized.” dlertaking to annul any of its enactments? Whatever may
To this, sir, were subscribed the names of Adams and be the acquiescence of other nations in the exercise of Gallatin, of Clay, and Bayard, and Russell.
power by a conqueror, it is no ground of just claim as The gentleman from Alabama, (Mr. M'KINLEY) to show agairst the conquered. They, surely, are not bound to that the natives had no title to the soil, cited the case of submit, if new means of resistance can be found. To give Johnson and Meintosh, decided by the Supreme Court of to conquest--to mere force—the name of right, is to sancThe United States, and reported in the 8th of Wheaton. tion all the enormities of avarice and ambition. Alexan.
(APRIL 17, 1830. hesitate, they might, in significant silence, be pointed to Creator had placed them,to the unsubdued wilderness of the our glittering bayonets!
world--and a flaming sword forever barred their return. It is recommended to send an armed force to enable The adoption of such measures is, in the language of the Cherokees to deliberate freely. When the Roman the military Secretary, to “move upon them in the line of orator appeared in defence of Milo, he found the forum their prejudices." And upon whom is it that we thus more? surrounded by an armed force, accompanied, no doubt, Those whom we have most solcmnly promised to protect as by the declaration that it was only to preserve tranquillity: faithful guardians; whom we have called brothers; whom But even the tongue of Cicero was palsied by the formi- we have taught to look up to the President as their great dable array, and his friend and client was abandoned to his father. Yes, we have endeavored to obtain over them the fate. We know, sir, how the deliberations of the Par- influence of a parent; but do we perform towards them the liament of Great Britain, and the National Conventions of duties of that sacred relation? France, have been aided by the presence of an armed It is said we must resort to such measures; they are una. force; and history abounds with similar examples. voidable. The plea of state necessity is advanced. And
I confess, sir, that I cannot but indulge fears of the use is this great country, with peace in all its borders, now which may be made by the War Department, of the ball controlled by an irresistible power, that knows no rule million of dollars, to be appropriated by this bill. We do and consults no law? Does this measure wear the garb of know, that, in making Indian treaties, there have been state necessity? That, sir, is a high-handed tyrant--sot instances of valuable reservations of lands, and large sums a smooth-tongviel scducer. It is a lon, seizing its prey of money being secretly given to individual chiefs, by con- with open and resistless strength--liot a serpent winding fidential arrangements, to induce them to yield to our its sinuous way in secret to its victim. wishes, and betray the confidence reposed in them by Without the adoption of this amendment, the Cherokees their nation. Is it uncharitable to apprehend that such have no choice; but between the miseries of emigration, things may happen under the directions of the present and destruction where they are, it is conterded that it is Secretary of War? Towards that high oficer I have no for their best interest to remove. Leave that, sir, to their feeling of unkindness. I scek no imputation npon his own decision. Our judgment may be too much guided by motives; but his official acts I am bound, by the duties of our own convenience. We umdes took to judge for the my station, to examine. Look at the instructions given Seminoles in Florida. We asked for their firtile lands; by him in May last to General Carroll
, who was sent as an they objected, asserting that the residue would not suipagent of the Government to induce the Cherokees to a port existence. We persistc; and found means at last removal. They express throughout much solicitude for to obtain a reluctant cession. They departed in the deepthe welfare of the Indians, and profess to consult their est soi row from their homes of comfort and plenty, to esbest interests. But I am constrained to look at the acts to counter want and misery upon a barren waste. Ninctectbe done—the course of conduct prescribed. He is di- twentieths of the territory which we lost to them consist. rected not to meet the Cherokees in “General Council" ed of sands where no verdure quickcred, and of seams for “the consequence would be, what it has been, a firm upon which human life could not be sustained. Tie refusal to acquiesce;" but to "appeal to the chiefs and dreary description officially given by Governor Duval con influential men--not together, but apart, at their own hardly be exceeded. The consequence was--what the houses; and to make cffers to them of extensive reserva. Seminoles foresaw---want, suffering, and starvation. Tire tions in fee simple, and other rewards” to obtain “their Government was forth with compelled to give twenty thosacquiescence." He is further told," the more careful sand dollars for food to preserve life, and to retrocede a you are to secure from even the chiefs the official charac- portion of their tcrritory. ter you bear, the better”-and again: “go to them not Whither are the Cherokces to go? What are the bene. as a negotiator, but friend.” “Open to each a view of fits of the change? What system has been matured for his danger. Again: “enlarge on their comparative degra- their security? What laws for their government? These datio as a people, and the total impossibility of their ever questionsi are answered only by gilded promises in gere: attaining to higher privileges, while they retain their pre- ral terins; they are to becoine enlightened and civilized sent relations to a people who seek to get rid of them"-- husbandmen. that their laws will be superseded and trodden under They now live by the cultivation of the soil, and the foot.”. Again: “ enlarge upon the advantage of their mechanic arts. It is proposed to send them from their condition in the West--there the General Government cotton fields, their fagins, and their gardlers, to a cüstant would protect them-improve them by instruction.” They and an unsubdued wilderness--to make them tillers of would become our equals in privileges, civil and religious, the carth; to remove them from their looms, their rok: and that “by refusing” to remove, “they must, neces-shops, their printing press, their schools, and churches sarily, entail destruction on their race."
near the white settlements, to frowning forests, surround I cannot but remark the parallel between the course ed with naked savages--that they may become enlightened here prescribed and that which expelled our first parents and civilized! We have pledged to them our protection; from Paradise. When the Arch Tempter sought their re- and, instead of shielding them where they now are, within moval, he assailed them “not together," lest their joint our reach, under our own arm, we send these natives of a " council” should have haffed his arts; but he found fee- southern clime tu northern regions, amongst fierce and bler woman " apart" from her husband, deprived of the aid warlike barbarians. And what security do we propose to of her natural adviser, and carefully concealing his “ofii-them? A new guarantee!! Who can look an Indian in cial character” of Satanic majesty; assuming the guise of the face, and say to him, we and our fathers, for more a "friend”--a kind instructor; he told her--pursie the than forty years, have made to you the most solemn procourse which I advise, and the evils which have been premises: we now violate and trample upon them all; butsdicted shall not follow!--"ye shall not surely dic’--but fer you, in their stead, another guarantee! you shall be enlightened and elevated--" your eyes shall Will they lc in no danger of attack, from the primitive be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and inhabitants of the regions to which they emigrate? How evil." She listened and yielded -
can it be otherwise? The official documents show us the “ Earth felt the wound, and neurt, from her scal,
fact, that some of the fuw who have already gone, vele “Sighing through all her words, have signs of mu
involved in conflicts with the native tribes, and
to a second removal. She was made the instrument of seducing the man also; How are they to subsist? Has not that country now, and both were driven from the garden of Eden, where the as great an Indian population as it can sustain. Th:
"That all was 105r."
APRIL 20, 1830.]
has become of the original occupants? Have we not al- necessary to divest the mind of the principles of good ready caused accessions to their numbers, and been faith and moral obligation, and harden the heart against compressing them more and more? Is not the conse- every touch of humanity, I confess that I am not, and, by quence inevitable, that some must be stinted in the means the blessing of Heaven, will never be--a politician. of subsistence? Here, too, we have the light of experi Sir, we cannot wholly silence the monitor within. It
By an official communication from Governor may not be heard amidst the clashings of the arena, in Clark, the superintendent of Indian affairs, we learn the tempest and convulsions of political contentions; that the most powerful tribes, west of the Mississippi, but its “ still small voice" will speak to us--when we are, every year, so distressed by famine, that many die meditate alone at eventide--in the silent watches of the for want of food. The scenes of their suffering are hard- night--when we lie down and when we rise up from a soly exceeded by the sieges of Jerusalem and Samaria. litary pillow-and, in that dread hour, when, “ not There might be seen the miserable mother, in all the what we have done for ourselves, but what we have done tortures which hunger can inflict, giving her last morsel for others” will be our joy and our strength; when--to for the sustenance of her child, and then fainting, sink have secured, even to the poor and despised Indian a ing, and actually dying of starvation! And the orphan! spot of earth upon which to rest his aching head--to have no one can spare it food--it is put alive into the grave given him but a cup of a cold water, in charity, will be a of the parent, which thus closes over the quick and the greater treasure than to bave been the conquerors of dead! And this not in a solitary instance only, but re- kingdoms, and lived in luxury upon their spoils, peatedly and frequently. “ The living child is often buried with the dead mother."
MONDAY, April 19, 1830. I am aware (said Mr. S.] that their white neighbors FUNERAL HONORS TO GEN. SMYTH, desire the absence of the Indians; and if they can find After the sitting was opened:safety and subsistence beyond the Mississippi, I should A message having been received from the House of Re. rejoice exceedingly at their removal, because it would presentatives, by their clerk, announcing the demise of relieve the States of their presence. I would do much the honorable ALEXANDER SMYTH, one of the Reto effect a consummation so devoutly to be wishel. But presentatives in Congress from the State of Virginia: let it be by their own free choice, unawed by fear, unse Mr. TYLER, of Virginia, rose and addressed the Seduced by bribes. Let us not compel them, by with nate as follows: drawing the protection which we have pledged. Theirs The death of ALEXANDER SMITH, just announced to must be the pain of departure, and the hazard of the us, Icaves a considerable void in society. For the long change. They are men, and have the feelings and at- period of probably forty years, lie has been engaged in tachments of men; and if all the ties which bind them to public life. His services in the Virginia Legislature will their country and their homes are to be rent asunder, let long be remembered, while liis career in the House of it be by their own free hand. If they are to leave forever Representatives will best attest his character. Possessthe streams in which they have drank, and the trees un- ing fine talents, with a mind logical and precise, his mander which they have reclined; if the fires are never more ners were retiring and unobtrusive. If he did not posto be lighted up in the council house of their cliefs, and sess the suaviter in modo, he undeniably possessed the must be quenched forever upon the domestic hearth, by fortiter in re. His specches, delivered in the various stathe tears of the inmates, who have there joined the nup- tions which he has filled, will survive as the best inonutial feast, and the funeral wail--if they are to look for ment of his virtue, industry, and his intellectual firmness the last time upon the land of their birth, which drank and strength. With high claims to public preferment, up the blood of their fathers, shed in its defence--and is he preferred to rest for luis support upon the people of mingled with the sacred dust of children and friends--to the listrict in the service of which he has died, and that turn their aching vision to distant regions enveloped in people have over and over again awarded to him the darkness and surrounded by dangers--let it be by their highest meed of their approbation, and know best how own free choice, not by the coercion or a withdrawal of to estimate his services. As a mark of respect to his the protection of our plighted faith. They can best ap- memory, I move the following resolution: preciate the dangersand ditticulties which beset their path. Resolved, That the Senate will attend the funeral of the It is their fite which is impending; and it is their right to honorable ALEXANDER Smiti, late a member of the judge, while we have no warrant to falsify our promise. House of Representatives from the State of Virginia, this
li is said that their existence cannot be preserved; that day, at twelve o'clock; and, as a testimony of respect for it is the doom of Providence that they must perish. So, the memory of the decíasecl, they will go into mourning, indeed, must we all; but let it be in the course of na. and wear crape round the left arm for thirty days. ture, not by the hand of violence. If, in truth, they are The resolution was unanimously agreed to; and then, now in the decrepitude of age, let us permit them to live On motion of Mr. TAZEWELL, of Virginia, the Se. out all their days, and die in peace; not bring down their nate adjourned. grey hairs in blood to a foreign grave. i know, sir, to what I expose myself. To feel any so
TUESDAY, APRIL 20, 1830. licitude for the fate of the Indians may be ridiculed as
MASSACHUSETTS' CLAIM. false philanthropy and morbid sensibility: Others may
The bill to authorize the payment of the claim of the boldly say, " their blood be upon us;" and sneer at State of Massachusetts, for militia services during the late scruples, as a weakness unbecoming the stern character war, having been taken upof a politician. If, sir, in order to become such, it be
Mr. BENTON, as Chairman of the Military Committee,
by which the bill had been reporter, rose to explain it. • Extract from an official report of Governor Clark, Superintenılerit He said the claim was founded on militia services render.
of Indian Affairs, dated March 1, 1820. " 'I he condition of many tribes west of the Mississippi is the most fore the Federal Government for payment. It had been
ed during the late war, and had been thirteen year's bepitiabie that can be imagined. During several stasons, in every year, by are distressed by famine, in which many die for want or food in a continued state of examination, either by Executive and, during which, ihe livingchuid is often buried with the dead in officers or by committees of Congress, during all that ther, because no one can spare it as much fuo.1 as would sustain it through its helpless intaries. This description applies to Sivus, Osages, time; and the results of these examinations had been uniand many othere, but I m'ution que le cat pozitul formly the same, namely, that a part of the claims rest know the exact truth. luis in vain to talk to people in this condition on the same principles on which claims from other States about learning and religion.”
rested which have been paid, and of course ought to be
(APRIL 20, 1830.
paid also. The brief history of these examinations and for the defence of the State against a foreign and common results, is this: these claims were first presented at the enemy. This claim has been over thirteen years under War Office in 1817, and filed for examination. In 1822, the scrutiny of the different branches of this Government. the delegations in Congress from Massachusetts andl In February, 1817, it was presented for payment to the Maine presented a memorial to the President, asking an executive branch of the Government; and at the succeedexamination and settlement of them. In 1823, the third ing session of Congress of 1817-18, it was presented to auditor of the Treasury was directed to audit them, and the consideration of the House of Representatives, and it to proceed on the same principles which had governed has been before that branch of the Legislature, or the Exthe settlement of like claims from other States. In 1824, ecutive branch of the Government, or travelling by the the President (Mr. MoxnoE) having carefully examined side of Presidential messages, or Congressional resoluthe proceedings of the auditor, brought the claims be- tions, from one to the other, from that time to this, refore Congress in a special message, and recommended ceiving favorable reports from each, and from all, but no that provision should be made for their payment, to the payment yet from either. Under these circumstances, extent that like claims had been paid from other States. and aware of the just complaints of the Government and This message went to the Military Committee of the people of Massachusetts of such delay, I considered it to House of Representatives, which reported favorably; be my duty, after consultation with the other Representabut as their report did not ripen into a law, the subject tives of that State in Congress, to present this claim, for was referred again to the same committee in 1826, and a the first time, to the consideration of the Senate, where, favorable report again made. That payment of the claims, it was hoped, a prompt and just decision would be obto a certain extent, ought to be made, seemed then to be tained upon it. agreed on all hands; but the accounts were numerous, This claim has been presented and urged for payment, complex, and depending upon variety of testimony, as as a fair and just one, not only by the administration of well as on different principles. A body so numerous as Massachusetts, under which it originated, but by every the House of Representatives, found it difficult to ex- succeeding administration of that State, from that time to amine particulars and liquidate a long account; and they the present moment; in the course of which time we have did what every public body ought to do under the like had four different Chief Magistrates in Massachusetts, all circumstances: they referred it to the accounting officers of whom were perfectly acquainted with the whole histo make the examination, and report the amount which tory of this claim; and two of them (the late Governor ought to be paid. The reference was to the War De- Eustis and the present Governor Lincoln,) ardent sup. partment, and the third auditor was charged with the porters of the late war and of the measures of the Genebusiness. He occupied himself about it for nearly eigh- ral Government connected with it. We have also, had, teen months, a period of time which I mention particu- in the course of this time, sixteen different Legislatures larly, to show the degree of care which a most care. in Massachusetts, coming annually from the people, and ful officer bestowed upon the examination, and reported possessing their views upon the subject; and every one of in favor of about one half of the amount of these claims. these Legislatures have, I believe, united with the differ. The entire claim was for eight hundred and forty-three ent Executives of the State, in support of this claim. thousand six hundred and one dollars and thirty-four cents; Although ready and willing, sir, to go into a full inresthe report is for four hundred and thirty thousand seven tigation of this claim, I shall avoid trespassing so far upon hundred and forty-eight dollars and twenty-six cents. To the time of the Senate as would be requisite for that purthe amount thus allowed, the bill now before the Senate pose, unless it becomes necessary, for the present, at least, is limited. It proposes to pay what the third auditor has to a few remarks in relation to it. Although the enemy found to be due under the reference made to him. I con- was on our coast, capturing our shipping and other prosider this bill in the light of an appropriation, to meet a perty, and occasionally committing depredations upon liquidated demand. The third auditor is the officer of some of our most exposed towns, in the course of the the Government; he has adjusted the account under the years 1812 and 1813, yet it was not until 1814, and after instructions of the House of Representatives; and the the peace in Europe, that we became seriously apprehen. payment, unless his settlement can be impeached, would sive of invasion. And the expenditures embraced by seem to follow as a matter of course. I have seen no rea- this claim, with the exception of two or three thousand son to impeach his settlement. The committee to whom dollars, accrued after April, 1814, and the bill now under it was referred saw none. References to the opinions of consideration embraces only such parts of the claim as, a committee may not be strictly regular; but, in this after the most rigid and prolonged scrutiny, by every case, it may be allowable, and I can say that our opinion branch of the Government, have been found to come was unanimous in reporting this bill. Prejudices have within the rules and principles which have been observed prevailed against these claims. I have felt these preju- in the settlement of similar claims of other States--not dices. I have seen the time when I never expected to what has been asked by the creditor, but what the debtor vote for their payment. These prejudices continued un- admits to be due. Sir, but for these expenditures, the til it became my duty to examine them; and that examin- State of Massachusetts must, and would have been invad. ation has resulted with me, as with all others who made it, ed, and much of its property captured or destroyed; for, in the conviction that a large part of them ought to be paid. as is shown by one of your own officers then in command
Mr. SILSBEE said, that after the satisfactory expla- there, there were not a sufficient number of United States nation of this case, which had been given by the Senator troops within the State of Massachusetts, if they had all from Missouri, who presides over the committee which been drawn to one point, to man the guns of one of its had just investigated it, he should be much more brief in fortifications; and, sir, here let me add, that by a portion his remarks upon it than he might otherwise have been. of these expenditures, the property of the United States But as the bill was introduced by me, said Mr. S.) in the was prevented falling into the hands of the enemy. Yes, discharge of what I conceived to be my duty to the State sir, your navy yards at Charlestown and Portsmouth, and which I have the honor in part to represent in this body, the public ships then lying at them, were defended, and it may be expected of me, in pursuance of that duty, to successfully defended, by the militia of Massachusetts, as say a few words in its support.
can be shown by the correspondence of your own officers. This Massachusetts' claim (said Mr. S.) is a claim not (Here Mr. Silsbee read extracts of letters from General only of one, but of two sovereign States of the Union-Dearborn, from Commodore Bainbridge, from the AdjuMassachusetts and Maine; for military expenditures by tant General of Massachusetts, and from the then Secrethe people of those States, (then forming but one State, ) tary of the Navy.)