Page images

H. Of R.]

General Lafayette.

[JUNE 24, 1834.

That was a question not now under consideration. The States Bank. Je had given this vote from a conscien. charter of the present bank will not expire until March, tious conviction that the bank, in its late refusal to sub1836, and until then it seems to be generally admitted no mit its books and proceedings to the free examination of new bank can be put in operation, even if there was a a committee of Congress, had been guilty of a clear vio. disposition to do so.

lation of its charter. He now voted for the engrossment We must, therefore, have some place to keep the pub- and passage of this bill, not from a positive approbation lic moneys in the mean time, even if a new bank should of its principles or details; he decidedly preferred the be hereafter created; and, as he could perceive no bet- amendment proposed by his honorable colleague, [Mr. ter system, for the present, than that proposed in the bill Gondon,] which contemplated an entire divorce of the now under consideration, he trusted the House would Government from all banking institutions. The success adopt it.

of the previous question bad superseded and defeated Mr. CHILTON said that he had risen to submit a mo- that amendment, and he consequently considered the tion, to which, under other circumstances, he should be question then before the House as one between this law opposed. We had now five remaining days of the ses- and no law at all. Viewing it in this light, lie did not feel sion. Very much important and indispensable business himself at liberty to hesitate. He should vote for the remained unacted on; and unless this subject should be bill. immediately disposed of, must necessarily remain unacted Mr. BURD opposed the bill; when the question was on, for the residue of the session, to the great detriment put on its final passage, and decided by yeas and nays, as of the country. Sir, said Mr. C., I am opposed to the follows: bill under consideration; firmly and immovably opposed YEAS-Messrs. John Adams, William Allen, Anthony, to it. Yet that it will pass this House is perfectly evident Beale, Bean, Beardsley, Beaumont, Blair, Bockee, Bodle, to every member on this foor. Why, then, should we Boon, Bouldin, Brown, Bunch, Burns, Bynum, Cambredisregard our other high duties to the country, and con- leng, Carmichael, Carr, Casey, Chaney, Chinn, Samuel sume the little remnant of our time in fruitless opposition Clark, Clay, Coffee, Connor, Cramer, Day, Dickerson, to the will of the majority in this House, when we know Dickinson, Dunlap, Forester, Fowler, William K. Fuller, that our position is powerless? The majority here can Galbraith, Gholson, Gilmer, Joseph Hall, Halsey, Hannepass the bill; they will pass it, and theirs will be the re- gan, Joseph M. Harper, Harrison, Hathaway, Hawkins, sponsibility of its passage. My reliance, sir, is elsewhere. Hawes, Henderson, Howell, Hubbard, Abel Huntington, I confidently trust and believe that there is elsewhere a Inge, Jarvis, R. M. Johnson, Noadiah Johnson, Cave reliance, and a safe one, too, in regard to this subject, on Johnson, Seaborn Jones, Benjamin Jones, Kavanagh, Kin. which the country may anchor its best interests. But, sir, nard, Lane, Lansing, Laporte, Luke Lea, Thomas Lee, as nothing can be gained by continuing this debate, and as Leavitt, Lyon, Lytle, Abijah Mann, Joel K. Mann, John much would be lost, in discharge of a solemn duty, which Y. Mason, Moses Mason, McIntire, McKay, McKim, McI owe to my constituents and my country, I demand the Kinley, McLene, McVean, Miller, Robert Mitchell, Mulie previous question.

lenberg, Murphy, Osgood, Page, Parks, Parker, Patton, The CHAIR having inquired whether the motion was Patterson, D. J. Pearce, Franklin Pierce, Pierson, Plumseconded, it was decided in the affirmative.

mer, Polk, Schenck, Schley, Shepperd, Shinn, Smith, Mr. BROWN moved a call of the House.

Speight, Standefer, Stoddert, Sutherland, William Tay'The motion prevailing, the House was called accord. lor, Francis Thomas, Thomson, Turrill

, Vanderpoel, Van ingly, when it appeared that seventy-one members were Houten, Wagener, Ward, Wardwell, Webster, Whalabgent. The doors were then closed; absentees called, lon, c. P. White-112. and excuses received; when, after one or two unsuccess. NAYS--Messrs. John Quincy Adams, Heman Allen, ful motions to that effect, the call was suspended. Jobn J. Allen, Archer, Ashley, Barber, Barnitz, Barrin. The previous question being put, Mr. H. EVERETT ger, Baylies, Beaty, Binney, Bull, Burd, Cage, Campbell

, demanded the yeas and nays; whicli were ordered, and Chambérs, Chilton, William Clark, Clayton, Corwin, stood as follows: Yeas 113, nays 77.

Coulter, Darlington, Davenport, Deberry, Denny, Dick On the question of engrossment they were also taken, son, Duncan, Ellsworth, Evans, E. Everett, H. Everett, and stood: Yeas 111, nays 86.

Ewing, Felder, Fillmore, Foster, Philo C. Fuller, Fulton, So the bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a Gamble, Garland, Gorham, Graham, Grennell, Griffin, third time.

Hiland Hall, Hardin, James Harper, Hazeltine, Heath, The CHAIR asked when? and the general response Hiester, Jabez W. Huntington, Jackson, William Cost was “now." No objection being heard, it was taken to Jobnson, Lay, Lewis, Lincoln, Love, Martindale, Marsliall, be so ordered.

McComas, McKennan, Mercer, Milligan, Moore, Pinck. A difficulty afterwards arose as to the question of pre- ney, Potis, Ramsay, Reed, Rencher, Selden, W. B. cedence between this bill and that for the relief of the Sliepard, Wm. Slade, Charles Slade, Sloane, Spangler, French sailors at Toulon, which had also, and previously, Steele, Stewart, Philemon Thomas, Tompkins, Turner, been ordered to be read a third time to-day: But after a Tweedy, Vinton, Watmough, E. D. White, F. Whittledesultory and somewhat tumultuous contest, the deposite sey, Elisha Whittlesey, Wilde, Williams, Wilson, Wise, bill having in the mean time been engrossed, was read a Young-90. third time.

So the bill was passed and sent to the Senate for conMr. GHOLSON asked the indulgence of the House while he made an explanation, personal to himself, as to the course which he had, and which he proposed to pur

GENERAL LAFAYETTE. sue in relation this bill. It was known that in the early Mr. ADAMS obtained leave to make a report, from the part of the session, he had advocated a restoration of the select joint committee, on the subject of the death of Ladeposites to the United States Bank. He had done so, fayette, and reported the following resolutions: because he believed the conduct of the Executive, in Resolved, &c., That the two Houses have received, their removal, to be unjust towards the bank, and an en: with the profoundest sensibility, intelligence of the death croachment on the rights of the legislative department of of General Lafayette, the friend of the United States, the the Government. It was also known that, a few days friend of Washington, and the friend of liberty. since, he had voled to lay upon the table the resolution Sec. 2. And be it further resolved, that the sacrifices from the Senate ordering the public revenues collected and efforts of this illustrious person, in the cause of our after the first of July, to be deposited in the United country, during her struggle for independence, and the


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

affectionate interest which he has at all times manifested Mr. WATMOUGH said he would renew it, as it was for the success of her political institutions, claim from the too important a subject not to be decided upon at once. Governmeut and people of the United States an expres Mr. THOMAS, however, having claimed the floor,' sion of condolence for his loss, veneration for his virtues, The SPEAKER decided he was entitled to it; after and gratitude for his services.

which, Sec. 3. And be it further resolved, that the President Mr. THOMAS asked the indulgence of the House for of the United States be requested to address, together a few moments, to state the reasons which had influenced with a copy of the above resolutions, a letter to George the committee to order that this resolution should be reWashington Lafayette, and the other members of his ported. It would be recollected that the report of the family, assuring them of the condolence of this whole na bank committee had been made nearly a month since, and tion in their irreparable bereavement.

had not been called up for consideration. The commit. Sec. 4. And be it further resolved, That the members of tee had omitted to call for its consideration because, on inthe two Houses of Congress will wear a badge of mourn- formal consultation with many of the members of the ing for thirty days, and that it be recommended to the House, of both sides of the question, they concluded it to people of the United States to wear a similar badge for be the wish of a large majority of the members that the ihe same period.

bank report should not be taken up until the appropriaSec. 5. And be it further resolved, that the halls of tion bills had first been disposed of. We have now reathe Houses be dressed in mourning for the residue of the son to believe that all bills, the passage of which are insession.

dispensable to the healthful action of the Government, Sec. 6. And be it further resolved, That John Quincy will have been disposed of by Friday. Seeing that it is Adams be requested to deliver an oration on the life and probable we may have time to act on this report, the comcharacter of General Lafayette, before the two Houses of mittee are unwilling to call it up suddenly, and therefore Congress, at the next session.

wish the House to fix a stated period for entering on the The resolutionswere read twice, and ordered to be en- grave and important questions involved in these reports. grossed for a third reading, by a unanimou3 vote. Mr. T', said he was fully sensible it is now too late to act

The engrossed bill authorizing the President to make on the fifth resolution accompanying the majority report; an arrangement with the French Government respecting for that reason it was his purpose to submit, in lieu of the French seamen killed and wounded by firing a salute that resolution, one, by which the Sergeant-at-arms should at Toulon, was read.

be required to notify the persons who have defied the After some remarks from Messrs. McKINLEY, ARCHER, authority of this Hoose to appear at its bar on a day to J. Q. Adams, and Felder, the bill was passed: Yeas 133, be named, early in the next session, to await its further

order. On motion of Mr. POLK, the vote postponing the re Mr. WATMOUGH had no objection to have the subconsideration of the fortification bill was carried, when ject discussed now, if such was the pleasure of the he withdrew his motion to lay it upon the table; and the House. He had renewed the motion for the considerabill now remains upon the Speaker's table,

tion of the resolution, in order to save the time of the The House then adjourned.

House from being wasted in unprofitable discussion.

After a desultory conversation, in which Mr. HARDIN,


CER, and Mr. BURGES, participated,

Mr. GORDON called for the yeas and nay9; which BANK OF THE UNITED STATES.

were ordered, and Mr. THOMAS, of Maryland, from the select commit The House decided to consider the resolution: Yeas tee appointed to investigate and examine into the affairs 95, nays 65; thereupon, of the Bank of the United States, reported the following Mr. WILDE rose and said it was not his purpose to resolution:

prolong the discussion at this moment, but, presuming if Resolreil, That Friday next be, and it is hereby, set it was the pleasure of the majority to take up the sube apart for the consideration of the report of the commit. ject at this late period, that they would act' in such a lec appointed to examine into the proceedings of the way as would procure for the subject a fair and deliber. Bank of the Uniteil States, and that this House will con- até expression of the opinion of the House upon it; be tinue its consideration for each succeeding day thereafter, desired with that view to offer the following, as an until finally disposed of.

amendment to the resolution reported by the select comMr. WHIITTLESEY, of Ohio, said, when the resolu- mittee: tion ras first read, which the gentleman from Maryland “That the resolution reported by the select commit. had reported, as chairman of the select committee ap-tee, appointed to examine into the condition of the Bank pointed to investigate the proceedings of the Bank of the of the United States, be committed to the Committee of United States, he had doubts whether the powers of the the Whole House on the state of the Union; and that the committee had not ceased; but, on reflection, he was sat-House will, on and after Friday next, resolve itself into isfied his first impression was erroneous. It must be ap- the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, parent, he said, ihat, if the resolution were adopted, the and proceed to consider the said resolutions, from day to bills from the Senate could not be acted upon. Many of day, till they are disposed of.” those bills were of importance to the public, and others Mr. ELLSWORTH said it would have given him pleasto individuals; and, under the full conviction that none of ure to have had the proposition taken up, and discussed them could be acted on if the resolution should pass, he in such a way as the important matters involved in it removed its consideration.

quired, if it had been made at an earlier period of the Mr. THOMAS hoped the honorable member from session. But, unless the House would in the first place Ohio would withdraw his call for the question of consider- agree to extend the session, what hope could there be ation, that he might have an opportunity to explain the that it could now be discussed? He, in this case, would motives which had induced the committee to report the be willing, he was desirous, they should go into it with foregoing resolution.

the bona fide intention of discussing it, so that they would Mr. WHITTLESEY, not being disposed to take up come to a proper conclusion upon it. But, if such was the time of the House in discussion, would withdraw the not the intention of the majoriiy of the House, and that call.

the only object; was to come to a just conclusion by %

H. or R. )

Indian Bills-Western (Indian). Territory.

[June 25, 1834,

resort to the previous question, then he would submit Indian treaties, on the ground not only of the great exwhether any good was likely to result from such a course. pense, but because Indian agents were more competent He repeated that he desired to have an examination made to perform the duty. with good faith, and he did not desire to see such a After a brief discussion, in which Messrs. H. EVERETT, course followed as had been the day previous, in bring- ASHLEY, WAYNE, EwIxo, and WILLIAMS, took part, the ing the deposite bill to a conclusion. The means taken motion prevailed, and the section was stricken out of the to bring a bill which went to seal principles on which the bill. public treasure was to be regulated, not for a day, but It was then ordered to its third reading. for all time to come, he should not easily forget. We The bill to establish a Western Territory coming up, were not permitted to discuss the general provisions of the Mr. VINTON, though highly disapproving of the bill in bill, nor to lake the sense of the House un a single amend. its present form, said he would not move to destroy it, ment. It is not legislation, but coercion. Such means but he wished it postponed to next session, when there "to come to such a conclusion he did not desire to see fol. would be more time to consider it. lowed out.

Mr. V. went into an examination of the several sections Mr. MILLER rose and called for the orders of the day; and provisions of the bill, commenting with much severity whereupon,

upon almost every part of it, as going to establish an Mr. H. EVERETT moved that the House should re- absolute military despotism in a remote Territory, and in solve itself into Committee of the Whole on the state of the hards of a single man. the Union, for the purpose of considering the bills re Mr. H. EVERETT replied, but declined entering at ported from the Committee on Indian Affairs.

large upon the question. "Were the bill intended for cir. Mr. THOMAS said he did not desire to prolong this ilized whites, in a condition like ourselves, the objections running debate, but as it must be, he supposed, desirable would be valid; but it was meant for Indians, for different for the House to know whether this subject was to be tribes of Indians brought into close proximity, and after taken up, he hoped the honorable member would with the United States had bound itself to preserve peace draw his motion, so as to let the question of consideration among them. The provisions of the bill had been subbe decided.

mitted to the Indians themselves, who not only did not Mr. H. EVERETT said he must persist with his motion complain of them, but were highly anxious for the pasto go into committee on the Indian bills.

sage of the bill. Mr. J. Q. ADAMS inquired if the fortification bill, as Mr. WILLIAMS now moved that the House take a the unfinished business, was not the special order for to- recess till half past 4 o'clock. day? Such being, he thought, the understanding when After repeated attempts, this motion at length prevailed; it was postponed to make way for the deposite bill. and the House took a recess accordingly. The SPEAKER decided that the Indian bills were the

EVENING SESSIOK. special order.

At half past four the House met, and again took up the INDIAN BILLS.

bill to establish the The Ilouse then, agreeably to the special order of the WESTERN (INDIAN) TERRITORY. day, resolved itself into Committee of the W bole on the

Mr. H. EVERETT rose to address the House in ex. state of the Union, Mr. WILDE in the chair.

planation and defence of the bill. As he considered it of The bill to provide for the organization of the Depart, the utmost importance, as well to the interests of the ment of Indian Affairs, and the bill to regulate trade and United States as of the Indian tribes, that this bill should intercourse with the Indian tribes, and to preserve peace pass, he must beg permission to occupy about ten minutes on the frontiers, were taken up, and, after being amend of the valuable time of the House in explaining its proed, were laid aside.

visions, and in adding a few observations upon the geneThe committee then proceeded to consider the bill ral subject of our Indian affairs. As the character of the providing for the establistiment of the Western Territory, bill had been totally misapprehended, and its enactments and for the security and protection of emigrant and other greatly misrepresented, he was desirous of putting the Indian tribes therein.

House in possession of its true nature and object. The Mr. ADAMS considered this as a very extraordinary committee had been presented before the House as purbill, with a very extraordinary tille. It was as good a bill posing the oppression of the Indian tribes, and the erecto raise a constitutional argument upon as any he had tion of an odious tyranny over them: whereas their only ever seen or beard of. What constitutional right had the aim had been to afford tú the Indians effectual and comUnited States to form a constitution and form of govern, plete protection, and that in a manner which, while it ment for Indians? To erect a Territory to be inhabited should' be entirely satisfactory to them, should not be inexclusively by Indians! He wished to know if the com- consistent with the rights of the United States. mittee were prepared to show under what part of the

The first section of the bill related simply to the extent constitution this was authorized?

and limits of the Territory: which was to extend from the Air. H. EVERETT replied, that he did not expect to Platte river on the north, and the boundary of Missouri discuss the question of constitutionality in committee, but and Arkansas on the easí, to the Spanish possessions in in the House. No member of the committee had had the west and south. even a doubt on the subject. The clauses giving Con.

The second section had for its object the fulfilment of gress power to dispose of the 'Territories, and to regulate existing treaties between the United States and the Indian trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, were abun. tribes, and the carrying into effect the law of 1830. It dantly sufficient to warrant every thing in the bill. dedicated the entire Territory to be erected exclusively

Tlie committee then rose, and reported the bills and to the use of those tribes, as that law did. The comamendments to the House; when the amendment to the mittee took it for granted that it was the desire of the bill organizing a Department of Indian Affairs was con-Government to place all the Indians on one and the same curred in, and the bill ordered to its third reading. political ground.

The bill to regulate trade and intercourse with the The third section provided for the self-government of Inclian tribes, and to preserve peace upon the frontiers, the tribes, and for their protection as well as that of the being taken up,

people of this country. It was drawn in conformity with MR. ASHLEY moved to strike out the section which the provisions of various treaties, nor did it go beyond provides for the appointment of commissioners to make them. Its intention was to secure and perpetuate the

JUNE 25, 1834.]

Western (Indian) Territory.

[H. Or R

right of self-government, so far as related to the tribes tem was not to be imposed upon them, it was to be pro. themselves. This section contained a provision which posed to them--to be offered to them. No tribe could be authorized the employment of military force to aid the compelled to enter into the plan without their own free tribes in the execution of such laws as they might them. consent. It was expressly provideel that "the articles of selves enact: and not, as the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. confederation should not be binding on any tribe unless VINTON] supposed, to enable officers of the United States assented to by the chiefs of such tribe.” With such a to bring down the military power of the Government proviso on the face of the bill, how could it be under. upon the Indians against their will, anıl for the purposes stood as a scheme of tyranny and oppression? How of oppression. No such object was intended, nor could could the freedom of the Indians be more fully secured? any such consequence ensue. The words of the bill It would be observed that the confederation was to take were, “it shall be competent for the general council to effect so soon as the assent of the Chactaws and Chero. furnish such force as from time to time may be neces- kees should have been given to the plan. The other sary, towards the support of such Government, and the tribes would then be at liberty to come into the measure troops of the United States may, under the direction of or not, at their pleasure. Should they conclude not tu the President of the United States, be employed on the enter the confederacy, they would of course remain un. same duty.” The law was simply permissive, and look. der the intercourse law. De could not conceive of any ed to the will of the Indians.

fairer arrangement ihan this. The fourth and fifth sections, providing for the appoint The seventh section of the bill had reference to the ment of a Governor and Secretary, followed as a neces. formation of a general council. The gentleman from sary consequence of the other provisions of the bill; and Ohio [Mr. Vinton) had objected to the mode of appointing if it should in the end turn out that no confederation this council; if that gentleman would point out some should be formed, all the tribes would still remain un. Jother mode more sale and expedient, Mr. E, should be der the intercourse law, and these offices would be abol- glad to hear it. The gentleman could not but be aware ished. But the committee bad received the strongest that the Indian tribes were not accustomed to the mode assurances, from the Indians themselves, that the confede of conducting elections; nor was it to be expected that ration would be formed. They had before them the me- they should at once be able to adopt the practice. The morials of twenty different tribes, all expressive of their bill therefore proposed that, where members of the coun. desire for such a measure; and the committee entertained (cil were not elected by their tribes, they might be selectno doubt that a plan so beneficial would be adopted. ed. But this selection was to be made, not by the Gov.

The manner in which this confederation was to be ernor, but by the Indians themselves. All the concern formed was the subject of the sixth section of the bill. of the Governor in the affair was to decide whether the He would read it.

members of council should be selected or elected. It "Szc. 6. And be il further enac!ed, That as soon as may was the purpose, and the express provision of the law, be, after his appointment, the said Governor shall con- that, as soon as any tribe should be competent to conduct vene, at some proper point, a sufficient number of chiefs elections, their representatives should be elected. " As of the various tribes who have emigrated from the eastern fast as the tribes are found competent to elect their rep. to the western side of said river, and who may reside in resentatives, that mode of proceeding shall be adopted.” the said Territory, together with the chiefs of such of the As to the powers of this confederation, the gentleman other native tribes of said region as may appear, from from Ohio could not certainly bave read the section criti. their situation and habits, qualified to be admitted into cally, or he must have perceived that it contained nothing the confederacy it is proposed to establish, and shall sub- which went to touch, in the slightest degree, the rights of mit to them a proposition for their assent to such of the the tribes, as to their own concerns. Either the United provisions of this act as require the co-operation of the States must establish a government over these Indians, or authorities of the respective tribes, in order to carry the the tribes must do it themselves; btcause the United same into effects and such assent, if given, shall be in States Government was bound, by treaty stipulation, to writing and in duplicate, one of which duplicates shall protect the removed tribes from each other, and from all be transmitted to the War Department, and the other foreign tribes who might assail them. The Government shall be preserved in the office of the said Governor: Pro-proposed to the Indians to form a confederation for the vided, The articles of confederation shall not be binding purpose of performing these duties, in which case the on any tribe unless assented to by the chiefs of such tribe, United States would not interfere farther than to reserve being previously authorized thereto, or unless they shall a veto on such acts as might be inconsistent with our be ratified by such tribe: Provided, also, That such con rights or security. Mr. E. said that gentlemen ought to federation should not take effect until the Choctaw,Creek, bear in mind that this was intended as the beginning of and Cherokee tribes shall bave given their assent thereto. government among a people not accustomed to legislation. And that thereafter other tribes in said territory may join We had an interest in the acts they should pass; we had said confederation, and become members tbereof."

a direct concern that none of their regulations should be The gentleman from Ohio (Mr. VintON ] seemed to un. such as to lead to strise and contention; and, to preven: derstand this as a permanent arrangement, intended to such consequences, a veto was retained in our own last for ever, and keep the Indians in perpetual servilude, hands. Was not this reasonable, and obviously necessary? The gentleman was mistaken. It was merely a provision Suppose the council, acting according to Indian notions, to make a commencement of the confederation. If such should think fit to enact retaliation by law; the consea combination was ever to be formed, some one must quence would soon be war among themselves; and so soon take the first step toward it; and who was to do this as the torch of civil discord was thus lighted, the United Who could do it, or ought to do it, but the United States States Government must act; it was bound to act; the Government? It would be useless to expect the Indians treaty and the law required it. We had, therefore, a to do it: they were unacquainted with the manner of direct interest in the enactments of this new Indian goy. conducting business: they knew in fact nothing about it. ernment. The committee looked to this bill as the comIt was the Government who must make the advance; and mencement of such a government, and should the experithe law accordingly provided that the Governor should ment succeed, we might hereafter very possibly be in cirselect the chiefs who were fitted to enter upon such a de. cumstances which would justify us in withdrawing from sign, and notify them to come together; when the plan all superintendence over them or their affairs.

The conof confederation was to be submitted to them, and they federation would possess no concentrated power of its were to act freely in adopting or rejecting it. The sys-lown; if we meant to give effect to their enactments, it

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

was indispensable that military force should be employed, the effort at civilization thus far been attended with such if necessary And in fact, the Government had now a small success! Because it never proposed to raise the Inmilitary force among them, and it must continue to have Jians so as to render him a companion to ourselves. It for some time to come. Nor could we have any other held out no bright object to his ambition. Here and inode of controlling them, unless the Indians should be au. there a little speck might be seen, where we had done thorized to erect a government of their own. We were some little at beitering their condition; but hitherto we had not making a government for them; we were merely au- set no great and commanding object before their view, thorizing them to make'one for themselves. We did not nothing for their mind to look to and to rest upon with insay what the government should be, but what it should terest and hope. All the bills heretofore passed had looked not be. So far as they adopted the plan, so far they re. to the same object--they had employed the Indians as tralieved us of the burden.

ders, as interpreters, and as teachers, wherever they The gentleman from Obio objected to another feature would be employed; but they had set no such prospect in this section, viz: that the "members of the council before them as being received into Congress. The object shall receive from the United States their vecessary sub- of the committee bad been to benefit the Indians. This sistence, while attending the said council, and returning was the scope of the bill; and such, he trusted, would be home, until otherwise provided by law." The gentleman its result. There could be no safer guide on this subject considered this provision as amounting to a system of bri- than the views and feelings of the Indians themselves. bery. What would the gentleman have? The Indians They had seen this plan, and they were satisfied with it. had no money; and if their delegates were to attend the The chiefs who had examined it were as intelligent men council at all, their expenses must be paid by the United as any to be found; they understood their own rights and States. The Government could not withhold the support. their relation to this Government; and they were well ac. If they could, there would be something more in the gen. quainted with the will of their respective tribes. The tleman's argument. Either the expenses must be paid, or committee had consulted them intimately; and the meathey could not assemble. But, for this advance of money sures of the bill had their entire approbation. As to the on our part, we should obtain the amplest compensation constitutionality of such a bill, the committee believed in the relief from burdens which must otherwise lie upon that were they to form a government, (which by this bill this Government.

they did not do, but merely sanctioned a government to The eighth section did nothing more than place the offi- be formed by others,) still ihey had the most unqualified cers, and others employed in the United States service, right to do so within the Territories of the United States. and persons travelling through the Indian territory, under There was no restriction upon the power of the Govern. the protection of the United States. This was obviously ment over the District of Columbia; and why over other proper.

Territories! Congress had the same power to pass ar, inThe ninth section contained a restriction on the natural tercourse law as to make a law for the government of our rights of the Indians, but one which was expedient and citizens in respect to foreign nations. The committee necessary. The Government was allowed, in all capital proposed no more than had been done by the law of cases, to suspend the punishment until the pleasure of the 1802. The Government, he repeated, was bound to do President should be known. If gentlemen would take this. It was bound by treaty to secure to the removing into consideration the extensive intercourse of the Indian Indians the right of soil, the right of self-government, and tribes with the whites; that they were new in legislation; protection against other tribes. Congress had all the and, above all, that they were a people of deep passion, power requisite to carrying the treaties of the country in. and bred from infancy to revenge, they must admit the io full effect. It was not for the Indian tribes to say to propriety of putting some restriction on the power of in-Congress, you have not the power to pass such a law. Ficting death at pleasure upon whom they would. Other. Congress had the power, and the Indians had recognised wise, traders and travellers might be unjustly condemned, it by treaty. It was on this ground that the Government and sacrificed before their case could be duly considered. claimed the right to reprieve criminals capitally convict

The tenth section provided for the suppression of hos- ed, and to interpose its veto upon any Indian law. The tilities among the tribes themselves. This was no new tribes must assent to this plan of confederation before it power. We possessed it and exercised it now. By this could go into effect. They could not, therefore, comsection the Governor was empowered to require the aid plain on that ground. The Indians, when invited to reof all the tribes, or of the United States military within move west of the Mississippi, inquired of the United the Territory, to put down the beginning of hostilities. States agents what was to be their situation there; they And in whose bands should this power be lodged, if not in wanted to know definitively what they had to expect. his? It referred to a case which required immediate ac- They wanted to know if they were to be subjected to miltion. Was the Governor to wait till a messenger could be itary force. This plan obviated the chief necessity for sent all the way to Washington?

the employment of such force, by giving them the means The last provision of which he should speak was con- of self-government. The gentleman from Ohio must sure. tained in the eleventh section; and it was inore practical ly be aware that the Indians were new and raw in the in its character than all the rest. It allowed to these con- task of self-government, nor could they be expected federated tribes a delegate upon the floor of Congress otherwise. He would not give them a plan suited to peoThis privilege was not granted to any one tribe, but to ple in an advanced stage of improvement and civilization, the confederation of tribes. The House, Mr. E. said, it was sufficient to say that this bill had been submilled would perceive the necessity for some provision of this to the most intelligent of the Indians, who entirely ap. kind. The present policy of this Government, in respect proved of it. If they were satisfied, the gentleman to the Indians, was to civilize them; and what could be iniglit be. a stronger aid to such a design than by such an enactment Mr. J. Q. ADAMS said he was glad the attention of the as this, to hold out to every Indian chief of clistinction in House had been called to this bill; respecting which, he his tribe, the prospect, at least the possibility, of occupy- must confess that he felt very much as the gentleman from ing a seat upon that floor, in the Legislative Council of this Ohio (Mr. Vinton] did. He could have wished that the

An appeal of the most stirring kind was consideration of it had been postponed to the next session. thus made to the ambition of every chief to render him. He was not prepared at this time to pronounce a definitive self fit for so high a distinction. He was confident it opinion with regard to the merits of the bill; for, indeed, would bave more effect than any or all other excitements he had never read either the bill or report before 10-day: which could be addressed to the Indian mind. Why had | This, to be sure, might be charged upon bis own negli

great nalion.

« PreviousContinue »