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JUNE 25, 1834.)
Western (Indian) Territory.
(H. OF R.
gence; but the attention of the House had been so absorb- as extraordinary: He had observed the same thing in ed by matters in themselves of infinitely less importance, other bills, and he noticed it as a characteristic feature of that he had not had time to think of other subjects. He the prevailing operations of this entires Government. He knew that there had such bills as this and the others ac- meant the perpetual disposition to transfer the powers of companying it, (viz: a bill to provide for the organization Congress to the Executive. This bill went 'to divest of the Department of Indian Affairs, and a bill to regulate Congress of all power over the relations of the people of trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, and to pre- the United States to the Indian tribes, and placed it whol. serve peace on the frontiers,] been reported by the chair. ly in the hands of the President. So strongly did this man of the Committee on Indian Affairs during the pres- purpose mark the bill, that he found something of it in ent session: but what was their general character, or the every section. Take, for example, the 3d section: provisions they contained, he had never understood. He “Each of the tribes residing within the said Territory was far from suspecting that any such a bill as this was in. may establish and maintain such government, for the regcluded among them; and he believed that a large portionsulation of their own internal concerns, as to them may of the members of the House were in the like situation. seem proper; and it shall be competent for the general Having glanced over the bill, he felt disposed to make a council to furnish such force as from time to time may be constitutional question on the power to pass a bill of such necessary, towards the support of such government; and a kind; and that not only in reference to the rights of the the troops of the United States may, under the direction Indians, but also of the people of the United States. of the President, be employed on the same duty.” What did the bill contain? A project, not only for the Here the troops of the United States were to be at the erection of an Indian Territory, bul for an Indian State, disposal of the President. The Indian tribes were to to be admitted, hereafter, as one of the sovereign States employ their own force, and the President of the United of this Union. This was the seminal principle of the bill. States might employ the army of the United States to The region of country described in it was erected into a support the Indian government. This was the first feaTerritory; and it was expressly provided that the rights ture. What came next? “That a governor of the said of the Indians were not to be impaired by the Territory's Territory shall be appointed by the President;" this, to being admitted into the Union as one of the States. He be sure, was to be "by and with the consent of the Sen. asked whether that House, upon a half hour's notice, was ate.” The governor thus appointed was to reside "at prepared totally to change the relations of the Indian such place as may be directed by the President of the tribes to this country? Whether they were ready to de- United States;" and he was to execute such duties as clare that these people were to be admitted, in their col- may be enjoined by law, or as may be directed by the lective capacity, as a State of this Union Nay, he did President.” This territorial governor was to obey the not see, upon the principle of the bill, but they would laws of Congress, so far as the President might think be bound to admit not only one, but two or three, or half proper; but if he received orders in direct opposition to a dozen such States. The bill looked directly to a time the law, he was to act "according to the directions of the when this Territory was to become a State. He asked, President of the United States.” The President was in reference to the people of the United States, where thus erected into supreme legislator, beyond and above was the right of Congress to establish any such a Territo- all the laws of Congress. The governor was bound to ry! It was totally different from any thing that had ever obey his will, as much as if it were the voice of the been done before. Did the honorable chairman profess Legislature. So, in case of the absence of the governor, to find this right in that clause of the constitution which the secretary was required “to fulfil such other duties declares that Congress shall regulate the Territories? as shall be enjoined by law, or as may be directed by the What were these Territories? They were portions of President of the United States.” The secretary was thus land and water-inanimate matter. But what right did placed under the absolute, unrestricted power and disuch a clause give to Congress over living human beings? rection of the President, in the same way as the govThe clause spoke of "the Territories and other property ernor. of the United States." Were human beings the “prop. The next section provided for the assembling of the erty of the United States," although in a savage condi- chiefs, which was to be done at such time and place as tion? Surely not. They were not the “ Territories" re- the governor might choose, and such only were to be ferred to in the constitution. If the constitution had said, admitted into the confederacy as "might appear," to Congress shall have power to regulate human beings as the governor, “ qualified to be admitted” into it. And property of the United States, the House would soon have then came the section providing for the election of the had the question upon the bill. If such a right did exist, Indian council. Here the governor was to determine why did it not apply to the slaves of the South, as well as whether the delegates to this council were to be elected, to the Indians of the West? They, too, were human beings. or appointed by a “selection” from the “existing But there was no such clause; and the clause, as it stood, chiefs.” It was tantamount to saying that the Indians had no reference to persons. This was a bill to govern should select such persons to represent them as the govpersons. And he was still obliged to call for any article ernor might direct. There was, to be sure, a proviso, in the constitution which warranted such a measure, or “that as fast as the tribes are found competent to elect conferred such a power.
their representatives, that mode of proceeding shall be But the bill not only affected the rights of the Indians, adopted.” “Found competent." By whom? And when? it touched the rights of the people of the United States. By the governor. He was the sole judge. He was to It weni to let in the Indians as constituting a portion of say how soon they were “competent." This contemthe sovereign States of the Union. That involved a very plated a total change in the character of the Indian peoserious question; he wished further time to consider of it; ple. He should suppose the Indians would expect to he was not prepared to assent to such a measure upon have some voice themselves in the choice of their own so short notice. He hoped the bill would not pass at representatives; but this was left entirely to the selecpresent. He would not say there might not be strong tion of the governor. The whole relations, the entire arguments in favor of going even the whole length pro- destiny of the tribes, was to be changed. Their whole posed. He was not ready to decide, finally, against such constitution was to be destroyed; if, indeed, it was not a policy. He did not feel prepared to decide upon that an absurdity to talk of such a thing as an Indian constiquestion; nor did he believe the people of the United tution. They all had some sort of fundamental law; and States were better prepared than himself.
in the case of the Cherokees, there was a written instru. There was another feature of this bill which struck him ment, taken from the constitution of the United States
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(JUNE 25, 1834. He supposed these Cherokees were to have the chiefs He would execute the man if he pleased to execute him, who were to represent them in this great Indian council or pardon him if he chose to pardon. Whom he would selected for them, until the governor should be pleased he killed, and whom he would he kept alive. to deem them “competent" to elect for themselves. All By the tenth section the governor could take hostawas to be discretionary with the governor and the Presi- ges from the Indians, whenever he might think necesdent. The confederation was to have a government, and sary; in which case he was to report his doings to the with some powers. They were to “make all regulations President. respecting the intercourse among the various tribes; to The result of the whole would be that the governor preserve peace; to put a stop to hostilities; to settle any would do as the President chose, and the court and the question of dispute respecting boundaries; to arrest and council would do as the governor chose. It all came to punish all Indians who may commit offences within the that at last. district of one tribe, and who may flee to another; and, The gentleman from Vermont (Mr. EVERETT] declared generally, to take such measures as may be necessary to this to be necessary, and Mr. A. did not know but it give effect to the intentions of this act.'' These powers might be necessary. Such a power might already exist; sounded well; but what did they amount to? “ All the he presumed it did; but it was certainly a very great exregulations adopted by the said council shall be submitted tent of power. Ile would neither yest it in the governor to the governor for his consideration, and shall have no nor in the President. force unless approved by him." All was to be left at the Then came the provision in the eleventh section emdiscretion of the governor. Here was a legislative coun- powering the Indian council to elect a delegate to the cil substituted for the immediate overnment of the Uni-Congress of the United States. If this did any thing, it ted States. Very good. But what rt of independence ingrafted a new feature upon the constitution. That it was this legislature to possess? " The members of the was done knowingly, and with deliberation, appeared said council shall receive from the United States their from a previous section, where it was expressly admitted necessary subsistence while attending the said council and that the Territory created by the bill might one day bereturning home." He asked, again, what sort of inde come a State of the Union. pendence would the members of such a body possess, Then came the fourteenth section, by which it was de. whose support was at the pleasure of the United States, clared that, "if any of the tribes in said Territory or said and all whose acts were to be of none effect unless they general council shall adopt, as the law of such tribe or were such as pleased the governor? Was it not a mocke- confederacy, any or all of the prohibitory provisions of ry to give the Indians a government like this? Would it the laws of the United States, regulating trade and internot be better at once to say: The governor shall at his course with Indians and Indian tribes, with such punishpleasure select certain chiefs, who shall enact such regu- ment as shall be approved by the governor, and establish lations as he shall direct? Would not this be better than competent tribunals for the trial of offenders against the to give them the empty shadow of self-government? same, it shall be lawful for the governor to employ the Then, to close up the whole, came in, at the end of the military force of the United States, to arrest and detain section, that provision of force which characterized the such offenders within the limits of said Territory, and to entire bill from beginning to end. “And in order to carry into effect the judgment of said tribunals. Here give effect to the regulations of the said council, the mili- was the true character of this bill. Under the appeartary force of the United States shall be employed in such ance of extending a constitution and a government to the manner as the President may direct."
Indians, they were placed, by it, from beginning to end, The following section contained a double provision re- under the discretion of a governor, who was to be enspecting persons offending against the laws of the United tirely subject to the President of the United States. It States, or the laws of the Indian tribes. The bill was in- produced a complete revolution, both in our own countended to bring the tribes under the laws of the United iry and in the Indian Territory. It transferred the whole States; yet here were two provisions which applied power of legislation over the Indian tribes from the Conequally to offences against the laws of the United States gress of the United States to the Exeeutive. and the laws of the Indians. The bill created a double Mr. A. bere said he was done. He had gone through jurisdiction; it rendered a man liable to be punished twice the bill, and stated such views of it as struck his mind; for the same offence: for one and the same act might be and he again demanded to know by what right, from the an offence against both codes of law. He thought this constitution, Congress was empowered to pass such a part of the bill likely to lead to unpleasant collisions of bill? He concluded by moving to lay the bill upon the anthority, and to occasion much injustice.
table. The ninth section provided for the surrender of offend Mr. A. having, by request, withdrawn the motion, ers who belonged to one tribe, and had been guilty of Mr. GILMER said he was fully aware that the time of offences against another. It provided that such persons the House was now very precious; yet he could not rewere to be tried by five chiefs, to be summoned by the frain from making a brief reply to the remarks which governor. Here was a provision which was neither In- had just fallen from the honorable gentleman from Mas. dian law nor United States law, but something differing sachusetts. The gentleman had not adverted to the from both, and worse than either. A man guilty of mur- terms of that provision in the bill to which his objections der was not to be tried by a jury, but by five chiess se- mainly applied, and, in consequence, he labored under lected by the governor from different tribes. What was an entire misapprehension of the purpose and effect of this different from saying that the life and death of every the bill. All that the gentleman had said in relation to accused person should be at the discretion and disposition that clause in the second section which referred to the of the governor? For their sentence was to be carried Territory ever becoming one of the States of the Union, into immediate effect, unless the governor should suspend was founded on such misconception. If the gentleman it, and refer the case to the President. And when that had connected that clause with the words which preceded was done, could the President pardon the offender? The it, he would have found no difficulty. The explanation Jaw did not say so; and the provision of the constitution, was simple. The Indians, as every body knew, were giving the pardoning power to the President, did not peculiarly sensitive on the subject of their lands. The cover this case; it related only to cases in which a man bill had provided that, if any one of the tribes should behad been tried and convicted by his peers. He presu- come extinct, or should abandon their land, the title med, however, that the President would act his pleasure. should revert to the United States. The Indians, underThat was the character of the bill, from beginning to end. standing this, began to inquire what would be the conse
June 25, 1834.]
Western (Indian) Territory.
(H. OF R.
quence, should the territory now granted them at any gentleman a better plan to propose? Because these rude time hereafter become a State of the Union? Would they tribes were not prepared at once for the full exercise of not lose the title to their lands entirely? To meet this fear, all the rights of enlightened freemen, was there no comand effectually to guard against the danger of such a re- mencement to be made? No approximation to be allowed? sult, the clause on which the gentleman had animadverted No preparatory steps to be taken? with so much earnestnesss had, upon the suggestion of And this brought him to the consideration of that the Indians, been inserted in the bill. It was in the fol- which he imagined bad chiefly operated on the mind of lowing words: “And that the right of such Indians or the gentleman from Massachusetts, and urged him to optribes shall not be impaired by their being at any time pose this bill. He meant the question of power. The formed into a Territory, or one of the United States." gentleman had asked, whence did Congress derive The whole effect intended was to quiet their minds as to power to pass such a bill, and establish such a governthe title to their lands, It gave them the assurancement over the Indian tribes? Did not the gentleman zbat, whatever might be their relations to Government, admit that the States bad jurisdiction over all their own now or hereafter, they should not lose the title to their territory, unless it had been ceded away to Government land. The "right" spoken of in the clause was the right by their own act? And who should form a government to their lands. It had not been the intention of the com- Jover one of the Territories but Congress? Where did the mittee to declare that a State should be formed; but only, people of Michigan or Arkansas get their laws from? out of extreme caution, to provide against such a contin. Was it not from Congress? Such jurisdiction was in. gency
separably connected with the dominion of the General The gentleman from Massachusetts was equally mista- Government. then, the States had no jurisdiction ken in what he understood to be the power of the United over the United States Territories, the question of power States Government over the Indian council spoken of in was no longer a constitutional question. The true questhe bill. The bill declared that such council should tion was only as to the means of exercising the power. “consist of not less than twenty-four members, who shall Mr. G. was not going to deny that the condition of the be elected by the respective tribes, or selected from the Indian tribes was anomalous, and was attended with quesexisting chiefs, in proportion to their numbers, which tions of great difficulty. All who had examined the subproportion shall be determined by the governor, as shallject had found it so. He did not say the difficulty was also the manner of their appointment, whether by elec- insuperable, but it was great and perplexing. It arose tion or selection. Provided that, as fast as the tribes are from the fact that the Indians were a people, all whose found competent to elect their representatives, that mode habits, interests, and opinions, Jiffered so entirely and of proceeding shall be adopted.” Many of the tribes essentially from those of the people of the United States, were still so ignorant and so unfit to manage public husi- that it was impossible for this Government to create a ness, that the committee did not think it expedient to code of laws adapted to their notions and their wants. extend the number of the council beyond the number We could not duit. We were ignorant of their ideas mentioned, of twenty-four, lest its capacity of action and their habits; nor could we obtain such a knowledge should be impaired. The counsellors were to be chosen of them as would fit us to become legislators for a people by their own tribe, or selected from among its present so different from ourselves. Under such circumstances, chiess. Some of these Indians knew nothing at all about what were Congress to do? If any gentleman would exconducting an election. Two of the tribes, however, amine the records of the administration of the honorable the Cherokees and Choctaws, did know and practise it. and very distinguished gentleman from Massachusetts, These were, of course, to elect their representatives; (Mr. Adams,] they would see where the project origi, others were to be selected, where chiefs had the author-nated which had since been approved by all humane and ity. But let it be understood that this selection was not intelligent men. The expedient then proposed had been to be made by the governor, but by the Indians them to give them a Territory to themselves. The very idea selves. The governor would know the numbers of the bad proceeded from the gentleman from Massachusetts several tribes, and he was to designate the proportion of himself. If any gentleman would look to the report of each tribe in the representation of the whole body. The General Porter, when Secretary of War, he would find committee could not fix the number to be allowed to each that that officer gave the whole credit of the plan to the tribe, because they did not know the comparative popu- administration under which he acted, while the zeal and lation of the tribes.
efficiency with which he promoted it tendel justly to There was nothing very important in the other objec- elevate his own character. The document he referred tions which the gentleman had urged. The use of the to was a lasting monument to his honor. Under the premilitary force was indispensable, for this reason: that vious policy of all the Governments, State and Federal, there was no other force by which Government could the aborigines of our land were in a course of rapid exgive effect to the decisions of the council. Were there tinction. All efforts to arrest their course, whetlier of a any civil officers to do it? Were there any citizens of the public or a private character, whether from the Christian United States there! Any sheriffs or marshals? Who benevolence of individuals or the humane policy of Govwas to aid the council in carrying its laws into effecternment, had utterly failed. Nothing could impcde the The military alone could do it, if those decrees were to downward progress of these unfortunate nations toward be enforced at all. Would the gentleman from Massa- extinction. The problem was to resuscitate their charchusetts point out any other agent by whom it could be acter; to give them new wants and new desires; and the done! The gentleman talked about liberty, and forms of way to do this was to give them new relations and new government, as if it was proposed to establish a govern- hopes. With a view to this end, the committee proposed ment for an enlightened community like our own; and if that we should say to the Indians, each of your tribes that were the condition of these poor Indians, there might shall govern themselves; we will not interfere, save to be some force in the gentleman's remarks; but all who give effect to your determinations. This would create knew what the Indians really were, knew that they were new hopes within them; this would bring them amicably not prepared for the enjoyment of such privileges. They together; this would induce them to consult for their would be lost as soon as bestowed. The committee were common welfare; this would lead to an interchange of actuated by an imperative sense of duty in wbat they had opinions. It would call up and call out the Indian mind. done. Their desire was to protect the Indians in the en- Hitherto the Indian bas felt himself to be a degraded bejoyment of such happiness as they were capable of enjoy. ling. He has taken it for granted that he never can equal ing. And the question was how to do this. Had any Ithe white man. But this bill said to him, you shall have
H. OF R.]
Western (Indian) Territory.
[JUNE 25, 1834.
rights; you shall have a country; you shall have a gov- pledged ourselves that they should enjoy a real national ernment; and when the white man enters the bounds of independence. But was there the slightest shadow of your tribe, he shall be under the government of the tribe. this in the present bill? What had been the decision of This was calculated to sooth his breast and elevate bis the Supreme Court upon the appeal of the Indians from feelings. It gave him something to live for; something our claim of jurisdiction. It was, that the Indians could to strive after. Such might be expected to be the effect, not maintain the ground they had assumed, because they and such was the effect in fact. The provisions of the were in a state of pupilage to this Government: that they bill bad been laid before the Indians, not before half-were not strictly citizens, but held a subordinate relation. breeds, but before men wbo bad not a drop of white Yet, to atone for what many considered as an unjustifia. blood in their veins, and the plan bad received their cor- ble seizure of their property, the country bad promised dial and their unanimous assent.
them an equivalent in lands, and the possession, as he had The great change had already passed. The Indians of said, of a real, bona fide, national independence. But our country had ceased to be hunters; they were no lon- what was the government set up by this bill? A govern. ger predatory wanderers; they had passed out of the ment of the Indian tribes over themselves? No; it was state of savageism. In two, at least, of their tribes, phys- the Government of the United States over them; and in ical strength had ceased to have the dominion, and was a form which had well been characterized, by the gentleitself under the control of intelligence. This was a man from Ohio, as the very worst form of despotism. It great step. It was the first, and it prepared for others. was a military government, and of the worst kind. And This bill proposed another great step in their progress, this was what was proposed to rescue the national fame and none desired to witness their progress toward con- from the grievous imputations which had been cast upon firmed happiness more sincerely or more fervently than it at home and abroad. Mr. A. had last year heard it those who had prepared and brought it into the House. said, with pain, though not altogether with incredulity, His friend from Vermont, the chairman of the committee, that all pledges given to the Indian tribes were illusory [Mr. H. EVERETT,] had labored in this cause day and and vain; that, whenever it might suit the interests of night; he had gone to all sources of information, and he the border settlers, their lands would be seized and their had imbodied more in the report he had drawn up than rights divested. Ile had not then thought so soon to see had ever before been presented to the House. Mr. G. what he now was compelled to witness, an attempt to felt it to be his duty to say this, in his place, before that seize, not upon the Indian land, but upon the Indian peobody. Why did not the gentleman who objected so ple, and to subject them to slavery and a military despotstrenuously to the bill, propose a better? Should it be- ism. It would have been bad enough had the plan been come a law, was it to remain unalterable? Would it not only to subject them to what we called a territorial govbe subject to amendment, as experience might dictate?ernment, but the bill went further than this; it prepared The governor and secretary of the Territory would be for them a government of bayonets, despotic in its form, bound to keep a record of all their proceedings; and that and wholly anomalous in the history of the world. record would come up to Congress. The House would An independent nation must have at least some rights, know, from session to session, all that was done. And but here a governor and his secretary were to rule at if oppression was perpetrated or attempted, it could not their pleasure. It most resembled the provincial gov. escape the vigilance of those who were so much inter-ernment of the British crown. It allowed the Indians ested in the welfare of the tribes, and would receive some subordinate rights, but it seized upon the whole of prompt arrest and condign punishment.
the supreme power, and established in the hands of a Mr. G. begged the pardon of the House for having de- single man the right to put down every thing this mock tained them longer than he expected. The subject was council of the Indians might presume to enact. He could full of interest; but, if it were long debated, the bill by a word supplant the whole. The best analogy to must be lost. If, however, it was in so crude and undi- their condition was found in the provinces of the Roman gested a state that it could not pass, be it so; let it be re- empire, where a proconsul exercised whatever powers iected.
he close to assume. This governor, the creature of the Mr. ARCHER said he did not consider this as a fit oc- executive pleasure, the instrument and tool of the execcasion to go into a full discussion of the great questions utive will, would realize in this age, and on these shores, involved in this bill. He confessed he had no notion that all that rendered the very idea of proconsular despotism any such bill had been prepared by the committee. He infamous in the old world. But, formidable as these ob. was well aware that there was now no time to enter into jections to the bill undoubtedly were, there was another a full and mature consideration of its provisions; yet he of its provisions which struck him as still more so. 'The could not forbear a brief effort to enforce what had been bill called the government it created a territorial gov. said with so much propriety and effect by the gentleman ernment. Be it so. if it was, then this Territory would from Ohio, [Mr. Vintos,) and his friend from Massachu: possess the right, in due time, to come to this House and setts, (Mr. Adams.) He considered the bill as of so high demand to be admitted as an equal and a sovereign mema character that its consideration ought to be postponed ber of our political confederacy. It might be because he to the next session. It was certainly one of the most im- was a Southron, but he felt disposed to dispute this right portant which had been presented to the House this ses- at the threshold. It was a right to introduce a foreign sion, Did the bill propose to establish a governient for nation, uncongenial to ourselves, into our political house. the Indian tribes? No: its practical purpose was to es-hold. Did any gentleman believe the American people tablish and enforce the Government of the United States would ever consent to admit the Indian tribes as confed. within the sacred territory set apart as the exclusive erate e quals with ourselves? If such a thought had been abode of those tribes. The couniry had long been agi- suggested in the convention which framed our constitu. tated by the general subject of our Indian affairs. Great tion, what sort of reception would it have met with? Was and colorable imputations had been thrown upon the it seriously contemplated to introduce all the Indian tribes Government for its treatment of these aboriginal inbabit- from our frontier to the mouth of the Columbia river, as ants of our soil. It had been loudly asserted that we members of our confederacy? But this led to another had invaded their rights of property and independence. question infinitely more serious.
If it was in the power To rescue the national honor, and vindicate our faith, we of the gentleman from Vermont to add to our Union men had pledged ourselves to send them across the great of blood and color alien to the people of the United Western water, and there to establish them upon a ter- States, where was that right to stop? Why not introduce ritory to be exclusively and for ever their own. We had our brethren of Cuba and Hayti? There was an infant
JUNE 25, 1834.]
Western (Indian) Territory.
(H. or R.
colony in Canada, formed of free blacks; what was to hin- gating all the tribes now scattered abroad, and giving der them, too, from being received into our arms? And them the power, by their own voluntary action, of did gentlemen flatter themselves with the belief that the forming therein a government of their own. Where, South would hear of measures like these? It might per- then, was the coercion, where the Prætorian tyranny of haps be that, in the gentleman's own State, there were which the gentleman from Virginia had spoken with so many who would exult over such a consummation; but did much indignant feeling? It gave to Indian tribes, with not the gentleman know that such a proposal would bring whoni we were under the obligation of solemn public the Union of these States to the brink of a precipice? He treaties, an opportunity of entering, if they considered it knew the feelings of that gentleman to be humane and most for their interest to do so, into a confederacy for generous; would the gentleman advocate a plan for the their mutual advantage; to prevent the recurrence of good of the Indians which compromited the peace of this private wars and civil feuds and strifes among themselves, country? Yet Mr. A. could not see how the application and thereby to obviate the necessity of any forcible in. of other tribes, of whatever color, or however unfit to terposition of the power of the United States in their participate in our institutions, could be consistently re- concerns. This was the whole end and scope of the bill. fused, after we had once admitted Indian legislators into Where, then, was the military despotism of which the that hall and an Indian State into our confederacy. If the House had heard so much? Mr. W. must attribute the present plan of colonization (of which he was the zealous ardor with which the gentleman had spoken, and the advocate, and which, he thanked God, was in a train of tri- strange exaggerated view he had taken of the dangers umphant progress,) should happily succeed, and a depu- of the plan, to the generous fears of a good heart throb. tation from Liberia should come to Congress, and, plead-bing with the love of liberty. As to the constitutional ing their origin from our own shores, their possession of question which had been mooted, he must confess he was the same tongue, and enjoyment of similar political insti- never more surprised than when he heard such a doubt tutions, should ask to be received to the fraternal embrace, proceed from such a source. Did not the gentleman with what arguments were they to be met, and on what from Massachusetts know that the country thus to be ground repelled? You have granted this privilege to the set apart by the bill was a part and portion of that United copper colored tribes beyond the Mississippi, can you states territory over which Congress, and Congress now deny it to the deeper colored race who sprang from alone, had power and jurisdiction? Had not Congress, by your own soil? It might be as great an advantage to have act after act, disposed of a portion of its territory to the a State in Africa, and a State in Cuba, and a State in Can- Choctaws, and other portions of it to the Cherokees? And ada, as a State at the foot of the Rocky mountains. He if the House had power to set apart one portion, might would be glad to know what answer the gentleman from it not set apart another, though of greater extent? The Vermont would return to such an application.
only question, it seemed to him, was, whether the bill did Mr. A. concluded hy invoking all southern men, and not assign too large a territory to the object in view. appealing to all northern men, not to attempt to imbue There were 40 or 50 tribes, containing, in all, a populathe couneils of our nation with a wild and visionary fanat. tion of about 160,000. They claimed the enjoyment of icism, as mischievous in practice as it might be benevo. this territory on the ground of treaty engagement. The lent in theory and speculation. Once let such seed be land belonged to the Government: we bad paid milsown, and the crop would in the end be confusion, anar- lions of dollars for it. Yet he was told of constitutional chy, and blood.
objections; and be heard an appeal addressed to all Mr. A. concluded by moving to lay the bill upon the southern men to basten to the rescue. He could not say, table.
as some gentlemen had done, that he did not know of the After some hesitation, he consented to withdraw the existence of such a bill till half an hour ago; nor could he motion, at the request of Mr. Warne.
think there was any ground for calling upon the South, Amidst loud cries for the question, and a contest of sev- as if the constitution were in danger. He was told that, eral gentlemen for the floor,
if this bill should pass, the Government would soon have Dr. H. EVERETT, having obtained it, said that he other territories of a similar kind in Cuba and in Canada, claimed the floor merely for the purpose of reminding It might be so: but he presumed we must first yet pos. the opponents of the bill, and reminding the House, be session of those countries. We were now legislating for fore they passed upon its fate, that no Indian tribe could a portion of our own land, and not for the territories of be compelled to subject themselves to its effects; no tribe a foreign Power. The condition of the Indians was sin. could be compelled to enter into the confederacy to which gular, and diverse from all others. This bill made an it referred.
effort to put them in possession of something like politi. Mr. WAYNE said that he had never known any scheme cal liberty. But the exercise of it was left wholly opof enlighteneil benevolence in his life which had not met tional with themselves. They might enter the confede. with very strenuous opposition, even from good men; racy if they pleased, and if they pleased they might ab. and the zeal which animated that opposition was often in stain. Perhaps the bill did not go quite to the extent exact proportion to their misconception of the thing op, which some gentlemen desired, but the effect of such posed. Now, with the most entire respect for the hon- an experiment would be to enlighten these unfortunate orable gentlemen from Massachusetts and from Virginia, people, and, by exhibiting before their view the benefits who had addressed the House in opposition to this bill, of something like a regular government of their own, [Mr. Adams and Mr. Ancher,] he must be permitted to overcome the fears and prejudices they entertained, and, think that they had entirely misconceived the provisions by once making a beginning, to induce by degrees other as well as the extent and spirit of the bill reported from tribes to unite with those who had ventured upon the the Indian committee. Its object and its spirit were in trial. But great objection had been made to the idea of entire accordance with what had been adopted as the ex. admitting this Territory as a new State into the Union, isting policy of this country towards the Indian tribes, and was the constitutional difficulty any greater than had which had given rise to a succession of benevolent pro. been overcome in the cases of Florida and of Louisiana? jects for their good, adopted at successive sessions of There was a treaty stipulation that they might become Congress for years past.' This Government had at the states in the Union, though they had formed no part of present time treaty stipulations with about 170,000 in our own soil: what, then, bindered us from agreeing to a dians east of the Mississippi, and as many as 160,000 more similar stipulation in the case of territories which did in the different Territories. This bill went to set apart consist of our own soil? The power to admit them was a certain portion of territory for the purpose of congre- unquestionable. The expediency of doing so was a dis