Слике страница
PDF
ePub
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

.

with the assurance that the protection of the United States moval to the distant wilderness! The people whom we i should follow them there. Here they are to have a per- are to remove are Indians, it is true; but let us not be demanent home. Here the arm of the wbite man shall not luded by names. We are legislatiog on the fate of men be long enough to reach them. In a few years the ad-dependent on us for their salvation or their ruiu. They are Vauced guard of your population is upon them; their flank ludians, but they are not all savages ; they are not any of is turned, their rear is cut off. The Territory of Arkan. them savages. They are not wild hunters. They are, at least sas, in which there is an estimated population of one to some of the southern Indians are, a civilized people. They the square mile, is badly crowded ; there is no room for have not, in all their tribes, purged oft every relic of barthe Indians; they must leave their settlements, just begin- barisın, but they are essentially a civilized people. They ning to thrive, their houses, their farms, their schools and are civilized not in the same degree that we are, but in the churches, and remove beyond the frontier, to a new per- same way that we are. I am well informed that ibere is maneut home. Two parties of Creeks have followed the probably not a single Cberukee family that subsists excluexample, and gone to their permanent home on laods just sively iú the ancient savage mode. Each family bas its allotted to the Choctaws and Cherokees. It will probably little farm, and derives a part at least of its support from be among their first occupations to fight for their title to agriculture or some other branch of civilized industry. this land of refuge; particularly wbep seventy-five thou are such men eavages! Are such men proper persons to sand recruits come pouring in, (driven forward by "a be driven from home, and sent to bunt buffalo in the disfew troope," who, we are told, will be deeded to aid in tant wilderness! They are plapters and farmers, tradesthis voluptary removal) and who are to find their perma- people and mechanics. They have corufields und orcbards, nent home in the wilderness already granted away. looms and workshops, schools and churches, and orderly

Sir, if you really do carry out this policy, its wretched institutions. Sir, the political communities of a large porobjects will indeed come to a permanent home in its exe- tion of civilized and chrlstian Europe might well be proud cution, of a nature different to that you profess to con- to exhibit such a table of statistics as I will read you. template. You will soon drive them up to that bourne [Here Mr. E. read the following table:] from which neither emigrant nor traveller returns. "A statistical table exhibiting the population of the Cherokee

This is the effect, whatever be the provisions of the bill. nation as enumerated in 1824, agreeably to a resolution But let us contemplate it more closely. What is, in the general, the necessary character of a ineasure like this

of the Legislative Council; also of property, dot as stated. a forced removal of whole tribes of Indians from their na

Population,

16,560 tive districts to a distant wilderness! I will give it, sir, not

Male negroes,

- 610 Female negroes,

667

1,277 in my own language, but in that of the President of the United States at the commencement of the session :

Grand total of males and females,

13,783 The condition and ulterior destiny of the Indian tribes

Total number of females,

6,900 within the limits of some of our States, have become ob

Females over forty years of age,

782 jects of much interest and importance. It bas long been

Yeniales from fifteen to forty years,

3,108 Females under fifteen years of age,

3,010 the policy of Government to introduce among them the arts of civilization, in the hope of gradually reclaimiug Males over fifty-nine

Total number of males,

6,888 then from a wandering life. This policy hus, however,

year's

352

3,027 been coupled with another wholly incompatible with its Males from eighteen to fifty-nine years of age, success. "Professiug a desire to civilize and settle them, Add for those wbo have since removed into the

3,054 we bave, at the same time, lust po opportunity to purchase their lands, and thrust thein farther into the wilderness,

nation from North Carolina, wbo were living
in that State on l'eservations,

- 500 By this means, they have not only been kept in a waudering state, but been led to look op us as unjust and indif

" Remarks.—There are one hundred and forty-seven ferent to their fate. Thus, though lavish in its expendi- white meo married to Cherokee women, and sixty-eight tures upon the subject, Government has constantly de- Cherokee men married to white women. feated its owu policy; and the lodians, in general, reced

“There are eighteen schools in the nation, and three ing farther and further

to the West, have retained their hundred and fourteen scholars of both sexes, thirty-six gristsavage habits. A portion, however, of the southern tribes, mills, thirteen saw-mills, seven hundred and sixty-two looms, having mingled much with the whites, and made some pro- two thousand four hundred and eighty-six spinning wheels, gress in the arts of civilized life, have lately attempted to one hundred and seventy-two wagons, twu thousand nine erect au independent Government within the limits of bundred and twenty-three ploughs, seven thousand six Georgia and Alabama. These States, claiming to be the hundred and eighty-three horses, twenty-two thousand five only sovereigns within their territories, extended their hundred and thirty-one black cattle, furty-six thousand laws over the Indiaus, which induced the latter to call seven hundred and thirty-two swine, two thousand five upon the United States for protection."

hundred and sixty-six sheep, four hundred and thirty goats, Such is the President's view of the effect of removing sixty two blacksmith's shops, vine stores, two tan-yards, Indians westward. Those who have been removed, bave and one powder-mill, besides many other items not enu: been kept wandering and savage. Some who have staid, merated; and there are several public roads, and ferries, have made great progress in civilization; but having un- and turnpikes, iu the nation." dertaken the establishment of fixed laws and a permanent These, sir, are your barbarians; these are your savages; Government," agreeably to the provisions of a treaty vego. these your hunters, whom you are going to expel from tiated with them by the President himself, and approved by their homes, and send out to the pathless prairies of the the Georgia Sepators, that State bas extended laws over West, there to pursue the buffalo, as be ranges periodithem wbich will have the effect of driving them into the cally from south to north, and from porth to south ; and wilderness, and against these laws the President cannot you will do it for their good! protect them! Ove scarce believes that it is in this way But I shall be told, perhaps, that the Cherokees are that a project for a general, sweeping removal of all the more advanced than their red brethren iu civilization, Indians against their will, to the distant wilderness, is to They may be so, but to a less extent I imagine than is be introdueed to our favorable notice.

generally thought. What is the condition of the Choclaws ? Let us view this subject, sir, in a practical light. Let us i quote a letter from one of the inisiovaries to that tribe, not talk of it by a dare, but consider it as a thing. What communicated to the Senate by the department of War sort of a process is it when actually gone througly

, this re- during the present session. After stating that a very

of age,

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

great and general reformation of the vice of intemperance for such a documeut, in possession of tlie department.) s had, within a few years, taken place, Mr. Kingsbury pro- letter, which tells you that the Choctaws, except where ceeds:

the scbools are, and where the half breeds live, are, in * The result of a census takeu in 1828, in the north-east every sense of the word, genuine Indiavs. No general district, was as follows, viz. population, five thousand six improvement in any thing appears to pervade tbe country. huodred and twenty-seven; peat cattle, eleven thousand I will rely more on this expression of opinion, when I am six bundred and sixty-one; horses, three thousand pipe better informed of the disinterestedness of its source. hundred and seventy-four; oxen, one hundred and twelve ; Such are the people we are going to remove from their hogs, twenty-two thousand and forty-seven; sheep, one homes : people, 'living, as we do, by busbandry, and the hundred and thirty-six; spinning wheels, five hundred and mechanic arts, and the industrious trades ; and so much the thirty; looms, one hundred and twenty-four ; plouglas, three more interesting, as they present the experiment of a per hundred and sixty ; wagons, thirty-two; blacksmith's shops, ple rising from barbarity into civilization. We are going seven ; coopers' sbops, two; carpenters' shops, two; wbite to remove them from these their homes to a distant wil men with Choctaw families, twenty-two; schools, five; derness. Whoever beard of such a thing before! W boerer scholars in the course of instruction, about one bundred and read of such a project ! Ten or fifteen thousand families, fifty. In one clap, with a population of three hundred and to be rooted up, and carried bundreds, aye, a thousand of thirteen, who eight years ago were almost entirely destitute miles into the wilderness! There is not such a thing is i of property, grossly intemperate, and roaming from place the apoals of mankind. It was the practice-the bærbarouk to place, there are now one hundred and eighty-eight and truly savage practice--of the polished nations of antihorses, five hundred and eleven cattle, eight bundred and quity to bring bonie a part of the population of conquered fifty-three bogs, seven looms, sixty-eight spinning wheele, countries as slaves. It was a cruel exercise of the rights thirty-five ploughs, six oxen, ove school, and twenty or of the conqueror, as then understood, and in turir prar twenty-four scholars.*

tised, by all nations. But in time of peace, toward “ Avother evidence of the progress of improvement offending communities, subject to our sovereignty indeed, among the Choctaws, is the organization of a civil Govern- but possessing rights guarantied to them by more than ment. Jo 1826, a general council was convened, at which one bundred treaties, to remove them, against their will the constitution was adopted, and legislative powers were by thousands, to a distant and a different country, where delegated to a national committee and council

, whose acts, they must lead a new life, and form other babits, and enwheu approved by the chiefs, became the supreme laws of couuter the perils and hardships of a wilderness: sir, I the land." I have now before me a manuscript code, con- never beard of such a thing; it is an experiment on human taining twenty-two laws, which bave been evacted by the life and buman happiness of perilous novelty. Geotlerces, constituted authorities, and, so far as I know, carried into who favor the project, cannot have viewed it as it is. They complete execution. Among the subjects embraced by think of a march of lodian warriors, penetrating, with their these laws, are theft, murder, infanticide, marriage, poly- accustomed vigor, the forest or the cane brake--they gamy, the making of wills, and settling of estates, trespass, think of the youthful Indian bunter, going forth exultingly false testimony, what shall be considered lawful enclosures to the chase. Sir, it is no sucb thing. This is all past; it around fields, &c.

is a matter of distant tradition, and pretical fancy. They “ A great desire for the education of their children, bave nothing now left of the Ivdian, but bis social and per furnishes another proof of the advancement of the Choctaws. litical inferiority. They are to go in families, the old and Petitions are frequently inade, requesting the establishment the young, wives and children, the feeble, the sick. And of new schools. Numbers more have applied for admission how are they to go? Not in luxurious carriages; they are to the boarding sshools thao could be received. Nothing poor. Not in stage coaches; they go to a region where is now wanting but suitable persons and adequate means there are done. Not even in wagons, nor on horseback, to extend the advantages of education to all parts of the for they are to go in the lenst expensive manner possible. Cboctaw nation.

They are to go on foot; nay, they are to be driven by col• The preaching of the gospel has, witbin' the two past tract. The price bas been reduced, and is still further to years, been attended with very happy effects. To its in- be reduced, and it is to be reduced, by sending them by fluence must be ascribed much of that impulse which bas coutract. It is to be screwed down to the least farthing, recently been given to the progress of civilization in the to eight dollare per head. A community of civilized peomore favored parts of the nation. The light which the ple, of all ages, sexes, and conditions of bodily health, are gospel has diffused, and the moral princip'es it has impart. to be dragged bundreds of miles, over mountains, rivers, ed to the adult Choctaws, hnve laid a foundation for stability and deserts, where there are no roads, no bridges, ne and permanency in their improvements. In this district

, habitations, and this is to be done for eight dollars & head: eighty-two natives, principally heads of families, are mem- and done by contract. The question is to be, what is the bers of the church. All these, with one exception, have least for which you will take so many buodred families, maintained a consistent christian character, and would do averaging so many infirm old men, so many little children honor to any christian community.”.

so many lame, feeble, and sick? What will you contract Nor is the condition of the Chickasaws less advanced for! The imagination sickens at the thought of what will and improving. From the official return of Colonel happen to a company of these emigrants, which may prove McKenney, it appears that their numbers are but about less strong, less able to pursue the journey than was antifour thousand. They are estimated by him to possess cipated. Will the coutractor stop for the old men to rest, eigbt hundred houses, of an average value of one hundred for the sick to get well, for the fainting women and chiland fifty dollars, with some that must have cost one or dren to revive 1 He will not; he cannot afford to. And two thousand. He supposes them to have ten mills, fifty this process is to be extended to every family, in a popsworkshops, enclosures of fields to the value of fifty thou. lation of seventy-five thousand souls. This is what wa sand dollars; and an average of stock to each, of two call the removal of the Indians ! borses, two cows, five hogs, and a dozen of poultry. It is very easy to talk of this subject, reposing on these ! I know, sir, that there is in the same document op the luxurious chairs, and protected by these masky walls, and civilization of the lodians, communicated to the Senate, this gor ous canopy, from the power of the elemente (meagre at the best, compared with the ample materials Removal is a soft word, and words are delusive. But let

gentlemen take the matter home to themselves and tbeir This is but the return of one district, probably less than a third weighbors. There are seventy-five thousand Indians to be

removed. This is not much less than the population of

of the nation.

May 19, 1830.)

Removal of the Indians.

(H. OF R.

two congressional districts. We are going, theo, to take , cover the valleys and bills. Oa Tennessee, Ustanala, and 1 population of Indians, of families, who live as we do in Cavasagi rivers, Cherokee commerce floats. The climate houses, work as we do in the field, or the workshop, at is delicious and healthy : the winters are wild. The spring The plough and the loom, wbo are governed as we are by clothes the ground with its richest scenery. Cherokee laws, who send their children to school

, and who attend flowers, of exquisite beauty, and variegated bues, meet, and themselves on the ministry of the christian faith, to march fascinate the eye in every direction. In the plains and valthem from their homes, and put them down in a remote, leys the soil is generally rich, producing Indian coro, cotunexplored desert. We are going to do it-this Congress ton, tobacco, wheat, oats, indigo, sweet and Irish potatoes. is going to do it--this is a bil to do it. Now let any gen. The natives carry on considerable trade with the adjoining tleman think how he would stand, were he to go boine, and States, and some of them export cotton, in boats, down the tell bis constituents that they were to be removed, whole Teunessee to the Mississippi, and down that river to New counties of them-they must fly before the wruth of in. Orleans. Apple and peach orchards are quite common, supportable laws-they must go to the distant desert, be- and gardens are cultivated, and much attention paid to them. yond the Arkansas-go for eight dollars a head, by con- Butier and cheese are seen on Cherokee tables. There are tract*-that this was the policy of the Government--that many public roads in the nation, and houses of entertainthe bill had passed—the money was voted--you bad voted ment kept by natives. Numerous and flourishing villages for it-and go they must.

are seen in every section of the country. Cotton and woolIs the case any the less strong because it applies to len cloths are manufactured here. Blankets, of various these poor, uorepresented tribes, " who have no friends dimensions, maoufactured by Cherokee hauds, are very to spare !" If they have rights, are not those rights sacred common. Almost every family in the nation grows cottou -as sacred as ours—as sacred as the rights of any com for its own consumption. Ivdustry and commercial entergressional district? Are there two kinds of rights, rights prise are extending themselves in every part. Nearly all of the strong, wbich you respect because you must; and the merchants in the nation are native Cherokees. Agrirights of the weak, on which you trample, because you cultural pursuits (the inost solid foundation of our national dare! I ask gentlemen again to th nk what this mea- prosperity) engage the chief attention of the people. Difsure is, not what it is called. To reflect on the reception ferent branches in mechanics are pursued. "The populait would meet with, if proposed to those who are able to tion is rapidly increasing." make their wishes respected, and especially if proposed Such is the land which at least one large community to them for their good. Why, sir, if you were to go to of these Indiaus are to leave. Is it not too much for human the least favored district in the Union--the poorest soil - nature to bear, that upoffending tribes. for no alleged the severest climale-the most unhealty region, and ask crime, in profound peace, should be rooted up from their them thus to remove, were it but to the next State, they bereditary settlement, iu such a land, and hurried off to would not listen to you; they would not stir an inch. But such a one as I shall presently show to the House ! to take up hundreds and thousands of families, to carry Sir, they are attached to it; it is tbeir

own;

and though, thern off uomeasured distances, and scatter them over a by your subtleties of State logic, you make it out that it is wilderness unknown to civilized man, they would think not their own, they think it is, they love it as their owu. It you insane to name it! Wbat sort of a region these un- is the seat of their council fires-not always illegal, as your happy, tribes are to be removed to, I will presently in. State laws now call them. The time has been, and that quire: Let us see what sort of a region they are to leave. not very distant, when, bad the King of France, or of

And now, sir, I am going to quote an accouot, which I Spaio, or of Englaod, talked of its being illegal for the candidly admit to be in all likelihood overstated. It pro Choctaws or the Cherokees to meet at their council fire, ceeds from a patriotic native pen; and who can rest within they would have answered, “come and prevent us." It the limits of exact reality, iu describing the merits of a be is the soil in which are gathered the bones of their fathers. loved native land ? I believe it a little colored, but the ele. This idea, and the importance attached to it by the Inments of truth are there. It is plain, from the circum-dians, has been held up to derision by one of the officers Btance and detail, that it is substantially correct. At any of the Government. He has told the Indians that "the rate, since I have been a member of Congress, it has been bones of their fathers cannot benefit them, stay wbere twice, and I believe three times communicated from they are as long as they may." I touch with regret on the War Department as official inforınation. It is from that upon which the gentleman froin New York bas laid a letter writien by David Brown, a native Cherokee, of bis heavy band. I have no unkind feeling towards the inmixed blood, dated Willstown, (Cherokee Nation), Septem, dividual who has udadvisedly made this suggestion. But ber 2, 1825.

the truth is, this is the very point on which the Indian race, " The Cherokee nation, you know, is in about thirty sensitive on all points, is most peculiarly alive. It is profive degrees north latitude; bounded on the north and west verbial. Guveroors Cass and Clark, in their official reby the State of Tennessee, on the south by Alabama, and port, the last wiuter, tell you tbat“ we will not sell the spot on the east by Georgia and North Carolina. This country which contaivs the bones of our fathers," is almost always is well watered; abundant springs of pure water are found the first answer to a proposition for a sale. The mysterious in every part. A range of majestic and lofty mountains mounds which are seen in different parts of the country, stretch themselves across the nation. The northern part the places of sepulture for tribes that have disappeared, of the nation is billy and mountainous. In the southern are objects of reverence to the remnants of such tribes, and western parts there are extensive and fertile pluios, as long as any such remaio. Mr. Jefferson, in bis Notes on covered partly with tall trees, through which beautiful Virginia tells you of such a case. Unknown Indians caine streams of water glide. These plains furnish immense through the country, by a path known to themselves, pasturage, and numberless herds of cattle are dispersed through the woods, to visit a mound in bis neighborhood. over them. Horses are plenty, and are used for servile Who they were, no one knew, or whence they came, por purposes. Numerous docks of sheep, goats, and swine what was the tribe to whose ashes they had made their pil.

grimage. It is well known that there are tribes who celeHaving bestowed some reflection upon the subject, in conclusion brate the great feast of the dead; an awful but affecting est mode of removing the Indians, should they consent to go, would commemoration. They gather up the bones of all who not be by contract at so much per head. I feel perfectly sate in haz- have died since the last return of the festival, cleanse them arding the opinion that it will not cost on an average more than eight dollars per head, to remove every Indian east of the Mississippi to the country which has been selected for them west of it.' Letter of the • Proceedings of the Indian Board, in the city of New York, with Second Auditor to the Secretary of War, 12th April, 1830.

Col. McKenney's Address, page 42.

.

H. OF R.)

Removal of the Indians.

(MAY 19, 1830.

from their impurities, collect them in a new deposit, and much did he see of it f-how far did he go westward 1 Fer* cover them again with the sod. Shall we, in the compla- ty-eight miles only. He admits that the land is good only cency of our superior light, look without indulgence on for two hundred miles west from Arkapsas; and three the pious weakness of these children of bature? Sball we quarters of this be took on trust, for be went only fortf tell them that the bones of their fathers, which they visit eight miles into it

, in a westerly direction. Is this an e after the lapse of ages, which they cherish, though clothed ploration on which we can depend--a hasty excursion, for in corruption, can do them no good? It is as false in pbi- a few miles, into the district to which we are to transplast losophy as in taste. The man who reverences the ashes the Indians ? Sir, it would do to write a paragraph upao of his fathers, who hopes that posterity will reverence his, in a newspaper ; it would serve as a voucher for an article is bound by one more tie to the discharge of social duty. in a gazetteer. But, good beavens! will this warrants

Now, sir, whither are these Indians, when they are re- in taking up dependent tribes of fellow-beings from the moved, to go! I confess I am less informed than I could homes, and marching them, at a venture, into this remete wish. I thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. desert, upon the borders of which au agent has just set his HEMPAILL) for his amendment. It does credit to bis saga- foot! From the time that Mr. McCoy left St. Louis til city. It is just what is wanted. I say we all

want infor

. he got back there, was just sixty-two days. His descristine mation. We are going, in a very high-banded way, to is as follows; and I quote the passage, because it contains throw these Indians into the western wilderness. I call the strength of his recommendation: upon every gentleman who intends to vote for this bill

, to

" I may not be so fortunate as to meet with many who ask himself if he has any satisfactory information as to the concur with me in opinion relative to the country vader character of that regiou. I say it is a terra incognita. It consideration, (I menú the whole described in our remarka) has been crossed, but not explored. No one knows its re- yet I hesitate not to pronounce it, in my estimation,' very cesses but the wild Indians who bunt over it. I have made good, and well adapted to the purposes of Indian settleme. some notes of this country, however, with which I will I thing I risk nothing is supposing that no State or Teri trouble the House :

tory in the Union embraces a tract of equal extent and fet " In regard to this extensive section of country, (be- tility, so little broken by lands not tillable, to that lying tween the meridian of the Council Bluffs and the Rocky south of Kanzas and on the upper branches of Osage add Mouutains,) we do not hesitate in giving the opinion that it is Neosbo, the extent of which I have not been able to aseer almost wholly uofit for cultivation, and, of course, udinbu- tain. This country, also, has its defects, the greatest of bitable by a people depending upon agriculture for their which is the scarcity of timber ; but, by a judicious divisió subsistence. Although iracts of fertile land, considerably among the inhabitants

, of woodland and prairie, there will extensive, are occasionally to be met with, yet the scarcity be found a sufficiency of the former, ie connexion with of wood and water, almost uniformly prevalent, will form coal, to answer the purpose' in question, with tolerable an insuperable obstacle in the way of settling the country. convenience.” This objection rests not only on the immediate section un Ayain : "The greatest defect in this country, (and I am der consideration, but applies with equal propriety to a sorry it is of so serious a character,) is the scarcity of time. much larger portion of the country-[gorth and south). ber. If fields be made in the timbered land, which met

The whole of this region seems peculiarly adapted as a persons who have been accustomed to timbered countries range for buffaloes, wild gouts, and other wild game, in: are inclined to do, the Indians more especially, because calculable multitude of which find ample pasturage and often upprepared with teams for breaking prairie, timber subsistence upon it."-Long, vol. II, page 361. And shall will soon become too scarce to sustain the population, we send men who have been brought up in the coryfield, wbich the plan under considerntion contemplates. “I trust the workshop, and at the loom, to buot buffalo and wild that I need offer vo apology for supposing that measures goats in this uninbabitable desert ?

ought to be adopted immediately for marking off to ela Mr. Nuttall, an exceedingly intelligent and scientific tra- settler, or class of settlers, the amount of timbered land veller, who visited this country in 1819, thus speaks of a really necessary for their use, severally, and no more. The

timber, generally, is so happily distributed, in streaks ani "To give my reader some idea of the laborious exer: groves, that each farm may be allowed the amount of tim tions which these people make to obtain a livelihood, I ber requisite, and then extend back into the prairie lands need only relate that the Osages had now returned to their for quantity. The prairies, being almost universally rieb, village, from a tallow bunt, in which they had travelled and well situated for cultivation, afford uncommon facih not less than three buodred miles up the Arkansas, and bad ties for the operation of such a method. By pursuing this crossed the saline plains situated between that river and plan, wood, after a few years, will increase in quantity asthe Canadian. In this bunt, they say that ten villages of Dually, in proportion as the grazing of stock, and the inte themselves and friends (as the Kanzas, who speak uearly rests of the inhabitante, sbali check the annual burning af the same language, are called) joined for common safety. those prairies. These regulations, essential to the future They were, however, attacked by a small scout of the prosperity of the territory, cannot be made without the Pawnees, and lost one of their young men, who was much existence of the superintendency of whieh I speak. Let esteemed, and, as I myself witnessed, distractingly lament- it be said that the country within such and such boundaries ed by the father, of whom be was the only son. They say shall be given to the Indians, for the purposes under ett the country through which they passed is so destitute of sideration. Next establish such a course of things u will timber that they had to carry along their tent poles, and render it possible to make a fair distribution of it among to make fire of the bison ordure." Page 182.

its ipbabitants, in view of their numbers and circumstances, Sír, the gentleman from Ohio, the other day, moved a and which will secure to them the possibility of future resolution asking for information on this subject. The prosperity." House felt that it wanted the information ; his résolution I beliere, sir, tbat Mr. McCoy is 'very worthy and be was adopted. And what did we get in reply? Twenty-two nevolent person. Having been connected with a mission lines from a letter written by Goveruor Clark, five years to some northwestern band of Indians, wbich has been ago, and he had never seen the country to which the title pearly or quite broken up by the encroachments of wbites of the Osages and Kanzas had, when he wrote the letter, he appears to have considered removal is the greatest just been extinguished! This is the official information good for all Indians, under all circumstances. While the wbich is to guide us in deciding the fate of thousands and Indians, whom be conducted, were evidently dissatished teds of thousands of fellow-beings! Then we have the tes with the country, he makes the best of it. He was there timony of Mr. McCoy. He saw the country. But howla very short time, and penetrated a short distance, but tells

21

portion of it:

May 19, 1830.]

Removal of the Indians,

(H. OF R.

us“ the prairies are almost universally rich," and that even Shawnees, Piankeshaws, &c. and settle them on the Kanzas the single farins cau be laid off with a patch of woodland. river. And it is also necessary that some assistance should He could not possibly know this to be true. He saw as be given to remove them there, and, when there, to assist much of this country as a traveller would see of Peousyl- them in preparing the earth for cultivation and provisions, vania, Maryland, and Virginia, who should go by the till they cao raise a support. Without this aid, the Indistraightest road from Philadelphia to Harper's ferry, and ans will be more wretched than they were before they theoce back to Washington. This region is said to be six moved. bundred miles long and two huodred and fifty broad. Mr. “ The Shawnees and Delawares of Cape Girardeau, who McCoy's whole line of march within it, going and return. were twenty years ago, doing well, with good houses, liting, was about four hundred miles.

tle farnis, with stock in abundance, are now in distress, As for the project of settling ench Indian family by a roving in small parties in every part of the country, in purGoverument superintendency ; persuading them to spare suit of subsistence. Those who have come from Ohio, will, he wood; counting out such a number of trees as is abso- if not supported, in a short time be in the same situation. utely necessary; and thus making provision “ for the pos “ The distresses of the Indians of this superintendency sibility of future prosperity," and for “tolerable conve- are so great and extensive, and complaints so frequent, that Hence," in respect to fuel, it defies gravity. The wildest it is and has been impossible for me to report them. I thereelusions, by which waste lands in distant countries are fore have taken on myself a great deal in acting as I thought puffed off by jobbers, do not go beyond this. One coarse best; I have not troubled the Government with oumerous act, like that which I have already cited from Mr. Nuttall, occurrences, which they could not remedy."

howing the wretched shifts to which the Osages were put Sir, General Clark is your most experienced superintendor fuel, is worth a volume of those well meaning specula- ent of Indian affairs; and his superiotendency lies in this Fions on the providence, thrift, and foresight of the Iudians, vaunted Indian Capaan, beyond the Mississippi. Let us \ husbanding their timber. This incontestible want of learn wisdom from the fate of the Shawnees and Delaimber in the region in question, would make it upiuhabit- wares, who in twenty years, bave sunk from the possesble to the thriftiest people on earth. Sir, mere benevo-sion of comfortable farms and competence, to abject roving ence, piety, and zeal do not qualify a person to promulgate poverty. One statement more from an official letter of

pinions which are to affect the well-being and lives of General Clark, of March 1, 1826, and I leave this topic. -"wiisavds of fellow-men. You tell an lodian, shivering “The condition of many tribes west of the Mississippi, 'the winter over the wretched substitute for fuel, which is the most pitiable that can be imagined. During several Ir. Nuttal describes, that there is a “possibility," some seasons in every year, they are distressed by famine, in Pears hence, of bis having wood enough to enable him to which many die for the want of food, and during which the

et along with “ tolerable convenieuce," if he is very provi living child is often buried with the dead mother, because Erent in the mean time!

no one can, ispare it as much food as would sustain it What are the Indians to do after they get here? The through its lielpless infancy. This description applies to riginal plan of going over the Mississippi was to find am- the Sioux and Osages, and many others; but I mention ale range for the chase. That object was sanctioned by Mr. those because they are powerful tribes, and live dear our efferson, in 1808, when proposed by the imigrating por- borders, and my official station enables me to know the exop of the Cherokees. It now seems abandoned; and we act truth. It is in vain to talk to people in this condition le told of raising their character, of putting then on an about learning and religion." quality with ourselves, and fixing them on spug farms of This is the couptry to which the Indians are to be mov9 much woodland and so much prairie. Can they pursue ed. This is the fertile (region in which they are to be geir accustomed occupations in this new region? Can any placed. This their prospect of improvement. aan, on bis responsibility, say, they will find wood and The worthy chairman of the committee told us of the water, and soil, aod access to market, and convenience of causes of their degeneracy, seated in the nature or in the avigation, like what they have left! No man can say it. babit, the second dature, of the Indians. I admit the truth Y but does experience teachi The Cherokees in Arkavsas, of the representation ; I am sorry there is so much foundaster encountering great bardships, were doing well, and, tion for it. My hopes have never been over sanguine of fter ten years' residence, have been pushed farther west- elevating the race to a high degree of civilization ; although rard. A lavish expenditure by the Government, and the within a few years better bopes have been authorized, than ntiring benevolence of the pious and liberal, have re-esta- ever before. But these causes of degeneracy exist. The lished them in seeming comfort; but the result is yet to ludians, it is said, suffer from the proximity of the whites, e seen. We are already threatened with a general Indian and the jealousy and hostility between them, and the conar on the frontier. But the case of the Cherokees of scious inferiority of the Indian. But this is not remedied kansas is the only one which is not a 'deplorable failure. west of Arkansas; they will have a white population crowdWhat says General Clark, writing to the department, 10th ing op them there. There is one already. We are told December, 18277 " I must request you to draw the atten- they are improvident. Be it so; will they not be improvion of the Secretary of War to the moving or emigrating dent there i Mr. McCoy tells us, this happy land has but adians, who are continually coming on to this side of the little timber, and yet thinks that, if left to themselves, lississippi. Those that have come on, and not permanent- they would go in and cut it down ; aud that there must be

settled, (many of them,) are scattered for the purpose of a sort of Government forester, to parcel it out for them, rocuring subsistence; and frequent complaiuts are made and keep them from wasting it. We are told they have guirist them by the white people, and considerable ex- an innate propensity to intemperance. Will they cease to ense incurred in reconciling the difficulties."

bave it in the wild of Arkansas? If they thirsted for spiThis "scattering to procure subsistence," (leading to tits by the pleasant banks of the Ustapala and Coosawattee, omplaints by the whites, and expense in reconciling diffi- will they abstain in the salt prairies and parched deserts of ulties,) I take to be a periphrasis for roving about, beg- the West ? What safeguard will they bave there, which

ing and stealing. Again : " The tribes on this side of the they have not here i Surely, sir, as they are removed from fississippi are wretched, and moving from place to place. a surrounding civilization, as they cease to breathe the very

have just heard that the several scattering bands, who temperate atmosphere of the Atlantic States, there is reaCasided Dear Fort Towson, have moved near Alexandria, son to fear that the causes of degeneracy will remain in all o the Red river,

their intensity, while the checks will be fewer, and the re" It will be necessary that authority be given, as soon as medies weaker. Fossible, to exchange lands with the Delawares, Kickapoos, I have already binted that this great project fails in the

VOL. VI.--135.

« ПретходнаНастави »