« ПретходнаНастави »
These memorials were so far regarded, that a new negotiation was immediately determined upon. This resulted in the treaty of Payne's Landing.
Colonel Gadsden was sent into the nation to negotiate the desired treaty, and, on the 8th of April, 1832, had an interview with Miconopy, the head of the tribe, and a few other chiefs, on the subject of a removal of themselves and people to the west of the Mississippi. Miconopy said, “ he wished all his
. people to hear what their father in Washington had to communicate to them, but their warriors were out on their annual
!; hunt, and many of them in the lower part of the peninsula, one hundred and fifty or two hundred miles from home, so that it would be difficult to collect them immediately. He therefore wished Colonel Gadsden to defer the communication for thirty days.” At the expiration of that time, the principal body of the Seminoles assembled by appointment at Payne's Landing, on the Ocklawaha river, where they were met by Colonel Gadsden, on the 8th of May, to negotiate on the subject of his mission. After considerable difficulty he succeeded in obtaining their consent to a treaty, of which the following are the leading features :
“ Ist. The Seminole Indians to relinquish their claim to the tract of land reserved for them by the second article of the treaty of Camp Moultrie, containing four million thirty-two thousand six hundred and forty acres, and to remove west of the Mississippi, and there become a constituent portion of the Creek tribe.
“ 2d. The United States to pay the Seminole Indians fifteen thousand and four hundred dollars, as a consideration for the improvements which they abandoned with their lands; and a further sum to the two blacks, Abraham and Cudjoe, of two hundred dollars each.
“ 3d. Each of the Indians to be furnished with a blanket and a homespun frock, and a sufficient quantity of corn, meat, and salt for their support for one year after their arrival in the new country.
“ 4th. The blacksmith, provided for in the treaty of Camp Moultrie, to be continued ten years longer, at one thousand dollars per year.
“5th. The United States to pay them an additional annuity of three thousand dollars, for fifteen successive years after their arrival in the west ; which sum, together with the four thousand dollars stipulated in the treaty of Camp Moultrie, (making seven thousand dollars per annum) to be paid to the nation with their annuities.
“ 6th. In order to relieve the Seminoles from the vexatious demands on them for slaves and other property, the United States stipulated to have the same investigated, and to liquidate such claims as were satisfactorily established, provided the amount did not exceed seven thousand dollars."
This treaty was executed, May 9th, 1832, and signed, on the part of the Indians, by fifteen chiefs. There was, however, connected with the treaty, a most important proviso, which placed its final acceptance or rejection at the option of the Indians. We give it in the words of the commissioner, Colonel Gadsden, in a letter to the Secretary of War.
“There is a condition prefixed to the agreement, without assenting to which the Florida Indians most positively refused to negotiate for their removal west of the Mississippi. Even with the condition annexed, there was a reluctance (which with some difficulty was overcome) on the part of the Indians, to bind themselves by any stipulations before a knowledge of facts and circumstances would enable them to judge of the advantages or disadvantages of the disposition which the government of the United States wished to make of them. They were finally induced, however, to assent to the agreement.”
Again, in the same letter, Colonel Gadsden says;
“ The final ratification of the treaty will depend upon the opinion of the seven chiefs selected to explore the country west of the Mississippi River. If that corresponds to the description given, or is equal to the expectations formed of it, there will be no difficulty on the part of the Seminoles. If the Creeks, how
any objections, this will be a sufficient pretext on the part of some of the Seminole deputation to oppose the execution of the whole arrangement for removal.”
A delegation of seven chiefs was accordingly deputed by the Seminoles, to visit and explore the country selected for their future residence. This delegation, which had been commissioned only to explore the country, and on whose report the final acceptance or rejection of the treaty on the part of the Seminoles was to depend, were met, before they had reported to their nation, by Colonel Gadsden, the writer of the letter just referred to, and other commissioners of the United States, at Fort Gibson, La., on the 28th of March, 1833, and induced to confirm a treaty which the government has held to be binding on the whole Seminole nation. By the stipulations of this treaty, one third of the tribe was to be removed as early as practicable in 1833 ; but
it was not ratified on the part of the United States till 1834, when the time specified for the execution of a part of the conditions had elapsed. A similar circumstance, when it occurred between Spain and the United States, in 1819, in the ratification of the treaty for the cession of Florida, was decided by our government to have rendered the first ratification, made by the Senate, inoperative. It was suggested by Governor Eaton, on this occasion, that the precedent ought to be taken as a rule in the case of the treaty of Payne's Landing ; as our Indian compacts were to be construed and controlled by the rules which civilized people practise.” The War Department, however, replied; “ The question presented in your letter respecting the validity of the obligation of the Seminole Indians to remove from Florida, has been submitted to the Attorney-General, and that officer has decided that the obligation of the treaty is not affected by the delay which has taken place, but that the Indians may be required to remove in the years 1835, 1836, and 1837.”
An early ratification of this treaty was pressed upon the governinent, though upon a different ground, by Colonel Gadsden and others. They were apprehensive, that, if delay occurred in making the necessary appropriation for the removal of one third of the Indians, stipulated to take place in 1833, "serious obstacles might be thrown in the way by a class of evil-disposed persons, whose interest would be injuriously affected by the Indians leaving the country.” Two years, as we have before seen, were suffered to elapse before the validity of the treaty was acknowledged, or any appropriations were made. Then, if not before, it was publicly denounced by the Indians as “a white man's treaty,” and they declared their determination not to hold themselves bound by it. From that time, we may date, the commencement of those excesses which have led to the present war, of which there appears to be little doubt that the treaty of Payne's Landing, and the circumstances immediately connected with it, were the principal cause.
We return to Mr. Drake. His fifth Book contains biographical and historical notices of the Iroquois, or Five Nations, and other neighbouring tribes of the West. Among the distinguished chiefs, whose lives are here related, we meet with the names of Grangula, Logan, Pontiac, Brant, Red
Jacket, Tecumseh, and Black Hawk; men whose talents would have rendered them illustrious in any age or nation. But it was their misfortune to fight for a sinking cause, to lift the arm of the weak and oppressed against the stronger oppressor, and bare their breasts to the impending storm, whose gathering blackness should pass away but to reveal the final destruction of their ill-fated race.
The volume contains many noble specimens of Indian eloquence, which we should be glad to cite for our readers; but we must restrict ourselves to a single extract, which may serve to convey some impression of the commanding oratory of Red-Jacket, when roused to put forth the full strength of his genius. We have not selected a speech, but a description of one of his most stirring harangues, written apparently by an eyewitness of the scene.
"The author of the following passage is unknown to us; but, presuming it to be authentic, we quote it. • More than thirty years * have rolled away since a treaty was held on the beautiful acclivity that overlooks the Canandaigua Lake. The witnesses of the scene will never forget the powers of native oratory. Two days had passed away in negotiation with the Indians for a cession of their lands. The contract was supposed to be nearly completed, when Red-Jacket arose. With the grace and dignity of a Roman senator, he drew his blanket around him, and with a piercing eye surveyed the multitude. All was hushed. Nothing interposed to break the silence, save the gentle rustling of the tree tops, under whose shade they were gathered. After a long and solemn, but not unmeaning pause, he commenced his speech in a low voice and sententious style. Rising gradually with the subject, he depicted the primitive simplicity and happiness of his nation, and the wrongs they had sustained from the • usurpations of white men, with such a bold but faithful pencil, that every auditor was soon roused to vengeance, or melted into tears. The effect was inexpressible. But ere the emotions of admiration and sympathy had subsided, the white men became alarmed. They were in the heart of an Indian country, — sure rounded by more than ten times their number, who were inflamed by a remembrance of their injuries, and excited to indignation by the eloquence of a favorite chief. Appalled and terrified, the white men cast a cheerless gaze upon the hordes around them. A nod from the chiefs might be the onset of
"* This writer, I conclude, wrote in 1822. I copy it from Miscellanies' selected from the Public Journals, by Mr. Buckingham." VOL. XLIV. - NO. 95.
destruction. At this portentous moment, Farmers-Brother interposed. He replied not to his brother chief, but, with a sagacity truly aboriginal, he caused a cessation of the council, introduced good cheer, commended the eloquence of Red-Jacket, and, before the meeting had re-assembled, with the aid of other prudent chiefs, he had moderated the fury of his nation to a more salutary review of the question before them. Suffice it to say, the treaty was concluded, and the Western district, at this day, owes no small portion of its power and influence to the counsels of a savage, in comparison with whom, for genius, heroism, virtue, or any other quality that can adorn the bawble of a diadem, not only George the Fourth and Louis le Désiré, but the German Emperor and Czar of Muscovy, alike dwindle into insignificance.' Book V. chap. vi. pp. 104, 105.
The volume contains portraits of several of the distinguished Indiau characters, and among the rest those of Red-Jacket and Pocahontas. The two latter are on steel ; and the por
; trait of the princess, which is from a copy of the original, taken in London, in 1616, while she was at the English court, is not ill executed. She was then at the age of twenty-one. The costume is English. Some excellent wood-cuts, partly copies of ancient drawings, and illustrative of Indian scenes and manners, also accompany the volume.
Art. II. - Sylva Americana ; or a Description of the Forest
Trees indigenous to the United States, Practically and
The subject of American Forest Trees is one which has long engaged the attention of enlightened European naturalists, and has more especially given rise to the splendid “Sylva” of Francis Andrew Michaux. To this accomplished and liberalminded Frenchman this country certainly owes a heavy debt of gratitude. If our people, or our rulers, should become awakened to a just sense of the immense value of our forests, before we feel it to our cost by their destruction or serious diminution, it will be owing directly or indirectly more to the