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the Executive. It was determined, then, they should not make laws themselves, but adopt from the codes of the States, which being passed by freemen for their own government, it was supposed would never be oppressive. But no one dreamt of their selecting laws to give themselves fees. For to what a length might not this be carried by entitling themselves to fees for every act which was allowed a fee in any single State. Their salaries were certainly understood to be in lieu of all emoluments; yet they early began this abuse. Governor Sinclair and his associates set the example. It was not unnoticed. But as every one had rather another should pass personal censures than himself, the first laws for this purpose were laid by myself before Congress with the other laws, without comment, the power of repealing being in them. Partly from much business, partly from no individual member being willing to come forward as the denunciator, the thing went on till the arbitrary and intolerable temper of Governor Sarjeant urged it on the notice of Congress. On the 12th of February, 1795, this among other legislative practices, had been disapproved by the House of Representatives, (report, p 8, 9, February 19, 1801,) and lost in the Senate. But February 19, 1801, a committee of friends to Sarjeant, appointed by his friend Sedgwick, reported it an abuse, but not proceeding from criminal intentions, and therefore resolved that there ought to be no further proceedings for mal-administration against him, to which resolution the House disagreed by a vote of fifty against thirty-eight, though a federal house ; but this being late in the day of the 3d of March, 1801, on which day they were to rise, nothing further could be done. But Governor Sarjeant's time expiring soon after, his commission was not renewed for this among other reasons.
Hints on the subject of Indian boundaries, suggested for con
sideration. December 29th, 1802. An object, becoming one of great importance, is the establishment of a strong front on our western boundary, the Mississippi, securing us on that side, as our front on the Atlantic does towards the East. Our proceedings with the Indians should tend systematically to that object, leaving the extinguishment of title in the interior country to fall in as occasions may arise. The Indians being once closed in between strong settled countries on the Mississippi and Atlantic, will, for want of game, be forced to agriculture, will find that small portions of land, well improved, will be worth more to them than extensive forests unemployed, and will continually be parting with portions of them for money to buy stock, utensils, and necessaries for their farms and families.
On the Mississippi, we hold at present from our southern boundary to the Yazoo. From the Yazoo to the Ohio is the property of the Chickasaw, a tribe the most friendly to us, and at the same time the most adverse to the diminution of their lands. The portion of their territory of first importance to us, would be the slip between the Mississippi on the west, and on the east the Yazoo and the ridge dividing the waters of the Mississippi and Tennessee. Their main settlements are eastward of this. I believe they have few within this and towards the Mississippi. The method by which we may advance towards our object will be, 1, to press the encouragements to agriculture, by which they may see how little land will maintain them much better, and the advantage of exchanging useless deserts to improve their farms. 2. To establish among them a factory or factories for furnishing them with all the necessaries and comforts they may wish (spirituous liquors excepted), encouraging these, and especially their leading men, to run in debt for these beyond their individual means of paying; and whenever in that situation, they will always cede lands to rid themselves of debt. A factory about
the Chickasaw bluffs, would be tolerably central, and tney might admit us to tend corn for feeding the factory and themselves when at it, and even to fix some persons for the protection of the factory from the Indians west of the Mississippi, and others. After awhile we might purchase these, and add to it from time to time. 3. We should continue to increase and nourish their friendship and confidence by every act of justice and of favor which we can possibly render them. What we know in favor of the other Indians, should not constitute the measure of what we do for these, our views as to these being so much more important. This tribe is very poor, and they want necessaries with which we abound. We want lands with which they abound; and these natural wants seem to offer fair ground of mutual supply.
The country between the Mississippi and Illinois on one side, and the Ohio and Wabash on the other, is also peculiarly desirable to us, and is in a situation this moment which renders it particularly easy for us to acquire a considerable portion of it. It has belonged to the Kaskaskias, Cahokias and Piorias. The Cahokias (of whom the Michiganris were a part) have been anticipated by the Sacs, the Piorias driven off, and the Kaskaskias decreased to a few families. Governor Harrison, in his letter of November 28th, 1802, says the Pioria chief has offered the right of his nation to these lands for a trifle. We should not fail to purchase it immediately. The Cahokias being extirpated, we have a right to their lands in preference to any Indian tribe, in virtue of our permanent sovereignty over it. He also says that Deloigne, the Kaskaskia chief, would make easy terms with us. I think we should be liberal in our offers to the Kaskaskians. They are now but a few families, exposed to numerous enemies, and unable to defend themselves, and would cede lands in exchange for protection. We might agree to their laying off one hundred acres of the best soil for every person, young and old, of their tribe, we might enclose it well for them in one general inclosure, give to every family utensils and stock sufficient for their portion of it, and give them an annuity in necessaries, on their ceding to us their whole country, on retaining for themselves only a moderate range around their farms for their stock to range in; and we might undertake to protect them from their enemies. Having thus established ourselves in the rights of the Kaskaskias, Cahokias and Piorias, we should have to settle the boundaries between them and the Kickapoos, Powtawatamies and Weaws. We should press again the good will of these tribes by friendly acts, and of their chiefs by largesses, and then propose to run the line between us, to claim whatever can be said to be doubtful, offering them a liberal price for their pretensions, and even endeavoring to obtain from them a cession of so much of their acknowledged territory as they can be induced to part with.
As to the country on the Mississippi above the mouth of the Illinois, its acquisition is not pressing in the present state of things. It might be well to be inquiring into titles, and to claim whatever
have been abandoned or lost by its native owners, so as to prevent usurpation by tribes having no right; as also to purchase such portions as may be found in the occupation of small remnants of tribes nearly extinct and disposed to emigrate.
For the present, it is submitted to the consideration of the Secretary of War, whether instructions should not be immediately given to Governor Harrison to treat with the Piorias and Kaskaskias chiefs; as to the latter, which is most important, it would be easy to solicit and bring over by presents every individual of mature age.
Notes on the subject of the consular convention between the
United States and France. May 3d, 1803.
In 1784 a convention was entered into between Dr. Franklin and the Count de Vergennes concerning consuls. It contained many things absolutely inadmissible by the laws of the several
States, and inconsistent with their genius and character. Dr. Franklin, not being a lawyer, and the project offered by the Count de Vergennes being a copy of the conventions which were established between France and the despotic States on the continent (for with England they never had one), he seems to have supposed it a formula established by universal experience, and not to have suspected that it might contain matters inconsistent with the principles of a free people. He returned to America soon after the signature of it. Congress received it with the deepest concern. They honored Dr. Franklin, they were attached to the French nation; but they could not relinquish fundamental principles. They declined ratifying it, and sent it back with new powers and instructions to Mr. Jefferson, who succeeded Dr. Franklin at Paris. The most objectionable matters were the privileges and exemptions given to the consuls, and their powers over persons of the nation, establishing a jurisdiction independent of that of the nation in which it was exercised, and uncontrollable by it. The French government valued these, because they then apprehended a very extensive emigration from France to the United States, which this convention enabled them to control. It was, therefore, with the utmost reluctance, and inch by inch, that they could be induced to relinquish these conditions. The following changes, however, were effected by the convention of 1788:
The clauses of the convention of 1784, clothing consuls with the privileges of the laws of nations, were struck out, and they were expressly subjected, in their persons and property, to the laws of the land.
The giving the right of sanctuary to their houses, was reduced to a protection of their chancery room and its papers.
Their coercive powers over passengers were taken away; and those whom they might have termed deserters of their nation, were restrained to deserted seamen only.
The clause allowing them to arrest and send back vessels, was struck out, and instead of it they were allowed to exercise a police over the ships of their nation generally.
So was that which declared the indelibility of the character