Слике страница

in the annals of jurisprudence. Have the coun- | the jury, or the jury for the court, at pleasure ; sel, on either side, a right to call on the other to address the court on facts, or the jury on side, to state all their evidence, before it be in- points of law? Such an attempt would not be troduced, and then to address the court without a greater encroachment on the right of the hearing it, if they think they have a better proper tribunal, than the present motion is on chance before the court than the jury? Has | the rights of the jury.* either party a right to substitute the court for


The following is an extract from Mr. Wirt's comparatively few. The great majority of the argument before the Supreme Court of the American people see this subject in its true United States, on a motion for an injunction to bosoms, instead of hearts of stone; and every

They have hearts of flesh in their prevent the execution of certain acts of the le- rising and setting sun witnesses the smoke of gislature of Georgia, in the territory of the the incense from the thousands and tens of Cherokee nation of Indians, on behalf of the thousands of domestic altars, ascending to the Cherokee nation.*

throne of grace to invoke its guidance and bless

ing on your councils. The most undoubting Sir, I have presented to you all the views confidence is reposed in this tribunal. that have occurred to me as bearing materially for this unfortunate people will be done by this

We know that whatever can be properly done on this question. I have endeavored to satisfy honorable court. Their cause is one that must you that, according to the supreme law of the land, you have before you proper parties and a have been true and faithful to us, and have a

come to every honest and feeling heart. They proper case to found your original jurisdiction: that the case is one which warrants and most right to expect a corresponding fidelity on our imperiously demands an injunction; and unless part. Througli a long course of years, they its aspect be altered by an answer and evidence, children. Our wish has been their law. We

have followed our counsel with the docility of - which I confidently believe it cannot be—that if ever there was a case which called for a de- asked them to become civilized, and they becree of perpetual peace, this is the case.

came so. They assumed our dress, copied our It is with no ordinary feelings that I am about names, pursued

our course of education, adopted to take leave of this cause. The existence of

our form of government, embraced our religion, this remnant of a once great and mighty nation and have been proud to imitate us in every is at stake ; and it is for your honors to say thing in their power. They have watched the whether they shall be blotted out from the cre- progress of our prosperity with the strongest ation, in atter disregard of all our treaties. interest, and have marked the rising grandeur They are here in the last extremity, and with of our nation with as much interest as if they them must perish for ever the honor of the had belonged to us. They have even adopted American name. The faith of our nation is fa- nole tribes they voluntarily, joined our arms,

our resentments, and in our war with the Semitally linked with their existence, and the blow and gave effectual aid in driving back those barwhich destroys them quenches for ever our own barians from the very State that now oppresses glory: for what glory can there be, of which a patriot can be proud, after the good name of his them. They threw upon the field in that war country shall have departed ? We may gather a body of men, who proved, by their martial laurels on the field and trophies on the ocean, bearing, their descent from the noble race that but they will never hide this foul blot upon our

were once the lords of these extensive forestsescutcheon. “Remember the Cherokee nation," men worthy to associate with the “lion” who, will be answer enough to the proudest boasts

in their own language, “walks upon the mounthat we can ever make-answer enough to tain-tops.”+ They fought, side by side, with cover with confusion the face and the heart of

our present Chief Magistrate, and received his every man among us, in whose bosom the last repeated thanks for their gallantry and conduct. spark of grace has not been extinguished. Such,

May it please your honors, they have refused it is possible, there may be who are willing to to us no gratification which it has been in their glory in their own shame, and to triumph in the power to grant. We asked them for a portion disgrace which they are permitted to heap opon

of their lands, and they ceded it. We asked this nation. But, thank Heaven! they are

* The remainder of Mr. Wirt's speech, in which he replied See the Memoirs of the Life of William Wirt, Attorney- to Mr. Wickhain's fourth objection to the admission of fur. General of the United States, by John P. Kennedy: vol 2. ther evidence on the part of the prosecution, is omitted. pp. 330-348.

+ The Indian designation of their chieftain Ridge.

again and again, and they continued to cede, / gory which we have been gaining before the until they have now reduced themselves within world for the last half century ? Forbid it

, the narrowest compass that their own subsist- Heaven! ence will permit. What return are we about I will hope for better things. There is a to make to them for all this kindness? We spirit that will yet save us. I trust that we have pledged for their protection, and for the shall find it here, in this sacred court, where no guaranty of the remainder of their lands, the foul and malignant demon of party enters to faith and honor of the nation; a faith and darken the understanding or to deaden the honor never sullied, nor even drawn into ques- heart, but where all is clear, calm, pure, vital tion till now. We promised them, and they and firm. I cannot believe that this honorable trusted us. They have trusted us : Shall they court, possessing the power of preservation, be deceived? They would as soon expect to will stand by and see these people stripped of see their rivers run upwards on their sources, their property and extirpated from the earth, or the sun roll back in his career, as that the while they are holding up to us their treaties United States would prove false to them, and and claiming the fulfilment of our engagements. false to the word so solemnly pledged by their | If truth, and faith, and honor, and justice have Washington, and renewed and perpetuated by filed from every other part of our country, we his illustrious successors.

shall find them here. If not-our sun has gone Is this the high mark to which the American down in treachery, blood and crime, in the face nation has been so strenuously and successfully of the world; and, instead of being proud of pressing forward ? Shall we sell the mighty our country, as heretofore, we may well call meed of our high honors at so worthless a upon the rocks and mountains to hide our shame price, and, in two short years, cancel all the from earth and heaven.

[graphic][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« ПретходнаНастави »