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tual and peaceable possession, and to such form of government as they choose, has been admitted by the whites, though such admission is in no sense necessary, to the perfect validity of the Indian title.
5. For one hundred & fifty years innumerable treaties, were made between the English colonists and the Indians, upon the basis of the Indians being Independent nations, and having a perfect right to their country, and their own form of government.
6. During the revolutionary war, the United States, in their confederate character, made similar treaties, accom. panied by the most solemn guarranty of territorial rights.
7. At the close of the revolutionary war, and before the adoption of the federal constitution, the United States in their confederate character, made similar treaties with the Cherokees, Chickasaws, and Choctaws.
8. The State of Georgia, after the close of the revolutionaty war, and before the adoption of the federal constitution, made similar treaties on the same basis, with the Crecks and Cherokees.
9. By the constitution of the United States, the exclusive power of making treaties with the Indians, was confined to the general government; and in the exercise of this power, the faith of the nation has been many times pledged to the Cherokees, Creeks, Chickasaws and Chocktaws, and other Indian nations. In nearly all the treaties, the national and territori. al rights of the Indians, are guaranteed to them, either express ly, or by implication.
10. The State of Georgia, has by numerous publicaçts, im. plicitly acquiesced in this exercise of the treaty making powe er of the United States.
11. The laws of the United States, as well as treaties with the Indians, prohibit all persons, whether acting as individuals or agents of any state, from encroaching upon the territories secured to the Indians. By these laws, severe penalties are
inflicted upon offenders, and the execution of the laws on this subject, is especially confided to the President of the United States, who has the whole force of the country at his disposal for this purpose.
The positions here cited, are deemed to be incontrovertible. It follows, therefore, that the removal of any nation of Indians, from their country by force, would be an instance of cruel oppression.
That all attempts to accomplish the removal of the Indians by bribery or fraud, by intimidation and threats, by withholding from them, a knowledge of the strength of their cause-by practising on their ignorance, and their fears, or by vexatious importunities interpreted by them to mean nearly the same thing as a command-all such attempts are acts of oppression, and therefore unjustifiable.
That the United States are firmly bound by treaty, to protect the Indians from the force and encroachments on the part of a state; and a refusal thus to protect them would be equal ly an act of bad faith, as a refusal to protect them against in. dividuals; and that the Cherokees, have, therefore, the guaran. ty of the United States, solemnly and repeatedly given, as a security against the encroachments of Georgia, and the neighboring states. By virtue of this guaranty, they may rightfully demand that the United States, shall keep all intruders at a distance, from whatever quarter, or in whatever character they may come. Thus secured and defended in possession, they have a perfect right to retain that posssession as long as they please. Such a retention of their country is no just cause of offence or complaint, to any state or to any individual. It is merely an exercise of natural rights, which rights have not only been acknowledged, but repeatedly and solemnly confirmed by the United States.
Although these principles are clear and incontrovertible, yet many persons feel an embarrassment from considering the Cherokees as living in the State of Georgia. All this embar
rassment may be removed. at once, by bearing in mind, that their country is not in Georgia, in any sense, affecting sovreignty, right of soil or jurisdiction; nor will it become a part there. of, till the Cherokees shail have first ceded it to the United States. Whenever that event shall take placeit will immediately fall into the States of Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama; not by virtue of any compact to which the Cherokees have been a party; but in consequence of compacts now existing between these states and the United States. This matter is placed in a perfectly clear light, by the titles of various laws of Georgia, which have been enacted to dispose of lands obtained from the Creeks,.
Even so late as the year 1825, the following title is four İB the statute book of Georgia: An act to dispose of and distribute the lands lately acquired by the United States, for the use of Georgia, of the Creek nation of Indians, by a treaty made and concluded at the Indian springs, on the 12th day of February, 1825.” This act was approved by Gov. Troup on the 9th of June, the same year. The first section of it begins thus:-“That the territory acquired of the Creek, nation of Indians, by the United States, for the use of Georgia, as described in articles of a treaty, entered into and concluded by commissioners on the part of the United States; and chiets, head men and warriors of the Creek nation of Indians &c.'
These extracts give a fair account of the whole matter. If the territory was acquired from the creek nation, it was manifestly the property of that nation, before it was thus acquired. If it was acquired by the United States, through the instrumentality of a treaty, it was because the treaty making power is, by the federal constitution, vested exclusively in the United States; and because the Creeks being a nation, could not dis. pose of thier country in any other way than by treaty. If it was acquired for the use of Georgia, it follows that she had not used it previously
In fact, Georgia, had never thought of legislating for the In
dian country, till two or three years after the date of this law. According to the eleventh treaty of Holston, and to the law of the United States, till it shall have been surrendered to the United States by treaty. Let this supposed embarrassment then be finally dismissed.
--Again, it is supposed, that the existence of a little separate community of Indians, living under their own laws, and surrounded by communities of whites, will be fraught with some great and undefined mischief. This supposed evil is set forth under learned and hard names. It is called an'anomaly of an imperium under an imperio, and various other pedantic epithets. When the case is accurately examined, however, all the fog clears, and nothing appears in the prospect, but a tract of country, full of civilized Indians, engaged in their lawful pursuits, neither molesting their neighbors, nor interrupting their prosperity. If the separate existence of the Indian tribes were an inconvenience to their neighbors, this would be a slender reason for breaking down all the barriers of justice and good faith. Many a rich man has thought it very inconvenient that he could not add the farm of a poor neighbor to his possessions. Mańy a powerful nation has thought it very inconvenient, to have a weak and dependent state in its neighborhood; and therefore, forcibly joined the territory of such state, to its own extensive domains. But this is done at the expense of honor and character, and is visited by the historian with the severest reprobation.
In the case before us, the case is altogether imaginary. If the United States were examined, with a view to find a place where the Indians could have a residence assigned them that they might be as little as possible in the way of the whites, not a single tract capable of containing inhabitants, could be found more secluded than the present country of the Chero. kees. It is in the mountains, among the head waters of rivers diverging in almost all directions, and some parts of it are al. most inaccessible. The Cherokees have ceded to the United