NEW ECHOTA: DECEMBER 23, 1829
On our first page we have inserted, from the Missionary Herald, able remarks of the editor of that popular publication on the letter of Mr. Eaton to Col. Ward, Agent for the Choctaws, and Col. Folsom's speech in answer to that letter, published a few weeks ago in the Phoenix.
The 'Hiwassean' has stated that there are about six hundred Cherokee Indians encamped at the Agency in readiness to emigrate to the west of the Mississippi.- This we apprehend is a mistake. There may probably be about three hundred emigrants at that place, including women, children and negroes.
The Joint Committee on the state of the Republic in the legislature of Georgia, to whom was referred the talk of the President of the United States to the Creek Indians, and the letter of the Secretary of War to the Cherokee Delegation, together with other documents, developing the policy of the General Government towards the Aborigines, made report, of which the following is the closing part. We would only say, we were not aware before that the President could withdraw a guaranty contained in treaties solemnly made, and approved by the highest authorities of the country.
Such being the usages concerning Indians, the policy adopted by the General Government is clearly proper, at least so far as it is intended to induce them to remove beyond the limits of the States, or to withdraw from those limits; and to extend to them, in some favorable position, the aid and protection of the government. The advantages resulting from a location beyond the limits of the states, depend on an exemption from the mischievous intercourse of bad white men, and from the collisions of rival sovereignty, and upon the unobstructed exertions of the government, and various benevolent associations for their benefit. In this view of the subject, it is not wonderful that the religious public are beginning to use their exertions to promote emigration to the delightful region beyond the Mississippi; for, however the son of the forest may be entitled to the rights of humanity, and however the states may be disposed to avoid collision with the General Government, in relation to Indian affairs, a dependent situation within the states, is attended with evil too obvious and too serious to be overlooked. These evils to the Indians might be greatly enhanced by the manner of exercising the power, entering into the composition of sovereignty, of buying off, or otherwise removing, the permissive occupancy of the territory claimed by them; for, although the President of the United States has given a guarantee of this occupancy, it is not perceived that this guarantee rests on any valid foundation; and it may, therefore be presumed, that it will ultimately be withdrawn, when the President shall have reviewed the whole ground, including the exposition of Indian titles, made by an authorized agent with the apparent sanction, of a late administration of the General Government.
In view of the premises, the committee recommend the adoption of the following resolution, viz:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Georgia, That they approve the policy of the General Government towards the Indians, so far as it is calculated to induce them to remove beyond the operation of those causes which evidently tend to retard their improvement; and to extend to them,in a favorable position, the fostering protection and assistance of the country.
The same Committee also reported a bill entitled:
'An act to add the territory lying within the chartered limits of Georgia, and now in the occupancy of the Cherokee Indians, to the counties of Carroll , Dekalb, Gwinnett, Hall and Habersham, and to extend the laws of this state over the same, and to repeal all laws and ordinances made by the Cherokee Nation of Indians; and provide for the compensation of officers serving legal process in said territory, and to regulated the testimony of Indians.'
The five first sections apportion the territory among the counties named.
The 6th section extends civil and criminal laws over it.
The 7th section declares null and void all Cherokee laws, orders, regulations, 'c. 'c. nor are defendants allowed to justify, or courts of law to receive the same in evidence.
The 8th section imposes a tax of ___ cents, as a full tax on every full blooded made Indian of 21 and upwards:
The 9th section points out the manner of suing out legal process, and its compensation. Officers serving the same, in case of resistance to call the aid of the citizens of the above named counties.
The 10th section provides that no Indian or descendant shall be a competent witness in any court, until the Judge is satisfied that the witness has a due sense of the obligation of an oath.
As the policy of the State of Georgia, concerning the Cherokees, is well known to the public, we refrain from making any comments- our readers will judge for themselves.