The following is from the Mobile Register of Jan 20. We are glad to perceive that at least one southern press has independence enough to be just and liberal to the Indians.
Public Land and the Indians.--The whole quantity of lands purchased by the United States situated in this State, amounts to twenty-four million four hundred and eight-two thousand one hundred and fifty-nine acres; of this, nineteen million five hundred and eighty-six thousand five hundred and sixty acres, have been obtained from the Indians, under six separate treaties, and at different dates. The first Indian treaty, connected with lands in Alabama, was made 23d July, 1802, with the Chickasaw Nation, and procured three hundred and forty-five thousand six hundred acres. The second, made 16th Nov'r. 1805, with the Choctaws, embraced lands in this State and in Mississippi. The third; with the Cherokees, made 7th January 1806, embraced lands in Tennessee and in Alabama. The fourth, with the Creeks, 9th August, 1814, embraced lands in Georgia, Mississippi and this State. The fifth, with the Cherokees, 4th October, 1816, was confined to lands in Alabama, alone, which amounted to one million, three hundred and ninety-five thousand two hundred acres; and the last in which this State was concerned, was made with the Cherokees, 27th February, 1819, and again embraced lands in this State and Tennessee.
The gross amount of the proceeds of public sales of land in our State by the General Government, is about twelve million of dollars; and the expense attending the sales about two hundred thousand dollars. The amount of public lands that have been appropriated to Schools and Colleges in Alabama, is about seven hundred and twenty-six thousand acres; and the quantity now remaining unsold does not probably vary much from nineteen million of acres. The quantity of lands yet claimed within our State by the Indians, we have not at present means of determining, but much the largest portion of their original possessions has already passed away from them.
The General Government now pays to the Creeks an annuity of twenty-four thousand five hundred dollars which is permanent--To the Chickasaws an annuity which is permanent, of three thousand dollars, and one of twenty thousand dollars which ends in 1833. The Cherokees have a permanent annuity of ten thousand dollars; and the Choctaws have three annuities, one permanent of twelve thousand three hundred dollars; one of six thousand dollars ending in 1839, and one of six thousand dollars ending in 1840. The Choctaws number in their tribe twenty-one thousand; the Creeks eighteen thousand; the Cherokees nine thousand, and the Chickasaws three thousand six hundred and twenty-five.
Up to this time there has been no settled course of policy pursued in relation to the Indians with a view to regulate and control their ultimate destiny; but the time has now arrived when this is about to be done. The sophisms with which it is attempted to veil the course of usurpation that has been recommended by some, we utterly condemn-the subtleties by which others would refine the poor Indian from his possessions, we cast from us as worthless. We have but the abstract right of might alone, for we came not in the march of armies to conquer and subdue,-we approached these shores as a child to ask for shelter and for succor-we have been nursed and nourished, till we have become strong and great; and shall we turn and destroy the children of our foster parents?
That this subject is full of difficulties, we are aware, but there never was a condition of things, however great might appear the difficulties involved, that did not admit of a just and righteous course of action, which a clear head and honest heart seldom fail to discover. For the government or direction of the measures to be adopted in our Indian relations, it is in vain to look for precedents or authority. Things as they are, must be the basis upon which we must proceed, ' our line of conduct must be dictated by equity and sound common sense.
Let us therefore spare no pains, nor consider in vain any labour (sic) spent in searching for rules of action, towards these humbled and afflicted children of a common father, which shall be sanctioned by the immutable principles of justice, if not of mercy, and justified by no less attentive regard to our national reputation, than devotion to our interests.
Our definite views of this subject will appear in a future paper.