and Indians' Advocate
Wednesday, March 17, 1830
Vol. II, no. 48
Page 2, col. 5a-Page 3, col. 2b
33d [sic] Feb. 1830
I this day transmit you a copy of the report of the Committee on Indian Affairs in the Senate. It relates as will be seen, more particularly to our situation and the threatened extension of the State laws over our nation; and strikes at the very root of our existence as a nation. How the honorable chairman of the committee will make it out that the principles of that report are correspondent with those of his written opinion, on our right to tax traders, I cannot imagine. How changed and altered are men and things from what they were in the days of our fathers. Then they were told they had rights, and treaties were entered into with them to secure and protect them in the enjoyment of those rights. But now, since we have improved our condition and are truly sensible of our rights and insist upon the faithful maintenance of these treaty stipulations made in good faith, why, we are frankly told that the United States never had any right to enter into treaty with our nation; that we are the subjects of a sovereign state and subject to be controlled by her will alone without any interference by the General Government. This Sir, is the language of our Great Father, to whom the Indians look up for justice and protection. But a few days since we saw him and spoke of our present embarrassments, from what we con [sic] conceive to be unfair and unjust measures, and that was his opinion of the validity of all our treaties. I shall offer no comment upon the report, but from the limited knowledge I have of these matters, I cannot say, that it is based upon the principles practiced by Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe; or, that it is very able. What a deceptious course the Government has been pursuing towards us, these forty years, if, indeed, we have no right as a distinct people, and that they had no right to treat with us even though Heaven witnessed their solemn promises, and that the lands we now occupy, truly are the rightful property of Georgia. When Congress shall have decided upon our rights, we shall be satisfied. Let her, in justice to the American people and the unfortunate aborigines, declare to the world whether all the Treaties under her solemn ratifications are worth no more than so much trouble to deceive ignorance. She owes it to herself and to the civilized world. We have determined to remain upon our own soil, and pursue habits of industry and religious instruction. The state laws, though extended, we cannot acknowledge to be just: and the time has at length arrived when it becomes necessary for the United States Government to decide our fate and say whether we shall sink in ruin and degradation by such rules as civilization teaches."