WASHINGTON, Feb. 15th 1830
Mr. Wilde, having availed himself this day week of a rule of the House, to lay the memorial presented by the speaker, in behalf of the Cherokee Nation of Indians, on the table, it was the first business to be disposed of this morning, after the reading of the journal was concluded; and it was referred, without opposition, to the Committee on Indian Affairs. In the course of presenting petitions this morning, as the States were called over, Mr. Coulter, of Pennsylvania, presented a memorial, numerously signed by the ladies in Western Pennsylvania, supplicating the national legislature, to interpose its authority to rescue the Indians from impending destruction. Gen. Thompson, of Georgia, following the example of his colleague, also availed himself of the rule to lay this memorial on the table. Mr. Johns, of Delaware, presented a memorial adopted at a highly respectable meeting of the citizens of Wilmington on the same subject, which, on the motion of Mr. Hayne, of Georgia, was also put on the table to repose for a week. Mr. Goodenow, of Ohio, presented a similar memorial, signed by many of the respectable ladies of Stubenville. General Thompson, of Georgia, having heard the word Indian announced, considered the subject under his special cognizance, and moved to lay the memorial on the table. Mr. Goodenow moved to print it. General Thompson resisted the motion, on the ground that he had a right, by that rule, to lay the memorial on the table, and the object of the rule was, to give the members an opportunity to examine it, and see that there was nothing improper or indecorous in it,---and that if the motion to print should be sustained, and be adopted by the House, the intention of the rule, and his object would be defeated. The Speaker decided that the motion to print was in order. Mr. Dorsey, of Maryland, called for the reading of the memorial. Gen. Thompson objected, and urged that publicity should not be given to it, until an opportunity was given to inspect it, and decide whether it was proper for the house to receive it. The Speaker remarked, that having decided that it was in order to print, it followed, as a matter of course, that the members had a right to know what they were called on to vote to print. It was read, and admired for the purity of its style, for the delicacy, yet firmness with which the subject is treated, for its devotion to humanity, and the cause of truth, and for its touching appeal to Congress, to interpose in behalf of a portion of our own species, fast emerging from a savage state, and embracing and practicing the doctrines of the Christian religion. Having been unsuccessful in his opposition to prevent the house from knowing what the memorial contained, self-respect, a regard for the feelings of others, and the proverbially chivalric character of a southern member, it was hoped would conspire to induce Gen. Thompson to treat the memorialists with that courtesy which is observed towards the female sex; in countries less civilized than ours. He however, called for a reading of the names of the fair petitioners, which is probably the first time a motion was ever made in Congress of the kind. It is perhaps improper to attempt to fathom the motives of members, but the conduct of Gen. Thompson on this occasion, had much the appearance of an attempt to turn the subject into ridicule. After the names were read, the motion to print was put, and carried by a large majority.