Note. This issue of the Phoenix is printed in four columns only.
From the Journal of Commerce.
INDIAN WRONGS IN THE NORTH!
Surely, we know not what Chapter of State policy, devoting Indians to ruin will next open; we know not what scene of the great tragedy of their wrongs, which is now acting, will next claim our attention.
first act has been laid in the South, as we all know; and scene after scene has been opened upon us, developing concerted mischief, systematic and legalized injury--and injury of the most vital character, whether we regard their existence as communities, or their life and comfort as individuals--until our very heart's blood has been challenged to sympathize with that devoted people.
next act is now opening from acted scenes of injury, we have been outrage. I mean on right-official violence committed on the most sacred compacts-compacts born at the highest possible consent.
And the interest, the sympathies, and the honor of the State of New York are alike and equally concerned in this matter. Her own Indians, whom she has reason to love and cherish, if for no other reason, yet for that reason, which endears a disabled and unfortunate child to its solicitous and ever watchful parent--a parent, who finds his affections allied to a tender and helpless object, because he is tender and helpless. Yes, her own Indians--to whom, less than ten years ago and interesting and hopeful door was opened at Green Bay,--where it was thought that the St. Regis, the Munsees, the Stockbridges, the Oneidas, the Brotherstons, and the Six Nations, indeed, all the Indians of the State of New York, might find a peaceful and permanent home;
those Indians, in 1821 and 1822, under the suggestion of benevolence and under the sanction and guidance of the supreme authorities of the nation, went, by their delegation, and purchased to themselves a home in the North West. The compacts were duly solemnized by the parties, (the parties being the New York Indians on the one hand and the Menomente and Winnebago nations, owners of the soil, on the other) and sealed by the hand of the President of the United States. And in reliance in on the faith of these compacts, and on the pledges of Government for protection, these Indians removed some hundreds of them, a little less than a thousand--planted themselves on their new territory at Green Bay, erected houses and villages, cleared and cultivated farms, and made many valuable improvements, expecting to present inducements to all their brethren in the State of New York to follow them.
And what has been the sequel? Why it has been discovered that the North Western Territory will make a good and an important member of the Confederacy-that Government were too hasty in pledging that region to Indians. And inasmuch as the New York Indians, by their deeds of purchase, and by removal upon the premises, had got actual possession of the very part and heart of the country, and the most important water power to North America;- and inasmuch as, if their title should be acknowledged, it was somewhat doubtful, whether they would readily negotiate away so valuable a country and property, it was obviously the convenient way to march and take it by violence.
And so it has been taken by a Commission from the Genl. Government in 1827. And to consummate the purposes of that aggression, another Commission of 1830 has but just returned from that violated ground, and remitted their enactments to the President for affirmation. And this, be it remembered,was not done by Georgia-
No Georgia herself is here outdone by the Nation! The crimes of Herod are blanched in comparison of deeper crime! From Georgia there is an appeal. From the Nation, there is no appeal, but to heaven. If the nation shall seal this- it is the consummation of guilt and perfidy. More of the same kind may, and on such condition, will be done. But there is no going beyond it in principle.
And thus a full, fair, and thorough experiment of the value of the faith of Government, now offered to Indians, removing from States into the unchartered territories, has been made in less than ten years. And at this very moment, this acme of public interest on this subject-this
new chapter of Indian wrongs, this new Apocalypse of Indian doom, is ready to be opened. And if there be a man among us, who has hitherto vacillated with diffidence as to how this course of treatment would turn out, it is reasonably expected, that this new disclosure will enforce him to a confirmation of opinion, and to decision of purpose.
I esteem it fortunate, that the great and powerful State of New York is so deeply concerned, both in interest and sympathy, in this violation of the public faith. It if her own Indians that have been thus abused- and that, too, after having received the most solemn pledges of the certain tenure of their lands, and of protection in their rights. Not another Indian ere again trust himself to the faith of the General Government. And not only so--but those already planted at Green Bay, in consequence of the perfidy which has been practised on them, and the consequent vexations and uncertainties, are now gravely meditating to throw themselves back on the charities of this Commonwealth. But had the faith of the Government been kept, there was every prospect, that this State might disburden herself of this delicate and embarrassing encumbrance, with justice and honor.
preemptive right company may now shut up their office. No auction hammer will get a bidder for their stock.
And the standing policy of the nation, woo on this subject, is literally balked. For how can it go forward, in the face of such transaction--of such experiment? 'Murder will out.' Mischief, left to its own policy, will ultimately defeat its own aims. And so it is hoped, by these timely developments, there will be reformation, or formation of public sentiment in the land, sufficient to save the Indians from their destiny, which has seemed to impend them.
While present at a Council of the Chiefs of the New York Indians at Green Bay a few weeks ago, I heard one of them say--a man, too, who for intelligence for moral worth, and for the common virtues of life, would not suffer in comparison with any man in this proud community--a man, whom no one, reverencing 'the human face divine,' could look upon, but with respect. I heard such a man in public council, recommending the removal of all his brethren into Canada because the British keep their faith with the Indians! And he quoted facts, and adduced reasons to which I passionately desired, but was utterly unable to reply. I had the privilege of speaking being admitted to council. Mortified and abased as a citizen of the United States, I was compelled to submit in silence. For the first time in my life I was ashamed of my country! and in such presence: before the Indian, agonized under a sense of his wrongs, and giving vent to feelings, which it is not in man, or God to despise!
N. B. A detailed expose of the injuries done to the New York Indians at Green Bay, will soon be laid before the public. Some other particulars and a general index of this subject were published in the Daily New York American on Saturday, Oct. 20th , and in the same paper for the country, on Monday, the 1st instant--together with a letter of thanks from the Chiefs to all, who have advocated the rights of Indians.
A Spectator of the late doings of the Commissioners at Green Bay.
New York, Nov. 3d, 1830.