Mr. Frelinghuysen. of New Jersey in Senate U. S. - April 6, 1830
I now proceed, very briefly, to trace our public history in these important connections. As early as 1763 a proclamation was issued by the King of Great Britain to his American colonies and dependencies, which, in clear and decided terms, and in the spirit of honorable regard for Indian privileges, declared the opinions of the crown and the duties of its subjects. The preamble to that part of this document which concerns Indian Affairs, is couched in terms that cannot be misunderstood. I give it a literal extract: 'And whereas it is just and reasonable, and essential to our interest and the security of our colonies, that the several nations or tribes of Indians with whom we are connected, and who live under our protection should not be molested or disturbed in the possession of such parts of our dominions and territories, as not having been ceded to or purchased by us, are reserved to them or any of them as their hunting grounds.' Therefore the Governors of colonies are prohibited, upon any pretence whatever, from granting any warrants of survey, or passing any patents for lands, 'upon any lands whatever, which, not having been ceded or purchased, were reserved to the said Indians;' and by another injunction in the same proclamation, 'all persons whatever, who have either wilfully or inadvertently seated themselves upon any lands, which, not having been ceded to or purchased by the crown, were reserved to the said Indians as aforesaid, are strictly enjoined and required to remove themselves from such settlements.'
This royal ordinance is an unqualified admission of every principle that is now urged in favor of the liberties and rights of these tribes. It refers to them as nations that had put themselves under the protection of the Crown; and adverting to the fact that their lands had not been ceded or purchased, it freely and justly runs out the inevitable conclusion that they are reserved to these nations as their property, and forbids all surveys and patents, and warns off all intruders and trespassers. Sir, this contain the epitome of Indian history and title. No King, Colony, State or Territory, ever made, or attempted to make, a grant or title to the Indians, but universally and perpetually derived their titles from them. This one fact, that stands forth broadly on the page of Indian history-which neither kings nor colonies-neither lords, proprietors, nor diplomatic agents, have on any single occasion disputed, is alone sufficient to demolish the whole system of political pretensions, conjured up in modern times to drive the poor Indian from the last refuge of his hopes.
The next important era in the order of time, relates to the dispute of the Colonies with Great Britain.--The attention of Congress on the eve of that conflict was called to the situation of these tribes, and their dispositions on that interesting subject. Then, Sir, we approached them as independent nations, with the acknowledged power to form alliances with or against us. For, in June 1775, our Congress resolved, 'That the Committee for Indian Affairs do prepare proper talks to the several tribes of Indians for engaging the continuance of their friendship to us, and neutrality in our present unhappy dispute with Great Britain.' Again, on the 12th July, 1775, a report of the Committee was agreed to with the following clause at its head: 'That the securing and preserving the friendship of the Indian nations appears to be a subject of the utmost moment to these colonies.' And, Sir, the journals of that eventful period of our history are full or resolutions, all of which indicate the same opinions of those illustrious statesmen, respecting the unquestioned sovereignty of the Indians. I forbear further details. After the Revolution, and in the eighth year of our Independence in the month of September, A. D. 1783, the Congress again took up the subject of Indian affairs and resolved to hold a convention with the Indians residing in the Middle and Northern States, who had taken up arms against us, for the purposes of receiving them into favor and protection of the United States, and of establishing boundary lines of property, for separating and dividing the settlements of the citizens from the Indian villages and hunting grounds, and thereby extinguishing, as far as possible all occasion for future animosities, disquiet and contention.' If, at any point of existence as a people, a disposition to encroach upon the Indians, and to break down their separate and sovereign character, could have been looked for, or at all excused, this was the time, when we had just come out of a long, severe ' bloody conflict, often prosecuted by our foes and unnatural barbarity, and to aggravate which, these very tribes had devoted their savage and ferocious customs. And yet, Sir, what do we find? Instead of the claims of conquest, the rights of war, now so convenient to set up, the American Congress, greatly just, accord to these very Indians the character of foreign nations, and invite them to take shelter under our favor and protection; not only this, but adopt measures to ascertain and establish boundary lines of property between our citizens and their villages and hunting grounds.
Under the Confederation of the old thirteen States, and shortly before the adoption of the Constitution, on the 20th of November, 1785, a treaty was made with the Cherokee Nation at Hopewell. This treaty, according to its title, was concluded between 'Commissioners Plenipotentiary of the United States of America, of the one part, and the Headmen and Warriors of all the Cherokees, of the other.' It gives 'peace to all the Cherokees,' and receives them into the favor and protection of the United States. And, by the first article, the Cherokees agree to restore all the prisoners, citizens of the United States,
or subjects of their allies, to their entire liberty.' Here, again, we discover the same magnanimous policy of renouncing any pretended rights of a conqueror in our negotiations with the allies of our enemy. We invite them to peace; we engage to become their protectors, and in the stipulation for the liberation of prisoners, we trace again the broad line of distinction between citizens of the United States and the Cherokee people.
Who, after this, Sir, can retain a single doubt as to the unquestioned political sovereignty of these tribes. It is very true, that they were not absolutely independent. As they had become comparatively feeble, and as they were, in the mass, an uncivilized race, they chose to depend upon us for protection, but this did not destroy or affect their sovereignty--the rule of public law is clearly stated by Vattel-'one community may be bound to another by a very unequal alliance, and still be a sovereign State. Though a weak State, in order to provide for its safety, should place itself under the protection of a more powerful one, yet, if it 'reserves to itself the right of governing its own body, it ought to be considered as an independent State.' If the right of self government is retained, the State preserves its political existence and permit me to ask, when did the Southern Indians relinquish this right? Sir, they have always exercised it, and were never disturbed in the enjoyment of it, until the late Legislation of Georgia, and the States of Alabama and Mississippi
The treaty next proceeds to establish territorial domains, and to forbid all intrusions upon the Cherokee country, by any of our citizens, on pain of outlawry. It provides, that if any citizen of the United States shall remain on the lands of the Indians for six months 'after the ratification of the treaty, such persons shall forfeit the protection of the United States, and the Indians may punish him or not, as they please.' What stronger attribute of sovereignty should have been conceded to this tribe, than to have acceded to them the power of punishing the citizens according to their own laws and modes; and, Sir, what more satisfactory proof can be furnished to the Senate, of the sincere and inflexible purpose of our government to maintain the rights of the Indian nations, than the annexation of such sanctions as the forfeiture of national protection, and the infliction of any punishment within the range of savage discretion.-- It is to be recollected, that this treaty was made at a time when all admit the Cherokees to have been with very rare exceptions, in the rude state of Pagan darkness.
Mr. President, it is really a subject of wonder, that after these repeated and solemn recognitions of right of soil, territory and jurisdiction, in these aboriginal nations, it should be gravely asserted that they are mere occupants at our will; and what is absolutely marvelous, that they are a part of the Georgia population- a district of her territory, and amenable to her laws, whenever she chooses to extend them.
After the Treaty of Hopewell was made and ratified, ' in the year 1787, the States of North Carolina and Georgia transmitted their protests to Congress, in which they complained of the course of transactions adopted with respect to the Indians and asserted a right in the States to treat with these tribes, and to obtain grants of their lands. The Congress referred the matter to a Committee of five, who made an elaborate report, that disclosed the principles upon which the intercourse of the confederacy with these people was founded. It is material to a correct understanding of this branch of the subject, that we should advert to a limitation, subsisting at that time, upon the powers of the old Congress. The limitation is contained in the following clause of the Articles of Confederation:- 'Congress shall have the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the trade and managing all the affairs with the Indians not members of any States: Provided that the legislative right of any State within its own limits be not infringed or violated.'
Upon this clause and its proviso, the Committee proceed to report. 'In framing this clause the parties to the federal compact must have had some definite objects in view; the objects that come in view principally in forming treaties, or managing affairs with the Indians, had been long understood, and pretty well ascertained, in this country. The Committee conceived that it has been long in the opinion of the country, supported by justice and humanity, that the Indians had just claims to all lands occupied by, and not fairly purchased from them.' The laws of the States can have no effect upon a tribe of Indians or their lands within a State, as long as that tribe is independent and not a member of the State. It cannot be supposed that the State has the powers mentioned,' (those of making war and peace, purchasing lands from them and fixing boundaries) 'without absurdity in theory and practice. For the Indians are justly considered the common friends or enemies of the United States, and no particular State can have an exclusive interest in the management of affairs with any of the tribes, except in uncommon cases.' The Senate perceive the estimate that was formed of these State pretensions. The Committee argue with conclusive energy, that to yield such powers to particular States, would not only be absurd in theory, but would in fact destroy the whole system of Indian relations-that this divided, alternate cognizance of the matter, by the States and by the Congress, could never be enforced, and would result in discordant and fruitless regulations. The grounds assumed in this able report are unanswerable. The Committee regarded the subject as national, concerning the whole United States, of whom the Indians were the common friends or foes. That such a concern was too general and public in all its bearings, to be subjected to the legislation and management of any particular State. The Congress therefore assumed the entire jurisdiction and control of it. And after this report, we hear no more of State protests. They yielded their claims to much safer depositary of this interesting trust. Sir, I take leave to say that the sound, sensible principles of this report have lost nothing of their authority by time, and that every year of our history has confirmed their wisdom, and illustrated the justice ' humanity of the Congress of '87.
The Convention that formed and adopted the Constitution, in their deliberations upon the security of Indian rights, wisely determined to place our relations with the tribes under the absolute superintendence of the General Government, which they were about to establish. The proviso under the old compact, that had in ambiguous terms reserved to particular States an undefined management of Indian Affairs, was altogether discarded, and the simple, unqualified control of this important branch of public policy was delegated to Congress, in the following clause of the Constitution: 'Congress shall have power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the several States, and with the Indian tribes.' An incidental argument, in favor of my views, cannot fail to strike the mind on the face of this clause. The plea that is now for the first time, argued against the Indians, rests upon the allegation, that the tribes are not distinct nations-that they compose a portion of the people of the States; and yet, in this great national charter, the work of as much collected wisdom, virtue, and patriotism, as ever adorned the annals, or shed light upon the government of any age or country, the Indian tribes are associated with foreign nations and with several States, as one of the three distinct departments of the human family, with which the General Government was to regulate commerce.- Strange company, truly, in which to find those it now seems convenient to denominate a few poor, miserable savages, that were always the peculiar subjects of State sovereignty, mere tenants at will of the soil, and with whom it is 'idle' to speak of negotiating treaties.
There was another subject, closely connected with this, that engaged the anxious deliberations of the great statesmen who composed the memorable convention-and this was the treaty power. To found this well, was a concern worthy of their first and best thoughts. The good faith of a nation was not to be pledged but on grave and great occasions, for when plighted, it brought the nation itself under obligations, too sacred to be argued away by the suggestions of policy or convenience, profit or loss. They, therefore, subjected the exercise of this high function to two great departments of the Government- the President and Senate of the United States. They required formalities to attend the exercise of the power, that were intended and calculated to guard the trust from rash and inconsiderate administration. But these requisites complied with, and a treaty made and concluded, no retreat from its claims was provided or desired by the convention. No, Sir. To shut up every avenue of escape-to compel us to be faithful. 'Treaties' are declared, by the charter of our Government, 'to be the supreme law of the land, anything
in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.' How could the inviolate character or a treaty be more effectually preserved? Let conclusions agitate the commonwealth-let the strifes of party shake the pillars of the political edifice-around the nation's faith barriers are raised, that may smile at the storm. And, Sir, if these guards fail; if these defenses can be assailed and broken down, then may we indeed despair.- Truth and honor have no citadel on earth-their sanctions are despised and forgotten, and the law of the strongest prevails.
Mr. President, I fear that I shall oppress the patience of the Senate by these tedious details- but the subject is deeply interesting, and each successive year of our political history brings me fresh and strong proofs of the sacred estimation always accorded to Indian rights. Sir, in the very next year that followed the formation of the Constitution, on the first of September, 1788, the encroachments of the whites upon the Indian territory, as guarantied to them by the treaty of Hopewell made with the Cherokees, as we have already stated, in 1785, caused a proclamation to be issued by Congress, of the date first mentioned, affirming in all things the treaty of Hopewell, and distinctly announcing (I give the literal clause,) 'the firm determination of Congress
to protect the said Cherokees in their rights according to the true intent and meaning of the said treaty.' And they further resolve 'that the Secretary of War be [See 4th page] directed to have a sufficient number of the troops in the service of the United States, in readiness to march from the Ohio, to the protection of the Cherokees, whenever Congress shall direct the same.'
The next important event in connection with the Cherokees, is the Treaty of Holston, made with them on the 2d July, 1791. This was the first treaty that was negotiated with the Cherokees after the Constitution. And it is only necessary to consider the import of its preamble to become satisfied of the constancy of our policy, in adhering to the first principles of our Indian negotiations. Sir, let it be remembered that this was a crisis when the true spirit of the Constitution would be best understood; most of those who framed it came into the councils of the country in 1788. Let it be well pondered, that this Treaty of Holston was the public compact, in which General Washington, as a preparative solemnity, asked the advice of the Senate- concerning which he inquired of that venerable body, whether, in the treaty to be made the United States should solemnly guarantee the new boundary to be ascertained and fixed between them and the Cherokees.
The preamble to this treaty, I will now recite:
'The parties being desirous of establishing permanent peace, and friendship between the United States and the said Cherokee Nation and the citizens and members thereof, and to remove the causes of war, by ascertaining their limits and making other necessary, just and friendly arrangements; the President of the United States, by William Blount, Governor of the territory of the United States of America south of the river Ohio, and Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Southern District, who is vested with full powers for these purposes, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States; and the Cherokee Nation, by the undersigned Chiefs and Warriors representing the said nation, have agreed to the following articles,' 'c.
The first article stipulates that there shall be perpetual peace and friendship between the parties-a subsequent article provides that the boundary between the United States ' the Cherokees 'shall be ascertained and marked plainly, by three persons appointed on the part of the United States and three Cherokees on the part of their nation.'
In pursuance of the advice of the Senate, by the 7th article of this treaty, 'The United States solemnly guarantee to the Cherokee Nation all their lands not hereby ceded.'
And after several material clauses, the concluding article suspends the effect and obligation of the treaty upon its ratification
'by the President of the United States, with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States.'
Now, Sir, it is a most striking part of this history, that every possible incident of form, deliberation, advisement and power, attended this compact. The Senate was consulted before our plenipotentiary was commissioned-full powers were then given to our Commissioner--the articles were agreed upon--the treaty referred to the Executive and Senate for their ratification, and, with all its provisions, by them solemnly confirmed.
Mr. President, it requires a fullness of self-respect and self-confidence, the lot of a rare few, after time has added its sanctions to this high pledge of national honor, to attempt to convict the illustrious men of that Senate of gross ignorance of constitutional power; to charge against them that they strangely mistook the charter under which they acted: and violated almost the proprieties of language, as some gentleman contend, by dignifying with the name and formalities of a treaty 'mere bargains to get Indian lands.' Sir, who so well understood the nature and extent of the powers granted in the Constitution as the statesmen who aided by their personal counsels to establish it?
Every Administration of this Government, from President Washington's have with like solemnities and stipulations, held treaties with the Cherokees; treaties, too, by almost all of which we obtained further acquisitions of their territory. Yes, Sir, whenever we approached them in the language of friendship and kindness, we touched the chord that won their confidence; and now, when they have nothing left with to satisfy our cravings, we propose to annul every treaty-to gainsay our word-and, by violence and perfidy, drive the Indian from his home. In a subsequent treaty between the United States and the Cherokee Nation, concluded on the 8th July, A. D. 1817, express reference is made to past negotiations between the parties on the subject of removal to the west of the Mississippi; the same question that now agitates the country, and engages our deliberations.- And this convention is deserving of particular notice, inasmuch as we shall learn from it, not only what sentiments were then entertained by our Government towards the Cherokees, but, also, in what light the different dispositions of the Indians to emigrate to the West, and to remain on their ancient patrimony, were considered. This treaty recites that application had been made to the United States, at a previous period, by a deputation of the Cherokees, (on the 9th January, 1809) by which they apprised the Government of the wish of a part of their nation to remove west of the Mississippi, and of the residue to abide in their old habitations. That the President of the United States, after maturely considering the subject, answered the petitions as follows: 'The United States, my children, are the friends of both parties, and, as far as can be reasonably asked, they are willing to satisfy the wishes of both. Those who remain may be assured of our patronage, and aid, and our good neighborhood.' 'To those who remove, every aid shall be administered, and when established at their new settlements, we shall still consider them as our children, and always hold them firmly by the hand.' The convention then establishes new boundaries, and pledges our faith to respect and defend the Indian territories. Some matters, Mr. President, by universal consent, are taken as granted, without any explicit recognition. Under the influence of this rule of common fairness, how can we ever dispute the sovereign right of the Cherokees to remain east of the Mississippi, when it was in relation to that very location that we promised our patronage, aid and good neighborhood? Sir, is this high-handed encroachment of Georgia to be the commentary upon the national pledge here given, and the obvious import of these terms?-How were these people to remain, if not as they then existed, and as we then acknowledged them to be, a distinct and separate community, governed by their own peculiar laws and customs? We can never deny these principles, while fair dealing retains any hold of our conduct. Further, Sir, it appears from this treaty that the Indians who preferred to remain east of the river, expressed 'to the President an anxious desire to engage in the pursuit of agriculture and civilized life in the country they then occupied,' and we engaged to encourage these laudable purposes. Indeed, such pursuits had been recommended to the tribes, and patronized by the United States for many years before this convention. Mr. Jefferson, in his message to Congress as early as 1805, and when on the subject of our Indian relations, with his usual enlarged views of public policy, observes, 'The aboriginal inhabitants of these countries, I have regarded with the commiseration their history inspires. Endowed with the faculties and the rights of men breathing an ardent love of liberty and independence, and occupying a country which left them no desire but to be undisturbed, the stream of overflowing population from other regions directed itself on these shores. Without power to divert, or habits to contend against it, they have been
overwhelmed by the current or driven before it. Now reduced within limits too narrow for the hunter state, humanity enjoins us to teach them agriculture and the domestic arts; to encourage them to that industry which alone can enable them to maintain their place in existence; and to prepare them in time for that society which, to bodily comforts, adds the improvement of the mind and morals. We have, therefore, liberally furnished them with the implements of husbandry, and household use; we have placed among them instructors in the arts of first necessity; and they are covered with aegis of the laws against aggressors from among ourselves.'- These, Sir, are sentiments worthy of an illustrious statesman. None can fail to perceive the spirit of justice and humanity which Mr. Jefferson cherished towards our Indian allies. He was, through his whole life, the firm unshrinking advocate of their rights, a patron of all their plans for moral improvement and elevation.
Mr. President, it will not be necessary to pursue the details of our treaty negotiations further. I beg leave to state, before I leave them, however, that with all the Southwestern tribes of Indians we have similar treaties. Not only the Cherokees, but the Creeks, Choctaws, and Chickasaws, in the neighborhood of Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, hold our faith, repeatedly pledged to them, that we would respect their boundaries, repel aggressions, and protect ' nourish them as our neighbors and friends: and to all these public and sacred compacts, Georgia was a constant party. They were required, by an article never omitted, to be submitted to the Senate of the United States for their advice and consent. They were so submitted: and Georgia by her able representatives in the Senate, united in the ratification of these same treaties, without, in any single instance, raising an exception, or interposing a constitutional difficulty or scruple.
Other branches of our political history shed abundant light upon this momentous question. When the Congress of the United States directed their cares to the future settlement and government of the vast and noble domains to the Northwest of the River Ohio, ceded by the State of Virginia, among other matters which they deemed to be vitally connected with the welfare of that region, was the condition and preservation of the Indian Nations. The third article of their celebrated ordinance, for the government of the Northwestern Territory, is in the following words: 'Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. The utmost good faith shall always be observed towards the Indians; their lands and property shall never be taken from them without their consent; and, in their property, rights and liberty, they never shall be invaded or disturbed, unless in just and lawful wars authorized by Congress; but laws founded in justice and humanity shall, from time to time, be made, for preventing wrongs being done to them, and for preserving peace and friendship with them.' Sir, the more minutely we look into the proceedings of the Congress of 1787, the more deeply shall we venerate the wisdom and virtue, the largeness of views, and the political forecast that blessed and illustrated the councils of our country. This solitary article would forever stand out, and alone sustain their reputation.- We shall presently learn what concern was manifested by the State of Georgia, to spread the whole influence and control of this article over the cession which she made to the Union of the territory now composing the States of Alabama and Mississippi.
How can Georgia, after all this, desire or attempt, and how can we quietly permit her, 'to invade and disturb the property rights and liberty of the Indians?' And this, not only not 'in just and lawful wars authorized by Congress,' but in a time of profound peace, while the Cherokee lives in tranquil prosperity by her side. I press on the inquiry- How can we tamely suffer these States to make laws, not only not founded in justice and humanity,' 'for preventing wrongs being done to the Indians,' but for the avowed purpose of inflicting the gross and wanton injustice of breaking up their governments - of abrogating their long cherished customs, and of annihilating their existence as a distinct people?
The Congress of the United States, in 1799, in an act to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes; and again, by a similar act in 1802, still in force, distinctly recognized every material stipulation contained in the numerous treaties with the Indians. In fact, Sir, these acts of legislation were passed expressly to effectuate our treaty stipulations.
These statutes refer to 'the boundaries as established by treaties, between the United States and the various Indian tribes;' they next direct such 'lines to be clearly ascertained, and distinctly marked' - prohibit any citizen of the United States from crossing these lines, to hunt or settle, and authorize the employment of the public and military force of the Government, to prevent intrusion, and to expel trespassers upon Indian lands. The twelfth section of this important law most wisely guards the great object of Indian title from all public and private imposition, by enacting 'that no purchase, grant, lease, or other conveyance of lands, or of any title or claim thereto, from any Indian or nation, or tribe of Indians, within the bounds of the United States, shall be of any validity in law or equity, unless the same be made by treaty or convention, entered into pursuant to the Constitution.'
I trust, Sir, that this brief exposition of our policy, in relation to Indian affairs, establishes beyond all controversy, the obligation of the United States to protect these tribes, in the exercise and enjoyment of their civil and political rights. Sir, the question has ceased to be - What are our duties? An inquiry much more embarrassing is forced upon us: how shall we most plausibly, and with the least possible violence, break our faith? Sir, we repel the inquiry--we reject such an issue-and point the guardians of public honor to the broad, plain faith of faithful performance, and to which they are equally urged by duty and by interest.
Here I might properly rest--as the United States are the only party that the Indians are bound to regard. But if further proofs be wanting to convince us of the unwarrantable pretensions of Georgia, in her late violent legislation, they are at hand, cogent, clear, and overwhelming.- This State, Sir, was not only a party to all these conventions with the General Government she made as solemn treaties with the Creeks and Cherokees for herself, when a colony, and after she became a State.- These form a part of her title- and are bound up with her public laws. On the first of June, A. D. 1773, she negotiated a treaty with these Indian nations, by the joint agency of the Governor of the Colony and the Superintendent of Indian Affairs; in which boundaries are established and cessions of land agreed upon.- Again, on the 31st May, A. D. 1783, after her Independence as a State, another treaty was concluded between the Governor of Georgia and five of her most distinguished citizens duly appointed by the Legislature of the State of the one part, and the Chiefs, Headmen, and Warriors of the hordes or tribes of the Cherokee Indians, 'in behalf of the said nation, on the other part.' And in the first article of this convention, the distinct, independent existence of the Cherokees is acknowledged: for it provides, 'that all differences between the said parties, heretofore subsisting, shall cease and be forgotten.' It is not utterly fallacious to contend, in the face of this treaty, that the Cherokees are under the jurisdiction of a State, that finds it necessary to negotiate for peace with them by all the forms of a regular treaty? But more than this,- by the last article of this treaty, the Cherokees agree to cede,grant, release and quit claim to Georgia, all the lands up to a certain boundary line defined in the said document: And until since the extraordinary usurpation of this State, in extending her laws over this nation, these treaty lines were respected, and never disputed.
In the year 1777, the States of Georgia and South Carolina met the Creeks and Cherokee Nations at Dewitt's Corner, for the avowed purpose of making a treaty of peace with them. Sir, if the greatest potentate of Europe had been a party, the preliminaries could not have been more formal or solemn. First, are produced what are denominated 'the Georgia full powers' delegated to her commissioners, to meet 'the Indian Congress' to be held at Dewitt's Corner- next appear 'the South Carolina full powers,' for the like purpose- and lastly, the Creek and Cherokee 'full powers.' These powers are opened and exchanged at this Congress, and a treaty is agreed upon by the plenipotentiaries, establishing peace, and the future boundaries between their respective territories.
In many of the treaties made by the United States with the Cherokees and Creeks, large sections of land were relinquished to us, which by our compact with the State of Georgia, we received for her use. She never questioned, at those times, our right to treat for those lands, nor the Indians right of granting them; but gladly availed herself of such rich accession to her domains, and proceeded very promptly to distribute them amongst her citizens. Now, it is a fundamental maxim in all codes of law which acknowledge the obligations of equity and good conscience, that if a party is silent when these old fashioned rules of upright dealing require him to speak, he shall forever thereafter hold his peace. The application of this sound and wholesome rule will instantly strike the moral apprehensions of every member of the Senate.
[To be concluded.]