Cherokee Phoenix


Published December, 31, 1831

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The internal peace and security of our Confederated States, is the next principal object of the General Government. Time and experience have proved that the abode of the native Indian within their limits is dangerous to their peace, and injurious to himself. In accordance with my recommendation at a former Session of Congress, an appropriation of half a million s of dollars was made to aid the voluntary removal of the various tribes beyond the limits of the States. At the last Session I had the happiness to announce that the Chickasaws had accepted the generous offer of the Government, and agreed to remove beyond the Mississippi and the western part of Alabama will be freed from indian occupancy, and opened to a civilized population. The treaties with these tribes are in a course of execution, and their removal it is hoped will be completed in the course of 1832.

At the request of the authorities of Georgia, the registration of Cherokee Indians for emigration has been resumed, and it is confidently expected that one half, if not two thirds of that tribe, will follow the wise example of their more westerly brethren. Those who prefer remaining at their present homes will hereafter be governed by the laws of Georgia, as all her citizens are, and cease to be objects of peculiar care on the part of the General Government.

During the present year, the attention of the Government has been particularly directed to those tribes in the powerful and growing State of Ohio, where considerable tracts of the finest of lands were still occupied by the aboriginal proprietors. Treaties, either absolute or conditional, have been made, extinguishing the whole Indian title to the reservations in that State; and the time is not distant, it is hoped, when Ohio will be no longer embarrassed with the Indian population. The same measures will be extended to Indians, as soon as there is reason to anticipate success.

It is confidently believed, that perseverance for a few years in the present policy of the Government, will extinguish the Indian title to all lands lying within the States composing our Federal Union ' remove beyond their limits every one who is not willing to submit to their laws. Thus will all conflicting claims to jurisdiction between the States and the Indian tribes be put to rest. It is pleasing to reflect, that results so beneficial, not only to the States immediately concerned, but to the harmony of the Union will have been accomplished, by measures equally advantageous to the Indians. What the native savages become when surrounded by a dense population, and by mixing with the whites, may be seen in the miserable remnants of a few eastern tribes, deprived of political and civil rights, forbidden to make contracts, and subjected to guardians, dragging out a wretched existence, without excitement, without hope, and almost without thought.

But the removal of the Indians beyond the limits and jurisdiction of the States, does not place them beyond the reach of philanthropic aid and Christian instruction. On the contrary, those whom philanthropy or religion may induce to live among them in their new abode, will be more free in the exercise of their benevolent functions, than if they had remained within the limits of the States, embarrassed by their internal regulations. Now, subject to no control but the superintending agency of the General Government, exercised with the sole view of preserving peace, they may proceed unmolested in the interesting experiment of gradually advancing a community of American Indians from barbarism to the habits and enjoyments of a civilized life.