Cherokee Phoenix

Indian rights in Washington's time

Published March, 31, 1832

Page 4 Column 4b

Indian rights in Washington's time.-

In regard to the Indians, he told Congress-'We must consult their happiness, and attach them firmly to the United States. I recommend justice to the savages, and such rational experiments for imparting to them the blessings of civilization, as may from time to time suit their condition. A system corresponding with the mild principles of religion and philanthropy towards an unlightened (sic) race of men whose happiness materially depends on the conduct of the United States, would be as honorable to the national character, as comfortable to the dictate of sound policy. As we are more powerful and enlightened than they are, there is a responsibility of national character that we should treat them with kindness and even with liberality.'

His biographer observes-

'The humane system which has since been successfully pursued of gradually civilizing the savages by meliorating their condition of divesting them in some degree from hunting to domestic and agricultural occupations, by imparting to them some of the most simple and useful acquisitions of society, and of conciliating them to the United States by a beneficial and well regulated commerce, had ever been a favorite object with President Washington, and the detailed view which he took in 1792 and 1795, of Indian affairs were concluded with a repetition of his recommendation of these measures.'-Col. Cen.