Cherokee Phoenix

From the Southern Recorder

Published December, 7, 1833

Page 3 Column 1a

From the Southern Recorder.


Tuesday, Nov. 21.

The house then went into Committee of the whole on the bill to define the possessions of the Indians. [Preventing frauds in taking their reservations and confining them to the improvements they had at the time of survey, with so much woodland only as may be necessary for fencing, building, fuel, 'c.] The yeas and nays being called for on the passage.

Mr. Young of Oglethorpe requested some explanations.

Mr. Harris of Walton, explained at some length, the objects and tendencies of the bill.

Mr. Young approved of the rest of the bill, but was opposed to that part of it which proposed to circumscribe their possessions so closely. He said it was unjust and ruinous to the Indians.- When it was first determined upon to lottery off and occupy these lands, those who advocated that measure deemed the provision of the existing lottery act in favor of the Indians, as but just to them, and as strictly defining and limiting our right of encroachment. But now it seems they are to be enclosed by their fences, as these originally stood at the time of the survey of the country. Should these small enclosures prove too small to subsist a growing family, they must then remove or starve. All this feature of the bill, Mr. Y. said was utterly abhorrent to his feelings. True, in great humanity you do propose to let them cross their little bush fences to get a few rails or a little fire wood, whenever the tender mercies of the State's agent shall designate. But what awaits this prodigal waste of your bounty? Why allow them fuel to warm the body when the support of life is thus cut off. The honorable member from Walton, urges as the only reason that strong legislation is required to expel them from the country. Sir, said Mr. Y. if this be the object, let us pursue it boldly and somewhat nobly. Let us abandon this petit larceny policy and close their doors upon them once, or drive them before the bayonet to the Rocky Mountains. To me such a course would be infinitely more manly. To that portion of the bill which directs the granting of the lots in the possession of the Indians who have taken reserves in former treaties, and having sold them, are now intruders upon the portion which fell to their countrymen. I do not object. Having taken by reserve their individual share of the lands, they cannot now complain, that they are not permitted to possess themselves of another and a double portion; and that the provision of the bill may not be lost by its association with one utterly objectionable and unjust. I move to recommit the bill. This motion was lost.

After some discussion on points of order the yeas and nays were called on the passage of the bill, and were yeas 85, nays 61. The house then adjourned.

Monday, Nov. 25.

The House then took up the special order of the day, being the reconsidered bill to limit and define the possession of the Indians, and went into committee of the whole.

Mr. Harris of Walton, offered a substitute, which was read, and Mr. Harris moved that the committee agree to it. After some objections by Mr. Rogers to some features of the substitute, it was agreed to. The bill being reported to the chair, was taken up by sections, and a discussion ensued on the policy and details of the bill, then occupied the House till near the time of the adjournment. Messrs. Harris of Walton, Meriwether, Alford, Rogers, Cooper, and Starke, presented their views on various features of the bill. On the final question it was passed, and after rejecting a divorce bill of Passmore and Wife, the House adjourned.

[The object of the Indian bill is to limit the right of Indian possession, and allows as we understood it, to each Indian family, the whole tract improved land and that only as the surveyors lines may have thrown on other tracts. But grants are nevertheless issue to the drawers of the tracts reserved to the Indians. The bill also provides against double reserves to the same Indians, against frauds by white people under Indian rights, and divests white men who have taken Indian wives, and become members of their nation, of all rights as citizens of Georgia.


A most interesting debate took place in the Senate on yesterday, on the bill to extend the State jurisdiction over the Indian territory within the limits of the State. The passage of the bill was opposed with great ability by Mr. Jornagin of Knox; and its passage was advocated with equal ability and zeal by Mr. Yerger, the senator from Davidson. As the able speeches of these gentlemen would shed much light on this vexed question, if made public, we will take great pleasure in laying them before our readers if we can procure copies for National Banner.


The Indian Territory.- The bill extending the jurisdiction of this State over the Indian territory, within our boundaries, has been finally passed into a law and ordered to be engrossed.-Ib.



A bill to extend the laws and jurisdiction of this State to its southern limits; was taken up: Mr. Yerger spoke in favor of the bill and Mr. Netherland in opposition to it.- Mr. Netherland proposed an amendment which was rejected. Mr. Cannon proposed an amendment, whereupon Mr. Frey moved the previous question, which prevailed, and the bill passed a third and last reading, Ayes 12; Nays, 8.

Ayes, Messrs Adams, Andrews, Chase, Coe, Foute, Frey, McMeans, Rayburn, Smith, Sims, Vernon and Yerger.-Ib.