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In the present case the emigrants would be kept under the control and management of the United States. The number of the first settlers being small, would be more manageable; and while they would be increasing in number, there would be an increase of restraint arising from individual and common interest, from improvement of mind, and from habitual regard for the regulations provided by our Government. The colonists being prevented from trespassing upon their neighbours, would have very
little to fear from them. It has been supposed that the colonizing plan is calculated to crowd together unfeeling savages, of different tribes, with sectional feelings, and old grudges, and now seconded by new causes of jealousy, the utter ruin of the whole by faction and murder, must ensue.
Such conclusions as these, to say the least, must be hasty. Were we to fancy a dozen different tribes, some of whom were at variance with each other, and all of whom possessed their national prejudices, brought together on a small portion of territory, which would require their houses to be within sight of each other, and their farms to be united, we might draw such conclusions. But when we consider the extent of territory which all will allow ought to be set apart for the ultimate objects of the design, the smallness of each party that shall first arrive, and the different periods at which their several locations would be made, the conclusion need not be drawn that they will be crowded at all. They may be placed just so near to each other as a prudent regard to the condition of each, in view of the whole, would suggest, and no nearer. Although the different tribes, as for example, the Shawanoes, Miamies, Ottawas, Puttawatomies, Sauks, Foxes, Winebagoes, Menomines, and Chippewas, might be placed upon much less ground than is at present covered by them, yet the contaction of the several tribes would be precisely what it is in their present situation. We apprehend a density of each tribe; but the limits of each tribe or band would only come in contact as they do at present—and if each were provided with the means of living only as well as in their present miserable condition, there would exist no greater cause of collision, than there does in the state in which those several tribes are at this moment placed. But let us take particular notice, that the several tribes would be far better supplied with the comforts of life than they are at present, and therefore the grounds, in all respects, on which we might fear the collision of the tribes, would be proportionably lessened.
Some light will be thrown upon this part of our subject, when we shall have under consideration the process of removing the several tribes to the colony. Let us, however, bear in mind that no tribe, no portion of a tribe, would be left in the colony subject to the influence of lawless passions. No band would be destitute of the influence of those benevolent institutions, which, among other useful lessons, never fail to teach peace. None will be bold enough to deny that missionary establishments, under the countenance of our Government and a prudent management, can exert an extensive, and in this respect as well as in others, a salutary influence. The instructions of missionaries, given in the schools and from the pulpit, and the authority of our Government, doubtless furnish strong reasons for silencing our fears of internal broils. If our Government can now interpose its authority to the settling of disputes between contending tribes, each of which spreads out over hundreds of miles of forest, how much more readily could it con
trol the same people, if so situated that every member of the community would be daily under the notice of the proper officers, and within the certain influence of restraints by them imposed?
Again, it is never imagined that the Indians will be forced into the colony contrary to their inclinations. And as the business of colonizing, so far as relates to the natives, originates in benevolence, no unrighteous means will be employed to buy the consent of any to remove to the colony. Sound argument alone, strengthened by an exhibition of facts, and by honest engagements not liable to disappoint the hopes they excite, will be resorted to. We may expect, therefore, that those who will be induced first to listen to proposals to remove, will be such as are most inclined to follow the advice of our Government. The very fact that a fair ingenuous course will influence them to leave their former residences, and settle in the colony, augurs strongly that the same honest course of conduct, the same authority, will influence them to remain peaceable among themselves. I cannot here forbear the remark, that their case must involve far less grounds for civil disturbances, than does the situation of these people at the present time.
I shall not do my countrymen the injustice to suppose that serious objections to colonizing the Indians, or to colonizing them west of Arkansaw Territory and Missouri State, and south-west of Missouri river, will be made upon the supposition that the colonists might ultimately acquire strength sufficient to tempt them to assert independent rights, and to avenge supposed injuries, to the serious annoyance of the neighbouring States. The above objections would indicate an absence of righteous intention on our part. If we have done them no injustice, conscious integrity has nothing to fear. If we have injured them, the language of the objection would be, Let us make fast the fetters, lest the captives turn upon their keepers; let us complete the work of death already begun, lest the opprest should survive. their sufferings and avenge their wrongs.
Insulated as would be the colony in the district of country under consideration, they would have little intercourse with any people besides ourselves, and could therefore inhale no seditious sentiments from abroad. The geography of the country is such that no important commercial intercourse with foreigners could possibly exist. Their exports would necessarily be carried into or through our country, and their imports would return by the same rout. These circumstances would produce the same ties of connexion and mutual interest between them and us, that national roads and canals effect between the several States of our Union. The colony would grow up under the guardianship of our Government, and would imbibe its spirit and revere its insitutions; and it could not fail to admire the enlightened age, and the humane policy which
gave them “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness." The objection which we have been denouncing, would extend to most cases of benevolence, and forbid our helping the needy; forbid the adopting of a hapless orphan into our family, lest the beneficiary should ultimately assert an improper authority.
All our Indians within the States and Territories, and those to the north-west, might here obtain peaceable and undisturbed possessions, which they cannot hope for in states and territories already organized.
Should it be asked what assurance can be given to the Indians that they will not be disturbed in the proposed place, as they have heretofore been in others ? I answer the most unequivocal of which such a case admits. The local advantages of the place are peculiar in their character, and as peculiarly favourable in the permanency of their possession. It is entirely without the precincts of every organized State or Territory. It would be the first instance of an Indian settlement being formed under the auspices of Government, not within the limits described by us for states, or within territorial jurisdiction. We may not infer the uncertainty of their residence from what has been, for no parallel case ever occurred. It is proposed to give them a territorial form of government. They would hold their territory and its immunities upon the faith of the United States; all which would be as secure to them as the privileges of the Territories of Arkansas and Michigan are to their inhabitants. Giving to the natives this country, would not be an abridgement of territory or privilege of any state, and consequently, none could or would complain.
On the Removal of the Indians to the Colony.
If we have been successful in commending the proposed design of colonizing the Indians; if we have found ourselves in possession of ample means; and if we have been fortunate in the selection of place; we may very properly inquire, Can the Indians be induced to accept the proposals of our Government to settle in the colony?
Proposals made a few years since, to the Stockbridge and Brothertown Indians in New York, to remove to the westward of Lake Michigan, were objected to by many of them: notwithstanding which, a considerable settlement of these people was afterwards formed in the vicinity of Green Bay, which would have increased rapidly had it not become obvious that they could not retain permanent and peaceable possession of the place.
In 1824 proposals were made by the United States' Commissioners to the Shawanoes of Waupaughkonetta, in Ohio, to remove to westward of Mississippi river. These proposals were not acceded to at the time. Nevertheless, without any special interference of our Government, and it is believed contrary to the advice of white men, who might be supposed to have considerable influence among them, and whose private interest it was, that the Indians should remain in Ohio, about one third part of them moved off in a body, in October, 1826, to the western country which had previously been offered them. Their new settlement on Kanzo river is flourishing, they are contented, and are inviting others, and particularly their relations in Ohio, to follow them.
Every one knows something of the strong attachments which the Cherokees feel to their country east of Mississippi river; yet we already find thousands of this tribe west of that river. These emigrant
Cherokees are not worthless stragglers. They possess hundreds of farms, well stocked with domestic animals, and well supplied with farming utensils.
l'assing over the migrations of the Kickapoos of Illinois, the Delawares, and some of the Miamies of Indiana, and the Creeks of Georgia, and many others, we assure ourselves that the cases we have cited above are in point, and that they do afford convincing proof that the Indians may be removed to the proposed country, and that they may be removed by fair and honourable measures.
The inducements to a change of country in the cases cited above, must have been incomparably less than those which our colony is expected to offer. Most or all of them migrated from the ordinary principle of retiring from the whites as the latter approached, and without that systematic, certain, and efficient provision for their instruction, and their assistance, which the colonizing scheme proposes. We have therefore good grounds to believe that so soon as they can be convinced that the proposals of our Government are made in sincerity, the invitations which the colony will give them, will be accepted with joy, and the period hailed as the dawn of a clear day, worthy of being jubilized, when “ the outcasts and they that were ready to perish” shall begin to return to the enjoyment of the blessings of a peaceable and a permanent
At the treaty of Wabash, Indiana, in September and October, 1826, proposals were made by the United States Commissioners, to the Puttawatomies and to the Miamies, to remove to the west of Mississippi river. They were told that Government would provide them a country somewhere in those regions, and furnish them with schools, smiths, &c. A missionary who had spent many years among them, and whose usefulness in instructing them in a knowledge of letters, and of labour, not to say religion, could not be doubted by them, was offered as their guide, and a promise made that the missionary operations of the establishment to which he was attached, should be continued among them in their new country. Notwithstanding, these Indians refused to remove. This was only what we might have expected. Indeed it happened precisely according to the expectation of the Commissioners themselves. But this circumstance furnishes no solid argument against the practicability of removing these very tribes. The proposals were not, they could not be, made to them under the favourable circumstances that the colonizing plan anticipates. They were told that another country should be given them in exchange for theirs, which should equal it in value, &c. and which should be somewhere west of Mississippi river. But they could not be informed in what section of those western countries theirs would be, who would be their neighbours, &c. Their answer therefore was precisely such as we might expect sensible men to give. Who that was not obliged to leave his country, would be willing to barter upon such terms? Since that time, a few Puttawatomies, under authority of Government, have explored a portion of that country. The result is, a considerable number of them, together with some of their Ottawa brethren, wish to remove thither.
Let Government provide the place, and a suitable person, one in whom the Indians place confidence, to conduct a few of their people to visit it, and report its character to their tribe, and the subject would address itself to their understandings very differently from the case above cited.
Those civilizing establishments which exist in some of the tribes, and which enjoy the favour of our Government, could, without doubt, induce a number of families to remove to the colony at any time. I risk nothing in saying that I have an acquaintance with one such institution, which could readily induce two or three hundred to follow some of its members to the colony, and these should be taken from five different tribes. As soon, therefore, as Government shall point out the place, a settlement, or settlements can be formed from this single source, of five different tribes.
These settlements, let it be understood, would be formed without any further intervention of our Government than the providing of the place, &c. and the necessary countenance to those benevolent institutions. When once some of each tribe should be actually planted in the colony, under the favourable provisions of our Government, we should be properly prepared to propose to the several tribes at home to remove. We could point to the precise spot on which we designed to locate them, could show them their relations on the ground, the provisions in schools, smitheries, &c. made for their accommodation. The honesty of our intentions, and the policy of their acceptance of our proposals, would be demonstrated to their understandings. They would clearly perceive that the measure was very unlike the ordinary affair of removing back the Indians, merely for the sake of ridding ourselves of their trouble, and leaving them destitute of efficient means of improvement. Under these circumstances, not the shadow of a doubt can exist, that the majority of the tribes would readily accept the offers of our Government.
The circumstances of the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Creeks, east of Mississippi river, merit a distinct consideration in this place. Most other tribes are incapable of assuming the attitude of a party in making arrangements for their future residence. With these it is otherwise. The Cherokees, particularly, have shown themselves capable of framing a judicious constitution of civil government, and a wholesome code of laws. They have come out boldly, and declared their legal right to the country they at present occupy, east of the Mississippi. All this is well. We are gratified to discover among them so much manliness and good sense. Hence, we inser the readiness with which they will exchange countries, as soon as they shall perceive that it will be for their interest so to do.
The subject under consideration admits of demonstration. Its positions are sustained by arguments, the force of which cannot remain unfelt by the intelligent Cherokees. Men capable of forming themselves into an independent government, can easily enough perceive the incongruity of the supposition, that an independent state can exist within the acknowleged boundaries of another independent state! They can perceive the obstacles to their becoming citizens of the states within the limits of which they are at present situated; nor can they indulge the most distant hope that we will curtail any state, much less strike one from the list, for the purpose of making room for them in the south. They must perceive the cloud which is daily accumulating over them, and feel assured that theirs is not the place of safety. They make a declaration of their rights, which will doubtless be respected, and this is a proper method to secure respect. But they cannot be so blind to their best interests as to refuse the proposed territory, since they cannot