CHEROKEE PHOENIX AND INDIANS' ADVOCATE
Saturday, June 26, 1830
Volume 3 No. 10
Page 4 Col. 4-5
The Indian Bill.-- This bill has passed the House of Representatives, substantially as it came from the Senate, by a majority of five votes! We did hope that the representatives of the people would pause before they affixed the national seal to an instrument so obviously unjust and oppressive. It is, we believe, the first time that Congress has declared by an open act, that policy is paramount to justice; and we think the murmurs of the people will evince their disapprobation of the principle; and their indignation at its operation in this case. While the Indians were willing to acknowledge their right of possession to prior occupancy; and Gen. Washington made it an express stipulation that in treaties with them, they should be informed that the possession and jurisdiction of their territory could not be acquired by others without their own will and consent. Yet notwithstanding this, and the unanswerable arguments of the opponents of this bill, it has been coldly passed; and we are left to the conviction, that although justice, humanity, and liberal feeling be thrown into the constitutional scale, five votes may be suffered to outweigh all and become the means of oppression to a people, whose uncivilized kindness to our fathers should have averted this civilized ingratitude.
By the passage of this outrageous bill A HALF MILLION of dollars is at once
put at the control of the executive, and that according to varying estimates,
a further sum of from FIFTEEN to TWENTY MILLIONS of dollars will be necessary
to carry the provisions of the act into effect. Sixteen of the members from
this State voted in favor of the bill.-Will the people endure all this? If they
will we are greatly mistaken.
The bill which has lately passed both Houses of Congress, to provide for an
exchange of lands with the Indians, appropriates the sum of five hundred thousand
dollars for the purpose of carrying its provisions into effect. This, however,
is but a drop in the bucket, of what will be required from the Treasury. Instead
of half a million of dollars, millions and millions will be required, before
this unjust and barbarous act can be honorably and honestly carried into execution.
Mr. Everett, in his remarks on the bill, while undergoing a discussion in the
House of Representatives, estimated the expense of this project to be not less
that [sic] twenty-four millions of dollars. Were gentlemen, (said he) willing
to tax their constituents to this amount, for the benefit of three States--to
keep Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi in a good humor, or bind them to their
allegiance! This was a home question, and gentlemen would find enough of the
science of mathematics among their constituents to calculate to them the value
of this sum of money!--N. Ark. Sen.
PARTY RESPONSIBILITY.-Strenuous efforts were made in Congress to give the Indian Bill a party aspect.- Its very existence was almost identified with that of the reigning party. Numbers appeared ready, as partisans, to imprecate the blood of the Cherokees upon themselves and upon their children. Many of that party voted against the bill, and thus evinced that they were men of conscience and of moral principle. Still there cannot be a doubt that the bill was ultimately carried on party grounds and that on any other it would have been signally defeated. Heaven grant that the consequences of that bill may fall upon the party and not upon the country; and that the great constitutional bulwark wisely designed to stem the torrent of part violence may even yet avert the ruin of one nation, and the punishment and dishonor of another.--Amer. Spectator.
FROM WASHINGTON--It is stated to us by intelligent gentlemen of both Houses of Congress, with whom we have conversed during their stay in this city, that the signs of the times at Washington portend anything but peace and tranquility to our present ruling powers. We are credibly informed that the dissatisfaction with the Administration among the Western members was loud and violent, and that of the ten Jackson members who came to the federal city from Ohio, eight have returned with a determination never to be again found fighting in such ranks.
In relation to the Indian Bill, we have the best authority for saying that
the bill would have been rejected by a considerable majority, if the members
had received any premenition as to the stand the President would take upon the
Maysville Road Bill. The decision was carefully concealed, lest it should endanger
the passage of the Indian Bill; and in the meantime, all the machinery of party
was put in motion to induce the friends of the administration to subserve the
views of the Executive.- It was boldly avowed by some of the party that they
would never have yielded their private judgments to the solicitations of their
party friends could theyhave dreamed that the Presidenet would succumb to the
South, and abandon his former established principles for the purpose of vainly
endeavoring to pacify South Carolina and Virginia.