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knave, or canting fanatic without their limits. At no time have Indian rights been better protected, and at no time has the Cherokee tribe exhibited more evidence of peace, quiet, and protection, than since the extension of our laws over them. The Georgia jurisdiction has been their shield. Not only so, but the law exeluding the whites, was intended to extend, and does now extend, protection to those who are willing to evade its penalties, by complying with its terms. The laws and character of the state, are a guarantee to such, of more right, than they ever enjoyed there. By a strange perversion of principle, or a wretched ignorance of facts, a mild and benevolent policy has been corrupted into the veriest despotism-and that law, which created a right for the white man in the Cherokee country, which he had not before, and protected him in the enjoyment of it, has been denounced as arbitrary, unjust, and unholy. At no time, under the intercourse laws, have the Indians been so effectually protected, and at so little cost as under the laws of Georgia. Your committee have said, that the act of the General Assembly was necessary to carry into effect the benign policy of the State, in reference to the Indians, that it operated as a protection to them, from the rapacity and violence of the whites, and that so far from its being an unwarrantable proscription of them, it actually conferred privileges which, of right, they have not before possessed. The latter position is made manifest by adverting to the fact, that before the passage of the act, no white citizen could claim his residence there as a matter of right; but the moment he complied with the reasonable requisitions of the law, he became ipso facto entitled to such residence and all the benefits it conferred. It is true, that many were upon the soil at the moment of passing the act, but their residence was assumed, and only tolerated by the State: they were only residents at the sufferance of the State. The missionaries themselves will not deny but that their condition, in the Cherokee nation, under the jurisdiction of Georgia, was greatly preferable to what it was under the dominion of the agents of the United States.
The law which has excited so much feeling among our brethren of the eastern states, is not partial or exclusive in its operation. The first citizen of Georgia, the most abandoned of the refugee adventurers for gold, as well as the meek and law abiding Moravian missionary, are within its provisions-all classes, all grades, and all professions are alike liable to its penalties. Our law in this, as well as all [other] cases, aims at no individual or individuals, and recognises no exemptions. And had the most talented, or the
most dignified of our sons, resided within the limiss of our lands in the possession of the Cherokee Indians, without having taken the oath; the law would have been administered upon such an one, with unsparing rigor and unrelenting severity. Your committee, therefore, declare that no objection can be urged against the state, with any propriety," upon the score of its inequality, for the state made all men "equal under the law."
The law of the last Legislature, herein adverted to, did not, according to its provisions, take effect immediately.The commencement of its operation was fixed, at a time sufficiently remote to put all persons interested upon their guard; and ample opportunity was afforded, for a knowledge of its existence and of its provisions. No man was entrapped, and all who offended against it sinned against the authority of the state, with a perfect knowledge of the consequences. Most of those persons who were residents of the Cherokee country either removed from the state or submitted to the requirements of the law. The Board of Directors of the United Brethren's mission at Salem, believing that the object of their mission to the Cherokees, under the peculiar circumstances of the state, and the Indians, could not be effected, instructed their missionaries to remove from the country. Acting, as your committee believe, from a sense of respect to the laws and authorities of Georgia, they were unwilling to interfere with her laws or her policy. In the conduct of these unobtrusive and devoted missionaries of the Cross, is exhibited in bold relief the pure and sublime principles of our holy religion. Some there were, however, who refused to remove from our limits and who refused to comply with the conditions of residence prescribed in the law. These individuals were either missionaries or persons who were under their influence and acted under their advisement. The most conspicuous and talented of these individuals, are the Rev. S. Worcester and Dr. E. Butler, missionaries of the American Board of Foreign Missions.
These persons had long been conversant with the policy of the General Government, and with the rights as well as the laws of Georgia. The law, to whose penalty they became obnoxious, was known to them. The law had raised within their hearing, its warning voice, and admonished them of their duty; but the Governor of the State, reluctant to enforce upon them, the penalty of the law, respecting their sacred profession, and respecting still more the most holy cause in which they were engaged; kindly and politely, and
in the spirit of forbearance, warned them, yet again of their crime and invited them away from their own ruin. A personal address was made to each of them by his Excellency, and ten days given for their removal-all this did not avail. They not only persisted in their illegal residence, but ventured upon justification of their crime in an address to the Executive of the State. Orders were then given to arrest them, that they might teel the full penalty of our laws "since such was their voluntary choice." They were arrested, tried and convicted, and now inmates of the State-Prison, they suffer the melancholy doom which their perverse obstinacy, or misguided zeal has brought upon them.
What reproach could be cast upon the State for their conviction, and what justification or extenuation can be had for their violation of the laws of the State? None. No man would hesitate to pronounce them the wilful perpetrators of their own misfortunes. If it be said that they were residents upon those lands by permission of the United States Government, and therefore the State had no right to punish them; your committee answer, that the Governmect of the United States, has no power to bestow a right, which is adverse to the rights of Georgia, and that this permission was good to them so long as the State acquiesced in it, and no longer; and the enacting of the law, making the residence criminal, is a declaration of the State's dissent to it. If it is said that their residence was by permission of the Indians and therefore the State could not make it penal,-your committee answer; the Indians, it is true have a right of occupancy; but this right of occupancy is personal to themselves, and cannot be by them delegated, to any person whatever therefore their consent to a residence is no justification. The ultimate fee to the lands, is in Georgia, and so far as Georgia and all the world (except the Indians) is concerned, she is the alsolute, unqualified owner. As your committee before remarked, the right of jurisdiction is in Georgia, and of consequence there is no limit to her right of penal enactment. The state owned the lands, and it was perfectly competent for her, to prescribe such terms to residence upon them, as she deemed fit and expedient. It will not be denied that the State has the right to prescribe such conditions to a residence, upon the state-house square in the town of Milledgeville, as she may think fit. So far as all the world, except the Indians, is concerned, there is no difference between the title, which the State has to her state-house square, and her title to the Cherokee lands. In either case the grant is in her, and can never be divested but by her own act. If it is said that the State did require the Missionaries to take an oath, which in
conscience they could not take, or suffer the penalty of the law ; your committee answer, that the State involved the Missionaries in no such desperate dilemma. If the oath was taken, it was a voluntary act, and the oath could have been avoided by removal from our limits. If the penalty was suffered, it was a voluntary acts which might have been avoided either by taking the oath, or removing from the limits. The Missionaries were left free to choose between the oath, the penalty of the law, and removal, and they chose the penalty of the law. Why then should the State be censured for an act, which was the result of choice, on the part of the missionaries? and which your committee fear was sought by them, either for the purposes of political effect, or to exhibit themselves to a sympathising fraternity, as sufferers for righeousness' sake?
They surely cannot claim for themselves exemption from the operation of the laws of the State, by reason of their profession or their vocation. The laws of Georgia interfere not with the religious privileges, or conscientious opinions of men-and the State lends her aid to all efforts, for the dissemination of the truths of revelation, she is the auxiliary of the missionary, in teaching the Heathen, the great truths of Christianity; and her constitution and laws are based upon the principles and doctrines of him who spake as never man spake. Still the law is no respecter of persons and he who violates it, whether Jew or Gentile, Christian or Infidel, Mahometan or Pagan, must expect to meet its sanctions and feel its penalties. It is for the missionaries to reconcile their precepts with their practice, and to prove to the world, that the religion which they profess allows, much less encourages, disobedience to laws, insubordination, and resistance to the powers that be. It remains for them to show, that resistance to rightful civil authority is either a Christian duty, or a Christian privilege-that things which are Caesar's, are not to be rendered to Cæsar, and that conscientious scruples can defeat the operation of laws, or stay the hand of Government. If the opinion of every subject, as to the constitutionality of the laws under which he lives, can exempt him from :heir operation, then is Government a mockery, and lawgivers, Judges and Governors, the merest toys to be sported with according to the whims and caprices of individuals. In the letters of these individuals to the Governor, the reason of their refusal to obey the laws of Georgia, is assigned to be, that they did not believe the State had the right of jurisdiction over the country, and believing as they did, they could not do violence to their consciences by taking the oath. Your committee believe, that scruples as to the oath, should [Laws of 1881
have removed all scruples as to their duty to remove. They cannot deny the right of all men, to judge for themselves, of the constitutionality, or propriety of any law; but it is a new idea, that the law, as to such an one so judging, is to fail of its effect and become a nullity. Those who do assume this original, natural right, and act upon it, as the missionaries have done, must expect to suffer as they are suffering, the consequences of their rash judgment.
The Rev. Samuel A. Worcester and Dr. Elizur Butler, were warned of the existence of the law they have violated. They were politely invited to remove and time given for their removal. They resisted the authority of the State, and repelled with disdain, the kind offices of the Governor in their behalf. They were arrested, defended by enlightened counsel, tried before a court distinguished for its legal wisdom and its benevolent feeling, and convicted and sentenced. Still the authority of the State followed them with anxious solicitude to relieve them, still kindness and mercy and forbearance, would have stayed the execution of the sentence. At the Gate of the Penitentiary, they were met with the offer of pardon, upon the easy terms of removal from the territory, or taking the oath. This offer they repelled-These overtures of mercy they heeded not, and entered the Penitentiary, a living monument of fanaticism, political knavery, or egregious folly.-Notwithstanding all these things, Georgia has been ranked among the Despotisms of the East, and her late benevolent, honest and talented Governor, placed among the Neros, Dionysiuses and Dracos of infamous memory. From the enlightened, the candid and the pious of all parties and all creeds, the State must receive a judgment not only of acquital of error or crime, but of high commendation.
Resolved, That this committee recommend, and do hereby recommend to the General Assembly, the printing of forty copies of this report, for each member of the State Delegation in Congress, and that his Excellency the Governor, be, and he is hereby requested to forward to our Delegation in Congress, forty copies each of the report.:
Read and agreed to.
THOMAS STOCKS, President.
Attest I. L. HARRIS, Secretary. `.
In the House of Representatives,
Attest, W. C. DAWSON, Clerk.
Approved, Dec. 26, 1831.
WILSON LUMPKIN, Governor