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Mr. Adams, to be held good against | ties, and had eagerly appropriated him not only, but all future Yankee' the lands thus obtained by the Union, and Puritan' aspirants to the Presidency.
and passed directly over to her: but
This deliberate and flagrant perversion of the question to be decided was persisted in through several pages of the Message. Says the President:
General Jackson was chosen President in 1828, receiving more than two-thirds of the Electoral votes, including those of all the Slave States but Delaware and a part of Maryland. In Georgia, there were two Jackson Electoral tickets run, but none for Adams. And the first Annual Message of the new President gave the Indians due notice that Georgia had not so voted from blind impulse that their dearest rights, their most cherished possessions, were among her "spoils of victory." In this Message, the solemn obligations which our Government had volunteered to assume, in treaty after treaty with the Creeks and Cherokees, were utterly ignored, and the rights and possessions of the Indians dealt with precisely as if no such treaties had ever existed! Georgia had herself, through her citizens, participated in negotiating, and, through her Senators, united in ratifying those treaties; yet not only was she held at liberty to disobey and trample on them, but the United States was regarded as equally absolved, by the convenient fiction of State Sovereignty, from all liability to maintain and enforce them! No one could deny that we had solemnly engaged, by repeated treaties, to pro-laws of those States." tect the Indians in the undisturbed use and enjoyment forever of the lands which we had admitted to be, and marked out as, theirs. No one could deny that we had obtained large cessions of valuable lands by these treaties. No one doubted that Georgia had urged us to make these trea
"Actuated by this view of the subject, I informed the Indians inhabiting parts of Georgia and Alabama that their attempt to not be countenanced by the Executive of the ESTABLISH an independent government would United States, and advised them to emigrate beyond the Mississippi, or submit to the
What the Indians demanded was simply that the portion of their immemorial possessions which they had reserved for their own use and enjoyment in making liberal cessions to our Government, should still be left to them-that they should be protect
GEORGIA EXPELLING THE CHEROKEES.
States, as we had solemnly stipulated by treaty that they should be, taking our pay for it in advance. But General Jackson, in urging them to migrate beyond the Mississippi, did not hesitate to speak of their rights and their immunities as follows:
ed in such enjoyment, by the United | of whom each was to have a ticket. A reservation of one hundred and sixty acres to each head of a Cherokee family was made; but this reservation conferred or recognized only a right of possession during the good pleasure of the State Legislature. The Indians, whose government was thus abolished, were allowed no voice in that to which they were arbitrarily subjected; they could not even give testimony in a Georgia court, though denied a resort to other. any The fortunate drawer of Cherokee lands in the Georgia State lottery was entitled to call upon the Governor to put him in summary possession, expelling any adverse [Indian] claimant. If there were two or more antagonist white claimants, their respective claims were to be deliberately adjudicated by the courts, according to the dictates of ordinary jurisprudence. If any one sought to legally hold or recover lands against a claimant under this rule, he must make express affidavit that he
was not liable to be dispossessed of said land by or under any one of the provisions of the said act of the General Assembly of Georgia, passed December 20, 1833: * * * in which issue the person to whom wit-possession of said land was delivered shall join: and which issue shall constitute the entire pleadings between the parties; nor shall the court allow any matter other than is contained in said issue to be placed upon the regular files of said court; * * * nor shall said court, at the instance of either party, pass any order, or grant any injunction, to stay said cause, nor permit to be ingrafted on said cause any other proceedings whatever."
"This emigration should be voluntary; for it would be as cruel as unjust to compel the Aborigines to abandon the graves of their fathers, and seek a home in a distant land. But they should be distinctly informed that, if they remain within the limits of the States, they must be subject to their laws. In return for their obedience, as individuals, they will, without a doubt, be protected in the enjoyment of those possessions which they have improved by their industry. But it seems to me visionary to suppose that, in this state of things, claims can be allowed on tracts of country on which they have neither dwelt nor made improvements, merely because they have seen them from the mountain, or passed them in the chase. Submitting to the laws of the States, and receiving, like other citizens, protection in their persons and property, they will ere long become merged in the mass of our population."
How "voluntary" their emigration was to be, and what sort of "protection in their persons and property" they were likely to receive in case they refused to "abandon the graves of their fathers, and seek a home in a distant land," let the laws which Georgia proceeded to enact bear ness. Grown weary of awaiting the operation of the methods whereby she had already secured, at no cost to herself, the gradual acquisition of the greater part of the Indian lands within her borders when she acceded to the Union, that State passed acts abolishing the government of the Cherokees, and reducing them at a word to the condition of unprotected vassals. Their lands were thereupon divided into counties, surveyed, and ordered to be distributed by lottery among the white citizens of the State,
It can hardly be necessary to say that the sole, unconcealed object of this legislation was to deprive the Cherokees of the protection of the courts of the United States, or any adjudication therein touching their rights, by precluding any appeal to
Some time thereafter, two missionaries of the American Board among the Cherokees were arrested on a Georgia process, tried for, and convicted of, inciting the Indians to resist the policy of the State of Georgia designed to effect the expulsion of the Indians from her soil. They were of course sentenced to the State Prison. They appealed by writ of error to the courts of the United States, and the final adjudication thereon was had before the Supreme Court at Washington, the decision being pronounced by Chief Justice Marshall. It was entirely in favor of the missionaries and against the pretensions
of Georgia, holding that the treaties between the United States and the Cherokees were valid and binding on all the States, and paramount to all State laws, according to that provision of the Federal Constitution which prescribes :
the laws of the United States which shall be "Article VI., § 2. This Constitution, and made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."
The attorneys for the missionaries sought to have this judgment enforced, but could not. General Jackson was President, and would do nothing of the sort. "Well: John Marshall has made his decision: now let him enforce it!" was his commentary on the matter. So the missionaries languished years in prison, and the Cherokees were finally (1838) driven into exile, in defiance of the mandate of our highest judicial tribunal." Georgia was permitted to violate the faith of solemn treaties and defy the adjudications of our highest court. South Carolina was put down in a similar attempt: for the will of Andrew Jackson, not the Constitution, was in those years "the supreme law of the land.” “
"refused to sustain those Southern tribes in their attempt to set up an independent government within the States of Alabama and Georgia."
Both these gentlemen well knew-Colonel Benton could not but know-that the Cherokees only claimed or sought the rights which they had possessed and enjoyed from time immemorial, which were solemnly guaranteed to them by treaty after treaty, whereof the subsisting validity and pertinence were clearly affirmed by the tribunal of ultimate resort.
29 The late Jeremiah Evarts, long the efficient and honored Secretary of the American Board
ABOLITION IN THE REVOLUTIONARY AGE.
THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF ABOLITION.
THE General Congress which con- | Abolition Societies were largely comvened at Philadelphia in 1774, framed posed of the most eminent as well as articles of Association between the the worthiest citizens. Among them colonies, one of which was a solemn were, in Maryland, Samuel Chase, agreement "that we will neither im- a signer of the Declaration, and port nor purchase any slave imported Luther Martin, one of the framers after the 1st of December next;" be- of the Constitution; in Delaware, ing moved thereto by State action of James A. Bayard, afterward in like character, wherein Virginia and Congress, and Cæsar A. Rodney, North Carolina were honorably con- who became Attorney-General. The spicuous. Most of the States, accord- Pennsylvania Society had Benjaingly, prohibited the Slave-Trade min Franklin for its President, during or soon after the Revolution. and Benjamin Rush for Secretary Throughout the war for indepen--both signers of the Declaration. dence, the Rights of Man were pro- This,' among other such societies, claimed as the great objects of our memorialized the first Federal Construggle. General Gates, the hero gress, then sitting at Philadelphia, of Saratoga, emancipated his slaves against Slavery, asking in 1780. The first recorded Abolition Society-that of Pennsylvania -was formed in 1774. The New York Manumission Society was founded in 1785: John Jay was its first President; Alexander Hamilton its second. Rhode Island followed in 1786; Maryland in 1789; Connecticut in 1790; Virginia in 1791; New Jersey in 1792. The discovery that such societies were at war with the Federal Constitution, or with the reciprocal duties of citizens of the several States, was not made till nearly forty years afterward. These
of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, who devoted the best of his life to the cause of the Cherokees, has summed up, in a letter to a sympathizing friend, his convictions as to the ultimate cause of the perfidy and oppression of which they were the victims:
"Without that disregard of human rights which is to be found among slaveholders only, nothing could have been done against the Indians; and without the base surrender of all per
"that you will be pleased to countenance the restoration to liberty of those unhappy men who, alone in this land of freedom, are amid the general joy of surrounding freedegraded into perpetual bondage, and who, men, are groaning in servile subjection; that you will devise means for removing this inconsistency of character from the American people; that you will promote mercy and justice toward this distressed race; and that you will step to the very verge of the power vested in you for discouraging every species of traffic in the persons of our fellow-men."
Congress courteously received this and similar memorials, calmly considered them, and decided that it had no power to abolish Slavery in the
sonal dignity and independence to the capricious mandate of party discipline, the slaveholders would not have received aid enough to carry their point."-Life of Jeremiah Evarts, Boston, 1845, p. 367.
1 Father of one of her present U. S. Senators.
2 Franklin, then 84 years of age, signed this memorial on the 3d of February, 1790, and died on the 17th of April following.
States which saw fit to authorize and cherish it. There was no excitement, no menace, no fury. South Carolina and Georgia, of course, opposed the prayer, but in parliamentary language. It is noteworthy, that among those who leaned furthest toward the petitioners were Messrs. Parker and Page, of Virginia-the latter in due time her Governor. They urged, not that the prayer should be granted, but that the memorial be referred, and respectfully considered.
Vermont framed a State Constitution in 1777, and embodied in it a Bill of Rights, whereof the first article precluded Slavery.
Massachusetts framed a constitution in 1780, wherein was embodied a Declaration of Rights, affirming that
"All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and inalienable rights, among which are the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties, and that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property.'
The Supreme Court of that State, upon the first case arising which involved the question, decided that this provision had abolished Slavery.
New Hampshire was, in like manner, held to have abolished Slavery by her Constitution, framed in 1783.
Pennsylvania passed a Gradual Emancipation Act, March 1, 1780. All persons born in that State after that day, were to be free at the age of twenty-eight.
Rhode Island provided by law that all persons born in that State after March, 1784, should be free.
Connecticut, in 1784, passed an act providing for gradual Abolition. She had still two thousand seven hundred and fifty-nine slaves in 1790.
New York provided for Gradual Emancipation in 1799. In 1817, a further act was passed, decreeing that there should be no Slavery in the State after the 4th of July, 1827. Ten thousand slaves were set free at once by this act.
New Jersey passed an act, in 1804, designed to put an end to Slavery. It was so very gradual in its operation, that the census of 1840 reported six hundred and seventy-four slaves as still held in that State.
The frequently reiterated Southern assertion that the Northern States "sold their slaves to the South, and then abolished Slavery," is abundantly refuted. Pennsylvania, New York, and doubtless most other States, by their acts of emancipation, imposed severe penalties on the exportation of slaves. Delaware, though a Slave State, long since did. and still does, the same.
The North emerged from the Missouri struggle chafed and mortified. It felt that, with Right and Power both on its side, it had been badly beaten, through the treachery of certain of its own representatives, whom it proceeded to deal with accordingly. Few, indeed-hardly one-of those Northern members who had sided with the South in that struggle were reëlected. That lesson given, what more could be done? Missouri was in the Union, and could not be turned
Arkansas was organized as a Slave Territory, and would in due time become a Slave State. What use in protracting an agitation which had no longer a definite object? Mr. Monroe had just been reëlected President, and the harmony of the party would be disturbed by permitting