Register of Debates in Congress, Comprising the Leading Debates and Incidents of the Second Session of the Eighteenth Congress Page: 57
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18th Congress, ?
2d Session. $
APPENDIX—To Gales & Section's Register.
Location ami Improvement of Indians.
[H. of R.
well digested plan for their government and civilization,
which should be agreeable to themselves, would not on-
ly shield them from impending ruin, but promote their
welfare and happiness. Experience has clearly demon-
strated, that, in their present state, it is impossible to in-
corporate them in such masses, in any form whatever,
into our system. It has also demonstrated, with equal
certainty, that, without a timely anticipation of, and pro-
vision against, the dangers to which they are exposed,
under causes which it will be difficult, if not impossible,
to control, their degradation and extermination will be
The great object to be accomplished is, the removal
of those tribes to the territory designated, on conditions
which shall be satisfactory to themselves, and honorable
to the United States. This can be done only by con-
veying to each tribe a good title to an adequate portion
of land, to which it may consent to remove, and by pro-
viding for it there, a system of internal government,
which shall protect their property from invasion, and, by
the regular progress of improvement and civilization
prevent that degeneracy which has generally marked
the transition from the one to the other state.
I transmit, herewith, a report from the Secretary of
War, which presents the best estimate which can be
formed, from the documents in that Department, of the
number of Indians within our States and Territories, and
ofthe amount of lands held by the several tribes within
each ; of the state of the country lying Northward and
Westward thereof, within our acknowledged boundaries;
of the parts to which the Indian title has already been
extinguished; and of the conditions on which other parts,
in an amount, which may be adequate to the object con-
templated, may be obtained. By this report, it appears
that the Indian title has already been extinguished to
extensive tracts in that quarter, and that other portions
may be acquired, to the extent desired, on very mode-
rate conditions. Satisfied I also am, that the removal
proposed is not only practicable, but that the advan-
tages attending it to the Indians may be made so appa-
rent to them, that all the tribes, even those most oppos-
ed, may be induced to accede to it at no very distant
The digest of such a Government, with the consent of
the Indians, which should be endowed with sufficient
power to meet all the objects contemplated; to con-
nect the several tribes together in a bond of amity, and
preserve order in each ; to prevent intrusions on their
property; to teach them, by regular instructions, the
arts of civilized life, and make them a civilized people,
is an object of very high importance. It is the powerful
consideration which we have to offer to these tribes, as
an inducement to relinquish the lands on which they
now reside, and to remove to those which are designat-
ed. It is not doubted that this arrangement will present
considerations of sufficient force to surmount all their
prejudices in favor ofthe soil of their nativity, however
strong they may be. Their elders have sufficient intel-
ligence to discern the certain progress of events in the
present train, and sufficient virtue, by yielding to mo-
mentary sacrifices, to protect their families and posterity
from inevitable destruction. They will also perceive,
that they may thus attain an elevation to which, as com-
munities, they could not otherwise aspire.
To the United States, the proposed arrangement of-
fers many important advantages, in addition to those
which have been already enumerated. By the establish-
ment of such a government over these tribes, with their
consent, we become in reality their beneiuctors. the
relation of conflicting interests, which has heretofore ex-
isted between them and our frontier settlements, will
cease. There will be no more wars between them and
the United States. Adopting such a government, then-
movement will be in harmony with us, and its good ef-
fect be felt throughout the whole extent ot our territory,
to the Pacific. It may fairly be presumed that, through
the agency of such a government, the condition of all
tile tribes inhabiting that vast region may be essentially
improved; that permanent peace may be preserved
with them, and our commerce be much extended.
With a view to this important object, I recommend it
to Congress to adopt, by solemn declaration, certain fun-
damental principles, in accord with those above suggest-
ed, as the basis of such arrangements as may be entered
into with the several tribes, to the strict observance of
which, the faith ofthe nation shall be pledged. I re-
commend it also to Congress to provide by law for the
appointment of a suitable number of commissioners, who
shall, under the direction of the President, be authoris-
ed to visit and explain to the several tribes tin- objects
of the Government, and to make with them. uc<-ordi'ig
to their instructions, such arrangements as shall be best
calculated to carry those objects into effect.
A negotiation is now depending with the • Creek na-
tion, for the cession of lands held by it, within the limits
of Georgia, and with a reasonable prospect of success.
It is presumed, however, that the result will not be
known during the present session of Congress. To give
effect to this negotiation, and to the negotiations which
it is proposed to hold with all the other tribes within
the limits of the several states and territories, on the
principles and for the purposes stated, it ia recommend-
ed that an adequate appropriation be now made by Con-
Washington, 127th January, 1825.
Department of IVar, 24th Jan. 1825.
In obedience to your instructions, directing a state-
ment cf the names of the Indian tribes now remaining
within the limits of the different states and territories,
the number of each tribe, and the quantity of land claim-
ed by each; also, an estimate of the amount of appro-
priation necessary to commence the work of moving the
Indians beyond the Mississippi, to be laid before you, I
herewith enclose a report from Col. M'Kenney, to whom
is assigned the charge of the office of Indian Affairs,
which contains all of the information required, except
the estimate ofthe sum that will be necessary to be ap.
propriated to commence the removal.
In forming the estimate required, it will be necessary
to take a summary view of the number and position of
the several tribes to be removed, and to form a plan in
detail for their removal.
It appears, by the report enclosed, that there are, in
the several states and territories, not including the por-
tion of Michigan territory West ofl.ake Michigan, and
North of the state of Illinois, about 97,000 Indians, and
that they occupy about 77,000,000 of acres of land.
The arrangement for the removal, it is presumed, is
not intended to comprehend the small remnants of tribes
in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Kiiode Island,
Virginia, and South Carolina, amounting to 3,023. To
these also may be added the remnants of tribes remain-
ing in Louisiana, amounting to 1,313, as they are each of
them so few in number that, it is believed, very little ex-
pense or difficulty will be found in their removal, mak-
ing together 4,336, which, subtracted from the 97,000,
the entire number in the states and territories, will leave
92,064 to be removed. Of these, there are residing in
the northern parts of the states of Indiana, Illinois, in the
peninsula ot Michigan, and New York, including the Ot-
tawas in Ohio, about 13,150; which, I would respectful-
ly suggest, might be removed, with advantage to the
country West of" Lake Michigan, and North of the state
of Illinois. The climate and the nature of the country
are much more favorable to their habits, than that West
of the Mississippi; to which may be added, that the In-
dians in New York have already commenced a settle-
ment at Green Hay, and exhibit some disposition to
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Gales, Joseph, 1761-1841. Register of Debates in Congress, Comprising the Leading Debates and Incidents of the Second Session of the Eighteenth Congress, book, 1825; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30752/m1/433/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.