Some of our beloved men who signed the treaties are

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Some of our beloved men who signed the treaties are still leaving, and their testimony tends tothe same conclusion. We have always supposed that this understanding of the treaties was inaccordance with the views of the government; nor have we ever imagined that any body wouldinterpret them otherwise. In what light shall we view the conduct of the United States andGeorgia, in their intercourse with us, in urging us to enter into treaties, and cede lands? If wewere but tenants at will, why was it necessary that our consent must be obtained before thesegovernments could take lawful possession of our lands? The answer is obvious. Thesegovernments perfectly understood our rights our right to the country, and our right to selfgovernment. Our understanding of the treaties is further supported by the intercourse law of theUnited States, which prohibits all encroachments upon our territory. The undersignedmemorialists humbly represent, that if their interpretation of the treaties has been different fromthat of the government, then they have ever been deceived as to how the government regardedthem, and what she asked and promised. Moreover, they have uniformly misunderstood theirown acts….Letter from John Ross,et al, delegates from the Cherokee Nation,to the Hon.Lewis Cass,Sec. of War, Feb. 14, 1833.Public Documents of the Twenty-Third Congress,Vol. III,(Washington: Duff-Green, 1834), pp.32-35We cannot subscribe to the correctness of the idea which has so frequently been recurred to bythe advocates of Indian removal, that the evils which have befallen and swept away thenumerous tribes that once inhabited the old States are to be traced to the mere circumstance oftheir contiguity to a white population; but we humbly conceive that the true causes of their
extinction are to be found in the catalogue of wrongs which have been heaped upon theirignorance and credulity by the superior policies of the white man, when dictated by avarice andcupidity. You appeal to our better feelings in regard to the situation of our people, and suggestthat, under existing circumstances, some sacrifices may well be encountered in removing fromcontact with a white population in order to escape the fate which hat swept away so many Indiantribes. Should the doctrine that Indian tribes cannot exist contiguously to a white populationprevail, and they be compelled to remove west of the States and Territories of this republic, whatis to prevent a similar removal of them from there for the same reason? We can only plead, letequal justice be done between the red and the white man; and that so long as the faith ofcontracts is preserved inviolate, there will be no just cause for complaint, much less foraggressions on the right…The North American Review. Volume 31, Issue 69, October 1830, pp. 396-442On the subject of the rights of the American aborigines, there has been much loose reasoning,and some quite as loose morality. It will be found, however, that respectable writers have more

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Term
Summer
Professor
william
Tags
History, Government, Native Americans in the United States

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