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Jax, 2, 1829.)
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cessary, nay, that, under such circumstances, it would be The question being then put on printing three thousand improper, to disturb the House, or impede in the least copies, it was decided in the affirmative-yeas 82, nays 64. other business, by renewing the call for printing the six So the printing was ordered. thousand he had first asked for; and what, sir, was the con
GEORGIA CLAIMS, sequence, seen and felt every where, from Maine to LouisianaThe whole country was inundated with the most The House then went into Committee of the whole deceptious reviews, and falsely titled official records of the on a report of the Committee on Indian Affairs, adverse to six militiamen, including every thing base and unfounded the claims of certain citizens of Georgia for depredations that was calculated to deceive an honest, but, in that in- committed by the Creek Indians. stance, neglected community: for, had six thousand copies Mr. THOMPSON moved to reverse the decision of the heen printed, and sent out to them, twenty-four copies in Committee, (which declares that any further legislation on each Congressional district, not a man scarcely that was, the subject of those claims is inexpedient) by striking would have been, deceived. He therefore blamed himself out the word inexpedient, and inserting the word exfor not having insisted on having a greater number print- pedient. ed than were printed, and he knew that some of his con- Mr. LUMPKIN said it was not his intention to consume stituents blamed him also. Here, then, sir, is a practical the time of the Committee: he did not rise to enter upon reason in answer to the honorable gentleman's (Mr. Bates) the details of this subject; but, whilst he made this dequestion to me, “why print any number of this report for claration, he would the more earnestly solicit the attention distribution?" Is it not an all-important subject? None of the Committee to a few of the prominent features of the can be more so, to wit: whether the people will conserit subject now before them. It is a subject plain in itself, to have their State sovereignty invaded, and their le- but has been mystified by reports, instructions, and legal gislative enactments set aside, and declared unconstitution opinions, until it has become so intricate and complicated, al and void, even after being decided by their own Judi- that it will require great attention, care, and time, on the ciary to be constitutional and valid, by a minority of the part of this Committec, to comprehend the subject. Mr. United States' Judges, or whether they would prefer that L. added, he did not think nor speak lightly of the intelliit should require the vote to be given of five out of seven gence of the House in making the remark which he had Judges. Sir, it is important for another reason. It is high done, in regard to the necessity of attention. time for the people to be asked, and them to decide, As a member of the Committee on Indian Affairs, and, whether they are sovereign or not, and whether their at the same time, a Representative of Georgia, the claims power, retained, or intended to be retained, by the consti- of whose citizens are now before you, (said Mr. L.] I contution, is on all occasions the only claim expected to be sider it my duty to state what has transpired in the Comsurrendered Sir, the people have said expressly, in this mittee in relation to this case. This subject was examinwritten compact, the constitution, that none of their mo- ed by the Committee at the last session, with care and atney shall be drawn out of their Treasury but though this tention ; it has been re-examined at the present session. House; that their Representatives, their immediate Repre- Four of the members of the Committee finally consentsentatives, should hold the purse strings of this nation; ed to the report now before you, which is adverse to the and yet, sir, this same instrument is made, or rather at- claims of the citizens of Georgia. Three of the Comtempted to be made, to contradict this, and to authorize mittee are decidedly of the opinion that this report does the treaty-making power, (because a treaty, when made, great injustice to the claimants, and are in favor of the is there stated to be the supreme law of the land) in case substitute offered by my colleague, [Mr. THOMPSON] of a dispute between that power and this House upon the which embraces the leading views of the minority of the decision of the Judiciary, to go into your Treasury, and Committee. draw the money necessary to carry the treaty into effect Mr. L. said he would add, that he did not believe there without the approbation of this House; or what, sir, is the was a solitary member of the Committee who would consame thing, a certain part of this community believe, or tend that ample and full justice had been done to all the so contend, that, when the treaty-making power (the Pre- claimants, as intended to be provided for by the treaty at sident and Senate) have made and ratified a treaty, that the Indian Springs, in the year 1821. He said it was ad. this House is virtually bound, however contrary to their mitted that the indemnity in that treaty extended to proopinion, or the interest of the country, to grant the approperty destroyed, as well as that which was carried away priation necessary to carry it into effect. This claim was and detained. By the treaty stipulations entered into at set up on a former and on a recent occasion. I am aware, that time, between the Commissioners of Georgia and sir, (said Mr. W.) that it was old Federal doctrine, but the Creek nation, this sum of two hundred and fifty never my doctrine, although always most warmly attached thousand dollars was set apart to satisfy the just claims to the Federal constitution. I always considered, and do of the citizens of Georgia, for depredations committed still, that a treaty becomes the supreme law of the land when on their property by the Creek Indians; and, that ample every thing is done, to wit: when ratified by the President, justice might be done to both parties, it was mutually confirmed by the Senate, and the appropriations necessary agreed that the claims should be referred to the President to carry it into effect granted by this House--and not be- of the United States, whose decision should be final and fore; and either party can suspend the application of what conclusive. This decision has been had under circumthat party is required to do, until, in their judgment, the stances which we object to. The President of the United best interest of the nation will be served. Was it not so, States appointed an individual to determine upon those some of the safest and wisest checks given by your con- claims, whose intelligence, integrity, and character, is not stitution to each branch over the others, would be the ex- questioned by any one. But this individual acted under treme of absurdity and contradiction. With these remarks, instructions from the War Department, which, we consir, I shall content myself with the hope that I have satis- tend, compelled him to do injustice to many of the claim. factorily answered the call made upon me by the honora- ants. The Commissioner was not at liberty to construe ble member from Massachusetts, (Mr. Bates.]
the agreement between Georgia and the Creek nation Mr. W. added that he was willing, at the suggestion of with a view to the faithful fulfilment of the agreement. the honorable gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. BARBOUR] No ; he was confined to the instructions under which he not to risk all by asking for too large a number of copies acted. All that we now ask for the claimants is, that a fair to be printed. He would, therefore, withdraw his motion and full hearing may be afforded them, according to the for six thousand, and allow, as requested, the vote to be original agreement; that some competent person may sit taken on three thousand, as first moved.
in judgment upon their claims, unembarrassed by legal
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[JAN. 2, 1829.
opinions from the Attorney General, or commanding in- thousand dollars; the Commissioners of Georgia executstructions from the War Department. Let the decision ing to the Creek nation a full and final relinquishment of be governed by the treaty itself. all the claims of the citizens of Georgia, against the Creek nation, for property taken or destroyed, prior to the act of Congress of 1802, regulating the intercourse with the Indian tribes."
Mr. L. said he did not rise with a view of entering at length upon the details of this subject: for all that could be said on the subject might now be found within the walls of this House, in a documentary or printed form; to these Now, here was an agreement between the three parties, documents he referred the Committee. They would find or, perhaps, I should have said, "high contracting parinstructions, legal opinions, memorials, correspondence, ties," which was that the United States were to pay, reports, and counter reports. While upon this subject, a part of the consideration" given for the land then ceded, [Mr. L. said] he would call the attention of the committee the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, &c. to to the labored argument of the Attorney General of the citizens of Georgia. The Indians agreed to take this as a United States, which had been read. He entertained a part of the consideration for their land, provided the Georvery high respect for the talents and legal acquirements gia Commissioners would execute a final release of their of that gentleman. But he [Mr. L.] was under a mistake claims, &c., which was a clear recognition by the Indians if the opinion of the Attorney General, upon a subject of claims to the amount of two hundred and fifty thousand relating to interest, growing out of the Ghent treaty, dollars against them. And here I will also remark, that would not be found to controvert his opinions as just read. claims for property destroyed was also included in that Mr. L. said, with the few remarks submitted he was agreement, but since excluded by the Commissioner, un content to leave the subject, under a full conviction that, der the instructions by which he was to be governed in his whatever might be necessary farther to be said upon this decisions. subject, would be performed by his colleagues, and the other gentlemen of the Committee whose opinions coincided with his own.
The Commissioners of Georgia did, according to the stipulation of the treaty, execute a final release to the Creek nation, thereby accepting the two hundred and fif Mr. CARSON said it was customary, when a member ty thousand dollars to be paid by the United States. The rose to address the House, to offer an apology: I will article of reference agreed upon by the Commissioners of give one in advance, [said Mr. C.] I am one of the Com- Georgia and the Creek nation made the President of the mittee which made the report now in question, but unfor- United States the referee, whose decision was to be final; tunately in the minority, and, therefore, in favor of the and the point now is, as to the extent of the powers of the motion of the gentleman from Georgia, [Mr. THOMPSON]| referee. Did his powers extend to the application of arto disagree to this report; and am, also, in favor of a bitrary rules, or extraneous circumstances, to the preju bill reported by that gentleman, at the last session of dice of the claims? Or was he only to decide each claim Congress, providing for a further adjudication and pay- with reference to its justness? My opinion is, that his ment of those claims heretofore rejected-all, at least, powers extended no farther than to say, when a claim was which may be founded in justice. Therefore, being one presented, whether it originated before the year 1802; of the Committee, who, from necessity, had to investi- and if so, whether the proof adduced was sufficient to subgate these claims, it may not be improper, but, perhaps, stantiate it, in which case it should have been allowed; and expected, that I should state the grounds of my disagree- this course, I humbly conceive, is strictly in accordance ment with the majority of the committee. with the intention of the parties agreeing to submit the These claims originated in depredations committed by case to his arbitrament. But, sir, he decided the claims, Indians of the Creek nation upon the frontier citizens of not in reference to their validity or justness, but connected Georgia, anterior to 1802, the date of the act of Congress them with treaties made previous to the year 1802, and regulating trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes. applied principally as existing between civilized nations, They were a subject of negotiation from that time till the which, in my opinion, ought not to have any bearing upon year 1821, when they were finally settled, so far as the those claims, particularly when we recollect the words Indians had any thing to do with them, by a treaty, conclud- used in the treaty, the words in the article of reference, ed in that year by this Government and the Creek In- and the words used in the release executed to the Indians, dians, called the treaty of the Indian Springs; at which all of which recognizes the claims for property destroyed, place the State of Georgia was also represented by her as well as for property carried away. Nay, sir, the agreeCommissioners, whose business it was to obtain a settle- ment to refer those claims to the President is much more ment and payment of those claims. Those claims were general in its terms, and refers "all claims, of whatever there presented, and recognized by the Indians, to the nature or kind." These are the emphatic words used, amount of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars; and and must be as universal in their application as any that the United States did then agree to pay that amount could have been used. Yet, sir, we see that all claims for to the citizens of Georgia, provided it was ascertained that property destroyed, such as negroes killed, property burnthere was that amount justly due. And their justness had ed, &c. &c. are disallowed. If the committee will bear to be decided according to a reference agreed upon by an with me, I will read a few of the claims disallowed, and article entered into, on the same day and place, between the reasons which were assigned by the Commissioners the Commissioners on the part of the State of Georgia and for their rejection. the head men and chiefs of the Creek nation. To be explicit, I beg leave to read the part of the treaty referring to this subject.
Here Mr. C. read from document No. 268, 1st session 20th Congress, State Papers, vol 7: "The charge," [says the Commissioner] "for the negro killed and the wagon burnt, is rejected, because they are not provided for by the Treaty of New York. It is evident, from the phrasetheology of that treaty, that it was only intended that the Indians should deliver up such negroes as were then in the nation; indeed, the clause is so explicit as to leave no doubt on the subject."
[Here Mr. C. read as follows, from the Laws of the United States, vol. 6, page 771:]
"And as a farther consideration for said cession, United States do hereby agree to pay to the State of Georgia whatever balance may be found due by the Creek nation to the citizens of said State, whenever the same shall be ascertained, in conformity with the reference made by the Commissioners of Georgia, and the chiefs, head men, and warriors, of the Creek nation; to be paid with the instructions under which the Commissioner had in five annual instalments, without interest, provided the to act, a part of which I also beg leave to read: Resame shall not exceed the sum of two hundred and fifty ports of Committee, volume 2, 1st session 20th Congress,
I would here remark [continued Mr. C.] that this, and many other similar claims, were rejected, in conformity
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doc. 128. "4th. All claims originating in depredations and which I look upon as equally just, are claims for the committed in a period of hostilities, or previous thereto, if issue of female slaves taken and kept by the Indians. If not provided for in the treaty which followed such hos- the claimant was entitled to the mother, he was necessaritilities. The exclusion of this class (continues Mr. Cal-ly entitled to the offspring for the child follows the conhoun) rests on a principle perfectly well established be-dition of the mother, and would be recoverable in our tween civilized nations, and is believed to be equally ap-courts of law, either upon an action of trover and converplicable to Indian nations. In its application in this case, sion, or, an action of detinu for the specific property. it will exclude all claims originating previous to the treaty with the Creek Nation, made at New York, the 7th August, 1790, except for slaves, provided to be given up by the 3d article of said treaty," &c.
The last claim which remains to be considered is that of interest upon the value of property, from the time it should have been delivered up. There are many considerations, sir, which enter into this part of the subject, and Now, the 3d article of the treaty simply provides, "that which render it difficult to decide. Yet I am of the opinall prisoners, together with all negroes then in the posses-allowed. There are, no doubt, cases in which inteion that interest, on a number of the claims, ought to be sion of the Creek Indians, should be restored," &c. subject of those claims was not under consideration at rest ought not to be allowed: such, for instance, as where an allowance is made for a female slave, and that treaty; and, therefore, [says Mr. Calhoun] the application of this principle, established among civilized na-an adequate allowance for her issue. It might also tions, which excludes claims not provided for in subse-enter into the consideration of interest, whether the proquent treaties, will necessarily exclude all claims originat-perty had been valued very high or very low. In the latter ing previous to the treaty of New York. But most as-case, interest ought certainly to be allowed. The bill, suredly, sir, if claims are subsequently recognized by a therefore, which was reported at the last session of Connation, they are then as valid as though no treaty had in-gress, by the gentleman from Georgia, [Mr. THOMPSON] tervened. The question then is, Did the Indians subse- fully meets my view, and I shall therefore support it. quently recognize those claims? Sir, they did. treaty of Indian Springs, as well as the release executed to the Indians, and the article referring the decision of the claims to the President, all prove that they were recognized by the Indians at that time, which was in 1821. What is the language used? The treaty says, "for perty taken or destroyed prior to the act of Congress of 1802," &c. The article of reference says, "all claims of either side, of whatever nature or kind, prior to the act of Congress of 1802, regulating trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes." The release executed at the same time also recognizes all claims prior to 1802.
"the two hundred
But it has been objected by the Committee, with regard to the part of this subject which relates to interest, that the ar icle of the treaty which says and fifty thousand dollars shall be paid in five annual instalments, without interest," precludes the claimants from obtaining it. My construction of these words is different. It appears to me that the object sought for by the Commissioners, in the insertion of the words "without interest," was the advantage of time to the Government to make their payments in, which advantage would have ceased, if interest had been demanded, because the difference in the advantage would have been but small, with regard to the time allowed, if they had been compelled to pay interest. It was, therefore, to secure an advantage to themselves, not to prejudice the claimants, that those words were inserted.
The preamble is in the following words: "Whereas a treaty or convention has this day been made and entered into by and between the United States and the Creek Nation, by the provisions of which the United States have agreed to pay, and the Commissioners of the State of Georgia have agreed to accept, for and on behalf of the citizens of the State of Georgia, having claims against the Creek nation, prior to the year 1802, the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars," &c.
But what appears to be a much greater obstacle to the allowance of interest, is the opinion of the Attorney General [Mr. Wirt] against it, and which has been cited by, and which accompanied the report of, the Committee on Indian Affairs. I certainly have not the presumption to controvert any legal opinion of that deservedly distinThe language here used is so general in its bearing, guished lawyer and gentleman. But it will not, I and the amount fixed upon as necessary to cover the hope, be considered unfair to oppose a subsequent opinclaims, leaves the mind, in my opinion, no room to doubt. ion of the same gentleman, in a case which, I think, will If, therefore, it should be conceded that all claims origi- be found strictly analogous-I mean, sir, his opinions nating prior to 1802 were recognized by the Indians in with regard to the claims for interest, upon the con1821, and referred by the parties to the President for his struction of the awards of the Emperor of Russia, undecision, the principle then suggested by Mr. Calhoun, der the treaty of Ghent. These claims, it will be reand which was brought to bear to the exclusion or rejec- collected, were for slaves owned by citizens of the Unittion of a great number of those claims, ceases to operate; ed States, and taken by the British during our last and therefore the decision of the President, or the Com- war, but which were to be restored, according to the missioner acting under his instructions, should only have stipulations of the Treaty of Ghent. These slaves were been with regard to the validity or justness of the claims; not restored, and the claim was for their value, and the inin which case all these excluded claims, for property de-terest on the value from the time they should have been stroyed, &c. would have been allowed. I would not be restored till paid. The opinion of the Attorney General understood as reflecting upon Mr. Calhoun for the great is, that interest ought to be allowed in this case; nay, he care with which he guarded the public interest. As a goes farther, and says that damages ought to be awarded ministerial officer, it is highly creditable to him to have for the wrongful detention of the slaves, if they could be done so; and perhaps it was best, knowing, as he did, correctly arrived at. Then, if interest ought to be allowthat, if ample justice was not done the claimants, their ed in this case, it is but equally fair that interest should be appeal was to the Congress of the nation, whose powers paid upon the value of all slaves wrongfully detained by were ample, and whose decision no one could censure. the Indians, and detained in the face of treaty stipulation. If, then, sir, the committee should agree with me that the But with regard to the Georgia claimants, Mr. Wirt thinks claims for property killed and destroyed should be paid, as interest ought not to be allowed; yet, in the case of the well as the claims for property taken and carried away, Virginia and Louisiana claimants, he thinks it ought. then the remedy is in our hands, and the claimants appeal I beg leave to read a very short extract from both his to us for that justice which, they consider, has been here- opinions. In his opinion in the case of the Georgia claimants, he says:
"The first consideration which strikes the mind on this
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[JAN. 2, 1829. subject is, that this is a question which arises between so- of the Committee on Indian Affairs, in their report upon vereign and independent States, in transactions between the subject now under consideration, will be utterly unawhom, the allowance of interest, unless where it is ex- vailing, unless we should be so fortunate as to be honored pressly stipulated, or arises on contracts of loan, is, it is with the attention of the Committee. I therefore beg their believed, without example. It might, therefore, be safe-attention for a few minutes.
ly assumed, in the front of this examination, that interest The claims of the citizens of Georgia on the Creek nanot having been expressly stipulated in this case, and tion of Indians, for which we now contend, and which we the case not being one of contract of loans, the de- allege are provided for by the treaty of 1821, made with mand of interest is in conflict with the usages of nations, the Creek nation of Indians, may be, as remarked by the and, therefore, ought not to be made."--[See Rep. of gentleman from North Carolina, [Mr. CARSON] properly Com. 1st Ses. 20th Congress, Vol. 2.—Rep. 128.] divided into three classes. The first class includes all dians, of property which belonged to citizens of Geor claims founded upon the destruction, by the Creek Ingia, prior to the act of Congress regulating trade and intercourse with Indian tribes, passed in the year eighteen hundred and two. This, as a class of claims, was excluded by the instructions from the Secretary of War to the
"Upon the whole, sir, I am of the opinion, that the just indemnification awarded by the Emperor, involves, not merely the return of the value of the specific property, but a compensation also, for the subsequent and wrongful Commissioner who was appointed to adjudicate the claims detention of it, in the nature of damages. If the actual of citizens of Georgia, under the treaty before referred to damages in each case could be ascertained, they ought, The second class includes all claims founded on the inunder the award, to be decreed; but since this, if not im-crease of female slaves, the property of citizens of Georpracticable, would be a work of great labor and time, Igia, taken and carried away by the Creek Indians prior to am of opinion that the interest, according to the usages the passage of the act of Congress to which I have of nations, is a necessary part of the just indemnifica- already alluded. And the third class is a claim against tion awarded by the Emperor of Russia."-See State Pathe Creek Indians for the allowance of a reasonable pers, Executive, 1st Session 20th Congress.-- Vol. 6, Doc. per cent. interest on the amount of money which has 256.] been, or hereafter may be, considered as fairly and equitably due from the Creek Indians to citizens of Georgia, under the provisions of the treaty of '21, as a just indemnity for the detention, by said Indians, of the value of the property so by them wrongfully destroyed or taken and carried away. These were rejected by the President of the United States, as advised by the opinion of the Attor
In his opinion in the case of the Virginia and Louisiana claimants, he says:
In the first case, he thinks it "in conflict with the usage of nations"-but in the latter, strictly "in accordance with the usage of nations"-to allow interest. My opinion is, that his last opinion is correct, and I shall be governed accordingly; and, sir, the United States will be nothing loser by the payment of all the claims that have been presented: for there is near one hundred and forty-ney General. nine thousand dollars of the money which she covenanted The Committee on Indian Affairs, while they admit, in to pay, whenever claims to the amount should be estab- their report, that the first class of claims urged by the citi lished, yet remaining in her hands; there is no fear that zens of Georgia were provided for by the treaty of 1821, the Government will be imposed upon, because there is reject the second and third classes, as not coming within a limit beyond which we cannot go, and that limit is fixed the provisions of that treaty. They say, too, that they by the terms of the treaty. And it is farther to be re-can perceive nothing in the instructions under which the marked, that the Government has received a valuable Commisioner acted, which warranted an exclusion of the consideration for this sum, in the land then ceded by the claims founded on the destruction of property by the Indians. Creek Indians; and that, as no specific case has been preAnd here permit me to remark, generally, that no sented, on which a decision was made by the Commissionclaims, amidst the vast number that are laid before us, are er adverse to the claim for property destroyed by the Inentitled to be viewed with so liberal and indulgent an eye dians, they are, therefore, not called upon to express an as those which are preferred on account of Indian depre-opinion as to the correctness of such a decision. Sir, it dations. They come from citizens on the frontiers-a does seem to me, that the Committee on Indian Affairs, if class of men whose exposed situation subjects them to a they will take the trouble to re-examine the instructions great variety of privations and sufferings; who are the under which the Commissioner who adjudicated these first to be assailed by a savage enemy, and the last to be claims acted, they will find that the construction obviously visited by the comforts and advantages of cultivated and intended to be given to those instructions, compelled the refined society. They are the pioneers of our country, Commissioner to exclude all claims founded on the destrucand may be said to be a frontier rampart, behind which, tion of property. the interior citizen rests with security from the aggressions of a savage foe. Such are the class of claimants ter of instructions from the Secretary of War to General who now appeal to us, and I do think them entitled to all James P. Preston, the Commissioner who was appointthe liberality and indulgence which a parental Government ed to pass upon the claims in question. In the letter of incan justly show. structions, the Secretary of War tells the Commissioner
I will direct the attention of the committee to the let
With these remarks I submit the case, believing that much more justice will be done the subject by gentlemensioner's] attention is, what are the description of claims "The first point which will claim your [the Commiswho may follow me. Mr. THOMPSON, of Georgia, said, that, in the discus-which, on a fair and just construction, are comprehended sion of the subject now under consideration, he designed in the provisions of the treaty? To determine which, sato trespass but a very few moments on the patience of the tisfactorily, it will be proper to consider, in the first place, committee. He presumed an apology was scarcely ncceswhat are the description of claims which, under such a sary for the commission of such a trespass. If, however, construction, are clearly not comprehended in its provi[said Mr. T.] any should be considered as due from me, it will be found in the duty which I owe to my constituents, The Secretary then enumerates the description of many of whom are deeply interested in the question now claims which, by his construction of the treaty, are not pending, and to whom a correct decision is very impor- comprehended in its provisions; and, in the enumeration, I know, sir, that any effort on my part to expose includes "all claims originating in depredations committed the errors which exist in the reasonings and conclusions in a period of hostilities, or previous thereto, if not pro
Jax. 2, 1829.]
[H. of R.
vided for in the treaty which followed such hostilities.” Commissioners of Georgia, and the chiefs, head men, and And the Secretary adels, that “the exclusion of this class warriors, of the Creek nation, to be paid in five annual rests on a principle perfectly well established between ci- instalments, without interest, provided the same shall not vilized nations, and is believed to be equally applicable to exceed the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, Indian nations. In its application in this case, it will ex- the Commissioners executing to the Creek nation a full clude all claims originating previous to the treaty with the and final relinquishment of all the claims of the citizens Creek nation, made at New York the 7th August, 1790, of Georgia, against the Creck nation, for property taken except for slaves provided to be given up by the 3d article or destroyed prior to the act of Congress of one thousand of said treaty; and those originating subsequent to the date eight hundred and two, regulating the intercourse with thereof, and previous to the 29th June, 1796, the date of the Indian tribes." the treaty of Colerain, except for the property provided To this treaty is appended an agreement entered into to be given up in the 7th article.” Now, sir, as the 3d on the day when the treaty was concluded between the article of the treaty of New York, and the 7th article of Commissioners on the part of Georgia, and the chiefs, the treaty of Colerain, provided only for the surrender by head men, and warriors, of the Creek nation, by which, the Indians of such property belonging to the citizens of all claims on either side, of whatever nature or kind, Georgia, as was then in the possession of the Indians; and prior to the act of Congress of one thousand eight hundred as the enumeration in the Secretary's instructions to the and two, regulating the intercourse with the Indian tribes, Commissioner, of the description of claims which, by such with the documents in support of them, shall be referred construction of the treaty of 1821, were provided for by to the decision of the President of the United States.” the latter treaty, does not include the class of claims found. Sir, if an allowance of indemnity for property destroyed ed upon the destruction of property; it is therefore clear was not contemplated by the contracting parties, why that the Secretary intended that a construction should be were the Georgia Commissioners required to execute to given by the Commissioner, to his instructions, which the Creek nation a full and final relinquishment of all claims would exclude the class of claims founded upon the de- of the citizens of Georgia against the Creek nation, for struction of property. I will now proceed to show, in property taken or destroyed? And why the reference to the decisions of the Commissioner, the effect of the con- the decision of the President of the United States, of all struction which the Secretary of War evidently intended claims on either side, of whatever nature or kind? But, should be given to his instructions. By reference to the to make this point stronger, and the argument in favor of report of the Commissioner, made on the 15th March, the allowance of an idemnity for property destroyed more 1822, showing his decisions on the several claims present- conclusive, if possible, I will present to the Committee ed for adjudication, it will be seen that many claims were evidence, that a list of the claims admitted, as well as those presented, which were founded upon the destruction, by rejected by the Commissioner, was, by the Georgia Comthe Creek Indians, of property belonging to citizens of missioners, presented, pending the negotiation, and formGeorgia. I will present to this Committee a single case, ed the basis of the agreement which referred the claims to which I invite the attention of the Committee on Indian to the decision of the President. This list, which was Affairs, as I am persuaded that they will agree with me, submitted to the Indian negotiators, contained claims against that, in this case, they have “official information” upon the nation for property destroyed by the Creek Indians. which they could have expressed “an opinion as to the I am sorry I did not save myself the trouble of making an propriety of the decision;" and as they, in their report, argument to the Committee in support of the class of express the opinion that “the citizen, whose property claims founded on the destruction of property, by reading may have been destroyed by the said Indians, is as much the memorial of the Legislature of Georgia, addressed to entitled, under the provisions of the 4th article of the the President of the United States, which urges a much aforesaid treaty, (the treaty of 1821) to indemnity, as if more able argument than I am capable of making on the such property had been in existence, at the execution of subject, especially as I must draw from that document the said treaty," I therefore look with confidence for the evidence which I propose to present to the Committee in aid of the Committee on Indian Affairs in support of the support of the assertion, that a list of the claims admitted, class of claims founded upon the destruction of property. as well as those rejected by the Commissioner, including
The case to which I will direct the attention of the Com-claims founded on the destruction of property by the Inmittee, is the claim of Stephen S. Willey, deceased, as dians, was presented to the Indian negotiators pending the reported by the Commissioner, one part of which was negotiation, and, therefore, formed the basis of the agreeadmitted as coming within the rule of construction adopt- ment which referred the claims of the citizens of Georgia ed in the instructions. On the balance of this claim, the to the decision of the President. I fear I shall weary the Commissioner makes this remark: “The remainder of the patience of the Committee, but my duty compels me to claim, as also of the preceding one of S. S. Willey, amount- prosecute and support the interest of my constituents. The ing together to one thousand three hundred and twenty- memorial to which I have alluded, the Committee will find eight dollars and seventy-five cents, is rejected. The treaty in the 4th vol. State or Executive papers, of first session appears to contemplate no indemnity for property destroy- 20th Congress, No. 135. In this memorial, the Legislaed, or for any other description than such as could be sup- ture of Georgia say: posed to have been then in the nation.". Sir, I presume that this Committee are satisfied that the instructions from gistered under the laws of the State.
“The claims of the citizens of Georgia had been re
A list prepared the Secretary of War authorized the decision of the Com- by the authority of its Executive, was furnished to the missioner, which excluded claims founded upon the destruction of property. If so, all that is necessary is to show, Georgia Commissioners; was exhibited by them as a that claims of this description are provided for by the particular of their demand, and was surrendered as an treaty of 1821. If I succeed in this, the Committee will close of the negotiation. It amounted to a sum, which may
evidence of what was released to the Indian chiefs at the sustain the motion which I have had the honor to make. By referring to the fourth article of the treaty of 1821, the be stated, in round numbers, at two hundred and eighty
thousand dollars." Committee will see that, as a part of the consideration for the territory ceded by the Indians to the United States, the
The Legislature of Georgia say, in this memorial, United States stipulated “to pay to the State of Georgia “That it was not the intention of the contracting parties whatever balance may be found due by the Creek nation to confer on the President of the United States the right to the citizens of said State, whenever the same shall be to exclude any of the claims of the citizens of Georgia, ascertained, in conformity with the reference made by the las a class, except those occurring after the act of Con