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white inhabitants of Georgia; and united under M‘Gilvary, a half-breed king, were able to exterminate the white claimants of their territory. It required much expense, and the united force of the confederacy, to protect them. In the year 1795, peace having been made with M-Gilvary, the state sold a large tract of this country, lying on the Yazoo river, a tributary of the Mississippi, for a trifling sum.. The Yazoo purchase, as it was called, soon became an object of speculation. The scrip passed rapidly from hand to hand, constantly on the rise, and conferring on each successive possessor an imaginary fortune. In the course of the year, a great portion of it passed into the hands of speculators residing in the north. The succeeding legislature disco. vered that the purchase was obtained at a very inadequate price, and by means of fraud and bribery. They passed an act, declaring the sale to be void, and ordered the records, and all the proceedings of their predecessors in relation to the Yazoo lands, to be publicly burned. The government of the United States, having been settled under the constitution, claimed that this property belonged to them; that their title to the vacant lands did not depend upon the acts of the states within whose chartered limits they lay, but on the ground that it was originally obtained, and its possession secured by the joint exertions, and at the joint expense, of all. From the year 1795 until 1802, there appeared four adverse claimants to this territory: the United States, the state of Georgia, the Yazoo purchasers, and the Indians. At the latter period, a compromise took place, by which the state of Georgia ceded to the United States their title to all the land lying west of a line agreed upon to constitute the western boundary of Georgia, running a considerable distance on the Chatahooche, and from thence to the Tennessee river. The United States, on their part, confirmed to the state of Georgia all the lands lying eastwardly of that line, paid the state $1,250,000, and engaged to satisfy the Yazoo claimants, which was done at an expense of upwards of four millions; and to extinguish the Indian title to all the lands remaining to the state of Georgia, "as soon as it could be done peaceably, and on reasonable terms.” This compromise secured to the state of Georgia twenty-six millions of acres of unappropriated territory, then occupied by the Creek and Cherokee nations of Indians, and obliged the United States to be at the expense of purchasing it for the benefit of that state. In the course of the succeeding twenty years, the United States had obtained from the Indians, for the benefit of Georgia, and at a great expense, about three fifths of this land. These cessions were made by the Indians with great reluctance; and in the year 1824, the Creek nation, the principal occupants of the remaining Indian territory, came to a solemn resolution to part with no more of their land, and in the crude but efficient forms in which they enact laws, denounced the penalty of death upon any one who should even make a proposition in council for a further cession. In the mean time, the state of Georgia pursued the object of obtaining all the Indian lands within their limits, with unwearied assiduity.
Treaty of the Indian Springs. In the same year, the president, pursuant to an act of congress, passed at the instance of the Georgia delegation, appointed Messrs. Campbell and Meriwether, two influential citizens of that state, commissioners to treat with the Creeks for a cession of all their lands within the limits of Georgia. The scheme proposed, was to procure them a tract of equal extent and va. lue in the Arkansas territory, west of the Mississippi, to pay them for their improvements, and provide for the expenses of their removal.
In December, the commissioners succeeded in obtaining a meeting of the Creeks at Broken Arrow, the usual place of holding their councils, at which they rejected, by a decided majority, every proposition for å transfer of their lands. The commissioners then made application to the executive for powers to treat with a part of the Creek nation, which was refused. They at length succeeded in obtaining a second meeting at the Indian Springs, out of the limits of the Creek nation, and within the Georgia settlements: there also the principal chiefs refused to make the required cession, and withdrew, warning, those that remained, of the consequences of violating their law. After their departure, MʻIntosh and a few other chiefs, consisting of a small minority of the nation, was induced, on the 12th of February, to sign an instrument in the form of a treaty, ceding all the lands belonging to the Creek nation, within the limits of Georgia. This instrument was hurried to Washington, laid before the senate, and approved on the last day of their session, in March, 1825; and in a few days afterwards, ratified by the new president, without a full knowledge of the circumstances under which it was negotiated.
Massacre of the M'Intosh Indians. The chiefs of the Creek nation, on hearing these facts, and being informed that M'Intosh had consented to a survey of the lands sooner
than was required by the terms of the treaty, met in council, and directed their law menders, a species of officers whose duty it was when a law was broken to mend it by executing its penalties on the offender, to put to death MʻIntosh, and two others who had signed the treaty of the Indian Springs contrary to the voice of the nation, and consented to an immediate survey of their lands. This order was executed in an exemplary manner, on the 30th of April, not only by putting the offending chiefs to death, but by burning their dwellings, and destroying and carrying off their property.
Proceedings of the president. On a representation of these facts, the president ordered General Gaines, with a detachment of United States troops, into the Indian coun. try; and directed him, with the assistance of Major Andrews, to inquire into all the circumstances attending the treaty of the Indian Springs, and the disturbances to which it had given rise. On their report it appeared that the treaty was obtained by unfair means, that it was signed only by a small minority of the head men of their nation, contrary to their laws, and against the views and wishes of the whole Creek population, M·Intosh and a few of his adherents excepted ; and that there were no grounds for considering it as the act of the nation. In the mean time, the followers of M'Intosh, amounting to about four hundred of every age and description, fled from their enraged country. men, and threw themselves on the government for support, and were fed from the public stores. In this state of things, the president prohibited the contemplated surveys, and ordered all proceedings in relation to the treaty to be stayed until the meeting of congress.
Proceedings of Georgia. The state of Georgia claimed that the treaty of the Indian Springs, having been ratified' with the requisite formalities, vested in that commonwealth an unalienable title to all the lands embraced within its limits. On the 18th of April, Governor Troup issued a proclamation, declaring that the treaty had been duly made and ratified, and the title to all the Creek lands in Georgia indefeasibly vested in the state, and convening the legis. lature on the 23d of the succeeding May, to make the necessary arrangements for the survey and disposition of the territory. At this meeting, provision was made for surveying it into two hundred acre lots, and distributing them by means of a lottery, among the citizens of the state. Å correspondence took place on the subject, between the executive of Georgia, and that of the United States, noted for
its arrogance and indecorum on the part of the former, in which a determination to support the claims of Georgia at all hazards, and with all the force of the state, is distinctly avowed. This challenge was met by the president in a temperate and dignified communication in which the state of Georgia was informed that as by the terms of the treaty the Indians are not to be molested in their possessions until September, 1826, and as there are several important questions in relation to that instrument yet undecided, the con. templated survey, or any entry upon the Indian lands, will be prevented by all the means with which the American constitution has placed in the hands of its supreme executive. The people of the United States were looking with considerable anxiety at the issue of this contest, when their apprehensions were removed by a communication from the governor, stating that the surveys would be postponed.
Treaty of February, 1826. In the succeeding winter, a large deputation from the Creek nation, furnished with proper powers, convened at Washington, and with much difficulty and after a negotiation which lasted most of the winter, were induced to sign a treaty by which for a further consideration, they ceded upwards of four millions of acres of their lands in Georgia, retaining something less than one million. By this treaty that of the Indian Springs was vacated. It was readily ratified, and seemed to satisfy all parties except the state
of Georgia, who still, by virtue of the treaty of the Indian Springs, persisted in her claim to the unceded lands, and directed their survey after September, 1826. This was met by an order from the president, to the district atttorney in Georgia, to prosecute before the circuit court any persons who should attempt to survey or make any entry on the Indian lands not embraced in the treaty of Washington. The residue of the Creek lands were afterwards purchased by the United States, for the benefit of Georgia, which settled the controversy.
This is the only state which in a pecuniary view has made a speculation out of the war of the revolution. Its inhabitants, few and feeble at the commencement, bore but a small share in the toils of that war, by which an acquisition was made of a fertile territory more than three hundred miles square, which no inhabitant of that state had ever seen. This territory was then thickly inhabited for an Indian country, by a people holding it by possession beyond the reach of human research, and commanded by a powerful prince. It was included within the limits of a charter which George
II. had some forty years before given to Colonel Ogelthorpe. The right thus acquired being only the privilege of purchasing by fair means of the original inhabitants when they were willing to sell, Georgia has been repeatedly requested to give up to the United States to constitute a fund to discharge the public debt, as all other states under siinilar cir. cumstances had done. This she has always refused; and her sister states, in conjunction with her, she bearing only her rateable proportion, have expended more than twelve millions of dollars in defending her citizens and territory from M‘Gilvary's invasions, and in fulfilling the terms of the compact of 1802 ; while she has thereby gained a territory more than sufficient to pay her proportion of the expenses of the war by which it was acquired.
Cherokees. The Cherokee nation, possessing a territory of ten millions of acres on the borders of Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee, and lying partly in each of these states, contains a population of something more than thirteen thousand, exclusive of fourteen hundred slaves, and five thousand, who in the year 1817, and several preceding years, had emigrated to the Arkansas.* The exertions to civilize this community have been more successful than any others. Their habits, manners, and mode of living, bear a near resemblance to their white neighbors. They discountenance the use of ardent spirits, are not uncommonly addicted to vice and crime, and may in truth be considered as a Christian community. Instead of wasting away and diminishing, like other tribes on the approach of the whites, their numbers have for several years past been gradually increasing. Those who removed to Arkansas, soon found themselves at war with the neighboring Osages, who considered them as intruders; and all subsequent attempts to obtain further "cessions, or induce them to emigrate, have proved ineffectual. Their language is reduced to a written form, and grammatical rules ; they have a printing press, and a periodical paper published at Newtown, their principal village, both in the English and Cherokee languages. In the year 1827, they formed a written constitution, resembling in its principal features, those of the states, elected their officers, and commenced a regular government. To the benevolent societies, by whose exertion these events had been brought about, and to the philanthropist, this progress of the Cherokees in civilization was highly gratifying ;
* Census of Cherokees, 1805.