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for making it. His object was, the Speaker would be right, had to save the time of the House the gentleman made any motion from being wasted in an useless for the disposition of the petition, debate. but at present the demand of consideration' he thought premature.
The Speaker then rose, and after stating the case, read the rules in point, which he explained at some length, to show the correctness of his decision in entertaining the demand for 'consideration.' He referred particularly to the fifth rule, which is as follows: When any motion or proposition is made, the question "Will the House now consider it?" shall not be put, unless it is demanded by some member, or is deemed necessary by the Speaker. During the whole time which he had presided in the Chair, he had never exercised the privilege of requiring the question of consideration; it was now required by another member, and he had no right to refuse it, it being in order under the rule.
Mr Wayne asked if he was to understand that the motion of the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr Tucker) was in order, before the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr Everett) had submitted any_proposition.
The Speaker replied, that he considered there was, virtually, a motion before the House, on taking up the petition for disposal.
Mr Wayne thought that did not follow of course. The gentleman from Massachusetts had not submitted any proposition relative to the petition; and until he did that, the House could not know what his motion would be, or decide whether they would consider
it The House would be voting In the dark. He maintained that
Mr Tucker then withdrew his call for the question of consideration.
Mr Everett said, it was his intention, to debate the petition, which he had presented to the House; and when the Speaker decided that he could not do so, he denied a right which was sanctioned by the practice of the British Parliament, and was sanctioned by the practice of this House. During the last war many important questions were debated on the presentation of petitions.
The Speaker. There must still be a motion before the House to authorize debate.
Mr Everett. If I am entitled to the floor [several members were attempting to address the Chair] I will then submit a motion before I sit down.
The Speaker. It is in the power of the Speaker, or of any member, to require that every motion be reduced to writing, and the Speaker requires that the gentleman send his motion to the Chair in writing.
Mr Everett accordingly sent to the Chair the following motion:
That the said memorial be referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs, with instructions to report a bill making further provisions for executing the laws of the United States on the subject of intercourse with the Indian tribes; and also, for the faithful obser
vance of the treaties between the United States and the said tribes. The motion having been readMr Wickliffe demanded, that the question be put on the 'consideration' of the motion. He had no idea of commencing another Indian war at this period of the session.
Mr Condict called for the yeas and nays, and they were ordered. The question was then put 'Will the House, now consider the motion?" and was decided in the affirmative. Ayes 101, Noes 93.
The house having determined to consider the subject, Mr Everett rose, and in a powerful and eloquent speech, replete with pathos and feeling, condemned the course of the government towards the Indians, and contended that good faith and humanity alike required the administration to retrace its steps and to interpose the national force to execute the treaties made with the aboriginal tribes. Before he had concluded, a motion was made to adjourn, and the subject went over to the 21st, being the subsequent Monday, the day devoted to the consideration of petitions.
His remarks were concluded on that day, and he was answered by Mr Haynes, and Mr Bell, who occupied the rest of the day.
The following Monday being near the close of the session, a motion was made to lay the memorial on the table, which was carried, and the action of Congress was thus prevented at that session, directly, upon this question, by the numerical majority of the administration party.
An effort was also made to compel the executive to pay the Indian annuities as they had been paid under former administrations.
On the 28th February, the bill making appropriations for the Indian department, being under discussion in the house, Mr Bates moved to amend the bill by adding a section, requiring the annuities to the Indians to be paid in the manner in which they had heretofore been paid.
Mr Bates explained the manner in which the annuities had been paid, from the foundation of the government, until this policy was reversed by an order issued from the Department of War, in June last, which prescribed, that these annuities shall be hereafter paid to the individuals, composing the nation, each according to his proportion. There ought, he said, to be sufficient reason given to satisfy the house of the propriety of this change. He wished to know at what age individuals were to be regarded as entitled, whether the annuities were to be varied by rank, or number of family. How are the annuities to be paid? Is the agent to go in quest of the individuals, or are the latter to come to the agency? The individual share would be about forty cents. The total amount of annuities is above two hundred thousand dollars; and the whole, under the new arrangement, must be paid in specie. How is it to be transported? If the 16,000 Cherokees come up to the agency for their money they must be maintained while there. Some will have to come 200 miles, and the expense would more than
consume the fortytwo cents due to each. The great mass of Indians have but one name each, the Fox, the Raccoon, &c. There are hundreds of the same name. Suppose 3 or 400 Raccoons come, how is the receipt to be given. Before half of the Raccoons are gone through, those already paid, may put on a new coat of paint and come again. It will, therefore, be found impossible to execute this order.
He stated that a greater door for fraud could not be opened than by the adoption of this order. He denied the right of the Government to issue this order. These annuities are not gratuities, donations or gifts-but debts due, not to individuals of a nation or tribe, but the nations or tribes themselves. It has been the practice to pay the Cherokee annuities into their treasury, and he wished to know by what right these debts are to be paid to individuals. The Executive might as reasonably refuse to pay the Massachusetts claim to the State, and determine to pay it to the individual citizens; and there would doubtless be found citizens who would prefer this mode.
He would not state the object of the change, but he took a view of the effect of it; which would be to deprive the Cherokee Nation of the means of trying the force of the treaties which have been made with them by the United States, before the Supreme Court of the United States. Georgia desires that her courts shall decide the Constitutionality of these treaties, and by those who have in their pockets the tickets in
the lottery by which the Cherokee possessions are to be parcelled out among their spoilers; but the Cherokees desire that the Supreme Court of the United States shall decide the question; and to obtain this decision, they must employ and pay Counsel. An order on the War Department by the Cherokee
ation has been disregarded, and they are thus deprived of the means of paying their Counsel. The Creek delegates here, on giving assurance that they are not in any way connected with the Cherokees, have had their order on the Government for their expenses paid, while the Cherokee Delegates have not been able to obtain a dollar.
Mr Bates then read an extract of a letter from Mr Jefferson, in answer to complaints from some of the Cherokees that the annuities were partially distributed, in which he states that the distribution was made according to the rule prescribed by the Cherokee Nation, and that the United States Government had no control over the distribution. He also read a letter from the Cherokee agent, Col. Montgomery, stating that no complaint on the subject of the annuities had been made to the United States Government through him.
Mr Buchanan moved the previous question, which was seconded, Ayes 87, Noes 64.
The previous question having been ordered, all contemplated amendments were shut out, and the effort to provide a remedy for the abuses in distributing the Indian annuities, was thus defeated.
Claims on France.-Conduct of France.-Measures of Administration.-Objections to Claims.-Louisiana Treaty.-Beaumarchais.-Treaty with France.-Intercourse with British West Indies.-Northeast Boundary.-Origin of Controversy.Treaty of 1783.-Of 1794.-Of 1814.-Of 1827.-Umpire appointed.-Award.-Protest on the part of the United States. UPON the accession of General and policy; and partly from a Jackson to the Presidency, he conviction, that no decisive and declared as a maxim that would energetic measures would be takguide him, in the administration en to enforce the claims, in the of the foreign relations of the event of its refusal to adjust them. United States, that he would demand nothing that was not right, and submit to nothing that was wrong.'
Among the causes of complaint against other governments, the manner in which the claims of American citizens upon France, for spoliations during the reign of Napoleon had been received, was the most prominent. An account of the origin of those claims, and of the efforts of the American Government to procure satisfaction, was given in the last volume of this Register. Those efforts had proved abortive under former administrations, through various causes; but chiefly from an unwillingness on the part of the French Government to recognise
The course taken by the French Government in relation to the American claims, had produced a strong impression of its unfriendly sentiments towards this country; and the feelings of the American people began to manifest themselves at public meetings, where resolutions were passed, calling upon Congress to adopt stronger measures with the view of enforcing the claims, in case France persisted in a denial of justice. These resolutions, with addresses on the part of the claimants, having been transmitted to the President, the Secretary of State in reply, assured the claimants that their claims should be made the subject of special instructions to the new minister about to be sent to that government.
The character of the instructions may be gathered from the
allusion made to the subject in the annual message of the President, at the opening of the twentyfirst Congress.
After alluding to the beneficial effects of the commercial convention with that country, the message proceeds in the following emphatic manner :
The claims of our citizens for depredations upon their property, long since committed under the authority and in many instances, by the express direction of the then existing government of France, remain unsatisfied, and must therefore continue to furnish a subject of unpleasant discussion and possible collision, between the two governments. I cherish a lively hope, founded as well on the validity of those claims and the established policy of all enlightened governments, as on the known integrity of the French monarch, that the injurious delays of the past, will find redress in the equity of the future. Our minister has been instructed to press those demands on the French Government, with all the earnestness which is called for by their importance and irrefutable justice, and in a spirit that will evince the respect, which is due to the feelings of those from whom the satisfaction is required.'
were so indefensible, that the French ministers were obliged to bring other topics into the negotiation, in order to obtain some abatement in their amount. The first topic urged, was a claim for damages under the Louisiana treaty. By that treaty, French vessels were entitled to admission into the ports of the ceded territory, upon the same terms as the vessels of the most favoured nation. After that treaty was formed, the United States entered into arrangements with other countries, by which all discriminating tonnage duties were abolished, and the vessels of both countries were placed in their respective ports, upon the same footing as their own vessels.
This privilege France claimed for her vessels, but the United States contended, that as it was a privilege granted for an equivalent, France was not entitled to claim it for her vessels, without allowing the same equivalent; and that when she would consent to place American vessels in French ports, upon the same footing as her own vessels, her vessels should be admitted into the ports of the United States, upon the same terms as American vessels.
A claim was also urged in behalf of the heirs of Caron de This plain dealing made no Beaumarchais, for 1,000,000 of small impression upon the French livres, for supplies furnished to Government. It began at length the United States, during the to believe, that the United States revolutionary war. Beaumarwere in earnest in pressing these chais was then employed as a claims upon its attention, and a medium, through which arms and negotiation was finally commenced military stores were furnished to in reference to their liquidation. the American Government, as a The objections to the admis- loan from the French Government, sions of the American claims which, however, did not choose