held their rights and possessions guaranteed to them by Federal treaties subject to the good — will and pleasure of the several States, or any of them.
In 1802, Georgia
ceded, on certain conditions, her western territory, now composing the States of Alabama
, to the Union
Among these conditions, our Government undertook to extinguish the Indian
title to all lands within the boundaries of the State
as thereby constituted, so soon as this could be effected “peaceably and on reasonable terms.”
And this object was urgently, perseveringly, and not always honorably, pursued.
In February, 1825, just as Mr. Monroe
's Administration was passing away, certain commissioners, selected by Mr. Calhoun
, then Secretary of War
, attempted to obtain from the Creeks
, at a council held at Indian Springs
, a cession of their lands; but were baffled by the stern resolve of chiefs and people — the tribe having previously prescribed the penalty of death for any one who should make such sale.
Thus defeated, the commissioners resorted to a too common practice: they bribed an inconsiderable minority of the Creeks
, including one or two alleged chiefs, to give their formal assent to such an instrument as they desired.
This sham treaty was hurried to Washington
, and forced through the expiring Senate on the last day of the session, before its true character could be generally known.
, upon learning that such a pretended treaty had been made, held a general council, wherein it was formally disavowed and denounced, and a party was at once dispatched to the home of McIntosh
, a chief who had signed the fraud, to execute the sentence of the law upon him. McIntosh
and another principal signer were shot dead on sight, and due notice given that the pretended treaty was utterly repudiated.
, of Georgia
, of course assumed the validity of the instrument, and prepared to take forcible possession of the Creek
appealed to the Government
, demanding the enforcement of the treaties whereby they were guaranteed protection in the peaceable enjoyment of their clearly defined territorial possessions.
, who had now succeeded to the Presidency, looked fully into the matter, saw that their claim was just, and assured them that they should be defended.
threatened to employ force; Mr. Adams did
employ it. He ordered General Gaines
, with a body of regulars, to the scene of apprehended conflict, and gave Georgia
fair notice that she must behave herself.
The Governor talked loudly, but did not see fit to proceed from words to blows.
The Indian Springs
fraud proved abortive; but Georgia
and her backers scored up a heavy account against