in such enjoyment, by the United States
, as we had solemnly stipulated by treaty that they should be, taking our pay for it in advance.
But General Jackson
, in urging them to migrate beyond the Mississippi
, did not hesitate to speak of their rights and their immunities as follows:
This emigration should be voluntary; for it would be as cruel as unjust to compel the Aborigines to abandon the graves of their fathers, and seek a home in a distant land.
But they should be distinctly informed that, if they remain within the limits of the States, they must be subject to their laws.
In return for their obedience, as individuals, they will, without a doubt, be protected in the enjoyment of those possessions which they have improved by their industry.
But it seems to me visionary to suppose that, in this state of things, claims can be allowed on tracts of country on which they have neither dwelt nor made improvements, merely because they have seen them from the mountain, or passed them in the chase. Submitting to the laws of the States, and receiving, like other citizens, protection in their persons and property, they will ere long become merged in the mass of our population.
How “voluntary” their emigration was to be, and what sort of “protection in their persons and property” they were likely to receive in case they refused to “abandon the graves of their fathers, and seek a home in a distant land,” let the laws which Georgia
proceeded to enact bear witness.
Grown weary of awaiting the operation of the methods whereby she had already secured, at no cost to herself, the gradual acquisition of the greater part of the Indian
lands within her borders when she acceded to the Union
, that State passed acts abolishing the government of the Cherokees, and reducing them at a word to the condition of unprotected vassals.
Their lands were thereupon divided into counties, surveyed, and ordered to be distributed by lottery among the white citizens of the State
, of whom each was to have a ticket.
A reservation of one hundred and sixty acres to each head of a Cherokee family was made; but this reservation conferred or recognized only a right of possession during the good pleasure of the State Legislature.
, whose government was thus abolished, were allowed no voice in that to which they were arbitrarily subjected; they could not even give testimony in a Georgia court, though denied a resort to any other.
The fortunate drawer of Cherokee
lands in the Georgia State
lottery was entitled to call upon the Governor
to put him in summary possession, expelling any adverse [Indian] claimant.
If there were two or more antagonist white
claimants, their respective claims were to be deliberately adjudicated by the courts, according to the dictates of ordinary jurisprudence.
If any one sought to legally hold or recover lands against a claimant under this rule, lie must make express affidavit that he
was not liable to be dispossessed of said land by or under any one of the provisions of the said act of the General Assembly of Georgia, passed December 20, 1833: * * * in which issue the person to whom possession of said land was delivered shall join: a and which issue shall constitute the entire pleadings between the parties; nor shall the court allow any matter other than is contained in said issue to be placed upon the regular files of said court; * * * nor shall said court, at the instance of either party, pass any order, or grant any injunction, to stay said cause, nor permit to be ingrafted on said cause any other proceedings whatever.
It can hardly be necessary to say that the sole, unconcealed object of this legislation was to deprive the Cherokees of the protection of the courts of the United States
, or any adjudication therein touching their rights, by precluding any appeal to