To the Senate & House of Representatives of the United States in Congress Assembled.
The memorial of the Representatives of the Religious Society of Friends, in the state of New York, and parts adjacent respectfully sheweth-
That the Society of Friends has been long engaged, in different parts of the U. States, in endeavoring to improve the condition of the Indian tribes, and that it has had the satisfaction of observing, that, under the fostering care of the government and of benevolent individuals and associations, they have been gradually drawn from a dependence on the precarious subsistence which the chase affords, to the habits of civilized life, and have made great advancement in agriculture and domestic economy.
Whilst the melioration of their condition has been gradually effecting, your memorialists have remarked, with deep regret, that a disposition has been manifested to deprive the Indians residing in the southern states, of their natural and indefeasible rights, and to despoil these remains of once populous and powerful nations of the scanty pittance which is left of all that was once their own, and to compel them to retire into the wilderness, to begin anew their settlements, under great and overwhelming difficulties and sufferings, which it is highly probable, will lead to their total extinction.
Your memorialists are impressed with deep and anxious solicitude for their welfare; and the feeling of commiseration is excited on their behalf, in the reflection, that at a period, not remote in the history of nations, they were the rightful uncontrolled possessors of all the soil now occupied by the People of these United States, whose ancestors they received with kindness and hospitality; and that they have gradually receded, on the approach of the white population, till by cession after cession, often for very inadequate considerations, they have become limited and circumscribed, with a comparatively trifling residue of their ancient domain.
The attention of your memorialists has been especially turned to the situation of the Cherokee Nation, and the threatened violation of their rights and privileges as a distinct and separate people, recognized in numerous treaties of the government of the United States, and of the state of Georgia, during a period of forty years, and never called in question till insatiable cupidity set up claims to their lands, totally unsupported by the language and acts of the most distinguished statesman of the country, in their negotiations with the Cherokee Nation.
We cannot but deeply feel for the character of our beloved country, when such injustice is meditated; and we anticipate the opprobrium which will be cast upon it in the eyes of the world, if it should be consummated. And as national sins have, under the just government of a righteous Providence, drawn down national punishments, we tremble, lest when the Most High shall arise at the cry of the poor and oppressed, his arm shall take hold on vengeance.
To avert these fatal results, and to prevent the total extermination of a much injured people, we would respectfully, but most earnestly, solicit the two houses of Congress to interpose their authority for the protection of the Cherokee nation in its just rights, and to save our country from such an impending calamity.
Signed by direction, and in behalf of the meeting of the representatives aforesaid, held in the city of New York, the 5th of 1st month, 1830.
SAMUEL PARSONS, Clerk.