Agreeably to the public notice, a meeting of gentlemen from all parts of the State was held on Thursday evening in the Representatives' Hall of the State House, to consider the present relations between the Indians and the government of the United States.
The Hon. Samuel C. Allen, of Franklin County, was called to the chair, and Henry Hill, Esq and Dr. Edward Reynolds of Boston were appointed Secretary.
The following resolutions were introduced, after some prefatory observations by the Hon. Samuel Hoar of Concord.
The cause of the Indians was pleaded by several speakers with much earnestness, truth, and force.
The longest address was made by Professor Worcester of Amherst College who gave as full and methodical discussion of the subject as the time would permit. The addresses were all listened to with profound attention.
The resolutions were unanimously adopted as follows:-
1. Resolved That the present crisis in the relations subsisting between the Government of the United States and the Indian tribes within our national limits is such as to justify and demand a public expression of their feelings on the part of all friends of humanity, justice, and their country.
2. Resolved That in the opinion of this meeting, there is no political object whatever in which the citizens of this Republic have more vital interest than the preservation of our national character unsullied by any just imputation of bad faith, and that a quiet sensibility on this subject would be cherished especially at a time when serious apprehensions are entertained that our nation is about to incur the dishonor and guilt of violating treaties.
3. Resolved That we consider Indian Nations residing upon lands derived from their ancestors by immemorial occupancy, and never forfeited nor alienated, as having a perfect right antecedently to any acknowledgment or guaranty on the part of the whites, to retain possession of those lands, and to exclude all other persons; except so far as this perfect right has been modified by compacts to which the Indians were a party.
4. Resolved That, as the right of Indians to the continued possession of their country has been implicitly acknowledged in treaties made between the whites and the Indians from the arrival of the first English colonists in this country to the present day; and that, as treaties ratified by the President and Senate of the United States expressly guaranty to the Cherokees forever all their lands not previously ceded to the United States;-it is evident that the lands now in the peaceable occupancy of the Cherokees cannot be taken from them without consent, unless by a violation of good faith.
5. Resolved That as the Indian nations were originally independent communities and exercised full sovereignty over their country, they have a right to retain their ancient form of government, or to alter it according to their pleasure, and to exercise entire sovereignty over their country, except so far as they have consented to a qualified dependence by treaties with the United States.
6. Resolved. That, as the United States have, in very numerous instances, acknowledged the national character of the Cherokees, and their right of self-government, the extension of the laws of the United States, or of the several States, would involve the double criminality of usurpation and a disregard of treaties.
7. Resolved That, we should regard it as a great calamity, if, in a plain case, the Government of the United States should forfeit the solemn pledges, which have been so often given to a weak and dependent ally; inasmuch as such a course would probably bring upon us the reproaches of mankind, and would certainly expose us to the judgments of Heaven.
8. Resolved, That a committee of _____be nominated by the Chair to prepare a memorial to Congress, in accordance with the principles of the preceding resolutions, which memorial will be reported by them, as soon as convenient, at an adjourned meeting.
9. Resolved. That the same committee be requested to act as a Committee of Correspondence, with a view to call the immediate attention of the people, in all parts of the Commonwealth, to this immensely important subject.
The blank, in the 8th resolution was filled with seven; and the following gentlemen were nominated by the chair, William B. Calhoun, Leveret Saltonstall, Charles G. Loring, Rufus Choate, Samuel Hoar, S. M. Worcester, Edward Reynolds, and Jeremiah Evarts