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The British plenipotentaries consider the undersigned as having declared "that the United States would admit of no line of boundary between their territory and that of the Indian nations, because the natural growth and population of the United States would be thereby arrested.” The undersigned, on the contrary, expressly stated in their last note, “that the lands inhabited by the Indians were secured to them by boundaries defined in amicable treaties between them and the United States;” but they did refuse to assign, in the treaty of peace with Great Britain, a definitive and permanent boundary to the Indians living within the limits of the United States. On this subject the undersigned have no hesitation in avowing that the United States, while intending never to acquire lands from the Indians otherwise than peaceably, and with their free consent, are fully determined, in that manner, progressively, and in proportion as their growing population may require, to reclaim from a state of nature, and to bring into cultivation every portion of the territory contained within their acknowledged boundaries. In thus providing for the support of millions of civilized beings, they will not violate any dictate of justice or of humanity; for they will not only give to the few thousand savages scattered over that territory an ample equivalent for any right they may surrender, but will always leave them the possession of lands more than they can cultivate, and more than adequate to their subsistence, comfort, and enjoyment, by cultivation. this be a spirit of aggrandisement, the undersigned are prepared to admit, in that sense, its existence; but they must deny that it affords the slightest proof of an intention not to respect the boundaries between them and European nations, or of a desire to encroach upon the territories of Great Britain.
If, in the progress of their increasing population, the American people must grow in strength proportioned to their number, the undersigned will hope that Great Britain, far from repining at the prospect, will contemplate it with satisfaction. They will not suppose that that Government will avow, as the basis of their policy towards the United States, the system of arresting their natural growth within their own territories, for the sake of preserving a perpetual desert for savages. If Great Britain has made sacrifices to give repose to the civilized world in Europe, no sacrifice is required from her by the United States to complete the work of general pacification. This negotiation at least
evinces on their part no disposition to claim any other right than that of preserving their independence entire, and of governing their own territories without foreign interference. The undersigned very sincerely regret to be obliged to say, that an irresistible mass of evidence, consisting principally of the correspondence of British officers and agents, part only of which has already been published in America, establishes beyond all rational doubt the fact that a constant system of excitement to those hostilities was pursued by the British traders and agents, who had access to the Indians, not only without being discountenanced. but with frequent encouragement by the British authorities; and that, if they ever dissuaded the Indians from commencing hostilities, it was only by urging them, as in prudence, to suspend their attacks until Great Britain could recognize them as her allies in the war.
When, in the conference of the 9th ultimo, the undersigned invited discussion upon the proposal of Indian pacification and boundary, as well as upon all the subjects presented by the British plenipotentiaries for discussion, they expressly stated their motives to be, ist, to ascertain, by discussion, whether an article on the subject could be formed, to which they could subscribe, and which would be satisfactory to the British plenipotentiaries; and, 2dly, that, if no such article could be formed, the American Government might be informed of the views of Great Britain upon that point, and the British Government of the objections, on the part of the United States, to any such arrangement. The undersigned have, in fact, already proposed no less than three articles on the subject, all of which they view as better calculated to secure peace and tranquillity to the Indians, than any of the proposals for that purpose made by the British plenipotentiaries.
The undersigned have repeated their assurances to the British plenipotentiaries that peace, so far as it depended on the United States, would immediately follow a peace with Great Britain; and added, that the Indians would thereby be reinstated in the same situation in which they stood before the commencement of hostilities. The British plenipotentiaries insist, in their last note, that the Indian nations shall be included in the treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United States, and be restored to all the rights, privileges, and territories, which they enjoyed in the year 1811, previous to their commencement of the war, by virtue of the treaty of Greenville, and the treaties subsequently concluded between them and the United States. Setting aside the subject of boundary, which is presented as for discussion only, there is no apparent difference with respect to the object in view, the pacification and tranquillity of the Indians, and placing them in the same situation in which they stood before the war; all which will be equally obtained in the manner proposed by the undersigned. And the only point of real difference is, the British plenipotentiaries insist that it should be done by including the Indians, as allies of Great Britain, in the treaty of peace between her and the United States.
The United States cannot consent that Indians residing within their boundaries, as acknowledged by Great Britain, shall be included in the treaty of peace in any manner which will recognize them as independent nations, whom Great Britain, having obtained this recognition, would hereafter have the right to consider, in every respect, as such. Thus, to recognize those Indians as independent and sovereign nations, would take from the United States, and transfer to those Indians, all the rights of soil and sovereignty over the territory which they inhabit; and this being accomplished, through the agency of Great Britain, would place them effectually and exclusively under her protection, instead of being, as heretofore, under that of the United States. It is not perceived in what respect such a provision would differ from an absolute cession by the United States of the extensive territory in question.
The British plenipotentiaries have repeated the assertion, that the treaty by which the Indians placed themselves under the protection of the United States was abrogated by the war; and thence infer, that they are no longer to be considered as under the protection of the United States, whatever may be the import of the term, and that the right of Great Britain to interfere in their behalf in the negotiation for peace can only be denied on the ground that they are regarded as subjects. In point of fact, several of the tribes, parties to the treaty of Greenville, have constantly been, and still are, at peace with the United States. Whether that treaty be or be not abrogated, is a question not necessary to be now discussed. The right of the United States to the protection of the Indians within their boundaries was not acquired by that treaty; it was a necessary consequence of the sovereignty and independence of the United States. Previous to that time, the Indians living within the same territory, were under the protection of His Britannic Majesty, as its sovereign. The undersigned may refer the British plenipotentiaries to all the acts of their own Government relative to the subject, for proof that it has always considered this right of protection as one of the rights of sovereignty which it needed no Indian treaty to confer, and which the abrogation of no Indian treaty could divest. They would particularly bring to their recollection, that when a similar proposition was made of considering Indian tribes as independent nations, to serve as a barrier between the French and English territories, was made by France to England, it was immediately rejected by a minister to whom the British nation is accustomed to look back with veneration; and rejected on the express ground that the King would not renounce his right of protection over the Indians within his dominions. But whatever the relation of the Indians to the United States may be, and whether under their protection or not, Great Britain having, by the treaty of 1783, recognized the sovereignty of the United States, and agreed to certain limits as their boundaries, has no right to consider any persons or communities, whether Indians or others, residing within those boundaries, as nations independent of the United States.
The United States claim, of right, with respect to all European nations, and particularly with respect to Great Britain, the entire sovereignty over the whole territory, and all the persons embraced within the boundaries of their dominions; Great Britain has no right to take cognizance of the relations subsisting between the several communities or persons living therein; they form, as to her, only parts of the dominions of the United States, and it is altogether immaterial whether, or how far, under their political institutions and policy, these communities or persons are independent states, allies or subjects. With respect to her, and all other foreign nations, they are parts of a whole, of which the United States are the sole and absolute sovereigns.
The allegation of the British plenipotentiaries, that it is inconsistent with the practice or principles of Great Britain to abandon, in her negotiations for peace, those who have co-operated with her in war, is not applicable to the Indians, but on the erroneous assumption of their independence, which, so far as she is concerned, has been fully disproved. And although no power from these tribes to the British Government, to treat in their behalf, would, for the same reason, be admitted by the undersigned, they may nevertheless observe, that the British plenipotentiaries having produced no such powers, having no authority to bind the Indians, to engage for their assent to the pacification, or to secure the continuance of peace on their part, while speaking of them as allies, do really propose to treat for them, not as if they were independent nations, but as if they were the subjects of Great Britain. The undersigned, so far from asking that, in relation to the Indians, Great Britain should pursue a course inconsistent with her former practice and principles, only desire that she would follow her own example respecting them, in her former treaties with other European nations, and with the United States. No provision for the Indians is found in the treaty of 1763, by which France ceded Canada to Great Britain, although almost all the Indians living within the territory ceded, or acknowledged to belong to Great Britain, had taken part with France in the war. No such provision was inserted in the treaty of peace of 1783, between Great Britain and the United States, although almost all the Indian tribes living within the territory recognized by the treaty to belong to the United States, had, during the war, co-operated with Great Britain, and might have been considered as her allies more justly than on the present occasion. So far as concerns the relations between Great Britain and the United States, these Indians can be treated for only on the principles by which amnesties are stipulated in favor of disaffected persons, who, in times of war and invasion, co-operate with the enemy of the nation to which they belong. To go as far as possible in securing the benefit of the peace to the Indians, now the only object professed by the British Government in their present sine qua non, the undersigned offer a stipulation in general terms: that no person or persons, whether subjects, citizens, or Indians, residing within the dominions of either party, shall be molested or annoyed, either in their persons or their property, for any part they may have taken in the war between the United States and Great Britain; but shall retain all the rights, privileges, and possessions which they respectively had at the commencement of the war; they, on their part, demeaning themselves peaceably and conformably to their duties to the respective governments. This, the undersigned have no doubt,