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The President of the United States proposes the following question for the consideration and advice of the Senate. If it should be found essential to a treaty for the firm establishment of peace with the Creek nation of Indians, that an article to the following effect should be inserted therein, will such an article be proper ? viz.
Secret Article. The commerce necessary for the Creek nation shall be carried on through the ports, and by the citizens, of the United States, if substantial and effectual arrangements shall be made for that purpose by the United States on or before the 1st day of August, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two. In the mean time, the said commerce may be carried on through its present channels, and according to its present regulations.
And, whereas the trade of the said Creek nation is now carried on wholly or principally through the territories of Spain, and obstructions thereto may happen by war or prohibitions of the Spanish government; it is therefore agreed between the said parties, that, in the event of any such obstructions happening, it shall be lawful for such persons as shall designate, to introduce into, and transport through the territories of the United States to the country of the said Creek nation any quantity of goods, wares, and merchandise, not exceeding in value in any one year sixty thousand dollars, and that free from any duties or impositions whatsoever, but subject to such regulations for guarding against abuse, as the United States shall judge necessary ; which privilege shall continue as long as such obstruction shall continue.
TO THE SENATE; ON A TREATY WITH THE CREEK
I lay before you a treaty between the United States and the chiefs of the Creek nation, now in this city, in behalf of themselves and the whole Creek nation, subject to the ratification of the President of the United States, with the advice and consent of the Senate.
While I flatter myself that this treaty will be productive of present peace and prosperity to our southern frontier, it is to be expected that it will also in its consequences be the means of firmly attaching the Creeks and the neighbouring tribes to the interests of the United States.
At the same time it is to be hoped, that it will afford solid grounds of satisfaction to the State of Georgia, as it contains a regular, full, and definitive relinquishment, on the part of the Creek nation, of the Oconee land, in the utmost extent in which it has been claimed by that State, and thus extinguishes the principal cause of those hostilities from which it has more than once experienced such severe calamities.
But although the most valuable of the disputed land is included, yet there is a certain claim of Georgia, arising out of the treaty made by that State at Galphinston, in November, 1785, of land to the eastward of a new temporary line from the forks of the Oconee and Oakmulgee in a southwest direction to the St. Mary's River, which tract of land the Creeks in this city absolutely refuse to yield.
This land is reported to be generally barren, sunken,
and unfit for cultivation, except in some instances on the margin of the rivers, on which, by improvement, rice might be cultivated, its chief value depending on the timber fit for the building of ships, with which it is represented as abounding.
While it is thus circumstanced, on the one hand, it is stated by the Creeks on the other to be of the highest importance to them, as constituting some of their most valuable winter hunting-ground.
I have directed the commissioner, to whom the charge of adjusting this treaty has been committed, to lay before you such papers and documents, and to communicate to you such information relatively to it, as you may require.
TO THE SENATE; ON A TREATY WITH THE
Although the treaty with the Creeks may be regarded as the main foundation of the future peace and prosperity of the southwestern frontier of the United States, yet, in order fully to effect so desirable an object, the treaties, which have been entered into with the other tribes in that quarter, must be faithfully performed on our part.
During the last year, I laid before the Senate a particular statement of the case of the Cherokees. By a reference to that paper it will appear, that the United States formed a treaty with the Cherokees in Novem
ber, 1785; that the said Cherokees thereby placed themselves under the protection of the United States, and had a boundary assigned them; that the white people, settled on the frontiers, had openly violated the said boundary by intruding on the Indian lands; that the United States, in Congress assembled, did, on the 1st day of September, 1788, issue their proclamation forbidding all such unwarrantable intrusions, and enjoined all those who had settled upon the huntinggrounds of the Cherokees to depart with their families and effects without loss of time, as they would answer their disobedience to the injunctions and prohibitions expressed, at their peril
. But information has been received, that, notwithstanding the said treaty and proclamation, upwards of five hundred families have settled on the Cherokee lands, exclusively of those settled between the forks of French, Broad, and Holstein Rivers, mentioned in the said treaty.
As the obstructions to a proper conduct on this matter have been removed since it was mentioned to the Senate, on the 22d of August, 1789, by the accession of North Carolina to the present Union, and the cessions of the land in question, I shall conceive myself bound to exert the powers intrusted to me by the constitution, in order to carry into faithful execution the treaty of Hopewell, unless it shall be thought proper to attempt to arrange a new boundary with the Cherokees, embracing the settlements, and compensating the Cherokees for the cessions they shall make on the occasion. On this point, therefore, I state the following questions, and request the advice of the Senate thereon.
1. Is it the judgment of the Senate, that overtures shall be made to the Cherokees to arrange a new
boundary, so as to embrace the settlements made by the white people since the treaty of Hopewell, in November, 1785 ? 2. If so, shall compensation, to the amount of dollars annually, or of
dollars in gross, be made to the Cherokees for the land they shall relinquish, holding the occupiers of the land accountable to the United States for its value ?
3. Shall the United States stipulate solemnly to guaranty the new boundary which may be arranged?
TO BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS; ON ESTABLISHING A PERMANENT SEAT OF GOVERNMENT.
JANUARY 24TH, 1791.
In execution of the powers with which Congress were pleased to invest me by their act, entitled “An act for establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the government of the United States,” and on mature consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of the several positions within the limits prescribed by the said act, I have by a proclamation, bearing date this day, a copy of which is herewith transmitted, directed commissioners, appointed in pursuance of the act, to survey and limit a part of the territory of ten miles square, on both sides the river Potomac, so as to comprehend Georgetown, in Maryland, and to extend to the Eastern Branch.
I have not, by this first act, given to the said territory the whole extent, of which it is susceptible, in the direction of the river, because I thought it imVOL. XII.