Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
By John J. Lalor
NEITHER American nor English literature has hitherto possessed a Cyclopædia of Political Science and Political Economy. The want of a work of reference on these important branches of knowledge has long been felt, especially by lawyers, journalists, members of our state and national legislatures, and the large and intelligent class of capitalists and business men who give serious thought to the political and social questions of the day. The present work, which will be completed in three volumes, is the first to supply that want. It is also the first Political History of the United States in encyclopædic form—the first to which the reader can refer for an account of the important events or facts in our political history, as he would to a dictionary for the precise meaning of a word. The French, the Germans and even the Italians are richer in works of reference on political science and political economy than the Americans or the English. The Germans have Rotteck and Welcker’s
Staatslexikon, and Bluntschli and Brater’s
Staatswörterbuch; the French, Block’s
Dictionnaire Général de la Politique, and the celebrated
Dictionnaire de l’Economie Politique, edited by Guillaumin and Coquelin.The “Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States” is intended to be to the American and English reader what the above-named works are to French and German students of political science and political economy. The articles by foreigners in our work are largely translations from the
Dictionnaire de l’Economie Politique, the
Dictionnaire Général de la Politique, the
Staatswörterbuch, and original articles by Mr. T. E. Cliffe Leslie, the eminent English economist; while the American articles are by the best American and Canadian writers on political economy and political science. The task of writing the articles on the political history of the United States was confided to one person, Mr. Alexander Johnston, of Norwalk, Connecticut, thoroughness, conciseness and the absence of repetition and of redundancy being thus secured…. [From the Preface]
First Pub. Date
New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
Originally printed in 3 volumes. Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
The text of this edition is in the public domain.
- V.1, Entry 1, ABDICATION
- V.1, Entry 2, ABOLITION AND ABOLITIONISTS
- V.1, Entry 3, ABSENTEEISM
- V.1, Entry 4, ABSOLUTE POWER
- V.1, Entry 5, ABSOLUTISM
- V.1, Entry 6, ABSTENTION
- V.1, Entry 7, ABUSES IN POLITICS
- V.1, Entry 8, ABYSSINIA
- V.1, Entry 9, ACADEMIES
- V.1, Entry 10, ACADEMIES
- V.1, Entry 11, ACCLAMATION
- V.1, Entry 12, ACCUMULATION OF WEALTH
- V.1, Entry 13, ACT
- V.1, Entry 14, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 15, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 16, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 17, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 18, ADJOURNMENT
- V.1, Entry 19, ADMINISTRATION
- V.1, Entry 20, ADMINISTRATIONS
- V.1, Entry 21, AFRICA
- V.1, Entry 22, AGE
- V.1, Entry 23, AGENT
- V.1, Entry 24, AGENTS
- V.1, Entry 25, AGIO
- V.1, Entry 26, AGIOTAGE
- V.1, Entry 27, AGRICULTURE
- V.1, Entry 28, ALABAMA
- V.1, Entry 29, ALABAMA CLAIMS
- V.1, Entry 30, ALASKA
- V.1, Entry 31, ALBANY PLAN OF UNION
- V.1, Entry 32, ALBANY REGENCY
- V.1, Entry 33, ALCALDE
- V.1, Entry 34, ALCOHOL
- V.1, Entry 35, ALGERIA
- V.1, Entry 36, ALGERINE WAR
- V.1, Entry 37, ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS
- V.1, Entry 38, ALIENS
- V.1, Entry 39, ALLEGIANCE
- V.1, Entry 40, ALLEGIANCE
- V.1, Entry 41, ALLIANCE
- V.1, Entry 42, ALLIANCE
- V.1, Entry 43, ALLOYAGE
- V.1, Entry 44, ALMANACH DE GOTHA
- V.1, Entry 45, ALSACE-LORRAINE
- V.1, Entry 46, AMBASSADOR
- V.1, Entry 47, AMBITION
- V.1, Entry 48, AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
- V.1, Entry 49, AMERICA
- V.1, Entry 50, AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINE
- V.1, Entry 51, AMERICAN PARTY
- V.1, Entry 52, AMERICAN WHIGS
- V.1, Entry 53, AMES
- V.1, Entry 54, AMISTAD CASE
- V.1, Entry 55, AMNESTY
- V.1, Entry 56, AMNESTY
- V.1, Entry 57, ANAM
- V.1, Entry 58, ANARCHY
- V.1, Entry 59, ANCIEN RÉGIME
- V.1, Entry 60, ANDORRA
- V.1, Entry 61, ANHALT
- V.1, Entry 62, ANNEXATION
- V.1, Entry 63, ANNEXATIONS
- V.1, Entry 64, ANTI-FEDERAL PARTY
- V.1, Entry 65, ANTI-MASONRY
- V.1, Entry 66, ANTI-NEBRASKA MEN
- V.1, Entry 67, ANTI-RENTERS
- V.1, Entry 68, ANTI-SLAVERY.
- V.1, Entry 69, APPORTIONMENT
- V.1, Entry 70, APPROPRIATION.
- V.1, Entry 71, APPROPRIATIONS
- V.1, Entry 72, ARBITRAGE
- V.1, Entry 73, ARBITRARY ARRESTS
- V.1, Entry 74, ARBITRARY POWER
- V.1, Entry 75, ARBITRATION
- V.1, Entry 76, ARCHONS
- V.1, Entry 77, AREOPAGUS.
- V.1, Entry 78, ARGENTINE CONFEDERATION
- V.1, Entry 79, ARISTOCRACY.
- V.1, Entry 80, ARISTOCRATIC AND DEMOCRATIC IDEAS.
- V.1, Entry 81, ARITHMETIC
- V.1, Entry 82, ARIZONA
- V.1, Entry 83, ARKANSAS
- V.1, Entry 84, ARMISTICE
- V.1, Entry 85, ARMIES
- V.1, Entry 86, ARMY
- V.1, Entry 87, ARTHUR
- V.1, Entry 88, ARTISANS
- V.1, Entry 89, ARYAN RACES.
- V.1, Entry 90, ASIA
- V.1, Entry 91, ASSEMBLY (IN U. S. HISTORY)
- V.1, Entry 92, ASSESSMENTS
- V.1, Entry 93, ASSIGNATS
- V.1, Entry 94, ASSOCIATION AND ASSOCIATIONS
- V.1, Entry 95, ASYLUM
- V.1, Entry 96, ATELIERS NATIONAUX
- V.1, Entry 97, ATTAINDER
- V.1, Entry 98, ATTORNEYS GENERAL
- V.1, Entry 99, AUSTRALIA
- V.1, Entry 100, AUSTRIA-HUNGARY
- V.1, Entry 101, AUTHORITY
- V.1, Entry 102, AUTHORS
- V.1, Entry 103, AUTOCRAT
- V.1, Entry 104, AUTONOMY.
- V.1, Entry 105, AYES AND NOES
- V.1, Entry 106, BADEN
- V.1, Entry 107, BALANCE OF POWER
- V.1, Entry 108, BALANCE OF TRADE
- V.1, Entry 109, BALLOT
- V.1, Entry 110, BANK CONTROVERSIES
- V.1, Entry 111, BANKING
- V.1, Entry 112, BANK NOTES.
- V.1, Entry 113, BANKRUPTCY.
- V.1, Entry 114, BANKRUPTCY, National.
- V.1, Entry 115, BANKS.
- V.1, Entry 116, BANKS, Functions of.
- V.1, Entry 117, BANKS OF ISSUE
- V.1, Entry 118, BANKS, Advantages of Savings.
- V.1, Entry 119, BANKS, History and Management of Savings,
- V.1, Entry 120, BAR
- V.1, Entry 121, BARNBURNERS
- V.1, Entry 122, BARRICADE
- V.1, Entry 123, BARTER.
- V.1, Entry 124, BASTILLE
- V.1, Entry 125, BAVARIA
- V.1, Entry 126, BELGIUM
- V.1, Entry 127, BELL
- V.1, Entry 128, BELLIGERENTS
- V.1, Entry 129, BENTON
- V.1, Entry 130, BERLIN DECREE
- V.1, Entry 131, BILL
- V.1, Entry 132, BILL OF EXCHANGE
- V.1, Entry 133, BILL OF RIGHTS
- V.1, Entry 134, BILLION
- V.1, Entry 135, BILLS
- V.1, Entry 136, BI-METALLISM.
- V.1, Entry 137, BIRNEY
- V.1, Entry 138, BLACK COCKADE
- V.1, Entry 139, BLACK CODE.
- V.1, Entry 140, BLACK REPUBLICAN.
- V.1, Entry 141, BLAINE
- V.1, Entry 142, BLAIR
- V.1, Entry 143, BLOCKADE
- V.1, Entry 144, BLOODY BILL
- V.1, Entry 145, BLUE LAWS
- V.1, Entry 146, BLUE LIGHT
- V.1, Entry 147, BOARD OF TRADE.
- V.1, Entry 148, BOLIVIA
- V.1, Entry 149, BOOTY
- V.1, Entry 150, BORDER RUFFIANS
- V.1, Entry 151, BORDER STATES
- V.1, Entry 152, BOURGEOISIE
- V.1, Entry 153, BOUTWELL
- V.1, Entry 154, BRAHMANISM.
- V.1, Entry 155, BRAZIL
- V.1, Entry 156, BRECKENRIDGE
- V.1, Entry 157, BROAD SEAL WAR
- V.1, Entry 158, BROKERS
- V.1, Entry 159, BROOKS
- V.1, Entry 160, BROWN
- V.1, Entry 161, BUCHANAN
- V.1, Entry 162, BUCKSHOT WAR
- V.1, Entry 163, BUCKTAILS
- V.1, Entry 164, BUDDHISM
- V.1, Entry 165, BUDGET
- V.1, Entry 166, BULL
- V.1, Entry 167, BUNDESRATH
- V.1, Entry 168, BUREAUCRACY
- V.1, Entry 169, BURGESSES
- V.1, Entry 170, BURLINGAME
- V.1, Entry 171, BURR
- V.1, Entry 172, BUTLER, Benj. F.
- V.1, Entry 173, BUTLER, William Orlando
- V.1, Entry 174, CACHET
- V.1, Entry 175, CÆSARISM
- V.1, Entry 176, CALENDAR
- V.1, Entry 177, CALHOUN
- V.1, Entry 178, CALIFORNIA
- V.1, Entry 179, CANADA
- V.1, Entry 180, CANALS
- V.1, Entry 181, CANON LAW
- V.1, Entry 182, CAPITAL
- V.1, Entry 183, CAPITAL
- V.1, Entry 184, CAPITULATION
- V.1, Entry 185, CARICATURE
- V.1, Entry 186, CARPET BAGGERS
- V.1, Entry 187, CARTEL
- V.1, Entry 188, CASS
- V.1, Entry 189, CASUS BELLI
- V.1, Entry 190, CAUCUS
- V.1, Entry 191, CAUCUS SYSTEM
- V.1, Entry 192, CAUSE AND EFFECT IN POLITICS.
- V.1, Entry 193, CELIBACY, Clerical
- V.1, Entry 194, CELIBACY, Political Aspects of.
- V.1, Entry 195, CELTS.
- V.1, Entry 196, CENSURE.
- V.1, Entry 197, CENSURE OF MORALS.
- V.1, Entry 198, CENSURES
- V.1, Entry 199, CENSUS.
- V.1, Entry 200, CENTRALIZATION and DECENTRALIZATION.
- V.1, Entry 201, CEREMONIAL
- V.1, Entry 202, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
- V.1, Entry 203, CHARGÉ D'AFFAIRES.
- V.1, Entry 204, CHARITY, Private.
- V.1, Entry 205, CHARITY, Public.
- V.1, Entry 206, CHARITY, State.
- V.1, Entry 207, CHASE
- V.1, Entry 208, CHECKS AND BALANCES.
- V.1, Entry 209, CHEROKEE CASE
- V.1, Entry 210, CHESAPEAKE CASE.
- V.1, Entry 211, CHILI.
- V.1, Entry 212, CHINA
- V.1, Entry 213, CHINESE IMMIGRATION.
- V.1, Entry 214, CHIVALRY.
- V.1, Entry 215, CHRISTIANITY.
- V.1, Entry 216, CHURCH AND STATE
- V.1, Entry 217, CHURCH
- V.1, Entry 218, CHURCH
- V.1, Entry 219, CHURCH
- V.1, Entry 220, CHURCHES AND RELIGIONS
- V.1, Entry 221, CHURCHES
- V.1, Entry 222, CINCINNATI
- V.1, Entry 223, CIPHER DISPATCHES AND DECIPHERMENT
- V.1, Entry 224, CIRCULATION OF WEALTH.
- V.1, Entry 225, CITIES
- V.1, Entry 226, CITIES AND TOWNS.
- V.1, Entry 227, CIVIL ADMINISTRATION
- V.1, Entry 228, CIVIL LIST.
- V.1, Entry 229, CIVIL RIGHTS BILL
- V.1, Entry 230, CIVIL SERVICE REFORM
- V.1, Entry 231, CIVILIZATION
- V.1, Entry 232, CLAY
- V.1, Entry 233, CLEARING, AND CLEARING HOUSES
- V.1, Entry 234, CLERICALISM
- V.1, Entry 235, CLIENTÈLE AND CUSTOM
- V.1, Entry 236, CLIMATE
- V.1, Entry 237, CLIMATE
- V.1, Entry 238, CLINTON
- V.1, Entry 239, CLINTON, George
- V.1, Entry 240, CL�TURE
- V.1, Entry 241, COASTING TRADE
- V.1, Entry 242, COCHIN CHINA
- V.1, Entry 243, COINAGE
- V.1, Entry 244, COLFAX
- V.1, Entry 245, COLONIZATION SOCIETY
- V.1, Entry 246, COLORADO
- V.1, Entry 247, COLOMBIA
- V.1, Entry 248, COMMERCE.
- V.1, Entry 249, COMMERCIAL CRISES
- V.1, Entry 250, COMMISSION
- V.1, Entry 251, COMMITTEES
- V.1, Entry 252, COMMON LAW
- V.1, Entry 253, COMMONS
- V.1, Entry 254, COMMUNE
- V.1, Entry 255, COMMUNISM
- V.1, Entry 256, COMPETITION.
- V.1, Entry 257, COMPROMISES
- V.1, Entry 258, COMPULSORY CIRCULATION
- V.1, Entry 259, COMPULSORY EDUCATION
- V.1, Entry 260, CONCESSION
- V.1, Entry 261, CONCLAVE.
- V.1, Entry 262, CONCLUSUM
- V.1, Entry 284, CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES
- V.1, Entry 301, CONVENTION
- V.1, Entry 375, DISTILLED SPIRITS
- V.1, Entry 384, DOMINION OF CANADA
- V.2, Entry 7, EDUCATION
- V.2, Entry 18, EMBARGO
- V.2, Entry 33, EXCHANGE
- V.2, Entry 35, EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS
- V.2, Entry 37, EXCHANGE OF WEALTH
- V.2, Entry 121, GREAT BRITAIN
- V.2, Entry 130, HABEAS CORPUS
- V.2, Entry 180, INDUSTRIAL ARBITRATION AND CONCILIATION
- V.2, Entry 225, JUSTICE, Department of
- V.2, Entry 246, LAW
- V.2, Entry 364, NEW GRANADA
- V.2, Entry 379, NULLIFICATION
- V.3, Entry 4, OCEANICA
- V.3, Entry 29, PARIS MONETARY CONFERENCE
- V.3, Entry 32, PARLIAMENTARY LAW.
- V.3, Entry 116, RACES OF MANKIND
- V.3, Entry 137, REPUBLICAN PARTY
- V.3, Entry 155, ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
- V.3, Entry 195, SLAVERY
- V.3, Entry 278, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
- V. 2, List of Writers
- V. 3, List of Writers
- V. 3, List of American Writers
CHEROKEE CASE (IN
the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws and Chicasaws. The Creeks, or Muscogees, were the fiercest and most savage, and their still more savage refugees or “wild men,” were afterward better known as Seminoles. In 1802 the newly erected territory of Mississippi (which then included Alabama) was entirely owned by the Indians, excepting small strips of land about Natchez and on the Tombigbee. By cessions from the Choctaws, Nov. 16, 1805, from the Creeks, Aug. 9, 1814, (as the result of Jackson’s victories over them), and from the Chicasaws, Sept. 20, 1816, a great part of Mississippi and Alabama was ceded to the United States; and in the end the Choctaws, by treaty of Sept 27, 1830, and the Creeks, by treaty of March 24, 1832, ceded all their lands east of the Mississippi in return for an equivalent area on the other side of that river.
—The boundaries of the Cherokee country had been first fixed by the Hopewell treaty of Nov. 28, 1785, and modified by the Holston treaty of July 2, 1791, and by other treaties until that of Feb. 27, 1819. By the Hopewell treaty, to which the others were supplementary, the United States recognized the Cherokees as a nation, capable of making peace and war, of owning the lands within its boundaries, and of governing and punishing its own citizens by its own laws. By these treaties, which were part of the “supreme law of the land,” the United States “solemnly guaranteed” (Art. 7 of the Holston treaty) to the Cherokees the lands not ceded by them; and by act of congress of March 30, 1802, the president was authorized to employ military force for the removal of all trespassers, and particularly of surveyors.
—Thus given and guaranteed the right of self-government, the Cherokees had certainly made very considerable advances in civilization before the year 1824. They had formed a government closely modeled after that of the United States; had established churches, a school system, a judiciary system and national courts of law; had developed a written language and introduced printing; and were quite successful in working the gold mines in the northern part of their domain, which lay mainly within the present limits of Georgia.
—The cession of western lands by Georgia, April 24, 1802, was accompanied by a stipulation that the United States should extinguish for the use of Georgia the Creek and Cherokee title to lands within the state, “as soon as it could be done peaceably and on reasonable terms;” and the federal government fulfilled its agreement. In 1808 deputations from the upper and lower Cherokees visited Washington to state the wishes of the former, who were husbandmen, to retain their location, and of the latter, who were hunters, to remove beyond the Mississippi. Accordingly, by the treaty of July 8, 1817, a tract of land of equivalent size beyond the Mississippi was granted to the lower Cherokees in exchange for their lands in Georgia. By this treaty and eight other treaties concluded with the Cherokees, and by four treaties with the Creeks, all concluded between 1802 and 1819, the United States had acquired about 15,000,000 acres of Georgia, leaving about 5,000,000 acres in possession of the Cherokees and about 4,000,000 acres in possession of the Creeks.
—In 1819 the Georgia legislature, impatient of the probably permanent continuance of the upper Cherokees in the state, memorialized the president for the complete fulfillment of the agreement of 1802. But the remaining Cherokees, who were now homogeneous in their tastes and tribal character, utterly refused to consider the matter of further cessions, and declared their intention to remain where they now were; and the more savage Creeks, at the Tuckebachee council, May 25, 1824, after emphatically announcing their resolution not to sell one foot of their land in future, denounced the punishment of death by shooting or hanging against any chief who should disobey the national will. It was therefore impossible to obtain any further cessions of land by treaties with the Indians in their national capacity. It was equally impossible by the natural operations of bargain and sale of land to white immigrants; for, by Creek and Cherokee law, recognized by section 12 of the act of March 30, 1802, the land of the whole district was the property of the whole nation, and no individual held in severalty or had the power of alienation. By the presence within her borders of two exceptionally able and intelligent Indian nations, the state of Georgia was thus threatened with the permanent establishment of an
imperium in imperio over which state laws did not operate, a district of refuge within which any criminal, if agreeable to the Indians, might set state officers and writs at defiance. In Alabama and Mississippi, which Georgia had ceded to the United States, the Indian title had been successfully extinguished, with the exception of that to the few remaining Creek lands in Alabama; only in Georgia itself did the federal government seem unable and unwilling to relieve the state from this excrescence upon its dominion. With this grievance as a vehicle, it was natural that the greed for the rich Creek and Cherokee lands should urge not only private speculators, but the state government also, to active efforts to oust the rightful owners, despite the supreme law of the land, and the solemn guarantee given by the United States.
—The first attempt was made upon the Creeks. Three Creek chiefs, M Intosh, Tustenugge and Hawkins, were induced to sign a treaty at Indian Springs, Feb. 12, 1825, conveying the Creek lands to the United States for the use of Georgia. The Creek nation repudiated the treaty, and executed the chiefs, but the president and senate of the United States, willing thus to settle a very troublesome question, ratified the treaty and accepted it as binding. Governor Troup, of Georgia, at once gave orders for a survey of the Creek country, regardless of article 8 of the treaty, which gave the Creeks undisturbed possession of the country until Sept. 1, 1826, and regardless of the prohibition of such surveys by the act of March.
30, 1802. President Adams, at first mildly, and finally emphatically, forbade the survey, which was abandoned after considerable opposition by the governor and legislature. Jan. 24, 1826, a new treaty was made with the Creeks at Washington city, by which they ceded, under defined boundaries, most of their lands, but not, as in the Indian Springs treaty, their “whole territory lying within the state of Georgia.” In the meantime Troup, by a very small majority, had been re-elected governor, and, being thus supported by the people as well as by the legislature of his state, he renewed the order for the survey, basing his orders upon the Indian Springs treaty, and refusing to recognize its substitute as valid or binding. President Adams again forbade it, ordered the arrest of the state surveyors, and sent a detachment of federal troops to enforce his orders. In reply, governor Troup notified the federal government of his “defiance,” and ordered out the sixth and seventh divisions of the Georgia militia to resist the forces of the United States. He further announced to the Georgia congressmen that in his action he should be governed by the principle (see
—The case of the Cherokees presented more obstacles to state action than that of the Creeks. They were fewer in number (about 10,000), perfectly united, and intelligent enough to be more than a match for Georgian diplomacy. Club-law was the only resort, and to this the state was encouraged by the vacillation and timidity of the federal authorities in the Creek case. Very little attempt was made by the state authorities to justify their action on legal and constitutional grounds. But the basis seems to have been that the state had a sovereign right to extend the operation of its laws over all its territory; that the federal government had no right, by treaty or otherwise, to erect another sovereignty within the state limits; and that, when the federal government assumed to do so, the state executive was bound to obey the laws of the state even to the extent of armed resistance to the national authority. To this the natural answer was that treaties were a part of the supreme law of the land, which the governor himself was sworn to execute; that by such a treaty the quiet possession of their lands was guaranteed to the Cherokees; and that Georgia, as one of the United States, was a party to that treaty, and was estopped to deny what she had thus solemnly admitted. Thus, even supposing Georgia still a sovereign state in all respects, she could have had no standing in a court of law or equity. Nevertheless the Georgia legislature took the initiative, expecting the governor to fulfill its laws, and careless of any interference by the federal authority. Indeed, as the result showed, the new federal executive was unexpectedly found determined to stand neutral.
—By act of Dec. 20, 1828, the legislature divided the Cherokee country into five parts, added them respectively to the counties of Carroll, De Kalb, Gwinnett, Hall and Habersham, and extended the laws of the state over them. By the same act all Cherokee laws, usages and customs were declared null and void, and provision was made that Cherokees should not be competent witnesses for or against a white citizen; but the laws of the state were as yet to affect only white men living in the Cherokee country. The act of Dec. 19, 1829, extended state laws over all persons, white or Indian, in the Cherokee country, provided for punishment of any Indian resisting state writs, and made executions, under the Indian law against the sale of lands by individuals, murder in the first degree. By the act of Dec. 21, 1830, the lands of the Cherokees were authorized to be surveyed and laid off into small tracts which were to be distributed by lottery or raffle among the people of Georgia. By act of Dec. 23, 1830, the Cherokees were declared incapable of making contracts with white citizens. By act of Dec. 22, 1830, the improvements of the Cherokee landholders were seized by the state, as were also their gold mines by the act of Dec. 2, 1830, and white persons were forbidden to enter the Cherokee country except on conditions. By act of Dec. 22, 1830, the Cherokees were forbidden, under heavy penalties, to hold legislative assemblies or courts, or to execute the writs issued by their national courts. By these successive acts the state, so far as its legislative authority availed, completely ousted the Cherokees from the country whose possession the United States had solemnly guaranteed. The only question was, whether the state executive would be hindered in carrying out the laws by the national executive or by the supreme court. From congress no impediment was expected, for congress had refused or neglected to interfere when President Adams had laid the Creek case before it.
—It must not be supposed that the Cherokees had remained passive or quiescent during these aggressive proceedings of the legislature. Their printing presses at New Echota, their capital, and elsewhere, were burdened with the printing of appeals to the justice of the people of the United States. Early in 1829 their “beloved men,” or head chiefs, had appealed to President Adams for the protection which the act of March 30, 1802, authorized him to afford, but he felt compelled to leave the case to the incoming administration of Jackson. April 18, 1829, through the secretary of war, president Jackson, on substantially the grounds enumerated above as the only authorized defense of Georgia’s action, refused to interfere, and emphatically
advised the Cherokees either to submit to the laws of Georgia, or to remove beyond the Mississippi and rejoin the lower Cherokees. It is difficult to defend president Jackson’s refusal to uphold the treaties made with the Cherokees, or to execute, as he was sworn to do, the law of March 30, 1802. His refusal was in flat opposition to the practice of every president from Washington to Adams. Jefferson, who always and firmly upheld the rights of the Indian tribes, in his instructions to general Knox, Aug. 10, 1791, had laid down the principle that “the Indians have a right to the occupation of their lands, independent of the states within whose chartered lines they happen to be; that until they cede them by treaty or some other transaction no act of a state can give a right to such lands; * * * * that the government is determined to exert all its energy for the patronage and protection of the rights of the Indians, * * * and will think itself bound, not only to declare to the Indians that such settlements are without the authority or protection of the United States. but to remove them also by the public force.” On the contrary, Jackson’s decision held the federal government bound to stand neutral unless it could persuade the state to listen to reason and cease to nullify the treaties made by the United States. When South Carolina followed Georgia’s precedents, president Jackson preached a very different doctrine. (See
—Having found the president deaf to their appeal, the Cherokees at once tried the supreme court. The time fixed for extending the laws of Georgia over the Cherokee country was June 1, 1830. George Tassels, a Cherokee, was found guilty of homicide in resisting the execution of a state writ, and was sentenced to be hanged. By writ of error from the supreme court, dated Dec. 12, 1830, the state was cited to appear in January following, and show cause why the judgment against Tassels should not be corrected. The legislature, to which notice of the writ had been sent by the governor, at once passed resolutions instructing the governor and other state officers to pay no attention to the writs of the supreme court in the case, except to resist their execution by force if necessary, and Tassels was executed.
—William Wirt, attorney general from 1817 to 1825, and John Sergeant, had been engaged as counsel for the Cherokees, and they caused notices to be served, Dec. 27, 1830, and Jan. 1, 1831, upon the governor and attorney general of Georgia that an application would be made to the supreme court for an injunction restraining the state of Georgia from executing her laws within the Cherokee country. The state refused to appear. The case turned upon the right of the Cherokees to sue Georgia under the constitutional provision that the national judicial power should extend to cases between a state “and foreign states, citizens or subjects.” Wirt and Sergeant united in an extremely able argument going to show that the Cherokees were a sovereign and independent nation with all the national powers of making peace, war, and treaties, and of self-government; that in these respects they were more sovereign and independent than the state of Georgia; that their national sovereignty and independence had been recognized by the United States in a long series of treaties which it was the sworn duty of the court and the president to maintain and enforce; and that the word “foreign” in the constitution was a political, not a local or geographical, term, so that it was perfectly possible for a “foreign” nation to exist within the limits of the United States. Their argument was re-enforced by the opinion of chancellor Kent, of New York, but was rejected by the court, which held that, while the Cherokees were a state, they were not a foreign state, but a domestic, dependent nation in a state of pupilage, holding their soil only by occupancy, and bearing the relation to the United States of a ward to his guardian. The injunction was therefore refused, and the Cherokees were relegated to the mercy of the state of Georgia, since the president, their constitutional protector, refused to intervene in their behalf.
—Another opportunity soon offered for the adjudication of the state laws in the supreme court. By the state law of Dec. 22, 1830, white persons were forbidden to enter the limits of the Cherokee country without obtaining a license from the governor and without the taking of the oath of allegiance to the state of Georgia. For violating this act, ten persons, mostly Presbyterian and Methodist missionaries, were arrested, cruelly handled, indicted, and, in September, 1831, sentenced to four years’ imprisonment. Eight of the number, having given assurance that they would conform to the state laws, were pardoned, but two, Dr. Butler and Rev. Mr. Worcester, refusing to submit, were imprisoned, and Worcester brought suit in the supreme court for relief. The decision of the court was given in March, 1832. It reviewed the entire proceedings of the state in the case of the Cherokees, declared them to be violations of the constitution, treaties and laws of the United States, and ordered Worcester to be discharged, since the act was void and the judgment a nullity. In contempt of the mandate of the supreme court the state court refused to grant a writ of
habeas corpus, and Worcester and Butler continued to serve their term of imprisonment. There was no prospect of relief for them until January, 1833, at the next sitting of the supreme court, when it would have been competent for the court to enjoin the marshal of the district of Georgia to summon the
posse comitatus, and the president to assist in enforcing the decree with the land and naval forces. The question of the national authority would then have been imperatively put at issue. Unfortunately the missionaries wearied of their experience as martyrs, and on their submission to the state authorities, were pardoned by the governor, Jan. 14, 1833. The
state officials persisted successfully in executing the state laws, and they and the national administration at last succeeded in extorting from the Cherokees the treaty of Dec. 29, 1835, by which the United States paid $5,700,000 for the territory in dispute, and removed the Indians beyond the Mississippi. The political importance of the Cherokee case lay in the fact that its result was the first successful nullification, in its modern sense, of the laws of the United States. (See
Debates of Congress; 3 Jefferson’s
Works (ed. 1829), 280; 2 Clay’s
Speeches, 249; 1 Greeley’s
American Conflict, 102. The
Cherokee Case is in 5
Pet., 1, (9
Curtis, 178), and that of
Georgia in 6
Pet., 515, (10
Curtis, 214). The arguments of Wirt and Sergeant, together with the opinions of chancellor Kent, the treaties, and the acts of the Georgia legislature, are in Richard Peters’
The Cherokee Nation vs.
The State of Georgia. The treaties referred to are in 7
Stat. at Large, those of Hopewell and Holston at pp. 18, 39. The law of March 30, 1802, is in 2
Stat. at Large, 139.