36. Treaty with the Ponca Indians, June 9, 1825
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40 Indian title has already been extinguished to extensive tracts in that quarter, and that other portions may be acquired to the extent desired on very moderate conditions. Satisfied I also am that the removal proposed is not only practicable, but that the advantages attending it to the Indians may be made so apparent to them that all the tribes, even those most opposed, may be induced to accede to it at no very distant day. The digest of such a government, with the consent of the Indians, which should be endowed with sufficient power to meet all the objects contemplated—to connect the several tribes together in a bond of amity and preserve order in each; to prevent intrusions on their property; to teach them by regular instruction the arts of civilized life and make them a civilized people—is an object of very high importance. It is the powerful consideration which we have to offer to these tribes as an inducement to relinquish the lands on which they now reside and to remove to those which are designated. It is not doubted that this arrangement will present considerations of sufficient force to surmount all their prejudices in favor of the soil of their nativity, however strong they may be. Their elders have sufficient intelligence to discern the certain progress of events in the present train, and sufficient virtue, by yielding to momentary sacrifices, to protect their families and posterity from inevitable destruction. They will also perceive that they may thus attain an elevation to which as communities they could not otherwise aspire. To the United States the proposed arrangement offers many important advantages in addition to those which have been already enumerated. By the establishment of such a government over these tribes with their consent we become in reality their benefactors. The relation of conflicting interests which has heretofore existed between them and our frontier settlements will cease. There will be no more wars between them and the United States. Adopting such a government , their movement will be in harmony with us, and its good effect be felt throughout the whole extent of our territory to the Paci fic. It may fairly be presumed that, through the agency of such a government, the condition of all the tribes inhabiting that vast region may be essentially improved; that permanent peace may be preserved with them, and our commerce be much extended. With a view to this important object I recommend it to Congress to adopt, by solemn declaration, certain fundamental principles in accord with those above suggested, as the basis of such arrangements as may be entered into with the several tribes, to the strict observance of which the faith of the nation shall be pledged. I recommend it also to Congress to provide by law for the appointment of a suitable number of commissioners who shall, under the direction of the President, be authorized to visit and explain to the several tribes the objects of the Government, and to make with them, according to their instructions , such arrangements as shall be best calculated to carry those objects into effect. A negotiation is now depending with the Creek Nation for the cession of lands held by it within the limits of Georgia, and with a reasonable prospect of success. It is presumed, however, that the result will not be known during the present session of Congress. To give effect to this negotiation and to the negotiations which it is proposed to hold with all the other tribes within the limits of the several States and Territories on the principles and for the purposes stated, it is recommended that an adequate appropriation be now made by Congress. [James D. Richardson, comp., Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 2:280–83.] 36. Treaty with the Ponca Indians June 9, 1825 In response to fur traders’ pleas a military expedition was sent up the Missouri River in 1825 under General Henry Atkinson to overawe the Indians and to conclude treaties of peace with them. (See Act of May 25, 1824.) One of the treaties signed was with the Ponca Indians. 41 For the purposes of perpetuating the friendship which has heretofore existed, as also to remove all future cause of discussion or dissention, as it respects trade and friendship between the United States and their citizens, and the Poncar tribe of Indians, the President of the United States of America, by Brigadier General Henry Atkinson...