82. Cherokee Tobacco Case, December 1870
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134 promptly and faithfully executed, so that the Indians may not have cause of complaint, or reason to violate their obligations by acts of violence and robbery. While it may not be expedient to negotiate treaties with any of the tribes hereafter, it is no doubt just that those made within the past year, and now pending before the United States Senate, should be definitely acted upon. Some of the parties are anxiously waiting for the fulfillment of the stipulations of these compacts and manifest dissatisfaction at the delay. . . . [House Executive Document no. 1, 41st Cong., 2d sess., serial 1414, p. 448.] 81. President Grant’s Peace Policy Extract from Grant’s Second Annual Message to Congress December 5, 1870 In an attempt to eliminate abuses in the Indian service occasioned by political appointments, President Grant authorized the assignment of the Indian agencies to religious denominations, who would select the agents and other personnel. Grant explained and justified the action in his message to Congress in 1870. . . . . Reform in the management of Indian affairs has received the special attention of the Administration from its inauguration to the present day. The experiment of making it a missionary work was tried with a few agencies given to the denomination of Friends, and has been found to work most advantageously. All agencies and superintendencies not so disposed of were given to officers of the Army. The act of Congress reducing the Army renders army officers ineligible for civil positions. Indian agencies being civil offices, I determined to give all the agencies to such religious denominations as had heretofore established missionaries among the Indians, and perhaps to some other denominations who would undertake the work on the same terms—i.e., as a missionary work. The societies selected are allowed to name their own agents, subject to the approval of the Executive, and are expected to watch over them and aid them as missionaries, to Christianize and civilize the Indian, and to train him in the arts of peace. The Government watches over the official acts of these agents, and requires of them as strict an accountability as if they were appointed in any other manner. I entertain the confident hope that the policy now pursued will in a few years bring all the Indians upon reservations, where they will live in houses, and have schoolhouses and churches, and will be pursuing peaceful and self-sustaining avocations , and where they may be visited by the law-abiding white man with the same impunity that he now visits the civilized white settlements. I call your special attention to the report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for full information on this subject. . . . [James D. Richardson, comp., Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 7:109–10.] 82. Cherokee Tobacco Case December 1870 Cherokees Elias C. Boudinot and Stand Watie refused to pay taxes required by the Internal Revenue Act of 1868 on tobacco manufactured in the Cherokee Nation because they claimed the Cherokee treaty of 1866 exempted them from such taxation. The Supreme Court decided against them on the grounds that a law of Congress can supersede the provisions of a treaty. . . . . The second section of the fourth article of the Constitution of the United States declares that “this Constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties which shall be made under the authority of ...