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under them are placed post-holders, a principal part of whose business it is to keep the negroes from resorting to the Indians, and also to attend the distribution of the presents which are given to the latter by the British government; of which, as was noticed with reprehension by Lord Goderich, rum formed a part.
It does not appear that anything has been done by government for their moral or religious improvement, excepting the grant in 1831, by Sir B. D'Urban, of a piece of land at Point Bartica, where a small establishment was then founded by the Church Missionary Society. The Moravian Mission on the Courantin was given up in 1817; and it does not appear that any other Protestant Society has attended to these Indians.
In 1831, Lord Goderich writes, "I have not heard of any effort to convert the Indians of British Guiana to Christianity, or to impart to them the arts of social life."
It should be observed that no injunctions to communicate either are given in the instructions for the "Protectors of Indians," or in those for the post-holders; and two of the articles of the latter, (Art. 14 and Art. 15,) tend directly to sanction and encourage immorality. All reports agree in stating that these tribes have been almost wholly neglected, are retrograding, and are without provision for their moral or civil advancement; and with due allowance for the extenuating remarks on the poor account to which they turned their lands, when they had them, and the gifts (baneful gifts some of them) which have been distributed, and on the advantage of living under British laws, we must still concur in the sentiment of Lord Goderich, as expressed in the same letter, upon a reference as to sentence of death passed upon a native Indian for the murder of another. It is a serious con. sideration that we have subjected these tribes to the penalties of a code of which they unavoidably live in profound ignorance; they have not even that conjectural knowledge of its provisions which would be suggested by the precepts of religion, if they had even received the most elementary instruction in the Christian faith. They are brought into acquaintance with civilised life not to partake its blessings, but only to feel the severity of its penal sanctions.
"A debt is due to the aboriginal inhabitants of British Guiana of a very different kind from that which the inhabitants of Christendom may, in a certain sense, be said to owe in general to other barbarous tribes. The whole territory which has been occupied by
* Papers, Abor. Tribes, pp. 183, 193.
† Papers, p. 182.
Europeans, on the northern shores of the South American Continent, has been acquired by no other right than that of superior power; and I fear that the natives whom we have dispossessed, have to this day received no compensation for the loss of the lands on which they formerly subsisted. However urgent is the duty of economy in every branch of the public service, it is impossible to withhold from the natives of the country the inestimable benefit which they would derive from appropriating to their religious and moral instruction some moderate part of that income which results from the culture of the soil to which they or their fathers had an indisputable title.*
Of the Caribs, the native inhabitants of the West Indies, we need not speak, as of them little more remains than the tradition that they once existed.
TREATMENT OF THE INDIANS BY THE UNITED STATES.
"We were born on this spot; our fathers lie buried in it. Shall we say to the bones of our fathers- Arise and come with us into a foreign land?'"- Speech of a Canadian Indian to the French invaders.
IT was to be hoped that that great republic, the United States of North America, having given so splendid an example of resistance to the injustice of despotism, and of the achievement of freedom in a struggle against a mighty nation, calculated to call forth all the generous enthusiasm of brave men, would have given a practical demonstration of true liberty to the whole world: that they would have shewn that it was possible for a republic to exist, which was wise and noble enough to be entirely free: that the sarcasm of Milton should not at least be thrown at them
License they mean when they cry liberty!
The world, however, was doomed to suffer another disappointment in this instance, and the enemies of freedom to enjoy another triumph. The Americans left that highest place in human legislation, the adoption of the divine precept of doing as they would be done by, as the basis of their constitution, still unoccupied. We had the mortification of seeing the old selfishness which had disgraced every ancient republic, and had furnished such destructive arguments to the foes of mankind, again unblushingly displayed. The Americans proclaimed themselves not noble, not generous, not high-minded enough to give that freedom to others which they had declared, by word and by deed, of the same price as life to themselves. They once more mixed up the old crumbling composition of iron and clay, slavery and freedom, and moulded them into an image of civil polity, which must inevitably fall asunder. They published a new libel on man— in the very moment of his most heroic and magnanimous enthusiasm-shewing him as mean and sordid. While he raised his hand to protest to admiring and huzzaing millions, that there was no value in life without liberty, the manacles prepared for the negroes protruded themselves from his pocket, his impassioned action at once took the air of theatrical rant, and the multitudes who were about to admire, laughed out, or groaned, as they were more or less virtuous. The pompous phrases of "Divine liberty! Glorious liberty! Liberty the birthright of every man that breathes!" became the most bitter and humbling mockery, and gave way to the merry sneer of Matthews-" What! d'ye call it liberty when a man may not larrup his own nigger?"
A more natural tone was assumed as regarded the Indians. They were declared to be free and independent nations; not citizens of the United States, but the original proprietors of the soil, and therefore as purely irresponsible to the laws of the United States as any neighbouring nations. They were treated with, as such, on every occasion; their territories and right of self-government were acknowledged by such treaties. "There is an abundance of authorities," says Mr. Stuart, in his Three Years in North America,' "in opposition to the pretext, that the Indians are not now entitled to live under their own laws and constitutions; but it would be sufficient to refer to the treaties entered into, year after year, between the United States and them as separate nations."
"There are two or three authorities, independent of state papers, which most unambiguously prove that it was never supposed that the state governments should have a right to impose their constitution or code of laws upon any of the Indian nations. Thus Mr. Jefferson, in an address to the Cherokees, says"I wish sincerely you may succeed in your laudable endeavours to save the remnant of your nation by adopting industrious occupations. In this you may always rely on the counsel and assistance of the United States." In the same way the American negotiators at Ghent, among whom were the most eminent American statesmen, Mr. John Quincy Adams and Mr. Henry Clay, in their note addressed to the British Commissioners, dated September 9, 1814, use the following language: "The Indians residing within the United States are so far independent that