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capture of Quebec. Spain, under Cortez and Pizarro planted her colonies on the ruins of native cities, and on a soil flowing with Indian blood. This cruel devastation of Mexico and Peru was one of the greatest atrocities recorded in history. Other nations planted colonies in the Western World, some with and some without a proper respect for native rights.
As the earth belongs to the whole family of man in common, no part of it can become private property except by actual occupation and appropriation. In Mexico and Peru the natives were truly in the occupation of the country, living in cities and villages, and cultivating the earth. They had organized governments claiming and exercising jurisdiction over those regions. No other nations upon the settled principles of natural law had a right to colonize Mexico or Peru, much less to invade and conquer them. That part
of North America within the present limits of the United States at the commencement of the seventeenth century, was a most wild, uncultivated country, with aboriginal tribes scattered sparsely over it. In such a country Europeans might rightfully colonize with or without the consent of the natives, provided all actual Indian settlements were respected. But the Pilgrim Fathers, with true Christian benevolence, bought off the Indian title to Plymouth colony, an example which has been steadily followed at a cost of many millions of dollars paid to extinguish aboriginal title.
OF THE TERRITORIAL RIGHTS OF A
All lands included within the boundaries of a nation are exempt from foreign colonization on the ground of appropriation, and belong either to individuals, to the nation or to states composing it. By our treaty with Great Britain, at the close of the revolutionary war, all the rights of that nation to the soil and jurisdiction of the United States passed to our National and State governments. The thirteen original States became thereby seized of the ungranted lands within their respective limits, subject to the possessory title of the natives, and the United States became seized of the resi. due with the same qualification. The Supreme Court of the United States, in the celebrated case of Fletcher against Peck, affirm this doctrine. The American ministers at the treaty of Ghent maintained the same ground and refused to treat with the British negotiators with reference to the Indian tribes within the territory of our Republic. By the 9th Article the parties mutually granted an amnesity to the Indians merely. In pursuance
of this principle an exclusive right of preemption is held to belong to the Nation or State owning the fee, and from the foundation of the government purchases of Indian title have been made according to this rule. Vast sums have been paid to the Indians in purchase of their imperfect possessory right to the soil of our country.
Upon general principles of natural and moral law, an organized nation, its component states and citizens own the soil and jurisdiction of the entire territory, and no foreign nation can rightfully colonize any portion of it. President Adams, in 1826, in the instructions given by Henry Clay, his able Secretary of State, to the American Ministers to the Congress of Ministers of American Republics at Panama, thus lays down the doctrine of our Republic on this subject : “In December, 1823, the then President of the United States, in his annual message, upon the opening of Congress, announced, as the principle applicable to this continent, what ought hereafter to be insisted upon, that no European nation ought to be allowed to plant upon it new colonies. It was not proposed, by that principle, to disturb pre-existing European colonies already established in America; the principle looked forward, not backward. Several of the new American States have given intimation of their concurrence in the principle; and it is be-.
lieved that it must command the assent of the impartial world.”
“Whilst America was, comparatively, a boundless waste, and an almost unpeopled desert, claimed, and probably first settled with civilized men, by the European powers who discovered it, if they could agree among themselves as to the limits of their respective territories, there was no American State to oppose, or whose rights could be affected by, the establishment of new colonies."
“But now the case is entirely altered; from the northeastern limits of the United States, in North America, to Cape Horn, in South America, on the Atlantic Ocean, with one or two inconsiderable exceptions; and from the same cape to the fiftyfirst degree of north latitude, in North America, on the Pacific Ocean, without any exception, the whole coasts and countries belong to sovereign resident American powers. There is, therefore, no chasm within the described limits in which a new European colony could be introduced, without violating the territorial rights of some American State. An attempt to establish such a colony, and by its establishment to acquire sovereign rights for any European power, must be regarded as an inadmissible encroachment. If any portion of the people of Europe, driven by oppression from their native country, or actuated by the desire of im.
proving the condition of themselves or their posterity, wish to migrate to America, it will no doubt be the policy of all the new States, as it ever has been ours to afford them an asylum, and, by naturalization, to extend to such of them as are worthy, the same political privileges which are enjoyed by the native citizen. But this faculty of emigration cannot be allowed to draw after it the right of the European State, of which such emigrants shall have been natives to acquire sovereign powers in America. The rule is good by which one, in judging of another's conduct or pretensions, is advised to reverse positions. What would Europe think of an American attempt to plant there an American colony? If its power would be provoked, and its pride exerted, to repress and pun- . ish such a presumptuous act, it is high time that it should be recollected and felt, that Americans, themselves, descended from Europeans, have also their sensibilities and their rights."
“To prevent any such new European colonies,
66 and to warn Europe beforehand that they are not hereafter to be admitted, the President wishes you to propose a joint declaration of the several American States, each, however, acting for, and binding only itself, that, within the limits of their respective territories, no new European colony will hereafter be allowed to be established."