War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0786 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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of those articles in the treaties which confer upon Indians the right to testify in the State courts, believing that the State have the power to decide that question, each for itself, independently of any action of the Confederate Government.

The pecuniary obligations of these treaties are of great importance. Apart from the annuities secured to them by former treaties, and which we are to assume by those now submitted, these tribes have large permanent funds in the hands of the Government of the United States as their trustee. These funds may be divided into three classes: First. Money which the Government of the United States stipulated to invest in its own stocks or stocks of the States, and which has been partly invested in its own stock and partly uninvested, remains in its Treasury, but upon which it is bound to pay interest. Second. Funds invested in the stocks of States not members of this Confederacy. Third. Money invested in stocks of States now members of this Confederacy. These three classes include all the important pecuniary obligations involved in these treaties, except interest collected by the Federal Government and not paid over to the Indians and arrearage of annual payments due under existing treaties; to which exceptions a further notice will be given. By the treaties now submitted to you the first and second class are absolutely assumed by this Government; but this Government only undertakes as trustee to collect the third class from the States which owe the money and pay over the amounts to the Indians when collected. It is fortunate for the Indians and ourselves that the amounts embraced in classes one and two are relative small, and the obligations incurred by their assumption cannot be onerous, as the amount due by States of the Confederacy on account of investments in the funds of Northern Indians considerably exceeds the amount to be assumed under this provision of the treaties. We thereby h compel the Government of the United States to do justice to the Indians within the jurisdiction of the Confederate States, or to indemnify ourselves for its breach of faith.

By the treaty with the Cherokees we undertake to advance $150,000, and the interest of $50,000 for educational purposes on what are known as the Cherokee neutral lands, lying between the State of Kansas and the Cherokee Territory, for which the Indians paid the United States Government $500,000, and which lands we guarantee to the Indians against the hazard of being lost by the fortune of war or ceded by treaty of peace. I herewith submit to you estimates of the entire pecuniary obligations assumed by these treaties, in tabular exhibits A and B. * They are generally stated with great minuteness in the treaties, but I have caused them to be abstracted and put in tabular form for more convenient reference. I also submit to you the report* of Albert Pike, the commissioner, which contains a history of his negotiations and submits his reasons for a departure from his instructions in relation to the pecuniary obligations to be incurred. In view of the circumstances by which we are surrounded, the great importance of preserving peace with the Indians on the frontier of Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri, and, not least, because of the spirit these tribes have manifested in making common cause with us in the war now existing, I recommend the assumption of the stipulated pecuniary obligations, and, with the modifications herein suggested, that the treaties submitted be ratified.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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*Not found.

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