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“Of all Injustice, that is the greatest, which goes under the name of Law; and of all
BOSTON : PEIRCE AND WILLIAMS.
REMOVAL OF THE INDIANS.
1. AN ARTICLE IN THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW, ON REMOVAL OF THE INDIANS, FOR JANUARY, 1830.
2. THE LETTERS OF WILLIAM PENN,' PUBLISHED IN NATIONAL INTELLIGENCER.
We have placed the titles of these publications at the head of this paper, not because we shall attempt to re-state the arguments of the one, or to lay bare the sopbistry of the other. Both are equally unnecessary. Those who will not be convinced by the plain reasoning of the latter, and are willing to be blinded by the false principles of the former, will neither be confirmed in the truth, nor persuaded to renounce their error, by any additional proofs which can be urged, nor by any clearer light which can be poured upon the subject. We believe, Mr. Editor, that on your part you will never suffer the supercilious advice of certain editorial critics to prevent your personal decisions in favor of truth and morality, or to influence you in rejecting from your journal any opinions, however wholesome, and however sternly opposed to some tenets of the present administration.
of this nature are our opinions on the great question in regard to the removal of the Indians; and such too, we believe, are the opinions of all good and honest men in the country, who do not suffer the clear dictates of reason and conscience to be warped by the motives of personal avarice and party selfishness, or thwarted by the hard and crooked maxims of an irreligious, selfish, abominable state policy. We should think that we exposed ourselves to just ridicule, if we should waste even a moment's time in endeavoring to make manifest—what is absolutely incontrovertible,—the fearful importance of this question, or to prove what is equally evident-on which side the balance of truth and rectitude lies. We have examined sufficiently for our own satisfaction, and all the world have had opportunity of
coming to a true and impartial decision by examining for themselves, and thus performing what is a moral duty, if ever any duty was moral and binding. On this point, benevolence, reason, justice, conscience, and the Word of God, speak a voice equally loud and plain ;—and the voice of prudence, liberal, expansive, enlightened, far-seeing prudence, the prudence of republics and of all human societies, never did and never can contradict it. The course, which our country ought to pursue in regard to this question, is so plain, that he who runs may read. It is written with equal clearness on the law of nations, the law which binds society together, and keeps one half the world from preying like wolves and tigers on the other —and on the law of individual protection and benevolence. It is written alike on the law of justice and the law of mercy. It is written in the constitution of the human mind, and, with an impress more clear and burning than the sunbeams, by the Holy Spirit in the Law of God. It is written in the unsophisticated cominon sense of the whole world ; and if, contrary to such noon-day obligations, the government of this country should set a final seal of approbation on the deed of infernal crueliy, wbich not a few of those, to whom its destinies have been commiited by the inscrutable wisdom of Jehovah, seem to be meditating, that common sense will speak out, in a universal thunder of reproach on the rapacity and perjury of this republic. The benevolence of all mankind will not be trampled upon in silence. We shall hear its indignant voice echoed and reiterated from the shores of the Atlantic to the shores of the Pacific; and it will not die to the latest generation of our race.
And far more to be deprecated, the sentence of the Almighty—the judgment of the Ruler of the universe—will go out against us, and a curse must follow in its train.
We are astonished to behold, in the North American Review, an article of sixty pages in length, devoted to the sole purpose, not of upholding a manly and humane policy, which it might so effectually have supported, but of justifying our Government in an act of the most unparalleled perfidy and bare injustice ; devoted to the purpose of obviating the powerful objections on the part of reason and humanity, of darkening the minds of unprejudiced and sober inquirers, and of arguing down the lofty obligations of national morality to a place below the never-to-be-satisfied demands of national selfishness. It attempts 10 stifle the voice of nature and justice, to set aside the law of nations and of God, by an imposiog array of legal subtleties, by the entanglements and intricacies of sophistry, and by a frightful exbibition of the apparent difficulties, which, to a depraved moral vision, always stand up in the path of truth and justice. We are astonished, we say; for we have always looked upon the character of its present Editor with sincere esteem for the moral courage and plainness, the
intellectual ability, and the unremitting industry, which mark it; and we did not expect that he would put even his tacit sanction on a violation of morality so manifest as this. The character likewise of the reputed author of that article is such as might have secured his suffrage at least, if not his powerful alliance and defence, for the cause of the oppressed and the degraded, or, in the abstract, the cause of virtue and honor and religion. When we look back also to the past numbers of 'that work, and compare the present article with those eloquent ones, which at no great distance of time have added to its reputation both for intellect and moral worth, and have deeply enlisted the sympathies of all hearts for the wretched and decaying remains of our once numerous and powersul, and comparatively virtuous and happy Aborigines, we regard the melancholy contrast, which it exhibits in sentiment and doctrine, with feelings both of sorrow and indignation. We mourn that such an index of the perverted state of moral feeling in our country should go forth through the world, to which we are so continually boasting of our perfect liberty, equality, and nobleness of character; we mourn for the new occasion it will give to the friends of regal and despotic authority, to ridicule the gratitude and the honor of republics.
But we cannot express our indignation at the nature of the argument by which it attempts to establish the propriety and even necessity of so glaring an exception to the obligations of morality and law; by which it attempts wholly to undervalue and set aside those obligations, and to substitute, instead of such as are eternal, indestructible and self-evident, the narrow, paltry maxims of all-grasping selfishness ;the maxims of a state policy, which is criminal, because it does not recognize at once, and without appeal, the supreme authority of the Law of God, and short-sighted, because it imagines, with the contractedness of view universally peculiar to what is wicked and selfish in design, that any true and lasting interest of any nation can ever be subserved by any means, on which are stamped the evident characters of crime, and to which the Creator of the Universe has affixed an everlasting curse. No real good, national or individual, can ever be procured through the instrumentality of motives or exertions wbich are selfish, fraudulent, and cruel. It may appear such at the time, for the moral vision is totally perverted, and reason is darkened by the ignorance of guilt; but in the light of eternity, and often in the unerring wisdom of a very short and bitter experience, it will be looked upon with agonizing remorse of conscience, and avoided with shudderings of horror. At the last it will bite like a serpent, and sting like an adder. Turn to the pages of History, and you will find a thousand records of this truth, in the dreadful tyranny, the short splendor, and the long and frightful desolations of misery, which have followed each other in the career of guilty nations and individu