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was put to the trouble to exhibit the original document which testified that all my public accounts, as well those relating to the trade, as to the annuities, were settled, showing a balance in my favor. I shall insert this document in the sequel.
But I was subjected to other, and scarcely less injurious attacks. The amount of supplies which I purchased, annually, was great. My rule in regard to purchasing was a fixed one. It was, to give as wide a range as I could to the demand, its nature, and variety; and to produce all the competition I could, I gave samples of the kinds of articles which were required in the Indian trade—even, for the purpose of making them portable, to the cutting of guns in two. But I made no commitment to purchase of any one, except on the following conditions: First, that the importations should be in time. Second, that the quality and fitness of the article should be entirely acceptable; and Third, that the prices should be as low as like articles could be elsewhere commanded. All this I knew involved contingences, on the part of the merchant, but these were often encountered. It rarely happened that any single importer ordered all the varieties, but all were ordered ; and the general result was, a market well stocked with articles, which, but for this policy, would have furnished very few of them, for the reason that almost all kinds of goods suited to the Indian trade, are wholly different from goods required by civilized communities. And this superior market was in the District of Columbia, where more suitable goods could be at all times had, than could be found in any of the cities of the Union. The mercantile principle,“ that wherever a demand exists, there will be found a corresponding ability to supply it,” was never more fully illustrated and established.
But I could not deal with every body. There were merchants, some of whom went to Europe, expressly for the purpose, who, by a closer attention, and a more active observation of the nature of the supplies wanted, the time when wanted, and the value of the articles, would be better qualified to supply the demand, than were others who were less vigilant, and less intelligent. The consequence was, that anonymous letters were addressed to the committee of Indian affairs, of the House of Representatives, charging me with partiality, and with making purchases of favorites, to the exclusion of persons who were prepared to sell to the public better, more suitable, and cheaper goods. I was summoned to appear before the committee. An investigation, in due form, was made. The parties named by the anonymous prosecutors, were summoned before the committee, and questioned under the solemnities of an oath. With what success I escaped from this searching ordeal, the reader may see by referring to Appendix. (B.)
A useful lesson may be drawn from these facts—a lesson that may teach the numerous aspirants for public office, that there are not only duties to be performed, when the goal of their ambition is reached, but that priceless pearl, “a good name,” is constantly in danger of being torn from them, no matter how cautious they may be, how honest, or how capable, or how devoted to the duties of the trust which they seek to encounter. Few men, somebody has said, bring out of office the same good character they took into it.
It is not only the personal suffering which an assault upon one's good name causes, but a suffering coming from the sympathy of friends which combines with it, as well as the effects which are not unfrequently seen to desolate one's property. I was made to endure all these. Nor does the charge, like the destructive flash, exhaust itself in the explosion. If it did, it could be better borne, as well as endured with less suffering. A man's virtues may be heralded, and the remembrance of them soon dies; but affix to his name and character a charge, of no matter what sort, involving his reputation, and it never dies! What if I did exhibit to thousands, and publish in the press, the utter falsity of the imputation that I was a government defaulter, as charged upon me in the manner stated; did that wipe out the stain which the annunciation implicating me in that charge, had affixed to my character? As I have said, it was revived and circulated from the time it was made, till 1840, and its flickerings have not ceased to blaze up even to this day. About the time of my dismissal, by command of President Jackson, from my office, as Chief of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, in August, 1830, the implication had new vigor imparted to it by the refusal to close my public accounts, which, being kept open, gave sanction to the assertion that all had not been right in my public disbursements, or in my accountability for the same. Four years, from 1829 to 1833, was this state of things continued; when, at last, all the injury that could be done me, arising out the story of unsettled accounts, having been endured, an order was given to settle them. They were settled. How that settlement resulted, will be shown hereafter. It has always been a source of consolation to me, that this settlement was not made by officers connected with the political party of my preference—but by those who occupied towards me relations of a totally different sort. There have been periods in the history of this government when political feelings were not permitted to mingle with official accountability and duty; and when the moral sense of an accounting officer of one political party would not permit him to overlay, or blur, or delay the settlement of the accounts If a disbursing officer, because his political preferences
ot happen to run in the same direction with his own. is was before political intolerance was tolerated; and
that “Hydra,” as“ Party” had been so characterisly denominated by General Jackson, had so severed
the ties of a national brotherhood, and gathered round it its " friends," as to exclude from any participation in the government, if not the greater, yet a large portion of the purest patriotism, and most renowned wisdom and intelligence of the country. A ban was literally put upon it.
IMPROVEMENT, MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL, OF THE INDI
ANS. PRESIDENT MONROE-ANECDOTES ILLUSTRATING HIS CHARACTER.
Fourth of July address,Subsequent reflections—Wrongs of the Indian-Corres
pondence with Mr. and Mrs. Gambold— The Cherokees—Their reluctance to intercourse with the Whites-Capacity for improvement—Plan for elevating their condition-Appropriation by Congress for this purpose —Effects of this plan-David Brown's letter—Progress of civilization among the CherokeesCommission annulled-Re-appointed-Fourth Auditor Treasury, almost—Mr. Monroe's scruples His sensitiveness to reproach-Interview with him just before his death—Charged with undermining General Armstrong-Facts in the case—The British forces in the Chesapeake-Affair of BladensburgGeneral Armstrong vindicated—Mr. Monroe's personal efforts and sacrifices in 1814–The General Post-Office-Mr. M'Lean's appointment-What led to it.
It was during my superintendency of the United States Indian Trade Department, that my feelings became first interested for the welfare of the Indians. I had delivered a Fourth of July address to the citizens of Washington and Georgetown, in a beautiful grove on the heights of the latter, when, on reaching my home that evening, my thoughts became occupied with the condition and prospects of the Indians. I had been talking of liberty and independence, of the glory of our institutions, the grandeur of our system, and of our future destiny, and of the sacrifices of blood and treasure that had been made to secure all these—but had not thought of those to whose country we had succeeded, and who had been driven by our injustice and cruelty from river to river, and from forest to forest, until not only they had become lost to our sight,