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Settlers The Intruders

American State Papers
Public Lands, (Class VIII) Volume V, 1827-1829
Published by Gales and Seaton, 1832, page 530

Transcribed by Fred Smoot

A Report on a Memorial to Congress

20TH CONGRESS.]                           No. 681.                          [1ST SESSION.



Mr. KANE, from the Committee on Private Land Claims, to whom was referred the memorial of Zachariah Sims, and others, praying to be indemnified for the loss they sustained in consequence of having been dispossessed by the United States of a tract of land that had been leased to them by a Cherokee chief in 1807, reported:
       That the prominent facts of the case are fully and accurately stated in the said memorial, and it is unnecessary here to repeat them. It is manifest to your committee that the lease and deed of confirmation set forth by the petitioners were executed in violation of the act of Congress of March 30, 1802, regulating trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes; the 12th section of which declares “that no purchase, lease, or other conveyance of lands, or of any claim or title thereto from any Indian or nation, or tribe of Indians within the bounds of the United States, shall be of any validity in law or equity, unless the same be made by treaty or convention entered into pursuant to the Constitution.” Your committee perceive no just reason why any compensation should be made to the petitioners on account of anything contained in the correspondence between Return J. Meigs and Henry Dearborn, then Secretary of War, or any act alleged to have been done by the petitioners in virtue of that correspondence. The Secretary of War was not authorized by law to permit any lease of Indian lands; and, if he had such right, it is evident that the advice he gave on the subject of the lease was not pursued, but disregarded by the petitioners. Your committee therefore submit the following resolution:
       Resolved, That the committee be discharged from the further consideration of the subject.

Note: While we have yet to find the original Memorial, we do find this:

“Mr. Chambers presented the memorial of Zachariah Sims and others, members of an association called the ‘Double Head Company,’ praying remuneration for the loss they sustained in consequence of having been dispossessed, by the United States, of a tract of land leased to them, in the year 1807, by the Chief of the Cherokee nation of Indians; and

Ordered, That it be referred to the Committee on Private Land Claims.”

Journal of the Senate of the United States of America
Second Session Nineteenth Congress, Vol 16, p. 88
Wednesday, January 10, 1827

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