deeply impressed with the opinion that the removal of the Indian
tribes from the lands which they now occupy within the limits
of the several states and Territories . . . is of very high
importance to our Union, and may be accomplished on conditions
and in a manner to promote the interest and happiness of those
tribes, the attention of the Government has been long drawn
with great solicitude to the object. For the removal of the
tribes within the limits of the State of Georgia the motive
has been peculiarly strong, arising from the compact with that
State whereby the United States are bound to extinguish the
Indian title to the lands within it whenever it may be done
peaceably and on reasonable conditions. . . .
removal of the tribes from the territory which they now inhabit
. . . would not only shield them from impending ruin, but promote
their welfare and happiness. Experience has clearly demonstrated
that in their present state it is impossible to incorporate
them in such masses, in any form whatever, into our system.
It has also demonstrated with equal certainty that without a
timely anticipation of and provision against the dangers to
which they are exposed, under causes which it will be difficult,
if not impossible to control, their degradation and extermination
will be inevitable.
President James Monroe, in an 1825 message to Congress in Native
American Voices: A History and Anthology, ed. Steven
Mintz (St. James, New York: Brandywine P, 1995) 111-112.