Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/178

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Messages and Papers of the Confederacy.

ommend that the former provision be rejected, and that the latter be so modified as to leave the question to the future action of Congress; and also do recommend the rejection of those articles in the treaties which confer upon Indians the right to testify in the State courts, believing that the States 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 stocks 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 classes 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 relatively 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 have the means to 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