1850 Removal of the Chippewas A Petition to the President

We have taken occasion several times to speak freely and, as we think, impartially, of the contemplated removal of this aboriginal nation [Ojibwa/Chippewa]. In doing this, we have been impelled solely from sentiments of justice and humanity towards a people whose feeble voice is scarcely heard beyond their councils, whose grievances, unlike those of their pale-faced neighbors, seldom find utterance by the thousand-tongued heralds of the press. What we have or many say on this subject will not be likely to reach or influence in any manner either the Indians or the Government; but, when an act so manifestly unjust and uncalled for as this, is brought to our notice, it becomes a duty above all party or neutral considerations to direct public attention to it.

Petitions remonstrating against this removal; are being circulated for signatures around the lake [Superior], and they state the facts of the case so clearly and are so much to the point, that we make the following extract from one of them:

"We, Citizens of the United States, residing on the south coast of Lake Superior and connected with the mining operations of the country, having learned with deep regret of the intention of the Government to removal therefrom the Indians at present residing within the limits of the Territory, ceded by the Treaty of La Point, dated the 4th of October, 1842, would respectfully represent:

"That we unhesitatingly believe that such removal wholly uncalled for by any interest of the Government or people of the United States and that it would be in a high degrees prejudicial to the welfare of the Indians:

"That the small portion of country the Indians now occupy is mainly undesirable for agricultural purpose, and not demanded by any influx of white settlers: That if abandoned by the Indians it would for a long series of years remain almost wholly without inhabitants: That the most friendly feeling, strengthened by mutual kind offices, has at all times existed between the Indians and ourselves: That a removal would effectually arrest the rapid advances now making by many of them in the arts and habits of civilization, and would produce a bitter alienation from the Government and people of the United States, and possibly result in bloodshed."

Source: Editorial, Lake Superior Journal, June 6, 1850.