Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 3.djvu/26

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Ch. 1.

paid for the Indian lands within the last four years," wrote the Secretary of War,[1] "does not amount to one cent per acre." The Chickasaws and Cherokees sold a very large district between the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers in Tennessee, so that thenceforward the road from Knoxville to Nashville passed through no Indian land. In Georgia the Creeks were induced to sell an important territory between the Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers. In these treaties provision was also made for horse-roads through the Creek and Cherokee country, both from Knoxville and from central Georgia to the Mobile River.

Besides the many millions of acres thus gained for immediate improvement, these treaties had no little strategic value in case of war. No foreign country could fail to see that the outlying American settlements were defenceless in their isolation. Even the fort and village at Detroit were separated from the nearest white village by a wide Indian country impassable to wagons or artillery; and the helplessness of such posts was so evident as to impress every observer.

"The principles of our government," said Jefferson when danger at last arose, [2] "leading us to the employment of such moderate garrisons in time of peace as may merely take care of the post, and to a reliance on the
  1. Dearborn to Robertson, March 20, 1805; State Papers, vol v.; Indian Affairs, i. 700.
  2. Message of Jan. 30, 1808; State Papers, vol. v.; Indian Affairs, i. 752.