Page:The History of the American Indians.djvu/362

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.

3.50 An Account of tie Choktah Nation,

favourable time to make my addrefs. This worthy patriot had been well in formed, by feveral Indian trading merchants of eminent character, of the expenfive, difficult, and faithful fervices I had cheerfully done my country, to the amount of above one thoufand pounds fterling on the public faith, and of the ungenerous returns I had received : he according to his natural kindnefs and humanity, <promifed to affift me. I then laid my cafe, with the well-known and important facts, before the members of the houfe of aflembly in Charles-town ; and when they convened, prefented a memorial to the legislative body. But feveral of the country reprefentatives happened to be abfent ; and as the governor could not be reafonably expected in a ibort time, to purify the infected air which had prevailed in that houfe for fourteen years, a majority of the members had evidently determined not to alleviate my long complaint of grievances. To invalidate its force, they objected, that my claim was old , but did not attempt to prove the leaft tittle of what I exhibited to them to be falfe : they knew they could not. After a long and warm debate, when my fecret enemies obferved the clerk of the houfe was drawing near to the conclufion of my memorial, they feized cm a couple of .unfortunate monofyllables. I had faid, that " the Indian Choktah had a great many fine promifes ," the word fine was put to the torture., as reflecting on the very fine-promifing gentleman. And in another fentence, I mentioned the time his excellency the late Governor of South-Carolina did me the honour to write me a very fmocth artful letter, by virtue of which J went all the way to Charles-town, &c. The word fmooth, fo highly ruffled the fmooth tempers of thofe gentlemen, that they carried a vote by a majority, and had it regiftered, importing, that they objected againft the indelicacy, or impropriety, of the language in my memorial, but not againft the merit of its contents. The minute, I here in a more public manner record anew, to the lafling honour of the perfons who promoted it. The voice of oppreffed truth, and injured inno cence, can never be wholly ftifled. Left my memorial mould again appear at the public bar of juftice, in a iefs infected time, it was not fent to the office , which indicates that the former art of pocketing was not yet entirely forgotten. Indeed every ftate fuffers more or Iefs, from fome malign in fluence, on time or other ; but I have the happinefs to fay that the infection was not univerfal. South-Carolina has always beep blefled with fteady pa triots, even in the mod corrupt times : and may me abound with firm pil- J.ars of the conftitution, according to our Magna Charta Americana, as

�� �