In the excerpt below, a committee of Congress discusses some of the issues involved in the Western lands and Indian relations. What were some of those issues? What was Congress's attitude toward the Western lands and how did it appear to relate to Indian relations? What did Congress resolve to do?
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The committee being informed from good authority, that many people have crossed the Ohio, and settled upon the lands of the United States, are of opinion that unless this is immediately discountenanced and measures taken effectually to prevent it in future, but little dependence may be put on those lands as a fund for the payment of the public debt, for this purpose they propose that the following proclamation be issued and published in the papers of every state, and that copies be furnished to the commissioners for the purpose of publication in said country.
"WHEREAS it hath been presented to the United Stated in Congress assembled, that several disorderly persons have crossed the river Ohio, and settled upon their unappropriated lands. And whereas it is their intention as soon as it shall be surveyed, to open offices for the sale of a considerable part thereof, in such proportion and under such other regulation as may suit the convenience of all the citizens of the said states, and others who may wish to become purchasers of the same; and as such conduct tends to defeat the object which they have in view, is in direct opposition to the ordinances and resolutions of Congress, and highly disrespectful of the federal authority, they have therefore thought fit, and do hereby issue this their proclamation, strictly forbidding all such unwarrantable intrusions, and enjoining all those who have settled thereon, to depart with their families and effects without loss of time, as they shall answer the same at their peril;" whereupon
I. RESOLVED, That the commissioner instructed to hold a treaty under the resolutions of the 18th of March last, with the western tribes of Indians, at post St. Vincent, on the .......... day of June, next, for the purpose of obtaining from them a cession of lands, be and they are hereby authorised to avail themselves of the disposition of the Indians, and the funds committed to their charge to make such cession as extensive and liberal as possible.
2. That the board of treasury take order for the purchase of goods in addition to those on hand at fort M'Intosh, and those ordered to be purchased by the resolutions of the 18th of March last, for the purpose of carrying the said treaty fully into effect, to an amount not exceeding 3000 dollars.
3. That they take order for the purchase of provisions and other stores for the support of the commissioners, and others necessarily attending the treaty, to an amount not exceeding 2000 dollars.
4. That they take order to answer upon the draft of the commissioners of the treaty, for the pay of the officers, messengers, interpreters and artificers, in a sum not exceeding 2000 dollars.
5. That the board of treasury take order for contracting upon the best terms they can, for the transportation of the said goods, to the place at which the treaty may be held, or such other places as the commissioners may think proper.
6. That the commissioners be, and are hereby authorised to make rules and regulations for the management of the treaty, and the government of all those who attend it, to license, or prohibit the sale of goods, liquors, and arrest the person, and seize the property of those who violate such regulation.
7. That they are hereby authorised to form rules and regulations for the government of the trade, between the citizens of the United States and the Indians, which shall have effect until repealed; provide that no monopoly is created thereby, and report the same to Congress.
8. That they endeavour to obtain from the French and Canadian inhabitants, and other settlers of the Kaskaskies, St. Vincents, and the neighbouring villages, astatement of their rights to lands within the said country, with the origin and extent thereof, and report the same to the board of treasury. That they also administer to them the following oath of allegiance. (Insert the oath.)
9. That the prohibit the settlement of the persons, not properly authorised for that purpose, upon the unappropriated lands of the United States, under the penalty of there displeasure, and that they cause to be circulated in the said country, the following proclamation. (Insert the proclamation.)
That the instructions heretofore given to the commissioners authorized to form treaties with the Indian tribes in the northern and middle departments, not hereby repealed, continue in full force; and that the secretary at war, be, and he is hereby directed to order the troops in the service of the United States, to be in readiness to march at such time, and to such place or places, as the said commissioners or any two of them shall direct.
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