Indian Nullification of the Unconstitutional Laws of Massachusetts Relative to the Marshpee Tribe eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 186 pages of information about Indian Nullification of the Unconstitutional Laws of Massachusetts Relative to the Marshpee Tribe.
of that acute and learned officer, Charles H. Warren, Esq. to the points made in this opinion, well assured that if it can be refuted by any professional gentleman, it can be done by him.  If he cannot do so, I hope he will permit the title of the parsonage to be brought before the Court, under an indictment for cutting wood contrary to the act of 1834.  I regret the necessity of presenting arguments to dispossess Mr. Fish of what he doubtless supposes be lawfully holds; but I am looking for the rights and the property of the Indians, and am not at liberty to consult personal feelings, that would certainly induce me to favor the Rev. Mr. Fish, as soon as any man in his situation.  I think it as important to him as to the Indians, that the title to the parsonage should be settled, for there will be feuds, and divisions, and strifes, as long as that property remains as it now is, wrongfully taken and withheld from the Indians, to support an “ESTABLISHED CHURCH,” in Marshpee.  With this view I have proposed to Mr. Fish, in behalf of the Indians, to make up an amicable suit, before the Supreme Court, and obtain their opinion, and the parties be governed by it.  The Indians are ready to submit it to such an arbitration.  Mr. Fish declines.  The only other remedy is an injunction in chancery, to stop the cutting of wood.  The Indians are not well able to bear the expense, at present, or this course would be taken to recover their property.  Until some legal decision is had, Mr. Fish cannot but see, from an examination of the legal grounds set forth herein, that there are strong reasons for regarding him as holding in his possession that which rightfully belongs to another.  The public will not be satisfied, until the rights of the Indians are fully secured.  I have always been desirous that Mr. Fish should not be disturbed in his house lot, and for my own part, it would give me pleasure, should the Indians, immediately, on getting legal possession of their own parsonage, unanimously invite him to settle over them.  But so long as he withholds from them their property, it cannot be expected that they should receive him as their spiritual teacher.  It is in direct violation of the Constitution and of religious freedom.

      Counsel for the Marshpee Indians. 
      Boston, May, 20, 1835

The Selectmen of Marshpee District, are at liberty to make such use of the foregoing, as they think proper.

[Footnote 1:  He is not an Indian, nor an original proprietor.]

[Footnote 2:  This was Mr. Alvin Crocker, who had formerly enjoyed more benefits from the Plantation, than he does under the new law.]

[Footnote 3:  In June, 1763, the Governor and Council appointed Thomas Smith, Isaac Hinckley and Gideon Hawley, “pursuant to an act empowering them to appoint certain persons to have the inspection of the Plantation of Marshpee.”]


Project Gutenberg
Indian Nullification of the Unconstitutional Laws of Massachusetts Relative to the Marshpee Tribe from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook