The cholera having subsided by the middle of September, negotiations were opened with the various Indian tribes at Rock Island. General Scott and Governor Reynolds were the commissioners on the part of the United States to make treaties with the Sacs, Foxes, Winnebagoes, Sioux, and Menomonees. The leading man among the Indians was Ke-o-Kuck, a Sac chief, who was of commanding appearance, eloquent in speech, and a brave warrior. He was not, however, a hereditary chief, and for this reason his tribe deposed him; but on General Scott’s request he was again replaced as chief. General Scott conducted the negotiations in the way of speech-making at the request of his associate, Governor Reynolds. The speeches of Scott and those of the Indian chiefs were taken down by Captain Richard Bache, of the army, and are to be found in the archives of the War Department at Washington.
The result of the treaties was the cession to the United States by the Sacs and Foxes of about six million acres of land, the greater part of which is now included in the State of Iowa; and the United States gave in consideration of this cession a reservation of nearly four hundred square miles, on the Iowa River, to Ke-o-Kuck and his band, and agreed to pay the Indians an annuity of twenty thousand dollars per annum for thirty years to pay the debts of the tribe, and to employ a blacksmith and a gunsmith for them. The treaty also provided for ample space for hunting, and planting-grounds for the Indians and their posterity. A similar treaty was made with the other Indians. General Scott, on his return to Washington, was complimented by General Cass, the Secretary of War, “upon the fortunate consummation of his arduous duties,” and he expressed his entire approbation of the whole course of his proceedings during a series of difficulties requiring higher moral courage than the operations of an active campaign under ordinary circumstances.
Troubles in South Carolina growing out of the tariff acts apprehended, and General Scott sent South—Action of the nullifiers—Instructions in case of an outbreak—Action of the South Carolina Legislature.
On the conclusion of the treaties with the Indian tribes, mentioned in the preceding chapter, General Scott went to New York, where he arrived in October, 1832. A few days after his arrival he received an order to proceed to Washington.
The passage of the tariff act of 1828 had produced great excitement in several of the Southern States, but especially in South Carolina. By this act the duties on foreign goods imported into this country were raised much higher than by any previous tariff. It was passed for the protection of American manufactures, of which at that time none were in the South, but all, or nearly all, in the New England States.
The cotton planters of South Carolina opposed and resisted it on the ground that it was not only in violation of the Constitution of the United States, but injurious to their interests, and in the interest of other States as opposed to theirs. They argued, as it is now argued, that a tariff is a tax, and that this tariff discriminated in favor of certain portions of the country as against other portions, and that therefore it unquestionably violated the fundamental law of the land.