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Beyond Penn's Treaty

Committee on Indian Concerns Scrapbook

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Baltimore Committee on Indian concerns, with Laws of
Congress respecting Liquors, &c. 1847


THE attention of all the officers and agents of the Government

in the Indian ocuntry, and of all per-
sons residing of entering therein, under license or permission, is called to the 20th and 21st sections of
the act of June 30th, 1834, and the the 2d section of an act, approved the 3d of March, ultimo, the great
object of which is to save our Indian poulation from the ruinous effects of the use of intoxicating liquors.

These laws impose upon commanding officers of military posts, and superintendents of Indian affairs,
agents, and sub-agents, the following duties: 1st. To cause promptly to be prosecuted, any and all persons guilty of giving, or in any way
disposing of, spirituous liquor or wine to an Indian, in the Indian country, or of introducing, or attempt-
ing to introduce, the same therein; such persons, in the one case, being liable to a fine of five hundred
dollars and imprisonment for two years; and, in the other, to a fine of three hundred dollars and impri-
sonment for one year. 2d. To seach for any spirituous liquor or wine which there is reason to believe has been, or is
about being, introduced into the Indian country, which is not intended as a part of the military supplies
authorized by this Department, and, if found, to destroy it; and to seize upon the property of the per-
son guilty of the offence, with which the same may be found, and deliver it over to the proper officer, to
be proceeded against by libel in the proper court; such property being liable to forfeiture, one half to the
use of the informer, and the other to that of the United States

. It is also the duty of any person, in any
way in the employment of the Government--and the same may be done by any Indian--to destroy any
spirituous liquor or wine found in the Indian country. 3d. If the person guilty of introducing, or of attempting to introduce, spirituous liquor or wine into
the Indian country, be a trader, it is the duty of the proper superintendent, agent or sub-agent, immediately
to revoke his license and to put his bond in suit. 4th. To destroy any distillery in the Indian country for the manufacture of ardent spirits, and to
cause to be promptly prosecuted any person or persons who may erect or carry on such distillery, in
order to recover the fine of one thousand dollars prescribed for such offence.

It is also provided that in all prosecutions for the offences mentioned in the first of the foregoing heads,
Indians shall be competent witnesses.

All military officers in the Indian country, and the superintendents, agents, and sub-agents of the
Indian Department, are required and enjoined to be vigilant and active in the execution of the duties
imposed upon them by these laws, which are appended hereto for their more particular information as to
the nature and extent of their respective duties; and it is expected that all other persons in the employ-
ment of the Government

, or who are licensed or permitted to be in the Indian country, will, on every
occasion, aid those officers and agents in the most effectual manner in their power.

Any ommission on the part of the officers of, and persons employed in the Indian Department, particu-
larly, or on the part of those licensed or permitted to be in the Indian country, to do all that can justly
and fairly be done to put an end to the infamous traffic with the Indians, in or through intoxicating liquors,
will be regarded as good cause for their removal in the one case, or in the other for the revocation of their
licences or permits.

Now that Indians are made competent witnesses in our courts, for the purpose of further enabling
the Government

to destroy an evil which has been so destructive of their best interests and happiness, it
is expected that the chiefs and others, who desire welfare and prosperity of their people, will co-
operate with the agents of the Government in arresting this great source of mischief to the Indian race.
Those who fail to do so by every proper means in their power cannot be regarded as desiring or caring
for either.

By the 3d section of the act of the 3d ultimo, it is provided that No annuities, or moneys, or goods,
shall be paid or distributed to the Indians while they are under the influence of any description of in-
toxicating liquor; nor while there are good and sufficient reasons for the officers or agents, whose duty
it may be to make such payments or distribution, for believing that there is any species of intoxicating
liquor within convenient reach of the Indians; nor until the chiefs and head men of the tribe shall
have pledged themselves to use all their influence, and to make all proper exertions, to prevent the in-
troduction and sale of such liquor in their country.

WAR DEPARTMENT, April 13, 1847.