THURSDAY, MARCH 20, 1828
The communication of 'A Cherokee,' we have inserted entire, according to his request, with verbal corrections. As our correspondent seems to think we have done him a little injustice, in omitting a sentence in his former communication, it may be proper to state for his consideration, that our word is out before the public, and we consider it to be our duty to adhere to it.- We request those who write for the columns of the Phoenix, to peruse our address to the public, published in our first number, and to observe, scrupulously, the principles therein contained, as we shall endeavor to do the same. 'A Cherokee' is under a mistake if he thinks the correcting of Grammatical errors in communications one of the duties of an Editor. We hope no one will write under such a belief.- It will be equally as advantageous to our correspondents as it will be relieving to us, if they will pay particular attention to correctness; and we would beg of them to send their pieces transcribed in a legible hand. We do not wish to be severe, and we hope our remarks will be taken in no other light than as dictated by a wish to avoid misunderstanding. We are willing, as far as we are able, to make necessary corrections on the pieces of our correspondents; but we wish it to be distinctly understood, that we do it merely out of choice, not under a conviction that it is our duty.
We were not a little diverted, in noticing lately, in a paper, to which we are not now able to recur, a motion made in the House of Representatives, by Mr. Wilde, a member from Georgia, to take measures to ascertain, what white persons have assisted the Cherokees in forming the late constitution; and in what way, and to what extent, such assistance has been afforded. It is a little surprising that in almost ever instance, wherein the Indians have undertaken to imitate their white brethren, and have succeeded, (to be sure not in a remarkable degree,) it is currently noised about, that all is imposition, as though Indians were incapable of performing the deeds of their white neighbors. This evidences an extreme prejudice. We cannot conceive to ourselves, what benefit Mr. Wilde expected to receive in offering such a motion, or who are the persons that are suspected of having interfered in this affair? We believe that the Cherokees are as scrupulous, in avoiding such interference, as Mr. W. if not more so.
It has been customary of late to charge the Missionaries with the crime of assisting the Indians, and unbecomingly interfering in political affairs; and as some of these are the only white persons (with few exceptions) in this Nation, who are capable of affording any substantial assistance, it is probable Mr. W. had a distant reference to them. We can, however, assure him, that he need not be under any apprehension from this class of our population, for the Cherokees will not, by any means, permit them to have anything to do with their public affairs; and we believe, that as their sole object is to afford religious instruction, the societies under which they labor particularly forbid their interference in political matters. We know this is the case with the Presbyterian Missionaries, and we doubt not it is equally true with respect to the others; and as far as our acquaintance extends, we are prepared, and would not hesitate, to express our belief, that they have conformed to the rules of their Societies. They have our hearty approbation for what they have done amongst us, and we hope those at a distance will reward them by their kind wishes and sympathies, instead of affixing to them the term of 'mercenary Missionaries.' They certainly deserve better treatment. Perhaps this short article will be considered an imposition by such persons as are wont to judge at a distance and without evidence, and as nothing more than a Missionary's own defence.
Our object, when we commenced to pen this article, was to correct the mistake, under which some may labor, and to declare once for all, that no white man has had anything to do in framing our constitution, and all the public acts of the Nation. The Cherokees only are accountable for them, and they certainly do not wish to have any innocent person implicated wrongfully.- We hope this practice of imputing the acts of Indians to white men will be done away.
The Rev. Thos. Stringfield, the late editor of the 'Knoxville Enquirer,' is to be succeeded by J. J. Meredith, who is his address to the public, proposes to support the cause of the Administration.