Thursday, April 24 1828
TO READERS AND CORRESPONDENTS.
Scipio's communication has been received, but it is too personal for insertion.
In consequence of the difficulties in procuring paper, we shall not be able to issue our 11th No. until week after next. A few weeks hence we hope to have a large supply of good paper from the North.
Our readers may wish to know the reason why they do not receive their papers as soon as they might. All the papers that are sent by mail are regularly and punctually put into the post office in this place, but according to the present arrangement of the mails, they are obliged to lie at Springplace nearly a week. Application has been made to the General Post Office to remedy this inconvenience; and we hope the application will be complied with. In future our paper will be issued on Wednesday instead of Thursday, in anticipation of such alteration.
The Arkansas Cherokee Delegation now at Washington, appear to be disappointed, as they are likely not to effect the objects of their mission. They express some dissatisfaction.
One of the murderers, whose trial we noticed in our last, was condemned at Chickamauga Court House, and executed on the 19th inst. Intemperance has been the ruin of this man, as it has been with thousands of others. We sincerely hope this instance of the evil effects of ardent spirits will prove a warning to our citizens, such as indulge themselves in the excessive use of it, and to such as deal in it for the purpose of gain.
We had occasion, in the first number of our paper, to publish an extract of Col. M'Kenney's letter to the Secretary of War, on Indian emigration, together with some remarks of our's which we could not very well avoid, considering our situation, and our views on the subject. An unknown advocate of this new system of emegration [sic] has sent us the communication published below, intended to explain and defend the policy and principles recommended by Col. M'Kenney in the above mentioned letter.- We are opposed, as our readers undoubtedly know, to the removal of the Cherokees; particularly under such principles. The objections to our removal we have not yet offered to the public, but which will probably, at some future time, be done thro' the medium of this paper. It may suffice for the present to observe, that it is a matter of great doubt with us, whether this policy or removing the Indians beyond the limits of any Sate [sic] is rearly [sic] founded upon true friendship, having for its sole and great end, the good of the aborigines of this country. This doubt becomes strengthened from the fact, that this policy is sustained by recommendations of a coercive nature, and heartily welcomed by persons, known to be decidedly opposed to every Indian improvement.
Is it reasonable to suppose, that those who would find fault with the General Government for instructing the Indians, will exercise true friendship towards them, by sending them a thousand miles, ' forcing them to undertake a project of the most uncertain kind? We make this remark without implicating, in the least, the motives of Col. M'Kenney, and many true friends who are on the same side of the question.
We are not ignorant of the fate of those tribes which 'A Friend' invites us to consider as examples of the fatal effects of our intercourse with the whites. We know very well that tribe after tribe have dwindled away, and that the remnants of some are greatly degraded, and bid far, without judicious measures for their recovery, to trod the foot-steps of their fore fathers. The question, however, comes with great force; will a removal far to the West, remedy the evils which have followed us from the discovery of America? Will a residence west of Missouri, or elsewhere, beyond the limits of any state or territory, prevent the destroying effects of white population, and its concomitants [sic] evils? As regards the Cherokees this question is peculiarly interesting, and ought not to be answered without due consideration. It is now admitted by all, we believe, that we are an improving people; that we are on a constant and gradual march towards a civilized state; and that though we have to encounter many counteracting influences, yet, we are on the increase in numbers; and that the present appearances are favourable [sic] to our complete recovery from a savage state.- Now, is it a part of wisdom to leave our infant institutions, our houses, our farms, and go and unite ourselves with our brethren (many of whom are still savages) and try a system of civilization, uncertain ' unprecedented. We hope we shall be pardoned when we answer in the negative. Such a course appears to us somewhat like (to use an old land common saying,) 'jumping out of the fryingpan [sic] into the fire.'
MR. BOUDINOT EDITOR.
The first number of the Cherokee Phoenix has been received by the writer of this note-and he is gratified to find in it the evidence of so much intelligence. You, sir, will have only to follow the dictates of your own enlightened mind, and avoid personalities and coarse, and vulgar language, which unfortunately characterized too many of the press's [sic] of the states, to succeed.
In regard to some remarks on Col. M'Kenney's report to the Secretary of War, headed 'Indian Emigration,' the writer of this note would offer what to him appears to be their meaning-They are,
First- In the spirit of true Friendship; and in accordance with his known solicitude for the happiness of the Indian race.
Second- They (the remarks) do not look to a removal except upon the sure basis of elevating the Indians in privileges and in prosperity.
On the first proposition it is only necessary to refer to his expressions of friendship for the Cherokees, as contained in the report copied in the Phoenix. Nothing can be more kind; and I am sure there are none who will doubt their sincerity. But Col. M'Kenney wrote amidst fears, lest the very improvements and plan of Government adopted by the Cherokees should prove their more sudden overthrow! He knew well the feelings of the states whose jurisdictions take hold of the Cherokee lands; he knew well how active the spirit was, and yet is, for the acquisition of those lands, and above all how fearful the question of states rights, and jurisdiction, were becoming, nay had become, and that out of all this, (as is the way of the world,) if not by a sudden blow yet by slow process, such as extending the laws of those states, (of which it is believed there are five,) over the Cherokees of whom he says in his report, 'They deserve to be respected and helped,' would waste away and be no more a people! It was to avoid this sad result, and the past gives awful promonitions! [sic]) that Col. McKenney appears to have spoken in his report, as with the voice of warning- and he pointed to a place of refuge, and to this means of preservation. It was to a country and a well furnished home, which were to be first chosen, and then secured in the future, against the dreadful consequences of the past! I enclose a copy of his reports-in which you will see more fully his object, as explained in his talk to the Chickasaws. There is no unkindness in all this towards the Indians.
Time will test this. Col. McKenney knows well how buoyant are the hopes of the enlightened among the Cherokees; and he respects that feeling-but he knows also that like feelings and like hopes, and like advances in improvement once distinguished the Indians of Martha's Vineyard and Elizabeth's Isles, 'c. and that NOO-NATOMAN, where their altars and firesides once blazed, and where the voice of praise, and the words of life were once spoken, and cheerful and innocent mirth were enjoyed; and those fields and workshops that bore witness to the advances of civilization exist now, only a mournful proof that whilst the Indians retain their present relations to us, which are those of the past also, they cannot survive, but must, by a power no less operative that a law of nature, perish! Go now to the East. Ask where are those flourishing and improved bands over whom Elliot and Mayhew and Kirkland and other watched with such paternal care?- The answer will be -they are no more! and yet they had to contend against none of those devouring influences, (rum only excepted) which are now destroying the remnants of those who remain.
There is little doubt but the Indians who remain may, for the honor of the Government, yet be saved--but it will hardly be expected that the laws of the social and relative states, and which have been so depressing and runinous [sic] to Indians, can operate in the future, otherwise than as they have operated in the past.
Better, far better, to come up to the privileges of the Republic, in a territory where equal laws and equal rights are secured, than to be contending against the powers that war upon you now, and the influences which must continue to depress and waste you away as a people.
It is this end Col. McKenney has in view; and your intelligence must accord with its truth and justice.
Removal of the Cherokees.- On this subject we confess we are not sorry to see the Cherokee Phoenix speak a decided language. To remove them would be to overthrow their incipient establishments, and to check their progress in those arts, institutions and habits, which give to civilized and Christian life, its charm-its dignity and worth. The attempt to do this- however great the bribe we may offer as the price of their degradation- seems to us most iniquitous.---Vermont Chronicle.