Wednesday May 21, 1828
Volume 1 No. 13
Page 2 Col. 5b
Yesterday, being the last day of April, was a delightful day. Nature
in a smile seemed to invite to a banquet of pleasing recreation; the birds mingled
their charming melody with the breezes that gently agitated the leaves of the
forest; and my soul glowed in harmony and rapture, as I surveyed the Oostanalee
winding its silent course towards the South, apparently proud of its strength
and value to man, who delights to live and labor on its refreshing banks.
I was invited to a wedding on Amuchee creek [sic], six miles distant, which
invitation I accepted, crossed the river, and, in company with a young lady,
travelled in a path 12 inches wide through the wilderness. The spring
had already exerted her power, and spread her rich carpet of green, white, red
and yellow on the face of the earth. These blessings, are extended for
the use and benefit of the Cherokee Indians, who for ages past have lived in
ignorance and degradation, but now, no longer savages, are rising from ignorance
to the standard of moral, intellectual, religious and political importance.
We now can enjoy landscape scenery, and cherish the poetical effusions of Thompson
as if he had addressed his "seasons" to us:
"For you the roving spirit of the wind
Blows Spring abroad; for you the teeming clouds
Descend in gladsome plenty o're the world;
And the sun sheds his kindest rays for you,
Ye flow'r of human race. In these green-days
Reviving sickness lifts her languid head;
Life flows afresh; and youngeyed health exalts
The whole creation round."
It was 12 o'clock when we reached the habitation of the Bride's parents, consisting of four log cabins, with a farm. Here were gathered a number of Cherokees, who, through my interpretation, heard an instructive discourse by the Rev. Greenberry Garrett of the Methodist church, on the 24th chapter of Luke, 45th, 46th and 47th verses. "Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures; and said unto then, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." At the close of the sermon *The Spirit, a Cherokee who does not speak English, delivered an address in support of the sermon, in a masterly and eloquent style. I esteem him the best speaker in this nation. He is to his country, what Cicero was to Rome. Prayer and singing were wholly conducted in Cherokee, and the audience, being mostly full-blooded Cherokees, and of the humbler class in life, afforded a specimen of handsome talent in church dress, and unexceptionable in deportment.
After a short intermission, and dinner, the nuptials were solemnized by the minister, and the service was interpreted into Indian by me. They were united agreeably to rules prescribed by the Methodist Episcopal Church.
The Bride is a quarter white, possesses a fine figure, somewhat tall, beautiful complexion, with dark hair and eyes: her features bear the evidence of amiability and good nature; and on the whole she is an interesting woman. She is a member of the Methodist Church. The Bridegroom, a cousin of mine, is a full blooded Indian, of Aboriginal deep copper complexion, low in stature, fine figure, but does not possess a handsome face, though depicted upon it are the marks of honesty, fidelity and good nature.- He was dressed in a clean northern domestic suit, and his bride was in white cambric. After they were united, I congratulated them on the mode they had chosen to celebrate their nuptials- that it afforded me pleasure to reflect that we were advancing so rapidly in civil and religious improvement, as to banish our ignorant habits and customs, and that we were now adopting others which were more creditable & decent, & held in esteem by civilized nations;-that this wedding would be an example for others to improve to the world, that instead of being savages, we were enlightened.
I have been thus particular, to prove to your white readers, that, instead
of the poorer class of our people being in servile chains and oppression, under
the influence of Mitchel "Nabobs," they are in possession of religious and political
freedom and rural happiness.